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October 21, 2018 - 1:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, education, news, open house, Veterans Day.

Photo from 2017 Open House at GCC.

Submitted photo and press release:

For nearly 20 years, Genesee Community has invited the public to its Main Campus in Batavia on Veterans Day for two very important events -- welcoming potential new students as they explore the College and all its opportunities, and honoring veterans for their service to our country.

On Monday, Nov. 12, Genesee Community College invites students of all ages and their families to Open House from 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. and the annual Veterans Day Honor Ceremony at 12 p.m. 

The first segment of the Open House is the Academic Fair, which starts promptly at 9 a.m., where GCC professors and instructors from across campus gather in the central Forum and the Conable Technology Building to showcase their programs, meet and chat with interested students and family members.

Next up is the Welcome and Information Sessions and/or a complete campus tour that includes the new Richard C. Call (athletics) Arena and Student Success Center as well as the new apartments at College Village, the Library, Book Store, Student Union, Genesee Center for the Arts and the many state-of-the-art classrooms and labs.

In addition, a Nursing Program Information Session will begin in Room 210 of the MedTech Building, across College Road, at noon.

Online registration for the Open House is the best way to reserve a slot for the multifaceted opportunity. Whether you are looking to attend college for the first time, return to college to advance your current career, or even launch a brand new venture, GCC's success coaches are specifically trained to guide individual pathways to success!

Meet your success coach at Open House! Visitors will be able to hear and meet GCC's experts in admissions, financial aid, career and transfer services, student activities, athletics and much more.

The campus tour lasts approximately 60 minutes and participants are encouraged to dress comfortably and wear walking shoes. Self-guided tours are also an option, borrowing a digital tablet from GCC's Admissions office. A virtual tour is also available fully online: https://www.genesee.edu/home/offices/admissions/virtual-tour/.

Immediately following the Open House, GCC will host its annual Veterans Day Honor Ceremony. Details on the ceremony which includes special guest speakers and a lunch for all veterans in attendance will be posted to https://www.genesee.edu/ soon.

As a reminder, GCC will also hold a special Saturday Visit Day on Saturday, Nov. 17, from 9 a.m. till noon featuring admissions and academic program information. On this day, with an official transcript or copy of a GED, attendees will be able to apply and be admitted on the spot!

Those specifically seeking help with completing the FAFSA forms should register here or visit here, click on "SUNY Financial Aid Days" and find the Genesee Community College Nov. 17, event to register. Visit Day walk-ins are welcome; however registration for the event guarantees a one-on-one session with a financial aid expert to help complete the FAFSA application online. Interested individuals are encouraged to visit here, or contact Nick Wockasen at [email protected] or call GCC's Admissions Office at (585) 345-6800 with any questions.

With more than 65 affordable degree and certificate programs, online courses, 360 degree learning and seven campus locations, GCC makes it possible to achieve your higher education dreams.

October 19, 2018 - 2:48pm

Press release:

When a career needs a boost -- community colleges are the best place for a dedicated employee and a desirable company to meet and develop a plan of action that satisfies the interests of both.

Such was case with Andy Willits who began working in an entry level position at LiDestri Food and Drink in Fairport when he was just 19 years old. After 13 years of service, he liked his job and his company, but he desired greater responsibility and a fresh challenge. 

With the support of the management team at LiDestri, Andy began researching career advancement paths and quickly discovered that in order to get where we wanted to be, he would need a college degree.

"GCC was the only community college in Western New York to offer degrees in food processing. I found the two-year degree specifically focused on food manufacturing and it offered a flexible schedule, it was perfect," Willits said.

In January 2018, after just two years at GCC, he earned a Food Processing Technology A.A.S. degree.

"Earning the degree gave me a lot of personal satisfaction; it was a challenge to manage a full-time job, school and making sure I had enough time for my family," Willits said. "Completing the program gave me a real sense of accomplishment."

He balanced the demands of work, home and school by taking advantage of GCC's robust online learning opportunities. He was able to complete 50 percent of Food Processing Technology A.A.S. without having to step foot on campus!

During his last semester at GCC, Willits was able to apply the experiences gained at his current job to meet the requirements of the program's semester-long internship placement through the use of GCC's Credit for Prior Learning opportunity.

"Having (GCC's) satellite campuses really helped with flexibility and managing my life inside of school and my family," Willits said.

He also encouraged other returning college students to "ask about credit for prior learning. There are a lot of ways to make GCC fit into your life really well. Pairing my degree with my years of job experience has really opened up what opportunities I'm able to pursue."

GCC recently received a highly sought-after State University of New York (SUNY) needs grant and completed significant upgrades to student laboratories and equipment to provide the most up-to-date learning experiences.

GCC's FPT program was designed not only to prepare students to enter the workforce immediately, but to position them perfectly for a seamless transfer into a four-year degree program at any number of institutions both within and outside of the SUNY system.

GCC currently has transfer agreements in place with SUNY Cobleskill, Cornell University College of Agriculture & Life Sciences and many more. GCC's transfer pathways programs help you plan your coursework to maximize your time in college. Learn more about transfer pathways at https://www.genesee.edu/offices/transfer/.

Attend GCC's Open House Monday, Nov. 12, between 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. to meet professors and instructors, explore the campus, get help with financial aid and see exactly why so many individuals choose GCC. Details on the Food Processing Technology program are available at https://www.genesee.edu/academics/programs/tech/food/.

October 17, 2018 - 12:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, ebla central school district, news, schools, education.

Press release:

The Elba Central School District’s Board of Education has selected Ned Dale as the district’s next Superintendent with a starting date of Nov. 26.

“It is truly an honor to be selected as the next Superintendent of the Elba Central School District, Dale said. "I look forward to working with the students, community and staff to ensure that we are providing the best opportunities possible.

"Collaboration and communication will be my primary goals as I learn more about this incredible community. I am grateful to the leadership and commitment that Mr. Keith Palmer has provided the district during his tenure and I hope to continue the progress that the district has made to date.”

Michael Augello, Elba Central School District’s Board president, said: “The Board of Education would like to thank the two other finalists for their interest shown in this position. This was an extremely difficult decision as all three are highly qualified individuals.

"We truly value the input received from the various stakeholder groups, including faculty, staff, and community members who met with the candidates to help us make a final decision. The board is confident that Mr. Dale will lead our district through the issues we face in our region. With his leadership, we will work together to deliver the best education possible for our students.”

Dale currently serves as the Principal of Cosgrove Middle School, Spencerport Central Schools, a position he has held since 2007. Dale began his career in education in 2000 as a school counselor/teacher leader at Spencerport High School. He continued his career at Spencerport Central Schools serving as the Assistant Principal of Cosgrove Middle School.

 During his career at Spencerport Central Schools, Dale has supported the development of a rich curriculum and aligned assessments, and also developed three tiers of Response to Intervention in English Language Arts and Math in collaboration with other administrators and stakeholders.

Through his leadership, Cosgrove Middle School was designated as a School to Watch based upon the collaboration of the New York State Education Department, New York State Middle School Association and National Forum to Accelerate Middle Level Reform.

As President of the Spencerport Administrators and Supervisors Association, Dale has successfully negotiated three 3-year contracts for the entire association.

He also established an approved APPR plan for principals that was accepted by the New York State Education Department.

Dale earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from St. John Fisher College, and a Master of Science in Counseling and Human Development from the Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester.

He completed the New York State Superintendent Development Program at SUNY Oswego and holds permanent certifications in School Counseling, and as a School District Administrator.

Dale replaces Keith Palmer who recently announced his plans to retire.

Kevin MacDonald, district superintendent of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, acted as the search consultant and noted that the search process was a true collaboration between the Board of Education, district staff and the community.

October 4, 2018 - 11:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, schools, education, news.


It was Walk to School Day in Oakfield with a group of students, supervised by teachers and administrators, starting out at Triangle Park in the Village of Oakfield, making the walk at 7 a.m. to the school, where they were treated to a free breakfast.

The event is meant to promote walking as a healthy activity for people.



October 3, 2018 - 2:38pm


Press release:

Le Roy Central School is proud to announce that Jr.-Sr. High School Math teacher Taryn Nole was one of the 275 educators from across the state selected to join the New York State Master Teacher Program.

Mrs. Nole is in her 17th year teaching at Le Roy and has taught eighth-grade Math, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, and AP Calculus over her years with the Oatkan Knights. For the last five years, she has served as the 7-12 grade Math Department chair. 

Taryn Nole
"When I learned of the work the NYS Master Teacher program was doing I made it a professional goal of mine to become a part of the program. Through collaborations with other teachers, I will be able to strengthen my pedagogical skills and deepen my math content knowledge. This opportunity will allow me to share best practices with other educators as I continue to look for ways to improve my students' experiences in the classroom."

Merritt Holly, Superintendent -- Le Roy Central School
"Congratulations to Taryn Nole on being selected to join an elite group of educators in the New York State Master Teacher Program! Taryn's dedication to teaching, especially in the area of mathematics, has been a great resource for our District as she continues to encourage more students to pursue STEM studies and careers. To join a list of 275 new members and 980 total Master Teachers across New York State is a great individual honor for Taryn and for our Le Roy Central School District students."   

Tim McArdle, Principal -- Le Roy Jr.-Sr. High School
"We are beyond excited to have Taryn be selected for the NYS Master Teacher Program. Taryn's willingness to grow as an educator and as a lifelong learner has allowed her to continue to expand her instructional skill set and serve our students at a high level every day. She is also a teacher leader willing to work with colleagues to enhance educational practices both in our district and regionally. Taryn positively impacts students in a myriad of ways in and out of the classroom year in and year out. Congratulations to Taryn and her family!"

September 28, 2018 - 5:30pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, John Kennedy, news, schools, education.

Press release:

On Thursday, Sept. 27, at Jackson Primary School, a first-grade student left the building and started walking home. School officials immediately instituted their Emergency Procedures and contacted the police.

The child was located shortly thereafter and was returned safely to school.

The District immediately reviewed its procedures to determine how this incident occurred and have made the necessary changes. Student safety is the top priority in The Batavia City School District and will always take the appropriate measures to protect them.

September 25, 2018 - 11:13am
posted by Billie Owens in elba, education, news.

Press release:

The Elba Central School District’s Board of Education has named three finalists for the district’s next Superintendent.

Michael Augello, Elba Central School District’s Board president, said he is pleased with the high-quality candidate pool and enthused about the potential the three finalists have to offer.

“Selecting the best superintendent for Elba Central is the Board’s top priority,” Augello said. “This was a difficult decision especially with the number of qualified candidates who applied. BOE has narrowed the search to three finalists. We look forward to the next round of interviews where the finalists meet with our various stakeholders.”

The three finalists are Jason Smith, Ned Dale and Matt Stroud.

Jason Smith

Smith currently serves as the superintendent of Schools for the Lyndonville Central School District, where he has served since 2011. Through his fiscal leadership, Smith has developed and secured the passage of eight district budget votes, and established a long-term reserve plan. Smith facilitated the development and implementation of long-term District and School strategic planning with diverse stakeholders. He also successfully negotiated four collective bargaining contracts and non-union employees’ contracts prior to agreements expiring. Smith led the implementation of a $10.6 million capital improvement project focused on security upgrades and energy efficiencies.

Smith began his career in 1994 as a Social Studies teacher at Albion High School. Over the next 10 years, he became dean of students, and assistant principal at Albion Middle School. From 2004 until 2011, he served as secondary principal for grades 7-12, elementary principal and Pre-K-12 principal at the Elba Central School District. During this time, Smith attained graduation rates between 92 and 100 percent, and also planned and implemented teacher professional development.

Smith received a Bachelor of Arts in History from SUNY Geneseo and a Master of Science in Education from The College at Brockport. He earned a certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration from The College at Brockport and also holds certifications in Social Studies 7-12 and as a School District Administrator.

Ned Dale

Dale currently serves as the principal of Cosgrove Middle School, Spencerport Central Schools, a position he has held since 2007. Dale began his career in education in 2000 as a school counselor/teacher leader at Spencerport High School. He continued his career at Spencerport Central Schools serving as the assistant principal of Cosgrove Middle School.

During his career at Spencerport Central Schools, Dale has developed three tiers of Response to Intervention in English Language Arts and Math in collaboration with other administrators and stakeholders.

Through his leadership, Cosgrove Middle School was designated as a School to Watch based upon the collaboration of the New York State Education Department, New York State Middle School Association and National Forum to Accelerate Middle Level Reform. As president of the Spencerport Administrators and Supervisors Association, Dale has successfully negotiated three 3-year contracts for the entire association. He also established an approved APPR plan for principals that was accepted by the New York State Education Department.

Dale earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from St. John Fisher College, and a Master of Science in Counseling and Human Development from the Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester. He completed the New York State Superintendent Development Program at SUNY Oswego and holds permanent certifications in School Counseling, and as a School District Administrator.

Matt Stroud

Stroud is the principal of Alexander Elementary School, where he has served since 2007. As principal, Stroud oversees the hiring, evaluation and supervision of more than 50 instructional and support staff. He plans and leads staff development at both the Alexander elementary and high schools. During his tenure as principal, he serves as the administrative representative for the district’s APPR plan negotiations. He leads and or serves on multiple district-level committees including Teaching and Learning, APPR, and Response to Intervention. He oversees the budget preparation and monitoring including BOCES services for Alexander Elementary School. Stroud coordinated efforts for the creation of a national certified outdoor classroom.

Previously, he served as an English teacher at Letchworth Central School District from 2001 until 2007. During this time, he wrote and implemented New York State standards for grades 10-12 and created and taught three college-level courses. Stroud received the Teacher of the Year Award in 2005.  

Stroud earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Houghton College, and a Master of Arts in English from the College at Brockport. He also earned an Advanced Certificate in Educational Administration from The University of Rochester. Stroud holds permanent certifications in English 7-12 and as a School District Administrator.

The Next Step

The Board of Education will conduct the final round of interviews with the three candidates in early October at the Elba Central School District. The BOE expects to appoint the final candidate by Nov. 26.

Kevin MacDonald, district superintendent of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, who is acting as search consultant, said the Board has developed and implemented a process that will help determine the best candidate.

 “This is a rigorous search process,” MacDonald said. “Finalists are interviewed by several stakeholder groups, and concludes with the Board meeting to make a final decision.”


The Genesee Valley Educational Partnership operates as a Board of Cooperative Educational Services offering shared programs and services to 22 component school districts located in Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston and Steuben counties in New York State.

September 13, 2018 - 12:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in schools, education, news, Le Roy, batavia, City Schools, Pavilion.

Press release:

New York State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has announced today the approval of Smart School Investment Plans for three school districts in Genesee County, including $2,543,552 for high-tech security and school connectivity. The funding is part of the Smart Schools Bond Act.

“Our children have unlimited potential to succeed, but only if our school districts get their fair share of state dollars,” Ranzenhofer said. “This investment will turn that potential into reality by ensuring Batavia City, Le Roy and Pavilion schools get the best resources to foster student success in a global economy.”

High-tech security funding has been authorized in the amounts of $1,940,585 for Batavia City School District and $348,300 for Pavilion School District. Le Roy School District has been approved for $254,667 in school connectivity funding.

Schools can invest these funds in classroom technology, school connectivity, and high-tech security upgrades to better prepare students for success in the 21st century. 

“The Batavia City School District is going to use SSBA funds to install and upgrade high tech security to assure the safety and well-being of our students and staff in all buildings to assist in maintaining a safest possible learning environment. We are planning on installing new card readers, new door contacts, electronic door strikes, wireless locksets, fixed high-definition cameras, door closers, and motion detectors," said Batavia City School District Superintendent Christopher J. Dailey.

"These improvements will allow our focus to remain on student learning while creating a safe environment for our students and staff to work, learn and grow,” 

Pavilion Central School Superintendent Kenneth J. Ellison said “Pavilion Central Schools will use the recently approved Smart School Investment Plan funds to upgrade our video security system to provide a safe and secure learning environment. The existing system was installed many years ago has limited coverage and minimal storage capacity.

"Our goal is to upgrade our system and expand coverage in all areas. These funds will make it possible to cover all targeted areas on campus with a state of the art camera security system."

The Smart Schools Review Board is responsible for approval of the plan. In 2014, voters approved the $2 billion statewide school investment to finance educational technology and infrastructure.

September 7, 2018 - 12:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Middle School, batavia, schools, education, news.


Batavia Middle School invited parents to an open house Thursday evening, after the first day of school, for a chance to meet teachers and find out about their children's classes and expectations. 

There were also activities and food trucks for the families.

Above, Tricia Grillo, with her son Dom, meet with teacher Gigi Dombrowski about his eighth-grade math class.


Spanish teacher Julie Trzaska with eighth-grader Hailey Smith, her father Charles Richmond, and her brother Noah, who is in fifth grade.


Long-term sub Kayleigh Meyers in the ELA class with the four books eighth-graders will read this year: "Inside Out and Back Again," "To Kill a Mockingbird," "Omnivore's Dilemma," and "Unbroken."



September 7, 2018 - 12:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in school resource officers, schools, education, news, Sheriff's Office.

Press release:

This week was the first day of school not just for students returning from summer break, but for returning and new School Resource officers in Genesee County.

Students entering school doors this week at Pembroke, Alexander, Pavilion, Byron-Bergen and Genesee Valley Educational Partnership’s (BOCES) Batavia Campus were greeted with familiar faces and new faces as Genesee County School Resource officers begin the school year. 

New SROs Deputy Patrick J. Reeves (Pembroke), Deputy Eric J. Meyer (Alexander) and Deputy Cory W. Mower (Pavilion) are excited to embark on this new assignment.

They have recently completed School Resource Officer training and have shadowed existing SROs Deputy Chad P. Cummings (Genesee Valley Educational Partnership’s –BOCES, Batavia Campus) and Deputy Matthew R. Butler (Byron-Bergen) to learn  from experiences both have had over the years in this position.

Sheriff William Sheron stated that it is his goal to establish a School Resource Officer in all county schools to ensure the safety and protection of the students and faculty.

“Although the cost associated with placing a School Resource Officer in the schools is significant, I believe the safety and security of our children should be of the utmost precedence,” the sheriff said. 

September 6, 2018 - 9:43am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, schools, education, news.


Students arrived at Batavia High School for the first day of classes bright and early.




Some students started the morning off with a tailgate party in the senior parking lot. That's water in those cups.




Students picking up their class schedules.


The traffic circle was jammed.


September 6, 2018 - 9:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Middle School, schools, education, news.


Students arriving at Batavia Middle School for the first day of classes. 

Photos submitted by Principal Ashley John Grillo.




September 5, 2018 - 4:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Notre Dame, news, schools, education, batavia, notify.


When students arrive at Notre Dame High School tomorrow, things are going to look at lot different, both inside and out of the building, plus there are a few upgrades not readily apparent. 

The front entrance of the school has gotten a makeover and the hallways, some classrooms, and the locker rooms have gotten new paint and new logos (new lockers for the boys' locker room as well).

There's also a new security system, new drainage on the roof, and new HVAC units to go with previously completed upgrades to the gym, the cafeteria and the kitchen (all new equipment).

The upgrades are the result of a capital campaign launched a few years ago. The school worked to raise $5 million, raised $4.2 million, and got busy sprucing things up and replacing what was worn out.

"We need the school to look just as good as what it produces," said Principal Wade Bianco. "We all -- the board, the leadership team -- we all think it’s important that the facility is at the same standard as the academics, at the same standards as the climate and culture, at the same standard as the athletic program. Every program here is top-notch but the building, because it’s some tough times financially, needed to be upgraded."

The most noticeable change, of course, is the main entry, which has a new, modernist design, befitting the 1960s-era facility, but with a blue and gold color scheme that is striking.

Two classrooms have been painted and recarpeted with all new desks and chairs. The school is looking for more sponsors for classroom upgrades, at $10,000 each, which will include a plaque honoring the donor outside the classroom.

The school will open this year with 150 students. Enrollment is down at all schools but the goal for Notre Dame is still to attract 180 students. A Buffalo marketing company has been hired to help promote the private school.

Bianco said alumni and other donors really came through for the school, particularly Emmett and Antoinette Marchese Clancy, now California residents, but from the Class of 1970.

Originally, the school had looked at replacing the roof but school officials, he said, "sharpened their pencils" and figured out what parts of the roof needed to be repaired and upgraded and replaced the roof drainage system.

“If you’re going to fix the inside, your roof better be good because you don’t want water damage,” Bianco said.

The work was completed almost exclusively by local vendors.

"It’s been fantastic working with these people because they know our circumstances financially, so, as well as doing the work that needs to be done they’re also gracious to us," Bianco said. "They’re very kind to us, which is helpful as well."

In all, Bianco thinks the school got a lot done with the finances available.

"I think we’ve done a good job of maximizing funds with very little waste," he said.


The revamped kitchen.


The locker room for the Lady Irish.


There are 94 championship trophies on display in the cafeteria.


The weight room.

September 4, 2018 - 3:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in clean energy, education, business, news.

Press release:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $15 million is available to fund two initiatives that will promote clean energy workforce development and training programs on SUNY campuses.

Nearly $6 million was awarded to SUNY campuses to train more workers in the clean energy sector. In addition, a request for proposals was made available to all SUNY campuses for grants totaling $9 million to provide apprenticeships, internships, and educational programs and support through industry partnerships across the state.

These initiatives are part of Climate Jobs NY, a component of Clean Climate Careers initiative.
"As the federal government moves further away from responsible energy policy and clean energy production, New York is committed to fighting climate change and protecting our environment," Governor Cuomo said. "We will continue to take bold action to promote clean energy across the state and support job growth in cutting-edge, renewable industries."
"Funding for clean energy and workforce development programs at SUNY campuses across the state will help to promote environmental protection," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who delivered today's announcement. "Unlike the federal government, New York is advancing ambitious clean energy goals to address the important issue of climate change. These training programs will continue to support the industry and prepare individuals for jobs of the future."
As part of the $9 million RFP for additional grants, the SUNY university system will explore opportunities for partnerships with state and local agencies, including the Department of Labor, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Empire State Development, and Industrial Development Agencies. These partnerships will aim to meet existing and emerging critical workforce needs of New York's clean energy industry, drive regional economic development, and provide hands-on learning to students.
Up to $1 million of the RFP is allocated specifically for Community College Regional Council awards to develop events and workshops that will facilitate partnerships between clean energy industry players and SUNY community colleges in the region, share best practices amongst community colleges on curricula materials and tools to accelerate the pace of clean energy workforce development, and plan regional strategies to promote a culture of environmental sustainability.
SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson said, "The alarms have sounded again and again on the consequences of climate change, overdependence on fossil fuels, and increased energy use and costs. SUNY is proud to provide high-quality, hands-on, and the most up-to-date clean energy education and training to our students, building a diverse, preeminent talent pipeline for today and tomorrow's clean energy industry in New York State. We are proud to be a part of the governor's long-term energy solution."
Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, "The lack of clean energy leadership at the federal level could threaten opportunities for New Yorkers, so I commend Governor Cuomo's commitment to ensuring that workforce development in green industries is a priority. The Department of Labor stands ready to support this innovative initiative that will benefit workers and businesses alike."
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "Workforce training and development programs are crucial to the economic growth and sustainability of New York State. These funds will ensure that New York is generating trained employees for a growing industry, while furthering the Governor's commitment to clean energy."
Richard Kauffman, Chair of Energy and Finance for New York State said, "Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York continues to make significant investments in projects and initiatives that reduce the state's carbon footprint, ensure strong employment growth, and support our growing clean energy economy. Investing in workforce development and training programs on SUNY campuses will help prepare our next generation of clean energy workers to meet the workforce demands of an expanding and innovative job market."
Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, "As New York continues to lead the nation in its commitment to renewable energy and its fight against climate change, we need to work collaboratively with colleges and universities, as well as the business community, to best prepare students and workers for growing job opportunities in the clean energy sector. Today's announcement is another example of Governor Cuomo putting the well-being of all New Yorkers first by investing in strategic initiatives that support the state's ambitious clean energy goals." 
Frederick E. Kowal, Ph.D., president of United University Professions, said, "We applaud the governor for embracing the crucial role of education and training in developing and expanding a clean energy workforce in New York state. UUP stands with the governor and SUNY in making New York a green energy leader, in the U.S. and worldwide."
Campus proposals awarded today were reviewed by a committee with representation from SUNY, NYSERDA, and the Department of Labor. The awarded proposals include the following:
Binghamton University will establish a Clean Energy Undergraduate Research Program within its Freshman Research Immersion program. The new clean energy program will provide a summer component, including research fellowships for under-represented minority students and internships with clean energy companies.
Buffalo State College will develop clean energy certificate programs in partnership with the New York Power Authority. The certificates will also earn students credits toward an associate or bachelor's degree.
University at Buffalo will develop a Western New York Clean Energy Workforce Development program to include a certification and micro-credentialing, which may take the form of digital badges or other micro-awards—to both meet business and industry expectations and motivate and prepare well-rounded students with highly marketable skills.
SUNY Canton will enhance its Solar Ready Vets program on site at Fort Drum. The training provides a micro-credential program in renewable energy specifically for veterans transitioning to civilian life.
Erie Community College will enhance its non-credit continuing education units for architects and engineers, as well as building and code inspectors, by including electrical/photovoltaic solar updates for curricula design.
Farmingdale State College will develop certificate and fast track training programs within its Renewable Energy and Sustainability Center to meet emerging needs of the clean energy industry. The Renewable Energy and Sustainability Center will partner with local industry to identify short- and long-term needs.
SUNY Maritime will receive funding for two programs. The first, through its Off-Shore Energy Center, will develop a wind operations technician training program, as well as dynamic positioning training and certification courses for off-shore vessel operators. The second will develop a certification in partnership with the liquid natural gas industry. Coursework from the program will also be incorporated into licensing programs for licensed mariners.
Nassau Community College will develop new curriculum to include Energy Industry Fundamentals certificates.
SUNY Oswego will develop and enhance the campus's energy laboratories to support the curriculum of multiple departments. The campus will also expand research and applied learning opportunities and strengthen collaboration and student transfer between SUNY Oswego and Onondaga Community College.
SUNY Polytechnic Institute will partner with SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and SUNY Oneonta to offer experiential learning opportunities for students to apply green building principles by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certifying SUNY campus buildings. LEED Accredited Professionals will engage undergraduate students in the LEED Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance certification process and the LEED for Building Design and Construction via experiential learning projects tied to new courses.

August 29, 2018 - 2:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, education, diversity.

Photo: Sara Vacin, of Batavia, is the GCC's first diversity and inclusion coordinator.

Submitted photo and press release:

Officials at Genesee Community College secured a SUNY Performance Improvement Fund (PIF) grant for a new project entitled "Enhancing Diversity and Inclusion." This two-year grant will support the development of programs and strategies that advance inclusive excellence at GCC by providing opportunities for adjunct internships; faculty scholarship and mentorship; college-wide professional development; and direct support to diverse student groups.

Additionally, Genesee Community College will participate in the State University of New York (SUNY) Cultural Competency Community of Practice. The Community of Practice connects GCC with other SUNY colleges working toward similar objectives. Dr. Kate Schiefen, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs, is serving as the College's principle investigator on this project.

This past June, GCC took the first step toward implementing the Enhancing Diversity and Inclusion project by naming Sara Vacin, of Batavia, as the College's first diversity and inclusion coordinator. As such, Vacin will work with various departments within the College to accomplish the following three strategic priorities:

  • Create a training video for hiring committees to understand and combat implicit bias;
  • Establish a mentorship program for potential underrepresented adjuncts;
  • Design a visiting scholar program to allow faculty members to experience diverse campuses and shadow a faculty member in their discipline.

GCC's efforts directly related to the inclusive excellence can now be viewed on the new webpage here. In addition to promoting events, this webpage houses resources for faculty, students and staff on diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as information on how to foster cultural competency.

In correlation with GCC's recently released 2018-2023 Strategic Plan, Framing Our Future, Vacin will work to "…cultivate a community that fosters respect and appreciation for individual and group differences, as well as demonstrate our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion throughout all endeavors." (2018-2023 Strategic Plan, Priority 3. (View the Strategic Plan here.)

Vacin earned a Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion through Cornell University this year and graduated summa cum laude with a Master of Science in Clinical and Applied Nutrition from New York Chiropractic College in 2010. She also earned certification for Secondary Education in 7-12th Grade Theatre Arts from the Graduate School of Education at Trinity University in 2005, and magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Theatre Arts from Towson University in 1999.

She has served as an adjunct professor at GCC since 2015 and at Niagara County Community College since 2009. She is currently the program developer and director for the Third Prison from the Sun Theatre Group at the Attica Correctional Facility, as well as teaches college classes there. She is excited to bring her theater skills to the development of the video and to use her extensive teaching and presenting background to educate the campus and community on the importance of diversity and inclusion.


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