Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors


February 3, 2023 - 3:24pm
posted by Press Release in GLOW With Your Hands, GCC, news.

Press release:

GLOW With Your Hands: Healthcare is beginning to build momentum for the inaugural hands-on career exploration event as organizers announced Platinum Level sponsors, including Livingston County Area Chamber Education to Employment, Wyoming County Community Health Services, and United Memorial Medical Center.

It is anticipated that approximately 550 GLOW region students will attend Genesee Community College on March 24, 2023, where they will be able to learn first-hand about exciting career opportunities in the healthcare sector by meeting representatives and professionals from various healthcare organizations.

“We greatly appreciate the support of our sponsors to date as they are integral in making these types of events successful,” said Angela Grouse, Co-Chair, GLOW With Your Hands: Healthcare.  “We hope that the commitment of these sponsors will encourage other healthcare organizations to consider participating and supporting an event that can help them address their workforce needs.”

“Business and educational organizations and economic development agencies from across the region are once again collaborating to provide an incredible opportunity for GLOW region students to learn about good-paying careers right in their own backyard,” said Karyn Winters, Co-Chair, GLOW With Your Hands: Healthcare.

Sponsorships for the March 24th event are available at the Platinum ($5,000), Gold ($2,500), Silver ($1,000), and Bronze ($500) levels.

November 20, 2022 - 2:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, GCC Foundation, Encore, news.


It was "A Night in Casablanca" for attendees of the GCC Foundation's annual gala fundraiser, Encore 2022.

Encore co-chairs Robert and Zje Savage prepared a classic throwback to Rick’s Café Americain in World War II era French Morocco featuring gourmet food and dessert stations and live music by the Hanna PK Trio.

Proceeds from Encore support student scholarships at Genesee Community College. 

Top photo: Dr.Ginny Taylor, Chair of the GCC Foundation and Justin Johnston, executive VP of the GCC Foundation, present a plaque of appreciation to
Bob and Zje Savage, co-chairs of this year's event.

Photos Courtesy Genesee Community College.



Bob and Zje Savage, Co-Chairs, Encore "A Night in Casablanca"


The music headliner for the evening was Hanna PK and the Blue Hearts.

November 11, 2022 - 12:53am
posted by Press Release in GCC, Sports, soccer.


Press release:

The sixth-seeded Anne Arundel Community College men's soccer team fell to third-seed Genesee Community College, 5-0, in the opening round of the NJCAA Division III Men's Soccer Championship Wednesday evening.

AACC keeper Edgar Garcia made seven saves in the loss, the first for the Riverhawks since October 6.

Genesee got on the board in the third minute with a penalty kick goal from Unai Cruz Prieto. The goal marked the first penalty kick conceded by the Riverhawks this season.

Spike Pope edged the Cougars ahead in the 11th minute with his eighth goal of the season, deflecting the ball off a diving Garcia.

The Cougars extended the lead to 3-0 in the 19th minute. Marc McCann stumbled as he curled in front of the net but managed to toe the ball back to Cruz Prieto for a one-timer past Garcia.

Cruz Prieto completed the hat trick in the 36th minute with a long loft ball that sailed into the upper 90.

AACC had limited offensive opportunities in the first half. Nehemias Rubio had the two best chances for the Riverhawks, but was whistled offside in the 30th minute and sent the ball just wide in the 42nd minute.

In the 61st minute, Matheus Spina tucked a lofty shot under the crossbar to extend Genesee's lead to 5-0.

The Riverhawks had several solid chances in the second half. In the 54th minute, a shot by Sam Adams from the top of the box was blocked. Raffy Arias sent in a shot off a Juan DeNardo corner in the 71st minute, only to see the shot blocked before getting to the cage.

Connor Pollack had a good look in the 84th minute, but his header went just wide.

The Cougars held a 21-8 advantage in shots, including a 12-2 margin in shots on net. Genesee also led in corners (5-2) and fouls (11-4).

AACC (11-5) will face Raritan Valley (11-4-1) at 2:30 p.m. Thursday in the consolation round.

Photos by Mason Singer.








November 3, 2022 - 1:17am
posted by Press Release in GCC, news.

Press release:

Genesee Community College has begun its 2023 - 2028 Strategic Planning Process and welcomes input from the community! While GCC is continuously evaluating itself against numerous measures, this planning process is a chance to realign the institutional priorities with the ever-changing environment of higher education and the complex economic demands of the communities it serves.

Written in 2018, the current 2018-2023 Strategic Plan is themed "Framing Our Future" and identified five priorities:

  • Student Support and Success
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Diversity and Inclusive Excellence
  • Fiscal, Operational and Infrastructure Sustainability
  • Campus and Community Engagement

This new planning process is not only evaluating the progress made in these key areas, but helping to identity the next phase of GCC's strategic growth.

"The strategic planning process offers the college community the opportunity to revisit, re-envision, and reaffirm the way we help our students and our organization achieve success. With the many challenges facing higher education and the diverse students seeking a quality postsecondary experience, I firmly believe that our next strategic plan will be pivotal in guiding the college to the future," said College President James Sunser.

Dean of Human Communications and Behavior, Tim Tomczak, and Dean of Students, Patty Chaya, have been named co-chairs of the strategic planning efforts. Under their leadership, the steering committee, which includes faculty, administrators, staff and community partners, will perform assessments of the progress made under prior plans and using the feedback collected, identify new strategic priorities for the next five years. The assessment process will include a formal S.W.O.T. analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) and several forums for feedback.

In an effort to ensure the next Strategic Plan addresses the primary needs of the communities GCC serves, the College has established a webpage with an online form to collect comments, suggestions and ideas from the general public.

Citizens, business leaders, alumni, students, supporters, stakeholders and the general public are invited to visit www.genesee.edu/about/offices-departments/administration/strategic-planning-23-28/ to complete the input form, and remain informed about the progress of the College's Strategic Planning process.

These information input forms can remain anonymous, and the data collected will be shared directly with the steering committee. Any questions regarding the Strategic Planning process can be directed to [email protected].

October 19, 2022 - 4:31pm
posted by Press Release in GCC, Alfred C. O'Connell Library, news.


Press Release:

Genesee Community College's Alfred C. O'Connell Library is pleased to announce the receipt of a $20,000 grant from the COVID Library Relief Fund of the American Library Association (ALA). The ALA made available $1.55 million in emergency relief grants to 77 libraries that have experienced substantial economic hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic. These funds are intended to bolster library operations and services including broadening technology access, developing collections, providing digital instruction, staffing, and expanding outreach, as well as maintaining and amplifying existing service strategies or adding new ones to extend impact through the end of 2022.

When the opportunity arose, it was an easy decision to apply for the grant. "Since the pandemic, we have been operating with fewer resources and the ALA funds will allow us to streamline essential systems. We are grateful for the monetary assistance," says Jessica Hibbard, Associate Dean of Library and Instructional Support Services at Genesee. The library plans to use the funds to enhance the library's engagement with the campus and GLOW region community by hosting several events and workshops, including the return of the poetry and photography contests. Upgrades to the library's study room spaces, feature new furniture and wall-mounted tablets to support an on-demand reservation system using the college's booking software, providing greater access for students and less staff time spent in scheduling.

The grant also provided enhanced streaming media and database access for some of the academic programs on campus, most notably the purchase of Visible Body, a database that supports online lab instruction for health care programs. As learning migrated online, streaming media is increasingly essential for coursework and the ALA funds made it possible for students to access videos for projects in general education courses such as cinema, history, journalism and musical theory/appreciation courses.

Hibbard reports that there isn't much time. "This grant cycle has a short window so we have already started to get some of these projects underway and are very thankful for the opportunity to make some enhancements in the library that we otherwise would not have been able to."

Acton Family Giving is the supporter of the COVID Library Relief Fund as part of its continued contribution to pandemic recovery. "We truly appreciate the continued generous support from Acton Family Giving to help so many libraries provide needed services to traditionally underserved communities across the country," said ALA President Patty Wong. "These grants will allow so many libraries to have a critical impact on those who depend on them during these challenging times."

To learn more about the COVID Library Relief Fund visit this https://www.ala.org/aboutala/ala-covid-library-relief-fund.

ALA distributes $1.55 million in COVID emergency relief to 77 U.S. (2022b, June 1). News and Press Center. Retrieved September 23, 2022, from https://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2022/06/ala-ditributes-155-million-covid-emergence-rel ief-77-us-libraries

September 8, 2022 - 5:19pm
posted by Press Release in Encore, GCC Foundation, GCC, news.


Press release:

The Genesee Community College Foundation will be celebrating its 30th season of Encore a little earlier this year on Saturday, Nov., 19. This year's event, held in the William W. Stuart Forum, will feature entertainment by Hanna PK and The Blue Hearts.

The annual Encore Gala raises funds for student scholarships giving the local community the opportunity to support students through the College Foundation, while enjoying a very special evening that kicks off the holiday season. This year, co-chairs Robert and Zje Savage are working with GCC's Foundation to plan something truly exciting for the 2022 Encore Gala under the theme "A Night in Casablanca." "We are looking forward to presenting this year's Encore and have many surprises planned for the evening," said Robert Savage.

Bob Savage is a native of Livingston County, where he has operated The WYSL Stations for the last 35 of his 55 years in media. He returned to build the news-and-talk outlet after a career spanning on-air and management duties at stations in New York City, Philadelphia, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis and Knoxville. Western New York native Zje Savage is active in the local arts community in metal sculpture and photography. Zje has been a clothing buyer for the past 20 years. Bob and Zje reside in Brighton with their son, Jaz.

"Both Zje and I recognize the importance of education and supporting the Foundation Scholarship program at Genesee Community College. We are honored to be co-chairs of Encore 2022." This year's event theme "A Night in Casablanca" will embrace the essence of this Academy Award-winning feature film.

Proceeds from Encore support scholarships for students attending Genesee Community College. Sponsorship opportunities are critically important to the event, and are available at the following levels:

  • "We'll Always Have Paris" Hors D'oeuvres Station Sponsor - $3,000
  • "Last Plane to Lisbon" Dessert Station Sponsor - $3,000
  • "Sam's Jazz Trio" Entertainment Sponsor - $2,000
  • "Inspector Renault's High Roller" Thank You Gift Sponsor - $2,000
  • "Here's Looking at you Kid" Photo Booth Sponsor - $2,000
  • "The French Resistance" Lighting Sponsor - $2,000

To become a 2022 Encore sponsor or event information, please visit https://gccfoundationinc.org/encore/ or contact the Foundation Office directly at (585) 345-6809 [email protected].

August 23, 2022 - 9:28pm
posted by Press Release in GCC, Sports.


Press release:

GCC Athletics was recently recognized for its success by finishing third in the Daktronics National Association of Two-Year College Athletic Administrators (NATYCAA) Cup standings-the highest in school history. The Daktronics Cup is an award given annually by the National Alliance of Two-Year College Athletic Administrators (NATYCAA) to the junior and community colleges in the United States with the most success in collegiate athletics. Points for the Daktronics Cup are based on the order of finish in various championships sponsored by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and state associations.

Three awards are given annually: one to the most successful school in the NJCAA scholarship division, one to the most successful school in the NJCAA non-scholarship division and one to the most successful school in a state association. Colleges in each division are allowed to use their top five finishes per gender at their highest level of competition to earn points for the Daktronics Cup. The champions of each competition score 20 points, second place scores 19, third place 18, etc. This is the fourth year that Daktronics has sponsored this award in conjunction with the NATYCAA. For the 2021-2022 season, Genesee Community College was awarded third place in the non-scholarship division, tallying 111 points. Genesee finished behind second-place College of DuPage who scored 131 points and Rowan College of South Jersey-Gloucester County won the NJCAA Non-Scholarship Division with 135.5 points.

GCC's athletic accomplishments for 2021-22 was highlighted by Men's Basketball taking second place at the NJCAA National Championship Tournament. Men's Soccer finished first in the conference, first in the region and ranked as high as second nationally. Women's soccer finished second in the conference, second in the region and ranked as high as fourth nationally. Women's Swimming and Diving finished as Region III & Northeast District champions, taking sixth overall at nationals, and second in the non-scholarship division. Men's Swimming and Diving finished as Region III and Northeast District runners-up and took eighth overall at nationals, second in the non-scholarship division. Men's lacrosse finished as Region III champions and ranked as high as fourth nationally. Women's Lacrosse finished second in the conference, second in the region and ranked as high as fourth in the nation. Women's Basketball featured 3 All-Region athletes and Women's Volleyball featured 2 All-Conference athletes.

August 18, 2022 - 7:14pm
posted by Press Release in GCC, education, news.

Press release:

Today's competitive workforce is in a constant state of evolution. The introduction of new systems, products and services, and the drive for improved efficiencies in an ever-challenging marketplace require employers to evaluate, update and realign teams to best meet the changing demands of their industry. To help employees build their skill sets and keep up, Genesee Community College is excited to offer enrollment for its Business and Commerce Micro-credential programs available this fall semester, which begins September 6, 2022.

Micro-credentials are academic programs, similar to degree programs, that have been dramatically trimmed to just 9 to 15 credit hours that include only core courses relevant to specific skills, training, and knowledge in that discipline. Designed to be earned in as quickly as one semester, a Micro-credential is the ideal way to build a resume to take advantage of career advancement opportunities, get started in a new industry or even to explore a career path without the commitment of an expensive or time-consuming four-year degree.

GCC's Micro-Credential programs offer students a high-quality education in a reduced time frame and limited cost - only course tuition plus course-related books and fees. Business and Commerce micro-credential programs available for enrollment for the Fall 2022 semester are:

  • The Human Resource Management Micro-credential focuses on human resources including legal compliance, diversity and inclusion, succession planning, recruitment, retention, and much more!
  • The Event Management Micro-credential provides value to anyone wanting to start a career in event planning, advance their career, or change careers and enter the event planning field.
  • The Professional Sales Micro-credential provides up-and-coming as well as seasoned sales professionals across industry lines with a skill set that starts and actively advances professional careers in sales.
  • The Entrepreneurship Micro-credential is designed to provide students with a strong foundation in new venture creation and operation. Micro-credential earners will be able to identify new business opportunities, research markets, understand costs, set prices and launch a new business or help an existing business to expand their product/service lines. Understanding entrepreneurship will provide earners with the power to expand their personal wealth or build their career as a key leader of an existing organization.
  • The Supply Chain Management Micro-credential is designed to provide individuals with a broad understanding of the primary functions and coordination of areas ranging from purchasing, inventory control, warehouse management, operations, production and transportation.
  • The Medical Office Assistant Micro-credential is designed to provide students with a firm foundation for the medical office environment, focused on development of a strong foundation of terminology, forms and billing, and medical office procedures.
  • The Accounting Fundamentals Micro-credential is designed to teach individuals introductory financial, managerial and income tax skills with a focus on the use of computer technology for accounting applications.

"While none of us can predict the changes that will affect our industry, organization or jobs, the best way to "future proof" our careers is to consistently sharpen our skills and expand our capacity. As an example, GCC's HRM Micro-credential could prove to be very valuable to individuals working in a management capacity since it includes topics like how to building strong teams, how to motivate employees, how to think creatively and solve difficult problems in the workplace, and so much more. I would encourage you to take a moment and explore our offerings. We would love to help you grow your future!" Said Dr. Lina LaMattina, director of Business Programs.

The online learning component of micro-credentials is another way the programs enable student success, particularly for those who may be juggling the responsibility of family, healthcare needs, transportation issues or jobs. Upon completion of a micro-credential program, students receive an official college transcript that documents their earned academic credit as well as a specific digital badge that highlights those core skills and competencies that employers search for on resumes, LinkedIn pages and other social media channels. The digital badge, representing the earned micro-credential, sets a GCC candidate apart from the rest.

Additionally, earned micro-credentials generate SUNY academic college credits which are transferable and can be applied toward additional academic degrees in the future including:

  • GCC associate degrees and certificates
  • SUNY to SUNY Pathways and Seamless Transfer programs
  • GCC's many (200+) transfer agreements with baccalaureate institutions
  • Most colleges and universities nationwide

Tuition assistance is available through SUNY's Reimagine Workforce grant. For eligibility requirements, please contact Tish Williams, Project Coordinator, Stay Near, Go Far, Reimagine Workforce Grant at [email protected], 585-343-0055 Ext. 6318. Stay Near, Go Far is funded by a sub-award from the NYS Department of Labor through a U.S. Department of Education Stabilization Fund Reimagine Workforce Preparation grant, administered by SUNY RF.

For more information on GCC's Business and Commerce Micro-credentials, please contact Dr. Lina LaMattina, Director of Business programs at [email protected], 585-343-0055 Ext. 6319.

August 1, 2022 - 10:36pm
posted by Session Placeholder in GCC, education, news, batavia.

By Khilna Samat

As an international student from Tanzania, Africa, attending Genesee Community College, I remember vividly how Cliff Scutella, the Director of Student Activities, constantly integrated international and domestic student populations to enhance mutual understanding and awareness.

Cliff’s office was in the Student Union. It was where people from different walks of life amalgamated so seamlessly because that was the environment that Cliff envisioned and created. He was naturally an affable person and as such, he taught us that nothing was impossible when we unified. It was the essence of the Student Union. Cliff was the epitome of hard work and fun! One day he was dressed in his professional attire and on another, he was wearing a tiara. Cliff often said he never worked a day in his life because being the student activities director allowed him to be a kid still and have fun coupled with his strong leadership capabilities. 

Cliff’s leadership skills were contagious as made evident by Lorraine Briggs, “Cliff Scutella was the man who inspired generations of college students. During my time at GCC, Cliff was the head of Student Activities. Before I joined the Campus Activities Board (CAB) and Student Government, I knew Cliff as the funny guy who dressed up for events and loved his hot dogs. He was a family man, too. He was open-minded and welcoming. Most appropriately, he was a simple man that loved his students. After several years of working side by side with Cliff, many trips to APCA, and lots of hours dedicated to event plans I interviewed for a position within the Student Activities Office. For another five years, I got to know Cliff even more. He inspired me to take on leadership roles and to JUST GO FOR IT. He taught me so much in the 10 years I was on the GCC grounds. I will always be grateful to have had the honor to work with Cliff. The world is a more inspiring place because of him.”

Cliff never spoke to anyone in a demeaning manner. He offered infinite kindness and was always positive with a “you can do it” attitude. His altruistic character and selflessness confirmed that it was all about the students and he immensely cared for them. It’s a sentiment that Molly Cole, Class of 2010, can relate to very well. “When I first met Cliff, I was a new student at GCC. His energy and joy reminded me of my dad, and he made me feel right at home. His joy was contagious! Cliff always went above and beyond for all his students, and I’ll never forget what he did for me. While I was a student at GCC, I suddenly lost a family member. I was devastated and lost. I could hardly function because I was heartbroken. Cliff saw that and made an extended effort to be there with me as I grieved. He checked in with me every day for almost two months. He even enlisted the whole office to support me during that time. That was the man he was. He was mine and so many others ‘Campus Dad’. My life has been forever changed by him. His life will be celebrated, and he will be truly missed.”

Cliff openly exhibited to all students how much we meant to him and encouraged us to take chances - that to make a mistake was not the end of the world, and he gave us confidence that we were valued as human beings. I graduated from GCC in May 2011, and I never saw Cliff again but never forgot him. I learned Cliff retired from GCC in the summer of 2019 and prematurely went to see his creator on Sunday, July 17, 2022. I hope that everyone, when such people cross their paths, never takes people like Cliff for granted. we certainly never did, and never will.

August 1, 2022 - 9:38pm
posted by Press Release in racism, YWCA, batavia, GCC, news.

Press release:

The YWCA of Genesee County, Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR), the grass-roots empowerment group GLOW (Genesee Livingston Orleans Wyoming) Women Rise, and The Rotary Club of Batavia are sponsoring this event on Thursday, Sept. 8, from 1:00 to 4:30 p.m. at Genesee Community College, One College Road, Batavia, Room T102, in-person only. It has two 15-minute breaks. Refreshments will be provided.

Writer and diversity trainer Nanette D. Massey of Buffalo believes we are well beyond holding hands when it comes to talking about race. Massey will present her take on the ideas in Robin DiAngelo’s New York Times Number One Best-Selling Book “White Fragility, Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism”. Attendees will have the chance to examine race from an unfiltered, real-world experience rather than theory. With frankness and practicality, Massey’s goal is to leave audiences with self-clarity, and the ability to participate in conversations about race with genuine confidence, humor, and humility. Preparation by reading the book before the session is expected.

This is an opportunity for Employers to fulfill cultural diversity training requirements.

Registration is $10 and it includes a copy of the book. You can register two ways. One option is to send a check to the YWCA of Genesee County, 301 North Street, Batavia, NY 14020. Please include your name, street address, city, state, zip code, phone number, and email. It is preferable that you register online using the Eventbrite link https://www.eventbrite.com/e/385666417637. Once registered, attendees can pick up their copy of the book at the YWCA at 301 North St, Batavia; Independent Living of the Genesee Region at 319 West Main St., Batavia; or GLOW Women Rise at 201 East Main St. Limited seating may be available on the day of the event.

A former participant stated: “I’ve attended several of Nanette’s Zoom sessions through Eventbrite.  The sessions take the book ‘White Fragility’ to another level.  Nanette creates a safe space for honest dialogue.  I’ve laughed and cried and everything in between.  Nanette gives so much of herself, and I’ve learned and grown through her generosity.  I am incredibly grateful and can’t recommend her sessions enough!”

One can read more about Nanette D. Massey at her website, nanettedmassey.com.

July 23, 2022 - 10:09pm
posted by Alecia Kaus in news, Sheriff's Office, Teen Academy, batavia, GCC.


The Genesee County Sheriff's Office Teen Academy Class of 2022 graduated 14 members on Friday afternoon at the Conable Technology Building at Genesee Community College in Batavia. 

Filling in for Sheriff William Sheron who is under the weather,  Chief Deputy Brian Frieday started the ceremony with a moment of silence for a 29-year veteran of the Rochester Police Department, Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz, who was ambushed by gunfire overnight in the City of Rochester and lost his life in the line of duty.

"This serves as a reminder that, unfortunately, there is danger in police work; not trying to push you away, that is the reality of the job," Frieday told the graduates.

After a pause in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, the Teen Academy was moved to GCC and is now being run by Academy Director Deputy Richard Schildwaster. Deputy Matthew Butler started the program as the School Resource Officer at Byron-Bergen High School in 2018, and in 2019 Butler retired.

"Many people and organizations make this work, it's not put together in a week or even a month, this has been worked on for several months," Schildwaster said.

Frieday thanked GCC Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Karen Wicka for helping coordinate and provide the facilities, along with Genesee County Stop DWI for the funding and the county Legislature for supporting the Academy.

Frieday told students he was very thankful they chose to get involved in the criminal justice system.

"Without you guys we wouldn't have this program. You volunteer your time, take time out of your summer. It's nice and sunny out there, who wants to be running in 90-degree heat," he said. "You put forth the time and hard work and you came together as a team. Thank you for participating, it's what makes this a sucess."



Top photo: Celebrating their status as Teen Academy graduates are, from left to right front row: Quinn Woeller, Wendy Lagunas Perez, Kaylee Tundo, Mary Engelhardt, Lea Donofrio, Michael Ehrmentraut, Hannah Spencer and Grace Slocum, and left to right back row: Lukas Volkmar, Christopher Zastrocky, Ian Kepple, Halie Deville, Joey Schnitzer and Michael Covert. Genesee County Legislators Rochelle Stein and Gary Maha, also former county Sheriff, in the front row during a portion of the Teen Academy Friday, and a group of students listen during a related class at GCC. Photos by Alecia Kaus.



July 20, 2022 - 9:39pm
posted by Alecia Kaus in news, Sheriff's Office, Teen Academy, GCC, batavia, notify.


There are 13 students participating in the third annual week-long Genesee County Sheriff’s Office Teen Academy at Genesee Community College this week. The program was started by Deputy Matthew Butler in 2018 while he was a School Resource Officer at Byron-Bergen High School. Butler retired in 2019, and the academy was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.

This is the first year the program has been at Genesee Community College, which organizers chose for its central location in Genesee County.

“Byron-Bergen was a great host, but we received feedback that the location was a long haul for some. GCC is a central location, and it is readily available for kids from every school district in Genesee County,” says Deputy/SRO Rich Schildwaster, who is now Lead Deputy of the Teen Academy.

GCC also offers virtual technology, which is new to the program this year.

“We did not have this option a couple of years ago and its one of the things we have been able to add because GCC has a simulator here as part of their criminal justice program,” Schildwaster said.

Students walk into a virtual reality and have a scenario going on in front of them where they interact with people on the screen.

“The scenario can go in different directions. They may be presented with a deadly force encounter, or they may not. They have to make that judgement. It gives them that perspective. Scenarios range from a traffic stop where you walk up to a car and deal with a person to maybe an active shooter situation where you show up in front of the building and people are running out, and you go in and you have to appropriately handle that or try and make decisions like a law enforcement officer would.”

The VirTra Training simulator at GCC has also been used by local law enforcement agencies over the past few years to help prepare law enforcement officers for real-life incidents and different scenarios.

The goal of the Teen Academy is to attract good candidates to the law enforcement field. The academy is run like an actual police academy. Each day begins with physical training like CrossFit, which Deputy Chad Cummings and Investigator Chad Minuto organize.


Students have attended instructional classes on investigations, penal law, traffic stops, defensive tactics and a Stop the Bleed class where students can recognize life-threatening bleeding and intervene effectively.

On the last day of the academy, students will tour the jail, the courthouse, the Sheriff’s Office, dispatch center, view an ERT demonstration and attend communications and jail staff presentations. Students will take a final PT test, final exam, and attend a review followed by an afternoon graduation ceremony.

Schildwaster says his first year organizing the academy has been a great experience and the local community has stepped up to assist.

“We have a great community here, not all of our instructors are from the Sheriff’s Office. Everyone in the community has jumped on this whole-heartedly and embraced us. Everybody’s dedication makes all this come together because everyone believes in it and is excited to do this. It’s a good program for the kids.”





Top photo: Paramedic Wade Schwab talks with students of the Teen Academy Wednesday morning at GCC. Students participate in the Stop the Bleed class; Investigator Joe Loftus teaches Defensive Tactics class on Wednesday afternoon; Investigator Kevin Forsyth also teaches Defensive Tactics class on Wednesday afternoon; Deputy SRO Jeremy McClellan with students on Wednesday morning; and Deputy Morgan Ewert, left, Paramedic Wade Schwab, center, and Deputy Jordan Alejandro, right, with students on Wednesday. Photos by Alecia Kaus.

July 8, 2022 - 2:22pm
posted by Press Release in GCC, news.

Press release:

Genesee Community College is proud to announce the appointment of David Hagelberger to the College's Board of Trustees, effective April 27, 2022, through June 30, 2025.

Mr. Hagelberger earned an AAS in Electronic Communications degree from SUNY Alfred State and a BSEE from SUNY University at Buffalo. He began his career as a design engineer working on U.S. Military Defense projects for Sierra Research Corporation in Buffalo, New York. He worked for the company through several ownership changes in various leadership positions for 44 years, retiring in 2012.

Mr. Hagelberger has a long history of public service. In 1998 he was appointed to the Town of Darien Planning Board and soon became the chairman. In 2003 he was elected Town of Darien Supervisor and re-elected to three additional terms, retiring in 2019. During that period, he was a member of the Genesee Association of Municipalities and served as their representative for various committees.

Mr. Hagelberger and his family have resided in Darien since 1973 where he and his wife raised their three children. Since then, their family has grown to include four grandchildren. The ten-member Genesee Community College Board of Trustees is the governing body of Genesee Community College. Trustees are volunteers. Five members are appointed by the Genesee County Legislature; four by the Governor; and one, a student trustee is selected by the student body.

June 21, 2022 - 5:56pm
posted by Press Release in GCC, news, education.

Press release:

The U.S. Department of Education announced that Genesee Community College's TRiO Upward Bound Program will receive a 5-year, $1.5 million federal Upward Bound grant for both Genesee and Wyoming Counties ($3 million total) to help more low-income students who would be the first members of their families to earn degrees, to prepare for and enroll in college.

Upward Bound is an intensive intervention program that prepares students for higher education through various enrichment courses. At least two-thirds of the students in each local Upward Bound program are from low-income economic backgrounds and families in which neither parent has a bachelor's degree. GCC's Upward Bound program services seven schools in Genesee and Wyoming Counties.

Many Upward Bound alumni have gone on to great success, among them Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis, Correspondent for ABC News John Quinones and Hall of Fame NBA player Patrick Ewing.

"We are so pleased to be able to provide these vital services to the students of Genesee and Wyoming Counties. Without Upward Bound, many underprivileged students might lack some of the opportunities or skills needed to obtain a college degree," said Lisa Krause, director of Upward Bound Programs at GCC.

Campus-based Upward Bound programs provide students instruction in literature, composition, mathematics, science, and foreign language during the school year and the summer. Upward Bound also provides intensive mentoring and support for students as they prepare for college entrance exams and tackle admission applications, financial aid and scholarship forms.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, 86% of Upward Bound participants enroll in postsecondary institutions immediately following high school graduation. In fiscal year 2021, more than 70,000 students enrolled in 966 Upward Bound TRiO projects in the United States.

In 1964, the Economic Opportunity Act established Upward Bound as a pilot program in response to the War on Poverty. It was the first of seven federal "TRiO" programs to later be authorized by the Higher Education Act to help college students succeed in higher education. It recognizes that students whose parents do not have a college degree have more difficulties navigating the complexity of decisions that college requires for success, bolsters students from low-income families who have not had the academic opportunities that their college peers have had and helps remove obstacles preventing students from thriving academically.

"As systemic inequality and financial hardship discourage students from succeeding in college, TRiO programs like Upward Bound take on new importance because they continue to help students who are low-income and first-generation to earn college degrees," said Maureen Hoyler, president of the non-profit Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) in Washington, D.C. COE is dedicated to furthering the expansion of college opportunities for low-income, first-generation students, and students with disabilities nationwide.

As of 2021, over 3,000 TRiO projects serve approximately 855,000 participants yearly. TRiO projects are in every state and territory in the nation.

For more information contact Vice President, Development and External Affairs Justin Johnston at (585) 345-6809, or via email: [email protected].

June 17, 2022 - 3:35pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, GCC, batavia, genesee county.


A budget reflecting $200,000 less than the current year’s and including the same yearly ask of $50,000 was presented to Genesee County’s Ways & Means Committee Wednesday.

Dr. James Sunser, president of Genesee Community College, outlined the financial plan of $37.2 million and a request for $2,736,374 as the county’s local share. College officials are continuing to “work hard to keep our expenses in line,” Sunser said.

“As you know, after the pandemic, we had some pretty significant adjustments to the college operations. Some of them have perpetuated after this point. We have had the opportunity to keep things in line, the budget itself at $37.2 million. (Changes) include $ 100-a-semester increase in tuition for students, you all know that the majority of our students are financial aid eligible. So the majority of that in most cases will be covered from external grants that students will not have to pay back,” he said to the committee. “Even with that increase, GCC continues to be, if not the lowest, within the lowest, cost of community colleges throughout the system. So we're very conscious of keeping it affordable for our students.”

GCC Communications Vice President Justin Johnston said that GCC has traditionally used "a model of predictable and incremental budget increase requests" from Genesee County, rather than seeking larger or varying amounts year to year.  The proposed increase of $50,000 in county funding, from $2,686,374 to $2,736,374, “is reflective of this long-standing philosophy,” he said.  

About 67% of the budget is made up from salaries and benefits, Sunser said. That number can fluctuate up to 73 percent, and “not surprising when you think about what we do.”

“We have teachers and we have faculty, we have staff that supports students. So it’s not surprising that a good share of what you spend your money on would be for those services,” he said. “But we are still seeing some of the benefits of our five-step plan that we put in place during the beginning of the pandemic, and some salary savings that we saw through that. And we've also gotten some salary savings, and things like our adjunct lines, is a big piece. And that is really driven by enrollment. It was enrollment being flattened down slightly. We have less need for adjuncts and are shifting more of that work into a full-time workforce.”

County Manager Matt Landers said that, since the county’s share is still less than 8 percent of GCC’s total budget, along with the county’s share being one of the smaller shares compared to other sponsors, "the county believes a $50,000 annual increase is reasonable."

This presentation will end up going to the full County Legislature for a vote, and then on from there for final approval. 

“Given that the budget process remains ongoing with the county-level review preceding the state level later this summer, with deference to those parties and their ability to review, GCC will refrain from further comment until the budget process has concluded,” Johnston said. 

Photo: Dr. James Sunser, president of GCC

June 13, 2022 - 5:30pm
posted by Press Release in stem, GCC, schools, education, news.


Press release:

On May 21, 2022, Genesee Community College celebrated its 54th annual Commencement Ceremony with a group of 15 students from area high schools and homeschools deserving special mention. They completed their GCC degree requirements concurrently with their high school diplomas or New York State Equivalents. These 15 graduates participated in the fourth annual cohort of the College's Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Enrichment Program through GCC's Accelerated College Enrollment (ACE) Office.

These high-achieving individuals include the following: Alexander Wright (Perry), Chase Graham (Alexander), Corden Zimmerman (Byron-Bergen), Elizabeth McCarthy (Batavia), Elli Schelemanow (Byron-Bergen), Jordyn Tobolski (Oakfield), Katarina Luker (Alexander), McKenna Johnson (Oakfield), Megan Zakes (Medina), Rebecca Clemens (Lyndonville), Samantha Nusstein (Attica), Sarah Volpe (Elba), Sophie Fulton (Batavia), Zachary Neal (Homeschool), Bethany Faben (Homeschool) and Markus Faben (Homeschool). Emily Harling (Albion) did not take part in the STEM Enrichment Program, but did earn a GCC degree alongside her high school diploma.

The STEM Enrichment program began in 2012 allowing the students to start their college studies as early as the seventh grade. In addition to their traditional schoolwork, they enrolled in college-level coursework each year taking advantage of many academic opportunities and successfully completing all of the rigorous challenges of an associate degree.

"Once again this year, we are delighted to celebrate the achievements of our STEM program students who have worked hard to earn GCC degrees along with their high school diplomas or the New York State Equivalent, in the case of our homeschooled students," Ed Levinstein, associate dean of GCC's ACE program said. "I commend their hard work and dedication to their studies, as well as the excellent contributions they make to GCC's classes and college community."

Genesee Community College's 54th annual Commencement Ceremony was held in-person at the Richard C. Call Arena and featured special guest Keynote Speaker Daniel P. Ireland, President of United Memorial Medical Center. To view the ceremony, please visit: https://www.genesee.edu/home/events/commencement/.

May 31, 2022 - 8:25pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, GCC, batavia, WGCC, notify.

As a June 1 deadline approaches, students anxiously wait for word of a license renewal for WGCC-FM.

The renewal  was filed amidst talk of ending the radio station that had circulated around the Genesee Community College campus, Student General Manager Cody Catlin said. Based in Batavia, the site has served up news and tunes since 1985.

“It was like a sigh of relief,” Catlin said to The Batavian Tuesday at the third-floor radio station.

The station’s license was to expire on Wednesday (June 1). The required paperwork was completed and submitted on March 31, however, officials had not received a decision by Friday (May 27), communications liaison Justin Johnston said. Submitting the renewal allows the radio station to continue operating, he said. As for whether the license will be renewed, he couldn’t say for sure.

According to the Federal Communications Commission website, WGCC-FM is in “pending” status for renewal of license, and neither General Manager Steve Petty or Johnston had any definite knowledge of its status as of Tuesday, they said.

In the face of an unknown status, a post was made Monday to the station’s Facebook site inviting alumni for one more visit.

“As we are gearing up for tomorrow’s (May 31) “Show Must Go On” Alumni takeover, we would like to share some news with you all regarding what will happen after tomorrow’s event,” the post stated. “In recent conversations with college administration, WGCC will continue to broadcast on 90.7fm after June 1! The timetable to see how long will be determined after college administration weighs all of their options and with some assistance from a consultant, the paperwork was filed with the FCC to renew the current broadcast license. If the frequency does get sold at a later time, that would mean that the frequency has a current broadcast license attached to it.”

Alumni Jason Reese came to participate for a few sessions during the day.


“I had fun. I’m enjoying myself," Reese said. "I hope other folks can enjoy themselves here.”

The alumni visit had a purpose beyond bringing together radio aficionados for old times’ sake. WGCC 90.7 FM has been in limbo the last several months, going from its license potentially being sold to the latest news of a license renewal being completed and submitted to the FCC.

Class of 2013 grad Stephen Trinder originally came to GCC for paralegal studies. He switched to communications after joining the radio team.  When he heard the license may be sold, he was “kind of surprised.”

“This was a flagship crown jewel of the college,” he said. “It’s one of the most powerful radio stations owned by a college.”

Odessa Cramer, a 21-year-old radio club member, has been on the air a few times, but she mostly assists with other types of support, she said. A veterinarian technician major, her classroom is just down the hall from the station.

“This is a hidden treasure,” she said. “I didn’t know it existed.”

Reese has put his degree to good use by conducting his own social media show, he said. He credits at least some of that to his college education.

“Coming from a small town of Pavilion and going to Batavia, I’ve met a lot of people. I met Steve Petty here,” Reese said. “I’m glad I’m a communications and media arts major. I think WGCC was social media before that was even popular.”

He was “sort of shocked” to hear about the license possibly being sold, he said.

“It’s been on the air for 37 years, and was great for the community,” he said. “We had phone calls, fan mail, we got the message out to the public.”

Some of the types of events promoted by the radio station have included Law Day, Cougar Connections, pizza and music in the Student Union and providing audio and music during Business Creators Club.

The final decision to sell the station will be up to the college’s Board of Trustees.



Top photo: Members of the radio station talk business Tuesday, including Odessa Cramer, left, Cody Catlin, Jason Reese and Stephen Trinder, front. Jason Reese of Batavia takes a turn at the mic during an alumni event Tuesday at GCC's radio station; and General Manager Steve Petty and Student General Manager Cody Catlin show the station's emergency broadcast sytem. Photos by Joanne Beck

May 26, 2022 - 3:30pm
posted by Press Release in GCC, batavia, news.


Press release:

On Tuesday, May 17, 2022, at 1:30 p.m. in the Richard C. Call Arena, the Genesee Community College's Fifth Annual Employees Serving Beyond Expectations ceremony formally honored the many outstanding achievements of GCC's faculty and staff. Among the highest honors were recognizing the recipients of the prestigious 2022 State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor's Award for Excellence, which includes the following:

Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching

~ Rachel A. Czechonski, Adjunct Instructor

Award for Excellence in Classified Service

~ Florence A. Radley, Financial Aid Clerk Typist

Award for Excellence in Faculty Service

~ Karen K. Wicka, Esq., Criminal Justice Professor

Award for Excellence in Professional Service

~ Thomas W. Kinsey, Institutional Research and Planning Reporting Analyst

Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities

~ Lina M. LaMattina, Ed. D., Director of Business Programs, Assistant Professor

"The past few years at Genesee Community College have been unlike any other years we have been through.," GCC's President James M. Sunser said. "Like our students, GCC faculty and staff have continually adapted to provide the best possible campus environment. For that reason, it is important for all of us to recognize our achievements in serving beyond expectations."

In addition to the SUNY Chancellors Awards, the "Serving Beyond Expectations" Ceremony also recognized 31 employees with extensive years of service with benchmarks of 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years of service to the College. The College also recognized individuals in seven unique categories of service known as the "Cougar Awards," which were awarded in the following areas:

Innovation Award - recognizes one who's implemented idea made a positive impact on GCC

~ Karlyn M. Backus, Registrar

Cougar Salute - honors a supervisor or manager consistently demonstrating GCC's core values

~ Shelitha W. Williams, Vice President for Student & Enrollment Services

Inclusive Excellence Award - commends a significant role in embracing the diversity, equity and inclusiveness of the campus community

~ Madeline E. Reichler, Community, Equity & Diversity Specialist

Rookie of the Year Award - acknowledges the outstanding achievements of a new staff member

~ Allison McAdoo, Student Financial Services Advisor

Spirit and Community Award - celebrates exemplary school spirit

~ Deborah A. Erion, Student Success Coach

President's Award - distinguishes the efforts and services of an individual in support of the college's mission and strategic priorities

~ Macy A. Reyngoudt, Counselor

Teamwork Award - praises superior performance by a department or cross-functional team

~ Campus Safety - Erik L. Anderson, Alex C. Brownlie, David P. Childs, Gregg A. Evans, Edgardo Guzman, Randal J. Henning, Brenda D. Hoffman-Case, David J. Lester, Joseph D. Meacham, Elizabeth A. Mills, Allison R. Parente, Daniel J. Wendling, Hunter S. Webster, and Stephen P. Wise

The Cougar Award nominees were kept secret until the awards ceremony and recipients were named live during the event.

Seven retirees, who retired after September 1, 2021, were acknowledged by the President. They include: Ricky Bezon, Michele Bokman, Donna Ehrhart, Daniel Hoffman, Raymond Strzelecki, Gail Schnabl and Eileen Wekenmann.

Lastly, but no less important, the "Serving Beyond Expectations" Ceremony recognizes the numerous accomplishments and contributions made by GCC's faculty and staff throughout the past academic year. The number and breadth of these achievements exemplify the quality and compassion that seems near-endemic across all departments and divisions at GCC. Thirty-nine members of GCC's staff, and many of them with multiple honors and recognitions, are listed under the general Awards category. From Athletic Director of the Year to professional association officers, to serving as a presenter or a member of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, from furthering their own education to membership on local community committees and boards, and even a costume designer-GCC employees are an active collection of top-notch professionals motivated by passion, patriotism and the idea of making the community a better place to live and work.

Photo: The 2022 SUNY Chancellor Award winners are Rachel A. Czechonski, Karen K. Wicka, Esq., Florence A. Radley, and Thomas W. Kinsey. Absent: Lina M. LaMattina, Ed. D. Photo, courtesy of GCC

May 23, 2022 - 8:00am
posted by Tate Fonda in news, commencement, GCC, batavia.


As he waxed a bit of nostalgia while standing before Genesee Community College’s Class of 2022 Saturday, Daniel Ireland recalled a moment when he walked the very same steps to accept his diploma.

“Thirty years ago I stood where you were, crossing the stage here at GCC with what seemed like a lifetime ahead of me,” said Ireland, president of Rochester Regional Health and keynote speaker. “I was a young nurse, and I had just completed a challenging journey through the rigorous program. I was not an A+ student, but I was dedicated, and through perseverance I proudly graduated.”

Ireland delivered the commencement speech for GCC’s 54th graduation ceremony at the Batavia campus. His challenging journey may have been filled with obstacles, he said, but he worked to overcome them. Ireland not only went on to become a nurse, but head of the Rochester-based healthcare company and in his third decade at United Memorial Medical Center. In 2010 he was promoted to vice president of operations and chief operating officer, in which roles he modernized UMMC’s facilities and oversaw various revitalization projects, including the surgical, front entry and maternity unit areas.

His promotion to president followed in 2013. Ireland was instrumental in leading UMMC through the merger with Rochester Regional Health three years later, and two years ago he rose to the task of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

During those two years, GCC postponed the annual commencement and celebrated an in-person event this year. Classes of 2020 and 2021 joined fellow graduates of this year to take that walk of honor across the stage.

Ireland talked about the choices he made along his career path — from earning a bachelor’s in nursing at Brockport State College after GCC to working as an emergency room floor nurse and being promoted to a leadership position.

It was unforeseen tragedy that shaped his moral code and tested his ability to respond in the face of emergencies, he said.

“One of the first things I learned is that unexpected things happen, and you need to roll with it,” he said. “One early August morning, at about 4 a.m., I received a phone call that no emergency room nurse manager wants to receive. A train had derailed here in Batavia. More than 100 passengers were involved. In healthcare, you plan for these things, but you never fully expect them.”

Some 120 accident victims were transported to the hospital, which had a capacity for about 25 people.  Ireland recalled the fear amongst his staff after the train accident. Due to the perseverance of Ireland and his team, there were no fatalities that day.

“I started out as an orderly, who wanted to get through their Associate’s program and practice nursing,” Ireland said. “I became a leader, with a Master’s Degree, running an emergency room, and leading people through disasters.”

Ireland left the audience with a few key takeaways from his educational and career experiences. He spoke about how fatherhood furthered his mental wellbeing, and how, in that era, he learned how to find safety in failure and lead a life of humility.

He recounted a time in his life when a career opportunity arose outside of the healthcare field, and he was not selected. He reassured the graduates that failure is integral to success.

“When I did not get the job, I was crushed. I had not embraced yet that it is okay to fail,” Ireland said. “But, it was simply fate showing me a path I had not imagined. What I did not know was that a different path lay ahead.”

As Ireland concluded his remarks, three graduating classes prepared to receive what they had worked so hard for: a diploma to recognize their new graduate status. After a two-year hiatus, this ceremony seemed to be — in and of itself — a new chapter for GCC and its students.




Top photo: Daniel Ireland of Rochester Regional Health gives the keynote address to the Class of 2022 at Genesee Community College Saturday in Batavia. Classmates celebrate their accomplishments and family and friends capture the moment. Photos courtesy of GCC.

May 18, 2022 - 10:24pm
posted by Press Release in GCC Foundation, news, GCC.

Press release:

The Genesee Community College Foundation invites nominations for its Alumni Hall of Fame, which recognizes those alumni who have achieved outstanding success and made a lasting impact on their community. The GCC Foundation intends to induct the next class of nominees during the fall of 2022 semester. "We encourage those who know outstanding graduates to nominate them now," Lori Aratari '89 Alumni Hall of Fame chair said. "We know there are a lot of deserving graduates out there, and we are eager to honor more of GCC's best and brightest." Nomination forms can be downloaded from GCC's Foundation website https://gccfoundationinc.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Alumni-Hall-of-Fame-application.pdf and emailed to [email protected] .

GCC introduced the Alumni Hall of Fame in 2007. In over 14 years, the College has recognized 43 outstanding graduates in a variety of fields, from law enforcement to economic development.

"The success of these graduates serves as an inspiration to all of us here at the College and the community at large," Aratari said.

The criteria for nominating an individual to the Alumni Hall of Fame are based on the individual's contributions to his or her profession, distinguished service to the community and/or service to Genesee Community College. Nominees must be well-established in their professional lives, having completed their GCC degree at least ten years prior to nomination.

Nominations may be submitted by the nominee or by friends, family or other colleagues who are familiar with the nominee. New inductees will be honored at a reception, and their photo and a short biography will be displayed in the Alumni Hall of Fame, located on the second floor of the Conable Technology Building.

For more information contact The GCC Foundation Office at (585) 345-6809, or via email: [email protected] .

Subscribe to The Batavian - Local Matters

Copyright © 2008-2022 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service

blue button

News Break