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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 19, 2018 - 8:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, Forum Players, arts, entertainment, news.

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The Genesee Community College Forum Players present "Bakkhai" in performances tonight and Sunday at the Stuart Steiner Theatre on the GCC Batavia campus.

The play is an adaptation by Anne Carson of “The Bacchae” by the Greek philosopher Euripedes, written more than 2,400 years ago. It's a story of based on the Greek myth of King Pentheus of Thebes and his mother, Agave, who are punished by Dionysus, the god of wine, madness, fertility, and religious ecstasy.

The play contains adult subject matter.

Tonight's performance is at 7:30 and Sunday's show is at 2 p.m.

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October 10, 2018 - 3:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, creativity conference, news, batavia, business.

Photo: Trace R. George, GCC Class of 1993, will give the keynote address at this year's Creativity Conference. He owns VSP Graphic Group in Buffalo.

Submitted photo and press release:

The Business and Commerce department at Genesee Community College has announced its sixth Creativity Conference to be held Wednesday, Nov. 14, at the Batavia Campus.

Under the theme of "Creativity in the Entrepreneurial Zone," the conference this year will serve both aspiring entrepreneurs as well as existing business owners looking to take their business to the next level. 

All attendees will have the opportunity to learn from the experiences of our community's leaders through the stories of their own startups and ventures. The conference will include workshops on "How to use Social Media to Grow your Business," "Building Creative Teams," "Developing a Creative Organization," "Personal & Organizational Impact of Creative Style" and more!

GCC has collaborated with the Startup Genesee Committee to put together an agenda full of learning and networking opportunities, inspirational stories and education. Giving the keynote address will be owner of VSP Graphic Group from Buffalo, Trace R. George, GCC Class of 1993. 

Small business owners or employees, entrepreneurs and the general public are invited to attend the conference and workshops. The cost is $39 per person, which includes a continental breakfast and delicious lunch. For GCC students, faculty and staff, the conference cost is $25 per person.

Seating is limited, so register today! GCC faculty and staff are encouraged to contact The BEST Center to register. Students are asked to register through their instructors.

Whether you are launching a new endeavor to taking your successful business to a bigger platform -- let GCC be a resource for your idea and your path to success! GCC offers both an associate degree and a certificate program on Entrepreneurship. Check out the options here.

For more information, contact Director of Business Programs Lina LaMattina at (585) 343-0055, ext. 6319, or via email: [email protected].

October 1, 2018 - 2:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in history, GCC, Steven Hahn, pulitzer prize, news.

On Wednesday, Oct. 3, at 7 p.m. Pulitzer Prize winning professor of History from New York University Steven Hahn will discuss his latest book "A Nation Without Borders" at Genesee Community College.

This is an important reinterpretation of 19th century America — a kind of coming-of-age story especially significant for its contribution to the scholarship on the Civil War period.

“A massive and masterly account of America’s political and economic transformation between 1830 and 1910 . . . Hahn describes his book as telling ‘a familiar story in an unfamiliar way.’ It is much more than that. Attempting a synthesis of a century’s worth of American history is a daunting task. Writing one as provocative and learned . . . as this one is a triumph, nothing less.” – David Oshinsky, The Washington Post

The lecture will be in room T102 of the Conable Technology Building; it is free and open to the public.

The Yale-educated Hahn had none other than Southern historian and scholar C. Vann  Woodward (Nov. 13, 1908 -- Dec. 17, 1999) as his academic advisor. Hahn is also a recipient of the prestigious Bancroft Prize, which is awarded each year by the trustees of Columbia University for books about diplomacy or the history of the Americas. It was established in 1948 by a bequest from Frederic Bancroft.

Hahn was awarded the Pulitizer Prize for History for his 2004 book "A Nation Under Our Feet."

"This is big news for GCC," said GCC Associate Professor of History Derek D. Maxfield in an email. "He is our third Pulitzer Prize winner in three years. Copies of his book will be available for sale (and signing)."

September 18, 2018 - 2:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, sports, homecoming, Athletic Hall of Fame, GCC.
Submitted photos and information from Genesee Community College:
 
Genesee Community College will celebrate Homecoming 2018 on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 21-22.
 
Here's the schedule of events:
 
Friday, Sept. 21
 
Cougar Crawl -- Off Campus in Downtown Batavia
 
Time: 5 – 8 p.m. Tickets are $10.
Limited tickets at the door; Register online here.

 

Stops include:

  • Ken’s Charcoal Pits & Bar-B-Q

  • The YNGodess Shop

  • Valle Jewelers

  • Pollyanna & Dot

  • Eli Fish Brewing Co.

  • T-shirts, Etc.

  • T.F. Brown's – Buffet at 7:30 p.m. and DJ until 10 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 22 -- All events below take place at the Batavia Campus.

  • Chicken BBQ -- Noon until gone. Includes chicken and sides. Buy presale tickets from the Alumni Office at 343-0055, ext. 6265, or ext. 6234
  • Craft & Vendor Market -- 10 a.m. -- 3 p.m. (Richard C. Call Arena) 
  • Family Fun, Children's Activities -- 11 a.m. -- 1 p.m. (Richard C. Call Arena)
  • GCC Men’s Baseball Game -- 1 p.m. – GCC vs. Barnie Baycats (Richard C. Call Arena)
  • Car/Bike Cruise -- 11 a.m. -- 4 p.m. (Parking lot by Richard C. Call Arena)
  • Art Gallery Exhibit -- 12 -- 3 p.m. (Roz Steiner Art Gallery)
  • Athletic Hall of Fame Induction -- 5 p.m. (Richard C. Call Arena)
  • Alumni Co-ed Soccer Game -- 7 p.m. (Turf Field) (Register online here.)
  • Alumni Bonfire -- 8 p.m
2018 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees:
 
Sara Barr -- Swimming 2008-2009
Scott Hemer -- Women’s Basketball Coach from 2001 – 2007
Connor Latimer -- Lacrosse 2011-2012
John Polonius -- Baseball 2009 – 2011
Tammy Conrad Wickens -- 1985-1987
 
Above, Sara Barr.
Above, Scott Hemer.
Above, Connor Latimer.
Above, John Polonius.
Above, Tammy Conrad Wickens.
August 31, 2018 - 3:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, GCC Foundation, Encore Celebration, scholarships, news.

Press release:

As co-chairs for Genesee Community College Foundation's 2018 Encore celebration, Thomas A. and Kim M. Cox have been busy finalizing details that are sure to deliver a dazzling "Let it GLOW" evening! Join the entire GCC community for the all-new 2018 Encore celebration on Saturday, Dec. 1, in the new Richard C. Call Arena at the Batavia Campus. Put on your dancing shoes! 

Since its inception, the Encore Gala has provided an opportunity for the local community to raise funds for student scholarships. In 2017, the Foundation awarded over $224,000 in scholarships. As the world and economic factors change, the need for scholarships grows -- and so does Encore!

The Let it GLOW 2018 Encore Celebration will be full of surprises! For the first time ever, the Encore celebration will transform the new Richard C. Call Arena into a festive, jovial party place with lights illuminating the space and adding to the atmosphere. Attendees will find convenient parking, and there will be no need to walk around campus-rather everyone can enjoy all the fun in the new facility!

Guests will be welcomed into the Arena for cocktail hour at 6 p.m. featuring several special Let It GLOW themed signature drinks sponsored by the Michael S. Tomaszewski Funeral & Cremation Chapel LLC and the Dibble Family & Event Center on behalf of Michael and Valerie Tomaszewski. Mingle and taste test the delicious beverages while listening to stylish jazz holiday music provided by The DSP Jazz Trio. Following cocktail hour, at 7 p.m. guests will delight in a gourmet dinner prepared by American Dining Creations.

Then, beginning at 8 p.m. put on your dancing shoes and dance the night away on the Arena field house dance floor as your holiday favorites are performed by nationally acclaimed "Nik and the Nice Guys."

There is still time to become a sponsor for this fabulous new Encore celebration and Scholarship fundraiser. Visit here today for details!

Sponsorship opportunities are critically important to the event and are available at: the Holiday Chord Circle -- $1,000; the Golden Guitar Society -- $600; and the Inner Circle -- $300. Each of these includes tickets (six, four or two respectively) for the gala and recognition in the Encore 2018 program and the live Encore 2018 display.

To become a Let it GLOW sponsor, please visit here or contact the Foundation Office at (585) 345-6809, or [email protected] today.

August 30, 2018 - 4:34pm

Submitted photos and press release:

With the start of a new academic year, Genesee Community College will take an evening to "Discover the Stars" with its annual scholarship reception. On Monday, Sept. 10 from 5 - 7 p.m., the Stuart Steiner Theatre at the Batavia campus will be filled with scholarship donors, recipients and the families of both to celebrate the shared significance of academic achievement.

The annual Discover the Stars Scholarship Reception celebrates "Scholarships in Action."

"The Discover the Stars reception is an annual opportunity that brings together the families, legacies, and stories of GCC's cherished scholarship donors and puts them in the room with the bright, hopeful, and promising faces of the scholarship recipients," said Robert J. Bennett, event emcee and member of the Genesee Community College Foundation Board of Directors.

(Jane M. Bickett)

The 2018 Discover the Stars event will feature two keynote speakers: Jane M. Bickett, GCC Class of 1981, a senior business systems analyst of Eastman Kodak Company, as well as Scott A. Gardner, GCC Class of 1998, who is president and CEO of the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce.

At Eastman Kodak Company, Jane Bickett is responsible for the technical functionality and business processes for global billing and invoicing in more than 30 countries. Her business experience includes computer system administration and serving as a team leader of a computer programming group involving frequent international travel.

Through her 36-year career, she has actively participated in the technical evolution of business from implementation of basic local word processing applications to global procedures and computing. She is a native of Le Roy, and earned her Computer Programming A.A.S degree from GCC in 1981.

(Scott A. Gardner)

Born and raised in Warsaw, Scott Gardner became president of the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce in 2013, continuing his lifelong interest in making Wyoming County a vibrant community. He previously was a legislative aide and chief of staff to Assemblymen Thomas M. Reynolds and Daniel J. Burling, respectively. He currently serves as the chairman of the Wyoming Foundation, and holds the rank of Major in the Civil Air Patrol, in addition to a number of other volunteer and leadership positions.

Gardner earned his A.A.S Paralegal from GCC in 1998 and attended SUNY Empire State College where he concentrated on Public Policy and Public Affairs. He was recently inducted into GCC's Alumni Hall of Fame and served as honorary chair of GCC's Cougar Classic Scholarship Scramble Golf Tournament and also the Nursing program's Gatsby Gala.

The Genesee Community College Foundation accepts scholarship donations throughout the year and has full-time dedicated staff in place to assist any donor in establishing a scholarship, or even in funding an existing one, such as the Genesee Alumni Legacy Scholarship.

Details on the scholarships available to students is available at https://www.genesee.edu/offices/finaid/scholarships/ and new applications will be accepted starting Sept. 1st. Interested applicants are encouraged to review and apply right online! The simple online application collects information and matches applicants with a list of scholarships they may qualify for. Experts are available in GCC's Financial Aid Office at (585)345-6900 or via email at [email protected].

August 30, 2018 - 3:21pm

Photo: a dance still from the dance showcase "Fear: What are you afraid of?" to be performed Dec. 7 in Stuart Steiner Theatre.

Submitted photo and press release:

The Genesee Center for the Arts at Genesee Community College in Batavia, New York has confirmed several new events for the 2018-2019 coming season.

The season begins with "Bakkhai" performed by the Genesee Community College Forum Players. Come enjoy the tale of Dionysos who has brought his fanatic religion to Thebes, but, when his holy lineage is denied, he will stop at nothing to prove his power.

Anne Carson's new version of the Euripides classic weaves this harrowing myth and its tragic end into the 21st century. Performances will take place on Oct. 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 21 at 2 p.m. in GCC's Stuart Steiner Theatre.

Brighten your holidays -- literally -- with "A Very Electric Christmas," performed by Lightwire Theatre on Sunday, Nov. 18, with two shows at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Stuart Steiner Theatre in Batavia. Audiences of all ages will love this magical and captivating tale of family, friendship and hope set to timeless holiday hits. Check out the production trailer at https://www.lightwiretheater.com/a-very-electric-christmas/.

GCC's Forum Players will return to the stage in "Single Black Female" written by Lisa B. Thompson, award-winning playwright. In this show, quick comic vignettes tell the story of two 30-something Africa-American middle-class women looking for love, clothes, dignity and more in a world that only sees stereotypes.

This production is a thesis project for Director Jamie Arena who is pursuing a master's degree at Regent College. Performances will take place on Nov. 29, 30 and Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m., and on Dec. 2 at 2 p.m.

On Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m. a dance showcase entitled "Fear: What are you afraid of?" will take the stage in the Stuart Steiner Theatre. Directed by Tara Pocock, adjunct professor at GCC, the 20-piece performance dives into the human mind and choreographs fear to modern jazz and hip-hop style dancing.

The audience is encouraged to participate in the show which features students from Anastasia's Spotlight Dance Studio in Churchville. All proceeds will go to GCC's Forum Players.

Tickets for these shows are $8 for adults, and $5 for seniors (55+) and students (16+) and GCC faculty/ staff. GCC students with ID are $3, and GCC alumni with ID will receive a $2 discount on an adult ticket. To reserve seats, contact the GCC box office at [email protected] or (585) 345-6814.

The schedule at GCC's Roz Steiner Art Gallery continues to capture the wide array of dynamic work in the visual arts featuring drawing, painting, photography, sculpture and language arts.

From Oct. 2 - 25 the Gallery will display a special selection of works from the Gerald Mead Collection. Mead is a noted collector, Buffalo artist and educator. His private collection includes more than 1,000 historic and contemporary artworks by various artists associated with the Western New York region through birth or residency. Mead will lecture on Oct. 9 at 12:30 p.m. and receptions will follow at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Going beyond conscious intention to make coherent images from irrational juxtaposition of disparate parts is the impetus of Emily Kenas' work. While making new sense of recognizable materials, her work "Assemblage" occupies a space between painting and sculpture and will occupy the Gallery from Nov. 13 - Dec. 14. Kenas will lecture on Nov. 29 at 12:30 p.m. and receptions will follow at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

A collection of paintings by Muhammad Zaman, entitled "Finding Amal" will be exhibited from Jan. 22 - Feb. 22Amal, meaning "hope" in Arabic is what Zaman hopes to inspire through his work. "Finding Amal" features compositions of urban calligraphy that combine the three languages that are the cornerstones of the artist's culture: Arabic, English and Bangla. Each individual canvas expresses a word, phrase or concept as if they were messages dedicated to the entire human race. The artist will lecture on Jan. 31 at 12:30 p.m. and receptions will follow at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

The Roz Steiner Art Gallery is open to the public Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The gallery is also open during special events as published at www.genesee.edu/campuslife/arts. Admission is free. For more information, contact Gallery Coordinator Mary Jo Whitman at (585) 343-0055, ext. 6490, or via email: [email protected].

August 29, 2018 - 3:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in art, GCC, news, photography.

Dion Hitchings, “Lizzie Bull Tongue,” 13” x 17.5”, crayon, magic marker and colored pen on recycled cereal box, 2016.

 

Information provided by GCC:

Two artist receptions will be held simultaneously at Genesee Communtiy College tomorrow afternoon (Aug. 30) and the community is invited to attend.

"Portraits on Recycled Trash" is a collection of paintings and drawings by Dion Hitchings which offer a glimpse into his unique world.

On display now through Sept. 22, this glimpse is available to the public through a display in the Roz Steiner Art Gallery at Genesee Community College in Batavia. There will be a gallery reception with the artist at 1 p.m. and again at 5 p.m. on Thursday.

Hitchings' exhibit features portraits created on recycled trash; empty cereal boxes, discarded furniture, and other non-traditional media deemed "trash" by society. In Hitchings's Artist Statement, he describes his process of "break(ing) down pre-existing print, images and textures while allowing the type and pictures from the recycled objects to become organically part of the portrait" he creates with crayon, marker and other supplies.

The resulting portraits appear shattered and broken, often with missing pieces and "form a more powerful, interesting and often disturbing viewpoint" says Hitchings in his Artist Statement. More of Hitchings's work is available on his website here.

Also now on display at GCC through Sept. 22, in the Stuart Steiner Theatre Lobby, is an international photography exhibit called "Landscape Interaction/ Intervention." It features work of students at both GCC and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT)​ in Melbourne, Australia. Contributing photographers will join the reception in the theatre lobby on Aug. 30 at 1 p.m. and again at 5 p.m.

Expanding the boundaries of education, students in Genesee Community College's Intermediate Photography Class have collaborated with teachers and students at RMIT to create an impressive photography exhibit. It is the result of a Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) assignment, which brings the resources, teachers and students from GCC into a virtual classroom with those at RMIT.

The two institutions use Google Drive, e-mail and social media channels to share lectures and resources and to work collaboratively on progress critiques and assessments. For this assignment, students were challenged with expanding their knowledge of their surrounding landscapes while applying not only trans-national but trans-cultural and trans-photography concepts between the two countries.

In the artists' statement describing the exhibit, GCC student Kasey Edgerton names the rapid adoption of technology as the primary catalyst to the loss of humanity's "innate bond to nature" and its "alienation from the natural world."

About Roz Steiner Gallery

The Roz Steiner Art Gallery is open to the public Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The gallery is also open during special events as published at www.genesee.edu/campuslife/arts. Admission is free.

For more information, contact Gallery Coordinator Mary Jo Whitman at (585) 343-0055, ext. 6490, or via email: [email protected].

Submitted photo above: "Thaw" by GCC Student Lucas Cook.

Lucas Cook's statement about "Thaw": It was finally sunny out and I was excited. Taken on the last day of Spring Break, I was fed up with the seemingly continuous cycle of gloomy days and snow showers. So, I made the most of the rare early Spring sunny day. Although, my time on my Spring Break had nearly run dry just like the frozen elements whose current state wouldn't last much longer. My laid back state at the time wouldn't last much longer either, as the relaxed days of Spring Break were gone. As I'm writing this, the semester is coming to a chaotic close and after this wave of academically induced stress clears, I'm looking forward to letting this hectic life thaw out and relaxing once again."

Submitted photo above: "The Irony Toilet" by artist Rohan F. Saric-Skews, RMIT University of Melbourne, Australia.

Saric-Skews' poetic caption for "The Irony Toilet":

"Sitting lonely,

Confined by vastness,

Sheltered by hefty resilience,

An Iron toilet lay.

However, 

The irony lay,

In its exteriors, 

Ecological dismay. 

Corrugated Iron; a modern day luxury of the developed world, that is derived from elements of the earth. The Irony Toilet intervenes ones view of the landscape as an entirely natural space, preventing our ability to maintain a distanced gaze."

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.

August 28, 2018 - 11:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Attorney General, GCC, news, notify.

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There was little disagreement on issues Monday night at Genesee Community College among the four candidates hoping to get the most votes in the Sept. 13 Democratic primary for attorney general.

They all favor issuing drivers licenses to undocumented residents. They will use the AG's office to help protect the environment and fight climate change. They oppose tariffs that are hurting farmers. They will continue to pursue lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies over prescription pain pill marketing. They will work to preserve the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

And, they all agree the Donald Trump Administration is corrupt and both democracy and the rule of law are under assault.

"We are at a crisis moment in our democracy," said Zephyr Teachout. "Donald Trump is actually ripping families apart. He cannot be trusted. We cannot trust federal regulation of the financial markets when Washington is controlled by the financial industry, which is surrounded by people like Chris Collins who use political offices to enrich themselves."

In all, the four candidates were a collegial group who kept their discussion civil and answered a half dozen or so questions from members of the Democratic Rural Caucus, which organized the event, and another five or six from audience members.

The first topic was about helping and protecting farmers and the candidates immediately jumped on Trump's tariffs, which are making it more difficult for farmers to export their products and reducing prices, which hurt or eliminate profits.

Sean Patrick Maloney, a member of Congress, said he represents 1,500 family farms, and many of them are smaller farms, 200 acres or less, that grow specialty crops. He said he's introduced 30 bills to assist farmers, especially in the area of crop insurance. Current crop insurance programs, he said, favor big Midwestern farmers.

"I will fight to end tariffs that are putting a terrible burden on New York farmers," Maloney said. "I hear that all the time. This is a self-inflicted wound and we need to fix it."

As AG, he said, one of the most effective things he can do is work to improve and protect access to markets for farmers.

Both Teachout and Letitia James said monopolies and corporate concentration are burdens on farmers that reduce competition. 

"A lot of people are making a lot of money in food," Teachout said. "It’s just not farmers."

She criticized Monsanto for its patents on seeds, John Deere for his copyright claims on software that keep farmers from repairing their own equipment or going to less expensive repair services, and the lack of competition among food distributors.

James also said she would work to break up these big companies and end non-competitive practices.

She also favors eliminating Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or reining in its enforcement power to help ensure farmers are able to hire the immigrant workers they need to stay in business.

"It's really critically important the next AG stand up for their (immigrants) rights so they can come out of the shadows and seek work and feel safe," James said.

Leecia Eve said she is mindful of the need to protect the environment but she is also mindful of Washington's tendency to design environmental regulation around large, corporate farm operations, that then place an unnecessary burden on small farmers.

All of the candidates said they would use the power of the AG's office to protect the ACA and ensure New Yorkers maintain access to affordable health care. Maloney said while the Trump administration has done much to damage the ACA there are still issues to defend.

"The nice thing about the Trump Administration is while they are way radical they're also incompetent," Maloney said.

Lorie Longhany, a member of the RDC and former county chair of the Democratic Party, asked what the candidates would do to protect seniors.

Eve recalled her years working for former AG Bob Abrams. Abrams required staff to travel throughout the state and set up mobile offices in supermarkets and other public locations and the staff would answer questions and assist people as best they could with any problem. That's the spirit, she said, she wants to bring to the office.

"We need to put that effort on steroids," Eve said. "New York is under assault by Donald Trump. We have an economic crisis, a housing crisis, an environmental crisis. I will use the full weight of the office to protect the rights of New Yorkers. It's important to have an office in the community so New Yorkers feel like the attorney general's office has their backs."

Maloney said that protecting seniors from scams is the "bread and butter" function of the AG's office.

"If you’re not doing that right, you're not doing this office right," Maloney said.

The AG's office is especially important in the age of Trump, Teachout said.

"There are seven consumer protection agencies that the Trump Administration is in the process of gutting," Teachout said. "The Consumer Protection Finance Bureau is being run by somebody who doesn't believe in consumer protection. This job becomes more important when you can't trust the federal government because this office is the last line of defense against frauds and scams."

To deal with the opioid crisis, the candidates favor decriminalization and putting more resources into treatment.

"We need to decriminalize mental health issues," Eve said. "We need treatment for people who are in crisis and have enough courage to ask for help. If they ask for help and somebody says you have to wait six months to get help, that's a recipe for disaster."

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August 25, 2018 - 12:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, Announcements, civil war, Antietam, history, GCC.

Genesee Community College's History Club will begin its fall lecture series on Wednesday, Sept. 5, when Kevin R. Pawlak speaks on "The Jewels of War: Robert E. Lee, George B. McClellan and the Battle of Antietam."

The free lecture will take place at 7 p.m. in Room T102 in the Conable Technology Building at GCC's Batavia Campus, located at One College Road. All are invited.

The History Club will host a lecture on the first Wednesday evening of every month this fall as part of its Historical Horizons Lecture Series. 

Pawlak is the author of "Shepardstown in the Civil War."

The Battle of Antietam is America's bloodiest single day. In totality, 12 hours of fighting on Sept. 17, 1862 left approximately 23,000 casualties. During this lecture, Pawlak will assess the dramatic events of the Civil War battle from the unique perspective of the commanders on the field.

(Photo of author Kevin R. Pawlak, courtesy of GCC.)

August 24, 2018 - 4:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, news, Genesee Promise Plus.

Press release:

Ten years ago, the Genesee Community College Board of Trustees introduced a summer scholarship program that exemplified the College's commitment to increasing accessibility to higher education. As Genesee Promise Plus recognizes its 10-year anniversary, more than 4,000 students have taken advantage of the tuition-free summer courses at GCC, Shelitha Williams, Ph.D., vice president of Student and Enrollment Services reported to the Trustees at the Aug. 13, Board meeting.

Genesee Promise Plus (GPP) scholarships remove financial barriers to college for citizens across the Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming (GLOW) counties providing high school students, as well as adults with no previous college course credit the chance to "try it" tuition-free at GCC!

The program was originally aimed at graduating high school seniors, but in 2010 officials realized that GPP would serve high school juniors equally as well. And in 2013, GPP expanded again to provide adults who had never attended college in the past with the summer scholarship program. 

While increasing access to college was GPP's primary goal, there have been any many tangential benefits. College bound students can complete developmental classes or prerequisites to lighten their freshman year course load helping ensure timely college graduation. GPP builds confidence and gives some students, particularly adults, the chance to try college without a huge investment, Williams said. 

On average, 312 high school seniors annually participated in GPP with 2010 being the peak year of enrollment with 392 students. High school juniors averaged 82 participants annually with 2016 being the peak year with 197 enrolled students. Adults averaged 11 students annually with 30 students enrolled in 2014. This past year (2017), 27 adults enrolled. Final figures for this summer (2018) are not yet available.

In other business, the Board of Trustees:

Approved the granting of degrees and certificates to August 2018 graduates, subject to their satisfactory completion of academic requirements. The College anticipates awarding one Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree, 48 Associate in Science (A.S.) degrees, 38 Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degrees, and 1 certificate.

Heard a report from President James Sunser about the hiring of five new employees including: 

Michael Heel will begin his role as the director of Interdisciplinary Academic Support on Sept. 7, a position that helps assess and develop new programs and curriculum. Heel served as coordinator and associate director of Curriculum Assessment at Monroe Community College for 10 years. He holds two master's degrees -- one in Public Policy from Harvard University and the other in Political Science from the University of Rochester. He has been active in Middle States Commission for Higher Education as an evaluator and trainer, and he received a SUNY Chancellor Award for Excellence in Professional Service in 2015. Heel resides in Livonia.

A seasoned GCC adjunct and a 20-year veteran of the Rochester Police Department, Jay Bushen will be a full-time Criminal Justice instructor this fall. His diverse experience in the RPD includes crime scene technician, bomb squad, recruitment, and investigating violent felony offenses. Bushen earned his BS in Criminal Justice from SUNY Buffalo State College, and his MA in Social Policy at Empire State College. He has also taught online courses at Aspen University and was Instructor of the Semester at GCC's Warsaw Campus Center in 2009. Bushen resides in Rochester.

Amy Provenzo, of Fairport, will be joining GCC's Respiratory Care program as an instructor and clinical education coordinator. Her experience includes being an acute and critical care respiratory therapist, as well as a successful salesperson for Philips Respironics. She earned her BS in Respiratory Care from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

With more than 25 years of experience in customer relations including six years in undergraduate admissions, Ann Valento is a dynamic new member of GCC's ACE (Accelerated College Enrollment) team. Her previous position at Roberts Wesleyan College was a data and response coordinator and communication specialist and included experience with program development, marketing and event coordination. She holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a master's degree Corporate Communications, both from Ithaca College. She resides in Pavilion.

Michele Sformo is the new face in GCC's Business Office and she will serve as financial operations specialist. A GCC alumna with an AAS degree Accounting in 1986, Sformo continued her education earning a BS in Accounting from Empire State in 2010. Previously, she served as the finance director and assistant executive director for the Mental Health Association of Genesee and Orleans Counties. She resides in Corfu.

Heard a report from Levi Olsen, GCC's director of Buildings and Grounds on the progress of the summer projects featuring extensive renovations in the B200 and C200 suites including new ceilings, flooring, paint, LED lighting, repairing electrical service as well as some asbestos removal and HVAC repairs. Other indoor projects included new concrete on the north entrance of the Genesee Center for the Arts, a new hot-air curtain in the entrance of the Student Success Center and infrared imaging of the main electrical panels to proactively identify any concerns or issues. The pool was also drained, cleaned and regrouted as needed. Outside, the new pedestrian walkway features five themed garden islands and all the trees, shrubs and flowering perennials have been planted for this year's Phase I. In addition, the softball field has new sections of turf and infield mix.

August 23, 2018 - 5:13pm

Press release:

The Genesee Center for the Arts at Genesee Community College in Batavia announces the confirmed events for 2018-2019 coming season.

Brighten your holidays -- literally -- with "A Very Electric Christmas," performed by Lightwire Theatre on Sunday, Nov. 18 with two shows at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Stuart Steiner Theatre in Batavia.

Audiences of all ages will love this magical and captivating tale of family, friendship and hope set to timeless holiday hits. Check out the production trailer here.

Tickets for these shows are $8 for adults, and $5 for seniors (55+) and students (16+) and GCC faculty/ staff. GCC students with ID are $3, and GCC alumni with ID will receive a $2 discount on an adult ticket. To reserve seats, contact the GCC box office at [email protected] or (585) 345-6814.

The schedule at GCC's Roz Steiner Art Gallery continues to capture the wide array of dynamic work in the visual arts featuring drawing, painting, photography, sculpture and language arts in the following four exhibits:

  • The Fall exhibit schedule begins with "Portraits on Recycled Trash" by Dion Hitchings on display from Aug. 23 - Sept. 22 in the Roz Steiner Art Gallery. Through the untraditional media of children's art supplies and consumer boxes, Hitchings offers a glimpse into a unique world that is filled with altered and complex viewpoints giving the audience an opportunity to "think outside the box." Gallery receptions will be held at 1 and 5 p.m. on Aug. 30.
  • Welcoming visitors into the Stuart Steiner Theatre lobby from now through Sept. 22 is an impressive photography exhibit entitled "Landscape Interaction/ Intervention" which celebrates the work of students enrolled in GCC's Intermediate Photography; a Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) class taught by Associate Professor of Photography and Art Joe Ziolkowski, in collaboration with Associate Lecturer at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology's School of Art in Australia, Rebecca Najdowski. Experience the powerful images that expanded student knowledge of landscape, trans-national, trans-cultural and trans-photography concepts between the United States and Australia. The exhibit is simultaneously on display at GCC and RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. More of the student's works are visible here. Meet the talented contributing artists at the gallery receptions at 1 and 5 p.m. on Aug. 30.
  • From Oct. 4 - Oct. 25, the Galley will display a photographic exhibit by Ryan Gustman. Diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome early in life, Gustman spent most of his adolescence alone, in his own world, with no outlet until he discovered a passion for photography. While engaging in urban exploration he found a way to calm his mind and his soul through photographic documentation of abandoned buildings. Lecture will be held on Oct. 25 at 12:30 p.m. and receptions at 1 and 5 p.m. will follow.
  • Going beyond conscious intention to make coherent images from irrational juxtaposition of disparate parts is the impetus of Emily Kenas' work. While making new sense of recognizable materials, her work "Assemblage" occupies a space between painting and sculpture and will occupy the Gallery from Nov. 13 - Dec. 14. Kenas will lecture on Nov. 29 at 12:30 p.m. and receptions at 1 and 5 p.m. will follow.
  • A collection of paintings by Muhammad Zaman, entitled "Finding Amal" will be exhibited from Jan. 22 - Feb. 22. Amal, meaning "hope" in Arabic is what Zaman hopes to inspire through his work. "Finding Amal" features compositions of urban calligraphy that combine the three languages that are the cornerstones of the artist's culture: Arabic, English and Bangla. Each individual canvas expresses a word, phrase or concept as if they were messages dedicated to the entire human race. The artist will lecture on Jan. 31 at 12:30 p.m. and receptions at 1 and 5 p.m. will follow.

The Roz Steiner Art Gallery is open to the public Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The gallery is also open during special events as published at www.genesee.edu/campuslife/arts. Admission is free. For more information, contact Gallery Coordinator Mary Jo Whitman at (585) 343-0055, ext. 6490, or via email: [email protected]e.edu

July 31, 2018 - 4:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, news, batavia, education, 2016-2017 annual report.

Press release:

Genesee Community College has published its 2016-2017 Annual Report -- available for the first-time ever completely online!

In addition, the College adopted an agricultural theme for the report highlighting the surrounding community.

GCC's 2016-2017 Annual Report was published on a special website, http://annualreport.genesee.edu/ to support the College's sustainable business practices as well as to maximize accessibility to the information contained within the report. From the welcoming message on the report's homepage to the photos recounting the past year's dynamic stories, GCC demonstrates its commitment to the theme "Plant. Water. Harvest. Repeat."

"At its core, GCC plants seeds of knowledge, waters and cultivates the learning experience, recognizes and celebrates the harvest of contributions, and continuously refines and repeats the process to ensure our future," President James M. Sunser, Ed.D., said in the report's opening message. "We hope we have captured how our efforts echo the hard-work, innovation and dedication of the farming families and agribusinesses that have long made our community a strong and vibrant place to work, live and grow."

A multitude of stories with accompanying photographs are celebrated in the report representing innovative programs that "Plant" seeds for student success. Events such as the Annual Tech Wars hosted by the Accelerated College Enrollment program, lectures by Multicultural Communications Club, volunteers working with Habitat for Humanity and many other stories reflect GCC "We plant" initiatives.

The report's "Water" chapter includes images from a plethora of community events such as Veterans Day, the Harvest Festival and the popular Cougar Crawl weekend. Perhaps, and most appropriately, the "Harvest" chapter of the report is the longest, highlighting all the ways students, faculty and staff contribute to the community through GCC's Center for the Arts productions, the Scholars Symposium, the annual Fashion Show, commencement and so many meaningful efforts.

It is through the annual repetition of GCC's efforts that our communities continue to grow and succeed -- which are highlighted in the report's "Repeat" chapter. Finally, the "Supporters" tab of the report pays tribute by listing those whose donations to the College have helped ensure long-term success.

Everyone is encouraged to view the annual report at http://annualreport.genesee.edu/ and join in the celebration of the accomplishments of the past academic year.

July 6, 2018 - 3:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, news, strategic plan, framing our future.

Photo of Framing Our Future Steering Committee Co-chairs -- Professor and Program Director of Social Sciences, Tim Tomczak, and Dean of Distributed Learning, Craig Lamb, Ph.D.

Submitted photo and press release:

In May, the Board of Trustees at Genesee Community College approved the new Strategic Plan that will help guide the College through the next five years at all levels.

From academic program developments to the investments in teaching and learning technology, hiring new employees to facility improvements-both large and small decisions are all guided by the Strategic Plan.

The shape of GCC's future at all seven campus locations in Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming (GLOW) Counties, as well as GCC's Online Learning, ACE Program and even developments at College Village will all be governed by the Strategic Plan through 2023.

"Framing Our Future" is the theme of the new plan and the comprehensive planning process began in 2017 with the establishment of a 32 member Steering Committee co-chaired by Professor and Program Director of Social Sciences, Tim Tomczak, and Dean of Distributed Learning, Craig Lamb, Ph.D.

Their combined efforts included a careful examination of the prior plan's priorities and progress, an online open input form, seven forum sessions scheduled across the GLOW region and involving more than 150 participants, 500 surveys, more than 1,000 ideas, suggestions and recommendations from the College and community, and thousands of pieces of data.

"Framing Our Future" now features revised Mission and Vision Statements. In addition, there are five major Priorities reinforced by Core Objectives impacting all departments. These become the new road map by which each unit measures its success in tri-annual reports and also develops annual goals or "Plans of Achievement," as they are commonly known across campus.

To view the Strategic Plan in its entirety, go to the designated Web page at:

https://www.genesee.edu/home/about/administration/strategic-planning-initiative.

"Framing Our Future is an essential management tool that drives our programs, budgets and operations. But simultaneously, it is also an embodiment of the aspirations we hold for our students, fellow colleagues, friends and neighbors," GCC President James Sunser said.

"I invite the entire community to review this important document and our core objectives which we have published online for easy access. We hope the communities that GCC serves will join us in harnessing the power of the future."

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