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June 23, 2019 - 6:11pm
posted by Lauren Leone in batavia, news, BHS Class of 2019, high school graduation, GCC.

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Batavia High School's 137th commencement occurred this afternoon at Genesee Community College in the Richard C. Call Arena.

Valedictorian Julia Spiotta (pictured below) encouraged members of the Class of 2019 to “fall forward” into their future endeavors in the face of both adversity and success.

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She left this message with her class:

“Whatever we did over these years, we did it together knowing that the Class of 2019 was united, which is something I believe is very special about us.

“I’d like to thank you, members of the Class of 2019, for making high school so memorable. Today — June 23, 2019 — has been a day that we have all eagerly anticipated. Now that it is finally here, it is a very bittersweet day.”

During her speech, Salutatorian Tracy Lin remarked:

“Although we physically will no longer be in BHS, I have no doubt that each one of us will always carry in their memories the laughs, achievements, classes, sporting events and the homecomings we’ve experienced as a class."

Commencement speaker Mark Warren, a mathematics teacher at BHS, said: “A life of service is not always easy, which is why it must be a conscious decision. You have to be the person that decides to live your life in the service of others … It’s time to commence your life of service."

Loud applause filled the arena as graduate Antwan Odom, who was approved to attend commencement alongside his classmates, received his diploma.

Presentation of awards and diplomas was given by Paul Kesler, principal of BHS; Patrick Burk, president of the Board of Education; and Christopher Dailey, superintendent of schools. Sunday’s commencement was Dailey’s last BHS graduation prior to departing for his new superintendent position at Gates Chili Central School District.

To view or purchase photos go to steveognibenephotography.com or click here.

Below, Salutatorian Tracy Lin.

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June 18, 2019 - 3:06pm

A total of 223 students from Genesee Community College are named to Provost's List for the Spring 2019 semester; 41 live in Genesee County.

Students honored on the Provost's List have maintained part-time enrollment and earned a quality point index of 3.75 (roughly equivalent to an A) or better.

The 41 Genesee County students named to the Provost's List are (in their community's alphabetic order):

Cassandra Koepp of Alexander, NY (14005)

Naomi LaDuke of Alexander, NY (14005)

Jessica Lennon of Alexander, NY (14005)

Jennamarie Schiller of Alexander, NY (14005)

Alexis Balduf of Batavia, NY (14020)

JoAnne Clemm of Batavia, NY (14020)

Mallory Gilbraith of Batavia, NY (14020)

Tammy Kingdollar of Batavia, NY (14020)

Tessa Lynn of Batavia, NY (14020)

Kali Nichols of Batavia, NY (14020)

Jessica O'Neil of Batavia, NY (14020)

Cleghon Rolle of Batavia, NY (14020)

Cameron Sanzo of Batavia, NY (14020)

Margaret Smith of Batavia, NY (14020)

Ashley Stone of Batavia, NY (14020)

Julia Streeter of Batavia, NY (14020)

Robert Tripp of Batavia, NY (14020)

Megan West of Batavia, NY (14020)

Stephanie Wolfe of Batavia, NY (14020)

Grace Morrill of Bergen, NY (14416)

Sheena Dilcher of Byron, NY (14422)

Teagan Mathes of Byron, NY (14422)

Nicole Franclemont of Corfu, NY (14036)

Alexandria Tarbell of Corfu, NY (14036)

Edward Foeller of Darien Center, NY (14040)

Jillian Hartwig of Darien Center, NY (14040)

Lewis Ryan of Darien Center, NY (14040)

Dustin Wheeler of Darien Center, NY (14040)

Angelique Newton of East Bethany, NY (14054)

Caroline Pelton of East Bethany, NY (14054)

Bailey Delelys of Elba, NY (14058)

Samantha Nickerson of Elba, NY (14058)

John Boyle of Le Roy, NY (14482)

Kristin Johnston of Le Roy, NY (14482)

Kathryn Krautwurst of Le Roy, NY (14482)

Cheryl McGee of Le Roy, NY (14482)

Zach Sovocool of Le Roy, NY (14482)

Megan Webb of Le Roy, NY (14482)

Colin Graham of Oakfield, NY (14125)

Jacqueline Thompson of Oakfield, NY (14125)

Jessica Ruiz of Pavilion, NY (14525)

Genesee Community College serves approximately 6,000 students per semester through more than 70 academic programs and certificates, including Marketing and Social Media concentration within the Business Administration program, and Nanotechnology degree with ECC. On a microscopic scale, nanotech focuses on careers in biology, chemistry, electrical engineering, medicine and photovoltaics. 

GCC's new Student Success Center makes admissions, financial aid and enrollment a simple and efficient process. The college has earned three national sports titles. The athletics program, housed in the new, state-of-the-art Richard C. Call Arena hosts more than a dozen intercollegiate men's and women's teams.

Highly convenient, GCC operates seven campus locations throughout Western New York, as well as a significant online learning program. Student housing is available at College Village, just a three minute walk from the Batavia Campus. With small class sizes and state-of-the-art technology both inside and out of the classroom, Genesee Community College is known for being "high tech" and "high-touch."

June 18, 2019 - 9:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, Conversations at GCC, education.
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Timothy P. Tomczak was named dean of Human Communications and Behavior last month, a role he assumes July 1. 

Tomczak is a three-time SUNY Chancellor Award honoree. Last year, Tomczak received the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Faculty Service; in 2007 while working as GCC's associate professor of Psychology, Tomczak received the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities; and in 1994 he was first recognized with the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching.

He was also recognized by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Teaching Excellence Award in 1991, and is the author or co-author of more than 20 professional articles and presentations. He is an associate member of the American Psychology Association and the Council of Undergraduate Teachers of Psychology.

Earlier this month, The Batavian interviewed Tomczak about his role at GCC as well as topics in his and his department's field of study, including human behavior, heuristics and cognitive biases, psychology, social media, his favorite podcasts, and more.

June 11, 2019 - 4:29pm
posted by Lauren Leone in batavia, GCC, news, education, Excelsior Scholarship, notify.

Genesee Community College President James Sunser made clear the college’s frustration with the New York State Excelsior Scholarship.

Last Wednesday, the Ways & Means Committee was surprised when Sunser told them, “The Excelsior Scholarship did not help us … It’s a very stringent program. If students don’t make the grade, they lose it forever.”

Sunser spoke about the strings attached to the award. Excelsior recipients must meet minimum grade requirements and plan to reside and work in-state for the length of time they received the scholarship. Otherwise, their awards revert to costly loans.

“The way that the Excelsior program works is that when you hit the income threshold, you get that tuition paid,” Sunser explained.

In other words, students with families earning gross incomes of $125,000 or less can receive full tuition to SUNY two- or four-year colleges.

According to Sunser, “When you tell a family that’s making $125,000 that you can go to any of these institutions that’ll accept you, then that becomes a problem” because students tend to choose four-year schools rather than local community colleges.

The declining population and smaller graduating high school classes in Upstate New York have also reduced GCC enrollment, therefore revenue. Between Fall 2017 and Fall 2018 alone, the undergraduate enrollment at GCC dropped from 5,900 to 5,530 students.

These numbers beg the question of whether the Excelsior Scholarship actually brings in more students to enjoy county and college investments. GCC leaders say the answer is no.

The lower enrollment factored into the 2019–20 GCC annual budget, which will increase slightly, .01 percent ($4,000) to approximately $40.2 million.

This year, the college is seeking additional local support, which has remained flat since 2015-16:

  • A $50,000 increase in annual county support to GCC;

  • A one-time $100,000 allocation for the college's Criminal Justice and Veterinary Tech surgical labs.

The Ways & Means Committee voted in favor of setting up and conducting the required public hearing on the college's budget request, at a date to be announced later.

At its next meeting at 4:30 p.m. on June 19, the two-part funding request will be discussed by the Ways & Means Committee.

Sunser said GCC will raise its full-time tuition by $100 per semester, totaling $4,350. Students should also be aware that there will be a $10 increase per credit hour for part-time student tuition, which totals $180 per credit hour.

He said he hopes the fact that GCC is one of the most affordable options among area community colleges is enough to counter the downfalls of the Excelsior Scholarship and draw students back to higher education in Genesee County.

June 9, 2019 - 5:54pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, chancellor's award, news, education, Milestones.

GCC's 2019 SUNY Chancellor's Award winners -- Front row, from left: Derek Maxfield, Kristen Mruk, John Molyneaux, Maureen Goodsell. Back row, from left: JoNelle Toriseva, Lori Kubik, Kathleen Kimber.

Submitted photo and press release:

As Genesee Community College celebrated an all-encompassing and momentous commencement weekend for its students last month, the College administration, staff and faculty took a few hours to acknowledge and celebrate each other's accomplishments and dedication that go "beyond expectations."

"In the spirit of commencement & the hard work of our students, GCC recognizes the dedication of our faculty and staff who go beyond expectations in helping our students succeed," said GCC President James Sunser. "And so, for a few hours, we close non-essential offices and celebrate our successes as a team."

Perhaps the most prestigious honors recognized at this ceremony were the 2019 State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor's Awards for Excellence bestowed upon seven of GCC's finest.

  • Receiving the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Faculty Service, which recognizes consistently superior service contributions of teaching faculty over multiple years, was Professor of Spanish, Kathleen A. Kimber. Kimber became a member of GCC's faculty in 1997 and immediately got directly involved with the campus and community. Regularly using her Spanish fluency, Kimber goes above and beyond her duties as a professor to assist in translations, donating countless hours over the years. On multiple occasions, she has served as a medical translator in Honduras -- an experience Kimber shares in the classroom providing real-life learning opportunities to her students. Kimber has chaired and co-chaired many initiatives on campus, collaborated and contributed to grant writing opportunities and campus governance topics, student and faculty mentoring relationships, consistently and clearly demonstrating her commitment to service. Kimber was also the recipient of a SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities in 2011 and for Excellence in Teaching in 2004. Kimber earned her Graduate Certificate in Educational Technology Integration from Pennsylvania State University Online, her M.A. from Indiana University, and her B.A. in Spanish from SUNY Potsdam. Kimber resides in Naples.
  • Recognizing consistently superior professional achievement, the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service was awarded to Student Activities Specialist, Kristen E. Mruk. Mruk, of Lancaster, joined the GCC professional services team in 2013 and since then has completely transformed GCC's Leadership Certificate Program into an online program making it more accessible and relevant to today's students. Additionally, Mruk revised the Student Orientation process to improve new student experiences, and has supported students transition to college through supplemental online programs and working closely with GCC's six campus centers. All of these efforts and Mruk's countless hours analyzing data, collaborating with colleagues and implementing new tools have allowed her to execute ideas to improve student participation and satisfaction. She is also actively involved with the Association of College Unions International (ACUI), the College Student Personnel Association of New York State (CSPA-NYS) currently serving as its President Elect, and has been serving as a volunteer with SABAH (Spirited Athletes Bold at Heart) in Buffalo for 20 years. Mruk earned her M.S. in College Student Personnel Administration from Canisius College and her B.A. in Communication from SUNY Buffalo.
  • For Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities, Director of Humanities JoNelle R. Toriseva received a SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence. Toriseva's passion for scholarship and creativity have been evident through all she has accomplished since joining GCC in 2011. The highlight of Toriseva's career so far was her work in spearheading the development of GCC's Scholarship Symposium. Now an annual signature event for the College, it not only presents the accomplishments of our students and employees by demonstrating and celebrating their creative achievements, but it supports and encourages a culture of research, academic excellence, and innovation as well. Toriseva has presented at various national, state, and local conferences and published award-winning writing. She brings to the classroom a lifetime of interesting accomplishments and experiences and continues to research and develop collaborative efforts within the college and local community to enhance scholarship and creativity opportunities for all. Toriseva received her M.F.A. in English, Creative Writing from Mills College, her M.A. in English and her B.S. in Spanish Education from Bemidji State University, and her B.A. in Spanish & Speech Communication from Concordia College. Toriseva resides in Rochester.
  • Receiving the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, which recognizes consistently superior teaching at the graduate, undergraduate, or professional level of the highest quality was Associate Professor of History Derek D. Maxfield. Since his hire in 2009, Maxfield has been actively involved in GCC's campus community and dedicated to providing students with an exceptional learning experience. Described by many as a gifted storyteller, Maxfield has a way of reaching students in the classroom that is memorable. He incorporates applied learning, which gets his students beyond the classroom and experiencing the preservation of history on the ground, has created unique and engaging assignments, created new courses, and coordinates the GCC History Club's Historical Horizons Lecture Series. Maxfield's first book, "Hellmira: The Union's Most Infamous POW Camp of the Civil War" is being published this fall. Maxfield holds an M.A. in History from Villanova University and a B.A. in History from SUNY Cortland. He currently resides in Churchville.
  • The SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching recognizes consistently superior teaching at the graduate, undergraduate or professional level of the highest quality. Receiving this award were adjunct instructors Lori E. Kubik and John R. Molyneux.

Kubik, who lives in Attica, has been a member of GCC's adjunct faculty since 2012 teaching several Grammar and English courses. In addition, she has been teaching in GCC's Advanced Learning Program since its inception in 2015. Kubik creates and uses various educational techniques to ensure she reaches all students' learning styles. Kubik is not only known for her unique ways to engage students, but also for her dedication to go above and beyond her duties as an adjunct teacher. Her breadth of knowledge, commitment to intellectual rigor dazzles students and faculty alike. It is very evident by all she does that she is truly invested in our college, community, and most importantly, our students. Kubik earned her M.S. and B.A. in Secondary English Education from the State University College at Buffalo.

Molyneux has been a member of GCC's adjunct faculty since 2002 and has taught a variety of courses in English, Literature and Speech. He is a veteran teacher with almost 50 years of teaching experience and is well known for his ability to connect with students. Molyneux is creative, innovative and passionate about educating. His dedication and motivation is an inspiration for all who cross his path. Molyneux is an exceptional instructor who is dedicated to bringing literacy instruction from the library to the classroom and beyond. As a result, his class offerings are in high demand. Molyneux holds a B.A. in English from St. Francis University. He currently resides in Henrietta.

  • The final SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence was presented to Maureen P. Goodsell, Admissions Data Entry Operator for Excellence in Classified Service. This award is a system-level award established to give recognition for superior performance and extraordinary achievement by employees in the Classified Service. These awards demonstrate SUNY's commitment to individuals who provide superior service to its students and the community at large. Maureen came to GCC in 1999 and has been dedicated to mastering her role and has accomplished a great deal of work beyond the outline of her position description. Goodsell is a wealth of knowledge, a valuable resource for students and staff, and possess extraordinary customer service skills. She is a creative thinker, always flexible with the ever-changing times, and enthusiastic about all she does. Goodsell continually strives to fulfill and exceed all the expectations of her position in an effort to better herself and GCC. She is a role model when it comes to work ethic and a great leader. Goodsell earned her A.A.S in Business Administration from Genesee Community College. She currently resides in Batavia.

The entire employee celebration also included longevity service awards for employees having served GCC for up to 30 years as well as the College's own unique award category, the Cougar Awards, for which recipients are nominated by fellow employees.

"This was our second annual celebration and I'm already hearing reports of some of the amazing work we will be celebrating next year!" President Sunser said, "There is a lot to celebrate here at GCC."

May 30, 2019 - 7:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, GCC, education, Milestones, elba.

Submitted photo and press release:

The Genesee Community College announced that Timothy P. Tomczak has officially been appointed as the College's Dean of Human Communications and Behavior (HCB) effective July 1.

"Having served GCC in a number of capacities for more than three decades, starting as an instructor, then professor and then director, I am honored and excited to take this next step into the role of Dean of Human Communications and Behavior," Tomczak said.

"To be a resource that brings together quality teaching, learning and decision-making while focusing on students and their success is something I am truly passionate about."

Tomczak's history with GCC, which began in 1987, is full of honors and activities and speaks to his lifelong dedication to students, colleagues and the College's campus community.

He is a three-time SUNY Chancellor Award honoree. Last year, Tomczak received the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Faculty Service; in 2007 while working as GCC's associate professor of Psychology, Tomczak received the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities; and in 1994 he was first recognized with the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching.

He was also recognized by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Teaching Excellence Award in 1991, and is the author or co-author of more than 20 professional articles and presentations. He is an associate member of the American Psychology Association and the Council of Undergraduate Teachers of Psychology.

Tomczak was a pioneer of the College's distance learning movement, first teaching "telecourses" and moving on to teach sections of psychology courses online. Tomczak was also one of the first full-time faculty members to teach in GCC's ACE program at the program's inception.

Most recently, Tomczak served GCC as a professor and director of Social Sciences. As such, Tomczak co-chaired a 32-member Steering Committee with GCC's Dean of Distributed Learning, Craig Lamb, Ph.D., to develop the College's new Strategic Plan, "Framing our Future."

The plan was approved by the College's Board of Trustees and now governs all seven campus locations, as well as GCC's Online Learning and ACE Programs, and helps guide developments at College Village through 2023.

In 2016 and 2017, Tomczak also co-chaired the Steering Committee for the Middle-States Accreditation self-study, a critical process that involved the whole campus.

Additionally, Tomczak has been serving as interim dean of HCB since 2018, and is helping guide a partnership with the University of Rochester and Nazareth College to develop a collaborative prison education program.

"Tim's leadership experience and his dedication to GCC have been evident in so many valuable projects across our campus," said Kathleen (Kate) Schiefen, Ph.D., provost & executive vice president for Academic Affairs.

"From his interaction with students in the classroom to his administrative responsibilities-he has been a strong asset to the College in many capacities. We are all excited for Tim to begin this next chapter with the Human Communications and Behavior team."

Tomczak's accomplished career has earned him a place in GCC's Recognition Matters series, which highlights the important achievements of the College's faculty, staff and students. Officials at GCC have embraced this series as a way to acknowledge and celebrate the high quality of the recognized individuals who demonstrate GCC's "beyond expectations" brand.

Tomczak holds a B.A. degree from Mercyhurst University in Pennsylvania and a M.A. degree from SUNY College at Geneseo and currently resides in Elba.

May 20, 2019 - 3:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, GCC, news, lacrosse.

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Press release:

In a rematch of the 2018 NJCAA Men’s Lacrosse National Championship game, #3 Onondaga Community College and #1 Nassau Community College Lions needed overtime to settle the 2019 edition.

In the end, Offensive Most Valuable Player Percy Booth scored the game-winning goal with 17 seconds remaining, to give Onondaga their third-consecutive National Championship, defeating Nassau 7-6 on Sunday afternoon at Genesee Community College.

In a game that went back and forth throughout its entirety, the two teams played in a defensive match with goaltenders. Frank Delia (Onondaga CC) and both Gunnar Luckoski and Anthony Kennin (Nassau CC) played outstandingly well throughout the National Championship game.

Percy Booth from Onondaga had a hat trick on the day, including scoring the game-winner in the overtime period. Kyle Worsley scored two goals and added an assist for the Lazers. Karl Flinter also scored for Onondaga. Frank Delia made 19 saves between the pipes for Onondaga.

Liam Muldoon led the way offensively for Nassau scoring a pair of goals. Justin Roderka also scored two goals. Dan Rooney scored one goal and tallied three assists and Matt Russo also scored for the Lions.

ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM members include:

  • Jackson Kranzy – Howard CC
  • Tim Russell – Howard CC
  • Jack Watsic – Howard CC
  • Eli Doyle – Harford CC
  • Tyler Wagoner – Harford CC
  • Moriah Yousefi – Harford CC
  • Liam Muldoon – Nassau CC
  • John Ehlers – Nassau CC
  • Justin Rodereka – Nassau CC
  • Gavin Kesserling – Onondaga CC
  • Phil Barilla – Onondaga CC
  • Eli Dandelaught – Onondaga CC  
  • Offensive Most Valuable Player – Percy Booth (Onondaga CC)
  • Defensive Most Valuable Player – Frank Delia (Onondaga CC)
  • National Coach of the Tournament – Eric Miccio (Onondaga CC)

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May 20, 2019 - 12:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, news.

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Alannah Gross accepts her diploma from Donna Ferry, chair of the Board of Trustees of Genesee Community College, during GCC's 51st commencement ceremony Sunday inside the Call Arena.

Earlier, Gross sang "God Bless America" during the opening of the ceremony (photos below).

This year's keynote speaker was Lesli Myers-Small, superintendent of Brockport Central School District and author of "Life's Leadership Lessons," a Ted-X speaker, an NYS Woman of Distinction, who has gained a degree of fame for her rap videos for students in her district. 

A key theme of her commencement speech came from the musical "Hamilton" and the song "I'm am not throwing away my shot."

I am not throwing away my shot
I am not throwing away my shot
Hey yo, I’m just like my country
I’m young, scrappy and hungry
And I’m not throwing away my shot

Myers-Small recalled the day in May 2012 when she pulled into the parking lot of Brockport Central School District for her interview for the superintendent's job. She remembered that she was trying to do something as an African-American woman that nobody in Monroe County had ever done before.

"Doubt, fear, and anxiety reverberated in mind," Myers-Small. "I thought it absolutely impossible. I will never become the chief executive officer of a public school district."

But she didn't leave. She sat in her car a moment and thought. She remembered all the people who had paved a way for her, and those who had raised her and mentored her and guided her and prepared her for this moment. 

"I heard a quiet still voice, 'girl, either go hard or go home.' "

Myers-Small told the students no matter who they are, where they come from, whatever hardships they might face, don't quit.

"When contemplating opportunities, remember that what is possible for me is possible for you. I cannot, will not, did not throw away my shot."

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Lesli Myers-Small

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May 12, 2019 - 3:34pm

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Matthew Liebler was awarded this year's Virginia Carr-Mumford Scholarship from the Batavia Society of Artists on Thursday at the BSA's annual spring show opening at the Richmond Memorial Library.

Liebler is from North Java and just completed his first year at Genesee Community College, where he's majoring in Digital Arts.

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The spring show's first-place award went to Richard Ellingham for "Dusk Reflection."

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David Burke received a second-place award for "The everchanging beauty of this body that I share with every living thing." He also received a third-place ribbon for "Still life with skull and mannequins."

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May 10, 2019 - 10:54am
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, news.

Photos and information from GCC

Richard G. Ensman Jr., of Rochester, New York, passed away on May 9, 2019 having served Genesee Community College with great distinction since 1990.

Through his nearly 30 years of dedicated service, Mr. Ensman was both the director of the Department of External Affairs, as well as the executive director of the Genesee Community College Foundation and its 32-member Board of Directors.

In this dual capacity for almost three decades, Mr. Ensman was involved in all facets of GCC's growth and development, which included: five capital projects at the Batavia Campus; the opening of six campus centers and also the purchase of College Meadows and its transformation into College Village; the student residence community adjacent to the main campus.

Throughout all of the fundraising campaigns, including the most recent, "Creating Our Future Together," which resulted in the design and construction of GCC's new Student Success Center and Richard C. Call Arena, Mr. Ensman's unwavering motivation was fortifying student success and strengthening connections with the community.

He also helped found the College's Alumni program, expand its Marketing Communications Office and establish a vast pool of scholarship opportunities that now numbers well over 200 separate funds. These draw together the unique interests and passions of donors in our community with the real needs and achievements of countless students, year after year.

Despite all Mr. Ensman's accomplishments at Genesee Community College, he valued the work and dedication of those around him and he prioritized recognizing their efforts. He introduced Genesee Community College Foundation's Alpha Medal of Service, a prestigious honor bestowed upon individuals at Commencement who demonstrate extraordinary commitment and service to the College.

He helped found the Alumni Hall of Fame, which currently recognizes 39 recipients. He encouraged the Marketing Communications Office to establish the "Recognition Matters" news series that highlights the accomplishments of GCC students, faculty and staff. And, Mr. Ensman long envisioned a unified office for the Department of External Affairs, which came to fruition this past fall.

"Rick was an integral member of our senior management team for many years. His dedication to the College's mission of supporting students and helping them to achieve their goals was illustrated in countless ways. Through literally hundreds if not thousands of scholarships, he touched the lives of many," GCC President James M. Sunser said.

"What's more, he inspired the same in others-from building our strong, dynamic donor and alumni communities, to encouraging staff as well as his colleagues to discover and embrace professional development opportunities -- Rick had a huge heart. While he is already missed, his work and his vision will never leave us."

He was a very active member of the International Rotary Club of Batavia, and also strong supporter and proponent of the United Way. In 2014, Mr. Ensman was recognized by the Batavia Rotary Club as a Paul Harris Fellow, named after the founding member of the Rotary, and is the highest distinction Rotarians receive for service to their club and/or their community.

Beyond his professional work at GCC and his community service to the Rotary and United Way, Rick was passionate about hiking, especially in the Adirondack Mountains with his camera always at hand. He shared many of his amazing photographs, including sunsets, sunrises, mountain top views, foggy trails and tranquil lakefronts with his friends and family. He was also an avid member of CrossFit Rochester.

Mr. Ensman was born on Sept. 2, 1954 in Rochester, New York, and graduated from Bishop Kearney High School in 1971. He received two degrees from the University of Rochester, a Bachelor of Science Degree, awarded with distinction in Social Science in 1976, and Master of Science Degree in Community Services in 1982.

Funeral services for Mr. Ensman will be held on Friday, May 17, at 10 a.m. at St. Monica's Church, 831 Genesee St. in Rochester. Calling hours will be from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 16, at Leo Bean Funeral Home located at 2771 Chili Ave., Rochester.

Below, a sunset photo of the Adirondacks taken by Rick Ensman.

May 9, 2019 - 3:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, news.

From Genesee Community College:

May 9, 2019

Dear Colleagues, 

It is with heartfelt sadness that I inform the GCC community that Rick Ensman, the director of Development and External Affairs for 29 years, passed away this morning.  

Additional information will be forthcoming from our Human Resources Office as soon as it is available.  

Thank you. 

Jim Sunser

President

May 8, 2019 - 5:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in theater, rocky horror show, GCC, news.

Above, GCC students channel "The Rocky Horror Show" while posing in costume in a special scene called "Camp" during last weekend's Fashion Show.

Submitted photo and press release:

The Forum Players Theatre Company at Genesee Community College just announced their first and biggest show of the 2019-2020 season.

"It's just a jump to left, and then a step to the ri-i-right…Let's do the time warp again!" This is one of many songs that will be emblazed upon your brain after seeing Richard O'Brien's "The Rocky Horror Show," coming to GCC, courtesy of Samuel French Inc., Oct. 17 - 20.

Tickets for "The Rocky Horror Show" will go on sale this summer.

This performance will take full advantage of all the high-tech sound and lighting equipment at the state-of-the-art Stuart Steiner Theatre. In addition, the full scene and costume shops will offer dynamic sets, clothing and the outlandish regalia that Rocky Horror fans look for.

The talented and enthusiastic theatre department is already busily preparing for this performance, which will set the tone for a new season of great theater, as well as a few Halloween celebrations, in late October.

"With a piece as dramatic and fun as the 'Rocky Horror Show', our students will combine their vocal talents, acting and dancing skills and technical skills, along with their innate theatrical enthusiasm, to bring the eccentric Rocky Horror characters to life," said Brodie McPherson, director of the show and also GCC's instructor of theater technology.

"Some crew members are already hard at work planning the special effects required for this production. Without giving away any of their surprises, this promises to be an interactive, exciting, fun performance that will be truly engaging for everyone. Save the date, indeed."

"The Rocky Horror Show" will feature members of the community, GCC students of all majors, alumni, faculty, and staff, both on stage (as you've never seen them before!) and behind the curtain.

GCC's Fashion Program students alluded to the production including a special scene in the 38th annual Fashion Show last weekend called "Camp," (above photo) which was coordinated by theater student Alannah Gross and styled by theater arts and theater technology students. The scene featured adjunct dance instructor Tara Pocock and student models representing some of the iconic characters in full makeup and costume.

May 6, 2019 - 12:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in fashion show, GCC, batavia, video.
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Genesee Comnunity College hosted its 38th Annual Fashion Show on Saturday evening in the Call Arena.

May 2, 2019 - 5:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in law day, GCC, Gary Craig, news, notify.

garycraiglawday2019.jpg

While everybody has their own view of what justice looks like, Gary Craig, an investigative reporter for the Democrat and Chronicle recalled a 20-year-old story at Genesee Community College on Wednesday night that illustrated what justice looks like to him.

Craig was the keynote speaker for the Paralegal Honor Society at their second annual Law Day observance.

The theme of Law Day this year is "Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society" and but Craig said he wanted to talk about justice.

He recalled the case of Betty Tyson, who was wrongfully convicted in the 1973 of murder. 

A traveling businessman visiting Rochester had been killed and police investigators decided Tyson did it.

Tyson always maintained that her confusion had been beat out of her. Two witnesses, cross-dressing teens, testified against her and said they witnessed the murder. There was no physical evidence. In fact, tire tracks at the scene did not match Tyson's car.

The investigator was eventually convicted in another case of beating a suspect.

In 1996, a source pointed Craig to one of the young men who had testified against Tyson. Over several months, Craig won the man's trust and the man eventually admitted, for publication, that he lied on the stand.

During his investigation, Craig also found a sworn statement by a visiting nurse that hadn't previously been made public. The nurse had visited Tyson shortly after her arrest and reported that she was covered with cuts and bruises.

An attorney, Jon Getz, read Craig's stories and agreed to represent Tyson at no charge to the family (after, Craig said, several other attorneys had taken advantage of the Tyson family). He filed a motion to overturn the conviction based on new evidence.

During preparation for the case, the District Attorney's office found a previously undisclosed statement from the other teen witness taken immediately after the murder. That teen, who was dead by 1996, said initially, that he saw nothing. In 1973, that statement hadn't even been disclosed to the prosecutor. The teen, of course, later changed his testimony, and apparently because he had been intimidated, as a cross-dressing teen in the 1970s, by the investigator.

This was a high-profile, politically charged case, Craig said. The DA, the judge, all had ample reason to not share the new discovery with the defense. The judge could easily have ruled differently. 

He didn't.

Craig was in court when the judge handed down his decision.

"I get emotional talking because I have such respect for the system," Craig said. "In that moment, in that courtroom, I literally had chills because I felt that I was watching this pure definition of justice, unadulterated justice right in front of me, where everybody was seeking to do what they should do, what you would hope they would do all the time, and most people do.

"But there was this harmonic convergence, to use an old term, in that courtroom where I felt in my heart that, 'wow, you know I'm really beholding something. I'm watching something special right now.' "

Craig is author of the 2017 book "Seven Million: A Cop, a Priest, a Soldier for the IRA, and the Still-Unsolved Rochester Brink's Heist."

May 2, 2019 - 11:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, fashion show, video.

 

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Genesee Community College hosts its 38th Annual Fashion show this Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Call Arena.

As many as 1,400 people are expected for the show. Tickets are $5 or $25 for VIP seats. 

The show's title this year is "Limitless."

May 1, 2019 - 2:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in First Amendment, news, GCC, law day, free press.

Photo and press release from GCC:

Along with thousands of programs across the United States, Genesee Community College will recognize National Law Day tonight with an Alumni and Friends Reception with keynote speaker Rochester investigative reporter Gary Craig.

There will also be an Honor Society Induction Ceremony into the Lambda Epsilon Chi (LEX) Chapter of two GCC students.

National Law Day, celebrated annually on May 1, is designed to shed light on how laws protect liberties and the process by which the legal system strives to achieve justice.

Every year since 1958 the President of the United States has issued a Law Day Proclamation recognizing the importance of the rule of the law. This year’s theme is “Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society."

The reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. in the GCC William W. Stuart Forum. The public is welcome. It is free to attend.

Keynote speaker Craig is a member of the Democrat and Chronicle’s Watchdog team, and he focuses on public safety and criminal justice.

He has worked at Rochester newspapers since 1990, covering City Hall, politics and federal courts before joining the newspaper’s investigative team. He has won state and national investigative writing awards.

He is married with two daughters.

Craig is also the author of the 2017 book, "Seven Million: A Cop, a Priest, a Soldier for the IRA, and the Still-Unsolved Rochester Brink's Heist." His book is available on Amazon.

Two members from the graduating Class of 2019 will be inducted into GCC's chapter of the Lambda Chi (LEX) Honor Society, newly chartered at the college in 2018.They are Briona Siplin, of Rochester, and Arden M. Zavitz, of Medina. Membership in the Honor Society requires a 3.25 overall GPA and a 3.5 GPA specifically for Legal Specialty Courses.

May 1, 2019 - 1:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, news, Alexander Central School District.

Photo and press release from GCC:

At its annual conference last month, the New York State Mathematics Association of Two Year Colleges (NYSMATYC) recognized the Math League Competition winners.

This year, the top individual score was earned by Alexander Central School District and Genesee Community College student Nicholas D. Allen!

Allen has been an Accelerated College Enrollment (ACE) program student since middle school. The ACE program at GCC has granted him access to college level courses and credit while still attending high school.

With his hard work and dedication, Allen will graduate from GCC with an Associate in Applied Science degree in Computer Information Systems and an Associate in Science degree in Liberal Arts & Science with a concentration in Physics, several weeks before earning his high school diploma.

The NYSMATYC competition consists of two timed exams consisting of 20 mathematical questions each – once in the Fall and once in the Spring. The top five scores from each college are combined to form the college’s team score for each competition. Then, the Fall and Spring exam scores for both individuals and teams are combined to crown the academic year’s champion college and individual.

Prizes for the competition often include mathematical software generously donated by the Math League sponsors and mathematical and scientific journals and magazines.

This year, more than 500 of the best math students from 27 different SUNY and CUNY two year colleges took the exams. The collective team of Genesee Community College students took a remarkable sixth place in the competition, for the second consecutive year.

Allan’s outstanding score this year continues the tradition of excellence seen in GCC’s math students, including the 2018 competition where three GCC students received $1,200 in scholarships for their scores.

These successes are the result of GCC’s unique combination of quality faculty members, a supportive and effective Math Department and its high-tech resources and equipment. When bright and talented students are subjected to the student-focused environment GCC has created, they consistently earn merit-based scholarships and awards at the NYSMATYC competitions.

“When competing against much larger institutions, GCC’s smaller class sizes and therefore more accessible faculty members are a significant advantage to our students,” Christopher Kemp, associate professor, director of GCC’s Mathematics and Engineering Science Division and NYSMATYC president said.

“An advantage that results in unparalleled levels of commitment to our students, and in-turn, impressive student development and achievement."

NYSMATYC formed the Mathematics League for NYS Two-Year Colleges in 1980 to provide a challenge and foster interest in mathematics. The league has also generated a nearly 40-year long friendly competition between two-year colleges across the state.

Genesee Community College offers an associate degree in Mathematics, and the ACE program gives students the opportunity to earn significant college credits while still in high school. For more information on the ACE program, contact GCC at (585) 345-6801, or via email at [email protected].

Additional information about the NYSMATYC is available at http://www.nysmatyc.org/.

Top photo from left: Professor Christopher Kemp, Nicholas D. Allen, and Professor Philip Pickering.

April 27, 2019 - 3:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in social justice day, GCC, news.

Submitted photo and press release:

On Tuesday, April 30, at 12:30 p.m. Genesee Community College invites the campus and overall community to Social Justice Day featuring Jon Paul Higgins, Ph.D., as the keynote speaker appearing in the Stuart Steiner Theatre. The event is free and open to the public.

His talk will be followed by a series of breakout sessions featuring professionals and scholars from Criminal Justice, Environmental Justice, Women's Rights and Immigration. The overall program will conclude with a coffee and refreshments during a 30-minute reflection period in the Conable Technology Building in room T122.

Higgins is a speaker, writer, and social justice educator who focuses on issues related to gender, race and media.

He was named one of Business Equality Magazine's "Top 40 LGBTQ Under 40" in 2019, and has been featured on sites like NBC News, Buzzfeed, Vox, and Attn: and gave the first TEDx Talk on unlearned fear and reclaiming personal power in 2017.

This led to writing for Splinter, and other platforms such as Out Magazine, Them, SyfyWire, The Root, The Daily Dot, Shadow & Act, Slate, Essence, MTV News and more.

April 25, 2019 - 3:16pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Last week, the Collegiate Science Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) at Genesee Community College held a free STEM Conference and Exhibitor's Fair bringing together local businesses, faculty, current GCC students and community members in the name of science technology.

In addition to local STEM businesses at the Exhibitor's Fair, GCC faculty and students from the Sciences, Technology, Engineering, Math, and health-related fields hosted informational tables to teach guests about their programs of study and career and learning opportunities in their respective fields.

The educational components and professional realms of STEM industries collaborated for the Exhibitor's Fair to promote the targeted industries, discuss career/employment opportunities and provide insight on the changing trends in the STEM workforce.

Conference attendees were able to attend specialized workshops on topics such as: Computer Aided Drafting and Design: Mapmaking; Scratch Combo - Computer Programming for Gaming Simulation; Making STEM a Reality and more!

"We are excited about the success of our first CSTEP Exhibitor's Fair," said Jamie Schultz, project coordinator for CSTEP at Genesee Community College "and really looking forward to working with our students and partners for next year's event."

With the success of this year's event barely behind the committee, plans are already underway at GCC for the 2020 CSTEP STEM Conference and Exhibitor's Fair.

April 23, 2019 - 10:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, College Village, GCEDC, news.

Press release:

The Genesee County Funding Corporation (GCFC) has approved tax-exempt bond financing for a $5.2 million project to upgrade and renovate residential facilities at College Village in the Town of Batavia.

Tax-exempt bond financing will assist projects by the Genesee Community College Foundation (GCC Foundation) Housing Services Inc. at five on-campus residential facilities owned and managed by the GCC Foundation.

The renovations will include updated technology, renovating several suites into modern communal living and learning spaces, updated facilities and amenities, safety improvements and upgrades for disability access. The work will be performed at Birch Hall, Pine Hall, Beech Hall, Oak Hall, and Cedar Hall.

About the Genesee County Funding Corporation (GCFC): GCFC’s mission is to assist local economic development efforts by serving in a conduit financing capacity enabling the issuance of taxable and non-taxable debt to benefit the growth, expansion, ongoing operations and continued viability of nonprofit business enterprises in Genesee County, thereby helping to maintain a sustainable long-term economy.

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