Genesee Community College has officially announced the first event in this year's Historical Horizons series! On Monday, October 18, 2021 at 7 p.m. at GCC Associate Professor of History, Derek D. Maxfield will present on his book "Hellmira: The Union's Most Infamous Civil War Prison Camp- Elmira NY" which explores this notorious time period in the history of Elmira, NY.
When Genesee Community College’s Fine and Performing Arts Director first met Samara Brown, a theater student from the Bronx, she noted something different.
“She was very talented and quirky, and she didn’t know what to do with it,” Maryanne Arena said of that meeting in 2007. “I called her the sponge. She always wanted to learn, she wanted to do something with her life.”
Brown can check off that box. She’s been a featured singer on season 21 of The Voice Blind Auditions. Watched by millions of viewers, the show puts vocal hopefuls on the spot to perform with hopes of getting selected by a seasoned mentor.
Brown had wanted artist John Legend to choose her because “he’s probably my biggest inspiration,” she said during an interview Tuesday. Needless to say, she put in a lot of time rehearsing her song “over and over and over” for the audition. (When he turned around) “I was kind of frozen. I think I blacked out a little,” the 32-year-old said.
During her time at GCC, Brown was diligent about her craft, Arena said. She asked a lot of questions about the what and why of the art and requested solo coaching time. A “very shy” and rather modest performer, Brown absorbed every ounce of the experience and never wanted it to end, Arena said.
“I would have to say, ‘ok, it’s time to go.’ She worked really hard, she never thought she was great,” Arena said. “She never walked around like she was the star. I recognized her talent, but I wanted it to become part of her confidence.”
When Brown’s episode of The Voice aired on Sept. 27, Arena and her family were in their seats at home watching it unfold. Arena felt certain that John Legend would pick Brown and be able to lend his pop and jazz background.
Then it happened. After her impressive rendition of “Sweet Thing,” Brown’s work paid off. She was chosen by John Legend and Ariana Grande. Pause for that electric moment when Brown said “I pick John.” Arena has told her students that if, at the end of the year, their taxes list entertainer as an occupation, that’s success. And, for sure, most people don’t make it to this point, she said.
“We were all jumping around in my house,” Arena said. “We were really excited. It didn’t surprise me; I expected great things from her.”
The student and teacher have stayed in touch over the years. Ever since they met, Brown’s “quirkiness” spoke to Arena about the young woman’s gifts.
“We connected right away. She was alone because she lived in the Bronx and didn’t go home. She kind of became a second daughter to me; she spent Thanksgivings on the farm," Arena said. “I keep saying it, but I’m so proud of her.”
In August, Brown posted to social media "I auditioned for The Voice!" Since then, staff and faculty at Batavia-based GCC had been longing to see her performance, which is now available online. Her audition left judges John Legend and Ariana Grande fighting over who would get to be her coach this season.
Brown earned a Theatre Arts degree from GCC in 2009 with several musical roles under her belt, including a flying Peter Pan in Peter Pan-The Musical, as the Village Doctor in The Incredible Jungle Journey of Fenda Maria, Lady in Blue in For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enuf, a performance that was awarded "Excellence in Acting to the Ladies of Color for their Ensemble Work" and received the highest honor, "Best Long Play of 2009.”
A GCC Alumni Spotlight Story quoted Brown’s take on what she reaped from her two years at GCC.
"In my career specifically, you need two things; technique and talent, I think the technique is definitely what GCC gave me," she said.
Brown lives in Bushwick, a thriving art, restaurant, and bar community on the edge of Brooklyn. She has been busy performing live music at clubs in Manhattan and Brooklyn, cover bands at weddings, and working on her own original music. Yet, all of that face time with audiences didn’t quite prepare her for stepping on stage for her blind audition.
“The nerves were there, it was a lot of pressure,” she said. “Once I was on stage, the jitters were definitely there.”
Confidentiality agreements prevented her from talking about anything specifically show-related. She did acknowledge the “long journey” she has been on to become a professional singer. This latest feat has given her a well-deserved nod.
“It is the fruition of what I’ve been doing,” she said.
Each week, the singers with the lowest number of votes are sent home, until only one artist remains. The Voice winner will receive a recording contract and a cash prize. The NBC show is expected to air on both Monday and Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times.
Last week, generosity shined brightly on the Batavia Campus at Genesee Community College as the 2021 Discover the Stars Scholarship Reception brought together a group of families and individuals that are truly making a difference.
"Our Discover the Stars reception is a very special opportunity to introduce GCC's cherished and generous scholarship donors to the promising and grateful scholarship recipients," said Tom Cox, event emcee and President of the Genesee Community College Foundation Board of Directors. "It is a powerful experience where we all get to see the impact of the scholarships."
Executive Director of the GCC Foundation Justin Johnston announced 12 new scholarship opportunities the Foundation has been able to establish through the kindness and passion of some new and some loyal supporters.
During this special night, attendees heard from Stefanie Resetarits, GCC class of 2006, who received a Nursing Program scholarship as a student and who has now established the Resetarits Family Nursing Scholarship with her husband, Christopher. Born and raised in Byron, NY, Resetarits earned her Nursing degree from GCC and was a member of the Swimming and Diving team. She continued her education, enrolling in the 3+1 program at SUNY Brockport where she received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2008, graduating on the Dean's List with Honors. She began her nursing career at Lakeside Community Hospital, followed by Medical-Surgical nursing at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital. After starting a family, Resetarits worked as a home care nurse on the Infusion team at the VNA of Western New York. Locally, she has worked at Hope Haven's inpatient alcohol and substance abuse rehabilitation center and currently is working as an Independent Medical Nurse Observer. Resetarits and her husband reside in Alden, NY with their four children.
Current Genesee Community College student Kiana Perry who received the Jerry Reinhart Scholarship also addressed the reception crowd to share her story. Perry is originally from New Hampshire but calls Alexander, NY home. She is currently enrolled in the general studies program and her ultimate goal is to become an elementary school art teacher. She and her fiance have two beautiful girls, Gracie-Mae who is two years old, and Magnolia-Rae, three months old. She enjoys doing crafts with her children and has always had a passion for art. During the reception, Perry was able to thank Jerry Reinhart and his family and shared that this scholarship allowed her to pursue her education and set an example for her daughters.
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 new scholarship or expanding an existing fund, such as the Genesee Alumni Legacy Scholarship.
Details on the scholarships available to students are available at https://www.genesee.edu/offices/finaid/scholarships/. Interested applicants are encouraged to review and apply online! The simple online application collects information and matches applicants with a list of scholarships they may qualify for. Expert advice is also available through GCC's Financial Aid Office at (585) 345-6900 or via email at [email protected].
Photo: Mary Alice Panek of GCC's Board of Trustees and Regina Chuhi, recipient of 2 Scholarships, courtesy of GCC
This Saturday, Saturday at 5:00 p.m. Genesee Community College will welcome its 2021 inductees into its Athletic Hall of Fame. This year the College will honor:
Brian Jackson who played on the Men's Basketball team from 2001-2003, never losing a home game during his tenure. Jackson played on the first team all-region both years, won two district titles, two region titles and made two national tournament appearances. He broke GCC's record for career assists, had 17.8 points a game, 3.75 rebounds, led the team in assist and steals, and had a 1,138 career-point total. Off the court, Jackson is a Behavioral Specialist at Eugenio Maria de Hostas Charter School and is the head coach of the boys' varsity basketball team. He also has his own training brand, Jackson Basketball Training. Jackson resides in Rochester, New York.
Jessie Jaszko Rapone, born in 1990 in Batavia, NY, Jessie is the daughter of Diane Donohue and the late Joseph Jaszko and has one brother, Joey Jaszko. She graduated from Batavia High School in 2008 where she played varsity soccer player. She attended GCC and played soccer until graduation in 2011, and went to work as a Medical Administrative Assistant. Her career has taken her to Three Little Birds Pediatrics in Batavia, NY. In 2015 Jessie married Mikey Rapone and they have two children. They reside in Batavia where she coaches Notre Dame High School's girls' varsity soccer team. She continues to play soccer all year long and shares her love of the game with her children.
Chris Page played baseball for the GCC Cougars from 2007-2009. As a freshman Page was selected Third Team All- American. In his sophomore season, he led the Cougars with 52 hits, 4 Home Runs, and 34 RBIs. In 2009 Page set the single-season school record with 34 RBIs, 34 walks, and 18 doubles. He was selected GCC's male athlete of the year, in addition to being named 2nd team All-American and 1st team All-Region. Page was ranked 22nd in the nation with a batting average of .456. To conclude his final season with GCC he was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds and was the first GCC athlete in baseball to achieve this honor. Page continued his baseball career at Embry Riddle, where he was a two-time first-team all-conference selection.
Last, but certainly not least, the entire 2016 Men's Lacrosse Team is being inducted for their outstanding season and Genesee Community College's first-ever National Lacrosse Championship title. The team ranked #4 from the start of the pre-season to the last poll before playoffs began. During the regular season, they lost only to the three top teams in the country - Onondaga Community College, Nassau Community College and CC-Broome County-Essex in overtime. Genesee beat every other team in the league by 10 or more goals. In the regional playoffs, GCC dominated, automatically qualifying for the National Tournament. GCC hosted Howard CC in the first round and won, putting GCC in the National semi-final game against Nassau, the then #1 seed. In the semi-final game, GCC was winning at halftime, tied at the end of the third quarter and with five seconds left in the game, GCC earned a spot in their first-ever National Championship Game. The National Championship game was the third time facing off against Onondaga CC. In overtime, GCC came up with huge saves and caused turnovers and in the end, scored the most important goal in the history of GCC's lacrosse program, for the school's first National Lacrosse Championship.
The community is invited to join the Athletic Department and Alumni Affairs Office in welcoming these deserving individuals and team members into Genesee Community College's Athletic Hall of Fame.
The Genesee Community College Foundation will proudly induct both the 2020 and 2021 honorees into its Alumni Hall of Fame in Batavia today at 4 p.m. after missing last year's ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eager to honor the work done by these four individuals, GCC will induct Timothy S. Whitcomb, Jim H. Tuttle, David M. DiMatteo, and Robert W. Hirsch into its Alumni Hall of Fame, forever marking their contributions to their communities and the pride they have brought to Genesee Community College.
Timothy Whitcomb, GCC class of 1989, is the Sheriff for Cattaraugus County in Western New York and has served in this role for 30 years. Sheriff Whitcomb is also a Board Member and PTP Director for Law Enforcement Operations at TTMPT (Talk to Me Post Tour); an independent not-for-profit group of committed and concerned retired police officers and police professionals, and actively speaks nationwide as on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Sheriff Whitcomb earned a master's degree in Counseling Education from St. Bonaventure University and is a certified police instructor in the areas of Interview and Interrogation, the Investigation of Sex Crimes, and the Law Enforcement Response to School Violence. Sheriff Whitcomb is a graduate of the 206th Session of the Federal Bureau Investigation's National Academy. He has also recently been certified as a SWAT Team fitness specialist.
Sheriff Whitcomb has been an adjunct professor for both St. Bonaventure University and Jamestown Community College. He has served as President for the New York State Sheriffs' Association and is a past President of the State of New York Police Juvenile Officer Association.
Jim Tuttle, GCC classes of 1971 and 1982 graduated from Genesee Community College with his AAS degree in Criminal Justice and enlisted in the United States Army. Mr. Tuttle re-enlisted in the Army Reserves several times continuing to serve the United States of America for a total of 21 years and eventually returned to earn an Associate degree in Business Administration in 1982 and later to serve on the Alumni Council.
Mr. Tuttle continued his education and earned a bachelor's degree in Hazardous Studies from SUNY Empire State College. He served as a police officer for the City of Batavia for thirty years, retiring as a Lieutenant.
Mr. Tuttle met his wife while working as an EMT at St. Jerome Hospital in Batavia.
Mr. Tuttle has demonstrated his compassion for others and the community by serving four years as a Town of Pembroke Supervisor, GCC Alumni Council member, GCC Alumni Homecoming Committee, GCC's Cougar Classic Golf Committee and on the Advisory Board for Genesee County Stop DWI.
David DiMatteo, GCC class of 1984, has been a practicing attorney in the region for over 32 years. A 1982 Notre Dame high school graduate, he began his college education pursuits at Genesee Community College, graduating GCC in 1984, he continued his education at Le Moyne College, graduating Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor's degree in Sociology then completing his legal studies at the University of Buffalo Law School in 1989. Upon graduating he took a position in Warsaw, NY where he found his own general law private practice in 1993. He works with municipalities in Erie, Genesee, Livingston and Wyoming counties addressing siting or prohibiting siting of windmills and a variety of solar projects, writing and adapting local law, and creating and financing water districts. He has worked with the NY State Senate to facilitate legislation for local communities.
Mr. DiMatteo has a farm in Wyoming County where he raises Black Angus cows and horses. He also enjoys hunting locally as well as in Africa, Alaska and the Arctic Circle. Mr. DiMatteo and his wife enjoy their farm with their three children and their new granddaughter.
Robert Hirsch, GCC class of 1997, earned his leadership certification from the Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester, a master's degree in Education from Buffalo State, a bachelor's degree in History with a minor in Education from SUNY Brockport, his coaching certification and an associate degree in History and Education from Genesee Community College.
Mr. Hirsch began his career at Warsaw Central School (WCSD) where he taught history and coached the wrestling team for over a decade. The wrestling program he built there included eight LCAA titles, seven Section V championships, over 50 sectional champions, eight individual state champions, and a team NYS title in 2007. Beyond the wrestling mat, Mr. Hirsch encouraged his wrestlers to be involved in community service; he himself served a total of 18 years as the Director of Recreation for the towns of Freedom and Arcade where he organizes the annual Summer Olympics for children.
Mr. Hirsch also coached the NYS Women's Wrestling National Team which earned Mr. Hirsch the title of 2014 Wrestling Coach of the Year by USA Wrestling. Mr. Hirsch went on to coach the Alfred State wrestling team to win the Northeast Championship and placed second two other times. Coaching four NCWA All-Americans, one National Champion and MVP of the tournament, including an eleventh-place team finish, Mr. Hirsch lead the Alfred State Wrestling team through their NCAA III transition in 2019. During this time Mr. Hirsch was the RTI Director at Alfred Almond Central School. Mr. Hirsch is currently the middle/high school principal at Franklinville Central School.
Mr. Hirsch resides in Arcade with his wife and their two beautiful daughters.
Each year, candidates are nominated by friends, family, colleagues or other associates for their impactful contributions to their profession and distinguished service to the community and/or Genesee Community College. The GCC Alumni Hall of Fame, which is located on the second floor of the Conable Technology Building, boasts honorees from a wide variety of industries and backgrounds.
The U.S. Department of Education announced that Genesee Community College will receive a federal TRIO Educational Opportunities Center (EOC) grant totaling $2.2 million to help unemployed workers, low-wage workers, and returning high school and college students enter or continue a program of postsecondary education. The grant comes in the form of a five-year cycle providing $430,441 each year to the TRIO Adult Educational Opportunity Center at the State University of New York (SUNY) Genesee Community College. This grant will help support programming and outreach efforts from the 2021-2022 through the 2025-2026 academic years.
The TRIO Adult Educational Opportunity Center (AEOC) provides information on college admissions as well as guidance and services to improve participants' financial and economic literacy. Among comprehensive services are academic and personal counseling, career workshops, information on postsecondary education opportunities, student financial aid and literacy assistance, and help in completing applications for college admissions. TRIO EOC programs offer services to a broad range of adult learners, including those who are limited English proficient, those who are from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education, individuals with disabilities, homeless individuals, youth aging out of the foster care system, formerly incarcerated individuals, and other disconnected students.
The national Educational Opportunity Center program began in 1972 and is part of a set of federal educational opportunity outreach programs known as "TRIO," which is authorized by the Higher Education Act to help low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities succeed in higher education. In FY20 there were 139 Educational Opportunity Centers in America serving more than 192,000 adult learners nationwide.
"Genesee Community College is extremely grateful for the opportunities this grant funding provides for our students and our community members. Our team of expertly trained AEOC team members work hard to maximize the impact our programs and services have for as many individuals as we can reach," said Dr. Shelitha Williams, vice president of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services. "It is exciting to see that this work can not only continue but will now reach even more people in their time of need."
"As systemic inequality and financial hardship discourage students from succeeding in college, TRIO programs like EOC take on new importance because they continue to help guide un- and underemployed workers and returning high school and college students towards earning a degree," said Maureen Hoyler, president of the non-profit Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) in Washington, D.C. COE is dedicated to furthering the expansion of college opportunities for low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities nationwide.
Labor shortages across nearly all industries are making headlines, but this is a topic community colleges have tackled for years. With increased urgency, local institutions prioritize course and program offerings to meet workforce demands.
The results build strong communities and make some great success stories.
Ryan Vogt, who thought he hated math in high school, said the personal attention his Finger Lakes Community College math professor gave him changed his whole outlook on the subject. Now, Ryan has a doctorate in mathematics and works at a U.S. Department of Energy lab.
Like many scholarship recipients at Genesee Community College, Claire Gardner was inspired and determined when she entered the Nursing Program. Upon graduation in 2019, she was prepared to be effective on the frontlines battling COVID-19, transferred her associate degree to SUNY Brockport to continue her education and landed her dream job as a NICU nurse at Rochester General Hospital.
When his first year at a university fell short of his expectations, Evan Baldwin shifted his educational path. He knew Monroe Community College's precision machining program was the right fit for him. Evan was hired as a full-time CNC operator a month before earning his associate degree in May.
Though each of their experiences is unique, they represent the stories of thousands of students who start and complete their studies at community colleges every year. Thousands more inspiring stories of how community colleges have transformed students' lives are waiting to unfold.
Dreams -- not debt -- are why individuals go to college. Like Ryan, Claire and Evan, New Yorkers go to college to achieve their goals, whether earning an associate degree for an in-demand job, learning new skills to change careers, or pursuing a bachelor's degree, master's degree, or Ph.D.
That's exactly what the State University of New York's 30 community colleges, including FLCC, GCC and MCC in the Western New York region, are designed for.
At a time when student loan debt is rising across the country, nearly two-thirds of SUNY community college associate degree graduates have zero student loan debt. That means they leave campus with no student debt, but have an accredited SUNY degree, and a pathway to a career or an advanced degree.
Simply put, community college is the most affordable way to earn a college degree, no matter how far they want to go.
New York State is rebounding and rebuilding after the turbulence of the COVID-19 pandemic. This means job opportunities in many industries will return to full vitality and new, future-looking jobs will be created.
With deep ties to their communities and regions, SUNY community colleges can help residents seize this moment -- and make education work around a busy life, with flexible on-campus and online associate degree programs for full-time or part-time students.
Applications can be completed online, are easier than ever and free at FLCC, GCC and MCC, like at most community colleges. Knowledgeable faculty and staff are available to guide students through the process.
Last week, eight students became the first to take part in the Certified Nursing Assistant program available at the BEST (Business Employee Skills Training) Center at Genesee Community College. From Buffalo, Medina, Arcade, Strykersville and Lockport these eight unique individuals, in photo above, have jumped onto the fast-track into the rewarding and high-stakes healthcare industry.
The eight students are: Joshua Gross, Jacquelyn Francis, Charli Wright, Paige Tittel, Madison Meyers, Maria Garcia, Allyssa McKeever, and McKayla Trombley.
Through a combination of minimal eligibility requirements which are listed online at www.bestcenter.org, concentrated instruction and hands-on clinical experiences, the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program is designed to be completed in just six weeks or 132 hours.
"The entire BEST Center is excited about this program. Our partnership with both Genesee County Job Development Bureau and the Orchard Rehabilitation Nursing Home in Medina, New York mean these students will complete the program with valuable, real-life experience in real clinical settings that will translate directly into employability," said John McGowan, Ph.D., director of the BEST Center.
The BEST Center offers a variety of Certification and workforce training programs that are starting this Fall including the 100 percent in-person, Phlebotomy Technician Program beginning in September, a Supervision Certification to prepare you for that next promotion, and the popular Mechatronics, which integrates mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and microelectronic skills.
Interested individuals are encouraged to contact McGowan today at [email protected] or by calling (585) 345-6868 to learn more.
Some students may be eligible to receive funding for the CNA or other programs through the Genesee County Job Development Bureau. To find out more, contact Teresa VanSon at (585) 344-2024, ext.4223, or at [email protected].
It is no secret that the heroes of this past year are those in the healthcare industry, on the front lines, holding our loved ones hands and working hard to take care of those who were and still are, sick.
However, what most don't know, is that there are ways to launch careers in the healthcare industry that don't take years to complete, and perhaps just as importantly, don't rack up the student loan debit that a traditional four-year degree program could.
Last month, the BEST (Business Employee Skills Training) Center at Genesee Community College officially opened registration for its newest program, the Certified Nursing Assistant training program to fast-track eligible individuals into the rewarding and high-stakes healthcare industry.
With minimal eligibility requirements which are listed online at www.bestcenter.org, this 132-hour New York State of Education Certification program teaches basic nursing and personal care skills, Mental Health and Social Service Needs, the Care of Cognitively Impaired Residents, the Basic Restorative Services and Residence Rights and more!
Program students also spend time gaining priceless real-life, hands-on experience during clinical rotations at in-patient, local facilities in both Le Roy and Medina.
Interested individuals are encouraged to contact Dr. John McGowan, director of the BEST Center today at [email protected] or by calling (585) 345-6868 as this program starts on July 6.
Week 1 Classes will be held from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 6, Wednesday, July 7 and Friday, July 8. Weeks 2 thru 5 classes will be held on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays beginning July 12 and continuing through Aug. 13.
Some students may be eligible to receive funding for this program through the Genesee County Job Development Bureau. To find out more, contact Teresa VonSon at (585) 344-2024, ext.4223, or at [email protected]
This week the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health) have "One & Done" single dose Johnson & Johnson Janssen (J&J) vaccination clinics with appointments and walk-ins available targeting those who are 18 and older and open for any New York State individuals, who reside, work or study in the state.
“With proms, graduations, weddings, fairs, etc., getting the J&J vaccine now means that two weeks after the date of your shot you are considered fully vaccinated,” said Paul Pettit, Public Health director for GO Health.
“It takes more planning to get the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines as they are two doses and it will take two weeks following the second dose to be fully vaccinated, which would be 5-6 more weeks before you can participate in large events without the time and expense of testing.
"To learn more about the safety of the J&J COVID-19 vaccine please visit the CDC (Centers for Disease Control). We encourage everyone to talk with their primary care provider if they have concerns about any of the vaccines. With the options we currently have we continue to encourage everyone who is able to get vaccinated with the vaccine they are comfortable receiving.”
All clinics offer walk-in opportunities; however, we encourage you to register via the vaccination webpage or use the vaccine registration help lines below, and choose the appropriate J&J link.
The GCC clinic is scheduled for Wednesday, May 5th from 9 – 11 a.m.
Special Clinic -- Genesee County Office for the Aging, Downtown Batavia is scheduled for Wednesday, May 5th from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
The Ridgeway Fire Hall clinic is scheduled for Thursday, May 6th from 9 – 11 a.m.
Special Clinic -- Orleans County Health Department is scheduled for Friday, May 7th from 10 a.m. – noon.
For those who do not have internet, they can call the GO Health Vaccine Registration Help Lines:
Genesee: (585) 815-7168
Orleans: (585) 589-3170
These lines are ONLY to make vaccine appointments, are not able to answer COVID-19-related questions, and are not associated with either health department.
“We continue to see positive cases in unvaccinated individuals and it will continue as we work toward getting more of our population vaccinated,” Pettit said. “There are plenty of options to get any of the three vaccines offered. For your health and the health of others we encourage everyone who is able to be vaccinated to get vaccinated now.”
If you are interested in making an appointment to get your COVID-19 vaccination, now is the time to do it locally!
If you are a business/church/organization that is interested in hosting a vaccination clinic at your location, please fill out the survey. One of our staff members will be in contact with you.
For those who are seeking testing, both health departments provide limited free rapid testing for those without symptoms at the respective health departments. For Genesee County, a rapid test drive-through clinic is scheduled for May 6th at County Building #2, 3837 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. For Orleans County, a rapid test clinic is scheduled for May 5th at the Orleans County Health Department at 14016 Route 31 West, Albion.
On Saturday, May 22, Genesee Community College will recognize its students during its 53rd Commencement Ceremony, taking place completely online. Honoring this group of deserving achievers, will be keynote speaker,Susan Salvador, Ed.D., former vice president for Student Affairs at Monroe Community College in Rochester.
"Operating in such close-knit communities and working with our small class sizes, our faculty and staff were heart-broken when we had to postpone our traditional in-person commencement and move to a completely online event in 2020," said Genesee Community College President James Sunser.
"As we came to realize the 2021 commencement would also be virtual, our talented teams rolled up their sleeves and got right to work. We all found comfort in putting our best efforts into creating something special for our students, and we are pleased that they will get to hear from Dr. Salvador."
Building on the success from last year's video-style graduation ceremony, GCC is planning a similar online broadcast for the class of 2021. Salvador's address will come to the esteemed graduates as part of their online ceremony.
Salvador is currently a highly experienced consultant, trainer and speaker on student affairs practices and student learning. In addition to serving as vice president for Student Affairs at Monroe Community College in Rochester, she served in that capacity at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, Pa., and was a search associate for William Spelman Executive Search.
Salvador was a contributing author to "Learning Reconsidered: A Campus-wide Focus on the Student Experience" as well as a member of the National Writing Team to produce the inventory statements for the "Principles of Good Practice for Student Affairs," publications sponsored by American College Personnel Association (ACPA) and National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA).
She has served as a consultant for community colleges establishing housing and residence life programs, an author of articles on the impact and philosophical change of residence halls on two-year colleges, and a lecturer in the Educational Foundations Department at Buffalo State College to teach Community College Administration.
In addition, she served as president of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester Board and as a member of: the Golisano Children's Hospital Board at the University of Rochester Medical Center; the National Advisory Group for the National Technical Institute of the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology; the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House Development Committee; the Young Women's College Prep Public School of Rochester Foundation; the Wegmans Hillside Work-Scholarship Rochester Program Board of Directors; and the Paperclip Communications Community College National Advisory Board.
Salvador was president of ACPA from 2010-2011 and is a Diamond Honoree. She served as an ACPA Educational Leadership Foundation trustee, chair of Commissions and member of the Senior Student Affairs Advisory and External Relations Advisory Boards, among other leadership roles.
Inspiring students throughout her career, Salvador has received: the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society's Distinguished Administrator Award; a Certificate of Merit from the New York State Assembly for significant contributions to the student personnel profession; an Outstanding Contribution to the Profession Award from the College Student Personnel Association of New York State; and the 2004 Mildred Bulpitt Woman of the Year Award from the American Association for Women in Community Colleges. She was an ATHENA Award nominee sponsored by the Women's Council of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and was inducted into MCC's Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.
She has a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration from The University of Michigan, a master's degree in College Student Personnel/Counseling from The Pennsylvania State University and a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Siena College.
As Genesee Community College continues to develop its #SUNYGCC21 virtual commencement, details will be made available on www.genesee.edu/commencement.
We would like to take the time to congratulate Montana Dieter on signing a celebratory letter of intent to compete at Genesee Community College this fall.
Montana plans on joining the Lady Cougars Soccer team at GCC under the guidance of Coach Jeff Reyngoudt. During Montana’s time here at Pembroke Central School she has been a standout in both Soccer and Cheerleading.
As a member of the Lady Dragons Soccer Team, Montana has been a four-year starter at forward since her freshmen year. During her tenure with the Lady Dragons, she has put together an impressive resume, which includes 26 goals and 18 assists. Montana plans to use her immense speed and shiftiness to continue her success at the next level.
While attending GCC, Montana plans on studying to become a Registered Nurse. Montana is extremely excited and honored to continue her career at the next level, competing for the Cougars.
Coach April Meier said, “I would like to congratulate Montana for her success and accomplishments while on the Pembroke Varsity soccer team. I know she will go on to do great things with this opportunity to play soccer at GCC next fall. Montana is a highly talented athlete her combined qualities of speed athleticism, quick decision making and mind for game strategy make her a formidable and skilled offensive player. It gives me great pride and pleasure to see the athletes from our program pursuing the sports they love in college. Best of luck to Montana and the GCC Cougars in their upcoming fall 2021 season!”
Following steadfast support for New York’s colleges and universities throughout the pandemic, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced that the recently signed American Rescue Plan includes an estimated $2.6 billion for New York’s public, private, and proprietary institutions of higher education.
In Genesee County, Genesee Community College is expected to get $9.1M and Genesee-Livingston-Steuben-Wyoming BOCES is expected to get a total of $662,000. The total allotment for the Finger Lakes Region is almost $164M.
Schumer said that public and nonprofit schools will use half of their award on emergency financial aid grants to students to help them with college costs and basic needs like housing, food, and healthcare.
The other half of the funds will allow institutions to provide additional student support activities, and to cover a variety of institutional costs, including lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with a transition to distance education, faculty and staff trainings, and payroll. Proprietary schools must use their awards exclusively to provide financial aid grants to students.
“As New York’s colleges, universities, and students face over a year of unprecedented hurdles, they do so at a steep cost that it is our responsibility to address and overcome. In prioritizing the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff, New York’s higher education institutions have ripped massive holes in their budgets and are now facing down financial devastation – and we simply can’t let that happen,” Senator Schumer said.
“As Majority Leader, I was proud to make funding for New York’s higher education institutions and students a top priority, and the American Rescue Plan will deliver this much needed $2.6 billion in assistance to help our world-class institutions through the crisis, get students safely back to classes, and get campuses across the state back to ‘normal’.”
This funding announced today is in addition to the $2.4 billion Schumer secured for New York’s institutions of higher education in the past COVID-19 relief bills. In total, Schumer has secured over $5 billion for New York’s colleges and universities in the past year.
Following what has been arguably one of the most challenging years for athletics departments across the nation, the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) has recognized Genesee Community College's Assistant Vice President of Student Engagement & Inclusion and Director of Athletics, Kristen Schuth, as the 2020-21 Junior/Community College Athletics Director of the Year.
In addition to the countless impacts the coronavirus pandemic has had on collegiate communities, NACDA has also had to reinvent its recognition ceremony and will present Schuth with the Director of the Year honor at its 56th Annual Convention virtually in July.
"I've always been immensely proud of GCC's athletes and the strong teaching and coaching staff we have," Schuth said. "They make me want to work harder and do more, and so, I love what I get to do and am so grateful for the team I'm surrounded by.
"With athletics facilities among the finest in the region and partnerships with other areas in the College such as Student Success and Student Engagement & Inclusion, our programs and students have demonstrated growth and strengthened relationships.
"I look around the country and I see the amazing things my counterparts are doing to uplift their athletes and support their programs and I am truly humbled by this award."
Schuth first came to GCC as Head Softball Coach in 2004 and became an Adjunct Instructor in the Department of Health and Physical Education in 2005. Between 2004-2010 Schuth compiled a win/loss percentage of .534. Prior to her first season, the softball team went 7-19.
But under her leadership, her teams recorded five winning seasons, finished in the top four in Regional Finals and produced two NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches Association) All-Americans. In 2010, she was named WNYAC (Western New York Athletic Conference) Women's Softball Coach of the Year at GCC.
After a short three-year break while she served as Assistant Director of Athletics at Finger Lakes Community College, Schuth returned to GCC as the Director of Athletics in 2013.
As part of an effort to more fully integrate Student Engagement and Inclusion initiatives into every aspect of GCC's student experiences, Schuth added this area to her oversight in 2019 in becoming the Assistant Vice President for Student Engagement & Inclusion, in addition to retaining her role as Director of Athletics.
Schuth grew up in Hilton, NY and is a member of the Hilton High School Athletic Hall of Fame. At SUNY Brockport she starred in both softball and basketball, earning letters in both sports all four years as well as being named SUNY Brockport female athlete of the year in two consecutive years. She was an All-American in basketball her senior year. She is a member of the SUNY Brockport Athletic Hall of Fame.
Kristen earned her master's degree from California University of Pennsylvania and now resides in Spencerport with her husband and two sons.
"When I was notified that Kristen would be receiving the Athletics Director of the Year Award from the NACDA, I couldn't have been more proud," said GCC President James Sunser, Ph.D. "Kristen exemplifies what it takes to be a great leader.
"From the wisdom and knowledge to the skill and experience, her students and her staff look up to her and know she will do what it takes to provide leadership and guidance. Throughout the adversities of the last year, Kristen has accomplished so much and has led GCC's Athletics Department with a courage and strength to be envied."
This prestigious award has earned Schuth a place in GCC's Recognition Matters series which highlights the accomplishments of the College's faculty, staff and students. Officials at GCC have embraced this series as a way to acknowledge not only the achievement, but the high quality of the recognized individuals who demonstrate GCC's "beyond expectations" brand.
Perpetually striving for her own "Personal Best," Williamsville resident Susan Makai will share her story Wednesday, March 17, at 1:30 p.m. on Genesee Community College's Fashion Episode 21:1.
For 32 years Makai has owned and operated Personal Best, an internationally known image and performing school that also teaches etiquette, communication and business protocol to hundreds of companies, colleges and high schools throughout New York State.
As part of Genesee Community College's Fashion Program, Makai will appear via Zoom on a special Fashion Episode 21:1 to tell her story and inspire the audience to keep reaching for their personal best.
Join the FREE, virtual presentation to hear about how her education, her upbringing and her experiences in life drove her to create Personal Best and what it has meant for her career -- and those who have studied with her.
With just one physical classroom, but broadcasting online to hundreds of pupils around the state, Personal Best has received numerous "outstanding training" awards and has been featured in books, magazines and articles about the talent and modeling industry. Perhaps most rewardingly, Makai's students have been recognized with hundreds of awards at national acting and modeling competitions and some have gone onto to successful careers in fashion modeling, acting, and television.
In addition to her successful business, Makai has served on business and fashion advisory boards for several educational institutions, including Genesee Community College. Most recently she was elected to the national board for PRIMA, an association for talent managers and school directors. Many recall Makai from her longtime television fashion commentator role on "AM Buffalo," Channel 7 WKBW's morning program, or as weather reporter and movie host at local CBS, NBC and FOX affiliates.
Makai, who grew up in White Plains, came to Western New York to attend college where she earned an undergraduate teaching degree in Speech-English with a minor in Theater and a master's degree in Education. In addition, Makai is a graduate of the University of Buffalo's Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership.
To watch Fashion Episode 21:1 with Susan Makai, visit on Zoom here at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 17.
Fashion Episodes are a special collection of opportunities made available by the Fashion Program at Genesee Community College. The Fashion Program has always been a flagship for the college. The knowledge and experience of the faculty and their dedication to their students has produced quality and professional workplace candidates and well-prepared transfer students since the program's inception more than 40 years ago.
GCC is proud to maintain several articulation agreements tailored specifically to support the career track of students in the Fashion Programs. GCC students who earn a Fashion Business: Merchandising A.A.S. can seamlessly transfer to LIM to complete their B.B.A. in Fashion Merchandising, Visual Merchandising, Marketing or Management; or to Cazenovia College's Fashion Merchandising B.P.S. program.
In addition, GCC's Fashion Business: Fashion Design A.A.S. students can transfer to Cazenovia's Fashion Design B.F.A. degree program. Anyone interested in taking advantage of these transfer opportunities through GCC is encouraged to contact GCC's Student Success Center at (585) 345-6805 or via email at [email protected].
Genesee Community College Forum Players and guest alumni will broadcast their performance of Anna Deavere Smith's "Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992" online for FREE today and tomorrow ONLY!
Anyone, anywhere, will be able to view this moving performance any time between now and 11:59 p.m. Saturday, March 6 by clicking on this link.
Due to the graphic and violent video footage, racial slurs and strong mature language used in this production, viewer and parental discretion is advised.
After interviewing more than 300 individuals who were witness to the riots in Los Angeles that erupted following the acquittal of the police officers charged with assaulting Rodney King 30 years ago, Smith delicately compiled those raw experiences into a series of powerful monologues that bring a range of perspectives into focus.
"Watching the evening news recently and seeing story after story of the violence taking place all around us, I couldn't help but feel like it was all too familiar," said Director of Fine Arts Maryanne Arena. "I wanted to do something to help our community listen to each other and learn from our past.
"Knowing so many of our students are learning remotely and feeling the heaviness of the anniversary of Rodney King's arrest approaching, this piece is the perfect selection."
As a special interest project, six talented GCC alumni have returned to participate in this performance:
Alex Grayson, Class of 2011
Sania Hyatt, Class of 2015
Tori Ogunsanya, Class of 2019
Maria Albanese, Class of 2016
Antonio Ware, Class of 2009
Shellene Bailey, Class of 2010
Also making a special appearance is local performer, Riley Asher Stalbaum, professional trainer at the Batavia Downs Gaming and Hotel.
What: GCC Announces FREE, ONLINE Performance of "Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992" - Available to ALL via YouTube!
When: LIMITED TIME - Today and Tomorrow ONLY - March 5 and 6
The Genesee Community College Foundation and Cougar Classic Scholarship Scramble Honorary Chairperson Gina G. Giese ('91) have confirmed the Sixth Annual Cougar Classic Scholarship Scramble will take place on Monday, July 19,at Stafford Country Club in Stafford.
Giese, a Batavia resident, earned an associate degree in Business and Marketing from GCC in 1991, a bachelor's degree in the same from Buffalo State College and an MBA from Canisius College. She has spent her career as a local business leader. She is currently retail regional manager, administrative vice president at M&T Bank in Batavia, where she started her career with the bank 32 years ago.
A devoted volunteer and member of GCC's Alumni Council since 2011, Giese has served on many committees including the Cougar Classic and GCC Alumni Panel Series. She and her husband, Walter, are golfers and have also volunteered on the PGA Tour.
"I am sincerely grateful to Gina for serving as chair for the sixth annual Cougar Classic," said Executive Director of the GCC Foundation, Justin Johnston. "In my time at GCC, I've enjoyed collaborating with her on our Alumni Council. Gina's leadership is vital to so many areas of GCC, and I look forward to working with her on this important initiative to raise scholarship funds for our GCC students."
The Cougar Classic Scholarship Scramble allows up to 36 foursomes for the 18-hole event at the esteemed Stafford Country Club. Registration includes 18 holes of golf, a golf cart, all beer and nonalcoholic beverages during play, lunch and dinner with a cash bar, and much more!
Most importantly, all proceeds from the Cougar Classic support GCC student scholarship programs, making higher education possible for deserving students in our communities.
Businesses and individuals looking to take advantage of this event's advertising opportunities and lock in sponsorship levels are encouraged to act early and contact Assistant Director of Alumni Affairs Jennifer Wakefield directly at (585) 343-0055, ext. 6265, or via email at [email protected].
Exciting new event details, registration and sponsorship forms will be available here.
Photo from a previous Cougar Classic Scholarship Scramble, from left: Erik Fix, Samantha Schafer, Gina Geise and Walter Szczesny.
Genesee Community College has proudly named Deborah Penoyer, MS, RN as the new Nursing Program Director at its Antoinette Marchese Clancy School of Nursing.
Penoyer, of Rochester, took on the position after her predecessor Laurel Sanger retired in late 2020.
Having graduated its 50th class of nurses in 2020, the Nursing Program at GCC has been a flagship program for the College since its inception.
With constantly evolving demands in the healthcare field, this high-tech and high-demand program accepts an exclusive group of just 96 students every year and boasts a 95-percent job-placement rate upon graduation.
"I truly appreciate the quality of pedagogies I saw at GCC and am excited to be part of them," Penoyer said. "It's always been my priority to promote respect for differences and to embrace cultural competence for the value they bring to the learning experience.
"In the face of uncertainty, it is ever more important to be agile, provide flexible learning opportunities and to remain steadfast in ensuring student success. I have already seen those practices succeeding at GCC and look forward to building upon them."
The Nursing Program at GCC is designed to benefit students of all ages and all stages of life. With programs to bridge Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) into Registered Nurses (RNs) and a traditional RN track, students can learn, apply skills, and grow into their careers.
These elite programs require students to participate in an Information Session before beginning. Such sessions are held online and those interested in a rewarding career in nursing or healthcare are encouraged to sign up now here.
"It is the care and attention to details that the department faculty and staff have put into the curriculum and these Information Sessions that make our program and therefore our students so successful," Penoyer added.
Penoyer dedicated 17 years to child and adolescent care at Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong Memorial Hospital. Following her passion for educating and uniting others, she took on the additional role of Nurse Educator and Training Center Coordinator where she got to develop nursing practice policies, procedures and protocols as well as onboard new nurses and technicians at Strong.
In 2010, Penoyer's desire to lead and to contribute to the future of the nursing industry led her to SUNY Geneseo where she served as Nurse Manager in College Health for 10 years before returning to a large health system, Rochester Regional Health's Primary Care and Ambulatory Specialty Institute where she was responsible for Operational Excellence and Compliance for Adult and Geriatric Services.
Penoyer earned a Master of Science, Leadership in Health Care Systems, Health Promotion, Education and Technology from the University of Rochester's School of Nursing, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Roberts Wesleyan College and an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing from Monroe Community College.