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August 30, 2018 - 4:34pm

Submitted photos and press release:

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

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

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

(Jane M. Bickett)

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

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

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

(Scott A. Gardner)

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

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

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

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

August 30, 2018 - 3:21pm

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

Submitted photo and press release:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Information provided by GCC:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Roz Steiner Gallery

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Sitting lonely,

Confined by vastness,

Sheltered by hefty resilience,

An Iron toilet lay.


The irony lay,

In its exteriors, 

Ecological dismay. 

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

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

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

Submitted photo and press release:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Press release:

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

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

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

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

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

In other business, the Board of Trustees:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 23, 2018 - 5:13pm

Press release:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Press release:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Submitted photo and press release:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

July 5, 2018 - 2:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, education, news, byron-bergen, bergen.


Press release: 

As Genesee Community College's 50th graduating class crammed for finals, one student worked harder, practiced longer, collaborated more, and without realizing it she embodied the College's "Beyond Expectations" brand with quiet dignity and integrity seldom seen.

Lifelong Bergen resident, Lauren E. Stumpf was born in 1994 with cerebral palsy, and has relied on a wheelchair for mobility for most of her life. But this challenge never much slowed Lauren down, nor dampened her spirited disposition.

With hard work and dedication, she has enjoyed great success. She graduated from Byron-Bergen Schools in 2012 and months later enrolled at GCC with plans to earn a degree in Human Services.

Lauren's determination has always been a mark of her character and integrity, first by proving her doctors wrong by far exceeding their projected life expectancy of just five years. Then at GCC she excelled in her coursework and quickly made friends across campus.

Several months before graduation, Lauren decided she wanted to make the ceremony even more special by surprising her family and friends with another significant accomplishment -- walking across the Commencement stage to accept her degree.

To that end, Lauren began doing exercises to strengthen her muscles, and she contacted her friends who were enrolled in GCC's Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program. Together, with guidance from their professors, they helped Lauren by monitoring her progress, educating her about proper posture and exertion levels to ensure she rested appropriately and did not injure herself.

As Lauren proudly walked across the stage, the crowd cheered, applauded and many people jumped to their feet with enthusiasm and support. She shook hands with keynote speaker Kristina Johnson, Ed.D., the new SUNY Chancellor, whose speech included a message about optimism and rising to her own challenge of being diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Lauren's determination inspired the GCC's admissions office to capture her story in a short video that would illustrate her resolve. It also will inspire others to meet their challenges head-on and realize the many resources available to help make their dreams a reality.

Lauren's story is proof that good news travels fast and far. After posting Lauren's story on the College's social media channels, there were more than 4,500 views in just one week. This included a message from Buffalo State College who is looking forward to having her on their campus this fall, as she begins her next challenge.

Lauren will be enrolled in Buffalo State's Special Education program, in part, as a tribute to her close friend who also enrolled in the program but sadly passed away before she graduated.

"After Buffalo State, I want to get a job as a special education teacher and possibly go back to GCC as a professor for the Developmental Disabilities class," Lauren said.

And to that GCC remarks, "Bring it on! We can't wait to see you."

Photo by Howard Owens.

June 25, 2018 - 4:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, elba, news, education, SUNY FACT2.

Submitted photo and press release:

Genesee Community College is proud to announce the appointment of Judith M. Littlejohn to the State University of New York (SUNY) Faculty Advisory Council on Teaching and Technology (FACT2). SUNY FACT2 is a collaborative advisory body to the Interim SUNY Provost, Grace Wang, Ph.D.

Littlejohn, GCC's instructional designer, will begin her three-year term on the FACT2 Council next month and will represent the community college perspectives in advising the SUNY Provost office. The purpose of the FACT2 Council is to:

  • Improve the learning environment and expertise of faculty and instructional support staff;
  • Enhance the teaching and learning process through the use of technologies;
  • Increase networking, collaboration and sharing of best practices; and
  • Advocate for appropriately equipped and designed learning spaces.

"The entire leadership team at GCC is very proud to have Judie representing community colleges on the FACT2 Council," said Craig R. Lamb, Ph.D., GCC's dean for distributed learning. "Throughout her service to the College, she has continually shown a deep interest and dedication to staying abreast of new developments within teaching and learning technology.

"She also helps ensure our institution as well as the SUNY system overall maintains the highest quality in the online teaching and learning environment."

Littlejohn's career at GCC began as a testing center associate in 2000. She quickly advanced to the department of online learning where she worked for 10 years developing online curriculum, coordinating online learning functions and acted as an advocate for inclusion of opportunities for diverse student populations. In 2015, Littlejohn became an instructional designer.

Honored for "Outstanding Peer Support" by participants in the Emerging Technologies Massive Open Online Course (#EmTechMOOC) in 2018, Littlejohn has also been the recipient of the SUNY FACT2 Award for Excellence in Instruction at Community Colleges in 2016, and a SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service in 2014.

She earned two A.A.S. degrees in Instructional Model Making and Commercial Art -- Graphic Design from GCC in 1993, a B.S. in History in 2010, and her M.A. in American History and World History in 2013, both from SUNY College at Brockport. She also holds a Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design from the University of Wisconsin Stout, which she earned in 2015.

Littlejohn resides in Elba with her husband, Martin, and daughter, Amanda Littlejohn. Judith Littlejohn, her daughter Amanda, and daughter Laura (Littlejohn) Hare of Lockport are all GCC graduates.

The announcement of Littlejohn's FACT2 appointment kicks off a new series of GCC news and information entitled "Recognition Matters," which will highlight the ongoing accomplishments of the College's faculty, staff and students.

The new program intentionally plays on the dual meaning of the word "matters." College officials are excited to feature the wide body of employees whose daily dedication to their jobs continues to foster the institution's "beyond expectations" brand identity.

June 15, 2018 - 11:47am

Notice of Public Hearing on Genesee Community College Budget

The Genesee County Legislature will hold a Public Hearing on the proposed budget for the Genesee Community College for the fiscal year beginning Sept. 1, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 27, in the Old Courthouse, 7 Main St., Batavia.

All interested persons will be heard.

The Budget for Genesee Community College for the year Sept. 1, 2018 through Aug. 31, 2019 is $40,153,000 with Genesee County’s share as sponsor in the amount of $2,586,374.

Pamela LaGrou, Clerk

Genesee County Legislature 

June 14, 2018 - 12:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, Telly Award, craft virtual reality / 360, news, batavia.

From Forest Productions & Photography Inc., in Buffalo:

A 360-degree virtual reality tour video produced for the Recruitment Publications Department at Genesee Community College in Batavia is a Bronze Winner in the 2018 Telly Awards. 

Forest Productions and Photography in Buffalo, owned and operated by husband and wife team Michael and Christina Mandolfo, won the award in the Online category for "Craft Virtual Reality / 360."

“We are, of course, extremely honored to receive this award,” says photographer/videographer Michael Mandolfo. “We’re grateful for the forward thinking of GCC staff members that continually allow us to explore creative options and new technology to promote this exceptional college.”

Internationally known, the Telly Awards are the premier awards honoring video and television across all screens. Established in 1979, the Telly Awards receive more than 12,000 entries from all 50 states and five continents.

Entries are judged by the Telly Awards Judging Council, an industry body of 200+ working industry experts who have previously won the Telly Awards’ highest accolades and, as such, have demonstrable expertise in the categories they review.

Throughout 2017-2018 the Telly Awards refashioned its categories to honor the type of work being made by leading producers, including branded content, social video and animation, as well as working with industry experts to identify important industry categories where technology plays an impactful role in the ways stories are now being told: virtual reality, interactive and 360 video.

“Many colleges have impersonal virtual tours,” says Tanya Lane-Martin, associate dean for Student Support Services at GCC. “I wanted something unique and fun so I called Michael and Christina, as GCC has been overwhelmingly appreciative of Michael and Christina’s artistic and creative ideas for many years. They did not disappoint; the video has been very well received.”

This is the ninth Telly Award Forest Productions and Photography has received. Previously, the company has been awarded Telly Awards for its work for Fisher-Price.

To view the 360 Virtual GCC Tour video, click here.

About Forest Productions & Photography

With more than 35 years of experience in photography and more than 24 years experience in video production, the unique partnership created between husband and wife team Michael and Christina Mandolfo has consistently produced outstanding visual work that combines the client's conceptual focus with the creative sensibility necessary to create truly custom imagery. Continuing to produce top-quality work and treating each client with the same care and respect they share with their own family remains Michael and Christina's mission.

About Genesee Community College

Genesee Community College (GCC) is a student-centered collegiate community that annually serves more than 6,000 students with 70 academic degrees and certificates, and seven campus locations in Western New York. GCC is proud of its technological prowess that includes 80+ smart classrooms, 37 computer labs, seven distance learning labs and 18 science labs.

In addition to state-of-the-art onsite facilities, GCC also provides a robust online learning community. Both the onsite and online learning modalities boast a 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio giving students plenty of hands-on, one-to-one teaching and learning opportunities. Genesee Community College is a committed to providing the educational experiences which promote intellectual and social growth, workforce and economic development and global citizenship. Additional information about Genesee Community College is available at www.genesee.edu.

May 25, 2018 - 2:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Milestones, GCC, education.

Photo of the 2018 SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence winners, from left: Raymond A. Boucher, Raymond Strzelecki, Tara E. Conrad; Joseph L. Ziolkowski, Candice S. Vacin, David W. Johson, Carol E. Geiselmann, and Timothy P. Tomczak. Missing from the photo is Amy Masters.

Submitted photo and press release:

A new formal ceremony -- "SUNY GCC Employees Serving Beyond Expectations"

As Genesee Community College prepared for its 50th Commencement on May 20, a new ceremony was introduced reinforcing the spirit of achievement, hard work and dedication. Instead of GCC graduates walking across the platform stage, College officials recognized members of faculty and staff.

"The new SUNY GCC Employees Serving Beyond Expectations was a formal ceremony, yet a fun and festive way to recognize the quality of service and the hard work of our GCC family," GCC's President James M. Sunser, Ed.D., said.

"It is a new tradition that combines several different award programs, and gives us all a chance to celebrate our hard work and also decompress at the end of the academic year."

The new event collectively recognized:

Longevity Service Awards recognizing 38 employees who reached milestone years between 10 to 30 years of service, collectively serving 630 years!

SUNY Chancellor's Awards for Excellence

The new Cougar Awards honorees were awarded as a surprise to the honorees in the following categories: Rookie of the Year; Teamwork Award; Spirit and Community Award; Innovation Award; Cougar Salute; Inclusive Excellence Award, and President's Award.

A special congratulations was also given to nine employees who have or will soon be retiring from GCC.

At this special ceremony, in front of the GCC community, Sunser and GCC's Board of Trustees Chair Laura Bohm awarded nine prestigious 2018 State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor's Awards for Excellence.

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 and Director of Social Sciences, Timothy P. Tomczak.

Tomczak joined the faculty at GCC as an Instructor of Psychology in the fall semester of 1987. In that capacity his teaching load consisted primarily of courses in General, Abnormal, and Social Psychology. He expanded the range of his teaching subjects at the College to include Introduction to Logic and Child and Adolescent Development as well as Beginning Karate.

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

In 1994, Tomczak received the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. Tomczak was promoted to associate professor commencing with the fall 1996 semester, and to the rank of Professor effective fall 2007, the year that he received the Chancellor's Award for Scholarship and Creative Activities. Tomczak holds a B.A. in Psychology from Mercyhurst College and a M.A. in General Experimental Psychology from the State University of New York, College of Geneseo.

Recognizing consistently superior professional achievement, the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service was awarded to assistant registrar, Tara E. Conrad. Conrad came to GCC in 2007 as the records information specialist. She joined the highly productive Records Office which provided a great base of functional user knowledge of Ellucian Banner and that has been a central building block of her career.

Conrad has been a leader in developing technological solutions to complicated processes, creating time and cost efficiencies that support the mission of the college. She is recognized for her work both within the SUNY system and in other organizations and has been sought after to help in system-wide ways. Conrad's enthusiasm and flare for technology and her desire to work with software applications prevailed as her career unfolded at Genesee. She has lead several software implementation and has become an effective and essential functional resource for the college.

Conrad earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Merrimack College and a M.S. in Education from the State University of New York, College at Brockport. In addition, Conrad has received a one-year full-time appointment as a SUNY Provost Fellow, the first-ever at GCC. The focus of this fellowship is to perform research and develop recommendation for the implementation of Enrollment and Completion Infrastructure that would support SUNY's student access, completion and success initiatives with a particular focus on Re-enroll to Complete.

Technical specialist/ financial aid retention, Amy A. Masters, was also awarded the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service. Masters first joined the joined the College staff in the Business Office in 2008 and transferred to her current position in Financial Aid in 2012.

As she did in the Business Office, she has made significant contributions to the operations and procedures of the Financial Aid Office, particularly in the areas of scholarship awards and tracking and streamlining office processes and forms. She was instrumental in making the scholarship application process a smoother one for students, both for institutional scholarships and emergency scholarships for students in need.

Masters has a B.S in Psychology from Elmira College and she continued her education since she has been at Genesee, receiving her M.S. in Management from Keuka College.

President Sunser and Bohm awarded Assistant Professor of Photography and Art Joseph L. Ziolkowski the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Service for his consistently outstanding scholarly and creative productivity, conducted in addition to teaching.

Ziolkowski has been a member of GCC's Fine Arts faculty since August of 2012. Upon arriving, he immersed himself completely in the GCC classroom the college community, and in continuing his own professional development. Ziolkowski provides "applied learning" opportunities for his students by frequently organizing field trips to exhibits and museums to expose them to all types of art.

He uses technology and other teaching modalities to engage the students and encourage them in their own creative development. He has a passion for creating and sharing it with the world around him that benefits his students and the internal and external college community.

Ziolkowski received a B.A in Photography from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, a M.F.A. in Photography from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an M.S.Ed. in Art Education from Nazareth College of Rochester.

The fifth award at the ceremony, 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 received by Associate Professor of Psychology, Candice S. Vacin. Vacin has been teaching psychology for over sixteen years and joined the GCC faculty in 2007.

She is committed to providing a learning environment for her students that helps them to be successful in her class and beyond, and she creates an environment that encourages each student to express their individuality in a safe and respectful way. She brings much energy to the classroom in her teaching, and she not only makes herself available to students via office hours, but she also meets with each student individually at various points in the semester to provide feedback on their progress and assist them as she can.

She uses a great deal of creativity in presenting the subject matter, and does so in a way that students can relate it to "real life." Vacin holds an A.A. in Liberal Arts from Niagara County Community College, a B.A. in Psychology from the State University of New York at Geneseo and a M.A. in Psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Also receiving the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching was David W. Johnson, instructor of Biology at GCC. Johnson joined the GCC faculty in 2014.

He is a strong advocate of the natural science program, bringing tremendous passion and enthusiasm for science, the teaching of science, and he values the role community colleges play in today's educational arena. The enjoyment that students get from his classes is evident by their enthusiasm in and out of class. He can often be found in the lab working with students and perfecting labs the students will be doing.

Johnson has spent a great deal of time reworking the General Biology sequence and bringing it into the new century with a modern focus. He belongs to several professional organizations in his field and has made several presentations both on campus and off.

Johnson received a B.S in Biochemistry from the State University of New York at Oswego and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Rochester.

Similarly, 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 was adjunct instructors Carol E. Geiselmann and Raymond A. Boucher.

Geiselmann has been a member of the Genesee adjunct faculty since 2011 teaching several English courses. For 10 years prior to that, Geiselmann was an instructor in the College's Accelerated College Enrollment program. She provides her students with clear syllabi so they understand their responsibilities for the course.

She willingly comes to campus on her days off or stays after class to meet with students and she continually provides feedback and encouragement. Geiselmann is an instructor who meticulously and tenaciously provides students with a solid foundation for life success, and an opportunity for each to develop their own style and voice, simultaneously instilling confidence as students learn and develop writing skills.

Geiselmann earned an A.A. in Arts from SUNY's Orange County Community College, a B.A. in Education/English from the State University of New York at Geneseo and a M.S. in Education/English from Elmira College.

Boucher joined the adjunct faculty at Genesee in 2003 and has taught a variety of course in Theatre, English and Speech. A 2014 winner of the NISOD Award for Teaching Excellence, Boucher is a master teacher.

While he sets high expectations for his students, he is cognizant of the differences of learning styles and he varies his teaching methods to help students be as successful. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the classroom that students find intriguing, and a disciplined yet fun energy that keeps control of the classroom and invites students to explore. Boucher takes his teaching responsibilities very seriously and is a role model for faculty.

Boucher holds a B.S in Theatre Arts and in Literature from the State University of New York at Brockport, post-graduate classes in English Education from Buffalo State College, and a M.A. in Literature from the State University of New York at Cortland.

The final SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence was presented to Raymond J. Strzelecki, Building Maintenance supervisor, 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.

Strzelecki started his career at GCC as building maintenance mechanic in 1991 and went to building maintenance supervisor in 2002 and has been an outstanding employee ever since. He is a team player and demonstrates excellence by continuously going above and beyond in the scope of his job description.

He provides exemplary customer service to the entire College community and is highly respected by his colleagues. This recognition formally thanks Strzelecki for being a role model to everyone on campus.

For the newly established "Cougar Awards," nominations for each of these categories were collected throughout the last semester, and the selected honorees were a tightly keep secret until the moment the awards were announced catching all recipients as a complete surprise.

Recognizing Cougar Accomplishments

In the Cougar Awards segment, Director of Buildings and Grounds Levi T. Olsen was recognized as the Rookie of the Year for his outstanding accomplishments in his first six months on the job.

Fittingly, the entire Buildings and Grounds team, 37 members in all, were called to the stage next to receive the Teamwork Award. The field house audience came to their feet showing appreciation and gratitude for the tireless work of this group especially in light of the two new buildings that were brought online in the past year.

For her exemplary school spirit, secretary in the Financial Aid Office Rebecca S. Patterson received the Spirit and Community Award. Next, ACE Program specialist Karlyn M. Finucane was awarded the Innovation Award for the inception and implementation of the STEM Program that provides young students who are gifted in the math and sciences with the opportunity to pursue college credits while in middle and high school.

The Cougar Salute, which was presented to GCC's Dean for Distributed Learning and Learning Technologies Craig R. Lamb for consistently demonstrating the College's core values.

For embracing the diversity, equity and inclusiveness of the campus community, Director of Student Activities Clifford M. Scutella was awarded the Inclusive Excellence Award. The final Cougar Award, the President's Award, went to Director of Athletics Kristen E. Schuth for her distinguished efforts and services in support of the College's mission and strategic priorities.

Milestones of Service

Genesee Community College also used the "Serving Beyond Expectations" Ceremony to recognize employees' attainment of milestone service through the Longevity Awards.

  • Celebrating 30 Years of Service, GCC recognized: Meredith L. Altman, Math/Science; Wayne R. Gruendike, Buildings and Grounds; Timothy P. Tomczak, Social Science; and Mark E. Yasses, Housekeeping.
  • Marking 25 Years of Service, GCC recognized: Patricia S. Furness, Albion Campus Center; Karin E. Kovach-Allen, Ph.D., Social Science; and Garth P. Swanson, Humanities.
  • With 20 Years of Service, GCC recognized: Ricky D. Bezon, Buildings and Grounds; Jennifer L. Ross, Computer Services; Kathleen A. Kimber, Humanities; Pamela E. Swarts, Art Center; Robert J. Terry, Buildings and Grounds; Diane M. Marchese, Buildings and Grounds; Tanya M. Lane-Martin, Student Services; and Lorraine S. Anderson, College Services.
  • For 15 Years of Service, GCC recognized: Celina M. Bartz, Student Support Services; Christine Belongia, Humanities; Michele L. Terry, Student and Enrollment Services; Patricia E. Chaya, Student Services; Timothy D. Davalos, Buildings and Grounds; Jessica L. Hibbard, Warsaw Campus Center; Michael C. Perry, Media Services; Edward J. Levinstein, ACE Programs; Susane J. Nugent, Records; and Margaret I. Szczesniak, Dansville Campus Center.
  • The newest milestone employees, celebrating 10 Years of Service, GCC recognized: Erik L. Anderson, Campus Safety; Charmayne R. Bloom, Medina Campus Center; Tara E. Conrad, Records; Debra J. Crossett, Math Science and Career Education; Rebecca J. Day, Upward Bound; Michelle A. Peck, Athletics / Health and Physical Education; Ebony N. Ross, Admissions; Charles L. Scruggs, Humanities; Daniel E. Snyder, ACE Programs; Candice S. Vacin, Social Science; John M. McGowan, The BEST Center. This category also included Alicia M. Catlin, Career Pathways and Richard P. Bartl, Alfred C. O'Connell Library for 10 years of part-time service.

Faculty and Staff: Quality & Compassion

Lastly, but no less important, the "Serving Beyond Expectations" Ceremony took a moment to share and admire the numerous accomplishments and contributions made by GCC's faculty and staff throughout the past academic year.

The number and breadth of these achievements exemplify the quality and compassion that seems near endemic across all departments and divisions at GCC.

From professional presentations to serving as a panelist, board member, keynote speaker, juror, volunteer, evaluator, singer, exhibitor and even earning a certified drone piloting license, 44 members of GCC's staff illustrated their dedication and top-notch professionalism, as well as their passion, patriotism and the idea of making the GLOW community a better place to live and work and flourish.

May 20, 2018 - 9:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, graduation, news, notify.


More than 900 Genesee Community College students have completed their degrees in the past 12 months and today about 225 of them accepted their diplomas in a commencement service that also marked the yearlong celebration of GCC's 50th anniversary.

Kristina M. Johnson, Ed.D., chancellor, State University of New York, gave the commencement address. She focused on a theme of commitments -- commitment to be optimistic and persistent, commitment to being kind, commitment to community and charity, and a commitment to a sustainable environment.

Johnson started off with the story of her mother, whose father died when she was 9. Her mother's mother died in the middle of the Great Depression; Johnson's mother was in high school when this happened, and she was left to raise her two younger brothers alone. Eventually, she married and raised seven children. At age 60, Johnson's mother was finally able to return to school.

"If not for a community college she would have been able to pursue her passion to further her education," Johnson said. "Many of you are like my mom. You had to juggle lives, careers, family and all of the other responsibilities that go along with being contributing members of our very busy society, so today we’re here to celebrate you."

Johnson then told the story of one of her own young-life struggles. At age 22, while training for an attempt to make the U.S. Olympic team, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma, which in 1979 was rarely curable.

"Imagine at 22 staring down a life of not surviving past 24," Johnson said.

When she started treatment, she went into a clinic for the first time and met two sisters, probably in their 60s. They had survived together in a Japanese internment camp and they were tough.

Johnson sat down and one of them said to her, "Is this your first time?"

Johnson wanted to know how she knew and the woman said, "because you look scared."

"I was crushed because truly I was scared," Johnson said. "I didn't know what to expect. I didn’t know if it would hurt. I didn’t know if I would be able to compete in my sport. I didn’t know if the treatments would work."

Weeks went by with Johnson continuing treatment and by now she was a veteran, having settled into the routine. One afternoon, in the waiting room, again with the two sisters, another woman came in and sat down. Johnson asked her if she was new.

"Yes, how did you know?" the woman replied.

"I looked up at the two sisters and I winked," Johnson said. “'Well,' I said, 'you weren’t here yesterday and we’re all here at the same time every day so it has to be your first time.' I then proceeded to walk her through what was going to happen next.

"I could see the fear I had felt and I said to her, ‘think of something nice.’ She got up, she walked out of the waiting room, and before she walked in (to the next room), she turned around and looked at me and she said -- "

At this point, Johnson stopped. With hundreds and hundreds of people in the Call Arena, there wasn't a whisper, a ruffle of paper, a snap of a shutter or the squeak of a chair. Silence as far as the ear could hear.

Johnson composed herself, "She said, 'I'm going to think of you.'"

Johnson said she can never tell the story without becoming emotional.

That became one of the greatest memories of my life because on that day I chose to be kind," Johnson said. "There didn’t seem to be any other choice but to be kind without expecting anything in return."

From these lessons, Johnson encouraged the students to commit to optimism and to be persistent no matter what they encounter in life.

"I remain a committed, if not obnoxious, optimist," she said.

She also told students to commit to kindness but to also accept themselves without judgment.

"While you’re busy practicing kindness toward others, I want you to do one other thing," she said. "I want you to be kind to yourself."



Charlie Cook, CEO of Liberty Pumps, was honored by the Alumni Association for his charitble support of the college.












To purchase prints, click here.

May 11, 2018 - 1:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, GCC, commencement, education, batavia.

Press release:

Like a crescendo of a year-long concerto, Genesee Community College is fine-tuning all the logistics of its 50th Commencement Ceremony scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 20, in the new Richard C. Call Arena (RCCA), one of the last events of its multifaceted 50th Anniversary celebration.

More than 200 students are anticipated to walk across the stage after hearing Kristina M. Johnson, Ed.D., the new Chancellor of the State University of New York give the keynote address.

In addition to this being the College's 50th Commencement celebrated in a new facility, other unique aspects of this year's event are the 44 international students that will be graduating this year; 11 of those are from the island nation of Curacao.

GCC is also delighted that 10 students from area high schools will be completing their GCC degree requirements concurrently with their high school diplomas. These 10 graduates participated in the inaugural cohort of the College's STEM Program with the Accelerated College Enrollment (ACE) Office, which started back in 2012 when the students were in seventh grade.

Several other special opportunities are also going to be part of the event.

"Overall, this is a very exciting Commencement Ceremony for the College," GCC President James M. Sunser said. "So many wonderful opportunities are coming to fruition and all in the name and spirit of student success. This ceremony will be one to remember." 

The Commencement ceremony rehearsal will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 18, in the RCCA to prepare soon-to-be graduates for the procession.

Prior to the rehearsal, representatives from Carlson's Studio will be set up in Room H103 of the Call Arena to take individual graduation photographs. Graduates should be in cap and gown, and have payment for their photo package.

Graduates are encouraged to contact Carlson's Studio in advance at (585) 786-2871 or via email at [email protected] to inquire about photo packages and pricing. Families can also pre-order flowers and gifts for their graduate through this website https://www.thecommencementgroup.com/Genesee/.

Each GCC graduate received five tickets for guests to attend the ceremony inside the RCCA Fieldhouse as part of their commencement package. There are no additional tickets available.

On Commencement Sunday, guests with tickets can enter the Fieldhouse starting at 12 p.m. for general admission seating. All guests, regardless of age, will require a ticket to enter the Fieldhouse.

Additional seating for guests without tickets is available on a first come, first served basis in the Stuart Steiner Theatre where the ceremony will be broadcast on the Theatre screen. The doors of the Theatre will also open at 12 p.m.

For distant family and friends scattered around the world and unable to enjoy the event in Batavia, the entire Commencement Ceremony will be live-streamed with easy access from GCC's website or at this Web address: https://www.genesee.edu/home/event-streaming/.

Accessible seating accommodations are available in both the RCCA Fieldhouse for ticketed guests and non-ticketed guests in the Stuart Steiner Theatre. For details, please contact GCC's Office of Student Activities (585) 343-0055, ext. 6261, or via email at [email protected] before Friday, May 18, to make arrangements.

GCC's Child Care Center will be open for all graduates and guests for children from 6 weeks to 5 years of age to allow family and friends to focus on the ceremony. However, guests wishing to bring children to the commencement are required to have a ticket for each child regardless of age.

To sign up for FREE child care services, please contact Student Activities or call (585) 343-0055, ext. 6261, before Friday, May 18. The Child Care Center will open at 12 p.m. on Commencement Day.

May 10, 2018 - 1:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in precision ag day, GCC, education, schools, news.


Dr. Keith Carlson, with Attica Veterinarian Associates, explains bovine artificial insemination to high school students today at Genesee Community College for Precision Ag Day.

Precision Ag Day provide students with an overview of the science and technology used in modern agriculture, including drones, GPS-guided tractors, and robotics.





Bradley Hirschman, a student at Pavilion, tries his hand at flying a glider with a camera attached toward a target.

May 9, 2018 - 10:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia society of artists, art, news, batavia, GCC.


The Batavia Society of Artists opened its annual spring show at the Richmond Memorial Library.

Tessa Lynn, a resident of Batavia, received Virginia Carr-Mumford Scholarship.

Lynn believes art is the culmination of all of human history and like art of the ancient past, she tries to focus on visual stories that may inspire a more considerate future. After attending Genesee Community College, she plans to pursue a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts. Eventually, she would like to illustrate books.

"My hope is to always keep creating art," she said. "I don't believe that there is ever a point where a creator should stop learning, even after years of practice and observation. My artist journey has only just begun."



Brian Kemp won first place in the member's competition.


Karen Crittenden, second place.


Third place went to Nicole Tamfer.



May 8, 2018 - 12:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, news, serving beyond expectations.

Press release:

For five decades, Genesee Community College has celebrated its graduating classes at commencement, and the College is excited about the upcoming 50th annual graduation ceremony on Sunday, May 20.

The College, however, is also pleased to be introducing a new tradition this year.

On Wednesday, May 16, at 1:30 p.m. in the Richard C. Call Arena, the "SUNY GCC Employees -- Serving Beyond Expectations" ceremony will formerly recognize the many outstanding achievements of GCC's faculty and staff.

Among the highest honors are recognizing the recipients of prestigious 2018 State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor's Award for Excellence, which includes the following:

Award for Excellence in Faculty Service

  • Timothy P. Tomczak, professor/director of Social Sciences

Award for Excellence in Professional Service

  • Tara E. Conrad, assistant registrar
  • Amy A. Masters, technical specialist/financial aid retention

Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Service

  • Joseph L. Ziolkowski, assistant professor, Photography and Art

Award for Excellence in Teaching

  • Candice S. Vacin, associate professor of Psychology
  • David W. Johnson, instructor of Biology

Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching

  • Carol E. Geiselmann, adjunct instructor
  • Raymond A. Boucher, adjunct instructor

Award for Excellence in Classified Service

  • Raymond J. Strzelecki, building maintenance supervisor

"Genesee Community College has long had a reputation for being a great place to work," GCC's President James M. Sunser said. "In the spirit of commencement and the hard work and commitment of our students, we have also wanted to recognize the dedication of our faculty and staff who consistently go beyond expectations in helping our students succeed.

"This new event is the opportunity to honor the many GCC employees whose passion and compassion are on the job every day."

It should be noted that some College offices will be closed the afternoon of May 16 to accommodate the new awards ceremony.

In addition to the SUNY Chancellors Awards, the new "Serving Beyond Expectations" Ceremony will also recognize employees with extensive years of service at the Longevity Awards with benchmarks of 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years of service to the College.

And, the College also created a whole new segment of recognition with seven unique categories of service in the newly adopted "Cougar Awards" in the following areas.

Spirit and Community Award -- celebrates exemplary school spirit

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Cougar Award nominees are secret until the awards ceremony and recipients will be named live during the event.

Lastly, but no less important, the "Serving Beyond Expectations" Ceremony recognizes the numerous accomplishments and contributions made by GCC's faculty and staff throughout the past academic year.

The number and breadth of these achievements exemplifies the quality and compassion that seems near endemic across all departments and divisions at GCC. Forty-four members of GCC's staff, and many of them with multiple honors and recognitions are listed under the general Awards category.

From professional presentations to serving as a panelist, board member, keynote speaker, juror, volunteer, evaluator, singer, exhibitor and even earning a certified drone piloting license -- GCC staff members are an active collection of top-notch professionals motivated by passion, patriotism and the idea of making the community a better place to live and work.

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