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Genesee Community College

October 9, 2019 - 3:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in Genesee Community College, news, parking lot project.

Above, the Rose Garden on GCC's Batavia Campus.

Submitted photos and press release:

It is finally finished! This past summer the multiyear parking lot project at Genesee Community College's Batavia Campus was completed, which established a new, expanded and safer configuration of the 12-acre parking lot.

Perhaps most significantly, the project introduced a new pedestrian walkway that connects the west and east sides of campus giving those who walk to the new Richard C. Call Arena from the new Student Success Center or main building the opportunity to enjoy an 18,000-square-foot garden space that is approximately 720 feet long. 

Under the leadership of Senior Groundskeeper Dennis Pietrzykowski, the GCC grounds crew took full advantage of the planting season and their in-house expertise to fill five themed garden areas that flank each side of the walkway. Each with a unique theme, the five gardens incorporate plants chosen specifically to create a medley of color, shape and texture for every season.

As visitors walk west from the College's main building to the Call Arena, they will enjoy:

  • Island One -- The Buffering Boxwoods creating a formal garden bed complete with the boxwood hedges and in the spring a bed of crocuses and daffodils will pop up to shake off winter. 
  • Island Two -- The Restful Retreat features locust trees and a quiet cozy area of lawn to invite visitors to slow down and maybe stop to relax and sit upon the provided park benches.
  • Island Three -- The Woodland Garden features eight new trees including the red oaks and American sycamore to provide plenty of opportunity for bird life and shade in the summer.
  • Island Four -- The Butterfly Garden is filled with a wide variety of flowering plants, from spireas to azaleas, hydrangeas to day lilies and dwarf lilacs -- all designed to attract butterflies and other insects throughout the warmer seasons.
  • Island Five -- The Rose Garden at the western end offers bright colors and fragrant blooms in season, and greets incoming traffic and guests as they approach campus from College Road West. Six different kinds of roses are featured, as well as 20 other flowering species.
  • Finally, back at the most easterly edge of GCC's new Garden Walkway are 10 huge planters, each sponsored by a different student club with a variety of plants selected and planted by the students and their advisors.

"In total, the new gardens added 50 large trees in more than a dozen varieties and more than 2,500 plants to the Batavia Campus," Pietrzykowski said. "But my personal favorite is called Harry Lauder's Walking Stick  -- it has curly branches and looks its best in the winter months. Everyone should visit campus to find it. Here's a hint, it's in one of the more formal gardens."

The team introduced more than 130 tons of new top soil to accommodate all of the trees, shrubs, bulbs plants and other materials. In addition, the College was proud to work with all local businesses, contractors and suppliers to complete the project.

"We purchased everything locally," Pietrzykowski said. "I had all the suppliers on speed-dial and they were great."

Below, resealing the parking lots at GCC was another important component of the project.

Below, the GCC Grounds Crew this summer standing near the Rose Garden. From left, Dennis Pietrzykowski, Mikala Bush, Jeff Engle, Kennedy Lampart, Ben Bakos, Ricky Bezon and John Kingdollar.

September 18, 2019 - 2:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in education, Genesee Community College.

Submitted photos and press release:

The excitement and intrigue of the new 2019-2020 academic year is not only happening in classrooms, labs and studios across Genesee Community College's seven campus locations, but in the Board of Trustees Conference Room as well. The following new members of the College's Board of Trustees have begun to serve their terms. 

Phillip DiMartino, of Batavia. After attending Genesee Community College in 1980, he began a career with Brunswick Bowling and Billiards, a national firm that once managed more than 100 bowling centers around the world, as well as sold both commercial and personal bowling equipment and products.

During his tenure, he achieved the Ring of Excellence honor for top sales performance and was a member of the Bowling Hall Fame-Batavia.He then joined the John Deere/Sentry Insurance in 1996, earning President Club status for top sales.

Now, as an independent insurance broker for Moore Insurance Agency, he specializes in insuring equipment and auto dealerships. DiMartino served on the United Memorial Medical Center Foundation Board for six years. He is a lifelong resident of Batavia, where he and his wife, Susan, raised their two children and most recently welcomed their first grandchild.

Sarah Noble-Moag, is a co-owner and manager of Noblehurst Farms in Linwood, a multifamily, seven-generation farm corporation. Noblehurst manages a dairy herd, cultivates acreage for dairy forage, is a proud member of Craigs Station Ventures producing Craigs Creamery Cheese, and operates a methane digester and food-recycling business that generates electricity to run the farm and Creamery located in Livingston, Genesee and Wyoming counties. Noble-Moag oversees human resource and personnel management of the farm staff and the Linwood Management Group connecting personnel with key resources, professional development and training opportunities, as well as industry events.

She is the past president of the Board of Education for the Pavilion Central Schools and continues to serve on the audit committee. She also serves on the Agricultural Affiliates Board of Directors providing leadership to build a strong agriculture workforce in the Northeastern United States, as well as on the Northeast Agricultural Education Foundation and the Genesee Gateway Local Development Corporation. She is a strong advocate for affordable, quality public education in rural communities.

She is a graduate of Cornell University's College of Human Ecology with a BS degree in Consumer Economics and Public Policy and a graduate of Class VI of LEAD New York. Noble-Moag is an elder in the Covington Presbyterian Church and was honored in 2016 as a "Woman of Faith" by the Presbyterian Church USA for building bridges of reconciliation. She and her husband, Timothy Moag, CPA have three grown children and five young and very active grandchildren.

Mary Alice Panek began her education at Genesee Community College with a degree in Humanities in 1977, and continued on to SUNY Brockport for a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Master of Science degree in Education. She retired from Pembroke Central School District where she began teaching secondary English and continued at the elementary level. During her career, she trained teachers in technology as well as mainstreaming students into regular classroom as well as launched the elementary level STEM program at Pembroke.

In addition, Panek has presented best practices in technology at conferences across the United States. She served on the board of the Genesee Region Teachers' Center, the Stafford Historical Society and participated in veterans outreach programs.

She is the chairman of the Town of Stafford Republican Committee and a member of the Genesee County Republican Committee. Panek resides in Stafford with her husband, Ron, and they own Stafford Nurseries, a Christmas tree farm. 

Student Trustee

Neil F. Gillotti is the new student representative on the Board of Trustees for the 2019-2020 academic year. He is majoring in Computer Information Systems and anticipates graduating with an associate degree in May 2020. He is a nontraditional student, enrolling in Genesee Community College after many dynamic life experiences.

He served in the Air Force from 2007-2011, where his military training allowed him to earn college credit.

As a GCC student, he is involved in many activities outside of the classroom including being an officer of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, a member of the Student Government Association and the Campus Activities Board and Outdoor Adventure Club.

His work experience includes being a computer technician, a driver at Nut-tos Peanut Co., a Key Bank Call Center service specialist, and most recently a seasonal landscaper at Bergman Landscaping.

He resides in Middleport, and he says he is very passionate about extreme sports.

September 17, 2019 - 12:34pm

Submitted photo and press release:

John M. McGowan, Ph.D., of Batavia,  took leadership of Genesee Community College's BEST (Business and Employee Skills Training) Center effective Sept. 1.

This is an important transition time as the former director retired and the Center completed a critical analysis of its functionality, allowing McGowan to take the reins with some strategic new direction.

"Having been part of GCC for nearly 15 years and specifically, the last five as part of The BEST Center team, I am excited about the results of our FAR (Functional Area Review) assessment," said the new director of The BEST Center.

"In my new role, I will be able to implement changes to make program registration easier, allocate resources for new program development and so much more."

McGowan intends to use his creative staff to identify continuous improvement opportunities and pull together new and exciting training topics which are the lifeblood of community and workforce development.

The BEST Center offers hundreds of training courses throughout the year to individuals looking to enter a new field. For example, it offers the Dental Assisting Program, which prepares students for entry-level administrative jobs and serves as the ideal launching point into a Dental Hygienist program. You can advance a career through a number of Career Enrichment courses, or even take a class for leisure -- like any of the Drone courses.

In addition, The BEST Center provides Custom Workforce Solutions to support any business or organization looking to bolster employee and organizational performance and improve the bottom line. Businesses can contact the BEST Center for training needs assessments and consultations, work with skilled and experienced trainers to develop customized training plans and even count on the Center's equipped locations and laptops to deliver online and on-site custom training. 

McGowan earned his Doctor of Psychology with specialization in Sport and Performance Psychology from University of the Rockies in Denver in 2018. He earned a Master of Science in Education and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the SUNY College at Brockport in 2003 and 1994 respectively. He has an Associate Degree in Business Administration from GCC (1986). He is also a 2017 graduate of Leadership Genesee.

McGowan is a lifelong resident of Batavia and has four children (John Jr., Joseph, Michael and Jennifer) and seven grandchildren.

November 19, 2018 - 1:18pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Annually, the New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute awards a $250 scholarship to deserving students enrolled in Criminal Justice, Police Science or a similar program in each of the state’s community colleges and at SUNY Canton.  

This year, Alexander Rigerman who is currently enrolled in Criminal Justice at Genesee Community College was a recipient of this scholarship. He was nominated by the college’s Criminal Justice faculty.

Genesee County Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr. and Undersheriff Gregory H. Walker presented Alexander with a $250 check to be used to further his Criminal Justice education, along with a scholarship certificate from the New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute, Friday (Nov. 16) at the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

March 23, 2018 - 2:48pm

Melissa Ostrom, an English literature professor at Genesee Community College, describes the Genesee Valley as having a big sky and rich soil.

She is originally from Jamestown but learned to love the area where she taught, which inspired the location for her first historical fiction novel. “The Beloved Wild” will be hitting the shelves on Tuesday, March 27.

“I think it’s beautiful here,” Ostrom said. “I had a beautiful teaching experience here. I love the landscape.”

In 1807, Harriet Winter, a 16-year-old headstrong girl, disguises herself as a boy in order to escape her overbearing parents. Her mother died during childbirth, and she is raised by her stepmother and father. She questions things around her, and travels to Western New York with her stepbrother, where she disguises herself as a boy. She uses the opportunity to see what she would normally be denied of, because of her gender.

“It’s not a fairy-tale with a bad situation,” Ostrom said. “She is cognitive of how the one path available for women is really not just narrow but comes with risk.”

Ostrom did research about the area, discovering information about Holland Land Company and the Genesee Valley.

“That was in my mind, wanting to tribute this place,” Ostrom said. “Conversations with friends in local history inspired me.”

Ostrom previously taught at Kendall High School for 11 years but decided to teach part time when her daughter was born, which gave her an opportunity to explore writing.

“I had done quite a bit of poetry writing in college,” Ostrom said. “I was interested in trying other forms and I started experimenting in fiction and that’s what I’ve been doing. Teaching a little bit and writing a lot.”

Although Ostrom had no connections in the publishing world, she built up her resume by publishing short stories, establishing her credibility. When it was time to send her novel, it gathered a lot of interest, Ostrom said.

“I think I had prepared myself with failure before that I wouldn’t go anywhere with it,” Ostrom said. “I got immediate request for manuscripts, and the agent I went with was the most enthusiastic.”

Ostrom will be celebrating the launch of her first novel at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 14, at Lift Bridge Bookshop, located at 45 Main St. in Brockport.

Macmillan Publishers gave Ostrom a two-book deal, so she is currently working on a contemporary book with serious subject matter but is set on Lake Ontario. The novel will be coming out next year.

December 27, 2017 - 11:11am
Event Date and Time: 
January 13, 2018 - 10:00am to 12:00pm
NOTE: This event has been rescheduled: Fitzpatrick's presentation at the Holland Land Office Museum is rescheduled to 7 p.m., February 16th.  He will also participate in a panel discussion the following day at GCC. More details on the discussion will be announced later.
August 10, 2017 - 1:29pm

Press release:

Not many organizations celebrate their golden anniversary while opening up two new buildings valued at $25 million. And even fewer can claim they were founded through a successfully passed public referendum that was supported by a grass roots citizen campaign in the mid-1960s.

Genesee Community College is proudly recognizing both these historic events with a series of special events next month.

With the anniversary theme "Our true-blue past, Your golden future," GCC is focusing forward on an exciting future while simultaneously reflecting on a rich history with strong traditions. Underlining all of the College's efforts -- then, now and long into the future -- is student success. The new 18,478-square-foot Student Success Center exemplifies this most vividly as GCC transforms various student services into a stream-lined process under a new "success coaching" academic model.

Meanwhile, on the west side of the Batavia Campus, the new Richard C. Call Arena is now the largest open, flexible floor space in the GLOW region (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties). The two-building Arena complex features an adjoining two-story lobby and concession stand area, classrooms, coaches offices, a fitness center, meeting rooms and a press box overlooking the Lacrosse / Soccer Turf Field.

Additionally, the interior Arcade walkway has four mural-sized photo collages expounding on this region's dynamic agricultural history as well as the vast economic impact of agribusiness in GLOW.

Together, these two new buildings are collectively valued at just over $25 million, and they position the College to expand student success and opportunity through the coming years, while augmenting the economic growth of the GLOW region. To celebrate the opening of these buildings and recognize the College's 50th Anniversary, the following series of events are planned for September at the Batavia Campus.

  • Richard C. Call Arena Dedication and Student Success Center Open House
  • 5 - 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 7

This special event will be attended by the many donors who contributed to the "Creating Our Future Together" capital campaign and supported the College's successful fundraising efforts with $5.2 million dollars to support the new facilities at the Batavia Campus as well as endowed scholarships for students in the College's six campus centers. Tours of the new facilities will be ongoing throughout the event, and the Dedication Ceremony will commence at 6 p.m. in the Richard C. Call Arena with a reception immediately following. (This event is by invitation only.)

  • Genesee Community College Convocation
  • 1-3 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 12 / Stuart Steiner Theatre 

This formal academic ceremony marks a milestone in the life of a college or university. Afternoon classes will be cancelled allowing students, faculty, staff, honored guests and community members to join in the solemn ceremony that recognizes not only the College's 50th Anniversary but also its promising future with the new facilities, new academic programs and courses, and the forward-thinking student success services. GCC's last convocation was in 2006 to recognize the College's 40th Anniversary.

  • Presentation/Lecture by Heather Ann Thompson, Ph.D.
  • 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 12 / T102

As part of the Historical Horizons lecture series, Pulitzer Prize and Bancroft Prize winning author Dr. Heather Ann Thompson will cap off the College's special Convocation Day, delivering a presentation, "Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy," based on her award-winning book. Attica State Prison is part of GCC's history with inmate education a part of its programming in the 1980s. Dr. Thompson's book provides a definitive account of the prison uprising in 1971. She utilized sources available to no other researchers to write a reliable tome that upends the myths and exposes cover-ups of that violent event that captured international attention. For a complete listing of the Fall 2017 lecture series go to: https://gcchistoricalhorizons.wordpress.com/.

  • GCC's Annual Fall Fest / Cougar Weekend
  • Friday - Saturday, Sept. 22-23

The two-day event provides fun and festive activities for all with the following schedule featuring the return of some favorite events and a few new opportunities as well. All events are FREE and open to the public unless otherwise indicated.

  • FRIDAY EVENT: Third Annual Cougar Crawl
  • 5-8 p.m., Sept. 22 / Various Stops in Downtown Batavia

The GCC community, be they current students, faculty or staff, alumni, retirees or general supporters are all invited to stroll through downtown Batavia making special stops for special treats at various businesses, many owned or operated by GCC alumni. The event kicks off at City Slickers / Ken's Charcoal Pits and winds up at T.F. Brown's Restaurant with various stops to businesses such as The YNGoddess Shop, The Hidden Door / Pollyanna and Dot, and Center Street Smoke House. Cougar Crawl stops are still in development and subject to change. Cost is $15, or 2 for $25 and will NOT be sold at the door.

  • SATURDAY EVENT: Sept. 23, Public Open House and Facility Tours
  • Public Open House and Facility Tours / 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

This is the chance for the general public to tour the new Richard C. Call Arena and Student Success Center. Visitors can catch a view of the Turf Field from the new Press Box, check out the new Fitness Center and Arena and explore both floors of the Student Success Center.

  • "Rods and Rock" Classic Cruise
  •  11 a.m. - 4 p.m. / North Parking Lot

For those who love classic cars, trucks and motorcycles, the popular "Rods and Rock" Car Cruise returns on Saturday in GCC's north parking lot.

  • "Lollapalooza Golden Gala" Concert with the Genesee Symphony Orchestra
  • 5 p.m. / Richard C. Call Arena

The first music to grace the new Richard C. Call Arena will be from the Genesee Symphony Orchestra, the College's orchestra-in-residence. Led by Conductor and Music Director S. Shade Zajac, the GSO is presenting a variety of musical selections especially arranged for this one-time event under the theme, "Lollapalooza Golden Gala." A reception with light refreshments will immediately follow the performance. The concert is free with general admission seating on a first-come, first-served basis.

"September is shaping up to be an exciting month in the life and history of Genesee Community College," James M. Sunser, Ph.D., president of GCC, said. "We are so grateful to many thousands of people who have positively impacted GCC through the years.

"From our trustees and donors, to legislators and advisory council members, hardworking students and involved alumni, and of course, our dedicated faculty and staff who make a difference in the lives of our students each and every day-we have been truly blessed with a supportive community that makes our middle name. Next month, we hope to recognize and remember all of you!

July 13, 2017 - 2:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in Genesee Community College, news.

Press release:

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education granted reaccreditation for an eight-year term to Genesee Community College June 23, the Board of Trustees learned at its annual meeting this week.

In a significant move, the Middle States Commission also issued rare commendations (official praise) to Genesee Community College for the quality of its self-study and the final Middle States team report, which found a high level of performance at Genesee.

The Middle States action followed an intensive 18-month self-study process that culminated in a Middle States Commission team visit in early April. The eight-member team comprised of highly respected educational leaders led by retired Atlantic Cape Community College President Peter L. Mora Sr., examined the College's self-study prepared by 70+ faculty and staff members, as well as more than 900 pages of documentation about all areas of the College's academic program and administrative operations. Team members also met and interviewed several hundred faculty and staff members, students, advisory committee members and trustees.

Accreditation is a rigorous process in which external experts review every facet of a college's administrative, financial, academic and student services functions. The Middle States Commission, which has accreditation jurisdiction over about 525 colleges and universities in the Mid-Atlantic States and Caribbean, places an exceptionally high priority on continuous improvement. Colleges and universities accredited by Middle States are expected to demonstrate both good performance and meticulous strategies for ongoing evaluation and progress toward demanding new goals.

The Middle States Commission is one of six regional accrediting bodies that oversee accreditation of the nation's 4,700+ colleges and universities. Colleges and universities must be accredited for their students to receive financial assistance, and only accredited colleges can receive public grants and contracts. Employers also see accreditation as a mark of quality, and an indication that employees' degrees are backed by high academic standards.

The Middle States Commission selected Genesee Community College as one of only 15 colleges and universities to "pilot" demanding new accreditation standards, which will take effect for all 525 Middle States colleges and universities next year. Of the 15 institutions in the pilot, only Genesee Community College and Union College (Schenectady) received commendations (official praise) for both the quality of their self-studies and final accreditation reports.

President James M. Sunser told trustees that the results of the accreditation process mean that Genesee will be viewed as an "exemplar" college throughout the mid-Atlantic region and beyond.

"I expect that other colleges and universities will be asking us for guidance and advice as they prepare to seek reaccreditation, and that faculty and staff leaders of our accreditation process will be called on to provide presentations to their peers at other colleges in the years ahead," he said.

Sunser said that the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, students and the community should be deeply proud of the reaccreditation and commendations: "This reflects on the caliber of the people here, and the many strengths of our College. It [reaccreditation] is an extraordinary accomplishment."

December 29, 2016 - 2:07pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, Sports, Genesee Community College, Mancuso Bowling.





About 50 students from Batavia High School, Batavia Middle School, Byron-Bergen Central School, Albion Central School and Medina Central School took part in a recreational field trip this afternoon (Thursday) at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia. They participated in the Liberty Partnership Program, which is coordinated by Genesee Community College in conjunction with the NYS Department of Education.

Mary Ann Bowman, program director, said the outing provided an opportunity to "keep the students connected" while school is in recess. The students bowled two or three games and enjoyed pizza and pop during their time at the East Main Street facility.

The Liberty Partnership Program, in its 28th year, provides service to students in public and non-public schools grades five through 12 in an effort to maximize high school graduation and to encourage them to pursue higher education or post-secondary vocational training.

The Program promotes collaboration between colleges and universities, community based organizations, school districts, parents, volunteers, businesses and industry in providing comprehensive services for students to enter the workforce prepared with the necessary skills to be successful.

Liberty Partnership provides the following services: Academic/Personal Advisement, Homework Assistance, Career Awareness, Cultural and Enrichment Activities, Family Casework, Mentoring, Home Visits, Parental Involvement, Service Learning Projects/Civic Duty, Preparedness and College Tours and Summer Programming.

Photos -- From the top: Batavia High School students; Novalee Pocock, B-B fifth-grader; Batavia Middle School students with caseworker Kristen Calarco-Gomez; Jayden Doyle, B-B eighth-grader. 

June 24, 2016 - 3:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in Sports, Genesee Community College, soccer.

Press release:

GCC freshman men's soccer forward William Stone (Little Hampton, United Kingdom) added to his list of accolades during his first season at Genesee, earning Western New York Athletic Conference (WNYAC) Freshman Male Athlete of the Year honors for 2015-2016. The announcement was made by the conference on Thursday.

Stone, also named the Region III Division III Player of the Year last fall, was named to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-American First Team, All-Region III First Team and All-WNYAC First Team. He helped lead Genesee to the No. 1 ranking in the country and second regional title in school history. Stone played in and started 18 games for the Cougars and led the country in assists with 18 and was fifth in goals with 25. He totaled 68 points, the third highest mark in the country.

Genesee held the No. 1 ranking in the country for five consecutive weeks and won the Region III District A championship, advancing to the second NJCAA Men's Soccer National Tournament in school history. The 2015 team set the national record for most goals in a season with 141 and its 20 wins is the new school record for most victories in a single season. 

Genesee Community College athletics program endeavors to provide a quality and competitive intercollegiate athletics program consistent with the National Junior Collegiate Athletics Association (NJCAA) philosophy and the overall educational mission of Genesee Community College. Participation in collegiate athletics should be an extension of the total educational experience for the student athlete. The inherent philosophy emphasizes the athletic setting as a classroom used to teach character, commitment, work ethic, respect for differences, and the importance of sacrifice, teamwork, and cooperation.

February 26, 2016 - 12:55pm

Press release:

Columbia University professor and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Eric Foner, Ph.D., will deliver the keynote address at Genesee Community College's first-ever Scholar's Symposium at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 29.

In the Stuart Steiner Theatre on the GCC Batavia Campus, One College Road, Batavia, Foner will discuss his latest book, "Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad." The event is free and open to the public.

Foner, named the DeWitt Clinton Professor of History, specializes in the Civil War and Reconstruction, slavery and 19th Century America. He is one of only two persons to serve as president of the Organization of American Historians, American Historical Association and Society of American Historians. He has also been the curator of several museum exhibitions, including the prize-winning, "A House Divided: America in the Age of Lincoln," at the Chicago Historical Society. His book, "The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery" won the Pulitzer, Bancroft and Lincoln prizes for 2011. 

The Genesee Community College Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities (CURCA) Committee is presenting the premier Scholar's Symposium in celebration of inquiry and scholarship. Students, faculty, staff and community leaders and friends will be sharing and demonstrating scholarly achievements in all disciplines through presentations, poster exhibits and performance.

For specific information about the event, contact Director of English, Communications and Media Arts JoNelle Toriseva via e-mail: [email protected] or by phone at (585) 343-0055, ext. 6627.

January 19, 2016 - 5:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in Genesee Community College, GCC.

Press release:

"Construction documents are almost complete and everything is on schedule," Kristin G. Schmitt, AIA, principal of JMZ Architects and Planners told Genesee Community College Board of Trustees at last week's monthly meeting. "It has been a smooth process, which is a testament to the College."

The construction bid packages with all the necessary documents for contractors to submit their cost estimates for the project are anticipated to be ready for review on Monday, Feb. 8. The proposed deadline for the College to receive the publicly opened bids is Tuesday, March 8. JMZ anticipates five different bid packages for Site Work, General Contracting, Electrical, Plumbing/Fire Protection, and Heating, Ventilation and Cooling (HVAC).

As stipulated by the Board of Trustees during the early planning process, JMZ is carefully crafting the bid packages to attract as many local contractors as possible. The two separate facilities, the 18,500-square-foot Student Success Center and the 56,000-square-foot College and Community Events Center, are being built on parallel construction schedules allowing contractors to bid on both projects or individual projects. 

"We anticipate good participation from the local construction community and will be reaching out to them," Schmitt said.

The project will also be announced in area media outlets and the Dodge Report. Once the bidding and project award process is complete, construction will begin in April with a formal ground-breaking ceremony scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday, April 28.

The College and Community Event Center located at the far west side of the Batavia campus near the turf field will begin first so as to not interrupt College's activities and spring semester traffic flow. The Student Success Center will begin after the Commencement ceremony on May 22. Project completion for both buildings is expected the following Summer in 2017. 

In addition to reviewing the construction schedule, Schmitt presented six different schematic presentation boards that illustrated both buildings employing state-of-the-art graphics that combine photographs of the existing facilities blended with the new architectural renderings. A dramatic Student Success Center is shown at night with the lights from the large glass foray reflecting out onto the Clock Tower Plaza. Viewers can also appreciate how the Student Success Center will connect with the Conable Technology Building through the second level bridge. Interior illustrations reveal an open lobby and lounge with two-story glass windows, an open staircase and a fireplace. 

"This will be the new front door to the whole campus," GCC President James Sunser, Ed.D. said. "The new facility is exciting, but more exciting is how it will allow us to reinvent how we support our students in being successful. Like a case manager, our new student success coaches will know what students need and proactively help them through the process." 

Interior and exterior renderings of the College and Community Events Center were also reviewed illustrating the dual facility. The sizable arena, which will be the largest open floor space in the GLOW region (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties), is accented by a long, glassed-in arcade leading to the central entrance and lobby that connects the two buildings. The smaller building provides classrooms, locker rooms, coaches' offices, the fitness center, meeting rooms and a press box overlooking the existing turf field.

The large arena will not only accommodate an array of athletic competitions, but the open space will allow all kinds of civic, community, trade, industry as well as college events-from farm, boat and tractor shows to commencement ceremonies where a whole family can sit together. The new facility is expected to draw as many as 500,000 visitors to the campus each year. 

Both presentation boards included samples of different flooring, brickwork, ceiling and wall tiles, window mullions, paint, stair treads and countertops. Combined, the two projects will provide an additional 74,000 square feet of new indoor space at GCC, allowing the College to repurpose some of the existing space for labs and classrooms accommodating new academic programs such as Nanotechnology AAS. The overall building project follows GCC's Facilities Master Plan, which was approved by the Board and SUNY (State University of New York) more than two years ago.

December 1, 2015 - 8:39pm
posted by Raymond Coniglio in Kathy Hochul, Genesee Community College, education.


Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul’s visit to Batavia on Tuesday included some hands-on education.

Hochul met for about a half hour with officials at Genesee Community College, who discussed the college’s workforce development initiatives and STEM — or Science, Technology, Engineering and Math — career path training.

A subsequent campus tour included the third-floor science laboratories, where Assistant Professor Karen Huffman-Kelly was teaching a Cellular Biology class.

The lab is equipped with a luminometer, a hand-held swab unit that uses bioluminescence technology to test bacteria levels on food-processing equipment.

Hochul — under the guidance of Greg Sharpe, instructor for the college’s Food Processing Technology program, pictured above — used the device to test the cleanliness of a student’s cell phone.

“We’ll see whether I want to keep holding your cell phone,” Hochul told the student.

The verdict?

After a quick swab and a 15-second countdown, the device yielded a score of 136.

“Not too bad,” Sharpe said.

“Cell phones on average (score) around a 300,” he explained. “In the food industry, typically anything over a 30 we make them re-clean it.”

GCC launched its Food Processing Technology degree program last year. It was designed to meet the demand for skilled workers in the food manufacturing field.

The program already has an international reach, as Hochul learned by chance on Tuesday.

She was introduced to Arsenio Ferreira, 22, who is in his second year of the FPT program.

Ferreira hails from the southeast Asian island nation of Timor-Leste, which became independent in 2002. He told Hochul he will bring new skills back to Timor-Leste, to help with its economic and social development.

Hochul called New York’s community colleges the creative engines of the SUNY System, with the flexibility to meet changing economic needs.

“I think we’re very lucky because we have a strong reputation as far as the academic quality of this institution,” said GCC President James Sunser, Ph.D.

The Food Processing Technology program, he noted, was developed in cooperation with Cornell University.

“Their willingness to work with us — and to accept our students in transfer — is in large part because of our strong academic reputation.”


Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, right, speaks Tuesday at Genesee Community College with Arsenio Ferreira, an international student from Timor-Leste who is studying Food Processing Technology.

August 27, 2013 - 1:40pm
Event Date and Time: 
September 27, 2013 - 7:00pm to 10:00pm

Nik and the Nice Guys & Dead Trees!

Genesee Community College, 1 College Road, Batavia

Friday Sept. 27

Dead Trees take the stage at 7 p.m. Members include adjunct faculty and alumni of GCC.

Nik and the Nice Guys at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5.

July 23, 2013 - 3:05pm

Location: Genesee Community College, Main Campus in Batavia, NY.
Date/Time: Wednesday, July 24, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Superior Group assisting Greatbatch Medical of Clarence, NY, with their search for MULTIPLE CNC MACHINISTS for DIRECT HIRE positions. EXPERIENCE IS REQUIRED. CNC Swiss Turning, vertical mill and/or two-axis turning experience & set up experience required.

Pay rage: $18-20+/HR DOE. Shift: 2nd & 3rd shifts. 

Job Location: Clarence, NY. 

**Competitive wages including a 10% shift differential for 2nd & 3rd shifts, 401K with employer match, profit sharing, up to 4 weeks PTO within the 1st year of employment and much more!**

If you cannot attend open house, please call Jamie @ 716-937-5225 or e-mail me at [email protected]!

Go Beyond. www.superiorjobs.com. EOE M/F/D/V

February 18, 2013 - 2:12pm
posted by karen reisdorf in Genesee Community College, yoga, Blue Pearl Yoga, philosophy.
Event Date and Time: 
February 19, 2013 - 12:30pm to February 20, 2013 - 1:30pm

Talk on the Philosophy of Yoga
with Karen Reisdorf
from Blue Pearl Yoga

at Genesee Community College
Room: T102
Free and open to the public

December 15, 2012 - 10:45am

Jim Lachman likes to tell people that in 1968 he went to Vietnam to kill Vietnamese, but in 2012 he went to paint their nails.

Lachman, of Brockport, is a 2010 graduate of Genesee Community College and is currently pursuing a Bachelors in Social Work at the College at Brockport. 

A Vietnam veteran, Lachman had the opportunity to return to the battleground this past year -- not as a soldier, but as a guest. Through Brockport's Vietnam Program, he earned 15 college credits studying Vietnamese culture and completed many hours of community service in the city of Danang. He chronicled his experience in a blog called "Danang again." (There's a link at the end of the article.)

On Nov. 13, he contrasted his two experiences in Vietnam in a speech titled "A Forty-Year Journey from Vietnam to Vietnam," which was held at his alma mater, GCC. We invited him to sit down with us and share some of his insights for readers of The Batavian.

Lachman and his wife, Bernie -- who joined him for part of his stay in Vietnam -- were interviewed at Coffee Culture in Batavia last week.

What did you do in the Vietnam War?

Jim: I was part of the C-130 Squadron in the Marines. I worked on large airplanes called VMGR 152s. We were stationed in Okinawa, but we had a sub-unit in Danang. I was there for three months, then I went back to Okinawa. Then I spent three months with the flight crew as a plane mechanic, so I was in and out of Vietnam, Thailand, and up and down different airstrips. We flew cargo and troops back and forth. Most of the missions I flew were flight-refueling operations.

So you didn't see any combat, correct?

Jim: No. I was one of the lucky few who weren't exposed to any of that.

How did you get involved in Brockport's Vietnam Program?

Jim: I was in a U.S. History class at GCC in 2010, and there was a little Asian woman sitting next to me. I asked her where she was from, and she said Vietnam. We developed a friendship -- I asked questions. She told me about a study abroad program in Vietnam at Brockport, and I said "Oh, okay..."

What exactly did you do while studying abroad in Vietnam?

Jim: I probably got about 100 hours of community service while I was in Vietnam.  There was a large community service component.

Each week we spent an hour and a half in a nursing home with ladies in their 80s and 90s (there were some men, too). We helped them pick mulberries and peanuts, and they loved to have their nails trimmed and painted.

Then we did an hour and a half a week at Agent Orange group home, and we also did home visits to kids who were too sick to come to the group home.  

Bernie: We know the effects of agent orange on American soldiers, but we don't know about the effect it had on the people who live in Vietnam. It has affected three generations with birth defects, mental sickness, (etc.) 

Jim: The way I like to put it is, we put poison in their backyard and it's still there.

We also did English instruction two nights a week and delivered food and medical supplies to a leper village. Then we got 15 credit hours studying Vietnamese history, politics, culture and language.

What was the big difference between your first visit and your second?

Jim: I contributed to the death of two million Vietnamese people by being part of the war. By contrast, in 2012 I learned about the culture and the people, and I connected with them on a human level. And I fell in love with them.

A former Viet Cong chairman who now writes for "Da Nang Today" (a Danang newspaper) interviewed me for an article on a "former invader who was coming back to do good." He asked me questions, and he was very curious. But if we had met 40 years ago, someone would have been taken prisoner.

Today, Vietnam is a wonderful vacation spot. You see people there from China, Australia, Russia...They have wonderful and very cheap accommodations, beautiful beaches...and the Vietnamese people don't like the sun, so we'd have the beach almost to ourselves (during the day).

Bernie: I came to visit Jim for a month. It was a two thousand dollar round trip by airplane, and that was the most money I spent the whole time.

I shopped at the tailor stores, which are family owned businesses. The Vietnamese are known through much of the world for their tailor-made clothes.

As a woman in Danang, I could walk safely at night. I couldn't do that in Batavia.  All the stores (in Danang) are street-level. (Store owners) got to know me, and I knew that if anyone ever tried to molest me in the street, they'd be all over them.

I went into a bookstore once, and no one there knew English. So they went two stores down and found someone who did. That's what they want -- they want to communicate.

And they revere the elderly. One time we went into a coffee shop, and one of the first questions they asked before seating us was, "How old are you?" Because we're over 40, we were always in the most honored spot.

Jim: And (accepting that courtesy) was part of my being a guest, part of accepting the culture as it was. One of the things the Vietnam Program page on the Brockport Web site says is that as students, we are guests of the Vietnamese government. So that's how I conducted myself. The last thing I wanted was to be an "ugly American."

At every other place I had served (in the Marines), I had the opportunity to connect with the people and the culture. Going back to Vietnam, it was like I had a second chance, you know?

Even if I didn't like an experience, I would try to write about it in a positive way on my blog. At the exit dinner (held at the end of the program), one of the chairmen said, "We've been enjoying your blog" -- "we" meaning the Communist Party.  When I told my son about that, he said: "Well, did you think they wouldn't?"  Honestly, I never thought about it -- I just wrote from the heart.

What would you want people today to know about the Vietnam War?

The man who taught my politics class was in charge of the Liberation Front (the enemy) in Danang back in '68. He said Vietnam has a "market economy with a socialist orientation." It seems to me that their government works as well for them as ours does for us. I often wonder what would have happened if the U.S. had allowed the Vietnamese to have their elections the way they had planned. When the U.S. got involved, it went from 1956-1975 until (the Vietnamese) could unify their country.

Bernie: People our age will ask us, "Did you go to North Vietnam or South Vietnam?" It's just Vietnam now.

Jim: I can think of two men in history who wanted to preserve national union: Abraham Lincoln and Ho Chi Minh. They both wanted the same thing.

After doing some research, I found out that what I was taught about Communism and Ho Chi Minh growing up might not have been the truth.

So then you would say that the Vietnam War was not worth it in the end?

Jim: In humanistic terms, I would have to say no. It wasn't worth all that death.

What I was told when I went over was that I was being sent to stop Communism.  After I came home, I discovered the real reason: The U.S. military was serving as the hired guns of capitalism. The reason (for the war) was that the capitalists in charge of the U.S. government wanted to control all trade in and out of Southeast Asia.

We would have been better off staying out of the whole thing and allowing the Vietnamese to have their elections and be the government they were going to be. It would have saved a lot of lives.

As an American military man in Vietnam, how were you treated when you returned home?

Jim: When I came back in July of 1969, I had heard the stories. So when I came into Travis Air Force Base in California, I put on civilian clothes in the bathroom. I made the choice not to call any attention to myself. Even today, I choose not to wear (my Marines hat), because I just got used to that.

Bernie: When I was a sergeant instructor in the Reserves (in the 1970s and 1980s), we were taught not to wear our uniforms when travelling on a civilian conveyance. Then when the Vietnam veterans insisted that the Desert Storm soldiers be honored, the culture changed. It went from "we're against the war" to "we support our troops."

What led you to speak about your experience at GCC on Nov. 13?

Jim: I was there because of Josephine Kerney, who was my sociology professor (at GCC). She does a lot of study abroad stuff, so in association with the Vietnam Program I'd run into her at fairs and such. I talked about the contrast between my first trip to Vietnam and my second, and it fascinated her. She wondered if I would come in and talk to her class about it, and that led to it being a larger event where anyone could come.

Do you have any thoughts on the current war in Afghanistan?

What I learned from my Vietnam experience was that I can't trust the government. I wonder what my government is lying to me about now. Is (the war in Afghanistan) about money? Is it about pharmaceutical interest in what we can extract from the poppy that grows there?

I've heard it said that "Afghanistan is where empires go to die." Alexander the Great tried (to invade), the Russians tried it, and now it's us.

A Kodak retiree, Lachman returned to school in 2008 out of a desire to become a counselor for military veterans. Currently in his junior year at Brockport, he plans to go on for a master's degree so that he can counsel veterans "who saw things that no one should have to see."

For more information on his experience, go to www.danangagain.blogspot.com.

December 8, 2012 - 12:01pm
posted by jason reese in batavia, Genesee Community College, RTS, Bline, Ny..


The city of Batavia, ny and Genesee Community College  need top addres the issue of public transportation. It is a saftey and finacial issue.

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