WE HARVEST: Every year GCC produces an impactful harvest of students prepared to enter the workforce and contribute in countless ways to our society. However, GCC also harvests the nuggets of information and anecdotes that our students have taught us through their experiences – which will be explored when we refine and REPEAT our processes.

As educators and community members, it is our privilege and honor to recognize and celebrate achievements of all kinds. Hearing students present at the Scholars Symposium; watching them beam on the Fashion Show stage with models all around them wearing garments they created;  hearing family members cheer as they cross the stage at commencement, and saying bittersweet goodbyes as graduates leave campus for careers or other institutions as transfer students. It is an annual harvest that we treasure, and it motivates us to continue our work.

GCC’s 37th Annual Fashion Show, “Ascendant” wowed an audience of over 1,000. GCC’s students transformed the new 24,000 square foot fieldhouse of the Richard C. Call Arena into a dreamlike space. At the center was a dynamic runway highlighting the artistic vision of the scene coordinators as they represent astrological signs in fashionable wear and characteristics that made powerful statements.

GCC Fashion Show

For five years, the College’s Business and Commerce division has coordinated the annual Creativity Conference. Under the theme “Creativity in the Entrepreneurial Zone,” Erica Swiatek of Innovate Faster and 3600 Escape in Buffalo was not only the keynote speaker, but she provided a special three-hour escape room experience where participants worked as a team to find clues, propose hypothesis and race against other teams to solve a shared problem. The experience concluded with a breakdown of each personality type to help understand individuals’ unique characteristics in problem solving. The conference also featured:

  • Rashaad Santiago, special effect/ make-up artist, Face Off-Season 6 Winner (2014)
  • Sue Fuller, owner of Della’s Chocolates in Medina
  • Trace George, owner of VSP Graphic Group in Buffalo, (the official graphic company for the Buffalo Bills) and GCC Alum
  • Shawn Ramsey, owner of Canalside Tattoos in Medina
  • Maureen Spindler, owner of The Village Photographer in Hilton and GCC’s own visual communications specialist/photographer
  • Deb Altrieth, owner of Deb’s Bakery in Batavia
  • Rhonda Parker, Writer/ Director and founder of Beaver Alley Studios, Inc.
  • Leslie Zink Ward & Geoff Dale, owners of Lovin Cup & Three Heads

GCC’s Stuart Steiner Theatre was a busy place in 2017-2018 offering a full season of entertainment. With a state-of-the-art theatre, GCC’s Center for the Arts brought in talent such as the sketch and improv team Polite Ink from Rochester, rock band Into the Now, and the Funky Dawgz Brass Band who filled the theatre with its unique twist on today’s R&B, hip hop, funk and their own original numbers. The Roz Steiner Art Gallery also featured the work of several GCC alumni, specifically Michael Mulley, Tim Dusen, Dawn Hare and Gregory Hallock. In addition, “Fugue State” was presented by Tricia Butski, and “Waterworks Water Table and Other Aquatic Accoutrements was exhibited by Jennifer Hecker.

  • In December 2017, GCC’s Children’s Theatre presented “Strong Kids, a musical addressing the bullying, peer pressure, and rejection which included music from classics such as Peter Pan, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast.
Strong kids on stage
Theatre students

The State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence and Leadership recognizes students who have demonstrated the integration of academic excellence with other aspects of their lives, which may include leadership, campus involvement, athletics, career achievement, community service or creative and performing arts while maintaining a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.8. Two of GCC’s students were among the 249 chosen, out of more than 600,000 to receive this prestigious honor in 2018:

Glenn Holmes

Glenn Holmes, a Sports Management major from Ireland, Holmes earned a 3.88 GPA and was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. He co-captained GCC men’s soccer team to their first-ever National Championship Title and was selected as a First Team All American three times as a NJCAA First Team Player, a USC First Team Player and a USC First Team Scholar. With his Associate Degree in Sports Management from GCC, Holmes transferred to Thomas Jefferson University in Pittsburgh on an athletic scholarship.

Benjamin Martis

A native of Willemstad on the Caribbean island nation of Curaçao, Benjamin Martis was a dual major at GCC, enrolled in both Theater Arts and Theater Technology. He excelled academically and was very active in GCC’s Forum Players Theatre Company, an orientation leader, resident assistant at College Village, student government representative and also the student representative on GCC’s Board of Trustees.

The New York State Mathematics Association of Two-Year Colleges (NYSMATYC) awarded three GCC students with a total of $1,200 in scholarships at its annual conference. The GCC NYSMATYC scholarship winners were:

  • Taylor Nusstein of Cowlesville, NY
  • Robert J. Cook of Kendall, NY
  • Dmitrii Kapitonov of Batavia, NY
Pictured left to right: Professor Philip Pickering, Robert Cook, Taylor Nusstein, Dmitrii Kapitonov and Professor Christopher Kemp
Pictured left to right: Professor Philip Pickering, Robert Cook, Taylor Nusstein, Dmitrii Kapitonov and Professor Christopher Kemp

Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) is a prestigious international honor society that promotes academic excellence and provides leadership opportunities, service projects and fellowship amongst members. GCC’s PTK chapter, Alpha lota Upsilon inducted two more members during a special awards ceremony in Albany:

  • Yuki Lai of Brockport, NY
  • Joana Reiko Sato of Batavia, NY
A photo of Joana Reiko Sato (left) and Yuki Lai (right) with their PTK Induction medals
A photo of Joana Reiko Sato (left) and Yuki Lai (right) with their PTK Induction medals
Employees Serving Beyond Expectations Logo

In 2018, Genesee Community College concluded its 50th Anniversary Celebration with a new tradition, the “SUNYGCC Employees – Serving Beyond Expectations” ceremony. This special event took place a few days before commencement and formally recognized many outstanding achievements of GCC’s faculty and staff. Event highlights included:

  • The prestigious State University of New York Chancellor’s Awards recognize superior professional achievement and encourage the ongoing pursuit of excellence. For outstanding contributions to their profession, the campus, and the community, the following college employees received these honors in 2018:
    • 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 Scholarship and Creative Activities
      • Joseph L. Ziolkowski, Assistant Professor, Photography and Art
    • 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 Classified Service
      • Raymond J. Strzelecki, Building Maintenance Supervisor
Standing left to right are 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
Standing left to right are 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.
Cougar Awards Logo
  • Also included in the ceremony was a brand new category of awards, designed by GCC administration to recognize the special quality and hard work of the valued members of the GCC team, named for the Cougar mascot we are so proud of, The Cougar Awards.
    • Spirit and Community Award – celebrates and recognizes exemplary school spirit
      • Secretary in the Financial Aid Office Rebecca S. Patterson
    • Innovation Award – recognizes someone who’s implemented an innovative idea that made a positive impact on GCC
      • ACE Program Specialist Karlyn M. Finucane 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.
    • Cougar Salute – honors a supervisor or manager consistently demonstrating GCC’s core values
      • GCC’s Dean for Distributed Learning and Learning Technologies Craig R. Lamb
    • Teamwork Award – praises superior performance by a department or cross functional team
      • The entire Buildings and Grounds team, 37 members in all, brought the entire field house audience to their feet showing appreciation and gratitude for the tireless work of this group.
    • Rookie of the Year Award – acknowledges the outstanding achievements of a new employee
      • Director of Buildings and Grounds Levi T. Olsen was recognized for his outstanding accomplishments in his first six months on the job
    • Inclusive Excellence Award – commends a significant role in embracing the diversity, equity and inclusiveness of the campus community
      • Director of Student Activities Clifford M. Scutella
    • President’s Award – distinguishes the efforts and services of an individual in support of the college’s mission and strategic priorities
      • Director of Athletics Kristen E. Schuth
  • 38 employees reached milestone anniversaries and collectively served the college for 630 years