WE HARVEST: Contributing significantly to our community, our world, our future

As educators and community members, it is our privilege and our honor to recognize and celebrate the achievements of our students, but also of our faculty, staff and the institution, overall. It is a harvest from a most delicious crop. Watching graduates cross the commencement stage and being the first in their families to earn a college degree. Seeing and feeling the adrenaline of the National Championship Lacrosse Players celebrate on a cold April day. Hearing students present at the Scholars Symposium, or take a bow on the stage of the 36th Annual Fashion Show. While GCC students achieve amazing things, so too do their instructors as you will read below. As GCC celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016, a bountiful harvest unfolded.

GCC’s Genesee Center for the Arts with the acoustically refined Stuart Steiner Theatre offered a variety of great performances throughout the year. From the country music of Austin Moody to theCeltic-rock Stone Row, professional singer, actress and comedian, Laura Roth to GCC’s own Forum Players’ presentations of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, “A Night of Dance” and “Three Wise Monkeys,” GCC provided a vibrant array of arts and cultural opportunities to the whole community.

The Roz Steiner Art Gallery, also located in the Genesee Center for the Arts, showcased the Tibetan inspired paintings of Joana Angie conveying images of compassion, community and knowledge. Timothy Frerichs’ installation “.8° C” observed the natural world, and Native American Heritage was celebrated with works by Carson Waterman and Faye Lone. Stacey Robinson’s digital art display dismantled stereotypes, and the annual Fine Arts and Digital Art and Photography Student Exhibits provided GCC students with an opportunity to showcase their work in a professional gallery and setting.

The Annual Arts Fest is another harvest of dynamic arts programming giving the College and general community the opportunity to explore different artistic media and meet GCC’s fine arts faculty. Numerous workshops demonstrating Asian brush painting/calligraphy, caricature drawings, Henna tattoos, weaving, watercolor painting, printmaking, felting, dreamcatchers and kite making were all available for free at the one-day event.

Also, handmade pottery created by GCC’s faculty and students was sold and all proceeds benefited GCC’s Food Pantry.

Sponsored by the Genesee Community College Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities (CURCA), the second annual Scholars’ Symposium celebrated the scholarly accomplishments of GCC students and faculty in all disciplines through presentations, poster exhibits and performances.

Fulbright Scholar John Covach, a writer, distinguished professor and chair of the College Department of Music at the Eastman School of Music/University of Rochester, served as the keynote speaker and inspiration to the attendees.

Scholars Symposium

GCC’s Fashion Show students produced the 36th Annual Fashion Show with the theme “Elysium,” derived from the Greek mythological interpretation of heaven and paradise where beauty lies. As the capstone project for the Fashion Business students, they expressed their creativity through original designs and 14 fast-moving, high-energy scenes that illuminated different cultures within the global fashion industry. The show includes hundreds of designers, seamstresses, coordinators, models, hospitality, security, refreshment experts, MC’s, photographers, videographers and product merchants. The show entertained nearly 2,000 audience members between the two productions, and with world-wide live streaming, “Elysium” was seen around the world.

Since 2006, the Genesee Community College Foundation board has honored individuals who have provided extraordinary volunteer and/or philanthropic support to the College through the Alpha Medal of Service. In 2017, the Foundation honored Edgar “Ed” J. and Mary Louise Hollwedel as recipients at the commencement.

Ed and Mary Louise’s service and generosity is far-reaching. They served as co-chairs for GCC’s annual holiday fundraiser, Encore, in 2008 and they have been supportive of numerous College and Foundation initiatives throughout the years.

In 2017, Genesee Community College students earned first, second and third place in the 2017 David A. Garfinkle Essay Contest sponsored by the Historical Society of New York Courts. The contest invites community college students from around the state to submit essays on topics of legal relevance. The 2017 contest topic was “YOU, the Voter: How far have we come? Is the journey over?”

  • 1st Place Winner: Danielle E. Kinney of Java Village wrote “Black Suffrage: The Continued Struggle”
  • 2nd Place Winner: Anna K. Lewis of Avon wrote “Winning the Right to Vote”
  • 3rd Place Winner: Shannon R. Dent of Middleport wrote “Womankind’s Journey to Universal Suffrage”

The Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities (APCA) honored GCC’s Director of Student Activities Clifford “Cliff” Scutella with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding effort and dedication to students throughout his career.

Scutella came to GCC in 1990, and was named the National Advisor of the Year by APCA in 2012 and the Northeast Regional Advisor of the Year in 2011.

He also received a State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service in 2003, an award given in recognition of consistently superior professional achievement and the pursuit of excellence.

In 2017, nine members of the GCC faculty and staff were recognized by the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence. The prestigious Chancellor’s Award is given in recognition of superior professional achievement and encourages the ongoing pursuit of excellence.

For their outstanding contributions to their profession, the campus, and the community, the following received these honors:

  • Award for Excellence in Teaching
    • Gary W. Glaser, Associate Professor of Biology
    • Kathleen T. Gurak, Assistant Professor of Health and Physical Education
  • Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching
    • Danny C. Hamner, Adjunct Instructor of History
    • Elizabeth A. Slocum, Adjunct Instructor of Foreign Language
  • Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities
    • Donna J. Ehrhart, Professor of Business and Computer Information Systems
  • Award for Excellence in Faculty Service
    • Kenneth J. Mead, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Information Systems
  • Award for Excellence in Professional Service
    • James J. Simon, Associate Dean, GCC at Medina and Albion Campus Centers
  • Award for Excellence in Librarianship
    • Cynthia S. Hagelberger, Reference Librarian
  • Award for Excellence in Classified Service
    • Rebecca S. Patterson, Office of Student Financial Assistance and Veterans Affairs

GCC Foundation board member Norbert J. Fuest received an honorary GCC degree for his ongoing extraordinary commitment to the College. Fuest has served as a member of the Foundation Board for almost a quarter-century and was appointed president, member or chair of almost all Foundation committees, including president of GCC Foundation Housing Services.

He served as a member of the Presidential Advisory Search Committee and was also a recipient of the Alpha Medal of Service in 2014. He also received the Benefactor Vision for Tomorrow Award of the New York State Community College Trustees Association.

CutBank Literary Magazine honored GCC Director of English, Communications and Media Arts JoNelle Toriseva for her writing.

Chosen as the Bill Holm Witness Poetry Contest Winner by Writers Rising Up, Toriseva was also honored as the Patricia Goedicke Prize Winner by CutBankLiterary Magazine, based in Montana, which has been the state’s foremost literary magazine for more years.

Global in scope, the magazine promotes a regional bias and takes pride in discovering and developing new work. Toriseva’s poems were featured in CutBank 85, printed in 2017.

The New York State Community College Trustees Association (NYCCT) awarded the Anne M. Bushnell Memorial Award to GCC Trustee Laurie J. Miller.

The unique honor is bestowed on trustees who exemplify extraordinary leadership and achievement in their roles making significant contributions to their own colleges as well as the network of 30 community colleges across New York State.

Miller has served as a GCC trustee since 2000 and has been chair of most board subcommittees, as well as two years as Board of Trustees chair.

The State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence and Leadership was created in 1997 to recognize 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. The following three students, all members of GCC’s signature Fashion Business programs, were among the 256 students named as the 2017 recipients:

  • Julia Bailey of Newark, NY, Fashion Business, AAS major
  • Seonggyung Choe of Busan, Korea, Fashion Design, AAS major
  • Mariah Paddock of Clyde, NY, Fashion Merchandising, AAS major

The Rochester Area Colleges Continuing Education Association (RACCE) named three students from GCC as recipients of the Outstanding Adult Student Award, recognizing adult students who have excelled academically while successfully combining their college education with other commitments to family, job, career and service to the community:

  • Melinda Pitcher of Medina, NY, Business Administration AAS major
  • Christi LoTempio of Pavilion, NY, associate degree in Business and Accounting.
  • John Burek of Attica, NY, Computer Repair Certificate and parallel Entrepreneurship degree

Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the International Honor Society for two-year colleges sponsors the All-State Community College Academic Team with 38 states participating from across the nation.

The scholastic program honors outstanding students through a competitive application process that includes a comprehensive essay revealing how each team member has immersed themselves in their community to have a positive impact.

This year, the following two GCC students placed in the PTK/NYS Academic Team:

  • Julia Bailey, Fashion Business AAS, major
  • Megan Molisani,  Teacher Education AS, major

Genesee Community College took top billing at the 50th Annual Conference of the New York State Mathematics Association of Two-Year Colleges (NYSMATYC) in 2017 with four GCC students taking honors and collectively earning $2,750 in scholarship awards—a GCC record for this particular conference. The GCC NYSMATYC scholarship winners were:

  • Alexandra Gloskowski of Batavia, received the coveted $1000 Helen Siner Memorial Award, one of the top three $1000 awards of the overall program.
  • Skylar Laessar of Batavia, received a $750 scholarship award for Excellence in Mathematics.
  • Kiera Gross of East Bethany, received a $500 scholarship award for Excellence in Mathematics.
  • Johnathan Peritore of Rochester, received a $500 scholarship award for Excellence in Mathematics.

NYSMATYC has over 50 member schools, and the Scholarship Committee received 24 applications. GCC students earned four of the ten total scholarships awarded. The scholarships will be used by students as they transfer to four-year institutions to earn higher level degrees in mathematics.