WE WATER: As a good harvest requires sufficient water and nutrients, we work as a team to provide quality education, innovative and cutting-edge technology as well as individualized dedicated engagement to support every aspect of our students’ learning and development.
GCC’s faculty continuously works with various partnerships and local organizations and businesses to engage students through events and activities designed to expose them to new career paths, networking connections, learning opportunities, and hands-on experiences.
This report highlights a few of the incredible successes we’ve had this year, as a result of some of our collaborations, in a variety of academic program development and implementation opportunities.
- In May 2018, The BEST Center at hosted its third annual Precision Agricultural Day. More than 120 high school students from 13 districts across the GLOW (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming County) region heard from a variety of ag industry presenters on the latest technological, science, engineering and agricultural trends including drones, embryo transfer, precision farming and processing, GPS/GIS, auto steering and robotics. This emerging technology is anticipated to create new employment opportunities in the future, Precision Agricultural Day provides the opportunity to discover more about these potential and exciting career pathways and to learn how these technologies are used in their own backyards.
2017-2018 was the Year of Entrepreneurship which brought in a series of guest speakers, was the hot topic of the annual Creativity Conference, and kicked off the first annual Business Pitch Competition.
- Nicole Manapol, spoke about her role as director of the Letchworth Gateway Villages (LGV) Initiative that is helping catalyze economic growth in the communities that serve as “gateways” to Letchworth State Park.
- Founders of Two Guys Good Buys, Tyler Annalora and Frank Fina, stopped at GCC to share their story of trading full-time corporate jobs for the ‘vanlife’ to explore the United States and passion for the outdoors while searching flea markets and estate sales for vintage items to be sold on their online marketplace. Their inspiring story demonstrates the infinite possibilities of the entrepreneurial zone.
- Taking the Year of Entrepreneurship to the next level, GCC hosted the first-ever Business Idea Pitch Competition with support from the Genesee County Economic Development Center. The competition was launched at the College’s annual Creativity Conference in February 2018. Contestants attended a series of workshops led by Sam Campanella of the Small Business Development Center, covering Starting a Business, Business Plan Basics and Idea Pitch Preparation. Through GCC’s strategic partnerships, the event included cash prizes for Most Creative and Most Likely to Succeed. All of the participants learned about planning and starting a business, were able to make important connections within the community and even test out some very exciting business ideas. We are all looking forward to future Business Idea Pitch Competitions!
Agriculture production is a $4.7 billion industry in New York State. Meanwhile, 239 million tourists visited the Empire State in 2016 generating more than $100 billion in direct spending. GCC’s Tourism and Hospitality Management Program brought these two behemoth industries together by organizing and hosting the region’s first Agri-Tourism Symposium in October 2017. Agri-tourism is a world-wide niche of new age tourism, and it is as unique as the products produced, geography, topography and even the farming families themselves. From picking fruits and vegetables to tasting honey, learning about wine, beer and cheese making, riding horses, winding through a corn maze or even helping produce hand-crafted gift items – all are available in and around our GLOW region. GCC’s Agri-Tourism Symposium was a huge success, offering not only a dynamic, free program for nearly 200 attendees, but also a hands-on learning experience for GCC’s Tourism and Hospitality Management students who helped plan and organize every detail of the event. The keynote address, “Evolution, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Agri-Tourism,” was given by Dr. Sophie Winter, of SUNY Cobleskill, and local agri-tourism was covered by panelists: Barbara Dominesey, general manager of Hidden Valley Animal Adventures in Varysburg, NY; Chad Heeb, director of marketing of New York Chips and Marquart Farms in Gainesville, NY; and Betty Burley, owner of East Hill Creamery in Perry, NY.
Traditions and Honors
Each year, there are events and activities we hold dear to our hearts that round out the education our students receive by adding cultural experiences, honoring scholarship donors and recipients and celebrating what it means to be part of GCC. We felt it was important to share a few of our favorites.
- Veterans Day Ceremony
Our annual Veterans Day Ceremony was live-streamed and broadcasted at all seven GCC campus locations to honor and celebrate the Veterans community. Emceed by James Simon, associate dean at Medina and Albion Campus Centers and a U.S. Veteran with 22 years of service, the entire ceremony was moving and inspiring. The Genesee County Joint Honor Guard commenced the ceremony and Assemblyman Stephen M. Hawley welcomed guests who also heard from Marine Corps Veteran Benjamin Spaulding, a GCC student. The ceremony concluded with a performance by the Batavia High School Chorus and then the all veterans in attendance were invited to a special luncheon served at GCC in Batavia.
- The Annual Discover the Stars Celebration
The Annual Discover the Stars evening brings together GCC’s scholarship recipients and donors, along with members of the College Board of Trustees, the Foundation Board of Directors, administrators, faculty and staff in celebration of scholarship and generosity and the shared vision of a better life. The 2017 celebration featured guest speaker, Kathleen “Kitty” E. Maerten, who graduated from GCC in 1975. In addition, the family of the late Ann Reid shared a special presentation honoring her life, musical legacy and her philanthropic contributions to GCC’s Scholarship Program. In her honor, the Richard and Maribell Scholl Reid Musical Theatre Scholarship, named after Reid’s parents, was established and continues to provide financial assistance and encourage Fine and Performing Arts students to pursue their dreams and passions, as Ann Reid did.
- The Fall Fest-Cougar Weekend – Homecoming weekend at GCC is the pinnacle of harvest season. From the Friday night “Cougar Crawl” to Saturday’s Car Cruise, “Cougar Den” for children, Craft and Vendor fair, and co-ed alumni soccer game and a baseball game, it is becoming a “not to miss” event for the whole community.