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July 23, 2013 - 3:05pm

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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.

August 7, 2012 - 11:50am

The first day of classes for the fall semester is August 27, 2012 — just three-weeks away — but there is still time to enroll at Genesee Community College to launch or boost a career in any one of 67 different degree and certificate programs. Scholarships and grants are still available for students who qualify, and the admissions staff can help with the application process.

GCC offers a wide range of flexible class options to fit an individual’s time, interests and location. Students can attend classes full-time, part-time, online or on Sunday. Visit online to check out all the options.

 
GCC also has seven campus centers to make programs even more accessible:
  • Albion – 456 West Ave. (585) 589-4936 
  • Arcade – 25 Edward St. (585) 492-5265 
  • Batavia – One College Rd. (585) 343-0055 
  • Dansville – 31 Clara Barton St. (585) 335-7820 
  • Lima – 7285 Gale Rd (585) 582-1226 
  • Medina – 11470 Maple Ridge Rd. (585) 798-9765 
  • Warsaw – 115 Linwood Ave. (585) 786-3010
The main campus in Batavia also offers on-site child care, state-of-the-art fitness facilities, student housing, a new art gallery, theater space and an outstanding library that also provides online access to more than 86,000 volumes, ebooks, reference materials and electronic resources.
 
GCC offers small class sizes to allow for greater interaction with instructors and more than 40 clubs and organizations providing excellent opportunities for real-world experience in a variety of interests from animation to human services, adventure club to veterans.
 
With everything GCC has to offer, plus student completion rates that are among the highest in the country for similar schools, there’s no time like the present to lay the foundation for a solid future by enrolling in GCC before fall classes begin.
 
May 5, 2012 - 7:21pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in SUNY, Genesee Community College, education.

Today was the inauguration of Genesee Community College's fourth president, James M. Sunser, Ed.D. He replaces Stuart Steiner, who recently retired after serving as the college's president for 37 years.

Sunser is pictured up front and center in the above photo, along with the distinguished guests -- including GCC officials, members of the Genesee and Orleans county legislatures, officials from the SUNY system, private colleges and some representatives from the state government.

The fact that GCC has only had four presidents in the nearly 45 years of its existence made this a particularly significant event. Mary Pat Hancock, chair of the Genesee County Legislature and the third speaker at the ceremony, lauded the college's thorough and careful selection process during this "crucial transition."

In his speech, Sunser expressed his enthusiasm for the job.

"It is my honor and privilege to stand before you to reflect on this significant and special day," he said. "I am humbled and honored by the confidence you have shown in me, and I assure you that I will aspire toward the highest standard of excellence, for which this college is known."

He also said that he was proud to be part of a college with such a legacy of "resourcefulness, dedication and faith in the future," pointing out the ordinary citizens who "banded together against conventional wisdom and the community's expectations" to found GCC 45 years ago.

Sunser believes that not only meeting, but exceeding expectations is the challenge of education and anyone who wants to make a lasting difference in the world.

As examples of people who have done this, he talked about key historical figures like Albert Einstein (who grew up with a speech impediment) and Rosa Parks, as well as the aforementioned citizens who pushed for GCC's foundation and the pioneers who first came to this region 200 years ago, "pushing beyond expectations."

"I promise to meet and exceed your expectations at GCC," he said. "I believe there is no more powerful, no more enduring gift than education. (At GCC), we will develop programs and curricula that will bring the best to our work force and help shape the vibrant economic prosperity of the region."

Toward the end of his speech, Sunser also encouraged his partners in the community and ordinary citizens to make a difference.

"Each of us can help change our community," he said. "Let us leave a legacy that makes those who follow us proud."

Sunser is an alumnus of Onondaga Community College (OCC), Syracuse University, SUNY Brockport and the University of Rochester. Before coming to GCC, he worked at OCC for 22 years -- first as bursar, then as vice president of finance, and finally as vice president for continuing and extended learning.

OCC president Debbie L. Sydow, who was one of the greeters at today's ceremony, spoke of Sunser's passion for education and dedication to the service of others.

"He always puts the students' interests first (at OCC)," Sydow said.

She described Sunser as "no-nonsense yet good-natured, smart yet down-to-earth."

For more information on President Sunser, see his biographical page on GCC's website.

Photo courtesy of Kevin Carlson.

January 5, 2012 - 4:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in Genesee Community College, The BEST Center.

Press release:

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's priorities for the State University of New York are good news for SUNY's 64 campuses and for New York State taxpayers, Genesee Community College President James M. Sunser said today.

Gov. Cuomo, in his 2012 legislative address delivered yesterday at Daemen College in Amherst, called the state university system a "precious New York asset" and a "great equalizer for the middle class." The governor said that his new SUNY2020 plan will spur economic development and job creation. SUNY2020 will provide seed money for innovation and economic development initiatives.

President Sunser noted that the governor's plans will further support SUNY's role in spurring business and job growth across the state.

"Our state university system provides a net positive return to New York State residents," Sunser said. "SUNY graduates provide the backbone of many of our critical and emerging industries, and pay state and local taxes far in excess of the investment that taxpayers make in their education.

"Also, SUNY campuses across the state work directly with business organizations, bringing training and knowledge resources that help business leaders build productivity, profit and jobs."

Sunser noted that last year an independent research firm found that Genesee Community College alone has an economic impact of $126 million on the Genesee-Livingston-Orleans-Wyoming region.

Sunser said that last year, The BEST Center, Genesee's highly acclaimed business training division, helped more than 650 business organizations.

"We at Genesee Community College, and the other 63 SUNY campuses, are a driving force for economic stability and growth," he said. "Gov. Cuomo recognizes the critical role that SUNY plays in our statewide economy."

April 7, 2011 - 12:18pm
posted by Gretel Kauffman in theater, Genesee Community College.

This Thursday, the London smash hit "Blood Brothers" will make its local debut at Genesee Community College. 

The show, written by Willy Russell, is based on the 1844 novella "The Corsican Brothers." It has won multiple awards, including the 1983 Olivier Award for Best New Musical and a Tony nomination.

The current West End revival is one of the longest-running productions in history due to its nearly 20-plus year run. But despite its immense popularity across the pond, the musical is rarely heard of, much less performed, in America. 

Director Maryanne Arena says its obscurity is one of the reasons she chose "Blood Brothers." 

"I like doing shows that not everyone does," she said.

The story centers around two twins who are tragically separated at birth, grow up in radically different environments, and become best friends, all the while unaware of their biological connection.

It is a musical, with songs that Arena describes as "a cross between '70s pop and Broadway tunes." Much of the score is accentuated with dancing by Tara Pocock and Leland Fuller.

The director chose the show for both personal and professional reasons.

"The show has always been very close to me because I'm adopted, and it's partially about adoption. I think the topic of nature versus nurture is very interesting: are the genes our parents gave us ones we can't get away from, or is it a matter of our environment and how we're raised? And also, I always pick a show where the kids learn new things. In this case, it was the dialect."

Said dialect is a British accent -- but not the traditional posh one that first comes to mind when thinking of the English. The actors had to learn to talk with a "Northern British" accent, which Arena describes as having stronger Irish and Scottish undertones.

Cal Young, the first-year theater major portraying the twin Mickey, says that prior to the auditions he hadn't ever heard of "Blood Brothers."

"At first I was a little skeptical," he says. "But after a while I began to really relate to the characters emotionally."

Mickey's other half, Edward, is played by Anthony Shoap. Like his fictional twin, he is also a first-year theater major, and also wasn't familiar with the show before this production.

"At first I didn't really like it," he admits. "But I've come to like it a lot more in these past few weeks now that I'm starting to understand all the underlying subtext better."

The story is partially told by a narrator, who is alternately played by Alex Grayson and Patrick Dodge. The role of Mrs. Johnstone, the real biological mother of the twins, is also double-cast with Kiley Conklin and Emily Jones.

"I really couldn't make up my mind," Arena explains of her decision to double-cast the roles. "They all auditioned equally well."

All four of the actors agree that sharing a role improves their performance. 

"It lightens the load," Grayson explains. "It's nice having someone else there to check your performance and help you out."

Although they may be playing the same parts, each of the double-cast actors has created a slightly different character. 

"It's hard to justify the narrator," Dodge says. "He isn't exactly a person. He's sort of a devil-type character. It's interesting to see how Alex interprets the character -- he's not as evil and devilish."

Jones agrees that although being double-cast is "definitely a challenge," it's "something to learn from. We do things differently and have different takes on the show."

For the performances, when they are not playing their main parts, the other narrator and the other Mrs. Johnstone are in the background chorus. 

"Going back and forth gives you so much energy," Conklin says. "When I'm in the chorus playing a little kid, I get so much energy, and that gives more energy to my performance when I'm playing Mrs. Johnstone."

Ian Gayford is the musical director and Patti Simmons is the choreographer.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. April 7-9 (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) and there is a matinee at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 10. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for seniors, students, and GCC faculty/staff, and $3 for GCC students with a valid ID. There is a $2 discount for GCC alums with Alum ID.

Tickets can be reserved in advance or puchased at the door. For more information or to make reservations, contact the GCC Box Office by e-mail ([email protected]) or telephone (345-6814). The box office is open from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and also one hour prior to a performance.

March 7, 2011 - 12:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Genesee Community College.

Here's a news release sent today from Genesee Community College.

The Presidential Search Advisory Committee today named four finalist candidates for the Genesee presidency.

They are:

(1) Brent E. Betit is currently executive vice president and provost of Landmark College in Vermont. He has held various positions at Landmark since 1995. He has also owned and managed his own businesses.

Betit has a bachelor's degree in English Language and Literature from Dartmouth and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Change from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, Calif. He will visit campus on Monday, March 21.

(2) Ronald G. Cantor is currently sssociate vice president and dean at Mohawk Valley Community College in Central New York where he has been since 2004. Previously he was associate dean for Liberal Arts at Jefferson Community College. He has held other positions in various institutions.

Cantor has a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire, an M.Ed. from the University of Nebraska, and a Ph.D. in Cultural Foundations of Education/History from Syracuse University. He will visit campus on Thursday, March 24.

(3) Natalie J. Harder has been vice president of Institutional Advancement and executive director of the Patrick Henry Community College Foundation in Virginia since 2006. Previously she was executive director of the Erie Community College Foundation and was associated with the Buffalo Niagara Partnership.

She has a bachelor's degree in Economics from SUNY Buffalo, an M.S. in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University, and a Ph.D. in Community College Leadership from Old Dominion University. She will visit campus on Tuesday, March 22.

(4) James M. Sunser is vice president for Continuing and Extended Learning at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse. Previously he was vice president of Finance at Onondaga where he has been since 1989.

He was associate bursar at Syracuse University from 1985 to 1989. Sunser has an A.A.S. from Onondaga Community College, a bachelor's degree in Communications from Syracuse University, an M.S. from SUNY Brockport, and an Ed.D. from the University of Rochester. He will visit campus on Friday, March 25.

These finalist selections mean that the search for Genesee's fourth president is nearing a close.

The new president will replace Stuart Steiner, Ed.D, who will retire at the close of the current academic year. He has served as Genesee Community College president since 1975. He arrived at Genesee prior to the opening of the college in 1967 as dean of students. He later served as dean of instruction/executive dean of the college. He is believed to be the second-longest serving community college president in the United States.

An 11-member Presidential Search Advisory Committee conducted a national search last fall that produced a roster of 42 prospective candidates for the position. After reviewing the qualifications and experience of the candidates, the committee identified 13 candidates for intensive review, including detailed reference checks. The committee then conducted confidential interviews with eight of the candidates, from which the four finalists emerged.

Members of the Presidential Search Advisory Committee include: Diane D. Torcello, secretary of the Genesee Community College Board of Trustees and search committee chair; Michael A. Crittenden, professor of Physics; Norbert J. Fuest, human resources manager, Morton International, Inc.; Norman R. Gayford, professor of English; Ada K. Grabowski, retired superintendent of schools, Albion Central School District; Laurie J. Miller, trustee; Glenn R. Morton, trustee; Lori A. Mould, student trustee; Michael S. Stoll, associate vice president for Academic Affairs/dean of Math, Science and Career Education; Raymond J. Strzelecki, building maintenance supervisor; and Charles N. Zambito, Genesee County attorney.

Ex-officio (non-voting) members include Robert J. Bausch, Genesee County legislator and liaison to the board of trustees and Charles R. Ruffino, chair of the board of trustees. Aimee Bernstein and Denise Bukovan of the State University of New York assisted the search committee.

When the four finalists visit the college the week of March 21, each candidate spending a full day on campus, meeting faculty, staff, community residents and members of the board of trustees. The board of trustees hopes to name Genesee's fourth president shortly after the visits.

Search committee Chair Torcello said the committee was pleased by the number and quality of candidates for the position.

"We searched across the nation to identify candidates we believe will best embrace the traditions and values of Genesee Community College," she said. "We believe that our four finalists represent the top tier of emerging community college leaders in the United States, and we believe that each of these four candidates would be an outstanding president.

"We believe our next president will build on Dr. Steiner's extraordinary legacy, and lead Genesee Community College in meeting the new and exciting challenges of the decades ahead."

January 26, 2011 - 3:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in Genesee Community College, GASLAND.

Here's a news release from Genesee Community College:

Hailed as "...one of the most effective and expressive environmental films of recent years" by Variety magazine, the documentary film "GASLAND," will be presented by the Genesee Community College Earth Club at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 27 and at 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 28.

"GASLAND" is a 2010 documentary film written and directed by Josh Fox. It focuses on communities in the United States impacted by natural gas drilling and, specifically, a stimulation method known as "hydraulic fracturing."

The film will be shown in T102 and is free and open to the public.

Hydraulic fracturing (also called "frac jobs" or "fracking") is a process that results in the creation of fractures in rocks. The most important industrial use is in stimulating oil and gas wells, where hydraulic fracturing has been used for several years.

The fracturing is done from a wellbore drilled into reservoir rock formations to increase the rate and ultimate recovery of oil and natural gas.

Hydraulic fractures may be natural or man-made and are extended by internal fluid pressure which opens the fracture and causes it to extend through the rock. Natural hydraulic fractures include volcanic dikes, sills and fracturing by ice as in frost weathering.

Man-made fluid-driven fractures are formed at depth in a borehole and extend into targeted formations. The fracture width is typically maintained after the injection by introducing a proppant into the injected fluid. Proppant is a material, such as grains of sand, ceramic, or other particulates that prevent the fractures from closing when the injection is stopped.

Considerable controversy surrounds the current implementation of hydraulic fracturing technology in the United States. Environmental safety and health concerns have emerged and are being debated at the state and national levels.

"GASLAND" follows filmmaker Josh Fox when he is asked to lease his land for drilling, as he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination.

He encounters a Pennsylvania town and reports that residents are able to light their drinking water on fire. This is just one of the many absurd and astonishing revelations of this documentary.

For more information please visit www.gaslandthemovie.com <http://www.gaslandthemovie.com>.

"New York State recently passed a temporary moratorium on the hydro-fracking process while the EPA completes its study, so this is very important and contemporary topic to our community," said Donna Rae Sutherland, advisor to the GCC Earth Club.

"The Earth Club students wanted to show the movie at two different times and days to ensure any local resident or community college student had a chance to watch the film, which is currently impacting Pennsylvania communities just over the state line and promises to be a topic of significant debate in the Southern Tier."

For further information please contact Sutherland at 343-0055, ext. 6616, or e-mail <http://[email protected]>.

December 10, 2010 - 2:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in Genesee Community College.

This evening from 6 to 10 is Kids' Night Out, a wildly popular four hours of well-supervised fun, food and activities at Genesee Community College. Cost is $10 per child.

This (Friday, Dec. 10) event is for students in second through eighth grades.

Age groups are separated.

Got some shopping to do? Want a quiet dinner out?

Whatever you've got on your to-do, or want-to-do, list can be made just a bit easier perhaps knowing your children are having a blast -- playing games, enjoying sports, doing board games, swimming, making crafts, eating pizza and more!

Certified lifeguards will be on duty along with adult supervisors. If planning to swim, bring a towel, bathing suit and a plastic bag.

NO CELL PHONES ALLOWED!

Register at the main campus building, just inside the main entrance; ditto for checkout. Kids can be picked up early if need be.

Or you may pre-register by e-mailing the child's name, grade, emergency contact number and contact person to: [email protected]

Questions? Call 343-0055, ext. 6454.

(By the way, to date, more than 4,000 youngsters have attended a Kids' Night Out.)

August 19, 2010 - 4:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Genesee Community College, GCEDC, UMMC, MedTech Park.

There will be an open house for the new School of Nursing facilities at MedTech Park from 3 to 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 20.

Genesee Community College and Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) will jointly celebrate the opening of the Dr. Bruce A. Holm Upstate MedTech Centre.

It includes the college's new School of Nursing, the headquarters of GCEDC and the Physical Therapy Department of United Memorial Medical Center.

Community members are invited for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, tours and hands-on demonstrations of the brand-new classrooms and laboratories.

Genesee's School of Nursing occupies the entire second floor of the new MedTech Centre building. The new 20,000-square-foot-facility includes a lecture hall, conference rooms, and three state-of-the-art nursing labs for hands-on, experiential learning.

There's also a student and employee gathering room with tables, a vending area and lockers, which allow students and staff to study, relax or socialize between classes. Faculty and administrative offices also occupy the second floor.

"The college's nursing program recently increased its enrollment, helping address a nationwide demand for more registered nurses," said Kathy Palumbo, director of Genesee's Nursing program. "This new facility exemplifies both the college and business community's commitment to a stronger healthcare workforce.

"We are grateful to all the public officials, private citizens, supporters of the college as well as our dedicated students and faculty who helped make these state-of-the-art facilities a reality."

The open house will welcome Genesee's wide-reaching Nursing Program alumni as well as the nursing faculty and advisory council, Genesee's president, Stuart Steiner, Ed.D, board of trustee members, elected officials and representatives from the GDEDC (which occupies part of the first floor of the building).

"This is an exciting time for GCEDC and Genesee Community College," said Steven Hyde, president and CEO of the GCEDC. "We are not only welcoming the nurses of tomorrow to this brand-new facility, ... we look forward to working collaboratively with the college and other organizations to develop new jobs for our region in the burgeoning new field of medical technology."

The ribbon cutting and School of Nursing open house program includes:

3 p.m. -- Doors open for the Open House

4 p.m. -- Ribbon cutting and brief welcome and acknowledgments by MedTech and college officials

4:30-6:30 p.m. -- Facility tours, School of Nursing demonstrations

An assortment of refreshments will be provided at the reception, including the college's new bottled "Cougar Water."

For further information or to RSVP to the GCC School of Nursing open house and reception please call Patty Hume at 585-343-0055, ext. 6234.

March 24, 2010 - 6:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Genesee Community College.

To hear William Cassidy tell it, the students at Genesee Community College "run a bus service," sort of.

He's a senator in the student government who's lobbying to change the status quo for funding bus transportation. As it stands, the B-Line Bus Service to the college is paid for with student activity fees, a practice that's been in place for years and years.

What many at the college would like to see, is a "market-based" system wherein the students who use the B-Line buy a bus pass. Now, the entire student body chips in to pay for something that a small minority of students use regularly.

Currently, $118 per full-time student and $22 per part-time student goes into the student activities fund each semester. This pays for major equipment repairs, as approved by the college Board of Trustees, pre-season and post-season athletics, and day care.

The fund is left with $322,000 for trips, pizza parties, movies, etc., and to finance B-Line Service, which costs $52,000. Individual riders show their student I.D. cards and pay nothing to get onboard. Non-students, those without I.D.s, pay $1.

The current three-year contract with B-Line expires in May and negotiations are under way for a new one. The latest talks occurred Monday.

Linda Knox, who is in charge of the B-Line Service in Genesee County, said she could not discuss the matter due to the negotiations. Cliff Scutella, a student advisor at GCC, is working to bring student government reps and transportation officials together to discuss the issue.

"Last time I checked the SUNY Charter, it allows student government to spend its activity funds as the campus sees fit," Cassidy said. "It doesn't mention running a bus service."

Cassidy facetiously suggests starting a "Bus Club" for riders to earn money to pay for B-Line Service. All the other campus clubs are obliged to raise their own funds.

"We could have a bus wash," Cassidy said.

The transit authority has suggested reducing the cost of the B-Line by having fewer runs, a solution Cassidy finds "absurd" because the GCC loop has more riders than any other route in the county.

When asked about other options for funding bus service to the college, Rochester General Regional Transportation Authority, which B-Line is part of, apparently likes things the way they are.

Myriam T. Contiguglia, its regional marketing coordinator, offered this statement:

"The 30-year partnership between BBS and GCC has provided students with reliable transportation allowing them to access higher education. Removing the transportation barrier creates less stress for students so they can concentrate on academics thus increasing graduation rates.

"People living in rural areas face many of the same challenges as people living in urban centers seeking educational opportunities but often have to travel greater distances, have less opportunities for part-time jobs and income levels are often lower. The availability of public transportation in rural areas removes two barriers from people going to school: the lack of private transportation and the expenditure of limited income to pay for insurance, gas, car payments. The money saved can go towards paying for tuition and books."

February 15, 2010 - 9:18pm
posted by Scott Grefrath in batavia, business, Genesee Community College.

TopLine Shirt Co picture.jpg

 In times of a tough economy, there is only one way to find a guaranteed job; you have to create it and that’s just what current Genesee Community College student and the college's CEO Club President, 20 year old Tim Walton did.

During the summer of 2007, Tim was going into his senior year at Batavia High School and had a busy schedule ahead since he was the captain of the Batavia Ice Devils varsity hockey team and school mayor. This left a lot of responsibility but not a lot of time to hold a job.

After a childhood where Walton had owned a lemonade stand at age 8, on Meadowbrook Golf Course, managed the ice rink sound booth since age 12, and owned a web based business at age 16, Walton always had the mindset to be his own boss. “I knew that when I got older, I wanted to sell things, own my own business, and be creative with it at the same time”. That was when Walton, who has always been artistic, decided to explore graphic design and jobs that go along with that. “I thought to myself; I like designing things, why not design stuff to put onto shirts and mugs?”  He then contacted a local print company to print clothing and other companies to print the promotional (pens, mugs, etc) wholesalers that would print the products for him, and allow him to resell them to his customer at the retail value. This is when Walton, officially launched his home based, yet professional, TopLine Shirt Company.

January 14, 2010 - 2:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in announcements, Genesee Community College.

Genesee Community College Vice President for Student and Enrollment Services Virginia Taylor reported to the board of trustees this week that as of Jan. 5, a total of 636 prospective students applied for admission on a full-time basis for the spring semester.

That's up 11.8 percent from the 569 prospective students who applied a year ago.

President Stuart Steiner said that as of this morning, 3,868 students had registered for classes, up 7 percent from the 3,615 students who registered a year ago.

Those registering for courses on a full-time basis numbered 2,813, an increase of 9.3 percent from last year's registration of 2,573 students.

Vice President for Finance and Operations Kevin Hamilton reported that work on the Genesee County Economic Development Center's Bruce Holm Med Tech Park is proceeding on schedule. He said if work continues to be on track, the GCEDC should receive a certificate of occupancy about June 15 and that the college's Nursing Program can move into the facility July 1.

October 8, 2009 - 1:46pm

A lot of times, people think of life-science workers as some nerds in white lab coats enthralled with Petri dishes and gaseous vials of God-knows-what simmering on Bunsen burners.

Of course, that's a stereotype and one that regional educators, employers and professionals are actively working to erase. They have a plan as to how to accomplish this and to enlightened people about the plethora of job opportunities available in life sciences.

The cornerstone was announced Tuesday by the Genesee County Economic Development Center. It's dubbed "iSciWNY," a collaborative effort out of the University of New York at Buffalo.

Touted as a "comprehensive life-sciences workforce development program," it's designed to prepare Western New Yorkers -- not just scientists -- for new positions in the region’s growing life-sciences industry.

September 13, 2009 - 7:10am

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It was found out Saturday evening that the Genesee Cougars Men's Basketball team has a new star player. Sign him up folks, Batavia's own Paul Ohlson, founder of Care-A-Van Ministries! It seemed Pastor Dale Gooch of the Emmanuel Baptist church was negotiating the deal.

I just could not resist sharing this breaking news! Ok, well maybe it is just his dream,, to be a star basketball player  but the reality of it all is that the vision of Care-A-Van Ministries is strong and truly is a key player in bringing hope and encouragement to all.

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