GCC Trustee Laurie Miller Receives Prestigious Statewide Award, Board Hears

Genesee Community College trustees learned Monday evening that the New York State Community College Trustees Association plans to confer the Anne M. Bushnell Memorial Award on GCC Trustee Laurie J. Miller October 21 at the annual NYCCT meeting in Cooperstown.

Arcade, New York — Genesee Community College trustees learned Monday evening that the New York State Community College Trustees Association plans to confer the Anne M. Bushnell Memorial Award on GCC Trustee Laurie J. Miller October 21 at the annual NYCCT meeting in Cooperstown. The Board of Trustees heard the news when members gathered at the Arcade Campus Center for its October meeting.

The unique honor is bestowed on trustees who exemplify extraordinary leadership and achievement in their roles. The award is not given annually, and when it is given, NYCCT leaders honor trustees who have made significant contributions to their own colleges as well as the network of 30 community colleges across New York State.  

The award was created in 1986 in honor of the late Anne Bushnell, a long-serving trustee of Ulster Community College. Besides her service to Ulster, she was an early member of the Association of Boards of Community Colleges (forerunner organization to NYCCT) and she served as president of the association. She was known throughout New York State for her vigorous support of community colleges, and served as a mentor to many community college trustees across the state.

Ms. Miller has served as a GCC trustee since 2000. She has served as chair of most board subcommittees, as well as two years as Board of Trustees chair. Ms. Miller and her husband, Charles, are residents of the Alexander area and have spent their careers in agriculture. She has been involved in numerous volunteer activities over the years, including 4-H, Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Batavia Senior Center and statewide agricultural committees.

“Trustee Miller has given of her time, skills and energy for many years to our College, and she has done so in a spirit of quiet, humble generosity,” President James M. Sunser said after learning of the award. “Laurie has a deep personal commitment to our community, and to the needs of future generations. Her work as a member of the Board of Trustees has already touched a generation of students, and will influence generations to come.”

Genesee Community College has been known throughout the United States for its dedicated and skilled trustees. Ms. Miller is not the first GCC trustee to be honored with the Anne M. Bushnell Memorial Award.  Former Trustee Melvin J. Wentland was honored with the prestigious award in 2006.

The ten-member all-volunteer Board of Trustees is the governing body of Genesee Community College. 


In other business Monday evening, the Board of Trustees:

  • Heard Executive Vice President for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness William T. Emm report that contractors continue to make excellent progress on the construction of the new Student Success Center and Richard C. Call Arena on the Batavia Campus. Mr. Emm reported that second floor mechanicals, duct work, interior studs, and electrical and plumbing infrastructure are largely complete in the Student Success Center. He reported that the shell of the second story of the Arena is largely complete, as well as much electrical and plumbing. Site work also continues with minor reconfiguration of the parking, curbs and lighting fixtures. Contractors hope to have the two buildings largely enclosed before Thanksgiving, enabling them to make continuous progress on the interior during the winter months.
  • Heard Dr. Sunser report on the State University of New York’s new “ban-the-box” policy. Under the new policy, individuals may apply to any of SUNY’s 64 campuses without disclosing any prior criminal convictions they may have. Colleges may, however, ask the applicants to programs that require licensure or to student housing, about prior convictions after acceptance.
  • Heard Deborah DiNoto, Associate Dean of the Arcade Campus Center, report that the most popular degree and certificates among the 143 students attending classes at the Arcade Campus Center this fall are General Studies, Business Administration, Human Services and Health Studies. About 70% of the students are pursuing their studies on a full-time basis, and growing numbers of traditional-age students are registering for courses at the Arcade Center. Dr. DiNoto and art instructor Sarah Tobin also reported that they recently reconfigured two classrooms at no cost, enabling the Center to consolidate fine arts classes in one space and science courses in another space. This means that display and storage space, sink space, and lab and art equipment can be dedicated to each of these two academic disciplines, and equipment and projects do not need to be moved around after each class. Dr. DiNoto also reported that the Arcade Campus Center and Warsaw Campus Center Advisory Committees recently consolidated into a single Wyoming County Advisory Committee, giving the campus center deans and programs what Dr. DiNoto called a “big picture, community-wide focus.”  Trustee Benjamin J. Bonarigo complimented Dr. DiNoto, and the Arcade staff and faculty:  “I stopped in to Sarah’s classroom on my way in, and I have to tell you, everyone was totally engaged with their work.”
  • Bestowed the title “Professor Emeritus” on Kathy L. Palumbo, who recently retired from the College as director of the Nursing Program. Prior to leading the program, Ms. Palumbo served as a longtime nursing faculty member. Ms. Palumbo is a resident of Pembroke.  Professor Emeritus is an honorary status conferred on longtime distinguished faculty members upon their retirement. Professors emeriti are invited to participate in commencement and other academic ceremonies, as well as many other college events. Board of Trustees Chair Laura J. Bohm told other trustees that “under her [Ms. Palumbo’s] guidance, the nursing program has grown and succeeded tremendously.”

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Editor’s Note: For a photograph of GCC Trustee Laurie Miller, please go to: