Fall Semester Starts as Doors to New Facilities Welcome in Diverse Student Body

Trustees Meet and Greet New Employees and Student Trustee

The Student Success Center and Richard C. Arena had their doors wide open to welcome another diverse group of students to Genesee Community College for the 2017-2018 academic year. At Monday’s monthly meeting, the College’s Board of Trustees learned that 130 international students from more than 20 different countries will call Batavia, New York home for the next year or two. In addition, GCC welcomed 34 students from the New York City area, and 135 students received funding through the new Excelsior Scholarship initiative.

With course registrations still continuing for the College’s 12-week, 8-week and Accelerated College Enrollment (ACE) program offered in area high schools—the final enrollment figures cannot be determined just yet. However, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Kathleen Schiefen could already report an increase in enrollment for two Liberal Arts and Science programs. Both the Teacher Education Transfer and General Studies programs are showing an increase in enrollment. Additionally, she noted that five new technology improvements are now enabling College faculty, staff and administration to more effectively manage data, conduct research, schedule courses and assess the ongoing effort of continuously improving the overall college experience as well as student success.

The monthly meeting began with a short reception for Trustees to meet the newest members of the College ‘family’ including: Levi Olsen, director of Buildings and Grounds; Courtney Andros, assistant director of Human Resources Compliance; Jessica Olin, director of Library Services; Laura Taylor, instructor of Fashion Business Mechandising; and Karyn Bryson, instructor of Paralegal Studies. New Student Trustee, Benjamin B. Martis was also introduced and welcomed. A dual degree between Theatre Arts and Theatre Technology, Martis is a native of the Caribbean Island Curacao. As a second year student, he has been very active in Student Government Association, the Forum Players Theatre Group and he is also a resident assistant at College Village. 

In other business, the Board of Trustees:

•           Heard Richard Ensman, executive director of the Genesee Community College Foundation report on College Village, which has owned and operated the student residential community adjacent to the College’s Batavia Campus for 17 years. With occupancy at approximately 84 percent so far this semester, College Village staff members are continuing to carefully research the student housing marketplace to explore the next phase of renovations that will improve the student resident experience, particularly in the older buildings, some of which date back to 1983. Among the concepts being reviewed is a new model of collegiate living where up to 16 single bedrooms surround a central common area offering a shared kitchen, dining and living space. In addition to this major transformation of the existing space, College Village is also reviewing the cost and benefits of just complete interior remodeling that would include new kitchen and bathroom fixtures, as well as new lighting, carpeting, furniture and reconfiguring the storage spaces. The remodeling and reconfiguration concepts are the direct result of a multipoint market research effort that included focus groups of College Village residents conducted by an independent consultant, staff visits to many other student housing complexes, and reviewing the materials available through external housing organizations.

•           Approved the Professor Emeritus status for James Habermas, who recently retired from GCC after 33 years of service as professor in the area of Computer Information and Technology. Professor Habermas received a SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1990, and he continually remained abreast of technological innovations for his students taking them from Commodore computing to Cloud-based servers and software licensing over the past three and half decades. 

•           Heard William Emm, executive vice president for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness report on the final “punch list” phase of the $25 million construction of the Student Success Center and the Richard C. Call Arena. To date, the College has invested approximately $21.4 million with a number of small project details to be finished. From minor items such as doors signs and adjusting door card readers, to more significant matters such as installing the concession stand sink and finishing up the parking lot—Emm indicated all work should be completed by Thanksgiving.

•           Heard about two new technical specialist / student advisor appointments for the Upward Bound program that are funded under a one-year grant. Specifically, Erin Coffey who earned her M.S. in Education from The College at Brockport and she has a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in health science. Jared Lincourt holds a M.A. in Philosophy from Brock University in St. Catherine, Ontario and he has a bachelor’s degree in English and Philosophy from SUNY Fredonia. Ms. Coffey resides in Fairport, NY and Lincourt resides in Batavia, NY.  

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