Six members of Genesee Community College's faculty and staff are retiring this year with a total of 188 years of accumulated service to the College. Donna J. Blake, Maxine M. Long, Bernard Marcus, J. Michael Powers, and George W. Walker III will retire at the end of the spring semester or during the summer. Charles M. Platt retired in December 2005.
Their departures are bittersweet, said President Stuart Steiner. "Each of these six colleagues are active professionally and involved in their communities," he said. "I believe they will remain closely associated with Genesee so I look forward to seeing them and hearing from them regularly. These individuals have profoundly influenced the success of Genesee Community College, and their work has touched the lives of several generations of students. We will miss their presence at Genesee."
The six faculty and staff members represent a variety of academic disciplines and professions:
•Donna J. Blake, Professor of Human Services, has served Genesee for 35 years. Professor Blake taught many of the human services professionals who now work in human care agencies throughout the region. She is particularly well known for her commitment to internships and field experience, which provide "real-life" career preparation for students. •Maxine M. Long, Professor of English, has also served Genesee for 35 years. Dr. Long has taught a wide variety of English courses at Genesee. Students frequently remember her as a professor who stressed a mastery of the basics of composition. In addition to her work at Genesee, Dr. Long has a longstanding interest in children's literature and is well known throughout the region as a storyteller. •Bernard Marcus, Professor of Biology. Professor Marcus has served on Genesee's faculty for 38 years. Throughout his career he has been a strong proponent of hands-on learning experiences. He created Genesee's Rainforest Biology course, which gives students the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica and learn biology principles in the Costa Rican wilderness. Professor Marcus has also been involved in many environmental causes. •Charles M. Platt, Professor of Communications Media. A former television broadcaster, Professor Platt served Genesee for 26 years. Many area communications professionals and radio personalities received their training from him. Professor Platt was well known as the faculty advisor to the College's popular radio station, WGCC-FM. •J. Michael Powers, Professor of Fine Arts and Ceramics. A practicing artist and former Peace Corps volunteer, Professor Powers served Genesee for 33 years. In addition to teaching fine arts, Professor Powers continued to create his own pieces throughout the years. Professor Powers regularly displayed numerous pieces of student artwork in his Genesee Center for the Arts classroom. •George W. Walker, III, Vice President for Student Services. Dr. Walker served Genesee for 21 years, first as Director of Institutional Advancement and, beginning in 1989, as the College's chief student services officer. Dr. Walker was a strong advocate of student-friendly policies and practices, and frequently spoke to college and community groups about the "Walt Disney" philosophy of customer service.
Four of the retiring faculty and staff members have already offered to serve as adjunct faculty members, teaching one or two courses a semester, in the years ahead. "We wish each of these individuals well, and we hope they enjoy a satisfying and productive retirement," Dr. Steiner said. "It goes without saying that we hope and expect they will remain closely involved with Genesee Community College."