Winners of Three Contests Exemplify Diversity at Genesee Community College

Three separate contests held at Genesee Community College last week reflect the diversity of academic programs, the dynamic blend of the institution's special events, and the wide-range of different participants. From the very stimulating poetry contest where a Colorado distance learning student won the grand prize, to the Recycled Art Contest which involved artists from ages 3 years to 50 years, and the "Math is Power" Poster Contest which engaged middle school students-Genesee Community College is constantly exploring new ways to promote educational opportunity and reach a wide array of different populations.

Student Poetry Contest The fourth annual Student Poetry Contest brought in 73 entries from across academic programs and age groups. The Poetry Contest is sponsored by the staff at the College's Alfred C. O'Connell Library and continues to grow in popularity each year. This is the first year that a true distance learning student from out of state participated and also won the grand prize. The following highlights the poetry winners and the interesting aspects of their lives:

Keith Andrew, Littleton, Colorado, won Grand Prize for Rincon Ristras which is Spanish for 'corner' and 'foods that are stringed together, such as garlic.' Keith found out about the poetry contest through the promotional listing on Genesee's website. Though he resides in Colorado, he is a native of New Mexico and is enrolled in Genesee's African American literature course. Carla Southwell Wood, Batavia, NY, won First Prize for mouth. She is a "second career" student at Genesee with five children aging from kindergarten through college, and she has three grandchildren. She is excited about entering Genesee's Nursing program this fall and would one day like to write children's books and poetry.

Dawn Brinson, Bergen, NY, won Second Prize for Algebra, a poem she admits she wrote, in part, for extra class credit. Dawn is the mother of five children and is managing to squeeze in some business classes at Genesee to pursue her Business degree, which she hopes will help her develop her own business.

Peggy Walsh, Attica, NY, won Third Prize for Death please cease your taunting. As a full-time student majoring in Math and Science, Peggy plans to continue her education and pursue a bachelor's degree in Physics. She is an Air Force Veteran who served in the Gulf War, currently works at the Veteran's Hospital in Batavia, and teaches guitar in Attica. She considers herself a "closet" writer.

Jeremy W. Skrzypek, Chaffee, NY, won Fourth Prize for .3452. As a second semester General Studies student, Jeremy is taking classes at the Arcade Campus Center. He plans to transfer to a larger university to pursue a bachelor's degree in Philosophy.

Gracja M. Nowak, Attica, NY, won Fifth Prize for My Son Learns to Swim. Gracja is a native of Poland and immigrated from Poland in the early 80's with her artistically inclined parents. She is enrolled in Genesee's Paralegal program and plans to transfer to the University of Buffalo where her interests in political science will guide her goal of becoming an attorney in international law.

Ashley Versaggi, Oakfield, NY, won Sixth Prize for City Lights. Ashley is a General Studies major at Genesee Community College with a concentration in Chemistry. She plans to transfer under the 2+2 program to SUNY Brockport in spring 2006. Her keen interest in "science of any kind" are an interesting contrast to her other loves, which include writing, reading, drawing, painting, theatrical plays and musicals, and anything creative.

"We were so impressed with the wonderful blend of different students who entered the poetry contest this year," Judy Sikora, Genesee's Director of Library Services said. "Their work really reflected the very best part of a community college-with people from all walks of life expressing their experiences through the written word."

The coordinators of the poetry contest wish to express their gratitude to the following supporters of the program: Red Osier Landmark Restaurant, Six Flags Darien Lake, Genesee Country Village and Museum, Artemis Day Spa, Terry Hills Miniature Golf, Mirror Images, and Genesee Community College's Student Activities Office.

A group photograph of some of the poetry contest winners is located at the following Internet address:

Standing left to right are: Carla Southwell Wood, Dawn Brinson, Gracja M. Nowak, and Ashley Versaggi.

The Recycled Art Contest The second annual Recycled Art Contest celebrating the "Spirit of Earth Day" was sponsored by the College's Earth Club. The contest was open to the public and "recycling artists" of all ages and persuasions. Each entry must have included a minimum of 75% recycled materials to create the original artwork in any one of four categories including: "Art for art's sake," "Utilitarian art," "Wearable art," "Edible or culinary art."

The first place prize was shared by the children at Genesee Community College's Day Care Center who created "Bug City." This unique model of a city was created completely from recycled materials. Egg cartons were fencing, plastic water bottles were sky scrapers, popsicle sticks were diving boards, and the tuna can on top of the paper towel roll was the water tower. With architectural style and finesse, the young designers were very proud and convincing that their creation was the next great development for Genesee County.

Second prize went to Margaret Van Arsdale for her "Lemon Head," which utilitized dried food and garden scraps to create a truly original work of fine art that was suitably dehydrated, framed and ready to be displayed in a gallery space. Margaret works in multi-media and had submitted two works of art to the Recycling Art Contest. She resides in Castile, NY.

Third prize was awarded to Amanda Alexander, a Genesee student studying Biology. Amanda created two unique working lamps from a popcorn popper and an old blender. After removing most of the internal mechanisms of the old appliances, Amanda wired the units with electrical light bulb devices and when she plugged them in light illuminated the table top from inside the old popcorn shoot and the blender's clear plastic pitcher.

"There was some very clever concepts developed by recycled art contestants and we were delighted to see the diversity of artwork and artists," Donna Rae Sutherland, one of the Earth Day Celebration coordinators said. "An important part of being an environmentalist isn't just recycling, but reusing. This was clearly at work and at play for this fun-filled event."

The Earth Club of Genesee Community College wishes to recognize the prizes donated by ACE Hardware / Gui's Lumber and Batavia Wal-Mart.

Photograph of some of the Bug City design team from the Day Care of Genesee Community College is located at the following Internet address: left to right and displaying the winning prize gift certificate from Wal-Mart: John Munding, Seth George, Marcy Midla, and Kirsten Phillips. left to right in front of Bug City are: Victoria Trader, Dakota Cooper, Kirsten Phillips, and Seth George. John Munding is standing in the back. Not in picture: Chloe Babcock, Ryan Draper, Ashia Edwards, Madison Griffin, Cameron Hausfelder, Taiyo Iburi-Bethel, Macy Midla, and Tori Trader. The Math Poster Contest The second annual Math Poster Contest was sponsored by Genesee's Math Club with the goal of inspiring an appreciation for mathematics at the middle school grade level where students often lack a positive impression about math. Following the theme "Math is Power," contestants' were encouraged to create original posters to alter some negative attitudes about math, which can impact achievement levels. The whole poster contest boosts the notion that math is a powerful tool, and 6th, 7th and 8th graders should not fear this subject. More students may eventually pursue degrees and even jobs that require mathematics-leading them to a wider range of career options.

Thirty-one students entered the contest which was open to all middle school students (grades 6-8) in Genesee County, the following winners were announced last Wednesday at the awards ceremony: Jennifer Call, 1st Place; Casey Boyle, 2nd Place; Katie Durham, Danielle Morton, and Kaitie Allen, 3rd Place; Honorable Mentions went to Julia Cole, McKenzie Harris, Cady Glor, and Alyssa Cole. All students were enrolled in the Oakfield-Alabama school District.

Please note: A photograph of the math contest winners is located at the following Internet location and other images are also available by contacting Donna Rae Sutherland at 585-343-0055 x 6616. Contest winners.JPG.

Standing left to right are: Casey Boyle (8th grade), Jennifer Call (7th grade), Katie Durham (6th grade), Kaitie Allen (6th grade), Danielle Morton (6th grade), and Julia Cole (6th grade). All students are enrolled in the Oakfield-Alabama School District.