Genesee Honors Program Showcases Excellence at Genesee Community College, Dean Reports

Genesee Community College's Honors Program showcases student excellence at the College, Dr. Katharina Kovach-Allen, Dean of Human Communications and Behavior, reported to the Board of Trustees Monday evening.

The Honors Program provides students with the opportunity to participate in an honors seminar and an interdisciplinary honors course, work closely with faculty mentors on individualized study projects, and participate in special academic and service activities. Enrollment in the Honors Program has grown from 14 in fall 2003 to 19 in spring 2005. "Students in the program have academically distinguished themselves, either here at Genesee or elsewhere," Dr. Kovach-Allen said. "The Honors Program gives hardworking and top performing students the opportunity to work even harder, and pursue individual academic interests."Ten of the 19 students enrolled in the spring semester's program participated in a special interdisciplinary course on race relations, said Karen D. Taylor, Associate Professor of English and one of the Honors Program coordinators. The course was led by a team of faculty members - Instructor of History Garth Swanson, Assistant Professor of Sociology Patricia Schwartz, Associate Professor of English Marie Iglesias Cardinale, and Associate Professor of Biology Marirose Ethington.

Over the last academic year, students in the program also participated in several service learning projects involving Viva la Casa, a family refuge shelter in Buffalo. Students painted the facility, and spearheaded a book drive to benefit the shelter's clients.

Three Genesee students, Neil E. Gagne of Batavia, Renee D. Price of Stafford, and Barbara Falker-Crandall of Oakfield, shared their experiences as Honors students. "This was an exciting learning opportunity," Mr. Gagne said. "It was a lot of work, but it added a unique dimension to the college experience." Said Ms. Price: "The more encouragement I got through the program, the more I wanted to do." Ms. Falker-Crandall called the experience "challenging and rewarding." Mr. Gagne, who participated in a faculty mentorship with Associate Professor of Music Ann Reid, wrote and recorded a children's musical CD as part of the Honors Program. Ms. Price created an actual British Literature course, working under the guidance of Instructor of Teacher Education Christine Belongia. The course was later reviewed by Genesee faculty members, who plan to adapt it and offer it in the future. Ms. Falker-Crandall pursued projects in the domestic violence field and wrote a children's book that she is now attempting to have published.

Genesee's Honors Program symbolizes the College's commitment to high academic standards, according to Dr. Kovach-Allen. "Our Honors Program speaks volumes about the capabilities of Genesee's students, and the rich academic experiences they can find here," she said.