Genesee Community College Announces March Employee and Student of the Month

Genesee Community College is pleased to announce Joan Puccio has been named Employee of the Month for March. Joan is a part-time Technical Assistant in the College Tech Prep Program. She brings great skills to the department and consistently steps up to help whenever needed, and does so with a smile and warm demeanor.

Joan has been with Genesee for the last four years and currently works in the Accelerated College Enrollment (ACE) Programs office under College Tech Prep. The College Tech Prep program is designed to help high school students explore career options and make a smooth transition from high school to college to professional careers. College Tech Prep consists of many programs including Health Careers Academy, Legal Careers Academy, Business Career Focus, Information Technology Career Focus, and the newly added Theatre Arts Academy.

Joan assists the College Tech Prep Project Director with many tasks including recruitment, grant proposals, end of the year reports, presentations, College tours and many other ACE program related tasks. Joan does an excellent job administering the COPS tests (career interest inventories) in the local high schools and has taken on an integral role in coordinating Tenth Grade Opportunity Days, the Virtual Enterprise Trade Fair, and Professional Day. She has a great depth of contacts in area high schools and has successfully led the high school Biotechnology Wired Grant program, along with arranging field trips and assisting students and teachers.

Before coming to Genesee, Joan retired as the Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent and Clerk of the Board of Education at Honeoye Falls-Lima Central School District. In addition, Joan was also the Secretary to the Superintendent and Clerk of the Board of Education at Attica Central Schools. She holds an associate’s degree in Executive Secretarial Studies from Auburn Community College.

Currently residing in Attica, NY Joan has two sons Richard (Debbie) Puccio and Patrick (Candice) Puccio and three granddaughters Allie, Ashlyn and Aubrey as well as one grandson, Joey. She enjoys spending time with all of her grandchildren and cooking for her family. Joan also enjoys watching football and shopping.

“My favorite aspect of working at Genesee is the wonderful people I work with in the ACE office,” Joan said. “It’s so nice to work in such a caring community. I enjoy coming to work every day.”

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Genesee Community College is pleased to name Moses Nhial as Student of the Month for March.
Moses is a full time General Studies student at Genesee and recently became a United States Citizen. Moses is originally from Jonglei State in southern Sudan and came to the United States in 2001 to escape a civil war. Moses has overcome great adversity in his life and has managed to become an ambitious young adult.

Moses’ childhood was filled with attacks on his village and constant fleeing to new refugee camps and other countries to avoid violence and brutality. As a youth, he took refuge in Ethiopia and Kenya with help from the United Nations. While in Ethiopia, he not only encountered the outbreak of another civil war, but his mother, the only family member with him at that time, died of an illness. Moses then relocated to northern Kenya and remained there until 2001, when he came to the United States.

While in the US, Moses attended Thomas Jefferson High School in Rochester, NY where he graduated in June of 2007. He came to Genesee for the small rural campus that allows him to attend classes without getting lost in the commotions of a larger campus and allows him to live on campus rather than taking public transportation to campus. He also chose Genesee for its small class sizes where he knew he would be comfortable and flourish as a student.

Moses plans on attending a four year college after he graduates from Genesee to explore studies in International Relations. He would someday like to have a job with the United Nations, one of the many agencies that helped him on his journey to the US.

Moses has been honored with many awards and scholarships in the short time he has lived in the Unites States. Throughout high school, he was named to the honor and high honor rolls, as well as the recipient of the Citizenship Award from Thomas Jefferson High in 2003. In 2007 he was awarded the Margaret O’Leary Memorial Scholarship Award and the Nancy Carey Memorial Scholarship Award from the Catholic Family Center of Rochester. Most recently he was awarded a Scholarship Award from the Downtown Presbyterian Church of Rochester in 2008.

His willingness to share his story through discussions at Genesee and at St. John Fisher College about “The Lost Boys of Sudan” is a testament to his positive attitude. As a work study student in Genesee Community College’s library, the staff greatly appreciates Moses’ “can-do” attitude and all the help and assistance he provides to them with a wide range of tasks and projects. Moses is a positive role model for everyone at Genesee Community College.

“I really am enjoying my time at Genesee,” Moses said. “I like it here because it is very quiet to study and has more diversity of the students than other campuses I have visited.”

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Editor’s Note:
A photograph of President Stuart Steiner (left), Joan Puccio (middle) and Moses Nhial (right) is available at the following internet address: