Six Genesee Community College faculty members, as well as one classified service staff member have received SUNY Chancellor’s Awards, which recognize outstanding contributions to their respective professional fields, campuses, communities, and the public at large.
The six faculty members are: Maryanne Arena, director of Fine and Performing Arts; Cindy Francis, Collection Development Librarian and Library Management System administrator; Barry Garigen, professor of Criminal Justice; Kathy Palumbo, professor of Nursing; Barbara Shine, assistant professor of Business; and Roberta Taggart, assistant professor of Human Services. Additionally, an award for non-faculty Classified Service employees was created this year. Marilyn Dickinson, executive secretary to the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, was also honored with an award.
Maryanne Arena received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service. She came to Genesee in 2004 and is currently the director of Fine and Performing Arts. Maryanne is a professional union actor and has been directing and teaching theatre for many years. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre from East Stroudsburg University and a Master’s degree in Acting and Theatre from Brooklyn College. A benchmark in her dynamic theatre career is the creation of the Summer Youth Theatre Camp at Genesee. Area youths learn the craft of theater and produce and star in a production that is sold out each year. She volunteers her time in the local community with annual Rotary productions and enjoys passing her professional skills down to the next generation. She resides in Batavia with her husband, Batavia.
Cindy Francis received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Librarianship. She came to Genesee in 1993 as a part-time Library Circulation Desk Clerk and is currently the Library Management System administrator and Collection Development librarian. She holds an Associate’s degree from Genesee in Liberal Arts, a Bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing from Arizona State University and a Master’s degree in Library Science from the University of Buffalo. In addition to overseeing the Library Management System, Cindy coordinates many library events, oversees the archives and sits on the Faculty Senate and Curriculum Committees. She resides in Batavia.
Barry Garigen received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service. An associate professor, Barry has over 32 years experience in the criminal justice field, which includes policing, courts, corrections and teaching. He is a full-time faculty member and coordinates the Criminal Justice Program at Genesee. He served with the Genesee County Sheriff's Office for over 24 years, holding various positions and retiring as the Undersheriff in 1996. While working with the Sheriff's Office, he also served as an adjunct faculty member at Genesee for nearly 20 years. Professor Garigen also received the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2000. He holds an Associate's Degree from Genesee, a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from SUNY Empire State College and a Master's Degree in Public Administration from SUNY Brockport. He resides in LeRoy.
Kathy Palumbo received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Kathy is currently the director of the Nursing Program and a professor of Nursing. Students in Kathy’s classes consistently express that she makes learning a fun and interactive experience. Kathy first came to Genesee as a temporary instructor in 1984. She returned to Genesee as an associate professor in 1990 and was promoted to full professor in 2007. In January 2009, she was appointed director of the Nursing Program. Before coming to Genesee, she was an instructor of Nursing at Millard Fillmore School of Nursing. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing and a Master’s of Science in Nursing from SUNY Buffalo. Kathy sits on many College committees and participates in numerous professional development activities. She resides in Corfu.
Barbara Shine received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. Barb has worked at Genesee for over seven years and is currently an assistant professor of Business for traditional and online courses. Her endless energy and enthusiasm has made her stand out as a faculty member at Genesee. Before coming to Genesee, Barb worked in corporate management at Fisher-Price, as an entrepreneur in her own family business located in Arcade, NY, as well as an executive director of a non-profit industry education foundation. Her first position at Genesee was director of Workforce Development at The BEST Center, which she held for three years. She currently teaches various business administration courses, is a College committee volunteer, and is a management skills trainer for The BEST Center. Barb is a faculty advisor for Genesee’s CEO (Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization) Club where her leadership and hard work enabled students to create the “Scholars” brand of new products, including its inaugural Apple Cider Syrup. Additionally, Barb has been a central player in the development of the WIRED Emerging Entrepreneurs (WEE) scholarship program at Genesee. Through the WEE program, Barb is students and community members pursue their entrepreneurial dreams by completing two Genesee business courses, tuition-free. She resides in Corfu, NY with her husband Dennis who also teaches at Genesee.
Roberta Taggart received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Roberta came to Genesee in 1997 and is currently an assistant professor of Human Services. She is a licensed practical nurse (LPN) and is a NYS certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. She earned a Bachelor’s of Human Services and Community Service Administration degree from SUNY Empire and a Master’s degree in Human Relations and Addiction Counseling from Westbrook University. In addition to her academic teachings, she has written “Chemical Abuse and Dependency Issues: A Basic Study Guide for Nurses and Other Health Care Professionals.” Roberta sits on many college committees and mentors honor students. She resides in Batavia.
Marilyn Dickinson received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service. She is currently the executive secretary to the executive vice president for Academic Affairs. Marilyn began her long career at Genesee after graduating from Genesee in 1970. Since then, Marilyn has been one of the College’s most dedicated and loyal employees. Her extensive knowledge of policies and procedures assists her every day in helping to students and both internal and external customers. Her sense of “customer service” led to her being one of the co-founders of a staff development team on campus called GUSTO! (Genesee Unites to Support Team Opportunities), which has been in existence since 1995 and promotes professional development and customer service among employees. Marilyn organizes and prioritizes a very demanding work environment with frequent interruptions from administrators, faculty, staff, and students. She is a high-level “multi- tasker” and a team player, ready and willing to work in cooperation with other departments and staff at the College. She resides in Batavia.
Each of these distinguished College employees and SUNY honorees were honored at a reception at the Batavia Campus on Thursday, August 20.
Editor’s Note: A group photograph of the 2009 Chancellor’s Award recipients is available at:
CAPTION: Genesee Community College 2009 SUNY Chancellor’s Award winners. Standing from left to right: Barry Garigen, professor of Criminal Justice, Excellence in Faculty Service, Kathy Palumbo, director of the Nursing Program and professor of Nursing, Excellence in Teaching, Marilyn Dickenson, executive secretary to the executive vice president for Academic Affairs, Excellence in Classified Service, Cindy Francis, Library Management System administrator and Collection Development librarian, Excellence in Librarianship, Maryanne Arena, director of Fine and Performing Arts, Excellence in Professional Service, Robert Taggart, assistant professor of Human Services, Excellence in Teaching, Barbara Shine, assistant professor of Business, Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities and president Stuart Steiner.