Genesee Community College Signs Study Agreement With Australia's Southbank Institute of Technology

Program is First of Its Kind in New York State

Genesee Community College has reinforced its commitment to provide global education to students by signing an agreement with Southbank Institute of Technology in Brisbane, Australia for an international exchange program focused on nursing, health sciences and biotechnology students. Genesee Community College’s executive vice president for Academic Affairs Dr. Eunice Bellinger recently returned from Southbank Institute of Technology in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia to officiate the relationship between the two institutions.

A Memorandum of Understanding between Genesee and Southbank was signed October 7, 2009 at Southbank’s South Brisbane campus to formalize the pilot bilateral student exchange program. The six week nursing and ten week science exchange program will allow students from both countries to develop a wider breadth of knowledge, skills and strategies that underline the international scope and best practices of the nursing and health sciences industries. International exchange students are highly regarded by industry leaders as they have proven flexibility and extensive experience in a broad range of practical situations.

While students are gaining first-hand industry experience and knowledge through integrated work placements, they will ‘home-stay’ in residences in the Brisbane area to augment their cross-cultural connections. The first group of nursing students will exchange in May 2010 to coincide with International Nurses Day, and the health sciences and biotechnology students will exchange in September 2010.

“This is an extraordinary coup for the vocational sector, and also an important first in New York State for our college,” Dr. Bellinger said. “A practical exchange with a clinical placement is more difficult to orchestrate than a straight theoretical exchange, but so much more valuable for students to complement their existing body of knowledge.

“A true global education, with an understanding of different clinical settings and health care systems, cultural awareness and the value of interpersonal skills cannot be taught in the classroom,” Dr. Bellinger added.

Southbank Institute of Technology, located in Brisbane, Australia, shares much common ground with Genesee Community College – both are leaders in nursing and biotechnology training, have a technology-focus and practical approach and cater to the same associate degree-seeking student body.

Synergies between Genesee Community College and Southbank Institute of Technology were initially identified and exchanges constructed by James Goodwin, who taught at Southbank Institute from 1999 to 2006, when he moved to Batavia to take up a position as a chemistry instructor at Genesee. He later became the director of Curriculum Development and Review, working hand in hand with Dr. Bellinger to enhance curriculum at Genesee. “The nursing clinical exchange in particular is believed to be the first of its kind in the United States and provides an unrivalled comparison of health care systems especially invaluable in this era of health care reform,” said James Goodwin.

The program is anticipated to grow into other academic areas beyond nursing and biotechnology, and may one day also include exchanges of faculty and staff. A timeline has been established with an initial visit and negotiations by James Goodwin completed in August 2009. In continuing the tight timeline, in March of 2010, Director of Nursing at Genesee, Kathy Palumbo, who has been instrumental in mapping the curriculum, will be traveling to Southbank Institute to fine tune logistical concerns and make certain the clinical experiences are equivalent. Additionally, Genesee is in the developmental stages of signing study agreements with Queensland University of Technology, also located in the Brisbane, Australia.

Genesee Community College acknowledges the following Southbank personnel for their hard work and commitment to this ‘ground-breaking’ international collaboration: Mr. Craig Sherrin, director and chief executive officer; Ms. Caroline Comino, senior educator/project manager – Pathology; Ms. Amanda Hart, Vocational Placement manager, Nursing Program; professor Ian Findlay, head of Health Sciences School. In addition, the nursing collaboration has gained significant support and endorsement from the Queensland Nursing Council (QNC), the state regulatory body as represented by Gordon Poulton, QNC manager (Education, Research and Policy); Pathology Queensland (State Government body) as represented by Ms. Lois Higginbotham; and Sullivan and Nicolaides (pathology, private sector) as represented by Ms. Kayleen Bertram.

For further information please contact James Goodwin, Genesee’s director of Curriculum Development and Review at 585-343-0055 x6322. The website for Southbank Institute of Technology is


Editor’s Note:
•A photograph of Dr. Eunice Bellinger, Genesee’s vice president for Academic Affairs, signing the Memorandum of Understanding with Craig Sherrin, Southbank Institute of Technology director and chief executive officer is available at:

•A photograph of Dr. Eunice Bellinger, Genesee’s vice president for Academic Affairs with the key partners and staff at Southbank Institute of Technology during her visit in Australia is available at: Partnership_group.jpg

Standing from left to right are: Dr. Ian Findlay, Ph.D.-head of Health Sciences School, acting head of School Health Services, Southbank Institute of Technology; Mr. Mark Ellings-acting faculty director of Health Sciences, Southbank Institute of Technology; Mr. Craig Sherrin-director and CEO, Southbank Institute of Technology; Ms. Caroline Comino-senior educator/project manager–Pathology, Southbank Institute of Technology; Ms. Kayleen Bertram-Sullivan Nicolaides, Pathology Industry representative; Ms. Lois Higginson-Pathology Queensland, Government pathology representative; Dr. Eunice Bellinger, Ph.D.-executive vice president for Academic Affairs, Genesee Community College; Ms. Mandy Hart, vocational placement manager, Nursing Team, Southbank Institute of Technology; Ms. Claire Bowles, Semester 1 Nursing convener, Nursing team, Southbank Institute of Technology; and Mr. Gordon Poulton, QNC manager, Education, Research and Policy, Queensland Nursing Council.