Two Genesee Community College faculty members reported to the Board of Trustees Monday evening on an innovative two-week cultural immersion course that Genesee provided to students in Brazil last month. Connie J. Boyd, Director of the College’s Human Services Program and Susan E. Drexel, Instructor of Sociology reported that they, along with Professor of English Charley A. Boyd, taught more than 80 students in Americana, Brazil, a city of about 300,000, near Sao Paolo.
The program was designed by Osvaldo Succi of FATEC Americana in Sao Paolo and James Goodwin, Genesee’s Director of Curriculum Development and Review to help students become deeply acquainted with U.S. culture and master English language skills. Ms. Boyd and Ms. Drexel called the program an “outstanding success.”
The Brazil-based course is the latest in a series of international education initiatives undertaken at Genesee. Last month’s Genesee-FATEC program will hopefully be the first step in a variety of innovative collaborative programs between the two institutions, Ms. Boyd told trustees. Both colleges hope that faculty exchanges will take place in the future, with Genesee faculty members providing additional courses in Brazil, and FATEC faculty members providing courses – possibly including Portuguese language courses – at Genesee. Both faculty members expressed hope that the program would eventually provide Brazilian students with the opportunity to attend Genesee Community College.
The two faculty members also shared a variety of personal reflections on their visit to Brazil. Ms. Boyd told trustees that most of her students were employed on a full-time basis during the day and actively participated in the English immersion courses from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. each evening. “They were very, very motivated,” she said.
Ms. Drexel recalled the hospitality of Brazilians when she visited a church festival. Festival-goers were eager to meet her, and enthusiastically welcomed her to the event. Ms. Boyd noted that Brazilian gasoline has a high ethanol content, and smells like sugar cane. “Gas stations smelled like cake,” she said.
In other business Monday evening, the Board of Trustees:
•Accepted President Stuart Steiner’s Letter of Retirement with regret. Dr. Steiner announced July 30 that he would retire from his position as president effective August 31, 2011. Dr. Steiner said that the College’s success has been a team effort, and he thanked members of the Board of Trustees for their support over the years. “With your support, we have the facilities, the outstanding programs, and all the wonderful things we are noted for,” he told trustees. Trustees also heard a letter of praise for Dr. Steiner from Dr. Nancy L. Zimpher, Chancellor of the State University of New York. Dr. Zimpher also informed trustees that she has appointed SUNY Vice Chancellor Aimee Bernstein as SUNY’s representative to the Presidential Search Committee that will be formed at Genesee.
•Approved an amendment to the Board of Trustees By-Laws making the Finance Committee a standing committee.
•Approved the issuance of 136 degrees and certificates to Genesee Community College students, subject to satisfactory completion of their course work this month. Four students are expected to receive the Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree; 68 students, the Associate in Science (A.S.) degree; 56 students, the Associate in Applied Science degree; and eight students, certificates.
•Approved Electronic Theatre Controls, Inc. as a sole-source vendor for a new lighting system in the theatre upon the recommendation of engineering consultants. ETC is the only regional vendor that can provide and install a lighting and dimmer system that fully integrates with the theatre’s infrastructure. The new lighting system will be the first major repair to the theatre since it opened in 1991. The current system has had technical failures over the last several years, said Kevin P. Hamilton, Vice President for Finance and Operations.
•Heard Board Chair Charles R. Ruffino appoint members of Board of Trustees committees for the 2010-2011 year. Appointed to the Buildings and Grounds Committee were Laura J. Bohm (Chair), Kenneth A. Dodd, and Laurie J. Miller. Appointed to the Personnel Committee were Melvin J. Wentland (Chair), Mrs. Miller, and Glenn R. Morton. Appointed to the Policy Committee were Maureen T. Marshall (Chair), Mr. Ruffino, and Diane D. Torcello. Appointed to the Finance Committee were Mrs. Torcello (Chair), Rev. Dodd, and Mrs. Marshall. Mr. Ruffino appointed Melvin J. Wentland to serve as the Board’s representative to the Association of Community College Trustees. He named himself and Marcia H. Noonan or Mrs. Noonan’s successor on the Board of Trustees as trustee representatives on the Genesee Community College Foundation Board of Directors. He named Mrs. Miller as trustee representative on the Genesee Community College Association Board of Directors.
•Heard President Stuart Steiner report that Andrew G. Super will join the faculty this fall as Instructor of Photography and Art. Mr. Super taught at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and the University of Rochester. He is also an accomplished photographer, draftsman, and painter. He holds a B.F.A. degree from Pittsburg State University and a M.F.A. degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He is a resident of Rochester.
•Heard Dr. Steiner report that Patrick M. Johnson, Sr. will join the faculty this fall as Instructor/ Coordinator of Respiratory Care/Clinical Care. Mr. Johnson currently serves as a respiratory therapist at Brockport’s Lakeside Memorial Hospital. He has also served as a member of the staffs of Rochester General Hospital, Highland Hospital, Monroe Community Hospital, and Rochester Oxygen & CPAP. He holds an A.A.S. degree from Erie Community College, a B.S. degree from SUNY College at Brockport, and a M.B.A. degree from Western Governors University, based in Salt Lake City, UT. He is a resident of North Chili.
•Heard Board of Trustees Chair Charles R. Ruffino thank members of the College’s administrative staff for their assistance and presentations during the Board’s annual retreat last month. Mr. Ruffino said that board members obtained in-depth information about recent college accomplishments during the retreat, as well as the goals and challenges facing the College’s staff over the next several years.
•Heard Vice President for Student and Enrollment Services Virginia M. Taylor report that Fall 2010 applications for full-time admissions totaled 2,617 as of August 2, up 12% from the 2,169 applications received a year earlier. Applications for part-time study totaled 596, almost even with the 597 applications received one year ago. President Stuart Steiner said that he anticipates overall Fall 2010 course registrations to be about 6% higher than Fall 2009 registrations. Dr. Taylor said that the Genesee Promise Plus program, which provides scholarships to June high school graduates for one or two summer courses at Genesee, was a great success. The program attracted 390 registrants this summer, up from 351 last year. Three hundred three of the high school graduates participating in the program are enrolled for classes at Genesee, up from 249 last year.
•Heard Vice President for Finance and Operations Kevin P. Hamilton report that site work for the new art gallery is underway. Mr. Hamilton told trustees that he anticipates the building will be framed within the next month. He also reported that the School of Nursing successfully completed its move to the new MedTech Park last month, and that work on the College’s tennis courts should be completed by the end of September. Trustee Melvin J. Wentland called the new School of Nursing Facilities “wonderful.” He and other college trustees toured the new facilities earlier Monday evening. “These nursing facilities are the best in Western New York, if not the whole state,” he said. “The classrooms, labs, and equipment will provide a fantastic learning experience.” Board Chair Charles Ruffino praised the lecture hall, “smart boards,” and other technology present in the new School of Nursing facilities. Trustee Kenneth Dodd asked College staff members to report at a future meeting on steps the College can take to ensure that nursing students cross Hawley Drive safely when they are walking to and from the new facility from the main Batavia Campus buildings.
•Heard Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Eunice M. Bellinger report on her participation in the U.S. Army’s ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) Leadership Training Course for Educations several weeks ago. The program, based in Ft. Knox, Kentucky, gives leading college educators across the U.S. the opportunity to observe and experience the training that ROTC students receive. Dr. Bellinger participated in strenuous physical training (including rappelling a 50 foot wall, believed to be the highest rappelling wall in the U.S.), as well as ROTC leadership training. Currently, Genesee Community College offers students the opportunity to participate in an ROTC program in cooperation with SUNY College at Brockport. Dr. Bellinger told trustees that she is investigating the feasibility of an ROTC program fully based at Genesee.
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