45th Commencement at Genesee Community College

Sunday, May 19, 2013 ~ 1:00 p.m. ~ Anthony T. Zambito Gymnasium ~ GCC Batavia Campus

What:45th Commencement at
Genesee Community College

When: Sunday, May 19, 2013
1:00 p.m.

Where: Anthony T. Zambito Gymnasium
GCC Batavia Campus
One College Road, Batavia, NY 14020


Hundreds of GCC students will march into the Anthony T. Zambito Gymnasium THIS Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm to receive degrees and certificates during the forty-fifth commencement at Genesee Community College. The Batavia Brass Society will provide music for the event.

GCC President Dr. James Sunser will introduce the commencement speaker, New York State Senator Catharine Young from Olean. A Livingston County native, Senator Young served as a State Assemblywoman from 1999 – 2004; in 2005 she was elected to the New York State Senate and represents the 57th Senate district. Senator Young grew up on a third generation dairy and crops farm, attended SUNY Fredonia and holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from St. Bonaventure University. She also holds the rank of major in the Civil Air Patrol. Between legislative sessions, she resides with her husband and three children in Olean.

Following Senator Young’s address, graduates will be presented and degrees conferred. Commencement will recognize more than 950 students including those completing programs of study in August 2012, January 2013, May 2013 and August 2013.

Commencement is open to the public; gymnasium seating is reserved for family and friends of graduates. The ceremony will be streamed live on campus through video cast to the Stuart Steiner Theatre, Room T102 and on every campus monitor, including those in the Student Union and cafeteria for those who would like to tune in. Tickets are not required to watch the ceremony in these areas.

Immediately following commencement, the college will host a reception with punch and light refreshments in the Forum for all graduates and guests.

The college will provide child care services at no cost during commencement for children eight weeks to five years of age. To register your child, please contact the Student Activities Office at (585) 343-0055, ext. 6261.

For further information, contact GCC Director of Development and External Affairs, Richard Ensman, Jr. at (585) 343-0055, ext. 6234.


Editor’s note:
Below are biographies that highlight a few of our exceptional class of 2013 graduates. You can meet and speak with these graduates during a pre-Commencement Media Hour beginning at 12 noon in the President’s Conference Room.

12:00 – 1:00 pm / President’s Conference Room

•Susan Perez – The daughter of migrant workers, Susan Perez of Spencerport, a student in GCC’s Teacher Education Transfer Program, is the first person in her family to receive a high school diploma and now, an advanced degree. While at GCC, Susan earned a national grant-in-aid scholarship from Delta Kappa Gamma Society, an international organization for women in education. She hopes to continue her education in the Childhood Inclusive Education Program at SUNY Brockport.

As a child, Susan attended many schools and found school frustrating and a struggle, but her tenth grade English teacher changed everything for her and taught Susan the difference a teacher can make. “My dream is to teach children and provide the foundation to their education,” Susan said. Susan’s commitment to education and helping others has impressed and inspired Professor Christine Belongia. “She would like to give back to the community that which was given to her, a chance for a quality education and a better life.” Belongia calls Perez one of her “brightest students” who “exudes a sincere goodness.” Susan worked at the Batavia Agri-Business Child Development Center. Though she left employment there to attend GCC, she remains president of its Parent Committee.

•Dawn Roberto - Maine native Dawn Roberto, will earn her GCC degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management on Sunday. While at GCC, Dawn, 32, earned GCC Student of the Month honors (April 2013), was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and was accepted into the 2013 “Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges”. She also received a scholarship from Ontario Motor Coach Association. She will graduate alongside her younger sister, Theresa Rainey, also a Tourism and Hospitality Management major, whose course of study inspired Dawn to return to school.

With her GCC degree in hand, Dawn plans to open her own travel agency to help others see the world – an opportunity afforded her as the spouse of a member of the US Navy. The Corfu resident feels well-prepared thanks to her core classes and a business entrepreneurship class she took at GCC. “This business class prepared me to explore all aspects of running my company.” A mother of three children ranging in age from 2 to 11, one of Dawn’s favorite things about GCC was having child care available right on campus. “I was comfortable leaving my baby in the child care center and knew he was close by during my class time if I was needed for anything.” Dawn currently resides in Corfu.

•Aggie Robinson – At 54 years of age, Aggie Robinson of Batavia will earn her GCC degree in Human Services on Sunday. She had postponed her education to raise a family. Aggie plans to continue her education after GCC so she can become a child advocate or youth counselor.

Aggie made the decision to get involved at GCC and make the most of the college student experience. Among the things she’ll miss at GCC, “[Student Activities Director] Cliff Scutella and all of the events in the Student Union that brought students together no matter what the age or color to have a good time and realize that we are all the same no matter the age or color and to enjoy the moment.” Aggie hopes to use her own experience as a non-traditional, adult student to advocate for others as an active alumnus. ”I am looking forward to being a voice for the non-traditional students who will come after me,” she said.

•Jamie Tyrrell – A native of the London, England borough of Enfield, Jamie Tyrell built an outstanding academic record, while majoring in Fashion Merchandising Management at GCC. A member of Phi Theta Kappa honors society, Jamie earned President’s List honors and was named Student of the Month in March 2013. A two year member of the Cougar men’s soccer team, which reached the Region III Championship last fall, Jamie also served as a Resident Assistant at College Village, the student housing community adjacent to the Batavia campus. Recognized for his positive attitude, leadership skills and consistent follow-through, Jaime was also very involved in DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America), the GCC Fashion Advisory Board and Fashion Blog. He served as project manager for the very successful Fashion Program’s 32nd annual Spring Fashion Show, Fashion Forward.

Jamie found GCC to be the perfect place where he could pursue his passions: football (soccer), business and fashion. “I decided to get out of my bubble and take on new challenges to further develop myself and grow as a person,” Jamie said of his decision to come to GCC. Jamie began college in England as a Mechanical Engineering major but a job at a men’s clothing store sparked his interest in the fashion business. After graduation, Jamie plans to work in New York City.

Samantha Vogt - Samantha Vogt, a Fashion Merchandising Management major from West Seneca, NY, certainly made the most of her time at GCC. A 2013 recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, Samantha maintained a 4.0 GPA at GCC. She served as the Student Representative on the GCC Board of Trustees and as president of the Business Forum Club. In addition, she was an active member of the Multicultural Communications Club (Toastmaster’s International), Campus Activities Board, DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) and the Cougarettes dance team. She served as project manager for the annual Spring Fashion Show.

This spring she received the Collegiate Sales and Marketing Award from the Buffalo Niagara Sales and Marketing Executives. Samantha continues to work at M.A. Carr Bridal in Orchard Park and has produced five bridal fashion shows and a prom fashion show. After graduation, she plans to head to New York City to continue her education at SUNY’s Fashion Institute of Technology.

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