GCC Toastmasters Group Keeps on Growing

One of Dozens of Clubs on Campus to Encourage Student Success

Batavia, NY- From her internship at Disney World, Maki Kojiro can see what a difference GCC’s Multicultural Communications Club (Toastmasters International) made in her education. “Here stands before you a confident, poised young woman because I took the challenge and got out of my comfort zone to fulfill my dreams. You can do the same,” Kojiro said in a video presented Saturday, August 10, 2013 during the club’s Communications/Leadership Laboratory of Innovation event at the College. The event kicks off the new academic year, establishing mentor relationships between current members and the 20 new members joining the Club for the upcoming year. Many are international students.

Kojiro, who is from Japan, served as club president before her graduation in May 2013. The club works to help students develop communication and leadership skills. In her comments, recorded by Skype from Orlando, FL, Kojiro spoke about the importance of oral communications skills. “The only medicine for good public speaking is to keep speaking,” she said, adding “without pain, there is no gain.”

The event also featured a keynote talk about “The Global Experience” from Honami Kowata. Also Japanese, Kowata is the wife of Norwegian conductor Arild Rimmereit of the Rochester Chamber Orchestra. She spoke about the global exposure she has had living in four different distinct cultures – Japan, Austria, Norway and America. Her passion is to demonstrate respect and appreciation; never take anything personal; and continue to learn and to build confidence.

Jackie DiBella, a former GCC adjunct humanities instructor and now president of her own communications consulting business, and John McGowan, GCC Career Services specialist serve as co-advisors for the Club. DiBella arranged to record the message from Kojiro. “She is a great success story and an inspiration, especially to international students,” DiBella said. “In its short two-year history, this club has achieved a lot because of these motivated students. Five of them have earned the Toastmasters International Presidential Distinguished Award.” The Club now counts more than 50 members. The president for the upcoming school year graduated from GCC in May 2013. While Patrick Reichard of Nunda, NY will be a political science student this fall at SUNY Geneseo, he decided to remain with the club in a leadership role. He will travel with DiBella to Cincinnati August 21-24, 2013 for the Toastmasters International Conference.

The Communications Club is one of more than 50 student clubs and organizations available to GCC students of all ages. Additional clubs include CEO Club, Computer Club and Outdoor Adventure Club. GCC offers so much more than degrees and certificates. There is still time to enroll for fall semester, which begins Monday, August 26, 2013. Classes are available at the main campus in Batavia or any of six campus centers in Arcade, Albion, Dansville, Lima, Medina and Warsaw. Prospective students can find more information online at http://www.genesee.edu.

For more information, contact Marketing Communications Associate Director Donna Rae Sutherland at (585) 343-0055 ext. 6616, or via email: dsutherland@genesee.edu.

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