Batavia, NY- GCC’s Multicultural Communications Club, a part of Toastmasters International (TI), received high marks from TI Division C Governor Dr. Ellen Pieklo. Pieklo visited the College Club’s meeting on November 3, 2014 as part of semi-annual visits made to clubs to reach out and provide assistance where needed. At GCC Dr. Pieklo found a thriving club and ranked it high in all areas including first impressions, fellowship, membership strength and participation in the Toastmasters learning program.
The GCC Club formed in March 2011 under Advisor Jacqueline Di Bella. It has attracted steady membership with a current group of 37 students. “While the Division membership is down, the GCC club has increased in club strength,” Dr. Pieklo noted. She remarked how impressive this is, particularly in a college club where many students are balancing full course loads and, in some cases, jobs as well.
Through Toastmasters, students work to improve public speaking and leadership skills at each meeting. They give impromptu talks on assigned topics and develop skills related to timekeeping, grammar, and parliamentary procedure. The meetings are learn-by-doing workshops in which participants hone their skills in a no-pressure, supportive atmosphere. Members evaluate one another’s presentations and the feedback process is a key part of the program’s success.
Dr. Pieklo provided positive feedback to GCC’s club and its operations in a number of areas, including:
•Leadership: Club President Eunice Park, a student from South Korea, has an engaged executive committee and the club was recognized for training all 7 of its officers.
•Networking: The club supports students developing this increasingly vital skill with a social and networking time thirty minutes prior to meetings so students can meet other members and practice how to network.
•Technology: Club members demonstrated the ability to use PowerPoint presentations.
•Diversity: There is a good balance of speaking skills, ranging from those just starting public speaking efforts to those who are more advanced.
The College has a number of international students and the club reflects that. Six of the seven officers are Asian. The club utilizes social settings to have the various cultures mingle, with American students serving as hosts and international students serving as ambassadors of their countries. The two groups work together toward mutual objectives reflecting Toastmasters values of integrity, respect, service and excellence and helping members find the courage to change.
“We’re delighted Dr. Pieklo visited our meeting and appreciate her encouragement,” said Club advisor Di Bella. “As she noted, what our members learn will go with them beyond their time here at GCC. These skills will prepare them to present themselves strongly as leaders and communicators for job interviews, transfers to higher learning institutions, and in their own personal relationships.”
Di Bella taught public speaking and interpersonal communications at GCC for three years. A Rochester resident, she now volunteers about 20 hours a week mentoring club members’ communication and leadership skills. She has a Master’s Degree in Strategic Leadership. She is inspired by the club’s members. “They are 100% committed and push themselves to get out of their comfort zone, recognizing that a commitment to excellence means to do better today than they did yesterday.”
Anyone interested in joining GCC’s Multicultural Communications Club may contact Di Bella at (585) 278-8851 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Worldwide, Toastmasters has more than 14-thousand clubs in 126 countries with membership of 313,000. The Division C area reaches from Batavia, NY east to Geneva, NY.
For more information, contact Marketing Communications Associate Director Donna Rae Sutherland at (585) 343-0055 ext. 6616, or via email: email@example.com.
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A photograph of officers from GCC’s Multicultural Communications Club is available here:
Caption: From left, VP of Communications Yusaku Mineo; Sergeant at Arms Yuki Abe; VP of International Student Membership Kana Tatsumi; VP of U.S. Student Membership Cameron Stevenson; Advisor Jackie Di Bella; President Eunice Goeun Park; and VP of Public Relations Keith Compton