Twenty-Two Outstanding Scholars Receive Awards in Genesee’s Advanced Studies Program

Batavia, New York—Twenty-two students from across Western New York were the finalists for Outstanding Scholar Awards in Genesee Community College’s Advanced Studies program. The awardees were honored at a ceremony and reception, Wednesday, May 27, 2015 in the Stuart Steiner Theatre at Genesee’s Batavia campus.  

Advanced Studies is part of the College’s ACE program, or Accelerated College Enrollment, and allows high school students the opportunity to earn college credit from Genesee while attending class within their high school. High school teachers approved as Genesee adjunct faculty teach all Advanced Studies courses. Some of the most enterprising young students earn enough transferable Advanced Studies credit to enter their first year of college as sophomores.

This year’s Outstanding Scholars Award program featured a keynote address by Tim Tomczak, GCC’s professor of psychology and the director of the College’s Social Sciences department. He is a two time SUNY Chancellor’s Award winner. His first was for Excellence in Teaching in 1994, and the second for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activity in 2007. As a guest lecturer at SUNY Geneseo, he also received SUNY Geneseo’s Joseph M. O’Brien Award for Excellence in Part-Time Teaching. Since 2010, he has also taught at the Eastman School of Music. Professor Tomczak has published numerous teaching and testing materials, and continues to research topics on the learning theory, transfer of knowledge and the philosophy of science.

In his address to the ACE Scholars, Professor Tomczak discussed his experiences and struggles in finding a path in life. Despite a discouraging start to his education as a young boy, he found his niche through the help of a concerned guidance counselor who found him an opportunity to take some college courses while in high school. “I was one of the original ‘ACE’ students. I liked college so much that I wanted to find a job that would let me stay there for the rest of my career,” Professor Tomczak said. His address encouraged students to “keep being scholars - individuals who are passionate about learning new things and taking their thinking to higher levels.”

The 22 finalists were selected from more than 165 nominations in the five subject areas of mathematics, science, social science, foreign language and English. As in years past, a committee of academic professionals from Genesee Community College selected the following award winners, listed by school within their subject areas:

Abigail Bleier Notre Dame High School
Emma Snyder Keshequa High School
Gabriella Giunta Gates-Chili High School
Emily Radford Holley High School
Madhuri Vihani Attica High School

Austin Morgan Pioneer High School
Hannah Smart Pavilion High School
Tania Arellano Kendall High School
Alexandria Barber Letchworth High School

Daniel Kocher Alden High School
Olivia Marchese Notre Dame High School
Jack Mann Keshequa High School
Theodore Benjovsky Albion High School
Michael Safford Perry High School


Dylan Servos Alden High School
Abigail Bleier Notre Dame High School
Megan Bullard Caledonia-Mumford High School
Taylor DeSimone Holley High School
Erin Tiede Warsaw High School


Victoria Giglia Alden High School
Megan Saile Batavia High School
Megan Bullard Caledonia-Mumford High School
Trevor Noon Newfane High School
Taylor DeSimone Holley High School
Sierra Greene Letchworth High School


“Another outstanding evening celebrating the Outstanding Scholars in our region,” Ed Levinstein, associate dean of the ACE Program said about the Advanced Studies Outstanding Scholars Awards ceremony. “We so enjoy recognizing the hard work of our students and celebrating their success. The ACE program not only helps students with their professional growth and career success, but also is saving parents significant tuition dollars. It’s a win-win-win for everyone.”

GCC’s Faces of ACE campaign was part of this year’s pre- and post-ceremonies. College photographers were on hand to take group and individual pictures of any ACE student (and their families) who would like to celebrate their academic success on Facebook and the ACE website.

For more information about the Advanced Studies program at Genesee Community College,
call 585-345-6801 or visit

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Editor’s note:
Row 1: Emma Snyder, Emily Radford, Taylor DeSimone, Erin Tiede, Abigail Bleier, Megan Saile
Row 2: Theodore Benjovsky, Daniel Kocher, Tania Arellano, Trevor Noon, Dylan Servos
Row 3: Victoria Giglia, Megan Bullard