GCC Orleans County Campus Centers Continue to Connect through Great Teaching and Community Engagement

Medina, New York — Each semester, Genesee Community College Board of Trustees visit one of the institution’s six campus centers for its monthly meeting, rotating throughout the College’s four-county, 2,100 square mile service area to fully appreciate the collegiate experience at the satellite centers.

On Monday, April 1, 2019, the Board met at the Medina Campus Center, which opened in 2007. In a presentation to the Board, Associate Dean of the Orleans County Campus Centers Jim Simon introduced four different members of the campus center community to illustrate how GCC serves and supports the economic growth as well as cultural and civic developments within Orleans County.

Dr. Clark Godshall, superintendent of Orleans-Niagara BOCES District was the first guest, and he shared a number of positive observations from his perspective in working with approximately 1,700 students in three counties and with three different community colleges. With more than 75 articulation agreements and the Genesee Promise Plus summer scholarship, students maximize their BOCES education and experience and can readily apply it toward a college degree. In addition, Dr. Godshall pointed out the expansion of programs for adult students such as new programs in food processing, nanotechnology and drone certification—programs that align with similar offerings at GCC.

“I sing the praises of the ease in working with the GCC staff, and getting to the ‘yes’ in developing opportunities for our students,” Dr. Godshall said, who serves as the chairman of the Albion-Medina Campus Center Advisory Council. While sharing a number of ongoing and future challenges, not the least of which is the decreasing population of upstate New York and a dearth of public transportation across our rural community, Dr. Godshall concluded his presentation with the strong endorsement, “We really are better together!” 

Adjunct faculty member Amy Crockford, who teaches American Sign Language, was the next special guest to speak to the Board of Trustees. As a deaf member of the community who communicates vocally and through sign language, Amy embodies the best of teaching practices by passionately “teaching what I know.” She is dedicated to her students and ensures positive learning experiences that could likely change their lives. “I know what it is like to be a deaf person in the hearing world.” She encourages her students to learn a language and embrace another culture. She recently authored a children’s book, “My Happy Place” which helps young audiences appreciate deafness and learn the true meaning of friendship. In fact, a book signing event is scheduled at Medina’s local Book Shoppe at 519 Main Street on Saturday, April 13, 2019 at 11a.m.  

Current GCC student, Ayat Aldroobe, a native of Syria, was the third guest speaker and her experiences exemplify the excellent quality of education provided at a GCC campus center. As a Natural Sciences Biology major in her second semester, Ayat has her sights on becoming a medical doctor. “GCC is great place to start,” she said. “Classroom sizes are small” which has helped her improve her English language skills. “The advisors are super super supportive,” she added. She currently attends classes at both the Medina and Albion Campus Center and looks forward to classes at the main campus in Batavia next year.

Michele Bokman, director of operations for the Orleans County Campus Centers was the final speaker. Among her priorities is reaching out to area high school students, businesses and organizations to ensure all are aware of GCC’s many opportunities. Twenty-two recent visits included nine high schools, multiple businesses both large and small, the Iroquois Job Corps, and planned visits to civic groups such as the Boy and Girl scouts, 4-H veterans groups. Michele also highlighted the vast number of community connections by the Orleans County Campus Centers. Collaborative engagements include but have not been limited to Leadership Orleans, Orleans County Community Services Board, Human Services Council, and WNY Rural Area Health Education Center and the Med-Tech Summer Camp.

Area residents wishing to learn more about programs and courses at Genesee’s Medina Campus Center may call 585-798-1688 or stop by the Center located at 11470 Maple Ridge Road, Medina, NY 14103.

In other business on Monday evening, the Board of Trustees:                       

  • Approved the updated language in two policies, specifically, Public Comments at Board Meetings Policy #7003, and Nondiscrimination Policy 1020.1.    
  • Heard GCC President James M. Sunser report on two new College appointments, both assigned as associate staff members at the Dansville Campus Center in Livingston County. Paula Oyler is a member of GCC Class of 2008, and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Bryant and Stratton, where she also worked as an administrative assistant and receptionist. She has nine years of experience in higher education, and resides in Avon, NY. Matthew Troll comes to GCC from Finger Lakes Community College as their former sports information director and web communications specialist. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and a Master of Science Degree in International Sport Management. He resides in Lakeville, NY.  
  • Heard William Emm, executive vice president for Finance and Operations report on the progress to renew GCC’s Facility Master Plan, which will include updating College’s drawings and schematics, some dating back more than 30 years. In the two-step Request for Proposal process, the College received seven bids, interviewed three finalists on campus, and is now checking the references of the successful low bidder.
  • Heard GCC President James M. Sunser report on the developments of New York State’s annual budget including an alternative formula for community college base aid. Unlike four-year SUNY institutions, funding for community colleges as long been based on a student enrollment model or full time equivalent (FTE), which creates unpredictable funding for community colleges and its students. SUNY has been advocating for a new formula, but exact details about the community college allocation were still unfolding.
  • Heard Student Trustee Diamond Jones report on the Student Government Association currently seeking candidates to fill officer positions for the next year, and the plethora of upcoming events including the 38th Annual Fashion Show entitled, “Limitless” which is scheduled on Saturday, May 4, 2019. 

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Please note: To obtain a copy of the minutes from the Board of Trustee Meetings please contact Bethany Aradine at baaradine@genesee.edu.