FLCC converts summer camps to online format

Logo for FLCC STEAM campsFinger Lakes Community College has modified its STEAM summer day camps for middle schoolers by creating projects students can do at home with opportunities to share results while videoconferencing.

Kellie Gauvin, a biology professor and camp director, didn’t want to cancel because that means fewer options for kids over the summer. She tapped into the College’s expertise in online learning. FLCC has many online courses — about 80 percent of summer classes were already planned for an online before the pandemic began. FLCC faculty and staff have also experimented during the outbreak with new ways to teach and interact remotely.

The camps will be held over three weeks, from July 13 to 31, and consist of daily live meetings to discuss projects in topics such as conservation, art, technology, nutrition and athletic training. Participants can do all the projects or select the ones that most interest them.

Families can purchase access to the schedule and meetings for $15 or pay $50 for access and a materials kit. Siblings can participate but each materials kit is designed for individual use. Families can buy additional kits. Signups are online at flcc.edu/steam.

Instructor with 2 middle-schoolers
Kellie Gauvin, an FLCC biology professor and director of the College’s summer STEAM camps, works with two students in 2019. Prof. Gauvin has converted the 2020 camps to an online format.

The camps had previously been in-person day camps open to students entering grades seven through nine in the fall. Educational institutions are part of phase four of the governor’s plan to reopen New York state, making it unlikely that the camps will be able to be held in person by July.

“One of the exciting things about summer camp is the ability to share experiences, often with a new group of people. The daily meetings allow us to capture that shared experience and offer children the opportunity to learn from one another,” said Gauvin.

FLCC is partnering with local business to create virtual field trips. Each faculty member who designed a project for the camp will lead the discussion about the project, giving campers the ability to interact with local experts in a range of fields.

STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math. Parents and students are welcome to email questions about the online program to STEAM.camp@flcc.edu.

Families that previously signed up for the in-person camps will get refunds.

Students’ ‘out of this world’ and retro designs impress CMAC

Constellation Brands-Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center has again partnered with Finger Lakes Community College to give graphic design students experience creating images for a prospective client.

The partnership has students in Prof. Liz Brownell’s Graphic Design II class creating poster and T-shirt images for the neighboring venue’s summer concert series. For the past two years, the students have presented their proposals to CMAC’s board of directors and venue supporters during an end-of-semester reception.

An in-person gathering wasn’t possible this year, so Brownell and her students came up with a way to share the designs virtually using the program Mindmeister. CMAC’s judging panel received an email link that allowed them to view and weigh in on the projects from the comfort and safety of their homes.

They were impressed with all of the submissions, but two proposals stood out, said Tracy Williams, community and guest services manager at CMAC. The first, created by Quinn Howell of Palmyra, features an astronaut playing the guitar.

CMAC poster design by Quinn Howell
Summer concert series poster and T-shirt design by student Quinn Howell.

Howell said the design is inspired by the concert venue’s name, Constellation Brands, with an “out of this world and interstellar mockup.”

Continue reading “Students’ ‘out of this world’ and retro designs impress CMAC”

Local band helps FLCC grads celebrate in song

Members of a local band with several ties to FLCC have come together to create a virtual celebration in song for the Geneva Campus Center and 2020 graduates.

Four of the seven members of the Geneva-based band, The Cool Club & Lipker Sisters, recently recorded themselves performing several songs while safely masked. The video was created initially to serve as a virtual end-of-semester celebration for the Geneva Campus Center; it was shared earlier this week with the center’s students, faculty and staff.

“This is a special gift for our students, especially the graduating class of 2020, and an opportunity to bring joy during this time where we all feel challenge, uncertainty, and struggle,” said Leigh Pitifer, assistant director of the Geneva Campus Center.

Three of the performing band members are sisters Marilla, Elizabeth and Grace. Elizabeth is a May FLCC human services graduate, while Grace recently earned her high school equivalency diploma after taking preparatory classes at the Geneva campus. Marilla also has a connection: She is married to the son of Tomas Gonzalez, director of academic advising, career and transfer services, and Dawn Langdon, director of financial aid. The sisters were joined in song by guitarist Rick Hoyt, husband of Anne Hoyt, adjunct instructor and tutor at the Geneva center.

The Cool Club and the Lipker Sisters have performed in numerous Finger Lakes venues, including Club 86, but have been sidelined due to the pandemic. They’ve put on a few socially distanced “porch” performances and a few virtual shows, including one to raise funds for the Geneva Center of Concern.

The FLCC video features three songs: “Blue Skies,” “We’ll Meet Again,” and a version of “I Will Survive” reworked for FLCC by Elizabeth ’20.

“I Will Survive,” FLCC-style

At first I was afraid I would flunk my class

That I’d work so very hard and just wind up in last

And how I spent so many nights thinkin’ about graduation time

How I was tryin’

And how it would be so sublime

But then it hit

And that was it

The covid 19 turned the world into a giant pit

And now I can’t walk the stage I can’t shake anyone’s hand but we still plan

And we will hug when it’s not banned

So you see me

Still got a degree

While some things may be different now they won’t stop me

Though I ain’t got no party time and I ain’t got now fancy talk

I don’t balk

And you know I’ll still walk the walk

So here you are

You made the cut

you can’t get your photo op but you got what you want

You did what you had to do

We all worked hard to get through

So here’s to you

Grads of 2020, WOO!

So you see me

Somebody new

All of FLCC is so proud of you

Take it right up to the line

And work hard and keep on tryin’

And you’ll do fine

We ain’t got no time for cryin’

Oh I

I will Survive

As long as I have my degree I know I’ll stay alive

I’ve got all my life to live and I’ve got all my love to give and I’ll stay strong

And I’ll learn how to get along

And we’ll come back

From social space

We can’t wait till we can see you with that smile upon your face

Keep on keepin’ on

And you’ll never go wrong

You’ll stay strong

 

Tune in to check out mockumentary and other New Media student creations

Image of virtual episode from New Media capstone project
Assistant Professor Paul Engin, bottom, and two students appear in an episode of a mockumentary called “Room 2420” about the spring 2020 New Media capstone class. The production had to be moved to a virtual format.

A mockumentary and a video game inspired by competition for parking spots at the FLCC main campus are among the projects to be presented by New Media students during a virtual livestream event planned for 5 p.m. Monday, May 11.

The New Media and Game Programming and Design capstone exhibition and presentations would have been held on campus this past Friday, had it not been for the pandemic. Organizer Paul Engin, assistant professor, decided the show must go on – the only way it can – and got to work coordinating the livestream with the help of some colleagues like Jeff Kidd.

Students around a ping pong table
New Media students met at the Geneva Campus Center before the COVID pandemic to discuss a group project.

Four class projects will be presented by their student creators and the class will offer a group presentation on the development process. Presenters will use Webex, and viewers will be able to watch via YouTube.

The New Media capstone course is a collaborative development of several, semester-long group projects. Students in the class begin by pitching their ideas to a panel of faculty and staff that this year included Margaret Pence, Rick Cook, Dave Ghidiu and Jeff Kidd.

Members of the New Media capstone class are shown during a visit this past winter to the Geneva Campus Center to plan the Park Shark project.

One of the projects, a mockumentary called “Room 2420,” began with last year’s New Media capstone class. Student Sam Bailey is the project lead for this year’s Season 2. Paul said it was off to a good start “but quickly changed when we could no longer be together for the production.”

“At that point,” he added, “the class had to decide if we were to continue production or not. The class accepted that it would be different and storylines had to change a little, but everyone adapted to the change and was up for the challenge.”

Staffer Jim Perri joined Webex meetings in recent weeks to help guide students through the script change process. “Although not an ideal situation being remote, I think it presented opportunities to think about story and approaches differently,” said Paul, noting that the first three episodes will be shown during today’s capstone presentations.

Another project to be aired is a game called Park Shark that was inspired by the success of the Project Rock and Holo-Pong games, also created by last year’s capstone class and still available at the main campus for public use.

“The idea evolved from trying to Park in A lot on main campus and having others sneak into the spot you were pulling into – park sharking,” said Paul. “The plan was to develop an upright arcade style game with webcams allowing head-to-head competition with different campus centers, bringing  a different level of collaborative play across all our campuses.”

The move to virtual forced a change, and the student developers got to work creating an app-style game instead.

Learn more about Park Shark, “Room 2420” and two additional projects, “Will of the Wisps” and MILK by tuning in at 5 p.m. here.

Three FLCC students receive SUNY Chancellor’s Award

Three Finger Lakes Community College students have received the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence.

The award is presented annually to students at each of the 64 SUNY institutions who have best demonstrated their integration of academic excellence with other aspects of their lives, which may include leadership, campus involvement, athletics, career achievement, community service or the arts.

FLCC recipients are as follows:

Head and shoulders photo
Justin Cosser

Justin Closser of Rochester will graduate in May with an associate degree in horticulture. Closser previously served in the New York State Army National Guard for eight years, including a tour in Iraq. He is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the honor society for two-year colleges, and president of the Horticulture Club. Closser also played lacrosse.

Head and shoulders photo
Rebecca Hazard

Rebecca Hazard of Canandaigua will graduate this year with an associate degree in therapeutic massage/integrated health care. A certified farrier and blacksmith, she moved from the West Coast to Canandaigua six years ago. Hazard is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, the Therapeutic Massage Club, and the Wildlife Society. She also volunteers at Light Hill, the comfort care home on Parrish Street Extension in Canandaigua.

Head and shoulders photo
Sarah Middlebrook

Sarah Middlebrook of Clifton Springs will graduate in May with an associate degree in psychology. She is a Navy veteran who discovered her interest in psychology working with students with autism at Midlakes Education Center. Middlebrook is the president of the Student Veterans Organization and a member of the Logging Sports Team and the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. Middlebrook organized the Third Annual Armed Forces week at FLCC, including the Formal Dinner and Dance. She also serves on the Veterans Advocacy Council and LGBTQ+ Health Initiative Community Advisory Board.

FLCC provides training for downstate COVID unit workers

Finger Lakes Community College is providing online training to home health aides in New York City and Long Island so they can fill a critical need for nurse assistants in COVID-19 units.

United Healthcare Workers East, 1199 of the Service Employees International Union, has hired FLCC to provide the training based on the college’s reputation for online education and experience training certified nurse assistants in the Finger Lakes region.

Nurse assistant students watching demonstration at patient bed
Students in an FLCC training class for certified nurse assistants watch a demonstration.

Classes began Tuesday, April 21, for a pilot class of 22 home health aides, chosen because they have some health care experience. During a state of emergency, federal law allows many health care workers to work outside their normal scope of practice, provided they have training in a critical set of skills.

FLCC curriculum designers moved those skills, largely involving the use of personal protective equipment, or PPE, to the beginning of the 10-week class. This will allow the students in the pilot class to go to work in four weeks in COVID-19 recovery units while completing the course components that can be taught online.

Continue reading “FLCC provides training for downstate COVID unit workers”

Crayfish hunting and other ecology lessons amid COVID-19

Finger Lakes Community College conservation instructor John Bateman has volunteered his time giving ecology lessons and leading field trips for his hometown elementary school since his twin sons were fifth-graders there in 2011.

The pandemic closed schools in early March putting an end to those visits, but not the connection.

John has been trekking into parks and wooded areas near his home the last several weeks to record short educational videos for Village Elementary School in Hilton, Monroe County.

The videos – recorded by John with his cell phone – have become a vital tool for Village Elementary first-grade teacher Carla Heise. She has been sharing the recorded lessons with her students as she receives them, about once a week.

The elementary videos first began as demonstrations to share with his college students. As COVID-19 has closed campuses and K-12 buildings, it has opened doors for creativity and collaboration among educators at different levels. Ecology in particular can be taught at a basic level to younger children with more sophisticated lessons for college students.

In one video, John filmed himself at a local creek, modeling how to catch crayfish and other aquatic critters.

Within a day of sharing the video with students, Carla started receiving pictures showing what they had caught using the techniques John had demonstrated.  One photo shows student Lucy Smith in a puffy pink coat proudly holding a bucket filled with creek water and creatures.

“After watching the video of Mr. Bateman, Lucy insisted that we go get all of the tools to go and explore the creek,” said her dad, Jake Smith.  “We knew about where he was so we bought what we needed and went for it. Lucy had such a great time and really showed me how to do it.”

Lucy gained some bragging rights, too. According to dad, she caught seven crayfish, three fish, a few bugs and one snail.  “I only caught two crayfish,” he said.

Elementary student holding a net searching for aquatic creatures in a creek
A first-grader from Carla Heise’s class copies what she learned in one of John Bateman’s ecology videos.

Continue reading “Crayfish hunting and other ecology lessons amid COVID-19”

FLCC winemaking prof brings students to the vineyard, virtually

 Brock
Paul Brock wears a GoPro and a few other high-tech devices to conduct remote labs with students in real time. (Photo by Bill Pealer)

With a video camera strapped to his head, Paul Brock stood alone in a lab in the Finger Lakes Community College Viticulture and Wine Center on a recent weekday afternoon.

Paul instructed his students just as he would have if they had shared the same space. The GoPro camera  recorded the lesson, which was streamed in real time on the internet.

Paul’s students may not have been in the Geneva lab, but they were present nonetheless, watching from the comfort – and safety – of their homes.

As the coronavirus pandemic made its way across the nation in early March, college students left campuses, their in-person courses transferred online. For degree programs centered on hands-on learning, like FLCC’s viticulture and wine technology major, the challenge to teach entirely online at first seemed insurmountable.

However, faculty members like Paul have teamed up with colleagues to find creative ways to connect with students and continue with courses dependent on laboratory and experiential learning.

“When we were told that there will be no in-person classes, I had to figure out a way to make our hands-on learning curriculum accessible through a screen,” said Paul, associate professor of viticulture and wine technology. “I know that watching videos is not a way to learn how to do things with your hands. I also know that many students struggle with the traditional online learning model of do-the-work-when-you-can.” Continue reading “FLCC winemaking prof brings students to the vineyard, virtually”

Working to meet student needs amid the COVID outbreak

Photo of student Aubrey Smith
First-year student Audrey Smith is among those who received laptops to complete spring semester studies online.

One afternoon last week, Sarah Whiffen drove from her home to the Newark Campus Center to deliver laptops to two students.

She parked and waited in her vehicle. When they arrived, she placed the boxed devices on the sidewalk nearby and stepped aside – in strict adherence to social distance guidelines – so the students could collect the devices, one at a time.

Amid drastically changed working environments, FLCC faculty and staff have worked to not only transition to online instruction but also to ensure students’ needs are met.

Stories of outreach abound: Three weeks ago, as social distancing suggestions turned into business closures and stay-at-home recommendations, staffers Sara Iszard, Teresa Daddis and Jan Kerrick made the rounds at the Suites at Laker Landing and nearby rental sites. They knocked on doors, checking on students and helping them plan for what was to come. They and several colleagues worked behind-the-scenes, packing bags of non-perishables from the FLCC food pantry and delivering to the dozens who’d indicated they’d otherwise be without. Student Life staff complemented their efforts with bags filled with snacks and games.

Outreach efforts have been guided by surveys and the interactions like those spearheaded by Student Affairs staff. In the weeks ahead, they will continue, informed by surveys and an initiative to call every student.

Roughly 85 students indicated in surveys conducted last month that they needed a computer to complete their courses online. The Information Technology Division responded with the purchase of over 100 laptops, loaded with basic software. As of last week, about 50 had been mailed to the students overnight or handed out by Sarah, Jan or Janette Aruck at the main campus.

Meanwhile, last week, Sara continued to ensure the dozen or so students remaining at Campus Gate had food. She and colleagues have braved multiple grocery stores to keep up with the demand, but the FLCC student food cupboard is depleted. Community members can help restock it and help students faced with other emergencies by making a contribution to the COVID-19 Emergency Response effort by clicking here.

Exhibit features work by Rochester artist Karen Sardisco

Opening events for a new exhibit in Williams-Insalaco Gallery 34 at Finger Lakes Community College are planned for Thursday, March 12, starting with a talk by the featured artist, Karen Sardisco.

The 2 p.m. talk will be followed by a hors d’oeuvre reception from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Both will be held in the gallery located on the first floor of the main campus, 3325 Marvin Sands Drive, Canandaigua.

Sardisco is an associate professor who teaches drawing and painting in the visual and performing arts department at Monroe Community College. Her paintings and prints have appeared in solo exhibitions throughout the Rochester and Finger Lakes area. She was previously featured in the gallery in 1997. She returned six years ago to co-curate a show titled “Intersections/Conversations between Form and Plane: Sculptors and Their Drawings” with gallery director Barron Naegel.

“We’re pleased to welcome Karen back to FLCC,” said Naegel, who also works as an associate professor of art at the College. “Her work considers the physical and personal aspects of place and identity. Urban planning and architecture, for example, are some of the many areas that can be referenced in her art.” Continue reading “Exhibit features work by Rochester artist Karen Sardisco”