Outpouring of support to help #FLCC students with food insecurity

Area food pantries answered a call to help FLCC students dealing with food insecurity – in a big way.
To prepare for the start of the fall semester, Student Corporation leaders recently reached out to local pantries. Just a few days later, Student Affairs staff were busy sorting more than three college van loads of food and necessities, everything from peanut butter and green beans to shampoo.
“To state that these organizations showed up to help FLCC and this initiative in spades is stating it mildly,” said Student Life Director Jennie Erdle, who spent Aug. 11 collecting and delivering the donations to the main campus.
The Salvation Army of Geneva and Twin Cities of Manchester each donated hundreds of items. A third organization, the Canandaigua-based Community Churches in Action, donated 28 pre-packaged bags filled with snacks, canned goods, free milk coupons and more.
Teresa Daddis, student services counselor, joined Jennie to sort and inventory the donations, which will be offered to students who participate in the free drive-in chicken barbecue at the main campus on Sept. 9 from noon to 5 p.m.
To learn more about emergency student support services, click here.
To make a monetary donation to the FLCC food cupboard or other emergency student support services, visit this link: https://give.flcc.edu/page.aspx?pid=298.

FLCC announces fall athletics: Cross country, logging sports, eSports

logging sports team member chainsawing log
FLCC’s men’s and women’s logging sports teams will return in the fall semester. Their season will be determined by participation among competing institutions.

Cross country, logging sports and eSports will be offered at Finger Lakes Community College in the fall semester under an amended athletics plan that has been approved this week.

The plan aligns with the safety guidelines set forth by state officials as well as the National Junior College Athletic Association. FLCC is a Division III competitor in the NJCAA’s Region III.

Logging sports does not fall under the jurisdiction of the NJCAA, as FLCC’s men’s and women’s teams compete against mostly four-year institutions from across the Northeast. The teams’ fall competition schedule will be determined largely by participation among competitors.

Men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball will be moved to the spring semester in adherence with the NJCAA’s plan announced earlier this month. The teams, however, will be permitted to hold a limited number of low-density practices during the fall semester. The men’s and women’s basketball season is slated to begin in January.

“This has been a challenging time for college athletics as we balance the need to keep our student athletes safe while also trying to develop a plan to return to play,” said Samantha Boccacino, FLCC’s director of athletics. “This path forward allows for engaging opportunities for our student athletes while prioritizing their health and safety. We are looking forward to seeing our Lakers return.” Continue reading “FLCC announces fall athletics: Cross country, logging sports, eSports”

Scholarship will allow Midlakes grad to complete college, debt-free

Head and shoulders of Katelyn Roland
Katelyn Roland of Phelps is the recipient of the Farash Foundation First In Family Scholarship.

A recent Midlakes High School graduate has been selected to receive the Farash Foundation First In Family Scholarship, enabling her to attend Finger Lakes Community College at no cost.

Katelyn Roland of Phelps is planning to study nursing and will be the first in her immediate family to go to college.

“Katelyn demonstrates a high level of maturity and determination, and we are confident in her ability to excel at FLCC,” said Brie Chupalio, director of development at FLCC. “It is obvious that graduating debt-free will have a tremendous impact on her career endeavors, and we anticipate her taking full advantage of all this scholarship offers.”

Chupalio said Roland’s application was a standout because of her extensive list of volunteer and extracurricular activities. She was a student council leader, served on school committees and belonged to the peer support club Youth to Youth and the Interact Club, which, among other things, has student members serving as Salvation Army bell ringers and food cupboard helpers. She also played varsity softball and belonged to the racquet and chess clubs.

Those activities and good grades earned Roland placement in the National Junior Honor Society. She will start FLCC this fall having already earned credits for Advanced Placement and several Gemini courses offered by the College in her junior and senior years.

“I took these challenging courses because I am going into the health field, where education level is important to provide the best possible care for patients,” said Roland, who aspires to eventually transfer to St. John Fisher College and become a nurse practitioner or doctor in a family practice.

In 2012, the Farash Foundation First in Family Scholarship Program began providing scholarships for students who are first in their family to attend college at institutions of higher education in Monroe and Ontario counties. In addition to FLCC, participating colleges include Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Monroe Community College, Nazareth College, Roberts Wesleyan College, Rochester Institute of Technology, St. John Fisher College, SUNY Brockport and the University of Rochester.

The Foundation supplies all funds needed to pay for the Farash Scholar’s tuition, room and board, textbooks and fees. The Foundation’s support continues over the course of the recipient’s college careers, for up to five years.

“This scholarship will help me tremendously,” said Roland.  “I am proud to be the first generation in my family to go to college, and I will push through any obstacles I come across and try my absolute hardest, not only for myself, but for my family and my community.”

FLCC reading event supports racial justice

Finger Lakes Community College will host a silent reading event in support of racial justice on the birthday of Ida B. Wells, a black journalist and activist in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

FLCC Pages for Peace will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 16 in the Arboretum and Serenity Garden on the grounds of the main campus at 3325 Marvin Sands Drive, Canandaigua.

Attendees are asked to wear masks and practice social distancing. Restrooms will not be available due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Ida B. Wells
Ida B. Wells

The event will begin with brief opening remarks by organizers and FLCC Student Corp. President Erik DiPasquale.

Then, attendees will quietly read books, poems and other works about racism and the African-American experience written by and about people of color.

“Our plan is to sit quietly and read,” said Maureen Maas-Feary of Rochester, a professor of humanities at FLCC. “Those who would rather not attend are encouraged to join us by reading a book, poem or other work from the comfort and safety of home.” Continue reading “FLCC reading event supports racial justice”

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.

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.