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.

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”

FLCC celebrates Women’s History Month with March 5 talk

Ashley Hopkins Benton
Ashley Hopkins Benton will give a talk at the main campus in celebration of Women’s History Month.

Finger Lakes Community College will continue its History, Culture & Diversity speaker series with an event on Thursday, March 5 focused on the fight for women’s suffrage in New York.

Ashley Hopkins-Benton, senior historian and curator of social history at the New York State Museum, will give a Women’s History Month talk, titled “Leading the Charge: The Fight for Women’s Suffrage in New York and Beyond.” Free and open to the public, it will be held from 12:40 to 1:50 p.m. in Room 2775 at the FLCC main campus, 3325 Marvin Sands Drive, Canandaigua.

Hopkins-Benton has worked at the museum since 2014, and has served as its senior curator for the past four years. Her focus is on women’s history, LGBTQ+ history, immigrant and ethnic history, sculpture and toys. She is the co-author of “Votes for Women: Celebrating New York’s Suffrage Centennial,” “Enterprising Waters: The History and Art of New York’s Erie Canal” and “Breathing Life into Stone: The Sculpture of Henry DiSpirito.”

She earned her master’s degree in history museum studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program and a bachelor’s degree in art education/art studio at the State University of New York College at Potsdam.
The History, Culture and Diversity series is coordinated by Robert Brown, professor of history at FLCC. After the March 5 talk, spring semester events are as follows:

• Talk commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Korean War, Thursday, March 26, 12:30 p.m., Stage 14, FLCC main campus. Veteran Norman Champagne will share his experiences with the Marine Corps in Korea from 1952 to 1953. His honors include the Korean Presidential Unit Citation, and he serves as historian for the Korean War Legacy Foundation.

• Holocaust remembrance talk by survivor Lea Malek, Thursday, April 2, 12:30 p.m., FLCC main campus auditorium. Malek was 5 years old when her family in Hungary was boarded onto trains headed for concentration camps. Much of her family was murdered. She survived, only to witness the brutality of the Hungarian revolution in Budapest.

The events are free and open to all. Those planning to attend should plan to arrive early for parking; handicap parking is available. For more information, contact Robert Brown at Robert.Brown@flcc.edu or (585) 785-1307.

FLCC announces fall 2019 dean’s list

Finger Lakes Community College announces the dean’s list for the fall 2019 semester. A total of 445 students earned this honor.

To be eligible for the FLCC fall dean’s list, full-time students enrolled in a degree or certificate program must earn a grade point average of 3.5 or higher and have completed 12 or more credit hours. Part-time students are included in the spring dean’s list.

Below are the students listed by county and town:

ALLEGANY

Angelica: Cassidy Mountain

Belfast: Morgan Hamer

Belmont: David Holmes, Christian Stuck

Friendship: Rylea Comstock, Calum Ruxton

Wellsville: Samantha Bailey, Lacey Shuttleworth, Ashley Taylor

BROOME

Johnson City: Rebecca Rayne Continue reading “FLCC announces fall 2019 dean’s list”

New exhibits celebrate alumni artwork at FLCC’s two galleries

Finger Lakes Community College’s two art galleries – Williams-Insalaco Gallery 34 and ArtSpace36 – will showcase the work of accomplished alumni in exhibits set to open later this month.

The Biennial Alumni Exhibition in Williams-Insalaco Gallery 34 will showcase the work of artists Melissa Newcomb ’02 and Dee Westfall ’14, both members of the Keuka College art faculty. The exhibit will open Thursday, Jan. 30 with a 2 p.m. talk by the artists, followed by an appetizers reception sponsored by the FLCC Foundation from 4 to 6:30 p.m.

Newcomb, associate professor of art at Keuka, earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from the State University of New York at Oswego and master’s degrees from Oswego and Rochester Institute of Technology. Her vast portfolio includes a six-by-eight foot pen-and-ink mural of the Rochester city skyline, created for the office of Marathon Engineering. She was honored by the college’s Alumni Association with the Outstanding Alumni Art Achievement Award in May 2013.

Westfall, adjunct instructor of ceramics at Keuka, earned a bachelor of fine arts in ceramics at RIT after completing her associate degree at FLCC. The owner of Westfall Ceramics, she has participated in numerous gallery exhibits and has created pieces for commercial facilities and private collections.

Three additional art alumni will be celebrated just a few miles away, at the College’s downtown gallery, ArtSpace36. Jessica Marianacci Valone ’08, Erica Bapst ’98 and Michelle Garlock ’87  will be featured in the exhibit, also set to open Thursday, Jan. 30. A free, public reception and talk by the artists is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 13 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Continue reading “New exhibits celebrate alumni artwork at FLCC’s two galleries”

Bestselling author on organic, sustainable farming gives talk

A seventh-generation farmer who penned a New York Times bestseller about his transformation to organic and sustainable operations will visit Finger Lakes Community College later this month to close out the ninth season of the George M. Ewing Canandaigua Forum speaker series.

Forrest Pritchard will give a talk titled “Sustainable Agriculture: Gaining Ground and Growing Tomorrow” at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 26 in the Student Center Auditorium at the main campus, 3325 Marvin Sands Drive, Canandaigua.

Pritchard has authored three books. The first, “Gaining Ground, A Story of Farmer’s Markets, Local Food and Saving the Family Farm,” made the New York Times Bestseller list, was named a top read by Publishers Weekly, The Washington Post and NPR’s “The Splendid Table.” His second book, “Growing Tomorrow,” offered a behind-the-scenes visit with 18 sustainable farmers from across the county. His latest book, “Start Your Farm,” was co-written with Ellen Polishuk.

“People often say that local, organic food is expensive, but never take the time to understand why conventional food is so cheap,” he said. “From New York family dairy farms, to our food system at large, we’re learning how our food choices have major consequences. We’ll discuss how local food impacts us all, and how to enact positive change.”

Continue reading “Bestselling author on organic, sustainable farming gives talk”

Student Emily O’Neill honored by Sheriffs’ Association

Emily O'Neill
FLCC student Emily O’Neill, fourth from left, was selected for a New York State Sheriff’s Association Institute award. She was recently congratulated by, left to right, Jason Maitland, chief of campus police; James Valenti, associate professor of criminal justice; Joseph Mariconda, associate professor of criminal justice; Ontario County Sheriff Kevin Henderson; and FLCC President Robert K. Nye.

Emily O’Neill’s success is a result of perseverance, a value at the core of FLCC’s Strategic Plan.