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”

FLCC to Ph.D. Part 4: Open to possibilities

Man standing in archway
Nicholas Knopf ’06 earned honors for his doctoral dissertation at the University of Rochester. /Photo by Eryn Yates

Christina Knopf was a shy 17-year-old who only knew she wanted to write at the time she enrolled. Professor Sandra Camillo thought she would be a good fit for the student aide job in the college public relations office. It became the first stop on Christina’s path toward a doctorate in political communication and cultural sociology.

Her cousin, Nicholas Knopf, enrolled at FLCC to stay local while awaiting a kidney transplant then discovered his love for literature in Deborah Ferrell’s class. In 2019, he was honored for his dissertation exploring the portrayal of physical disabilities in English and American literature.

Woman at podium
Christina Knopf, a faculty member at SUNY Cortland, studies society through comic book superheroes and graphic novels.

Christina and Nick are among the alumni who credit FLCC as the springboard for careers in research. Their stories are featured in the new edition of The Laker Magazine.

Nationally, community colleges get attention for their agility in developing applied programs to meet local needs. Think of courses for wind turbine technicians at two-year schools in the Midwest and FLCC’s viticulture and wine technology degree.

It is not uncommon, however, for students who got their start at community college to pursue doctoral degrees. The National Student Clearinghouse reports that 11 percent of those who earned doctoral degrees in 2016-17 entered higher education at a community college. The proportion was highest in the health and clinical sciences in which 21.5 percent of all those who earned doctoral research degrees started at a two-year school.

Christina entered FLCC knowing only that she wanted to write. “When I was at FLCC, I had no idea that I would end up getting a Ph.D.,” she said.

Continue reading “FLCC to Ph.D. Part 4: Open to possibilities”

FLCC to Ph.D. Part 3: Studying Chernobyl

Woman in science lab
Cara Love ’05, shown at a University of Georgia lab, is earning a Ph.D. in ecology. / Photo by Beth Gavrilles

Cara Love was a homeschooler who needed a high school equivalency diploma as a bridge to college. While prepping for the state exam at Finger Lakes Community College, she found a place to begin exploring her fascination with human impacts on the natural world. Today she is studying the effects of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster on wolves.

Cara is among the  alumni who credit FLCC as the springboard for careers in research. In each case a person or program at the college was just what they needed at just the right moment.

Nationally, community colleges get attention for their agility in developing applied programs to meet local needs. Think of courses for wind turbine technicians at two-year schools in the Midwest and FLCC’s viticulture and wine technology degree.

Cover of The Laker magazine
Cara Love is one of several alumni featured in the newest edition of The Laker magazine. Click this image to read the electronic version.

It is not uncommon, however, for students who got their start at community college to pursue doctoral degrees. The National Student Clearinghouse reports that 11 percent of those who earned doctoral degrees in 2016-17 entered higher education at a community college. The proportion was highest in the health and clinical sciences in which 21.5 percent of all those who earned doctoral research degrees started at a two-year school.

Cara arrived at FLCC at age 17. Homeschooled in Naples, she quickly moved through her high school equivalency program into an eclectic mix of college classes: Wilderness Camping, Spanish, Cultural Anthropology, Business Mathematics, Foundation Drawing, Computing in the Information Age, and Biology of Man: Genetics, Evolution and Environment.

“I realized how much I loved the atmosphere at FLCC,” she said. “Some of the best teachers I’ve ever had were at FLCC. They took the time to inspire and encourage my curiosity about the world around me as well as explore my own interests and new topics.”

Continue reading “FLCC to Ph.D. Part 3: Studying Chernobyl”

FLCC to Ph.D. Part 2: This thing called math

About two years into his career teaching mathematics at FLCC, Charles Hoffman ’01 set in motion a chain of events that has advanced the development of cloaking technology.

All he did was answer a student’s question. That student, Ryan Vogt, had signed up for Charles’ class to fulfill a requirement for computer science. Ryan had hated math in high school.

Male student in front of NC State sign
Ryan Vogt ’13 is on track to earn his doctorate in mathematics from North Carolina State University this spring./Photo by Ken Martin

“He took the time to tell me a story about why math was important,” Ryan explained. “He spent a great amount of time with me.”

Ryan is now finishing up his Ph.D. in mathematics at North Carolina State University and has spent the last two summers working at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. His research has included solving problems in the development of binary electromagnetic cloaking, the science of manipulating the paths of light to make an object optically invisible.

Ryan is among the alumni who credit FLCC as the springboard for careers in research. In each case a person or program at the college was just what they needed at just the right moment.

Cover of The Laker magazine
Ryan’s story is one of several in the Winter/Spring edition of The Laker magazine. Click this image to read the electronic version.

Nationally, community colleges get attention for their agility in developing applied programs to meet local needs. Think of courses for wind turbine technicians at two-year schools in the Midwest and FLCC’s viticulture and wine technology degree.

It is not uncommon, however, for students who got their start at community college to pursue doctoral degrees. The National Student Clearinghouse reports that 11 percent of those who earned doctoral degrees in 2016-17 entered higher education at a community college. The proportion was highest in the health and clinical sciences in which 21.5 percent of all those who earned doctoral research degrees started at a two-year school.

Continue reading “FLCC to Ph.D. Part 2: This thing called math”

FLCC to Ph.D. Part 1: A professor’s story

The newest edition of The Laker magazine features four alumni who have earned or are about to earn Ph.D.s. Each talks about how their FLCC experience contributed to their decision to pursue academic research. We’ll share their stories over the next several days -and the full magazine will appear in your mailbox. (Not on the mailing list? Let us know.)

In the meantime, FLCC faculty have their own stories to tell.

Young woman talking to female professor
Linda Ross, Psy.D., professor of psychology, speaks with a prospective student at an FLCC open house in 2018.

Linda Ross was a high school dropout working as a seamstress when she decided she wanted more out of life. She embarked on an educational journey that ended with a doctorate in clinical psychology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. In the audio file below, she shares her story with a colleague.

Tomorrow, Part 2: This thing called math

Alumni: Stay in touch
We love learning your stories and sharing them. Help us stay in touch by updating your contact information. Click here for an online form to record your address and any news.

 

Podcast explores ‘Ontario County History and Culture’

Three people making a podcast
Valerie Knoblauch, executive director of Finger Lakes Visitors Connection, moderates a podcast with Fred and Nancy Goodnow, who have led the effort to restore the Cheshire Grange building, at the Finger Lakes TV podcasts studio at the Finger Lakes Community College main campus.

A diverse community group has created a local podcast to share efforts to support and promote local history and the arts.

“Ontario County History and Culture” was recorded in the Finger Lakes Television podcast studio at the Finger Lakes Community College main campus in Canandaigua.
FLTV Podcast logo

The first episode of the podcast was released on Feb. 23 with a new episode released weekly through April 12. Ontario County History and Culture is available through iTunes, Google Play and Spotify. It also can be accessed on the Finger Lakes Television website at ochc.fingerlakestv.org.

George Herren, retired Ontario County property tax services director and operations division manager, who serves on several community groups, approached the Ontario County Historical Society, Ontario County Arts Council and the Cheshire Community Action Team about co-sponsoring the podcast and all parties agreed.

“After learning that Finger Lakes TV was expanding into podcasting, I thought it would be a golden opportunity to share information about all the work that is done to preserve our local history and promote the arts,” he said. “A lot happens behind the scenes to make our county such a vibrant place to live and visit.”

Herren enlisted a wide range of moderators and guest presenters, including Preston Pierce, Ontario County historian; Fred and Nancy Goodnow; who are leading the effort to restore the former Cheshire Grange as a local theater and meeting hall; former Mayor Ellen Polimeni, and Sheriff Kevin Henderson.

Finger Lakes TV, the local public access cable station, offers the service for a fee to cover costs associated with recording, editing and uploading podcasts for distribution. The project also provided hands-on experience in podcast recording and editing for a Finger Lakes Community College student.

Finger Lakes TV is a community service funded by local municipalities and based at FLCC through an in-kind donation of space and administrative services. More information about Finger Lakes TV is available at fingerlakestv.org or by calling (585) 785-1623.

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