26 earn GED, opening doors to work and higher ed

Graduate speaking at podium
Colleen Blough-Shear of Hemlock, who earned a general equivalency diploma at Finger Lakes Community College, was among the speakers at a graduation ceremony in June at the main campus.

Twenty-six residents of five counties earned a general equivalency diploma (GED) through Finger Lakes Community College over the last year.

FLCC offers free day and evening classes to help students prepare for the GED exam in English or Spanish. Classes are offered in Canandaigua, Geneva, Lyons, Newark, Penn Yan, Sodus, Victor and Wolcott.

Program advisors also offer students assistance with selecting career goals and enrolling in post-secondary education and training.

Students are admitted into the program all year and are given a flexible time frame for completing it. New students entering GED classes must take an in-person pretest in math and reading.

For more information, email GED@flcc.edu or call (585) 785-1431.

The full photo album is on the FLCC Flickr page.

This year’s graduates are as follows:

LIVINGSTON
Hemlock: Colleen Blough-Shear

ONTARIO
Bloomfield: Anamari Reyes
Canandaigua: Kimahri Dunbar, Benjamin Kraft, Clayton Woodard
Farmington: Michael Williams, Kennedy Kirk, Travis Wuilliez
Geneva: Tyler Copeland
Naples: Oliver Abraham
Phelps: Jacob Senecal
Shortsville: Lehi Weed
Victor: Caitlin Hoad, Jacob Kleiman

SENECA
Seneca Falls: Angelina (Alex) O’Connor, John Reid

WAYNE
Clyde: Tia Salmon
Ontario: Lily St. Denny, Stacie White, Amanda Wright
Palmyra: Joshua Hall, Lacey Robbins

Savannah: Rachael Ruffle

YATES
Penn Yan: Calli Knapp, Bryant Miller

ArtSpace36 opens summer exhibit June 17

Letters made with pink fabric on light pink background

Finger Lakes Community College’s downtown gallery, ArtSpace36, will open a soft sculpture exhibit by Anna Warfield on Friday, June 17.

Hours are Thursday through Saturday from 2 to 6 p.m. at the gallery at 36 S. Main St., Canandaigua. The show runs through Sept. 30. A closing reception will be held in September.

Warfield uses words made with fabric to turn ideas about femininity around.

In her artist’s statement, she writes: “In working with both fiber and text, I address complexities in sexuality, femininity, ownership, language, and voice. The materials serve to further complicate the picture. Beyond employing ‘women’s work’ in the service of an unabashedly feminist voice, the fibrous materials also initially cause the works to read like comfort objects – squishable and soft – before revealing themselves to be explicit, demanding, or contorted.”

Warfield holds bachelor’s degrees in fine arts and communication, both from Cornell University, where she has been invited back multiple times to guest lecture. In 2019, Warfield was recognized by the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce for her work in the arts and notable impact on the wider community as a young professional with a HYPE Award.

For information about the gallery, visit ArtSpace36.com.

502 students named to FLCC spring 2022 dean’s list

A total of 502 full- and part-time students were named to the Finger Lakes Community College dean’s list for spring 2022.

To be named to the dean’s list, students must have a 3.5 grade point average and meet other criteria as follows:

Full-time students are eligible if they are matriculated – meaning enrolled in a degree program – and achieve a 3.5 grade point average for the semester (12 or more hours of earned credit) with no grade below passing and no incompletes.

Part-time students are eligible if they are matriculated, have completed a minimum of 12 credit hours at FLCC, earn a combined total of at least 12 credit hours for a given year and achieve a 3.5 grade point average with no grade below passing and no incompletes. The student must be part-time for both semesters. The dean’s list for part-time students is compiled at the end of the spring term only.

Continue reading “502 students named to FLCC spring 2022 dean’s list”

211 FLCC students named to Phi Theta Kappa honor society

Man at podium
Canandaigua City Manager speaks to the newest members of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society at FLCC.

The Finger Lakes Community College chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the honor society for two-year colleges, inducted 211 members over the course of the last year.

Canandaigua City Manager John Goodwin, who joined PTK while a student at Jamestown Community College, was the keynote speaker at ceremony in May. He described his path to his current role in public administration, urging students to take advantage of opportunities as they arise.

Goodwin also shared his thoughts on leadership, explaining his personal emphasis on honesty, transparency and authenticity.  “There’s no limit what you can accomplish, or what can be accomplished, if it doesn’t matter who gets the credit,” he added.

Phi Theta Kappa promotes scholarship, leadership, service and fellowship. FLCC’s chapter, Alpha Epsilon Chi, was chartered in 1981 and provides leadership, service and scholarship opportunities for members. Membership requires completion of 15 hours of associate degree coursework and a GPA of 3.0. Phi Theta Kappa members also serve as campus ambassadors.

A photo album is on the FLCC Flickr site

Post photo of three people
Naomi Cromer, vice president of the FLCC chapter of Phi Theta Kappa; Sim Covington, FLCC chief diversity officer and advisor to the chapter; and John Goodwin, Canandaigua city manager, PTK member and keynote speaker at the induction ceremony.

New members are listed below by county and town:

ALBANY
Albany: Tiffany Williams

ALLEGANY
Andover: Alicia Persons

BROOME
Endicott: Ceandra McCall

CHAUTAUQUA
Jamestown: Denise Swezey

CHEMUNG
Erin: Abigail Loper
Horseheads: Rachel Difasi, Josiah Fewkes

CLINTON
Ellenburg Center: Nicholas Filion
Plattsburgh: Victoria Aguilar

ERIE
Angola: Hanna Donovan
Cheektowaga: Nicolas Churchman
Clarence: Center Owen Probst
Lackawanna: Cody Paternostro, Nicholas West

JEFFERSON
Watertown: Cindy Gay

LIVINGSTON
Conesus: Danielle Trescott
Dansville: Teah Arriaga, William Barrett, Logan Kanaval
Lima: Jake Williams
Livonia: Jared King, Elaina Palmeri
Nunda: Alexandra Hugi

MONROE
Brockport: Amanda Meyer
East Rochester: Lydia Fanara
Fairport: Christopher Braun, Hannah Denigro, Justin Myers, Kai Vogt
Hamlin: Maxwell Jackson
Henrietta: Corrina Rosenfeld
Hilton: Gary Shadders
Honeoye Falls: Brianna Wise
North Chili: Carlos Torres
Penfield: Emily Muchard
Pittsford: Gem Sung
Rochester: Brittany Bland, Adam Callari, Naomi Cromer, Charles Domm, Russell Domm, Rene Garnica , Hanna Roman, Michael Solazzo
Webster: Michael Ditullio, Kayla Halstead, Sarah Hendrickson, Shane Thompson
West Henrietta: Nathan Muller

NASSAU
Elmont: Gary Diaz
Old Bethpage: Heather Lonic

NEW YORK CITY
Brooklyn: Andrew Bogovych

ONONDAGA
Baldwinsville: Matthew Rose
Liverpool: Edward Dumas
Syracuse: Jenna Horton, Joseph Suddaby

ONTARIO
Bloomfield: Glory Gumaer, Catherine Molloy, Mackenzie Smith

Canandaigua: Timothy Atkins, Elizabeth Bentley, Griffin Bond, Rachel Boock, Nicholas Brunelli, Russell Cammarata, Mikayla Coleates, Shelby Debeer, Daniel Disalvo, Carley Ducar, Amber Ertel, Margaret Evarts, Elaina Flynn, Michael Flynn, Kirsten Ham, Samuel Healy, Benjamin Koeberle, Jaxson Marsh, Tyler Marsh, Mikayla Martineau, Morgan Mitchell, Matthew Neininger, Aynsley Rossmann, Erich Rudolph, Sarah Schmeer, Susan Schmeer, Keegan Trainor, Kara Veatch, Aidan Vitticore, Cassie Ward, Erik Winarski

Clifton Springs: Nita Schumacher, Meghann Devito, Olivia Fullerton, Perry Galens, Shae Morrow, Gabrielle Steingraber, Michele Williams

Farmington: Sophia Attardi, Jessica Avery, Emily Butcher, Matthew Butts, Matthew Cary, Haley Fisher, Roy Hibbert III, Delvy Koumba-Mouity, Grace Ledgerwood, Amber Maliborski, Roger Purcell, Marcus Smith

Geneva: Sofia Candidori, Andrew Chilbert, Lucas Cupelli, Janeika Delgado, Nicholas Mazzocchi, Amanda Owens, Kaitlyn Roach

Honeoye: Victoria Armstrong

Manchester: Timothy Baley, Jena Caramazza

Naples: Bruce Elwell, Brianna Faber, Ethan Friend, Theresa Hays, Cris Kenney, Kim Nelson, Ava Sheedy

Phelps: Hayley Peisher, Erik Verdehem

Port Gibson: Daria Algier, Amanda Klahn

Rushville: Madison Jackson

Shortsville: Evan Walker

Stanley: Brianna Demarco

Victor: Julia Baldwin, William Brady, John Davis, Samantha Farrelly, Jonah Grbic, Christine Miller, Delayne Reagan, Aliyah Sone, Nicholas Ward

ORANGE
Port Jervis: Lynnlee Ennis

OTSEGO
Springfield Center: Isabel Daley

SENECA
Interlaken: Julia Diamond, Meghan Housem, Josh Maslyn
Ovid: Larinda Cordell, Carolyn Natale
Seneca Falls: Xavier Castellaneta, Kobe Laprade, Olivia Yancey
Waterloo: Nehemiah Williams

STEUBEN
Cameron: Hannah Hoffman
Prattsburgh: Elijah Lenhard
Wayland: Audrianna Barnard, Mikayla Bernal

SUFFOLK
Deer Park: Maria Hearn
West Islip: Jake Squicciarini

TOMPKINS
Enfield: Jesse Rogers
Ithaca: Lindsey Reynolds

WAYNE
Clyde: Tabitha Elmer

Lyons: Riley DeCola, Danielle Pinckney, Tia Stowell

Macedon: Alea Javorowsky, Nicole Jerzak, Leah Lloyd

Marion: Dana Bergeron, Briana Chauncey

Newark: George Andrew, Robert Bacchetta, Amber Blanchette, Benjamin Cepulo, Destiny Rodriguez-Bellinger, Keith Rolenaitis, Sheridan Verstraete

North Rose
David Fantuzzo

Ontario: Tessa Edwards
Palmyra: Grace Boesel, Emma Brooks, Dylan Ellis, Danielle Englert, Devon Harmon, Jay Huddleston, Kalie Mitchell, Carissa O’Lena, Makayla Simmons, Samuel Wizeman

Sodus: Garret Anderson, Andrew Dietrich

Walworth: Jillian Angotti, Catherine Rainwater, Krystal Sippel

Williamson: Gavin Fernaays, Crystal Polak

Wolcott: Jenavieve Brown

WESTCHESTER
Yonkers: Joseph Hofstede

WYOMING
Attica: Parker Remington

YATES
Dundee: Akiya Brewer, Harlan Nolt
Penn Yan: Elise Andersen, Mason Bishop, Jaina Doyle, Marilyn Hawley, Madison Hobbs, Jenna Kinner, Audrey Rodriguez
Rushville: Kristin Ireland

OUT OF STATE
East Haven, Conn.: Angelica Lawler

SUNY recognizes FLCC employees, students for excellence

J. Naused at podium in regalia
Jeremiah Naused was recognized as a recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence at the Finger Lakes Community College commencement in May.
Autumn Dushnick seated, smiling in nursing uniform
Autumn Dushnick was recognized as a recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence at the Finger Lakes Community College commencement in May.

Five Finger Lakes Community College employees and two students were recognized during commencement in May as recipients of SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence.

Recipients were as follows:

Autumn E. Dushnick of West Sayville, Suffolk County, received the SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Student Excellence. Dushnick is a 2022 nursing graduate who served as the director of the Student Corporation Activities Committee for 2021-22. In this role, she brought together students, faculty, and staff through social and educational events. In the fall 2021 semester alone, the Activities Committee hosted 40 events and made 1,623 connections with students. In addition, Dushnick raised funds at the start of the pandemic to provide food for health care workers.

Jeremiah Naused of Romulus, Seneca County, received the SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Student Excellence. He is a 2022 FLCC graduate with a degree in liberal arts and sciences and plans to become a physician. Naused served as the Student Corporation president for 2021-22, helping to reactivate student organizations following the first year of the pandemic and promoting the rollout of the TimelyCare App among students. TimelyCare gives students 24/7 access to health services, including mental health services.

Head and shoulders image of K. Schwartz in regalia
Kathleen Schwartz received a SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service.

 

Kathleen Schwartz of Gorham, Ontario County, received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service. Schwartz, who has served FLCC for three decades, recently retired as senior clerk for the Academic and Student Affairs division. Schwartz was nominated for her willingness to serve on college committees, mentor other employees and take on new tasks to help improve programs and processes.

 

J. Foust seated in regalia, smiling
John Foust received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

John Foust of Stanley, Ontario County, professor of environmental conservation and horticulture, received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. With 23 years of service to the college, Foust was nominated for his work in developing courses and learning opportunities for conservation students, in particular, in the field of fisheries. He has been a part of research collaborations with local and regional institutions, including a biological survey for invasive species in Loon Lake, Steuben County, and he uses data on student learning to drive improvements in his teaching practices.

President presenting award to M. Van Etten
FLCC President Robert Nye presents Michael Van Etten with the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching at commencement in May.

Michael Van Etten of Canandaigua, Ontario County, assistant professor and program coordinator of world languages, received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Van Etten is the author and designer of the Language Education Access Foundation, which provides a wealth of teaching resources for a variety of languages and a series of low-cost online textbooks. He is a pioneer in the use of technology to teach language, a strong proponent of experiential learning, and has served as a coach and mentor for the FLCC eSports program.

Lacey McKinney in regalia, smiling
Lacey McKinney, associate professor of art, received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities

Lacey McKinney of Liverpool, Onondaga County, associate professor of art, received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. A faculty member since 2013, McKinney has exhibited her work at galleries in New York, North Carolina, and Washington. Her solo exhibition Reconfiguration was featured in 2020 – 2021 at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse. Her art has been selected for publications that include The Post Standard in Syracuse, Artnet News and huffingtonpost.com. She has been instrumental in the launching of the ArtSpace36 gallery in downtown Canandaigua.

President shakes hands with J. Tiermini
FLCC President Robert Nye presents Jeremy Tiermini with the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service at commencement in May.

Jeremy Tiermini of Canandaigua, Ontario County, professor of health science and human performance, received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service. Tiermini was recognized for his contribution to development of the online learning program at FLCC. He has served on several college committees that develop policy and programming and guide the overall direction of the institution. Tiermini also serves as co-chair of the college’s Guided Pathways program, designed to improve opportunities for student success.

FLCC trustees honor alumni, student researchers

Three students in science lab
From left, Philip Simmons, Matthew Brooks, and Demetrice Garcia, shown in a Finger Lakes Community College lab in March 2021, were the first to work on a project to determine the conditions that promote the fastest growth of mushroom fibers and the bioactive compounds these fibers produce. They have since been joined by current students Leila Doerrer and Chelsea Patterson.

The Finger Lakes Community College Board of Trustees recognized a group of five current and former students who were chosen to present their research on the cultivation of mushroom sugars for a national conference in April.

The research project is part of an 18-month collaboration between FLCC and Empire Medicinals, a Henrietta company that sells mushrooms and mushroom-blended meats. It sought the college’s help for basic research that could lead to the extraction and commercialization of mushroom sugars as a food supplement.

Three of the students, who have since graduated, and two current students represented FLCC at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), an annual event that involves 3,200 students, faculty, and administrators.

Head and shoulders photo
James Hewlett

“NCUR is the largest showcase in the country of undergraduate research, so it’s all institution types,” James Hewlett of Webster, the professor leading the project, told the board at its May 4 meeting. ”It’s not a given. You have to apply, and the applications go through some pretty intense scientific review before you’re accepted to present at this conference. It’s a huge deal to actually get accepted, and it becomes a published abstract.”

Presenters were Matthew Brooks, a 2021 biotechnology graduate from Canandaigua, Demetrice Garcia, a 2021 biotechnology graduate from Newark, and Philip Simmons of Keuka Park, who has a 2021 associate degree in biotechnology and a 2020 associate degree in viticulture and wine technology.

Head and shoulders photo of Chelsea Patterson
Chelsea Patterson

Current students Leila Doerrer, a biotechnology major from Honeoye Falls, and Chelsea Patterson, an engineering science major from Farmington, also contributed to the development of a poster summarizing the research for the conference.

“It’s a very fascinating study, and I’m very happy to have been a part of it,” said Patterson. “It’s definitely opened my eyes to the detail that research takes, and I absolutely love everything about it.”

Head and shoulders photo of Leila Doerrer
Leila Doerrer

“I have to be honest. This is the most valuable experience I’ve probably ever had in my entire life,” said Doerrer. “I’ve learned so much. I can run a whole bunch of machines, like bioreactors. I’ve learned how to operate an autoclave.”

Hewlett, who has been recognized as a State University of New York distinguished service professor for his work promoting student research, directs the students with adjunct instructor Sarad Parekh of Pittsford and instructional specialist Jessica Halliley of Rochester.

The goal of the project is to determine the conditions that promote the fastest growth of mushroom fibers, called mycelia, and the bioactive compounds these fibers produce.

Mushrooms are well established as a health food; they are low in calories and high in fiber, protein and antioxidants. Sugars they produce, called beta-glucans, are studied for their potential to boost the immune system, lower cholesterol and fight cancer. Isolating the sugars requires growing the mycelia in a broth-like medium, separating the liquids and solids, then filtering the liquid.

The students grew two strains of mushrooms in two different broths – one with glucose and another with lactose. One of the strains produced the highest yield in lactose, a sugar found in milk.

Unlike a carefully controlled lab exercise, researchers can run into problems, Brooks noted.

“If something goes wrong, like one of our batches gets contaminated, it’s not like the professors know the answer right away. It’s a genuine mystery,” he said, adding that it takes collaboration to diagnose the problem.

Trustee George Cushman praised the research program for the range of skills it fosters.

“What I heard … was that you learned a lot of transferable skills, and it’s not necessarily the things that go on a resume all the time, but it’s really what the employers need,” he said. “I heard about working together as a team, solving problems – all these things don’t necessarily translate on a resume, but they really are essential skills.”

Hewlett said the college is seeking more research projects, particularly among small startups like Empire Medicinals that lack research and development capacity.  “They need help and we need projects,” he said.

State grant to fund additional lab in nursing expansion project

 

Professor watching nursing simulation
Nursing instructor Tiffani Leyden monitors a nursing simulation exercise from behind a one-way mirror in the renovated Finger Lakes Community College nursing wing. Leyden, who also recorded the session, later debriefed with students about their response to the symptoms a computerized manikin presented during the exercise.

Finger Lakes Community College has received a $1.5 million grant to add an additional science lab to the Sands Family Center for Allied Health now under construction at the main campus.

FLCC broke ground on the $7.2 million expansion and renovation project in June 2021. SUNY later notified FLCC that the College would receive $1.5 million through the SUNY Workforce Development Initiative, which funds projects designed to train people for high-demand jobs. The state has identified health care, and nursing in particular, as a top priority.

The project is opening in stages. The renovated area on the third floor of the main campus, which features a new nursing simulation lab, opened in August 2021. The expansion includes more nursing lab and instructional spaces and a fourth floor lobby; it will open in summer 2022. 

Our students are already experiencing an enhanced educational experience in our newly renovated nursing space. The expansion, now nearly complete, and this additional science lab will provide even greater flexibility and capacity as we prepare students for health care careers,” FLCC President Robert Nye said.

The additional 1,800-square-foot science lab and instructional space will be built next to the new lobby and open in 2023. The lab will be equipped with HyFlex technology allowing for simultaneous in-person and remote instruction to support students in health care programs.

When complete, the Sands Family Center for Allied Health will allow FLCC to accept 50 percent more students in the two-year registered nursing program and launch a one-year licensed practical nursing program. 

With the new facilities, FLCC will be able to accept students into the registered nursing program in both the fall and spring. The application for the first spring class, in January 2023, will open in early May on the College website at flcc.edu. 

The College will also use the center to provide certificate training for nurse assistants, home health aides and phlebotomy technicians. A federal grant currently covers most or all of the tuition for these three short-term certificate programs. Anyone interested in enrolling can learn more at flcc.edu/reimagine or (585) 785-1670.

The Sands Family Center for Allied Health is named for the chief donor, the Sands Family Foundation, which contributed $3 million to the project. 

In addition to the Sands Family Foundation gift, the FLCC Student Corporation has pledged $250,000 while the FLCC Foundation and the FLCC Association will each contribute $200,000. These gifts were matched by New York State. The additional grant brings the project total to $8.7 million.

SUNY honors FLCC student for overcoming hardship

Headshot of Sarah Frost
Sarah Frost

Sarah Frost of Geneva, a graphic design major at Finger Lakes Community College, was among 45 State University of New York students honored in April with the Norman R. McConney Jr. Award for Student Excellence. 

The award recognizes students in the SUNY Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) for their academic merit and strength in overcoming significant personal obstacles.

Frost, 38, has struggled with learning disabilities, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and dyscalculia, which makes it harder to do tasks involving math. She has also coped with COVID isolation and a physically disabling illness.

“Slowly but surely, I have started to regain my strength. I am so grateful for my teachers, I have no words that can equal the amount of gratitude I feel for them,” she said. “The same goes for my EOP support. Having weekly meetings where I can touch base with my advisor, Nicole (Siegwarth), felt like having family care for you.”

Frost also found encouragement in joining the student organization AALANA, which stands for African American Latino/a, Asian and Native American. She plans to transfer to a four-year school and continue her studies in graphic design.

“Sarah is a shining example of what it means to be an EOP student and a Norman R. McConney Jr. Award recipient. Her will to succeed is a testament to her perseverance, grit, resilience and determination,” said Lisa Thomas, director of the EOP program at FLCC. “Even when things seemed impossible, Sarah dug deep, utilized her resources, and turned things around. She continues to rise above her circumstances, and we are excited to see her continue her journey.” 

Frost encourages other students struggling with illness and disability not to give up.

“It’s going to be hard at times, but remember to talk to your EOP advisors. They will never steer you wrong, and they will always be there when you need them. Just keep trying,” she added.

The Norman R. McConney Jr. Award for Student Excellence is named in memory of a graduate of the University at Albany and former assistant dean for special programs at SUNY. McConney (1946–2016) and former Assembly Deputy Speaker Arthur O. Eve helped create EOP as a statewide program.

Frost attended an award ceremony in Albany on April 14 with Thomas and Siegwarth, the EOP academic support outreach specialist.

“I can tell you this right now, if not for EOP, I would not have made it this far. When I was running low on food, they assisted me. When I needed new school supplies, they were there,” she said. “I think that every school needs people like Lisa and Nicole because without them a lot of underprivileged students would get lost in the shuffle.”

“I have had the great fortune of working with Sarah very closely in my role,” Siegwarth added. “She is warm, talented, funny, and spirited. Her inner strength and motivation to be successful in life despite the many personal, academic, and financial hurdles she has faced is inspirational. I wish it was something that I could bottle and share with all of our students. I am so proud of her and her determination and cannot wait to see what comes next. She knows I will always be there to offer support and to cheer on her success.”  

Since its inception in 1967, the EOP has provided access, academic support, and supplemental financial assistance to students from disadvantaged backgrounds, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college. In its 55-year history, the EOP has served more than 78,000 students and evolved into one of the country’s most successful college access programs.

 In the current academic year, SUNY has nearly 8,000 EOP students on 50 SUNY campuses. EOP students often outperform their peers, with 74 percent of them graduating with a baccalaureate degree within six years.

Frost credited several faculty and staff for contributing to her success.

“I would like to give a special thank-you to my teachers and staff: Margaret Pence, Barbara J. Senglaub, Lacey McKinney, Nicole Siegwarth, Lisa Thomas, Dorren Allen-Carr, Sim Covington, Amy McGowan, Andrea Cornett, Suzanne Marino, Jodi Merklinger, Melissa Soules, and Aaron Sullivan. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Without knowing it, you have helped make my dreams come true,” she said.

Grant provides $523K in funding for short-term career training

Instructor with student using virtual reality headset
Rick Hill, instructor for the Finger Lakes Community College Certified Production Technician program, works with student Sean O’Rourke as he views a simulation using a virtual reality headset on April 23 at the Bloomfield Central School Operations Center. The college has received $523,700 to cover student costs for CPT and 10 other programs.

Finger Lakes Community College has received $523,700 in federal funding designed to cover most or all of the cost for individuals who want to train for careers in manufacturing, construction, information technology and health care.

The funding comes from the Reimagine Workforce Preparation Training program, meant to encourage people to switch to careers in high demand fields without taking on debt. The lengths of the training programs range from six weeks to nine months.

FLCC has launched a website with full details at flcc.edu/reimagine.

“We live at a time when people need to switch careers more often to keep up with economic change. This grant eliminates a major hurdle for most people to switch careers for greater pay, advancement potential and job satisfaction,” said Todd Sloane, FLCC’s director of workforce development.

Courses offer training in the following areas:

  • Health care: enhanced phlebotomy, certified clinical medical assistant, certified nurse aide, home health aide, pharmacy technician, patient care technician
  • Construction: residential electrician, HVAC technician
  • Information Technology: CompTIA A+
  • Manufacturing: certified production technician, foundations in advanced manufacturing

Training is offered at several locations and work for some programs can be completed online. The certified production technician program, for example, is currently offered simultaneously in Bloomfield and Penn Yan two evenings per week with the instructor conducting in-person labs on certain Saturdays. Students in the class learn manufacturing techniques using virtual reality headsets, in addition to learning how to use hand-tools.

The College offers a regular series of information sessions at flcc.edu/workforce.

FLCC staff can provide coaching in selecting and succeeding in a program, along with assistance in finding a job upon completion.

For more information, visit flcc.edu/reimagine or call (585) 785-1670.

Muller interns know they’re part of something bigger

Two women examining tubs of aquatic plants
Amy Slentz of Geneva, an environmental studies major, examines aquatic plants with Maura Sullivan, associate professor of environmental conservation, after gathering them via canoe on the Honeoye Lake Inlet at Muller Field Station in Canadice. Photo by Jan Regan.

About two dozen interns have tackled 13 conservation projects over the last year at the College’s Muller Field Station at the south end of Honeoye Lake.

The projects involve monitoring the state of the animal and plant life at the field station and surrounding areas to generate data that can be used by a broader community of scientists and educators.

For example, student Amy Slentz gathered aquatic plants from the Honeoye Lake Inlet in summer 2021 to look for invasive species under the guidance of Maura Sullivan, associate professor of environmental conservation and coordinator of the internship program. 

FLCC is participating in iMapInvasives, a citizen science program in which residents can submit information about suspected invasive species for confirmation by experts. The College is also part of the aquatic invasive species monitoring program of Finger Lakes PRISM, which stands for partnership for regional invasive species management.

“The good news is that we did not find any of the new and emerging, especially problematic invasive species in the inlet channel during our summer sampling,” Maura said. They were looking for hydrilla, water chestnut and starry stonewort.

Magazine cover featuring bakery owner Sabrina MIller
The Muller intern program is featured in the spring edition of the Laker magazine. Click here to view the electronic version.

Amy also took part in a partnership project with the Bergen Swamp Preservation Society monitoring grassland birds at Taylor Marsh, 600 acres north of Honeoye Lake.

Some projects last for a few months, others continue over years with new groups of students stepping in as others graduate or transfer. Professor John Van Niel, director of the station, and a rotating group of students have been examining the stomach contents of fishers that have been caught by fur trappers to provide the state Department of Environmental Conservation with data on what the weasel-like mammals eat. (Read about it in the FLCC blog at forward.csc.flcc.edu.)

Students also monitored reptiles and amphibians (herptiles) on the station property, gypsy moths at the field station and Onanda Park in the town of Canandaigua, prothonatory warbler nest boxes at the station, and camera traps set up at the station and the East Hill Campus in Naples to catch images of animal life when humans are not around.

The students are learning scientific methods for collecting information about the natural world that can have policy consequences. For example, when invasive species are detected, local governments have to decide whether to spend public funds to limit or remove the species. 

This scenario played out last year as the city of Canandaigua debated whether to use an herbicide to combat European buckthorn in Lagoon Park, which runs along Lakeshore Drive behind Wegmans. FLCC faculty and students have assisted with projects to plant native species at the park and monitor progress.

“Students relish this opportunity to get hands-on experience, connect with the natural world, and contribute to a greater understanding of phenomena they study,” Maura said. “Although students might be working on individual projects, this helps cement the reality that they are definitely part of something bigger.”  

At the end of their internships, students have been sharing their findings and reflections with other students and faculty, and that may expand to public presentations, she added.

Amy said she values the professional setting that the internships create. “My internship and work within the Conservation Department has helped to nourish my innate passion for the natural world as well as cultivate a deeper enthusiasm around environmental work,” she said.

The Florence M. Muller Foundation has provided funding for the internships for the last three years. The foundation is the legacy of the late Florence Muller, who donated the field station land and buildings to FLCC in 1999 and set up funds for the improvement and operation of the 48-acre property as an education and research center. It had once served as a summer retreat for Florence and her husband, Emil.

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