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.

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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.

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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”

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”

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.

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.

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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.”

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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.

FLCC’s next student-made wine label symbolizes starting point

Image shows new wine bottle label called Foundation
Finger Lakes Community College graphic design student Rachel Graf of Walworth created the label and name selected by her counterparts in the college’s viticulture and wine technology program to be used on their 2019 varieties.

The label chosen for the wine that Finger Lakes Community College students will bottle next spring pays homage to where it all began.

Second-year graphic design major Rachel Graf of Walworth designed the label and name for the college’s 2019 vintage wines. To be called “Foundation,” the wine label features antiqued blueprints of the college’s Viticulture and Wine Center, which opened in Geneva in early 2015.

The name and design symbolize the center’s opening and its role as a starting point – or foundation – for students enrolled in the program.

“I wanted to showcase the hard work of the viticulture students and pay homage to their studies and the center itself for creating these amazing opportunities for them,” said Graf, a 2018 graduate of Wayne Central High School in Ontario, Wayne County. “The blueprints represent the literal foundation for the center itself, and the center represents the educational foundation for the students.”

Graf and her classmates designed labels for a graphic design course taught by Liz Brownell of Victor, professor of graphic design. In what has become an annual tradition, the labels were revealed recently at a gallery-style reception at the Viticulture and Wine Center. The 14 student designers took turns pitching their concepts, touching on themes, color palettes, font choices, as well as what types of computer programs were used to create the designs.

“This project is a chance for the students to have the experience of working with actual clients,” said Brownell. “It’s a boots on the ground approach. In any discipline of study, the teacher can describe what it’s like to work in the field, but when students have the actual experience for themselves it’s a different level of learning.”

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Sands Family Foundation’s $3 million gift largest in FLCC history

Drawing of building
A concept drawing of the Sands Center for Allied Health

The Sands Family Foundation will donate $3 million to Finger Lakes Community College to more than double its nursing program.

The gift, the largest in the college’s history, will cover nearly half the cost of an expanded wing at the main campus in Canandaigua to be called the Sands Center for Allied Health.

The expansion will enable the college to gradually double the number of students it accepts into its registered nursing (RN) associate degree program. Currently, FLCC has 80 openings for new students each fall.

Older woman posing with two grown sons
Mickey Sands, with her sons, Robert and Richard, in front of a portrait of her husband, Marvin Sands

“With a growing need for nurses in the Finger Lakes region, this generous gift from the Sands family will help FLCC fulfill a critical community workforce need,” said SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson. “The Sands Center of Allied Health will put many more nursing students on a pathway to providing valuable health services to people right here in New York.”

FLCC will also launch a licensed practical nursing certificate program (LPN), which can be completed in one year. The college anticipates scaling up to as many as 56 LPN openings per year within three years.

Objective 3 of FLCC’s strategic plan calls on the college to meet the needs of high demand sectors in our region. This gift allows FLCC to more than double its nursing program to address the local shortage of health care workers.

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