As she sat at her table for the annual scholarship dinner awards ceremony at Finger Lakes Community College in September 2017, Althea Jones-Johnson made a promise to herself: One day she’d do what she could to help future students of color join the list of honorees.
“I was just so grateful,” she said. “I remember saying to myself that I want someone else to be able to experience that.”
Fast-forward to the present: Having recently embarked on a master’s degree program in higher education, Althea has partnered with fellow FLCC alumna and graduate student Samantha Maniscola to establish a new scholarship for African-American students.
The George Floyd Memorial Scholarship awards $1,000 to a deserving student in the memory of the Minneapolis man who was murdered by police during what should have been a routine misdemeanor arrest.
The first recipient, Lucas Cupelli of Geneva, was recently honored along with dozens of other FLCC scholarship recipients and their benefactors at a virtual celebration held in lieu of the annual Constellation Brands Honors Dinner.
The scholarship is inspired by a desire to bring change and a challenge by North Central University President Scott Hagan who on June 4 announced the creation of the George Floyd Memorial Scholarship at his institution and called on every university president in the country to follow suit.
“I saw that this college had challenged other institutions to do the same things and I called Sam and said ‘We should do something like this for FLCC.’ And now, here we are.”
Through the process, Jones-Johnson considered the support she received while studying at FLCC, and in particular, a nudge from Dawn Hess, director of enterprise risk management and environmental health and safety.
Jones-Johnson worked for Hess as a part-time student worker and, when reporting for duty one day, was directed not to file reports and conduct inspections as was the routine. “I got to work and she told me, ‘Today I want you sit down and apply for one of these scholarships,’ so that’s what I did,” said Jones-Johnson.
Jones-Johnson soon received word she’d been awarded a scholarship created in honor of a retired provost, the Thomas Topping Adult Returning Student Scholarship. A year later, a second scholarship, the Brian M. Kolb Leadership Award.
“The scholarships definitely helped me financially and motivated me to step out of my comfort zone and see my own potential. I hope we’re able to help others do the same.”
The Floyd scholarship is one of several new scholarships awarded in the past year. Others include:
The Sam Argetsinger Memorial Scholarship, created in memory of its namesake, a highly regarded Finger Lakes grape grower who was also known for his interest in preservation, land management and Iroquois history. Created by his friends and family, the scholarship was awarded to James Gantz, of Geneva.
The IBERO Hispanic Scholarship, sponsored by the IBERO American Action League, was awarded to Juliana Quinones of Rochester.
The Wayne County Healthcare Scholarship was established by the Rural Health Network in partnership with FLCC to respond to the need for healthcare workers. It was awarded to: Shantaye Burkholder of Lyons; Hannah Bridson of Macedon; Jenna Crego of Marion; Chantel Johnson; David Milliman and Annalise Schram of Newark; Jessica Privitera of Ontario; Irina Chebotareva, Victoria Dempsey Rylie Froehler, Crystal Perkins, Katherine Smyth, Joseph Vernille and Kaitlin Wyffels of Palmyra; Miranda Bennett and Deedra Dowdle of Sodus; and Mercedes Westfall of Williamson.
The privately funded FLCC Foundation scholarships are presented to part- and full-time students entering or returning to FLCC this fall or those who transferred to four-year colleges and universities. Students apply for and are selected to receive the awards based on a variety of criteria relating to major, grade point average and intended occupation. The awards range from $300 to full tuition.
The 2020-21 scholarship recipients by county are as follows (this list includes some students who earned scholarships in the spring 2020 semester and have since graduated):
Friendship: Calum Ruxton, Fraley Family Award
Wellsville: Lacey Shuttleworth, G.W. Lisk Co. Inc. Excellence Scholarship
Allegany: John Giardini, Alton B. Corbit Memorial Scholarship; Madeline Lippert, Laura McNamara Tyler ’96 Memorial Scholarship
Sterling: Logan Field, FLCC Foundation Scholarship
Cortland: Madisen Tucker, Massage Therapy Scholarship
Gilboa: Gabrielle Groves, Brooke Makowiec Memorial Award, John M. Meuser Memorial Scholarship
Leroy: Sarah Efing, Summers Completion Scholarship
Leicester: Zachary Fanaro, FLCC Foundation Scholarship
Lima: Jennifer Torres, Faye Marie Jensen Memorial Scholarship
Springwater: Samantha Gossage, Thomas Topping Adult Returning Student Scholarship
Fairport: Pink Carolyn, Alice C. Southgate Home Bureau Scholarship; Kyla Engelson, Student Access/McKenney Scholarship
Honeoye Falls: Hannah Williams, Jane Milne Mills Memorial Scholarship
Rochester: Virgil Acquilano, Robert Angell Imagine Scholarship; Raina Becker, Francis Finnick Memorial Conservation Scholarship; Marie Bolling, The Shortsville Smokers Scholarship; Lashanda Brown, Frances F. MacLeod Memorial Scholarship; Nyaliah Butler, Student Access/McKenney Scholarship; Samantha Condello, Arianne van Tienhoven Tepper Award; Samuel Jones, Bill Parham Memorial Scholarship; Tanisha Mason, Charlotte Cowie Memorial Scholarship; Geoffrey Medler, POW/MIA Award; Marian Mohamed, Frances F. MacLeod Memorial Scholarship; Brandon Poindexter, FLCC/Urban League of Rochester Scholarship; Juliana Quinones, IBERO Hispanic Scholarship; Jason Smith, Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Co. Excellence Scholarship; Ruth Woodin, Garmezy & Murphy Viticulture Scholarship Webster: Bradon Detro, Mutual Hook & Ladder Scholarship; Alessia Paratore, AVI Fresh, Inc. Hospitality Scholarship
Rome: Skyler Donley, AVI Fresh, Inc. Hospitality Scholarship
Baldwinsville: Emily Baird, Constellation Brands Viticultural Scholarship
Bloomfield: Jayde Langan, FLCC Horticulture Faculty Scholarship
Canandaigua: Russell Cammarata, Ontario County Arts Council Mariner Family Scholarship; Gertrude Fisher, Robert L. “Rodge” Case Award; Aimee Hawkins, Dr. Charles J. Meder Scholarship for the Arts; Traci Laird, AVI Fresh, Inc. Hospitality Scholarship; Hannah Lochner, John and Peggy Champaigne Achievement Award; Jasmine Lofdahl, Patricia Nettnin Memorial Scholarship; Gabriel Montalvo, FLCC Foundation Scholarship; Madison Montalvo, Murray F. Gardner Memorial Scholarship, Ed Morrell Biology/Biotechnology Scholarship; Darlene Moore, Ann Hamilton Memorial Scholarship; Lauren Moore, Eugene B. Risser Technology Scholarship; Joceyln Ortiz, FLCC Foundation Scholarship; Aaron Pierce, FLCC Conservation Faculty Scholarship; Jaylea Ransom, Robert Angell Imagine Scholarship; Reann Rhoads, FLCC Foundation Scholarship; Mara Spuring, S&S Memorial Scholarship; Marissa Waterman, Frances F. MacLeod Memorial Scholarship; David Zabliski, Garlock Sealing Technologies Scholarship, William D. Langston Memorial Scholarship
Farmington: Delvy Koumba-Mouity, Mark J. Prockton Memorial Scholarship; Allison Riley, Reh Family Foundation Scholarship; Heather Sadler, Joanne Glover Memorial Scholarship; Emma Wesley, FLCC Board of Trustees Scholarship, Reh Family Foundation Excellence Scholarship; Ryan Westbrook, Reh Family Foundation Excellence Scholarship
Geneva: Raymir Briceno Ortega, Ed & Gerry Cuony Scholarship; Karla Calix, Dr. Ina Sue Brown Memorial Scholarship, Found Word Scholarship; Amanda Cornwell, James P. Finkle Viticulture Scholarship; Lucas Cupelli, George Floyd Memorial Scholarship; Sharon Egure, FLCC Geneva Campus Center Scholarship; Zoe Fowler-Calabrese, The Frarey Family Scholarship; James Gantz, Sam Argetsinger Memorial Viticulture Scholarship; Electra Laird, Charlotte B. Munson Memorial Scholarship; Alara Powell, IDEA Scholarship; Ashley Sheppard, Michaels Family Memorial Scholarship; Kaylee Smolinski, Bowen Family Scholarship
Manchester: Kenneth Schrom, Tom Albanese Memorial Scholarship
Naples: Cordell Bradley, John H. Brahm III Memorial Scholarship; Jake Cratsley, G.W. Lisk Co. Inc. Excellence Scholarship; Kristin Girard, FLCC Foundation Scholarship; Amber LeMay, FLCC Alumni Association Excellence Scholarship; Kate Livingston, Ann Hamilton Memorial Scholarship, FLCC Mathematics Department Award in Memory of Sherman Hunt; Sarah Grace Parshall, FLCC Nursing Alumni Legacy Scholarship; Michaela Williams AVI Fresh, Inc. Hospitality Scholarship
Phelps: Jasmine Fiori, Robert Angell Imagine Scholarship; Hannah Galloway, G.W. Lisk Co. Inc. Excellence Scholarship; Wyatt Harrington, Farash First in Family Scholarship; Katelyn Roland, Farash First in Family Scholarship
Rushville: Michael Hiller, Monty Stamp Memorial Scholarship
Stanley: Henry Sloth, Mathematics Department Award for Excellence
Victor: Ethan Davis, Reh Family Foundation Scholarship, G.W. Lisk Co. Inc. Excellence Scholarship; Liam Richards, Collins “Connie” and Verna Carpenter Memorial Scholarship
Harriman: Christina Corsaro, Summers Completion Scholarship
Pulaski: Emily Klein, G.W. Lisk Co. Inc. Excellence Scholarship
Astoria: Matthew Burges, FLCC Honors Studies Freshman Scholarship
Lodi: Sarah Farrow, Sharon Nedrow ABE Scholarship, FLCC Conservation Faculty Scholarship; Justin Smith, FLCC Conservation Faculty Scholarship; Morgan Surine Wright, Ann Hamilton Memorial Scholarship
Ovid: Jamie Bruning, Ed & Gerry Cuony Scholarship
Seneca Falls: Ericka Walsh, Ann Hamilton Memorial Scholarship
Waterloo: Kiersten Jones, FLCC Honors Studies Scholarship; Mariah Russ, Bowen Family Memorial Scholarship; Ryan Smith, Melissa Young (Hawk Child Wandering) Massage Scholarship
Bradford: Justin Deyo, Monty Stamp Memorial Scholarship
Ithaca: Hayley Sherwood, Mary E. Moynihan Memorial Scholarship
Clyde: Marissa Sharp, Frances F. MacLeod Freshman Scholarship
Lyons: Shantaye Burkholder, Wayne County Healthcare Scholarship
Macedon: Hannah Bridson, Wayne County Healthcare Scholarship
Marion: Jenna Crego, Wayne County Healthcare Scholarship; Ashley Gonzalez, Ann Hamilton Memorial Scholarship; Noah McKaig, Robert “Bob” Barbuto Memorial Jazz Piano Scholarship; Alejandra Vargas, Collins “Connie” and Verna Carpenter Memorial Scholarship; Faith Woodcock, Collins “Connie” and Verna Carpenter Memorial Scholarship
Newark: Megan Bowman, Robert Angell Imagine Scholarship; Jayden Durfee, CCFL Storefront Pioneers Scholarship, Thompson Health Nursing Scholarship; Jaiden Hernandez, Donald and Jean Burgan Community Service Award; Chantel Johnson, Wayne County Healthcare Scholarship; David Milliman, The Awesome A’s Scholarship, Wayne County Healthcare Scholarship; Annalise Schram, Wayne County Healthcare Scholarship
North Rose: Gabrielle Warring, Summers Completion Scholarship
Ontario: Brian Koehler, Diane Fitzmaurice Memorial Scholarship; Yelyzaveta Lopatina, Anthony Cecere Memorial Scholarship; Alfonso Montes, Justin Christensen Memorial Scholarship; Jessica Privitera, Wayne County Healthcare Scholarship; Brianna True, Mary E. Moynihan Memorial Scholarship
Palmyra: Irina Chebotareva, Wayne County Healthcare Scholarship; Victoria Dempsey, Wayne County Healthcare Scholarship; Rylie Froehler, Garlock Sealing Technologies Scholarship; Makayla Maynard, FLCC Foundation Scholarship; Maureen McClelland, Robert Angell Imagine Scholarship, Thomas Topping Adult Returning Student Scholarship; Earl Patton, AMVETS Post 332 Farmington, NY Scholarship, The Fred and Mary Jennejahn Memorial Scholarship; Crystal Perkins, Wayne County Healthcare Scholarship; Katherine Smyth, Wayne County Healthcare Scholarship; Joseph Vernille, Wayne County Healthcare Scholarship; Kaitlin Wyffels, Wayne County Healthcare Scholarship
Red Creek: Chloe Cashman-Rolls, Robert L. “Rodge” Case Book Award, FLCC Horticulture Faculty Scholarship
Sodus: Miranda Bennett, Wayne County Healthcare Scholarship, Thompson Health Nursing Scholarship; Deedra Dowdle, Wayne County Healthcare Scholarship; Francisco Olivera-Hernandez, AVI Fresh, Inc. Hospitality Scholarship
Walworth: Sierra Franco, Collins “Connie” and Verna Carpenter Memorial Scholarship
Williamson: Joseph Belmont, FLCC Newark Campus Center Scholarship; Heather Prahler, ASL Scholarship; Mercedes Westfall, Wayne County Healthcare Scholarship
Wolcott: Jennifer Easling, FLCC Foundation Scholarship
Bliss: Rachel Sampson, Brian M. Kolb Leadership Award
Strykersville: Paige Shoemaker, Brenda S. Brockman Beck Memorial Scholarship
Penn Yan: Laura Bagley, Frances F. MacLeod Memorial Scholarship; Akiya Brewer, Robert Angell Imagine Scholarship; Vincent Nicosia, AMVETS Post 332 Farmington, NY Scholarship; Rachel Wheeler, FLCC Alumni Association Excellence Scholarship
OUT OF STATE
Shelton, Conn.: Joseph Patrick, Summers Completion Scholarship