Inspired by challenge, FLCC alumni create George Floyd Scholarship

PHoto of Althea Jones-Johnson
Althea Jones-Johnson ’18

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.”

Photo of Samantha Maniscola
Samantha Maniscola ;18

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


Shelton, Conn.: Joseph Patrick, Summers Completion Scholarship

ArtSpace36 celebrates new exhibit by Chad Cleveland

Picture of artist Chad Cleveland painting
Canandaigua artist Chad Cleveland will open a new exhibit in ArtSpace36.

Finger Lakes Community College will host two events to celebrate a new exhibit by Fairport native Chad Cleveland at its downtown Canandaigua gallery, ArtSpace36.

Visitors can participate as follows:

  • In-person viewing of the exhibit begins Thursday, Oct. 1. The gallery is located at 36 S. Main St. Hours are 2 to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
  • A question-and-answer with the artist via Zoon is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 8, at 7 p.m. Click here for the Zoom link.
  • A reception is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 15, from 5 to 7 p.m. Registration is required for the in-person event; visitors select a half-hour time slot. Click here for the registration link.

To raise funds for ArtSpace36, Cleveland, a Canandaigua resident, has donated four paintings to be given to the first four people who contribute $100 to the gallery. Those who make a $50 contribution will receive a print of one of his paintings.

Originally from Fairport, Cleveland works predominantly in the medium of acrylic painting but also draws and utilizes mixed media. He earned a master of fine arts and a master of teaching at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Click the image above to take a video tour of Cleveland’s studio.

Continue reading “ArtSpace36 celebrates new exhibit by Chad Cleveland”

Outpouring of support to help #FLCC students with food insecurity

Area food pantries answered a call to help FLCC students dealing with food insecurity – in a big way.
To prepare for the start of the fall semester, Student Corporation leaders recently reached out to local pantries. Just a few days later, Student Affairs staff were busy sorting more than three college van loads of food and necessities, everything from peanut butter and green beans to shampoo.
“To state that these organizations showed up to help FLCC and this initiative in spades is stating it mildly,” said Student Life Director Jennie Erdle, who spent Aug. 11 collecting and delivering the donations to the main campus.
The Salvation Army of Geneva and Twin Cities of Manchester each donated hundreds of items. A third organization, the Canandaigua-based Community Churches in Action, donated 28 pre-packaged bags filled with snacks, canned goods, free milk coupons and more.
Teresa Daddis, student services counselor, joined Jennie to sort and inventory the donations, which will be offered to students who participate in the free drive-in chicken barbecue at the main campus on Sept. 9 from noon to 5 p.m.
To learn more about emergency student support services, click here.
To make a monetary donation to the FLCC food cupboard or other emergency student support services, visit this link:

FLCC announces fall athletics: Cross country, logging sports, eSports

logging sports team member chainsawing log
FLCC’s men’s and women’s logging sports teams will return in the fall semester. Their season will be determined by participation among competing institutions.

Cross country, logging sports and eSports will be offered at Finger Lakes Community College in the fall semester under an amended athletics plan that has been approved this week.

The plan aligns with the safety guidelines set forth by state officials as well as the National Junior College Athletic Association. FLCC is a Division III competitor in the NJCAA’s Region III.

Logging sports does not fall under the jurisdiction of the NJCAA, as FLCC’s men’s and women’s teams compete against mostly four-year institutions from across the Northeast. The teams’ fall competition schedule will be determined largely by participation among competitors.

Men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball will be moved to the spring semester in adherence with the NJCAA’s plan announced earlier this month. The teams, however, will be permitted to hold a limited number of low-density practices during the fall semester. The men’s and women’s basketball season is slated to begin in January.

“This has been a challenging time for college athletics as we balance the need to keep our student athletes safe while also trying to develop a plan to return to play,” said Samantha Boccacino, FLCC’s director of athletics. “This path forward allows for engaging opportunities for our student athletes while prioritizing their health and safety. We are looking forward to seeing our Lakers return.” Continue reading “FLCC announces fall athletics: Cross country, logging sports, eSports”

FLCC reading event supports racial justice

Finger Lakes Community College will host a silent reading event in support of racial justice on the birthday of Ida B. Wells, a black journalist and activist in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

FLCC Pages for Peace will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 16 in the Arboretum and Serenity Garden on the grounds of the main campus at 3325 Marvin Sands Drive, Canandaigua.

Attendees are asked to wear masks and practice social distancing. Restrooms will not be available due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Ida B. Wells
Ida B. Wells

The event will begin with brief opening remarks by organizers and FLCC Student Corp. President Erik DiPasquale.

Then, attendees will quietly read books, poems and other works about racism and the African-American experience written by and about people of color.

“Our plan is to sit quietly and read,” said Maureen Maas-Feary of Rochester, a professor of humanities at FLCC. “Those who would rather not attend are encouraged to join us by reading a book, poem or other work from the comfort and safety of home.” Continue reading “FLCC reading event supports racial justice”

Students’ ‘out of this world’ and retro designs impress CMAC

Constellation Brands-Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center has again partnered with Finger Lakes Community College to give graphic design students experience creating images for a prospective client.

The partnership has students in Prof. Liz Brownell’s Graphic Design II class creating poster and T-shirt images for the neighboring venue’s summer concert series. For the past two years, the students have presented their proposals to CMAC’s board of directors and venue supporters during an end-of-semester reception.

An in-person gathering wasn’t possible this year, so Brownell and her students came up with a way to share the designs virtually using the program Mindmeister. CMAC’s judging panel received an email link that allowed them to view and weigh in on the projects from the comfort and safety of their homes.

They were impressed with all of the submissions, but two proposals stood out, said Tracy Williams, community and guest services manager at CMAC. The first, created by Quinn Howell of Palmyra, features an astronaut playing the guitar.

CMAC poster design by Quinn Howell
Summer concert series poster and T-shirt design by student Quinn Howell.

Howell said the design is inspired by the concert venue’s name, Constellation Brands, with an “out of this world and interstellar mockup.”

Continue reading “Students’ ‘out of this world’ and retro designs impress CMAC”

Local band helps FLCC grads celebrate in song

Members of a local band with several ties to FLCC have come together to create a virtual celebration in song for the Geneva Campus Center and 2020 graduates.

Four of the seven members of the Geneva-based band, The Cool Club & Lipker Sisters, recently recorded themselves performing several songs while safely masked. The video was created initially to serve as a virtual end-of-semester celebration for the Geneva Campus Center; it was shared earlier this week with the center’s students, faculty and staff.

“This is a special gift for our students, especially the graduating class of 2020, and an opportunity to bring joy during this time where we all feel challenge, uncertainty, and struggle,” said Leigh Pitifer, assistant director of the Geneva Campus Center.

Three of the performing band members are sisters Marilla, Elizabeth and Grace. Elizabeth is a May FLCC human services graduate, while Grace recently earned her high school equivalency diploma after taking preparatory classes at the Geneva campus. Marilla also has a connection: She is married to the son of Tomas Gonzalez, director of academic advising, career and transfer services, and Dawn Langdon, director of financial aid. The sisters were joined in song by guitarist Rick Hoyt, husband of Anne Hoyt, adjunct instructor and tutor at the Geneva center.

The Cool Club and the Lipker Sisters have performed in numerous Finger Lakes venues, including Club 86, but have been sidelined due to the pandemic. They’ve put on a few socially distanced “porch” performances and a few virtual shows, including one to raise funds for the Geneva Center of Concern.

The FLCC video features three songs: “Blue Skies,” “We’ll Meet Again,” and a version of “I Will Survive” reworked for FLCC by Elizabeth ’20.

“I Will Survive,” FLCC-style

At first I was afraid I would flunk my class

That I’d work so very hard and just wind up in last

And how I spent so many nights thinkin’ about graduation time

How I was tryin’

And how it would be so sublime

But then it hit

And that was it

The covid 19 turned the world into a giant pit

And now I can’t walk the stage I can’t shake anyone’s hand but we still plan

And we will hug when it’s not banned

So you see me

Still got a degree

While some things may be different now they won’t stop me

Though I ain’t got no party time and I ain’t got now fancy talk

I don’t balk

And you know I’ll still walk the walk

So here you are

You made the cut

you can’t get your photo op but you got what you want

You did what you had to do

We all worked hard to get through

So here’s to you

Grads of 2020, WOO!

So you see me

Somebody new

All of FLCC is so proud of you

Take it right up to the line

And work hard and keep on tryin’

And you’ll do fine

We ain’t got no time for cryin’

Oh I

I will Survive

As long as I have my degree I know I’ll stay alive

I’ve got all my life to live and I’ve got all my love to give and I’ll stay strong

And I’ll learn how to get along

And we’ll come back

From social space

We can’t wait till we can see you with that smile upon your face

Keep on keepin’ on

And you’ll never go wrong

You’ll stay strong


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

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”