Six honored with SUNY Chancellor’s Awards

Three men and women posing in academic regalia
From left, Kimberlie Noyes ’00, Maura Sullivan, Terrance Dominguez-Hover ’24, John Onorato, Drew Bateman ’24 and Beth Johnson

Four Finger Lakes Community College employees and two students were honored with the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence at the commencement ceremony in May. They are as follows:

Drew Bateman of Hilton, a 2024 graduate, the 2023-24 Student Corporation president, and recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence

Terrance Dominguez-Hover of Bristol, a 2024 graduate, the 2023-24 Student Veterans Organization president, and recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence

Beth Johnson, Ph.D. of Canandaigua, professor of theater, recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service

Kimberlie Noyes, D.N.P., of Pittsford, a 2000 FLCC graduate and associate professor of nursing, recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching

John Onorato of Geneva, building maintenance mechanic, recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service

Maura Sullivan of Naples, associate professor of environmental conservation and horticulture, recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching

Below are excerpts of remarks shared at a luncheon prior to the commencement ceremony.

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553 students named to FLCC spring 2024 dean’s list

A total of 553 full- and part-time students were named to the Finger Lakes Community College dean’s list for spring 2024.

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.

Below are students on the dean’s list by county and town in New York State. Out-of-state and international students are at the end of the list.
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Early College High School begins this fall in Geneva, Waterloo

A new partnership between FLCC and two local school districts, Geneva and Waterloo, will give students the opportunity to earn an associate degree by the time they finish high school.

The Early College High School is a five-year project that begins this fall. Ninth graders who have applied and been accepted to the program will be introduced to the educational pathways that lead to specific careers.

Over their four years of high school, they will take FLCC classes through the existing concurrent enrollment program, called Gemini, which allows students to complete high school and college requirements at the same time.

Starting in 11th grade, these students will be able to attend courses at the FLCC main campus or campus centers. The goal is for students to earn at least 24 credits and up to an associate degree, typically 60 credits.

“The goal is to introduce career exploration to students at a younger age and give more opportunities to motivated students,” said Laura Jamieson, FLCC assistant director of concurrent enrollment. “It is possible for students to earn an associate degree upon high school graduation and transfer directly to a bachelor’s degree program.”

A state Department of Education grant will cover costs for the program, including staff at FLCC and the districts to administer the program, college tuition and transportation. Geneva received a $1.18 million grant and Waterloo, $825,000, both to be spread over five years.

The grant will also cover professional development for faculty at the Geneva and Waterloo high schools and at FLCC to help them adapt more rigorous coursework to a younger population. The Early College High School program will also target underrepresented groups in higher education, including low-income, first-generation and minority students.

The Smart Scholars Early College High School Program began more than a decade ago in more urban areas of the state.

Early College High School is similar to the Pathways in Technology, or PTECH, in which students interested in technology careers take a mix of high school and college credits and transfer seamlessly to FLCC to complete their degree, often in less than two years.

FLCC’s Early College program in cooperation with Waterloo and Geneva will offer students a broader range of career pathways, including health care, computer science, education and humanities.

More information about this statewide initiative is available on the state Education Department website.

161 FLCC students join honor society

Student posing with PTK certificate and two family members
Alexander Whitcomb with his family at the Phi Theta Kappa induction in May

The Finger Lakes Community College chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the honor society for two-year colleges, inducted 161 members over the course of the last year.

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.

New members are listed by county and town for New York State. Out-of-state and international students are listed at the bottom.
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FLCC Students Design CMAC Summer Concerts Promotional Materials

FLCC graphic design students showcased their creativity and skill through a renewed design partnership with Constellation Brands-Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center (CMAC). Students competed to have their designs used in promotional materials for CMAC’s summer concert series, including an events poster, t-shirt, and concert pass.

The 2024 winners of this design competition include Autumn Molisani (poster), Laura Daniela López Sánchez (t-shirt), and Alyson L. LaBarr (concert pass). The project brief called on students to use design elements that represent the CMAC locale, including Canandaigua Lake, the surrounding natural environment, and a music theme. 

2024 CMAC T-shirt Design
2024 CMAC t-shirt design by Laura Daniela López Sánchez

The student design process involved multiple critique sessions and a formal presentation of their final designs on April 9. All contest participants received two concert tickets, with additional copies of the prints and shirts provided to the winners.

This partnership gave students the opportunity to work on a real-world project. Students gained experience refining their designs based on feedback and presenting their work to a client. The winners get to see their work professionally produced and used in promotions.

FLCC Team Places First in UAV Competition for Third Year in a Row

Olivia Smith, Theodosios Pierce, Winter Lenhard, Dylan Begy, Joshua Bell, and Gabriel DeSouza

The FLCC team won first place for the third consecutive year in the UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) Competition, sponsored by the New York State Two-Year Engineering Science Association (TYESA).

The event took place on April 26 at Monroe Community College, where seven teams from five community colleges, including Finger Lakes CC, Broome CC, Hudson Valley CC, Borough of Manhattan CC, and Monroe CC, participated in the competition.

The objective of the competition was to design, build, and pilot an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to transport a small Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) through obstacle gates. The UAV must be able to maneuver around and through obstacles, change altitude, carry and deposit the UGV to the proper drop zone, and then navigate back to the starting zone. The UGV must detach from the UAV using an autonomous onboard detachment mechanism and then autonomously drive to a different location after delivery. This project simulates a rescue mission where human navigation is dangerous and aerial navigation is partially difficult.

Student-made UAV and UGV with a first place plaque.
Student-made UAV and UGV with a first-place plaque (2024).

Teams were evaluated based on their poster presentation and mission demonstrations. FLCC’s team, named Sawney and Beane, was part of the Engineering & Technology Club based at Victor Campus Center. Its members were Theodosios Pierce (team captain and pilot), Gabriel de Souza (pilot), Olivia Smith, Winter Lenhard (pilot), and Dylan Begy. Joshua Bell was the team coach.

This year was FLCC’s seventh year participating in this annual competition. The team’s poster presentation was considered one of the best among the participating teams, and their mission demonstration included three perfect runs.

FLCC UAVs from the last three years.
FLCC UAVs and UGVs from the last three years with first-place plaques.

Two FLCC Students Present at SUNY Undergraduate Research Conference

FLCC Students and Faculty at SUNY SURC 2024
Suzanne Oyston, Emily Relyea, and Mark Worrell at SUNY SURC 2024.

FLCC students Suzanne Oyston and Emily Relyea were among 46 students from across the State University of New York (SUNY) system selected to make oral presentations at the 10th annual SUNY Student Undergraduate Research Conference (SUNY SURC) 2024. This year’s event was held at the University of Buffalo on April 15 and Suffolk County Community College on April 26.

SUNY SURC brings student researchers and faculty mentors together for academic activities, including student presentations, poster sessions, a keynote luncheon, and workshops. Most of the student researchers at the conference were from four-year institutions, making Emily and Suzanne’s participation particularly noteworthy.

A panel of FLCC faculty and staff organized by Professor Mark Worrell met with both students to prepare them to present alongside upper-level SUNY peers. Reflecting on the event and the support provided by FLCC, Emily said, “SURC was a fantastic opportunity, and I’m so grateful that my research was chosen to present. Dr. Worrell was a huge help, and I appreciate all he did to help me and Suzanne.”

The panel consisted of Prof. Theresa Gauthier (Mathematics), Prof. Delia Ackerman (ASL Coordinator—Humanities), Prof. Richard Cook (VAPA), Prof. Christine Parker (Science/Technology), Alicia Marrese (FLCC Library), Prof. Daniel Groom (Mathematics), Prof. Charles Hoffman (Mathematics), Prof. Andrea Cornett (VAPA), Barbara Senglaub (Instructional Specialist—VAPA), Christine Dow (Student Success Coach—AACTS), Dustin Stalnaker (Student Success Coach—AACTS) and Mark Worrell (VAPA).

Emily presented research on “Health Care and Insurance Costs and Their Effects on Medicare Recipients with Cancer.” She developed this project from work completed in Dr. Worrell’s ENG 101 class in Fall 2023. In her research, Emily argues that urgent Medicare reform is needed to address the soaring cost of healthcare in the U.S.

Suzanne spoke on “Raising Standards of Language Access for Deaf Children.” She developed her research project from previous work completed in her ENG 103 course with Prof. Meg Gillio in Fall 2023. Suzanne’s research discusses the academic, social, and emotional impact of language deprivation. She advocates for more collaboration with the Deaf community as essential to breaking barriers and supporting language fluency.

Being selected and participating in SUNY SURC was a memorable learning experience for both students. After the event, Suzanne said, “I am so grateful I was able to be a part of SURC 2024 at the University of Buffalo. I was inspired by the many student researchers in varying fields and to see so much learning and passion in the projects.”

Laker legacies: Family connections to FLCC

Photo showing 10 members of the Andrew family
All eight children of the Andrew family, shown with their parents, have attended FLCC. Back row, from left: Kathryn Smith, Hannah Smith, Abigail Copenhaver, Sarah Walton, Rebeccah Andrew, and Emma Swarthout. Front row, from left: George Andrew Jr., Colleen Andrew, George Andrew and William Andrew

The spring Laker magazine features families with multiple alumni

Before she started at FLCC, Emma (Andrew) Swarthout ’11 got help building her schedule from former students, including her older sister Rebeccah.

And her older sister Sarah.

And her older sisters Abbey, Hannah, and Kathryn.

Emma was the sixth of the Andrew kids, all homeschooled, to attend FLCC. Her brother George followed, and William, the youngest, is currently studying business administration.

Laker magazine cover showing 3 family photos over backdrop of a large tree
The spring Laker magazine focuses on families with multiple FLCC alumni. Read the digital edition online.

Their mother, Colleen Andrew, enrolled her first two daughters at FLCC, thinking an associate degree would be the best proof they were ready for a four-year college.

“It worked so well with the first couple of us that my mom was kind of like, ‘Why fix what’s not broken?’” said Abbey (Andrew) Copenhaver ’08.

The College keeps no records on the number of families in which parents and children, husbands and wives, or multiple siblings attend, though the connections have become increasingly apparent since the first classes began in 1968.

Some alumni marvel at the changes when the next generation attends. Tim Montondo ’88 came back nearly two decades later with his daughter, Rachel, a 2019 accounting graduate.
“It was amazing!” he said. “There was so much new that had been added. It was so cool to see. I had a hard time finding my way around to show her things.”

Sometimes the family tie is not just the College, but a program.
The late Betty Jean McAnn ’73 made a later-in-life decision to become a registered nurse, inspiring her daughter-in-law, Lisa McAnn ’93.

“I was in banking when we moved here from Oklahoma. Betty Jean was the one that encouraged me. She said I had the qualities to get the nursing degree, and she talked highly of Finger Lakes.”
Lisa is now an associate professor in the FLCC nursing department.
Betty Jean’s granddaughter, Alicia McBride, is a 2014 graduate of the program.

Ted Fafinski, a retired Farmington town supervisor, sent both his children to FLCC, and they married alumni. The College took on another dimension in his life when he taught as an adjunct for five years. His family’s connections to FLCC are among many that have grown along with the College.

“FLCC isn’t just a community college,” Ted said. “It’s part of the community.”

Signups begin for FLCC summer STEAM camps

Click the image above for a downloadable flyer.

Registration is now open for Finger Lakes Community College’s STEAM summer day camps for students who will enter grades 7 through 9 in the fall.

Camps are held at the college’s campus centers in Geneva, Newark and Victor and the FLCC Muller Field Station at the south end of Honeoye Lake.

The cost is $300 per weeks and includes lunch and snacks.

The registration deadline is June 21 at  Here are the dates and descriptions for the camps:

July 8-12, STEAM in Motion, Victor Campus Center, 200 Victor Heights Parkway, off Route 251

Students will design mechanical parts, create electrical circuits, and learn about robotics to explore how science and technology can be used to create motion. Students will work on a variety of projects during the camp to implement what they have learned.

July 15-19, STEAM in H20, Geneva Campus Center, 63 Pulteney St.

Campers will explore local aquatic life and habitats and learn about the importance of environmental wellness in the Finger Lakes region. Students may get wet during interactive activities, lab experiments, field trips and water games.

July 22-26, STEAM in Space, Newark Campus Center, 1100 Technology Parkway, off Route 88

Campers will engage with space-related themes across science, technology, engineering, art, and math curriculums. A career component will be included to learn about jobs in space exploration.

Aug. 5-Aug. 9, STEAM in Nature, Muller Field Station, 6455 County Road 36, Canadice

Campers will learn about and observe local wildlife, go on canoe adventures through the swamp, and gain plant, insect, and bird identification skills. They will participate in gardening, nature journaling, and more. Amid hands-on learning, students will also engage in conversations about environmental issues, sustainability, and stewardship.

Email questions about the camps to

FLCC to receive $1M toward new horticulture facility

U.S. Charles Schumer

The federal appropriations bill signed by President Joe Biden on Saturday, March 9, included $1 million U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer secured for a new horticulture and greenhouse facility at Finger Lakes Community College.

The college’s plan to rebuild the greenhouse at its main campus is part of FLCC’s facilities master plan currently under development. The college and its sponsor, Ontario County, are reviewing a range of options for renovations and new construction to best position the college for the next decade. The plan is scheduled for adoption in May.

“The construction of modern horticulture buildings will be a top priority in the new facilities master plan. This appropriation will leverage a dollar-for-dollar state match, and combined with private donations, put us in an excellent position as our plans become more concrete,” FLCC President Robert Nye said. “We are grateful for Sen. Schumer’s support.”

Hands working with young plants
FLCC offers associate degrees and certificates in horticulture and viticulture and wine technology with a combined enrollment of more than 120 students as of fall 2023.

Draft plans call for the demolition of the existing greenhouse behind the science wing at the main campus and construction of a new facility in a better location to take advantage of sunlight. The greenhouse would have a hydroponic system and modern temperature and humidity controls to allow for different growing environments. The facility would also include labs and classrooms that could be shared with other organizations.

The college has been exploring options and funding sources for several years to rebuild the greenhouse, which opened in 1979. The FLCC Foundation, a nonprofit that seeks private sector support for the college, has received donations totaling $1.8 million. This amount also qualifies for a state match. Over $1.7 million of the Foundation funding is an estate gift from the late Adrienne O’Brien, a longtime friend of the college and supporter of the viticulture program.

FLCC offers associate degrees and certificates in horticulture and viticulture and wine technology with a combined enrollment of more than 120 students as of fall 2023.

Following approval of the FLCC facilities master plan in May, the college and county would hire an architect to develop concept plans. No timeline for construction has been established.