Registration opens for middle school summer camps

Instructor working with two middle school girls
Kellie Gauvin, FLCC professor of biology, works with two participants on a DNA activity at a past STEAM summer camp at the Geneva Campus Center.

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

The lineup includes camps at the college’s campus centers in Geneva, Newark and Victor, as well as a new camp at the FLCC Muller Field Station at the south end of Honeoye Lake.

The full-day STEAM camps provide activities in science, technology, engineering, art, and math with themes for each location. Camps run from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for five days. The cost for each week is $200 and includes snacks and a T-shirt; students should bring their own lunches. Students may enroll in more than one camp. The schedule is as follows:

July 10-14, STEAM in Motion, Victor Campus Center, 200 Victor Heights Parkway, off Route 251.

July 17-21, STEAM in Our Community, Geneva Campus Center, 63 Pulteney St.

July 24-28, STEAM in Space, Newark Campus Center, 1100 Technology Parkway, off Route 88.

July 31-Aug. 4, STEAM in Nature, Muller Field Station 6455 County Road 36, Canadice

The registration deadline is June 23, at Registration is limited to 15 students per camp. A limited number of need-based scholarships are available. Email questions about the camps to

FLCC to open ‘Keeping a Promise’ photo and poetry exhibit

Man on kayak
A photo by Joe Ripperger in the “Keeping a Promise” exhibit at FLCC.

The Williams-Insalaco Gallery 34 at FLCC will open an exhibit of photography and accompanying poems inspired by the photos on Thursday, March 2.

The exhibit, “Keeping a Promise,” features photographs by the late Joe Ripperger with poems by his aunt, retired FLCC humanities professor Barbara Murphy. The title is a reference to Murphy’s work to complete the exhibit after Ripperger passed away in 2019.

Murphy will give a talk on March 2 from 2 to 3 p.m. and welcome guests at an opening reception from 4 to 6:30 p.m. The events are free and open to the public. The gallery is on the first floor of the main campus at 3325 Marvin Sands Drive. The exhibit runs through April 7.

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FLCC opens application for local scholarships

The Finger Lakes Community College Foundation is accepting applications for scholarships for current and incoming students for the 2023-24 academic year.

The Foundation awarded more than 170 students a total of $176,000 in scholarships funded by local families, businesses, and organizations for the current academic year.

The Foundation manages more than 100 scholarship funds. Eligibility requirements vary and include criteria such as academic program, veteran status, first-generation college student, hometown location, demonstration of financial need, and successful essay completion. There is one application for all scholarships which filters and qualifies students based on their answers.

Scholarship awards range from $250 to one year of tuition, currently $5,112. One award is larger: the Farash First in Family scholarship covers full tuition, fees, residence hall lodging, and books to one student per year. This special scholarship requires a student to live in Ontario or Monroe counties, be a first-generation college student, demonstrate financial need, and respond to essay questions.

All incoming students should fill out the scholarship application by April 30 to determine eligibility. Students who apply to FLCC by March 1 and submit a high school transcript will also be considered for an early admissions scholarship.

The application is available at and closes on April 30. To apply, students must have completed the FLCC admissions application and received an FLCC email address. Students will be notified during the summer if they have been selected to receive a scholarship.

2022 nursing grads excel, trustees approve LPN program

Nursing lab exercises at FLCC
FLCC nursing students take part in a lab exercise at the main campus. Photo by Rikki Van Camp

The Finger Lakes Community College nursing class of 2022 had a pass rate of 93 percent on the NCLEX-RN, which stands for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses.

The FLCC score exceeded the average 63 percent pass rate for New York state associate degree holders and average 69 percent rate for that group nationally.

Students with a bachelor’s degree in nursing who took the exam in New York had an average 66 percent pass rate.

FLCC has recently updated its curriculum to focus on clinical judgment, a key component of the exam.

The Nursing Department has also incorporated more elements to reinforce learning, such as recorded lectures students can revisit, online quizzes and discussions, a professional tutor, and a study and test-taking coach.

FLCC graduated 45 nursing students in 2022, meaning 42 passed the national exam last year.

The College recently expanded facilities to be able to accept new nursing students in the spring semester. The inaugural spring semester class of 20 students began in January.

In addition, the college Board of Trustees in January approved the curriculum for a new licensed practical nursing certificate program. The State University of New York and the state Education Department must sign off on the program before students can enroll. Approval is expected in time for a fall 2024 class. Students who graduate from the certificate program will receive 14 credits toward the 64-credit registered nursing associate degree program.

Check the nursing webpage for more information and take a virtual tour of the Sands Family Center for Allied Health.

FLCC announces students on the fall 2022 dean’s list

Finger Lakes Community College announces the dean’s list for the fall 2022 semester. A total of 461 students earned this honor.

To be eligible for the FLCC fall dean’s list, full-time students enrolled in a degree or certificate program must earn a grade point average of 3.5 or higher and have completed 12 or more credit hours. Part-time students are included in the spring dean’s list.

Below are the students listed by county and town. Students from New York City’s five boroughs are listed under New York City.

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Lake serpent to grace FLCC’s next vintages

Image of serpent about to bit a cluster of grapes
First place wine label design by Matt Neininger

Wines that Finger Lakes Community College students will bottle next spring will bear the image of a serpent designed by Matthew Neininger of Canandaigua, a second-year graphic design student.

The serpent is a riff on FLCC’s lake monster mascot, Flick. His wrap-around label is designed to look like a faded historic drawing with a hand-drawn serpent about to bite down on a cluster of grapes an unwitting fisherman is using for bait.  

Neininger’s drawing was one of 16 entries in the annual contest, in which graphic design students use suggestions from viticulture and wine technology students to develop label concepts. The students present their work and their decisions for using certain colors, fonts and images at the end of the fall semester. The viticulture students then meet to discuss the entries and select a winner.

Neininger was humbled by the selection. “I couldn’t believe it. The competition was tough, and I knew if I was a judge the selection would be a difficult one,” he said.

Cartoon image of cat sipping wine
Second place label by Madison Hobbs

The viticulture students provided 10 to 12 possible ideas for a label, yielding a wide variety of designs. Madison Hobbs of Penn Yan took second place with her “Alley Cat” design, inspired by a request for a lighthearted take. Victor resident Audrey Brown’s third-place entry, “Luminous,” was inspired by a suggestion to mimic vintage botanical drawings of grapes and vine. 

“The hardest part was just allowing myself time to hash out a bunch of dueling ideas,” Neininger said. “I received the initial, overarching concept from one of the viticulture students and then started the brainstorming process, which resulted in a variety of design paths. I ended up choosing this label because it was the most attractive to me and fit well with what the student was asking for.”

Image of finely drawn grape cluster and leaves
Third place label by Audrey Brown

Neininger, a Canandaigua Academy graduate, did not begin to explore art as a career path until starting at FLCC. 

“I always was a doodler,” he said. “I love creating and expressing myself and interests through art and design. It just seems like I’m not even doing work. When I did the wine label, it wasn’t really like homework.”

In less than a year, his wine label will begin showing up on two local store shelves. Students in the viticulture and wine technology two-year degree and one-year certificate programs produce commercial wines that are available at Ryan’s Wine and Spirits in Canandaigua and Pedulla’s Wine and Liquor in Geneva. Orders can also be arranged via online form on the FLCC website at

Ryan Kovar’s FLCC toolbox

 Ryan Kovar '12, poses with one of his illustrations. Photo by Rikki Van Camp
Ryan Kovar ’12 poses with one of his illustrations at the College’s Williams-Insalaco Gallery 34. Photo by Rikki Van Camp

As the pandemic shutdowns began in 2020, an opportunity for Ryan Kovar ’12 opened up.

Ryan, a graphic design graduate of FLCC, got a message from a children’s book author who had seen his work on

A year later, “Wildly Perfect” hit the market, featuring his playful, quirky images to accompany verse encouraging individuality and self-confidence.

Wildly Perfect Book Cover showing children riding an elephant
Ryan Kovar ’12 illustrated the 2021 children’s book “Wildly Perfect.”

Ryan, who has another children’s book in the works, talked about his journey as an animator and illustrator at his Williams-Insalaco Gallery 34 art gallery exhibit at the main campus. Ryan honed his own individuality and self-confidence at FLCC before he transferred to Rochester Institute of Technology to study  film and animation.

“It was a great transitional period,” he said of his associate degree work. “I learned so many different programs and design principles that it provided me a toolbox to be able to pull from when I was doing projects at RIT.”

New ways to create

Ryan chose FLCC after graduating from Canandaigua Academy in the wake of the Great Recession.

“It wasn’t really financially in the cards for me to go immediately to a four-year college,” he explained, adding, “I had been diagnosed with learning disabilities while I was in high school. I had overcome a lot, but I didn’t feel confident that I could adjust to this new kind of mindset, new environment.”

Cartoon flamingoRyan found his FLCC classes challenging, in part because he had to learn how to move from drawing on paper to using digital tools. He credits faculty for their guidance as they introduced him to the different facets of graphic design in a manageable way.

As an individual with autism, Ryan used art to express the thoughts and feelings he had trouble sharing verbally. Elaine Verstraete helped him sharpen his illustration style, which embraces the unusual and absurd.

“Elaine encouraged me to be myself artistically,” he said. “She gave me the opportunity to learn so much more about illustration and the illustration process. A lot of what she taught I still remember to this day. She was a big influence.”

John Fox showed him how to make an animation sequence. “It was really cool that he gave me and others a chance to get a taste for that before moving on to RIT, where I studied it full time. It definitely reinforced that I do enjoy this and I can do this, and I’ll get better in the future.” 

Ryan took sculpture with Barron Naegel, who organized his recent gallery show, and graphic design with Liz Brownell. “She helped me a lot with understanding the concept of design and transitioning from traditional to digital,” he said. 

“I had never tackled working in programs like PhotoShop before, and it was a struggle to learn it,” he added. “It’s hard for anybody to change or try something new, but it’s especially hard for someone on the spectrum to break the routine. Almost everything I originally struggled with at FLCC is a tool that I can easily use nowadays. I think I wouldn’t have done quite as well at RIT if I didn’t have that early experience.”

Finishing his general education classes at FLCC also helped him focus at RIT on his film and animation courses. While there, he was able to direct three animated short films. His senior project, “Hunt or Be Hunted” has been featured at short film festivals.

The next book

Since graduating from RIT in 2016, he has created a range of art as a freelancer, from magazines and print advertising to short films and a cartoon series. Ryan often gives animals a comical aspect with unusual colors and human expressions, and he draws outlandish creatures with odd mixes of tentacles, eyes, fins and feathers. 

“I specialize in creating fun, whimsical illustrations of cartoon characters, animals and fantastical other-worldly creatures, who can express a wide range of emotion through clear expressions and strong poses,” he said. “Making the unusual relatable is what drives me to create.” 

“Wildly Perfect,” with text by Brooke McMahan, is available on Amazon where reviewers praise the message as well as the illustrations, which one reader called “captivating and clever.” Last year, another children’s author reached out to Ryan. He wrapped about 50 illustrations for “Wake the Wolf” by Maurizio Lippiello over the summer and is waiting to hear on a publication date. He is also working on text and illustrations for his own children’s book.

See more of Ryan’s work at and on Instagram: @kovarcreations.

FLCC adds Waterloo Community Center to local education network

ON VIDEO: Rebecca Swift of FingerLakes1 recently spoke to Todd Sloane, FLCC’s director of workforce development, about the next session of no- or low-cost, short-term career training. Click here to find a convenient information session.

The Waterloo Community Center at 3 Oak St. will join the Macedon Public Library, Clifton Springs Library and other sites offering Finger Lakes Community College 14-week job training classes in manufacturing, residential electric and health care in January.

FLCC began building a network of community education sites a year ago as part of a national pilot project to overcome barriers to education in rural areas, such as lack of transportation and broadband.

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Finger Lakes News Radio features FLCC esports leaders

Students playing video games in the FLCC lounge
Members of the FLCC esports team often use the College game design lab or the student lounge, shown above, for practice and competition. Photo by Rikki Van Camp

Michael Van Etten, assistant professor of modern language and coordinator of esports at FLCC, and Francesca “Frankie” Dean, a student leadership board member for esports, recently talked about the College’s varsity team with Finger Lakes News Radio host Paul Szmal.

FLCC is in its third year of esports with a team of 80 men and women. The College’s Board of Trustees approved it as a varsity team in February 2019, due to high student interest and a recognition that students who are more engaged in their college experience are more likely to graduate. FLCC was the first to offer a varsity esports team in Region III of the National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association.

Esports was one of three FLCC sports that were able to compete in fall 2020 before a COVID vaccine was available. Today, FLCC fields 14 teams across the platforms of Overwatch, Valorant, Rainbow Six Siege, Rocket League, Smash Ultimate, Hearthstone, and Mario Kart 8.

National Junior College Athletic Association Esports, the governing body for the sport, currently has over 607 teams representing 1,424 students from more than 80 member institutions.

Listen to the interview below.

Professor explains mixed reality on Finger Lakes News Radio

Teacher wearing VR headset in front of class
Christine Parker, associate professor of biology, leads a class in the holography lab on the main campus. Photo by Rikki Van Camp

Christine Parker, associate professor of biology, discussed her use of mixed reality to teach anatomy and physiology on Finger Lakes News Radio on Nov. 22 with host Paul Szmal.

Mixed reality is the use of headsets to superimpose an image onto someone’s field of view. Students in Parker’s classes can see and hear the room and those around them. They also see holograms of the body or individual organs in a foundational class for nursing, kinesiology and other classes.

The professor explained how she learned about the technology developed by Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic and piloted its use locally. FLCC is the only community college in the country working with Case Western Reserve University on the technology. Listen to the interview below.