The name chosen for the wine that Finger Lakes Community College students will bottle next spring reflects the fortitude shown in a semester transformed by the pandemic.
Fine arts and graphic design major Aimée Hawkins of Canandaigua came up with the name “Persevere” and designed the label featuring a pen-and-ink drawing of an abundant grape vine.
The back of the label is adorned with a small quote written by Hawkins: “Savor the drive, the determination and the perseverance that led us down the path to creating this wine.”
Hawkins said the quote seemed fitting for FLCC students this semester, as they’ve pursued their studies with mostly virtual instruction while juggling other demands and challenges caused by COVID-19. Perseverance also happens to be one of FLCC’s four values, shown on a large banner display in the main entrance.
Hawkins 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 during an event – held virtually this year rather than at the college’s Viticulture and Wine Center in Geneva.
Student designers took turns sharing their concepts, touching on themes, color palettes, font choices, as well as the computer programs they used to create the labels.
“I felt it was really important to maintain a clean crisp feel while conveying the unique nature that this vintage represents,” Hawkins said during her presentation.
On the job one day, Nikole DeBell ’11 accompanied ESPN “SportsCenter” anchor Lauren “Elle” Duncan with a camera and a mini basketball hoop. Elle dunked hoops over the heads of unsuspecting people and Nikole captured it on camera for a segment on the Saturday show.
“It was a really fun day and I got paid for that,” said Nikole. “Then to see what I produced on TV was really cool.”
That was a few years ago, when Nikole worked as an associate producer at ESPN. In May 2019, she transitioned into her current role as ESPN Next training and development coordinator. The position has her charged with training new production assistants, planning out yearly curriculum, running a peer mentor program and planning networking activities.
Like most everything else, her job has been affected by the pandemic.
“My role has changed pretty drastically due to COVID,” she said. “One of my main responsibilities is training new people, and we aren’t currently hiring new people.
So, the development side of my job has really come in to play. I’ve had to come up with creative ways to virtually develop and advance the people we have in our program now, which has been challenging and fun.”
Nikole has been with ESPN for four years. It’s a dream job – and fitting, considering her background.
The daughter of an NFL official and gym teacher, she was a three-sport athlete at Dansville High School: soccer, basketball, and softball.
Early in the pandemic, Beth Johnson knew her theatre students at Finger Lakes Community College might not be able to present their annual production before a live audience.
But she saw an opportunity to try something different while also telling the story of our time.
The result is a recorded show titled “Voices in Isolation: Pandemic and Protest” that will debut online at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19. Offered free to all on the FLCC Visual and Performing Arts Department You Tube channel, it will be followed by a live talk-back session with the creative team of writers and performers. The You Tube link can be found here and at events.flcc.edu.
“We felt it was important to provide the students a way to engage and interact with each other, especially one that allowed them the opportunity to voice their experiences and grapple with the issues our country is facing in an artistic and collaborative way,” said Johnson, professor of speech and theatre and director of the production. “While it would have been much easier to avoid offering a theatrical production this year, it would have been a huge disservice to the students for them to have missed out on a fall show.”
“Voices in Isolation” is written and performed by members of the community, students, alumni, and current and retired faculty and staff. The show contains original music, monologues, and stories exploring the impact of quarantine and issues of racial justice. Some are real life experiences, while others are fictionalized.
Each piece was recorded separately, some by the contributors themselves, others by FLCC Video Technician Jeff Kidd ’05. Kidd and Production Manager Jim Perri have spent the past few weeks editing and weaving together the recordings.