James Simon, dean of Orleans campus centers, among the winners
Press Release, GCC
BATAVIA – Nine members of the Genesee Community College faculty and staff team have been recognized by State University of New York Chancellor Nancy Zimpher for outstanding contributions to their profession, the campus and the community.
The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence is given in recognition of consistently superior professional achievement and encourages the ongoing pursuit of excellence.
The following faculty and staff members earned the 2017 award and will be honored at a reception on the Batavia Campus on Aug. 17 at 3 p.m. in the Stuart Steiner Theatre at the Batavia Campus. A reception for the recipients, their friends and family and the college community will be held immediately following the ceremony in the Theatre Lobby.
Award for Excellence in Teaching
Gary W. Glaser, Associate Professor of Biology – Gary came to Genesee as a full-time instructor in the fall of 2009 and was promoted to assistant professor in 2013 and to associate professor in 2015. He began his teaching career as an adjunct instructor in Health, Physical Education and Recreation at Erie Community College in 2005, a fate that was influenced early on after going to work with his father, who was a college professor. Recently appointed to the National Faculty Advisory Board for Pearson Education, Gary was also selected as one of two GCC faculty members to be an OPEN SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador. He serves on many college committees including the Academic Senate, Innovation Committee, Assessment Committee, GCC College Foundation Scholarship Committee and the Teaching, Learning and Technology Committee. Gary earned a Bachelor of Arts in Special Studies and a Master of Science in Biological Sciences, both from the University at Buffalo. He resides in North Tonawanda.
Kathleen T. Gurak, Assistant Professor of Health and Physical Education – Kathleen began teaching in the public K-12 setting, serving as a teacher, coach, department head, cycle chair, and as an administrator for several years, mostly at Geneseo Central Schools. She has been with GCC since 2007 and is committed to helping her students succeed. She challenges them in many ways, always encouraging and enhancing their problem solving skills while applying what they have learned. Kathleen regularly teaches extra sections of classes, averaging seven to eight courses each semester, teaching summer courses and willingly taking on an independent study when a student requests. She helped develop new courses in the Sports Management program, mentors other full-time and adjunct faculty and volunteers for campus workshops and committees. Kathleen earned a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education/Teacher Certification from The College at Brockport, and returned to Brockport to obtain a Master’s in Education and a CAS in Educational Administration, graduating with honors. Kathleen currently resides in Groveland, New York.
Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching
Danny C. Hamner, Adjunct Instructor of History – Over the past 16 years, Danny Hamner has taught several different courses at GCC in several instructional settings – at the main campus, at campus centers and in a correctional facility. Highly respected by his teaching colleagues, Hamner was nominated and received a National Institute for Staff and Organization Development (NISOD) Award in 2015 for his demonstrated excellence in teaching. Noted as a strong ambassador for the College through his frequent public lectures and assistance with the popular Civil War Encampments, Danny is widely regarded as the most popular lecturer for GCC’s Historical Horizons Lecture Series and holds the record for most presentations. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in History and Philosophy and a Master’s degree in American History, both from the University at Buffalo. Outside of the classroom, Hamner, who resides in Middleport, is a modified wrestling coach at Medina Central School District and holds membership with Amnesty International and with the Old Fort Niagara Volunteer Association.
Elizabeth A. Slocum, Adjunct Instructor of Foreign Language – Elizabeth “Beth” Slocum has been a devoted instructor of foreign languages at GCC for five years teaching both French and Spanish at all levels. She employs a variety of teaching formats to accommodate many different learning styles including visual, auditory, hands-on and tactual-all focused on the best ways to empower her students’ success. One recent graduate noted that, “Ms. Slocum was beyond amazing! Hands-down the best teacher in my entire degree!” Beth holds Permanent New York State Certification in French and Spanish, as well as certification as a School District Administrator/Supervisor, and she maintains membership in a variety of professional organizations specific such as the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. She has taught foreign languages at the University of Rochester, The Warner School and Canandaigua City School District. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in French from Nazareth College, and a Master’s degree in French Literature from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Beth resides in Pavilion.
Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities
Donna J. Ehrhart, Professor of Business and Computer Information Systems – Donna Ehrhart has been with the College since 1989, carrying a diverse course load that includes Business, Computer and Information Technology, noncredit courses at The BEST Center, as well as Fashion Business and Design curriculum, which is her true passion. A presenter at numerous national, state, and local conferences over the years, Donna was awarded an Innovation for Research and Development Grant and she helped inspire the development of the unique GCC Tartan or plaid design that is now being introduced on a variety of GCC products including ties, scarves, socks, vests and other items that help support extracurricular activities and events of Fashion students. Professor Ehrhart earned an associate degree from Erie Community College, a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Buffalo State College, and a C.A.S beyond a master’s from Syracuse University in Adult Education. Donna has also completed all but the final dissertation of Doctor of Education from Syracuse University in Adult Education. Donna is a resident of Rush.
Award for Excellence in Faculty Service
Kenneth J. Mead, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Information Systems – During his 25 years at GCC, Kenneth “Ken” Mead has provided outstanding service both in and out of the classroom. Through the years, he helped secure grant funding that was instrumental in the College securing its first internet connection all the way to student scholarship funding and a recent Title III grant. Admired for his high energy, outstanding leadership skills and intense interest in others, Ken goes above and beyond in serving GCC, his community and his profession. Professor Mead has served on the Executive Board for the Genesee Education Association (GEA) since 2000 in a number of different capacities, including treasurer, membership committee chair, and also president, a role he assumed after an unexpected resignation. Ken received his Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Master’s degree in Mathematics Education from the University at Buffalo. With a tremendous thirst for continuing education, he constantly takes new courses and participates in many training workshops. Ken resides in Snyder.
Award for Excellence in Professional Service
James J. Simon, Associate Dean, GCC at Medina and Albion Campus Centers – James “Jim” Simon joined GCC in 2005 as an instructor of history. He received appointment to the associate dean of the Medina Campus Center in 2007, and in 2014, took on the responsibility of the College’s other Orleans County campus center in Albion. Through his leadership, Jim has built strong relationships with faculty, students, staff and the community. His on-campus responsibilities include more than 100 classes, 400 students, 30 faculty and 12 staff. He was been instrumental in the College’s accreditation process with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and was a key member of the first-ever GCC Strategic Plan, Strength Through Collaboration Strategic Plan (2011-2013). Prior to GCC, Simon had a distinguished career in the United States Air Force, amassing teaching and leadership credentials with the U.S. Air Force Academy. His effort to help students is evidenced by his influence in developing service learning opportunities for students within the community. His passion for history and cultural literacy is proven through his support of Global Education Committee activities and events such as the Orleans County Heritage Festival, and the Civil War Encampment and Living History Weekends held at the Medina Campus Center. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in History from the U.S. Air Force Academy and his Master’s in Middle East History from the University of Utah. Jim resides in Lyndonville.
Award for Excellence in Librarianship
Cynthia S. Hagelberger, Reference Librarian – Cynthia “Cindy” Hagelberger came to Genesee as a part-time librarian in 1996 and received full-time appointment in 2012. She immediately made significant contributions to the services provided by the College Library as a part-time employee and she has increased her level of commitment in her full-time role. Cindy co-ordinates, schedules and manages Information Desk staff, and her organization and attention to detail greatly contribute to the library’s efforts to maintain a high level of student satisfaction. Creativity plays a big part in her approach, as she creates displays, programs, graphic materials and even approaches instruction with the eye toward making learning appealing and interesting. Cindy has written successful grants for library initiatives, and coordinates the Library’s Student Poetry Contest each year as well as a project to celebrate GCC faculty and staff authors by producing local versions of the popular American Library Association READ posters seen in libraries across the country. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts/Literature from Grove City College (Pa.) and a Master’s degree in Library Services from the University at Buffalo. Cindy resides in Darien Center.
Award for Excellence in Classified Service
Rebecca S. Patterson, Office of Student Financial Assistance and Veterans Affairs – Rebecca “Becky” Patterson’s strong desire to help students is evident in the work she does with the College’s Financial Aid Office and Office of Veterans Affairs. As a key, front line member of both offices, she deals directly with students each and every day. Becky frequently goes above and beyond in her assistance to ensure that students’ needs have been met – whether that means physically walking a student to another office to make sure he/she speaks with the correct person, or answering the same question time and time again. Becky has volunteered to assume additional responsibilities to ensure that the needs of students are met without delay. As a mother of three servicemen, she takes her role as a Veterans Affairs certifying officer very seriously. She continuously advocates for the veterans to ensure that they receive all of the benefits they are due, and works closely with the VA representatives to ensure veterans get the benefits they deserve. Becky is a graduate of GCC and has been with the College for over 15 years. She resides in Varysburg.
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