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GCC hears how campus centers in Albion, Medina connecting to community

Posted 15 April 2019 at 8:18 am

Press Release, Genesee Community College

MEDINA – Each semester, Genesee Community College’s Board of Trustees visit one of the institution’s six campus centers for its monthly meeting, rotating throughout the college’s four-county service area to fully appreciate the collegiate experience at the satellite centers.

The Board met on April 1 at the Medina Campus Center, which opened in 2007. In a presentation to the Board, Associate Dean of the Orleans County Campus Centers Jim Simon introduced four different members of the campus center community to illustrate how GCC serves and supports the economic growth as well as cultural and civic developments within Orleans County.

• Dr. Clark Godshall, superintendent of Orleans-Niagara BOCES District was the first guest, and he shared a number of positive observations from his perspective in working with approximately 1,700 students in three counties and with three different community colleges. With more than 75 articulation agreements and the Genesee Promise Plus summer scholarship, students maximize their BOCES education and experience and can readily apply it toward a college degree. In addition, Dr. Godshall pointed out the expansion of programs for adult students such as new programs in food processing, nanotechnology and drone certification-programs that align with similar offerings at GCC.

“I sing the praises of the ease in working with the GCC staff, and getting to the ‘yes’ in developing opportunities for our students,” said Dr. Godshall, who serves as the chairman of the Albion-Medina Campus Center Advisory Council.

While sharing a number of ongoing and future challenges, not the least of which is the decreasing population of upstate New York and a dearth of public transportation across our rural community, Dr. Godshall concluded his presentation with the strong endorsement, “We really are better together!”

• Adjunct faculty member Amy Crockford, who teaches American Sign Language, was the next special guest to speak to the Board of Trustees. As a deaf member of the community who communicates vocally and through sign language, Crockford embodies the best of teaching practices by passionately “teaching what I know.” She is dedicated to her students and ensures positive learning experiences that could likely change their lives.

“I know what it is like to be a deaf person in the hearing world,” she said.

Crockford encourages her students to learn a language and embrace another culture. She recently authored a children’s book. “My Happy Place” helps young audiences appreciate deafness and learn the true meaning of friendship.

• Current GCC student Ayat Aldroobe, a native of Syria, was the third guest speaker and her experiences exemplify the excellent quality of education provided at a GCC campus center. As a Natural Sciences Biology major in her second semester, Ayat has her sights on becoming a medical doctor.

“GCC is great place to start,” she said. “Classroom sizes are small” which has helped her improve her English language skills. “The advisors are super, super supportive,” she added. She currently attends classes at both the Medina and Albion campus centers and looks forward to classes at the main campus in Batavia next year.

• Michele Bokman, director of operations for the Orleans County Campus Centers, was the final speaker. Among her priorities is reaching out to area high school students, businesses and organizations to ensure all are aware of GCC’s many opportunities.

Twenty-two recent visits included nine high schools, multiple businesses both large and small, the Iroquois Job Corps, and planned visits to civic groups such as the Boy and Girl scouts, 4-H veterans groups. Bokman also highlighted the vast number of community connections by the Orleans County Campus Centers. Collaborative engagements include but have not been limited to Leadership Orleans, Orleans County Community Services Board, Human Services Council, and WNY Rural Area Health Education Center and the Med-Tech Summer Camp.

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