GCC honors top students and instructors of the fall semester at Albion, Medina centers
Press Release, GCC
The Albion and Medina Campus Centers of Genesee Community College are pleased to announce the Fall 2016 Students and Instructors of the Semester. Each semester, one student and one instructor at each campus center are awarded the honor for outstanding academic or teaching performance.
Albion Campus Center
Holly Dawson has been chosen as the Instructor of the Semester at the Albion Campus Center for the fall semester. She teaches History at the Albion and Medina Campus Centers, and also teaches at Erie Community College. Holly graduated from North Tonawanda High School and earned degrees from Niagara County Community, the University at Buffalo and Canisius College.
Students who nominated Holly mentioned that her teaching is, “planned and well thought out,” and she “encourages us to dig deeper into history.” Students also walk away with lessons that extend beyond the classroom and one student shared that, “she challenges us to seek out the truth and to not be afraid to ask questions.”
When asked about her experience at GCC, Dawson said, “GCC is a positive place to work; everyone is kind, helpful, and happy to be here.” She advises new instructors the same advice that was given to her, “have fun!”
Holly resides in North Tonawanda with her husband of 32 years, two sons, and Snowball, her west highland terrier. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys outdoor activities including biking and walking and assisting with the Boy Scouts. She also loves to read and counts the Harry Potter series and the works of Stephanie Evanovich among her favorites.
Elena Mergler has been selected as the Student of the Semester at the Albion Campus for the fall 2016 semester. Elena will be finishing her degree in Teacher Education this spring. She plans to transfer to Nazareth College and pursue a Bachelor’s in Art Education. Her long-term goal is to become an art teacher.
The instructor that nominated Elena shared that, “Elena produces exceptional work, on time and on task. Her presence also had a positive influence in class and she is a mature contributor, as well as a caring listener.”
In her free time, Elena enjoys art, spending time with her family and many different outdoor activities including hiking, camping, kayaking, horseback riding, zip-lining and sky diving. She credits her family (mom, dad and two sisters) as a major influence in her life. She resides in Albion.
Medina Campus Center
Patrick Seidel has been selected as the Instructor of the Semester at the Medina Campus Center for the fall 2016 semester. He teaches Responding to Emergencies and Fly Fishing and also teaches Physical Education and coaches at Lockport High School, along with being a New York State Coaching Instructor. His most rewarding teaching experience was being named the Western New York Wrestling Coach of the Year.
Pat earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Physical Education from The College at Brockport and also obtained a Master’s degree in School District Administration from Niagara University. He enjoys how close and personal GCC and the Medina Campus Center are as an institution.
He was nominated by multiple students that promote him as very interested in how students are doing and as someone who makes sure students are getting the correct information and that it is being understood.
In his personal time, Pat enjoys golfing and fly fishing and notes that his favorite book is Fail Safe. He also enjoys watching the New York Yankees and reading Newsweek. Pat is married and has two children, 11 mini horses, five cats and one dog. He resides in Gasport.
Dennis Wakula has been selected as the Student of the Semester at the Medina Campus
Center for the fall 2016 semester. He is a non-traditional student majoring in Alcohol and Substance Abuse Studies and plans to complete his internship at Hope Haven in Batavia this fall. After graduating from GCC, he plans to transfer to The College at Brockport to further his education.
Prior to attending GCC, Dennis worked in the restaurant industry for over 20 years. He decided to pursue his degree as a means to help people recover from substance abuse, as well as spend more time at home with his wife, Beth. Dennis expressed that his wife and son, Tyler, as well as many good friends and the faculty and staff at GCC are major influences in his life, with regard to pursuing his education.
The instructor that nominated Dennis praised him for being an “A” student, who is, “always the first one to class, ready to work.” When asked about his strengths as a student, Dennis stated, “I try to attend all of my classes so that I don’t miss anything. I don’t procrastinate, and I try to stay ahead in all of my classes. This way, I don’t stress myself out.” His advice to new college students is to pay attention in class, stay current with homework assignments, and most of all, ask for help if you need it.
Dennis has always felt that his GCC instructors and staff really care about student success. Dennis resides in Holley.