GCC names outstanding instructors, students of semester at Orleans campus centers
Press Release, Genesee Community College
ALBION/MEDINA – Each semester, GCC Campus Centers in Albion and Medina recognize one instructor and one student from each campus center for their outstanding instructional and/or academic performances.
The nominations have been made, the committee has decided and James Simon, associate dean at Medina and Albion Campus Centers, proudly announces the Fall 2019 Instructors and Students of the Semester.
From the Albion Campus Center, located at 456 West Ave.
Mr. Kevin Gardner has been named Instructor of the Semester. Students who nominated Kevin appreciated his ability to make learning fun stating, “Mr. Gardner makes his students feel comfortable asking questions… I have learned so much in his class and realize now how much I enjoy writing,” and “He does his best to help us understand why things are the way they are.”
Gardner is a graduate of Albion High School and received his BA and MA in English/Creative Writing through GCC and SUNY Brockport. He is married and enjoys family time at his home in Brockport with four children, two grandchildren and two cats. One of his cats, Chester, is often used as the subject of his lessons and his students find it “comical but informational.” When he’s not teaching, Kevin enjoys writing, woodworking and watching Empire Boulevard. In this holiday season you may also find him reading his current favorite, “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens.
In his teaching tenure, Gardner has taught at SUNY Brockport and GCC, tutored for Pearson Smarthinking Services, edited the Oak Orchard Review and he currently serves as test proctor at GCC’s Orleans County Campus Centers. When asked if he would change his career choice, he simply stated that he might have started teaching sooner. He is a big fan of GCC and all it has to offer, calling it “a great place to start the rest of your life.” His advice to new instructors? “Be kind. Be fair.” Words he, himself, tries to live by.
The Albion Campus Center Student of the Semester has been awarded to Laurie Marchner of Medina. Laurie is an adult student pursuing an AAS degree in Business Administration and is expected to graduate in the Fall of 2020. She chose to further her education at GCC so that she could have more opportunities. Her hobbies include spending time with her pets, reading, crafting and helping others. She currently serves as a volunteer emergency medical technician.
On the nomination form, one of Laurie’s instructors wrote, “Laurie brings wisdom and positive energy into the classroom every day. Not only does she have valuable things to say, but her approach often contains humor and makes us laugh… Her light presents the foundation for building a creative environment so that everyone has the opportunity to learn and grow.” Her instructor concluded, “I look forward to hearing about the positive impact she has yet to make on the world.”
From the Medina Campus Center, located at 11470 Maple Ridge Rd.
• Dr. Melinda Grube has been named Instructor of the Semester for the Fall 2019 semester. This is her first semester at GCC as a Western Civilization instructor. She also teaches history at Cayuga Community College and performs historical impressions of famous people including Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Abigail Adams. Dr. Grube earned her Ph.D. from Union Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Dr. Grube’s students reported that she “has opened a new way of learning in such an exciting manner” and “she challenges our minds and challenges us to listen to other ideas and beliefs, to see things in a new perspective, and to allow us to step out of our comfort zone to see that maybe there are other ways and more solutions.” One of the nominations forms read, “I was not looking forward to a three-hour history class. I was completely shocked and very engaged in the materiel due to the way she uses her teaching strategies.”
“The world is astonishingly beautiful, exquisitely painful and fabulously complex. The best moments in teaching are when students are not afraid to explore it with me,” Dr. Grube said. “I tell any new instructor, never take yourself too seriously. It isn’t actually about you.”
Outside of the classroom, Dr. Grube enjoys reading everything from Quest and Friends Journal to the Nature Conservancy, and her favorite TV program is Star Trek. She is married with three children and resides in Medina with an unidentified number of pets. When asked about her first semester as part of GCC’s Medina Campus Center, she responded, “The Medina Campus Center is the most supportive and friendly environment I have ever encountered.”
• The Student of the Semester in Medina for the Fall 2019 is Uriah Allis from Gasport. Uriah is pursuing an AAS in Nursing and after he completes his degree, he plans to work as a pediatric nurse and write novels and screenplays for the television industry. He would also like to travel around the world and bike the Great Wall of China. In his spare time, Uriah volunteers at a homeless shelter in Lockport.
Instructors who nominated Uriah observed he is an exceptionally hard worker but also he goes out of his way to organize a variety of study groups that are open to everyone, noting, “Uriah has taken a sincere interest in ensuring the success of his fellow classmates. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like it.” Another nominee noted: “He is a mature student who will make an amazing nurse someday.”
Uriah has made a difference at the Medina Campus Center not only as a student in class, but as a concerned citizen at the Medina Campus Center, overall. His presence inspires kindness and compassion from everyone.
When asked why he decided to attend college, Uriah shared, “I’ve heard great things about GCC’s Nursing Program, which is what I ultimately wanted to get into. I also took a lovely summer class at the GCC Albion Campus Center in 2017 with Derek Maxfield.”
Uriah enjoys writing novels and short stories, reading of any kind, running and cycling, listening to a variety of music and podcasts, as well as roasting and making “pour-over coffee.” Major influences in his life include and start with Jesus Christ, and of course parents and friends, but also admittedly film directors such as Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and Wes Anderson.
Uriah’s advice to new students is to greet everyone you meet, whether faculty, staff or your fellow students with a smile and “how-do-you-do.”