GCC names outstanding students, instructors of semester at Albion, Medina

Posted 13 May 2020 at 1:12 pm

Students, staff adjust to remote learning due to Covid-19

Press Release, Genesee Community College

ALBION/MEDINA – Genesee Community College’s Albion and Medina Campus Centers have announced the Spring 2020 Instructors and Students of the Semester.

Each semester, one instructor and one student from each campus center are recognized for their outstanding instructional and/or academic performances. Despite the Covid-19 campus center closures, officials at each center collected nominations from fellow teachers, colleagues and students, and a small committee led by James Simon, associate dean at Medina and Albion Campus Centers, determined the winners.

Albion Campus Center

Jennifer D’Alessandro

Jennifer D’Alessandro is the Spring 2020 Instructor of the Semester at the Albion Campus Center. After graduating from Lyndonville High School, D’Alessandro earned degrees from Niagara Community College and Medaille College.

With undergraduate work in business administration and an MA in Organizational Leadership, she is a valuable asset to GCC’s business program. In addition to teaching business and marketing courses for the Albion Campus Center, D’Alessandro also teaches full time for Villa Maria College in Buffalo, and through the years she has taught classes throughout Erie, Niagara and Orleans counties.

In the nomination, a student remarked: “As the pandemic has caused a lot of changes [Ms. D’Alessandro was] present on Zoom every Tuesday with a smile, a lesson and care for all her students and their personal lives.”

When asked about working at the Albion Campus Center, D’Alessandro remarked, “Genesee Community College is an innovative and supportive environment. The Albion Campus Center feels like family.”

Her advice to a new instructor is “try to ‘see’ the student who doesn’t want to be seen. You might be the only person who ever shows them how important they are.”

Besides teaching, she has worked in marketing, fundraising and sales, and when asked about her most rewarding experience she said, “Teaching is a privilege. I have the opportunity to impact students’ lives, which I take this very seriously. I’ve seen so many of them grow and succeed. I’m thankful for my path and I am thankful for the past ten years of teaching. I love my job.”

D’Alessandro resides in Lockport and is married with five children, three grandchildren, and has two “very ridiculous” cats. Apart from teaching, she enjoys traveling as an avid “cruiser,” reading and studying the Bible and a variety of online marketing magazines.

John Bradley

John Bradley is the Spring 2020 GCC Student of the Semester for the Albion Campus Center. As a Communication and Media Arts major, Bradley expects to graduate from GCC in 2021. He enjoys many aspects of college life, but especially enjoys being able to explore and discuss both new and old ideas with others in a guided setting. He has a strong willingness to listen, but also enjoys participating in discussion and expressing his own ideas while considering the ideas of others.

Bradley has discovered a passion for the creative arts as well, and his charcoal drawing won first place in the Student Art Show exhibit at GCC last December. His interests outside of college include computer programming and networking. He is currently working in a grocery store and finds it satisfying to be a part of the workforce during Covid-19 providing essential services to his community. He resides in Albion.

The instructor who nominated John Bradley noted: “John has really brought depth to our class discussions and offered fascinating insights to topics. After the transition to remote learning, John continued to offer great critiques on our discussion board. He is a fantastic student who deserves to be recognized as Albion’s Student of the Semester.”

Medina Campus Center

Ralph Torcello

is the Spring 2020 Instructor of the Semester at the Medina Campus Center. Torcello has been teaching business courses at GCC for 20 years, and he is one of only a handful of instructors who has taught at all seven GCC campus locations. This semester, one of his courses was Accounting 102, taught at the Medina Campus Center.

After graduating from Pavilion High School, Torcello was a GCC student himself and transferred to SUNY Geneseo where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, and then SUNY UB for his MBA.

Torcello believes that is important for all students to have an understanding of business and business language, no matter what they do in life. The student who nominated Torcello noted that he has gone above and beyond this semester offering additional help whenever needed.

Once classes went to remote, online delivery, Torcello stepped up to learn all the nuances of effectively teaching his course in a different way providing a stellar example to his students. One student observed, “He has taught me that no matter how educated a person is, there is always something new to learn, and he role modeled what that looks like, as well as the value of stepping outside of our comfort zone.”

Torcello’s fondest memories of GCC are not only the last 20 years of teaching, but also the days of attending classes in the 90s from various instructors including Bruce Lindsey, Sid Bender, Bernie Marcus and Marirose Ethington.

Torcello lives on a small dairy farm in Pavilion, his childhood homestead, with his wife, Diane. They have two sons and three grandchildren. When asked what he enjoys at GCC he stated, “I can honestly say that after all these years, I have never met a staff worker, secretary, professor or student that I didn’t care for at GCC. For me, it will always be a great place to be, and at present I miss it terribly.”

Emalee Houseman

Emalee Houseman is the Spring 2020 Student of the Semester at the Medina Campus Center. In her second semester, Houseman is pursuing her Associate of Science degree in Teacher Education, with plans to graduate in spring 2021. Thereafter, she plans to transfer to SUNY Brockport to earn her New York State Teaching Certification and degree in English with a concentration in Adolescent Education. Her end goal is to become a high school English teacher.

The instructors who nominated Houseman stated that she is hard working and always prepared for class and she maintains a positive attitude that is contagious. This attribute was tremendously helpful during the transition from on-site to remote learning during Covid-19.

Houseman resides with her parents, sister and dogs in Lyndonville. Her family has been her biggest influence and she believes their support and encouragement has helped her be the student she is today with a “never quit” attitude. Aside from being a full-time student, Houseman volunteers as a LOYAL soccer coach in her community in the summer.

At GCC, Houseman most appreciates the variety of courses offered, as well as the support she has received from her advisor and instructors. “They are always there for you, and they never let you feel as if you are a burden to their time.”

Her advice to new college students is this: “Whatever you do, try your best. Even if you don’t get the desired outcome, let that push you to try even harder.”

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