GCC recognizes outstanding fall students, instructors in Albion, Medina

Posted 11 December 2018 at 4:25 pm

Press Release, GCC

Genesee Community College’s Albion and Medina Campus Centers have announced the Fall 2018 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. For several weeks, the campus centers collect nominations from fellow teachers, colleagues and students and a small committee led by James Simon, associate dean at Medina and Albion Campus Centers, determines the winners.

Albion Campus Center

Mike Raisch

Mike Raisch has been selected as the GCC Albion Campus Center Fall 2018 Instructor of the Semester. New to GCC faculty this semester, Raisch was nominated by several students who credit him with bringing out their “creative side” by introducing an inspiring learning environment and a willingness to “help students be successful.”

One student noted, “I think Professor Raisch deserves to be Instructor of the Semester because he pushes his students to do their best, and he’s just a cool guy all around.”

Raisch graduated from North Tonawanda High School, continued his education at SUNY Fredonia, where he earned a BA in Halloween Entertainment Business, and then a Master of Science degree in Creative Studies from Buffalo State College. He currently teaches Creative Problem Solving at GCC.

In his insights on the Albion Campus Center he shared: “As an expert in creativity, I’d say GCC Albion Campus nails the creative physical and psychosocial environments with clean and tidy spaces, top-notch technology, and compassionate/intelligent faculty and staff.”

Michelle Stupnick

It’s easy to see the creativity connection in Mike’s hobbies, which include art, music, board games, theme parks, photography and business creation. His most rewarding endeavor is teaching, however. “Being nominated for this award is a humbling milestone. I just love teaching and I’m passionate about creativity. I’m honored to be recognized for my first semester doing what I love!” said Raisch, who resides in North Tonawanda.

Michelle Stupnick of Middleport has been selected as the GCC Albion Campus Center Fall 2018 Student of the Semester. Michelle is pursuing a degree in Business Administration with expected graduation in Fall 2020. She has a long-term goal of starting her own business. Michele says that the thing she most enjoys about college is learning something new each and every day. She also enjoys meeting new people and feels “the possibilities are endless.” She credits paying attention in class and making time to study as key to her success, and she advises others to “show up, study and pay attention – it will make a difference.”

Major influences in her life are: “Mom, always guiding me to do the right thing” and the support of great teachers at GCC. Her nominating instructor says she can always count on Michelle to participate in class discussions, hand in assignments on time and act as an example to others in the class. “Michelle has returned [to GCC] and has found her place as a leader in class.” Outside of school, Michelle enjoys acquiring and selling antiques in her spare time.

Medina Campus Center

Tracy Ford

Tracy Ford was selected as the Fall 2018 Instructor of the Semester at the Medina Campus Center. He has taught Composition Natural & Social Sciences for the last 10 years in Medina and at the Batavia Campus and the Albion Campus Center. The student who nominated Ford stated, “There has not been one day where I regret taking his English class.” Another student said “His enthusiasm and passion while teaching really adds to the overall class. He makes you think and question everything!”

When asked about one piece of advice he would give to new instructors, Ford said “Smile when you want to scream and never take yourself too seriously.” When asked about his feelings regarding GCC Medina Campus Center, he said, “I feel amazingly lucky to be allowed to teach at the Medina Campus. Best place! Best people!”

Ford earned his BA in English, MA in Literature, and Master’s degree in the Teaching of Writing from Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA. He enjoys photography, genealogy, reading, kayaking, fishing and bird watching. Recently, Ford tapped into his “inner actor” and he began working in tandem with GCC History Professor Derek Maxfield to showcase an historic Civil War era meeting in a unique program entitled, “Now we stand by each other always; A conversation between Gens. Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman.” Ford plays the convincing role of General Sherman. In the past, he monitored and banded spotted owls in old-growth forests of Oregon. He is married and has two children, as well as a spoiled kitty named Poly, all residing in Albion.

Erin McDonnell

Erin McDonnell has been selected as the Student of the Semester at the Medina Campus Center for the fall 2018 semester. Erin is a full-time student majoring in Liberal Arts and Science: General Studies and pursuing an Associate in Science degree. She anticipates graduating in May 2020. After she completes her degree, she plans to transfer to SUNY Brockport to major in Special Education and minor in Business.

Instructors who nominated Erin expressed that she is prepared, dedicated and enthusiastic. She also consistently volunteers for classroom activities and positively contributes to class discussions.

When asked why she decided to attend college, she stated that she wanted to better herself and provide a life for her daughter. Erin also shared that her father, her daughter and her GCC advisor, Mrs. Karen Krieger, have been major influences in her life. As a full-time mom and student, she finds she doesn’t have a lot of spare time! When asked what advice she had for new students, she said “Be yourself, never be afraid to ask questions or lend a hand.”

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