internship is literally changing my life! I am an intern with the Marketing
& Communications department at Genesee Community College, also called
MarCom, and already have experience gained in areas that I never thought would
be within my reach. I have documented and created event calendars throughout
the local community. In doing this I found great free sites to advertise
publicly and the structure and manner of creating an event. I got the opportunity
to work under a trained photographer while practicing photography myself. At
this moment, I knew that I would enjoy being a part of MarCom at GCC.
The hours are flexible and my portfolio will definitely look a lot better because of the opportunities provided by MarCom. I have two days minimum in an office setting and one day minimum working from home. New opportunities come often and they are things to brag about. For instance, I arrived on one of my office days to a professional videographer hired by the school. I was able to witness the beginning process of videography. I was even able to sit in and brainstorm with the team for that project, which included my supervisor and the videographer himself. Not only was I able to sit in and bear witness but I actually felt as if I had a voice. That opportunity will forever stay with me because it became motivational in a way. It reminds me that this can be my life and that I can have a career!
I am also a student at Genesee Community College and MarCom is very understanding when it comes to education. If I have a test or need the day to study, they will not only assent but they would help me find the time to make up the hours that I’ve missed. My goal was to gain experience in an office like setting and in the business world and MarCom has made it possible for me to do exactly that plus more. I can’t wait to blog an update with even more experiences gained by completing my internship with the Marketing & Communications department at GCC.
This was the first event that I had attended for GCC’s Internship Program. This was also where I was able to learn from and work under a Professional Photographer. It was filled with students and donors, which made the moments I’d captured even more special.
At this event I got to practice taking in motion shots. This event was the same day as Discover the Stars.
This picture was taken at a car show at Genesee Community College. I love cars so this event was also a lot of fun.
As a GCC Honor’s Program student, I approached Professor(s) Garth
Swanson and Anne Wood last semester with a goal in mind: complete a thesis
project with a 100-page count. Suffice to say, I was met with concerned
reaction. Thesis projects of this size and stature are not normally undertaken by
community college students. Initially, I
was discouraged in approaching this project, and advised to seek a more
specific topic with a shorter page length.
I said no.
I’m glad I did.
Throughout my tenure here at Genesee Community College, I have searched
high and low for opportunities to expand and build upon my intellectual
capabilities, which undoubtedly will serve me will in later stages of life. I
had gotten used to the usual essay outlines which my professors feverishly
assigned me. In essence, writing an essay became too simple of a task. The
routine became boring, predictable, and mundane. There is no intention of
disrespect toward my professors. One in particular remarked to me that their
reason for being a light course load was their concern that many students would
be unable to keep if they increased the rigor.
Not entirely unpredictable but unfortunate. Education, to me, should be an opportunity for students to dive deep into a subject of their choice and familiarity, with no restrictions applied. Many days and nights pondering what the next academic challenge could be. As a six-year old, my first Presidential Election was Bush V. Gore. While not of an age to properly perceive the events of that campaign, I was enthralled by the pomp and circumstance of that evening. Getting older led to more political awareness which eventually I found across the “pond.” Inspired by the events of Brexit and previous political developments in the country, compelled me to choose Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, as the basis for my project. While already familiar with her Premiership, I wanted to examine how her government’s economic policy and theory, led to what I deem as an unraveling of the British working-class.
Currently in my research, I am reviewing her flagship policy known as
the MFTS (Medium Term Financial Strategy), in which her decision to raise
interest rates, eliminate credit controls, and how the concentration of
Britain’s money supply range, led to unsavory conditions for
lower-income individuals and families. For example, 1981 saw a peak of
unemployment at 3 million, which was the highest number recorded since the
Great Depression. During the period of 1979 to 1980, industrial production fell
by 6.4%, with downturn in manufacturing output and capacity, at 20%.
As the project continues throughout the semester, it is with great
intention to (hopefully) provide updates on newer findings and to offer further
explanation of how her policies were applied in working-class Britain.
Professor Swanson remarked to me that this is the first project of its kind for
our Honors Program. While there have been other creative projects in the past,
nothing of this nature has been done before. To our knowledge, there has been
no other student at this institution, past or present, who conducted and penned
a project of this magnitude.
Why 100 pages? To admit, there is some braggadocio involved, however I
feel that for the first time since arriving on campus that there exists
a subject within familiar realms which require a discipline and focus arguably
unlike any other form of study I have taken here or anywhere. Not just due to
page requirement or quantity of work involved. It is due to the fact that I am
asked to go beyond my comfort zone in search of not just finishing the project,
but in search of my own potential, henceforth the insistence that I adhere to
this project—from start until finish. I have been given the support,
encouragement and occasional sternness from my professors, since this project
began. They know what I am capable of and as such, are holding me to a high
As I prepare to graduate from GCC, I hope this project in some way can inspire
one student to go outside of their familiar realm and seek an opportunity to
truly challenge themselves. Not for the prospect of failing, but for the virtue
of expanding one’s creativity. This has been a journey and while the final page
has not yet been penned, this has been an experience that I will appreciate
many years from now.
Holidays are approaching all of us and GCC would like to celebrate the holidays with their students and staff by creating an annual Holiday Greeting Video Projects for 2019. You can check out Holiday Greeting Video Projects of previous years on GCC’s Youtube Channel.
This year’s theme is one significant word, “Peace.” We are looking for different members of our campus community to say that one word on camera with as much finesse and sincerity as possible. We are asking international students to say it in their native language, theatre students with their unique flair, fashion students with panache, and anyone else who wants to be involved to join us with their own projection and sentiment of the word Peace.
If you are interested, please join Maureen Spindler in Room D360 for approximately 2 – 3 minutes during one of the following time slots:
Wednesday, Nov. 13 (11 am – 1 pm; 2 pm – 4 pm)
Thursday, Nov. 14 (9 – 10:30 am; 1 pm – 3 pm)
Friday, Nov. 15 (12 – 2 pm)
Or By Appointment
To make an appointment, please contact Lori Ivison by:
Inspired by a poem “What I Was Wearing” by Dr. Mary Simmerling, Jen Brockman and Mary Wyandt-Hiebert created the first exhibit of “What Were You Wearing” in 2014 at the University of Arkansas. Since then, many “What Were You Wearing?” survivor art installations were developed across the US to shatter the decades-old myth that the responsibility of an assault lies in the victim. Similar victim-blaming questions, such as interrogating the victims’ alcohol consumption and their sexual history, bring shame and blame upon the victim and take the focus away from the real offenders. Such prejudices intimidate victims from reporting the assault and further feeds the rape culture.
i have been asked this question
it has been called to my mind
if only it were so simple
if only we could
by simply changing clothes.
i remember also
what he was wearing
that no one
has ever asked.”
From “What I Was Wearing” by Mary Simmerling
On November 7th, GCC exhibited its own survivor art installation, displaying nine outfits hanging next to 9 rape survivors’ narratives about what they wore when they were assaulted.
A long sleet shirt and Khakis. A T-shirt and jeans. A sweatsuit. A 6-year old girl’s dress. They were all there. Attendees not only see themselves reflected in the outfits “I have this similar shirt at home,” but also in the settings or contexts in which assaults took place, “a family’s friend came to visit,” “at a social gathering before entering grad school,”…
Within the exhibit were support groups and organizations at GCC and local communities:
Al-Anon is a newly created peer support club for students at GCC that aids recovery for the families and friends of alcoholics. Weekly meeting will be held in room C201 every Tuesday from 12:30-1:30 pm.
GLOW Women March empower women of local, rural communities of the GLOW region to participate and rise to positions of power that create positive changes.
RESTORE, a program of Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York, leads the community response to sexual violence through advocacy and education, by providing the safety, support and validation that changes the lives of all those affected.
YWCA Genesee offers domestic violence crisis and prevention services, accessible childcare at Genesee County Family Court, and economic empowerment opportunities.
More facts about domestic and sexual violence in the US:
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) – NSVRC
On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men (1).
Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime (1).
Only 34% of people who are injured by intimate partners receive medical care for their injuries (1).
On October 31st, 2019, Global Education club, in collaboration with WOKE, Student Government Association celebrated The Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos. It’s easy to be confused, but Day of the Dead is not a Mexican version of Halloween. Dia de los Muertos celebrates the memories of the departed ones and welcomes the visits of their family members’ spirits into their homes with food offerings, beautifully decorated altars and cemeteries. On the contrary, the Celtic-originated Halloween strongly associated with fear of death and spirits from the underworld, with disguised costumes and jack-o’-lanterns to frighten off evil spirits and motifs of graves opening and the dead rising. As both traditions developed and popularized, their influences and symbols influenced one another (1).
Having learned about Mexican’s Day of the Dead during high school, I could not comprehend how people could remember the dead and their lost ones in such a festive mood and vibrant decorations instead of mourning, almost as if death and departure to the underworld is good news to be lauded and strived toward. But after watching Coco (2017 film), I realized by honoring the dead, we are honoring life itself, the time our beloved ones had struggled through and lived to their fullest. By celebrating the dead, we are keeping our departed ones alive even when they are no longer with us, “Our memories, they have to be passed down by those who knew us in life – in the stories they tell about us” (Coco Film, 2017).
The most essential aspect of Day of the Dead lies in Ofrenda (Spanish for offerings), an elaborately decorated altar with personal items and favorite food and drinks of the one being honored. Many mistaken Ofrenda to be for worshipping, but those offerings are to entice the deceased to visit and to have a meal like a family.
I got to enjoy many of the traditional foods during the Day of the Dead at the celebration yesterday, including Mexican Rice and Beans, Churros and Dulce de leche sauce (cinnamon sugar stick with caramel milk sauce), Pico, Tortilla and Mexican Hot Cocoa.
The most easily recognizable symbols of Day of the Dead are Mexican Marigolds (or Flor de Muerto) and Chrysanthemums. The flowers’ vibrant colors and scent help guide the departed souls to come back to their altars and family for a visit and feast on offerings dedicated for them. Despite its bright yellow and orange colors, marigolds are often known as “flower of the dead.” Many people even craft their own colorful marigolds from colored tissue paper, plastic and pipe cleaners, just like many of the students and GCC staff crafted at the event.
Sugar skull, or Calavera, is another part of the holiday that emphasizes Día de Muertos is all about celebratory, not gloomy. The skulls are often colorfully drawn by hand with smiles, as if to laugh at death (2), and that “death doesn’t have to be bitter, it can be sweet” (3). They are also decorated with colorful icing, beads and confectionery.
The event also educates the attendees on some of the Mexican tradition by introducing Spanish phrases associated with the holiday and the culture. And if you are also learning Spanish like I am, let’s dig in / review some of the Spanish vocab (4):
Día de Muertos: Day of the Dead
La calavera: skull
La Ofrenda: offerings (including personal items, food, drinks, decorations dedicated to the loved ones)
La calaca: skeleton figure
El espíritu: spirit / soul
La ánima: another word for spirit / soul
Flor de muerto: the vibrant orange/yellow marigolds
If there’s one thing you can take away from this post or from this holiday, embrace this irony, “The Day of the Dead makes us reflect on life. In order to have life, we need to have death. It’s that perfect and necessary duality” (5).
College marks an important period in a student’s life. As students begin to transition into adulthood, college is a playground of sorts, a place where experimentation, deep thought, and pondering on what lies ahead are all on the menu. Some students define their college experience through partying, sexual exploration, intense academic rigor, or a combination of sorts. However, for many students they are not in the least concerned with these activities as their energy is more focused on getting themselves out of bed, dealing with an anxiety attack or flirting with the idea of suicide.
Over the past few years mental health has become a hallmark on college campuses across the world. More attention and resources have now been dedicated in assisting students who struggle with their internal demons, which for many, is a case of life and death. Here at Genesee Community College, there is a noticeable sense of despair which afflicts much of the student body. I myself have seen people in my own social circle openly admit to cutting themselves, failed suicide attempts, amongst many other tragic stories. One student in particular had cut themselves multiple times in their abdomen, an event which required an overnight hospital stay.
Earlier this month at the behest of GCC President James Sunser, me and College Village Resident Assistant Randy Bumbury, visited Monroe Community College and advocated for more resources on campus to deal with this crisis. In a room filled with State legislators across various regions we plead our case as to why this issue requires urgent action. Jeanie Burdick is a fine counselor here at GCC and has performed her job well, but she is only one individual. Given that our estimated student population is well over 1,000 (more if our campus centers and distance learning students are calculated), there is simply not enough resources available to address the needs of students.
To be blunt, we need money. Monetary backing would ensure we could afford more than one full-time, qualified counselor as well as expanding our services at the Counseling Center. Thus, GCC could provide more options for students to better manage their health outside of what currently exists, such as Therapy Assist Online, a useful tool students can use, but doesn’t completely solve the problem. The issue we have is not a lack of motivation or skill. That much among faculty is present. We just don’t have the “cache” if you will, to go beyond our constraints and truly make a difference.
Dennis Austin is a graduating sophomore, majoring in Liberal Arts & Sciences. He is graduating this semester and will be attending the University of Illinois in January.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or dial 911. If you need to make an appointment with our Counseling Center, please contact Jeanie Burdick at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (585)-343-0055 ext. 6219. The Counseling Center is open weekdays, Monday-Friday, from 9 AM to 4:30 PM.
Runo Suzuki is a sophomore majoring in Theatre Arts at GCC. She is an international student from Hokkaido, Japan. She’s currently a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Student Government Association, Forum Players Theatre Company and a Resident Assistant at GCC’s College Village.
During high school, Runo partook in at least six theatre productions in various roles as an actress, lightning crew, stage manager, and director. At GCC, she had participated in four productions including Bakkhai (as one of the Bakkahs), Single Black Female (as a dancer), Encounters (as an actor), and Children’s Theatre: The Lamp is the Moon (as an ensemble member). Together with the Forum Players Theatre Company, Runo Suzuki performed The Rocky Horror Show as Janet Weiss on October 17-20, 2019 at GCC’s Stuart Steiner Theatre.
“Your heart will thump and your blood will sing / So let the party and the sound rock on / We’re gonna shake it til the life has gone” (lyrics of “Wild And Untamed Thing”). Runo Suzuki and cast performing “Wild And Untamed Thing.”
Were there any difficulties being an international student at GCC?
Absolutely. Last year I was too scared, too shy and too embarrassed to talk to people, ‘cause I thought my English was not good. I’m involved in theatre, have to communicate with the crew and the cast, I was in the situations that I have to talk. Also, my American roommate, Brittany, who is also a theatre major, was also extremely helpful; she always stayed to help me and we hung out a lot, and that boosted my confidence in English speaking.
Why did you choose GCC? And why the theatre major?
I’ve always loved theatre since I was little. In Japan, there are very few colleges that provide theatre programs, and they are mostly very expensive. And I love English, so I want to learn more about it, and I want to learn theatre in New York, since it is the hotspot of theatre and arts. I searched through various colleges with theatre programs and specifically chose GCC to start my English and theatre studies.
What’s your favorite theatre course or professor at GCC?
My favorite course was “Lighting the Stage” taught by Instructor Brodie McPherson, who is also the director of the show. Brodie is so amazing, he can do everything, from light tech to staging and building set props and designs. Currently, I’m working as a lighting design assistant under Brodie as well.
How was the audition process? Why did you choose to audition for this role?
Actually, I initially chose to audition for Frank-N-Furter (Big laugh). I only wrote down Frank-N-Furter and that’s it, I did not write down any other roles. I just loved Frank-N-Furter and after I auditioned for the character, and I was shocked when I was cast for Janet. Because Janet is a pretty, girly and extremely Janet, and I am absolutely not that kind of person.
And I’m shocked to hear you were shocked that you were cast for Janet. I skimmed over the main cast and I could not imagine another cast member that can fit the role and exhibit the bubbly and mischievous innocence as well as you did. It’s either the director cast really well or you acted really well, or both. Why were you shocked you were cast as Janet?
Long story short, I attended an all-girls high school and I mostly played male roles, so I have always been used to the masculine role-playing, so my mind and my comfort zone has always been filled with male’s roles. This was one of the reasons why I auditioned for Dr. Frank-N-Furter. Then one day, I had to be Janet, an utterly feminine, cute and sexual woman.
So the most difficult for me was transforming my gender identity as an actress from masculine roles to feminine roles. There are many different versions of Rocky Horror Picture Show and I watched everything and especially focused on pretty, womanly movements. The part I felt most difficult was performing Janet’s “Toucha, Toucha, Touch Me,” which was about her pent-up sexual frustrations and lust awakenings. The scene I feared the most was the scene at the start of Act II (shyly giggles), in which Janet had her first sex with Frank, who disguised himself as her fiancé, Brad.
What are your strong and weak points as an actress? Let’s start with your strong points.
I think one of my strengths so far is adaptability [to different roles]. I’m overly facially expressive. I think another one of my strengths is craziness. Brodie always told me, “you’re a weirdo!” I’d say “I know!” maybe that’s a strong point for an actress. I love moving my body, I can’t stop moving my body and dancing whenever I’m hyped.
For weaknesses, I’m not a good singer. I’ve played the Beast in “Beauty and the Beast” in high school, but I think I was terrible, and no one was moved by my singing. During the first few weeks of rehearsal, the musical director, Lauren, taught me vocal lessons on learning how to breathe, how to project my voice. I also need to improve more on understanding, analyzing in-depth and empathize with the character’s backgrounds and motives.
Did you learn anything new about American culture through this production?
YES. Americans are more open-minded regarding LGBT and they are not too bothered about what others are wearing or what their gender and sexual identity labels are. In Japan, it’s more conservative, the topic is not openly address and people of Japan’s LGBT community in most of the time feels they have to hide a huge part of themselves.
What are your plans post-graduation?
I plan on transfer to a 4-year university or work in a theatre-related position for a year on OPT (Optional Practical Training).
Any words or tips for future GCC theater students?
I experienced so many wonderful experiences with the theatre people here and I couldn’t be more proud. I do hope they will get to have the same terrific experiences as I did.