Friday, April 18, 2014

Report at College Suites under investigation

The Ontario County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a man who reportedly had what appeared to be a handgun while inside the College Suites dormitory on the campus of Finger Lakes Community College late Thursday night.

No shots were fired and no injuries were reported. The incident happened at about 10 p.m.

Sheriff’s deputies are looking for a white male wearing a red winter-style cap and a grey sweatshirt. Anyone with information is asked to call 911. FLCC’s Campus Safety officers are continuing to work closely with deputies on the matter.

Campus Safety notified members of the college community via a SUNY Alert message to cell phones, landlines and email accounts at approximately 1 a.m. The incident was first reported to authorities about an hour earlier, the sheriff's office said. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Former boxer gives talk at FLCC on dangers of concussion

A resilient and determined young athlete, Ray Ciancaglini ignored his headaches, confusion and fatigue – hallmark symptoms of concussions – and went round after round in the boxing ring.

Now, decades later, he’s paying for it. The Geneva native suffers from dementia pugilistica and Parkinson’s syndrome, both progressive disorders doctors believe are linked to the neglected head trauma back in the 1960s and 70s.

Over the past several years, Ciancaglini has traveled to hundreds of schools and colleges near and far advocating for concussion awareness and management.
Ray Ciancaglini

On Thursday, April 24, he’ll bring his message to Finger Lakes Community College, in a talk scheduled for 10 a.m.

Titled “The Invisible Opponent,” the event is free and open to the public. It will be held in room B440 on the fourth floor of the main campus, 3325 Marvin Sands Drive, Canandaigua.

“The main message is one of honesty,” said Ciancaglini, who lives with his wife, Patti, in Varick, Seneca County. “It’s about immediately reporting and being totally honest about any symptoms of concussion, along with strictly adhering to your school’s concussion protocol, and the instructions of your doctor and trainer. You will come back another day if you allow a concussion to heal properly. If you challenge a concussion, you will get beat.”

Ciancaglini was forced to retire from boxing at 22. He went to college in hopes of becoming a physical education teacher, but said he was held back by his “foggy” mind. His conditions cause symptoms of dementia, Parkinson’s-like tremors and difficulty with coordination.

Ciancaglini founded The Second Impact, an organization that strives to educate athletes, coaches and parents about the possible after-effects of concussions. His audiences have ranged from National Football League players to lawmakers.

He was instrumental in the state’s adoption in 2011 of the Concussion Management and Awareness Act, which, among other things, requires student athletes suspected of suffering from a concussion to receive medical clearance before returning to play. ABC’s “Good Morning America” featured Ciancaglini in an April 2012 segment.

Nowadays, Ciancaglini struggles to write his own name and sometimes doesn’t recognize lifelong friends.

“There are good days and bad days,” he said. “You take it as they come.”

He added, “It’s all because in our day we didn’t have the education we have today about concussions. I had this injury and I was trying to battle through it. I was probably getting one concussion on top of another, unhealed concussion.”

The talk is being coordinated by FLCC’s Athletics Department. For more information, contact Bethany Schlegel, assistant director of athletics, at (585) 785-1518 or

For more on Second Impact, visit

Monday, April 14, 2014

FLCC honor society welcomes 85 students

Genny Hale of Honeoye, president of the Finger Lakes Community College chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, congratulates new member Geoffrey Erdeli of Palmyra during a ceremony at the main campus in Canandaigua on March 27.

Click here to see more photos on the FLCC Connects Flickr site
Eighty-five Finger Lakes Community College students were inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges, during a ceremony March 27.

Eric Duchess of Geneva, FLCC instructor of history, gave the keynote address, encouraging students to live what President Theodore Roosevelt referred to as “the strenuous life.”

“We can all draw inspiration from the way he approached frontiers,” Duchess said of Roosevelt, whose colorful life included service as the New York City police commissioner, fighting in the Spanish American War and searching for the headwaters of the Amazon River. “Frontiers are meant to be explored, meant to be revealed, and this is the essence of progress.”

He encouraged students to view obstacles they encounter as their own frontiers to be crossed. “Obstacles and setbacks are not defeats until we quit,” Duchess said.

Phi Theta Kappa’s hallmarks are scholarship, leadership, service and fellowship. FLCC’s chapter, Alpha Epsilon Chi, was chartered in 1981 and provides leadership, service and scholarship opportunities for members. Membership requires completion of 15 hours of associate degree coursework and a GPA of 3.5. Phi Theta Kappa members also serve as campus ambassadors.

New members are as follows, listed by county and town:

Friday, April 11, 2014

FLCC classes now free to students in local high schools

Starting in fall 2014, Finger Lakes Community College will no longer charge high-school students tuition for taking FLCC courses at their home districts through the college’s Gemini program.

"I would highly
recommend it,"
says Red Jacket
junior Colin Clark
The policy change will make it easier for high school students to prepare for college and start earning college credits.

FLCC’s Gemini program offers 53 courses, ranging from English 101 to environmental science, at 26 school districts. Students who pass these courses earn FLCC credit that they can apply directly to an FLCC degree after high school or transfer to another college.

“We hope more students will consider taking these rigorous courses while still in high school.  It will prepare them for full-time college studies and save money for their families,” said FLCC President Barbara Risser.

FLCC’s new policy is part of its recently adopted strategic plan to help improve the transitions from high school to college to careers.

“The importance of preparing our young people for college and careers has been getting a lot of attention lately. This is one way FLCC can be part of the solution,” Risser said.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

FLCC celebrates the written word with readings April 16

To commemorate National Poetry Month, Finger Lakes Community College will hold its 12th Annual Campus Authors Reading on Wednesday, April 16.

The reading will begin at 7 p.m. at the FLCC Honors House, 4340 Lakeshore Drive in Canandaigua. The event is free and open to the public.

The event celebrates the literary accomplishments of the FLCC faculty and staff. The reading is offered each year in recognition of National Poetry Month, though all literary genres are represented. The following are some of the writers and readers who will be featured:

· Charlotte Cline of Rochester, assistant professor of English

· Trista Merrill of Canandaigua, professor of English

· Lisa Scott of Victor, director of alumni relations

· Jon Palzer of Victor, associate professor of English and chair of the humanities department

· Maureen Owens of Seneca Falls, online student support technical specialist

· Megan Backer-Bertsch of Rochester, tutor at the Write Place

· Sam Samanta of Canandaigua, professor of physics

· Marty Dodge of Canandaigua, retired professor of environmental conservation

· Maureen Maas-Feary of Rochester, professor of developmental studies

· Margaret Gillio of Pittsford, instructor of English

· Ashley Anderson of Webster, adjunct for the humanities department

For more information, contact Trista Merrill at (585) 785-1357 or at

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

'Upside Down' author gives free talk at FLCC

As a forensic neuropsychologist, Jerid Fisher has served as an expert witness in dozens of sensational criminal cases over the years. But one in particular – that of an area college professor who claimed he killed his wife as an act of love – was so bizarre that Fisher decided to make it the focus of a book.

Published this past fall by Pelican Publishing Co., “Upside Down: Madness, Murder and the
Jerid Fisher
Perfect Marriage,” explores the dark, inner world of former Rochester Institute of Technology professor Timothy Wells, who pleaded guilty in 2010 to strangling his wife, Christine Sevilla, and leaving her body in a scenic area at Mendon Ponds Park.

The book will be the focus of a talk by Fisher during a visit to Finger Lakes Community College Thursday, April 24. The event will be held at 11:30 a.m. in room D216 on the second floor of the main campus, 3325 Marvin Sands Drive, Canandaigua. It is free and open to the public.

The 2009 murder stunned many in the Perinton community, where Wells and Sevilla resided. Highly regarded in Rochester-area academic, church and environmental circles, they appeared to have a blissful marriage, said Fisher.

“He was a kindly, soft-spoken, gentleman’s gentleman,” said Fisher. “Why would a man like that murder his wife? That’s really what piqued my interest in writing the book.”

At the request Wells’ criminal defense attorney, James Nobles, Fisher performed a psychological evaluation to determine if he suffered from a traumatic brain injury or mental illness.

Fisher said he found Wells deeply troubled by multiple professional failures he’d kept

hidden from his wife. He struggled to stay current with the information technology courses he taught at RIT, and he amassed $85,000 in debt working on a doctorate, only to be terminated from the program for poor performance. Additionally, he’d recently lost his sister to cancer, after donating his own stem cells in a bid to save her life.

Wells told Fisher his only way out was to kill himself. Convinced his wife and their beloved dog would not survive without him, he decided to take their lives, too. Fisher believes the brutality of the crimes left him a “disassociated state,” ultimately unable to follow through with his suicide plan.

Fisher interviewed those close to the family while researching the book, including Wells’ ex-wife. He also corresponded with Wells himself, in writing and in prison visits.

“He basically told me that, in retrospect, he realizes years later that the murder was senseless and he shouldn’t have thought Christine couldn’t live without him,” said Fisher.

Fisher worked as a senior instructor in psychiatry and neurology at the University of Rochester Medical School. He later worked for a private rehabilitation company, and, in 1986 founded the brain and back injury rehab company, Neurorehab Associates, Inc. He sold the business seven years later and has since focused on work as a forensic neuropsychologist.

During his visit to FLCC, Fisher will not only discuss the case, but also the process of writing the book. The roughly two-year project included countless hours of research, and more than one publisher’s rejection.

Fisher’s message will be one of perseverance for aspiring writers. “You have to believe in what you have done and you have to be persistent,” he said.

The talk is being sponsored by FLCC’s developmental studies department. For more information, call Patricia Malinowski, professor of developmental studies, at (585) 785-1389.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Three FLCC students honored for leadership

From left, SUNY Chancellor’s Award recipients Carley Shick of Prattsburgh, Kelly Broderick of Canandaigua and Sean Murphy of Penn Yan with FLCC President Barbara Risser.
Three Finger Lakes Community College students are among 274 students from across New York state who have been awarded the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence.

Kelly Broderick of Canandaigua, Sean Murphy of Penn Yan and Carley Shick of Prattsburgh were honored at a ceremony in Albany Wednesday, April 2. Created in 1997, the award recognizes students who have excelled as leaders in areas that include athletics, community service, the arts, campus activities or in the workforce.

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher said the honorees “truly embody the power of SUNY.”

“As proven leaders and role models, scholar athletes, creative artists, and civic volunteers, each student is recognized not just for academic achievement, but also for the profound impact that they have on college campuses and local communities across New York state. Congratulations to the FLCC students being recognized today.”

Broderick, Murphy and Shick will graduate with associate degrees in May.

Murphy leads FLCC’s Horticulture Club and is the fundraising coordinator for the Alpha Epsilon Chi chapter of the national honor society Phi Theta Kappa. He has also been involved with the college’s Viticulture Club.

He plans to transfer to a four-year college for his bachelor’s degree and then pursue a master’s degree. He aspires to open a greenhouse that operates like a supermarket. He’s also interested in working in research at Cornell University’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva.

Seasonal jobs at the experiment station – growing peas and beans and collecting data, and selling collector’s items at the Windmill Farm & Craft Market in Penn Yan – have helped Murphy gain hands-on experience. The latter position has proven especially beneficial in business classes, he said. “Everything just falls into place,” he said.

He owes his interest in horticulture to his grandmother, who passed away in 2008. He helped her tend a garden that included strawberries and onions and she gifted him an African violet, which continues to thrive.

Shick hopes to become a registered nurse and pursue work in a hospital while continuing with her education. She hopes to receive bachelor’s and master’s degrees.