Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Meet some outstanding alumni

From left, Mark T. Watkins Sr., Richard J. Rebar, Alexandra V. Cleveland, Michelle Garlock, Elly Disbrow and John E. Hume Jr.  For more photos, visit the FLCC Connects Flickr site by clicking here.

A senior executive from the MeadWestvaco paper and packaging company and a botanist with the U.S Forest Service were among the six Finger Lakes Community College alumni honored in a ceremony on May 20 at the main campus.
The Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony is an annual event on the eve of commencement to celebrate the accomplishments of past FLCC graduates. The honorees are detailed below.

Mark T. Watkins Sr. ’75, an executive at MeadWestvaco, received the Distinguished Alumni Award for his leadership and knowledge in forestry, engineering, research and development and manufacturing. A native of Arcade, Watkins earned an associate degree in science from FLCC in 1975 and got his bachelor’s degree in paper science and engineering from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. In 1997, he became vice president of Michigan operations in the publishing paper division of Mead Corporation, managing the 1,800 ton per day paper mill, 700 acres of woodlands, sawmill operations and public and government affairs. Further promotions followed, and with Mead’s merger with Westvaco in 2002, Watkins was named senior vice president of technology and forestry at MeadWestvaco.
John E. Hume Jr. ’77, a retired elementary art teacher, also received the Distinguished Alumni Award for his success as an illustrator and his service to the teaching profession. After graduating from FLCC, he earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Buffalo State College in 1979 and took a job as an elementary art teacher in St. Augustine, Fla. He earned two master’s degrees from NOVA University in 1993 and 1995 and became a leader in organizations to advance art education. Hume received Teacher of the Year honors in 1987 and 1989 from Crookshank Elementary School. In 2004, he illustrated “My Florida Alphabet,” which was adopted statewide by the Florida public schools to teach the alphabet to children in kindergarten through second grade.
Alexandra V. Cleveland ’90 received the Outstanding Conservation Alumni Achievement Award. After graduating from FLCC with an associate degree in natural resources conservation, she transferred to SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in environmental and forest biology. Cleveland accepted her first post-graduate position as a plant ecologist/botanist with the Huron-Manistee National Forest in Cadillac, Mich., in 1995.  In 2007, she moved to Atlanta, Ga., to accept a position as U.S. Forest Service southern region program manager for botany, vegetation ecology and non-native invasive species.
Richard J. Rebar ’03 received the Outstanding Horticulture Alumni Achievement Award. After working for the city of Rochester for several years, he entered the FLCC ornamental horticulture degree program and continued taking courses for nearly 10 years as a part-time student. During that time, Rebar held several positions for the city, including forestry worker, responsible for trimming and removing trees, and senior forestry worker, responsible for oversight of equipment, safety and instructing newer workers.  Rebar has taken advantage of many continuing education opportunities to earn certifications in the industry. He received the city’s Forestry Excellence in Service Award in September 2009.
Michelle L. Garlock ’87 of Canandaigua received the Outstanding Art Alumni Achievement Award. She graduated with an associate degree in studio art and went on to earn a bachelor’s in art therapy in 1989 from the College of New Rochelle. In 1994, Garlock became the family services coordinator for Head Start in the Phelps-Clifton Springs School District. After the birth of her first child, she started a business, Master Peace Painting, creating murals and faux finishes. In 2003, Garlock attended The Finishing School in New York City, a training center for professional faux finishers. She was later selected to study with Michel Nadai, a French master in trompe l’oeil, a technique of using light and shadow to create a 3-dimensional looking object on a 2-dimensional surface. Some of the top professionals in Rochester, Syracuse, and Sanibel Island, Fla., have commissioned her to work in their homes.

Elly M. Disbrow ’10 of Bluff Point was named the Outstanding Scholar Athlete for 2009-2010, an honor given to one athlete who achieved the highest grade point average while participating on an athletic team. Disbrow, a 2008 graduate of Penn Yan Academy, had a perfect 4.0 grade point average when she received her FLCC associate degree in liberal arts and sciences. A member of the basketball team as a freshman, she also played on the FLCC women’s soccer and softball teams for two years. Disbrow transferred to Keuka College where she is majoring in management while continuing to play soccer and softball. 

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