Nine members of the Genesee Community College (GCC) faculty and staff have been recognized by State University of New York Chancellor Nancy Zimpher. They were credited for outstanding contributions to their profession, the campus and the community. The Chancellor's Award for Excellence is given in recognition of consistently superior professional achievement and encourages the ongoing pursuit of excellence.
The GCC faculty and staff members were honored at a reception on the Batavia Campus last week in the Stuart Steiner Theatre.
Award for Excellence in Classified Service
• Michelle A. Peck, secretary of health, physical education and athletics, started her career at GCC in 2007. Serving as secretary to both the director of Athletics and to the director of Health and Physical Education at GCC, her work requires a high level of organization and multi-tasking. She has served on several search committees and is a member of LEAD, which is a leadership, development committee for student athletes.
The Orangeville resident actively assists in organizing and participating in several events each year, such as the GLOW (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming counties) Corporate Cup, athletic team games and fundraisers, Mission Condition, Athlete Olympics, Mini-Summit, Athletics Hall of Fame, and more. She continuously meets the needs of hundreds of students, faculty, athletes and coaches each year.
Award for Excellence in Teaching
• Roxanne M. Holthaus, assistant professor of nursing, joined GCC as a full-time faculty member in 2009. With more than 16 years of experience, both as a registered nurse and a family nurse practitioner in a university setting, she was promoted to the rank of assistant professor in 2015.
She earned a bachelor's degree in biology from SUNY (State University of New York) Binghamton and a bachelor's and master's degree in nursing from the University of Rochester School of Nursing.
The LeRoy resident is the coordinator and point of contact for the Nursing Boot Camp program. The program is a series of clinical lab and simulation exercises offered during the summer months as a means of helping students maintain their nursing skill set during the semester break.
• Karen K. Wicka, assistant professor of criminal justice, was an attorney who left the practice of law to pursue her passion of teaching. She began her time at GCC as an adjunct professor of criminal justice in 2001 and was hired as a full-time instructor in 2008. As of 2012, she has held the title of assistant professor.
The Hamburg resident earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from SUNY Potsdam and a juris doctorate from Albany Law School of Union University. In addition to her classroom teaching, she is a co-advisor for the Criminal Justice Club.
Her legal experience includes serving as an associate for Bond, Shoeneck & King, LLP in Buffalo, and O'Connell and Aronowitz, P.C. in Albany. She is a member of the Criminal Justice Educators Association of New York (CJEANYS), Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS), the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the New York Bar Association. She continues to give back to the College with her time as a volunteer for the Scholars Symposium and the New York State Historical Society Essay Contest for GCC.
Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching
• Edward J. Grabowski, adjunct instructor of social science and business, teaches a variety of courses at GCC. Not only does he teach multiple courses including Criminal Justice, Business Law, and Paralegal Studies, he teaches at several locations. He has taught on an adjunct basis at the College since 2007.
His career in law enforcement began with an associate’s degree in police science from GCC in 1976. He then earned a bachelor’s degree in police science and education from Buffalo State College and finally, he received a juris doctorate from the University at Buffalo (UB) School of Law in 1997.
Heavily involved in his community, he has been a Boy Scout leader for 20 years and teaches law and criminal justice-related merit badges to boy scouts. The Medina resident is a member of the Orleans Niagara BOCES School Board and has been portraying Santa Claus since 1982 at local events.
• Pamela N. Lusk, adjunct instructor of social science and health, has taught for GCC since the Albion Campus Center opened in the fall of 1990. She teaches in multiple subject areas, including psychology, health, human services, and sociology.
She obtained a dual-major bachelor's degree in health education and community development and a master's degree in health and social sciences from The College at Brockport. Additionally, she completed her PhD in psychology from Cornell University.
In addition to her regular duties, she has temporarily filled in as the acting associate dean for the campus center and wellness coordinator the Title III Grant. She has also led the Albion Campus Wellness Student Club and has overseen numerous fundraisers and other service projects to help those in need.
Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities
• Karen Huffman, PhD, assistant professor of biology has been a member of the college's science faculty since 2011. She was promoted to the rank of assistant professor in the fall of 2014 and has been instrumental in developing service learning at GCC.
Huffman graduated with Honors from Indiana University, earning a bachelor of science degree in microbiology. She then moved to Texas and completed a PhD in biology at the University of Texas, teaching, carrying out original research, and presenting at national meetings.
Her teaching includes stints as an adjunct professor at a number of community and four-year colleges in Chicago and Buffalo, and as a high school biology teacher at Mt. Mercy Academy in Buffalo. Beyond GCC, she serves on several state level committees including the NYS Science Content Advisory Panel and the Science Teachers Association of New York State where she serves on the Board of Directors. Additionally, she was recently elected as the statewide college level representative.
She was instrumental in planning and executing the College's first Scholars Symposium Day and continues to represent GCC through presentations she makes at local, state and national conferences as well as through a long list of publications.
Award for Excellence in Faculty Service
• M. Richard (Rick) Dudkowski, professor of business/marketing/fashion has been a member of the GCC faculty since 1984. He was hired as the first full-time faculty member in the fashion program and through his leadership, the program has grown from 12 students to its current enrollment of 73.
The Clarence resident was the 2001-2002 recipient of the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 2008-2009 recipient of the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. He is currently co-chairing GCC’s 50th anniversary steering committee and he co-chaired the 20th anniversary steering committee.
Under his watch, the annual fashion show celebrated its 35th anniversary in the spring and has grown into the largest and longest running fashion show in Western New York. For the past 15 years, under his direction, the Business Forum Club has hosted the annual "Ducky Derby," raising thousands of dollars to support the United Way.
He earned an associate degree in business administration from Erie Community College, a bachelor's degree in consumer and business studies from Buffalo State College, a master's degree in vocational and technical education from Buffalo State College, and he has completed all but the dissertation at the University at Buffalo in the Educational Doctorate program in vocational education.
Award for Excellence in Professional Service
• Rafael Alicea-Maldonado, PhD, dean of math/science and career education since August 2011, came to GCC as an instructor of chemistry in 2000. He received the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2004-2005 and after reaching full professor status in 2010, and he won again in 2011 for Faculty Service. He oversees 40 academic programs.
A native of Puerto Rico, Alicea-Maldonado earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico and a doctoral degree in chemistry from the University at Buffalo. He was awarded the Mattern-Tyler Excellence in Teaching Award from the Department of Chemistry at UB, has authored several publications, and has presented at over a dozen conferences.
The Buffalo resident currently teaches the Intro to Chemistry course in an online format, which he developed.
• Carol Marriott, associate vice president for institutional research and assessment, began her career at the college in 2000 as a temporary grant coordinator.
The Corfu resident earned a master's degree in higher education from the University at Buffalo before returning to work at GCC as the director of institutional research. She advanced to the position of associate dean in 2009 before being named associate vice president in 2012.
Her creative and innovative approach to problem solving has resulted in the development of major decision-making tools at GCC, such as the Genesee Strategic Intelligence (GSI) system.