Twenty-Two Outstanding Scholars Receive Awards in Genesee's Advanced Studies Program

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Row 1: Emma Snyder, Emily Radford, Taylor DeSimone, Erin Tiede, Abigail Bleier, Megan Saile 2: T. Benjovsky, Daniel Kocher, Tania Arellano, Trevor Noon, Dylan Servos 3: Victoria Giglia, Megan Bullard

BATAVIA, NY (06/18/2015)(readMedia)-- Twenty-two students from across Western New York were the finalists for Outstanding Scholar Awards in Genesee Community College's Advanced Studies program. The awardees were honored at a ceremony and reception, Wednesday, May 27, 2015 in the Stuart Steiner Theatre at Genesee's Batavia campus.

Advanced Studies is part of the College's ACE program, or Accelerated College Enrollment, and allows high school students the opportunity to earn college credit from Genesee while attending class within their high school. High school teachers approved as Genesee adjunct faculty teach all Advanced Studies courses. Some of the most enterprising young students earn enough transferable Advanced Studies credit to enter their first year of college as sophomores.

This year's Outstanding Scholars Award program featured a keynote address by Tim Tomczak, GCC's professor of psychology and the director of the College's Social Sciences department. He is a two time SUNY Chancellor's Award winner. His first was for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activity in 2007, and the second for Excellence in Teaching in 1994. As a guest lecturer at SUNY Geneseo, he also received SUNY Geneseo's Joseph M. O'Brien Award for Excellence in Part-Time Teaching. Since 2010, he has also taught at the Eastman School of Music. Professor Tomczak has published numerous teaching and testing materials, and continues to research topics on the learning theory, transfer of knowledge and the philosophy of science.

In his address to the ACE Scholars, Professor Tomczak discussed his experiences and struggles in finding a path in life. Despite a discouraging start to his education as a young boy, he found his niche through the help of a concerned guidance counselor who found him an opportunity to take some college courses while in high school. "I was one of the original 'ACE' students. I liked college so much that I wanted to find a job that would let me stay there for the rest of my career," Professor Tomczak said. His address encouraged students to "keep being scholars - individuals who are passionate about learning new things and taking their thinking to higher levels."

The 22 finalists were selected from more than 165 nominations in the five subject areas of mathematics, science, social science, foreign language and English. As in years past, a committee of academic professionals from Genesee Community College selected the following award winners, listed by school within their subject areas:


Abigail Bleier ~ Notre Dame High School

Emma Snyder ~ Keshequa High School

Gabriella Giunta ~ Gates-Chili High School

Emily Radford ~ Holley High School

Madhuri Vihani ~ Attica High School


Austin Morgan ~ Pioneer High School

Hannah Smart ~ Pavilion High School

Tania Arellano ~ Kendall High School

Alexandria Barber ~ Letchworth High School


Daniel Kocher ~ Alden High School

Olivia Marchese ~ Notre Dame High School

Jack Mann ~ Keshequa High School

Theodore Benjovsky ~ Albion High School

Michael Safford ~ Perry High School


Dylan Servos ~ Alden High School

Abigail Bleier ~ Notre Dame High School

Megan Bullard ~ Caledonia-Mumford High School

Taylor DeSimone ~ Holley High School

Erin Tiede ~ Warsaw High School


Victoria Giglia ~ Alden High School

Megan Saile ~ Batavia High School

Megan Bullard ~ Caledonia-Mumford High School

Trevor Noon ~ Newfane High School

Taylor DeSimone ~ Holley High School

Sierra Greene ~ Letchworth High School

"Another outstanding evening celebrating the Outstanding Scholars in our region," Ed Levinstein, associate dean of the ACE Program said about the Advanced Studies Outstanding Scholars Awards ceremony. "We so enjoy recognizing the hard work of our students and celebrating their success. The ACE program not only helps students with their professional growth and career success, but also is saving parents significant tuition dollars. It's a win-win-win for everyone."

GCC's Faces of ACE campaign was part of this year's pre- and post-ceremonies. College photographers were on hand to take group and individual pictures of any ACE student (and their families) who would like to celebrate their academic success on Facebook and the ACE website.

For more information about the Advanced Studies program at Genesee Community College,

call 585-345-6801 or visit

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Editor's note: For a photograph of the finalists who attended the award ceremony please go to:

Row 1: Emma Snyder, Emily Radford, Taylor DeSimone, Erin Tiede, Abigail Bleier, Megan Saile

Row 2: Theodore Benjovsky, Daniel Kocher, Tania Arellano, Trevor Noon, Dylan Servos

Row 3: Victoria Giglia, Megan Bullard