I did all of my soul searching at Batavia Genesee Community College.


This is where my life would send me down the path to journalism.


Retired GCC staff and co-authors Larry D. Barnes and Ruth E. Andes put together the campus history series entitled “Genesee Community College: The First 50 Years” which will be available Sept. 19.


It was like going back in time for me, and to a place that gave me so much.


Inside this book is the story of the college and the other sites connected to it; such as the Dansville GCC location.


The Dansville Genesee Community College was constructed in 2002 on Route 63, before moving into the old Dansville Middle School building on Clara Barton Street.


Since this building was already used as a school it offered the GCC outlet many attractive features, such as an auditorium and gymnasium. It offers a college experience to local students who don’t want to jump into a four year college straight out of high school.


This was the motivation for me when I was a young teen fresh out of school. The idea of going to a big city college terrified me; even though I would eventually get over it to get my bachelors at SUNY Buffalo or Buffalo State as we called it.


For me, the struggle to try to discover my purpose was better understood in a country college.


If I close my eyes I can picture my first day as a college freshman, finding all my classes, meeting all my teachers, and making new friends.


Some of my old friends followed me there, which was a huge comfort. It was like a continuation of our time at high school, but with more freedom, and better food.


I threw myself into the experience with anticipation and hope that I would be the best journalist who ever lived.


My entire determination to succeed and become a strong figure in this world could not be silenced.


I was an excellent student.


The idea of failure was something that gave me nightmares.


There are not enough words to describe how much I adored Batavia GCC. It was here that I got to express myself in the most creative way possible.


Some of my favorite classes were Black and White Photography, TV Production, Scriptwriting, Broadcasting, Karate, all of my film classes, Public Speaking, Psychology and of course, Journalism.  


I have always loved writing, but there are other aspects to this field. I learned how to see the world through the camera lens, and work passionately in the dark room watching it come to life. I discovered that black and white images carried their own beauty.


It was the television side of journalism that I excelled in, and my ultimate goal was to be a host of my own tv show.


This dream started to take off when I was in my TV Production class. I got to immerse myself into the feel of broadcast news. There were several segments I did where I interviewed local organizations on camera, and it would be shown on an actual channel.


My film classes were the highlight by far. I basically got to watch and analyze some fantastic movies of every genre.


If I tried to describe every amazing moment I spent on One College Road I would have to write my own book on the many years of Batavia GCC.


One thing is for certain … this college helped me get where I am today.


Barnes and Andes will formally present their book to the public on Sept. 24 at 3 p.m. in the Conable Technology Building, room T102 during Fall Fest – Cougar Weekend at GCC's Batavia campus. They will share a short synopsis of each of the nine chapters covering the College's 50 year history, and also introduce a few amusing stories not covered in the book. Additionally, they will invite members of the audience to share memories, and finally they will autograph books during a post-presentation reception with refreshments in the south lobby of the Conable Technology Building.


The event is free and books will be available for purchase for $21.99. Copies can also be purchased online through Amazon and at local bookstores, including the College Bookstore. 




(Jasmine Willis is a reporter for Genesee Country Express)