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Pathways Speakers Program

When it comes to academics and today's global job market, there are many pathways that students can explore. To help navigate this process, our Pathways Speakers Program at FLCC offers expert knowledge from professionals in a variety of fields. Through this program, FLCC faculty, staff, and retirees will share their expertise with students in our service area, and they will discuss the steps they took to establish their careers.

Topics and Speakers

Our Pathways Speakers Program is dedicated to encouraging youth at the elementary, middle, and high school levels to enroll in and complete a college degree or certificate. We offer a variety of guest speaker presentations at local schools. Our knowledgeable speakers will bring relevance to their professional field, and they will help students understand the important role education plays in creating a successful career path.

Beekeeping/Pollinators

Patty Thompson, Assistant Professor, Environmental Conservation & Horticulture

As a scientist by training, Patty Thompson has been keeping bees for approximately 10 years as a hobby. In her presentation, Patty will explain how a hive works, and she will utilize equipment to show how a hive operates through interactive instruction and captivating photos.

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Day in the Life: An Introvert Gets Involved

Jennie Erdle, Director of Student Life

Jennie Erdle and a current FLCC student will discuss how becoming a student leader and getting involved at college helped in finding balance in all aspects of transitioning as a student.

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How Academic Writing & Thinking Might Matter in the Non-Academic World

Derrick Gentry, Assistant Professor, Humanities Department

Derrick Gentry will discuss how the standards and conventions of academic discourse might offer a model for how to conduct civil and productive communication in the public sphere (in political deliberation, in the non-academic workplace, etc.). He will convey to students that you don't have to be an aspiring scholar in order to value this mode of thought and communication.

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How a Student Athlete Became an ESPN Analyst

Richard Walsh, Assistant Professor, Business Department
Coordinator, Sport Studies Program

Richard Walsh played Division 1 basketball and has served as an assistant coach and head coach. Currently, he's an assistant professor in FLCC's Business Department and a college basketball analyst for ESPN. As he is uniquely qualified to discuss and inspire success in the classroom and on the court, program attendees will gain a strong understanding of time management, group dynamics, the NCAA recruitment process, and how the broadcasting of sports works behind the scenes.

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Managing Risk and the Importance of Education

Dawn Hess, Director of Enterprise Risk Management and Environmental, Health and Safety

Currently working toward completing her doctorate in education, Dawn Hess is a student, life-long learner, and scholar practitioner. In her presentation, Dawn will discuss how education can transform lives, and she will also emphasize the importance of allowing your career to develop and be transformed by opportunities.

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Mechanical Technology – What is it and what do they do?

Jack Riley, Instructor, Science/Technology

This presentation covers the different career paths that a person with a two-year vocational degree might be employed in. As a first generation college student, I studied and received a certificate in drafting from Hudson Valley Community College. While working at a local company, I was encouraged to start attending college in the evening to obtain my engineering degree.

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Not Just Stories - Why We Identify with Hobbits and Harry Potter

Trista Merrill, Professor, Humanities Department, Director of Honors Studies

This talk is an exploration of these popular characters and why they linger with us long after we've finished the book or the movie. There is a reason why we connect with these characters and the reasons are buried deep in our classic mythology, our hero stories, and in our psyches.

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Overcoming Adversity Through Curiosity and Self-Empowerment

Trista Merrill
Professor, Humanities Department
Director of Honors Studies

Everyone faces trauma and adversity; sometimes the results and impact of such things are outside our control. Trista Merrill's talk focuses on how people can use their own passions to control what they CAN control to find happiness and satisfaction in a post-trauma and post-adversity life.

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Paid Co-ops Leading to Sustainable Education and Careers in High-Tech Ecosystems

Sam Samanta, Professor, Science/Technology

Sam Samanta is the founder and director of the Instrumentation and Control Technologies program at FLCC. This presentation covers careers in the regional high-tech ecosystem, spanning more than 50 high-tech businesses. Almost all students secure full-time jobs before graduation. Attendees will also learn about transfer opportunities in the field.

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The Engineering Profession

Selim Araci, Professor, Science/Technology

In this brief talk, Selim Araci will provide an overview of the engineering profession and its different disciplines using examples from personal and real life stories. He will also discuss the details of an engineering education and the wide range of career opportunities it provides.

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Today in a Vineyard

Paul Brock, Associate Professor, Environmental Conservation and Horticulture

Grape growing in the Finger Lakes dates back to the early 1800s. This presentation will be tailored to the audience and time of year to discuss what is going on in the vineyards around the Finger Lakes region today (in this season). Topics covered will include vine training, phenology, and disease and nutrient management. A vines need for sun and water will be discussed as they relate to soil and weather.

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Viticulture and Wine Technology within the Finger Lakes

Gina Lee, Viticulture/Wine Technology Assistant Coordinator

Throughout her topic of discussion, Gina Lee will explore FLCC's Viticulture and Wine Technology degree program and how it relates to and provides skilled labor to the Finger Lakes region and beyond.

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What Good is Art History in the Real World?

Mary Delmastro, Assistant Professor, Visual & Performing Arts

This presentation covers Mary Delmastro’s background in engineering, and it explains how a study abroad trip and other experiences led her to a new career in art history. Through interactive observation exercises, Mary will demonstrate how studying art makes us more informed and attentive viewers of the multitude of images we are confronted with every day.

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What is a Population Ecologist?

Clinton Krager, Associate Professor, Science/Technology

In his topic of discussion, Clinton Krager will describe what a population ecologist is, what they do, and why they are important. He will also provide several examples of various organisms that he has worked with.

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Presentation Guidelines

In a series of 30 to 45-minute presentations, our guest speakers will provide insight into their occupations and discuss the important lessons they have learned. 

Get the Details

Interested in Becoming a Speaker?

Are you a current or former FLCC employee and would like to share your career path with students? If so, you can become a pathways speaker and help inspire students to explore different career and educational opportunities.

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Contact Us

Carol S. Urbaitis
Vice President of Enrollment Management


Room: 1282
Phone: (585)785-1635
Fax: (585)393-1445
E-mail: Carol.Urbaitis@flcc.edu