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TC3 Celebrates International Education Week

November 12, 2013

Tompkins Cortland Community College will host a series of activities November 18-22 as part of International Education Week. Among the events will be an international students panel, a roundtable discussion and in-class demonstrations with members of a visiting Quiche Mayan family, and the highlight event: an Oxfam Hunger Banquet on Thursday, November 21.

The Oxfam Hunger Banquet is designed to bring issues surrounding global hunger, inequitable access to resources, and poverty to the college community. When guests arrive, they will draw tickets that will relegate them to high, middle, or low-income socioeconomic classes for the evening. The meal they will be served will be according to what is “typical” for people within that income tier, meaning most participants will be served far less food than they are used to for a meal. There will be speakers throughout the event, as well as a presentation on facts surrounding global, national, and local poverty concerns. This unique and memorable experience allows guests to experience firsthand how others live, and how their privilege and decisions affect others around the world. The event also benefits a local organization: entrance to the banquet is free with a donation of canned food or cash to benefit the Dryden Food Pantry.

The banquet will be followed by a performance by 14 Strings, a Cornell-based traditional Filipino music ensemble, as well as a chance for participants to share their thoughts. Information on what attendees can do to help alleviate hunger and food insecurity will also be provided.

International Education Week was started by the U.S. Department of State and the Department of Education to provide an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. International Education Week 2013 is sponsored at TC3 by the Global Initiatives Council. The Oxfam Hunger Banquet is sponsored at TC3 by the Global Initiatives Council, the Diversity and Equity Action Council, and the Sustainability Council, and the Student Activities Office.

The full schedule of events is available at

TC3 Celebrates 44th Annual Commencement

The archived webcast of the ceremony is available online. The processional begins about nine minutes into the video, which starts after two short ads.

May 23, 2013

Cherish the friends you have made, pay back the faith that has been shown in you, and celebrate your accomplishment. Those were some of the messages delivered to the class of 2013 during commencement ceremonies at Tompkins Cortland Community College Thursday. The College celebrated its 44th commencement in front of a packed crowd of more than 2,000 people in the College's gymnasium.

The class of 2013 includes 725 graduates, including student trustee Jacqueline Matza, who offered the student address. The broadcast journalism major talked about the friendships she has made during her time at TC3. “Whether it’s getting close to your advisor, roommate, or that kid that sits next to you in psych, the bonds that we’ve all made here will never be broken," she said. "When we look back at our lives, TC3 will be a tiny little bridge that helped us in so many ways. We grew, both in education and in maturity, and that’s something to be proud of."

The main address came from Dr. Randol Contreras, a 1994 graduate of TC3, who is now a faculty member in sociology at California State University-Fullerton. He told the students about his youth, surrounded by drugs while growing up in New York City. He talked about how going to school wasn’t the first option for people in his neighborhood, and leaving his neighborhood for Central New York wasn’t an easy decision. “Eventually I was convinced,” he said. “It was perhaps the best decision of my life.” When he came to TC3, he wasn’t sure what to expect. “What I found was unbelievable support of students,” said Contreras, noting Professor Scott Ochs in particular. “He showed that he believed in me. He told me he expected great things from me. And he suggested a career in academia. At the time, I didn’t know what the word meant, but I knew it was good. It was the first time I thought I could be something.”

Contreras, ended his remarks by urging the graduates to appreciate the value of their public education. “When I think about all my accomplishments, it all was possible due to public institutions, and it all started at this great public institution, TC3,” he said. And in a symbolic coming of full circle, Contreras told the graduates he believed in them, just as Professor Ochs had told him the same thing years ago. “I have faith in you. I have faith that you now have the intellectual tools to make it happen. Congratulations.”

TC3 President Carl Haynes was the last speaker. "You have achieved this wonderful milestone in your education and life, and you have done it at a college that doesn’t just trumpet excellence, we hold you to the toughest standards in the state," said Haynes, who talked about the higher academic requirements TC3 established while this class was at the College. "You’ve met that challenge. You’ve lived up to and in many cases exceed the standards of excellence our faculty and administration have set for you. You achieved. You succeeded. You are in rare company. And for this, you are to be congratulated."

President Haynes also praised the graduates for their well-rounded education. "You have sharpened your skills in the classroom,” he said. “You have developed leadership skills, through student activities and by participating in athletics and community service. You have worked in collaboration with your peers and your faculty, on study abroad trips to other countries, on projects presented to national science boards, on issues of sustainability, equality, diversity, and governance here on campus. You have engaged as a member of the community, supporting local food drives, volunteering in local shelters, raising money to fight cancer. You have done more than fulfill the requirements of a degree – you have earned an education.”

TC3 to Celebrate 44th Commencement on May 23

May 16, 2013

Tompkins Cortland Community College will celebrate the achievements of about 725 graduates during its 44th Commencement ceremony Thursday, May 23. The ceremony is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the College's gymnasium.

Dr. Randol Contreras, a 1994 graduate of TC3 and now an Assistant Professor of Sociology at California State University-Fullerton, will be the main speaker. Dr. Contreras did his undergraduate work at City College (CUNY) and received his Ph.D. in Sociology from The Graduate Center. He has done research in the South Bronx neighborhood in which he was raised, focusing on men who organized to rob drug dealers storing large amounts of heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and cash. He has been published extensively and most recently released a book called The Stickup Kids: Drugs, Violence, and the American Dream, a book in which he credits TC3 for being instrumental in his education and career.

The ceremony will also include remarks from TC3 President Carl Haynes, Board of Trustees Chair Elizabeth Burns, and Student Trustee Jacqueline Matza. Individual students will be honored for academic-related achievement, and faculty and staff will receive various Chancellor's/Trustees' Awards for Excellence. A Friend of the College award will also be presented, recognizing an individual for her contributions to the College.

Big Pink/Big Blue Tops $10K Raised in 2013

May 14, 2013

Now in its fifth year, the Tompkins Cortland Community College “Big Pink” fundraiser has reached a significant milestone. The 2013 edition of the “Big Pink” see-saw marathon, which now also features the “Big Blue” dodgeball tournament, took in more than $10,000 for the first time. The 2013 fundraising total was $10,449, bringing the five-year total to $35,625 raised. All the money raised goes to The Cancer Services Program of Cortland and Tompkins Counties.

The 2013 editions of “Big Pink” and “Big Blue” were held on April 5. This was the first time the single-year fundraising total had topped $10,000. The previous best year was 2012, with $8,531 raised.

As has been the case each year, the events were supported by TC3 students, staff, alums, and community members. “Big Pink” and “Big Blue” are organized by the TC3 College Entertainment Board.

Ithaca Mayor Myrick Visit

October 18, 2012

Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick will visit Tompkins Cortland Community College on Wednesday, October 24. Myrick will spend the day visiting with student leaders, meeting with College officials, and offering a presentation called "Why College Students Should Vote.” The presentation will be at noon in the student center and is open to the public. The visit is sponsored by the TC3 Student Governance Association.

Myrick, the youngest mayor in Ithaca’s history and one of the youngest mayors in the country, was a student at Cornell University when he was first elected to Ithaca’s Common Council. He will speak about his personal experiences, including the struggles of being raised by a single mother along with three siblings. His presentation will be based on his strong belief that it’s crucial for young people to be engaged in their colleges, community, and the democratic process. Following the public presentation, Myrick will be a guest at a luncheon with campus student leaders. He will conclude his visit to TC3 by meeting with College President Carl Haynes.<./p>

October 3 is Completion Day at TC3

September 26, 2012

On October 3, Tompkins Cortland Community College will be participating in New York State Completion Day, an initiative of all 37 community colleges in the state of New York. The 30 State University of New York (SUNY) and seven City University of New York (CUNY) community colleges, which have a combined enrollment of more than 330,000, have set the day to send a simple message: Students who complete an associate degree have better prospects for jobs, scholarships, and transfer to four-year schools.

New York’s two-year schools have each planned multiple Completion Day events. Working with Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year schools, each campus will hold campaigns asking students to sign a pledge to complete their degree or certificate program. Campuses will also hold resource fairs to provide information about academic, advisement, and financial support services that can help students reach their goals.

At TC3, the bulk of the activities will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the student center. Phi Theta Kappa will have a table set up with the pledge and the student success office and the office of counseling, career, and transfer services will each have representatives on hand. At 12:15, the Provost and Vice President of the College John Conners will speak, talking about the real benefits of completing a degree. The president of the TC3 chapter of PTK, Joanie Fink, will also speak about the value of completing a degree from a student's perspective.

TC3 Graduates Class of 2012

May 24, 2012

Recognize that the only failure is the failure to try. That was one of the messages delivered to the Class of 2012 during commencement ceremonies at Tompkins Cortland Community College Thursday. The College celebrated its 43nd commencement in front of over 1,800 people in the College's gymnasium.

The class of 2012 includes 793 graduates, the largest class in the College's history. Among those participating in the ceremony was student trustee Alicia Smith, who shared her thoughts on the value of her education at TC3. "The true value of our time here cannot be captured in words or found in a text book. It is an experience, where much has changed," she said. "We have grown from clueless kids to the future teachers, doctors, lawyers, scientists, artists, businessmen, or whatever your dream may be. Now is our time to make a difference, and without the help of the TC3 administration and staff, we wouldn't be standing here today celebrating the hard work we have accomplished."

The main address came from John Cape, a 1971 graduate of TC3, who was the New York State budget director during the Pataki administration. He spoke of the opportunities that came from his time at TC3. "That foundation gave me all the tools I needed to build a rich and rewarding career that eventually brought me back here this evening," he said, noting that his time at TC3 was the only formal classroom education he received. He urged graduates to recognize, as they move on with life, the difference between their work and their jobs. "Your job is, first, to think for yourself," he said. "Never trust other people's assumptions, but understand for yourself the facts and numbers – know where they came from and how they were derived. Whatever your endeavor, before you do your work, make sure you do your job."

Cape also talked about what's ahead for this class. "Your generation is a time of tremendous opportunity if you only know where, and how, to look. Browning once wrote, 'A person's reach should exceed their grasp, or what's a heaven for?' Those are words to live by. Don't settle for the practical, or even the possible – TC3 has made you better than that."

TC3 President Carl Haynes was the last speaker. "Tonight we celebrate your achievement – it's something you've earned through a combination of inspiration, initiative, hard work, and perseverance. Whether you realize it now, through the act of completing this degree or certificate, you have undergone a transformation," said Haynes, who talked about the new responsibilities each graduate now has as a result of this transformation. "This degree enables you to pursue opportunities that did not exist for you previously, and it is your responsibility to make the most of those opportunities and truly put your TC3 education to work."

President Haynes ended by praising the community service projects undertaken by this class, including raising over $25,000 for cancer services in Tompkins and Cortland Counties. "The evidence is clear: you understand the value of giving back to your community. And you understand the rewards of your service. I want to encourage you to not only continue your commitment to this service, but to use your academic achievements and abilities to innovate in this area as much as you innovate in your professional lives. As the writer Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, 'It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping themselves.”

TC3 to Host Bioenergy Conference

April 13, 2012

Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3) is looking to engage the community in a discussion on bioenergy. TC3 is hosting a two-day conference sponsored by a grant from the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) called "Bioenergy Opportunities in Upstate New York." The conference opens on TC3's Dryden campus from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, April 27 and continues on Saturday, April 28 with open houses at various locations in the community. The conference costs $25 for the public, $10 for students, and is free for TC3 students. Friday's breakfast and lunch are included with the registration fee.

"Our aim is to update and educate key stakeholders about the opportunities and challenges concerning the interdependencies between education, agriculture, business, and our region's economic and energy outlook," said conference organizer In Shik Lee, TC3's SUNY GREENS NY program coordinator. The conference will feature bioenergy experts from a variety of areas, including education, non-profit organizations, agriculture, and industry. Part of the focus of the event will be to gather, brainstorm, and disperse information and draft a plan for a bioenergy curriculum proposal at the community college level.

"The collaboration of stakeholders in education, agriculture, and business is the key to the development of a successful bioenergy economy in New York," said Lee. "This conference will be the first step for TC3 to help grow the bioenergy industry in Central New York."

To registration or find more information, visit, email, or phone 844-6586.

TC3 Offers Winter Sports Clinics

December 6, 2011

Tompkins Cortland Community College will host clinics for basketball, baseball, and softball this winter. The clinics are put on by the TC3 coaching staff with student- athletes from the College's varsity teams assisting.

The basketball clinic will be held on Monday, January 16 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) from 9 to 11:30 a.m. in the TC3 gymnasium. It is open to boys and girls ages 6 to 12. The basketball clinic costs $15 and includes admission to that afternoon's TC3 varsity basketball games.

The baseball clinics are open to players of all ages and abilities, and will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on the first three Saturdays in February (2/4, 2/11, and 2/18). The three-clinic series costs $75 and will be held in the BorgWarner Morse TEC Field House on the TC3 campus.

The softball clinics are the weekend of February 25-26 and are open to girls ages 10 to 18. A pitching skills clinic will run from 9 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 25 and a hitting skills clinic will run from 9 to 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, February 26. The clinics cost $25 each, or both for $45. The softball clinics are also held in the BorgWarner Morse TEC Field House at TC3.

The paperwork for the clinics is available at Questions can be directed to the athletics office at 844.8222, Ext. 4472 or

TC3 Celebrates International Education Week

November 11, 2011

Tompkins Cortland Community College will host a series of activities November 14-18 as part of International Education Week. In addition to on-campus contests and special activities for students and staff, the community is invited to participate in much the week has to offer, including the keynote presentation Wednesday. Professor and Director of the Institute for Environmental Diplomacy and Security at the University of Vermont Dr. Saleem Ali will offer a presentation entitled "Constructive Consumption: Greening a Poor Planet."

The presentation starts with the question: would the world be a better place if we curbed our desires for material goods? Ali will use examples from his book Treasure of the Earth: Need, Greed and Sustainable Future to argue for a more ecologically driven economic and social system that helps reduce global poverty. The presentation is free and open to the public, starting at 3 p.m. Wednesday in the TC3 Forum.

The week's activities will also include an International Student Panel, with TC3 students from around the world talking about what it's like for them to be a student in the United States compared to their home countries. The panel will also include an American student who studied and traveled abroad. The student panel is Monday at noon in room 263.

Also on Monday, College students and staff will conduct an International Dance Exhibition and Workshop, featuring several types of native dances. The dancing begins at 3 p.m. in the lower cafeteria.

Tuesday will feature a Chinese Calligraphy Demonstration at noon in the cafeteria, and Thursday is being promoted as "Wear Your Traditional/National Attire Day." Ongoing throughout the week will be a photo exhibit themed on the Mark Twain quote "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness" and the TC3 Eatery has added an international lunch menu to its offerings.

International Education Week was started by the U.S. Department of State and the Department of Education to provide an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. The activities at TC3 are supported by the Global Initiatives Office, the Office of Multicultural Services, the Office of Student Success and Advisement Services, the Global Initiatives Council, the Diversity and Equity Action Council, and the academic departments of English as a Second Language and Environmental Science.

Emmy Award Winning Producer and Writer to Speak at TC3

September 14, 2011

Emmy Award-winning producer and writer Tom Seeley will speak about his experiences in Hollywood Wednesday, September 21 at the Forum at TC3. The presentation will begin at 6 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Seeley, who will visit with TC3 communication and media arts classes during the day, has over 25 years of experience in Hollywood. His credits include such hit TV shows as "Newhart," "Cheers," and, more recently, "Hannah Montana." He was a producer for "Murphy Brown" when the show won the Emmy award for Best Comedy Series in 1990.

His latest project is a sitcom based in Central New York. Seeley is writing, producing, and directing the show, tentatively called "Upstate." This summer he worked with TC3 faculty, students, and alumni on starting the process of creating a pilot for the show, even filming parts of the show in Cortland.

Seeley also teaches screenwriting at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

TC3 Holds Public Open House at New Cortland Extension Center

September 12, 2011

Tompkins Cortland Community College will hold a public open house at the new Cortland Extension Center on Friday, September 16 from noon to 5 p.m.

Visitors to the open house at 157 Main Street will be able to tour the facility and learn more about the services available at this location. College officials will be on hand, including representatives from the admission and financial aid offices.

The new extension center features six new classrooms, two of which are computer labs. The classrooms are "smart" classrooms, each equipped with a computer and audio/visual hookup to a pull-down screen, as well as a document camera and DVD console. The center is also home to a new boardroom as well as a large training room.

TC3 Moves to New Cortland Extension Center

July 11, 2011

Tompkins Cortland Community College's Cortland Extension Center is moving. The current center at 22 West Court Street will close for good at the end of the day on Wednesday, July 6. After moving on Thursday and Friday, the new center at 157 Main Street will open on Monday, July 18. A formal grand opening celebration and open house are planned for September.

The new TC3 Cortland Extension Center greatly expands the College's ability to serve the community, providing a convenient, centralized space for college credit courses, customized professional training, and business use. "The new extension center allows us to be more responsive to the community's needs," said Martha Hubbard, director of "Our students will now be able to engage in learning in 'smart classrooms' up-to-date with the latest academic technology, and our business partners will not only have a new, expanded space for on-site customized training, but the center also features a professional board room available for reservation, excellent parking, all in a centralized location."

The new extension center features six new classrooms, two of which are computer labs. The classrooms are "smart" classrooms, each equipped with a computer and audio/visual hookup to a pull-down screen, as well as a document camera and DVD console. "The smart classrooms really bring the full TC3 college classroom experience into Cortland," said Hubbard. "Not only does this allow us to expand our schedule in terms of offerings, but we can also expand the diversity of offerings at the new extension center."

On the business side, the new extension center serves as a potential hub for Cortland-area businesses looking for professional meeting spaces and the customized training that is a specialty of A new boardroom is available in the center, as well as a large training room. "Customized training, targeted to the specific needs of our local business partners, is really the core of the partnership with Cortland. With new space, we're able to offer an opportunity to Cortland-area employers who don't have adequate training space available, or who seek that 'out-of-the-office' opportunity for training."