As planning for the 88th annual Academy Awards got underway, Dustan Whitcomb, '15, was doing some planning of his own — as one of four executive producers of the ninth annual TFA Night at the Oscars at SUNY Buffalo State.
Whitcomb is part of the TV and film criticism class at SUNY Buffalo State that is given the task of producing the live event each February. Work began as soon as classes resumed in January 2016. Along with showing the famed Academy Awards ceremony on a huge screen, the event includes live music and refreshments. During the event, guests can vote for short student-produced films nominated for the TFA Pioneer Awards in the categories of best actor, best actress, best screenplay, best director, and best picture. The TFA Pioneer Awards are announced during Academy Awards commercial breaks.
In an interview with The Salamanca Press, Whitcomb said his interest in media began in eighth grade while watching the high school’s media class produce the live morning announcements. Click here to read the full interview.
A 2013 graduate of Salamanca Jr./Sr. High School, Whitcomb earned a degree in communications from JCC in 2015. He is now a junior at SUNY Buffalo State, pursuing a degree in media arts. While at JCC, he worked at The Weeks Gallery, helping prepare the gallery for new featured artists and their collections. As a JCC student, he also spent time at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts and its WRFA-LP radio station.
Whitcomb plans to keep working in the Western New York area after graduation and told The Salamanca Press that he wants to bring the Hollywood culture to Western New York.
“It’s not hard to find people who love movies here,” Whitcomb said. “I like the idea of trying to keep all the stuff I work on in this area. I want to make things that are unique to Western New York — not necessarily about Western New York, but unique to it. It’s all treasured by a lot of people. I think it deserves a seat at that (Hollywood) table. I am so gracious to this area. Not only for my childhood, but for the foundation this area gave me. I’d never think of this area as something I’m stepping away from. I’m truly grateful for this area, the Salamanca school system, JCC, everything like that.”
In October 2015, Lori Brockelbank, '94, rode in the STIHL Tour des Trees -- a roughly 575-mile ride that went from Orlando to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. -- for the third year in a row. The Tour benefits the The TREE Fund, which works to sustain the world’s urban forests by providing funding for scientific research, education programs, and scholarships related to arboriculture and urban forestry. Lori was one of six riders from New York in the ride, which included 85 total riders. Along the way, 12 trees were planted, three of which were memorial trees.
"I want to thank each and every one of my supporters for my third year riding for the Stihl Tour des Trees," Lori said in a blog about her experience. "The 2015 Tour was amazing and filled with many new experiences."
Lori plans on riding in the 2016 Tour, which will be a 7-day, 560-mile tour of the Piedmont region of North Carolina and will dip down to Camden, SC.
To read more about Lori, check out this profile written by alumnus Dave Emke, '01.
Caleb Abrams, '12, is one of a group of documentary filmmakers working to ensure that the events that forced the Seneca people from Kinzua, Pa. are not forgotten. He's a Seneca and the associate producer for Lake of Betrayal: The Story of Kinzua Dam, which is set to be released this year and will air on PBS stations nationwide. Production on the documentary began in 2014. Abrams has been deeply involved in the film's production, having worked as a research assistant during pre-production to identify interview subjects, archives to research, and locations to film. As the associate producer, he's been on location for almost all of the film's shoots in the Allegany Territory.
A description of the documentary from Toward Castle Films says:
On Seneca Nation Territory, the Allegheny River widens into an expansive man-made lake that stretches 24 miles through the foothills across the New York State border into Pennsylvania. It was created in 1965 when the Kinzua Dam in Warren, Pa. was built to protect the City of Pittsburgh from floods that had ravaged the area for decades. Before construction on the dam could begin, the federal government and the US Army Corp of Engineers had to force the removal of people living along the river and take their lands. But the Canandaigua Treaty of 1794, one of the first accords signed by the US government, had preserved much of the land needed for the project for the Senecas. Despite a decade of court battles and an alternate flood-control plan, the Army Corps of Engineers took one-third of the Seneca Territory in breach of the Treaty. Ten thousand acres of hunting and fishing grounds were inundated and homes, churches, schools, and burial grounds were lost, forever altering the Seneca way of life. A 50-year license for the hydropower operations, which generates annual revenues of $13 million dollars, was given to FirstEnergy Corp of Akron, Ohio. That license is set to expire in November 2015. In 2010, the Seneca Nation submitted its Notification of Intent and Pre-Application Document, the first two steps in the regulatory process of applying for the license to operate the Seneca Project upon the expiration of the original license. Lake of Betrayal tells the story of loss, displacement, hope and survival as the film explores the effects on the Seneca Nation resulting from the construction of Kinzua Dam while exploring their current efforts to assume hydropower operations of Kinzua.
Working with Abrams on the documentary are Scott Sackett, the film's producer, and director Paul Lamont. "Lake of Betrayal" has roots in the 1980s, when Lamont worked on "Honorable Nations," a PBS documentary about Seneca land rights. That documentary briefly touched on the Kinzua Dam, and the duo felt it deserved more attention.
Abrams earned a degree in individual studies from JCC and went on to Syracuse University, where he is set to graduate in May 2016 with degrees in sociology and Native American studies. For more information about the project, click here to read an article from The Bradford Era.
The 11th annual JCC women's basketball alumni reunion was held on Saturday, Jan. 9 and drew a large group of former players on Friday and Saturday, and 70-80 family members and friends for the weekend! We so love seeing our alumni come back "home" with their loved ones. Pictured here are our two alumni teams. And just for the record, the pink team beat the grey team 66-54. Once you're part of the green & gold, you're always part of the green & gold! Special thanks to Scott Kindberg, '81, the sports editor for The Post-Journal, for sending along the photo!
We are sad to announce that Cmdr. Wright Brunson Jr. passed away on Jan. 11. Wright was the first alumnus of both JCC and of the former New York Community College System, having earned his associate's degree here in June 1951. Below is a reprint of his obituary. An online guestbook is available here. We'd like to express our pride at his long and proud history of service to our country. Our condolences to his family.
Commander Wright Abel Brunson Jr., Ret. U.S. Navy of Hobe Sound, Fla., passed away Jan. 11, 2016.
Commander Brunson was born in Watertown, N.Y., on June 25, 1931. He was the son of the late Dr. Wright A. Brunson Sr., and the late Floss Reed Brunson.
He graduated from Falconer High School class of 1949, and attended Jamestown Community College. He was the very first graduate of Jamestown Community College, and the very first graduate of the New York Community College System receiving his associate degree in June 1951. In November 1951, he entered the U.S. Navy's Naval Aviation Cadet Program. He was awarded his naval wings of gold and was commissioned an ensign in May 1953. Commander Brunson received his Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif., in February 1965 and an Masters of Science degree in systems management for the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Calif., in 1970.
Commander Brunson's Naval career spanned 26 years and included the Korean and Vietnam wars. His many U.S. assignments included aircraft carrier- based and land-based aviation squadrons involved in antisubmarine warfare flight operations, flight instructor (NAAS Whiting Field), assistant navigator aboard the USS Lake Champlain (CVS-39), patrol plane commander with Patrol Squadron Twenty Three (VP-23), current operation office with Fleet Air Wing Six, operations and briefing officer assigned to the National Military Command Center, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Commanding Officer of the Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant in Dallas, Texas.
Upon his retirement for the U.S Navy in June 1975, he was employed by a number of aerospace firms. His 21-year civilian career ended in October 1996 when he retired from his regional manager's position with Lear Astronics Corp. of Santa Monica, Calif.
Commander Brunson with his wife, the late Nancy Harkins Brunson, co-authored the book, Grieve Not for Wrightsie, that chronicled the family experiences during the 11 month terminal illness of their 8 year old son, Wright III. In July 1978, the manuscript was published by Logos International, Plainfield, N.Y.
Commander Brunson is survived by his wife, Phylis Burke Harrison of Hobe Sound, Fla., (formerly of Mayville, N.Y.); his daughter, Elizabeth M. Brunson of New York City; stepdaughters: Beth Anne Renswick of Ashland, Va., Marcia H. Trantas of Baltimore, Md., and Tucson, Ariz., Julie H. Manley LaTulipe of Guilderland, N.Y., and Christine Harrison of Springfield, N.J.; and his granddaughter, Sarah LaTulipe of Guilderland, N.Y.
Commander Brunson was predeceased in death by his son, Wright III, in September 1972; by his wife, Nancy Harkins Brunson of Danbury, Conn., and Arlington, Texas, in May 1994; and by his wife, Joyce Sullivan-Brunson of Danbury, Conn., and Sun City Hilton Head, S.C., in June 2005. He was also predeceased in death by his sister, Patricia Brunson Sampsell of Sinclairville, N.Y., and Ponce Inlet, Fla.; his twin sister, Nancy Brunson Price of Fluvanna, N.Y.; and sister, Janet Brunson Bloomquist of the Falconer-Kennedy Road, N.Y.
A traditional Anglican burial service will be conducted during the Summer of 2016 at Fort Meyers Chapel in Arlington, Va., and inurnment will take place at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.
Local arrangements are entrusted to Aycock-Young and Prill Chapel in Stuart, Fla.
Craig Hinderleider, '05, has been named the new general manager of the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena by the Jamestown Center City Development Corp. Hinderleider was previously the arena's interim general manager.
As general manager, Hinderleider will oversee all operations and functions of the arena. When the ice arena opened its doors in 2002, Hinderleider began working at the ice arena as a part-time Zamboni driver while he was working on his degrees. In 2005, he graduated from JCC with an associate's degree in math and science. He went on to earn a bachelor's degree from Fredonia in accounting in 2008. After his graduation, Hinderleider was promoted as the arena's operations manager, overseeing ice maintenance and general procedure. He earned another promotion in 2014 when he was appointed assistant general manager.
''I have been dedicated to this building since the day the doors opened and I am honored and excited to take on this new role. With my experience and knowledge of this arena, I am confident in my abilities to lead the JSBA into this new, exciting era for downtown Jamestown,'' Hinderleider told The Post-Journal.
Hinderleider is an alumnus of the Jamestown Lakers and participates in the Jamestown Adult Hockey League. He has also earned several certifications through Serving the American Rinks, the educational leader for ice rink managers in the United States, including that of certified ice technician, certified rink administrator, and certified ice rink manager.
He lives in Jamestown with his wife, Nicole.
Alfred State College has announced that Craig Clark, PE, PhD, Class of 1975, has been promoted to vice president of economic development. His promotion took effect on Jan. 1, 2016.
Associated with Alfred State since 1979, Dr. Clark has served in a variety of teaching and administrative capacities, including professor and chair of the Civil Engineering Technology Department, as well as interim vice president for academic affairs. Since 1996, he has been the dean of the School of Applied Technology in Wellsville, and he is also the executive director of that campus.
At JCC, Dr. Clark earned an associate of science in engineering science. He went on to earn a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Colorado and both a master's degree and a Ph.D. in civil engineering from North Carolina State University. He has completed course work at Carnegie-Mellon University, College Management Program, Heinz School of Public Policy and Management.
Dr. Skip Sullivan, president of Alfred State, said, “Dr. Clark has done a terrific job in each position he has held at our college. We are excited that he will continue to accomplish great things for not only Alfred State, but Allegany County, as well.”
Curt Crandall, chairman of the Allegany County Board of Legislators, said, “We are looking forward to working with Dr. Clark as he takes on this new position, especially given his background and all that he has achieved for both Alfred State and Allegany County already.”
In his new role, Dr. Clark is responsible for developing and implementing an economic and industrial development program for Allegany County, with an emphasis on attracting businesses and industries to locate within the county and promoting expansion of existing businesses and industries. Work is performed under the general direction of the County Board of Legislators Planning and Economic Development Committee. He will continue to be college liaison with the START-UP NY program, Empire State Development, Appalachian Regional Commission, and other grant-funding and economic development organizations related to the college.
“The Bio-refinery Development and Commercialization Center is also a project that I will continue to work on to assure we have the funds to develop this exciting facility, which will lead to larger commercial plants,” Dr. Clark said.
As dean of the Wellsville campus, Dr. Clark has established many educational and business partnerships that stressed what is typically one of the top drivers behind economic development: workforce development. All educational programs continue to be updated and new programs in welding technology, machine tool technology, motorsports technology, and heavy equipment operations have been created and implemented. Most of the new Wellsville programs and many curriculum updates have been implemented using more than $1.9 million in grants from the Appalachian Regional Commission.
Other major grants that have improved programs across the college include $1 million from the Gleason Foundation for manufacturing programs, $2.9 million from NYSERDA that developed clean-energy programs statewide, and $3.2 million to develop advanced manufacturing programs at Burgard High School. The Wellsville campus continues to improve its facilities through the Educational Foundation and private and public grant support, including the construction of the Zero Energy Home, the new 30,000-square-foot Construction Industry Workforce Development Center, and the new 16,500-square-foot Advanced Manufacturing Center, which is the first state-funded building on the Wellsville campus.
“My contacts developed over the past 20 years as dean of applied technology will greatly assist in this transition,” he said. “My 18 years on the Alfred Village Board of Trustees, including eight years as mayor, have also prepared me for the economic development role at the college.”
Dr. Clark said given the strong educational institutions in Allegany County, economic development will be easier than in some areas.
“I am often told by visitors from companies that they wish they had these educational institutions in their backyard,” he said. “Now, the goal is to attract these companies to our backyard to assure economic development success in the county.”
Niagara Therapy LLC recently welcomed Class of 2015 alumna and USA Scholar Jillianne Higgs, COTA/L, as their newest therapist. Jillianne, who earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Occupational Therapy, has experience with children and seniors and will be serving those patients in her work. Jillianne, who recently completed her training in the neuro stretch protocol and orthopedic management of the contracted joint, will specialize in neurological impairments. Congratulations, Jillianne!
Joan V. Cusimano Lindquist, Class of 1960, has released her third book about the history of Brooklyn Square in Jamestown.
"Remembering Brooklyn Square: The 1930s to the 1960s" is an incredibly comprehensive look at the last three decades in the more than 100-year existence of Brooklyn Square. It contains personal narratives written by those who knew the old Brooklyn Square and many who owned businesses there, along with information about businesses and buildings that occupied the Square. The largest section is full of impressions and memories of the Square and takes readers on a nostalgic journey through old Brooklyn Square. It even includes a chapter featuring an article about Teddy Roosevelt's visit to Brooklyn Square on Nov. 1, 1900, where he gave is first political speech in western New York.
The book is now available at Off the Beaten Path Book Store in Lakewood and the Fenton History Center in Jamestown. Orders may also be placed by contacting the author via email at scandit [at] att.net. Cost is $24.95.
Alumnus Tom Narraway was recently appointed as the Probation Director for the Chautauqua County Probation Department. His appointment, made by Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan, was effective on Oct. 1, 2015.
Narraway has served as the department's interim probation director since the former director retired in May 2014. He has been with the department for 13 years, serving as a probation officer from 2002 to 2006, a senior probation officer from 2006 to 2013, and a probation supervisor from 2013 to 2014. Prior to working for the probation department, he was a correction officer at the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office.
Narraway earned a degree in criminal justice at Jamestown Community College and a bachelor's degree in criminal justice at the State University of New York at Buffalo.