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. Throughout the 2017-18 academic year, we will offer a variety of guest speaker presentations at local schools. In these presentations, 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.


Patty Thompson, Instructor, 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.

Contact Patty Thompson

Current and Future Opportunities in Criminal Justice

James Sconfietti, Associate Professor, Social Science

In his topic of discussion, James Sconfietti will share with the audience his academic background and career path in law enforcement. James will also talk about the current job market in criminal justice, and he will discuss the preparation process students go through in order to become successfully employed in this field.

Contact James Sconfietti

Developing Skills for Success through Athletics

Robert Lowden, Director of Athletics

Robert Lowden will discuss his background in athletics, and he will share with the audience what he has learned in this field and how it has helped him excel in education and in his career. Robert will also explore the types of skills students can acquire in athletics that may not be obtainable in the classroom.

Contact Robert Lowden

Expanding your Pathway and Mindset with International Travel

Michael VanEtten, Assistant Professor, Humanities Department

Travel, language, and cultural studies can be used to strengthen any career path. Enhancing yourself in these areas can set you apart from other students in academic programs, transfer schools, and employment. Michael VanEtten will share his field experience and study abroad excursions in his topic presentation, and he will share how adding travel, language, and cultural studies to any program can increase your marketability in the workplace.

Contact Michael VanEtten

Food Processing: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Izy Grooms, Assistant Professor, Science/Technology

Izy Grooms will cover how food processing has changed since the 1970's and relate it to common concerns around disease risk, obesity, and whole foods versus processed foods. She will also chat about the excessive amounts of fat, sodium, and sugar that are added to our foods and the effects this all has on our health.

Contact Izy Grooms

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

Derrick Gentry, Instructor, 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.

Contact Derrick Gentry

Letting Go While Holding On. A Quick Guide For Families.

Sarah Whiffen, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs

Sarah Whiffen will focus her presentation on how to prepare students and families for the shift they will endure when transitioning to a college environment. She will help families understand the basic enrollment processes of a college, introduce them to some of the common "lingo" that is used, and provide an overview of how to maximize the services on a college campus to help the student succeed.

Contact Sarah Whiffen

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.

Contact Dawn Hess

Overcoming Adversity Through Curiosity and Self-Empowerment

Trista Merrill, Professor, Humanities Department

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.

Contact Trista Merrill

The Best Audio Engineers are Musicians

Jonathan Belec, Assistant Professor, Music/Music Recording

A career in music recording involves education, experience, ambition, and excellent communication skills. Even if it is your goal to focus on gaming or sound design, a basic knowledge of music theory is essential. Jon Belec will focus his presentation on the various options that exist in audio, and how understanding the language of music plays an important role.

Contact Jonathan Belec

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.

Contact Selim Araci

Viticulture and Wine Technology within the Finger Lakes

Gina Lee, Technical Specialist–Viticulture/Wine Technology

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.

Contact Gina Lee

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.

Contact Clinton Krager

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.

Learn More

Contact Us

Carol S. Urbaitis
Vice President of Enrollment Management

Room: 1282
Phone: (585)785-1635
Fax: (585)393-1445