AOP Alumni Connection for Excellence (ACE)
Research in both educational settings and in the workplace indicates that students and employees alike are more likely to succeed if they have had a mentor. Although mentors are useful for everyone, sometimes organizations implement mentoring programs to support particular parts of their populations, often newer employees (or in our case new students). And while mentoring programs are always set up with the best of intentions, their results are often mixed. The goal of this mentoring program, however, is to assist students with developing the skills necessary to make the most effective use of mentoring opportunities both in their academic as well as in their personal and professional lives. The ACE participants are eager to assist you through this developmental process and are willing to provide you with some sound advice regarding many of the academic and/or social choices that can play a crucial role in your future success.
Please note that all members of ACE are Geneseo alumni who have experienced similar cultural, social, academic and/or personal adjustments as many of you. The joy of their mentoring, however, will be not only to explain how they did it, but to ensure you that you too can accomplish your short term goal of completing your education at SUNY Geneseo.
Any suggestions and/or feedback on how we can continue to improve the connection program would be greatly appreciated and welcomed! On behalf of the AOP department, we look forward to the journey that we will embark upon with each other, and we hope that the connections you make here will springboard your overall success as a student at SUNY Geneseo.
If you are are an AOP alum looking to participate in the ACE program, please follow the link below to get involved.
AOP Alumni Update Form
Current ACE Participants
Joe Auriemma (Class of 1966)
Education: B.A. Speech Pathology; M.S., Speech Pathology; M.S. Educational Administration
"After graduating from high school, I worked in a factory and played in a band for a year. My confidence as a student was not so great, but I learned that the secret to success was balance. I majored in Speech Pathology, pledged a fraternity and played in a band. I wasn't a scholar, but I studied and socialized and continued my musical interests, graduating cum diploma. I also completed my MS in Speech Pathology at Geneseo. I was a speech therapist in a school in the New York Capital District Area and in 1972 I co-founded and became the President of the Speech & Reading Improvement Center, Inc., a rehab agency that continues to provide speech therapy services to individuals of all ages. I was also an adjunct instructor at the College of St Rose in Albany for fifteen years. Now I'm semi-retired, continuing to serve as administrator with the center and provide staff development training for schools, hospitals, nursing homes and other health related facilities."
Darlene "Dodie" Pritchard Baker (Class of 1966)
Education: B.S. Elementary Education; M.A. Elementary Education; M.A. Reading; CAS, SAS School Administration
"I only went to college because it was expected of me by my parents. In those days, females were either nurses, teachers, secretaries or wives. Geneseo proved to be one of the best experiences of my life. The friendships I made have been life-long. I also met my husband at Geneseo. He was my 'big brother.' I began teaching part-time because we had children. Eventually I ended up teaching full-time for about 23 years. Now I am retired. Reading, nature, handicrafts and doing volunteer work are my interests."
Barbara Finkle (Class of 1968)
Education: B.S. in Education
"I was an Education major at Geneseo originally from Schenectady, I spent most of the years since graduation on the west coast. I now live in Santa Cruz, California and plan to continue teaching 4th grade until I retire (in two years). Art and using technology to enhance education are two of my stronger interests."
Rich Hofman (Class of 1963)
Education: Ed.D. in Education Psychology and Statistics
"I was an intellectual dolt for the first 27 years of my life. For the past 38 years I have been a professor at Miami University in Ohio (Miami was a University before Florida was a state.) I have worked with Masters and Doctoral students in Educational Psychology, School Psychology, School Leadership (administrators), and Curriculum Philosophy . Recently, I have been studying community demographics and how they influence school building and school district performance on standardized tests with a focus on poverty and how people amass experiences and how these experiences lead to attitudes and mind sets that help them make sense of their social world. I have also recently been studying critical race theory (racism)."
Gary Martzolf (Class of 1968)
Education: B.A. in Economics
"I graduated from Geneseo prior to the days of the Business School and spent my entire career working for banks in the investment area. The longest time was with Key Bank as Executive Vice President; I was responsible for portfolio management in the Trust Department. I "retired" from Key in 2003 and went to work for a small bank here in Canton, Ohio that was acquired by Huntington Bank. I retired again (this time for good, I think) earlier this month. I live in Canton, Ohio, about 55 miles south of Cleveland."
Joe Ridky (Class of 1963)
Education: B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Speech Pathology
"I came to Geneseo from a lower-middle class home in Westchester County. I was the first child in my family to ever attend college. Following my 5 1/2 year tenure at Geneseo (I received my M.S. degree by staying another year and two summers) I did seven years of additional graduate work at Syracuse and Georgia State Universities. I remember saying to Dr. Harold Starbuck upon my completion of the Master's degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology, "Do you think I would be successful in a doctorate program?"
Linba Rubino (Class of 1965)
Education: B.S. in Elementary Education
"I taught 3rd & 4th grades for a 4 yrs and then went to work for IBM Experience and I'm still working for them after 38 yrs. I've taught customers how to use IBM office products, make staff assignments, and I'm currently working with assistants and management as a mini Help Desk. As a volunteer, I teach basic computer skills to seniors at a local Senior Center and I'm a member of Soroptimist International, a women's service organization whose goal is to improve the lives of women and girls, locally and throughout the world."
Greg Talcott (Class of 1968)
Education: B.A. in Political Science
"After a stint in the Army I went back to school and got an MA in International Relations from the University of Hawaii. In September 1973, I joined the State Department as a Foreign Service Officer. In addition to several tours in Washington, I served overseas as a Political Officer in Durban, Manila, Auckland, Freetown, and Jakarta. I retired in 1996 and moved to Wellington, New Zealand, then reconnected with the Department in 2002 doing consular work. I'm overseas for four or five months a year, filling in when there are staffing gaps or the workload exceeds what the assigned staff can handle. Otherwise, my wife and I live on a small farm in southern Virginia, two hours south of Roanoke and a mile above the border with North Carolina, where we are trying to grow grapes and produce truffles. (I still have trouble distinguishing one end of a tractor from another, so I'll pass on any questions about farming!)"
George Wilkerson (Class of 1964)
Education: B.A. and M.A. in English; Ph.D. in Educational Administration
"I was told in High School that I wasn't 'college material,' but Geneseo proved that wrong. After leaving Geneseo with a B.A. in English, I taught Junior High School for a year, then went to Syracuse U. for a Masters in Creative Writing (thanks to a caring faculty member). I then taught Senior High school for a year and following that, I wound up teaching at a community college in Virginia and eventually landed in Austin, Texas where I got my Ph.D. in Education and became the first Dean at the newly formed Austin Community College. When an old friend offered me a job with Shell Oil heading a training project in Nigeria, I got into the computer field (a long story) and became a Technical Writer. That led to work at Dell Computers writing and editing software and hardware documentation, then into doing government proposals for an environmental firm, and ultimately working at General Electric and then Lockheed Martin where I got to work on the Operations Manuals for nuclear subs. That was just too technical, so I retired and now I'm teaching composition and literature online for colleges in Texas, New Hampshire, and Florida."