WELCOME FROM THE DIRECTOR
Hello, my name is Calvin J. Gantt, and I am the Director of the Isom E. Fearn Access Opportunity Programs (AOP) at SUNY Geneseo. It is indeed my pleasure and honor to welcome you to the AOP Department's webpage. As a member of the Division of Academic Affairs, the AOP department and its staff, is dedicated to helping all students develop not only their academic potential, but also their interpersonal and community-building skills. As a department we work with students from a variety of academic, cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. We pride ourselves on being able to provide students with excellent academic advisement, career guidance, educational and emotional support. As a member of the AOP department, you become part of an environment of support and encouragement that holds students in high regard, while also assisting students in challenging themselves to be the best they can be personally and academically. And, as a member of both Geneseo as well as the wider community of citizens, you can rest assured that your academic career here will be an intellectually challenging one.
Perhaps you agree with the biblical exhortation “For of those to whom much is given, much is required.” (Luke 12:48). This program provides ample opportunities for students to grow and become all they are capable of being. It is our hope and expectation that, as members of the AOP department, the Geneseo community and the world community, students will become active participants in pursuit of social justice.As such, this liberal arts environment will challenge you to examine your place in this world, not only as a student, but as a citizen. The AOP department will be there to assist you as you grow into the person you hope to be.
In closing, I would like to offer a few motivating thoughts that I have adopted from both Richard Carlson, author of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it's all small stuff, as well as Dennis Kimbro, author of Daily Motivations for African-American Success. Carlson, in Chapter 28 of his book, encourages us to “Seek First to Understand”, when it comes to learning as well as developing interpersonal relationships. He alludes to the fact that most of us seek to be understood, which creates communication barriers, chaos and the clashing of egos (p. 73-74). He encourages us to spend the time really hearing each other out and in doing so, develop deeper relationships and respect for different points of view.
As cited in Dennis Kimbro’s Daily Motivations for African-American Success, the late George Washington Carver, inventor and educator, stated that, “Most people search high and
wide for the key to success. If they only knew the key to their dreams lies within” (January 12th. As you begin the process of applying for colleges that will meet your academic expectations, remember to take the time to think clearly about the role that motivation, attitude and sheer determination have played in your academic development thus far. As a college student, you will be challenged to take those internal skills to a higher level…the question is, how committed are you to your academic success? It is this level of self-assessment that you must reach in order to be successful in your academic, personal and professional lives. It is our commitment to help you start on this journey…welcome aboard!