Alejandra Rivas '10

International student leaves with many life lessons

Alejandra Rivas '10, a native of Honduras, chose to attend Geneseo after friends recommended the school to her. A communications major, she intends to pursue a career in the fashion industry. She spent the spring semester as an intern in College Communications, honing her graphic design and writing skills. As she prepares to graduate, Alejandra shares her thoughts about Geneseo, and what she'll take with her on her journey.

By the end of my senior year of high school I was pretty desperate to go abroad and make my way. It wasn't to move away from home and my family; I simply wanted to experience the challenge and thrill of being "on my own."

Although I felt ready for this new challenge, once the time came, leaving home was probably the hardest thing I have had to do. I left Honduras with an idea of what Geneseo is like. I had visited my older sister, Laura Rivas '01, and knew some of her friends that were still on campus. This definitely made the transition easier, yet because I was an incoming freshman and they were all seniors, I still had a lot of adjusting to do and friends to make.

It took a couple of years to feel comfortable in my new culture, yet it was in learning how to cope with certain anxieties such as my homesickness and academic stress that have made this experience that much better. Being on my own has helped me learn how to take control of certain situations, which has fostered a greater sense of responsibility and independence.
Life at Geneseo has been everything I expected it to be — from the challenges to my accomplishments, and the good and fun times.

Through my academic interests, including courses and internships, I have had the opportunity to meet and work with much of the faculty and staff on campus, as well as community members. In public relations courses, I worked with business owners and town board members in the upstate New York area as my fellow classmates and I redesigned or created logos, brochures, and marketing strategies and materials to improve towns' and businesses' image, outreach and appeal to the public.

The relationships I have established outside of the classroom have exceeded even my own expectations of what I would find at college.
I joined the Royal Lady Knights (RLK), a local social service organization, as a freshman. I can truly say that being a member has been the highlight of my college years. In RLK, I met some of my closest friends. Our bonds are indescribable. Without them, my college experience would not have been complete. On the other hand, getting to know faculty and staff outside the classroom has added more friends to my list.

The faculty and staff that I have gotten close to have also become part of my Geneseo family. They have been with me every step of the way. They have acted as a guiding force in my academic and personal endeavors. They care not only about my successes but also about my well-being.

The people I have met have marked four of my most memorable years. Each person has brought out a different aspect and quality of my personality. In turn, I have gotten to know myself better. The coolest thing is that I have been able to consciously acknowledge the "before and after" of my personal growth.

Although leaving home and going abroad for college has been the hardest thing I have done, it is the best decision I have made.

Now, when I think of the second-hardest thing I will have to do, it is the thought of leaving my friends. I believe that living with my friends has made the college experience that much more unique. Once again I find myself in a position in which I must make a difficult change, but know I feel ready for the new challenges. I look forward to what lies ahead.

                                                                             — Alejandra Rivas '10



Faculty, student win Fulbright awards

Three faculty members and a graduating student have been awarded prestigious Fulbright grants to further their studies in their field of expertise.


  • Stephan Derne, professor of sociology, has received a U.S. Department of Education Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Program fellowship to conduct research on "Well Being in India." He will conduct interviews in Dehra Dun, the capital of India's new state of Uttarakhand, from July 2011 to December 2011.
  • Denise Benoit Scott, associate professor of sociology, has
    received a Fulbright-Nehru Award to teach in India from July through
    December 2010. She will teach at the H.N.B. Garhwal University in
    Srinagar, Uttarakhand, on the topic of women and empowerment.
  • Linda Steet, associate professor of education and women's
    studies, received a Fulbright Lectureship to teach at the University of
    Jordan in Amman in the American Studies and Women's Studies Center for the entire 2010-11 academic year.
  • Hannah Birdsall '10, who is graduating with a degree in childhood education and special education, is headed to Madrid, Spain, on a Fulbright award this September to June 2011 to teach English to high-schoolers. Birdsall studied in Costa Rica during her undergraduate experience and is teaching English to migrant workers this summer. After her Fulbright teaching assistantship, she plans to earn a master's degree from Rochester Institute of Technology in deaf education.


College honors retirees and employee service

Christie Reed with President DahlThe college honored 11 employees who retired in 2009-10 and 229 others for their years of service during the annual Service Recognition and
Retiree Luncheon May 5. President Christopher C. Dahl also presented the 2010 Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Classified Service and three Geneseo Pride Awards.

Christie Reed, keyboard specialist in the Office of Admissions,
received the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Classified Service.
She was cited for going above and beyond to assist parents, co-workers,
academic departments, staff and students seeking services from the
department. SUNY established the award last year to recognize superior
performance and extraordinary achievement by employees in the classified service.

The college presented Geneseo Pride Awards to Kimberly Harvey,
assistant director of residence life; Diane Lounsbury, secretary in
the political science and international relations department; and Susan
, director of the Xerox Center for Multicultural Education in the
School of Education. Thirteen were nominated for the award, which  recognizes significant contributions of non-teaching full-time or part-time employees in advancing the goals and mission of Geneseo.

Harvey's nomination noted her leadership abilities resulting in higher
levels of responsibility within residential life. Lounsbury's nomination came from the entire department and cited her ability to handle her responsibilities with cheer and efficiency. Norman's nomination described her as a prime example of an employee whose passion for her position is reflected in her performance and demonstration of Geneseo's shared values.

The 11 retirees honored were James Allen; Steven Benchik; Penny Bovee, Kevin Callan; Richard Canfield; Linda Erwin; David Kelly; Deborah Lambert; Deborah Mott; and James Stenger. Retiree Shirley Farley was recognized posthumously. Her parents, Evelyn and Francis Farley, received the recognition in her memory.

Also honored were 119 faculty and staff who completed 10, 15, 20, 25,
30, 35 and 40 years of service in 2009, and 110 faculty and staff with
more than 25 years of service to the college.




  • Athletic teams win record SUNYAC championships

When the men's and women's track and field teams set a new school record by sweeping their respective competitions at last weekend's State University of New York Athletic Conference championships, they helped the college break a new record.

The teams' performances raised the number of championships won this year to nine —  the most for one academic year in the history of Geneseo's intercollegiate athletic program.

The Blue Knights also won championships in the 2009-10 academic year in women's tennis, women's soccer, men's and women's swimming and diving, and men's and women's cross country .

  • Faculty member wins lifetime achievement award from U.N. association

ChiericiRose-Marie Chierici, associate professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology, will receive this year's Lifetime Achievement Award from the United Nations Association of Rochester (UNAR).

The organization presents the award to an organization or individual within the community who has shown a dedication to the advancement of global peace and spread of humanity. The UNAR cited her dedication to making a positive difference in developing impoverished areas of Haiti, even before the recent devastating earthquake struck that country. The association is saluting her "excellent lifelong scholarship and sincerity in applying social anthropological theory through work with H.O.P.E. for Haiti and Partners in Health."

Chierici is a founder of H.O.P.E. and will receive the award at UNAR's 65th annual meeting and awards dinner May 19.


  • Chemistry professor earns teaching accolade

GiegerThe State University of New York Board of Trustees has named David Geiger, professor and chair of the chemistry department, a distinguished teaching professor — the highest system tribute conferred upon SUNY instructional faculty.

Geiger is one of nine SUNY faculty members named a distinguished teaching professor this year. Fifteen other SUNY faculty received the distinguished rank: six were named distinguished professors for achieving national or international prominence within their field, and nine were named distinguished service professors.

  • "Real World Geneseo" receives grant

Susan Norman, director of the Xerox Center for Multicultural Teacher Education, and Fatima Rodriquez Johnson, coordinator of the Office of Multicultural Programs and Services, have received the SUNY Office of Diversity and Educational Equity grant award for to create "Real World Geneseo 2."

The multi-phase project is designed to increase cultural competency among students, faculty and staff in the academic setting. The $10,000 one-year grant is awarded through a new SUNY initiative which supports innovative approaches that illuminate and strengthen the intersections between diversity and academic excellence. "Real World Geneseo" also was supported last year by a $10,000 award from the same office. Last January, students spent four days at a special workshop that provided opportunities to probe issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, class, power and privilege. 

  •  Equestrian rider wins national competition

Katie Roberts '11Katie Roberts '11 is the first Geneseo equestrian team rider to place in a national equestrian championship event and the first from the college ever to qualify for the national championships.

Earlier this month, Roberts placed third in the nation in the individual hunt seat open equitation event at the 2010 Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (ISHA) National Championships at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.


  • French Honor Society inducts new members

The Mu Iota Chapter of the National French Honor Society at Geneseo recently inducted 22 undergraduate students. Chapter President Julia McDaniel '12 and Chapter Moderator Associate Professor Beverly J. Evans officiated.

Inducted were: Maria Barbaglia '10, Armend Berisha '11, Emily Borghard '11, Emilei Cantrell '11, Jillian Capewell '10, Justin Christy '10, Michael Forgione '11, Philip Gagnon '10, Emily Genco '11, Donna Hanrahan '11, Elizabeth Holdsworth '10, Mary Grace Hubert '11, Paul McIntyre '10, William Labate '10, Olivia Occelli '11, Cladia Plantin '12, Deanna Richards '10, Thomas Richards '10, Rachel Scott '10, Tanya Shoock '11, Kristine Szalkowski '10 and Leah Tallman '12.

Two honorary members were also inducted from the department of Foreign Languages and Literatures — graduate assistant Souleymane Ba and secretary Paula Bill.

Several faculty members as well as Jorge Rogachevsky of St. Mary's College of Maryland, Donna Wilkerson of SUNY Brockport and several friends of inductees also attended the event.




  • Now through On Friday, May 21, in the Brodie Fine Arts Building Lederer Gallery, the All-County High School Show is on diplay. There is a closing reception on May 21, from 4 to 6 p.m.
  • From Saturday, June 12-June 16, in the Brodie Fine Arts Building Lockhart Gallery, there will be the Livingston Potpourri Members Show. The closing reception is Saturday, June 12, from 2 to 4 p.m.




Photo of the week ...

Anne Verdino at commencement












Ken Wickey '10 throw the shot put

 Katy Nowak `10

 Maintenance sets up commencement chairs










































































 Retirees at luncheon with President Dahl




























































































































































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May 12, 2010

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