Students to Showcase Excellence at Sixth Annual GREAT Day April 17; National Geographic Archaeologist to Speak

GENESEO, N.Y. -- An estimated 900 SUNY Geneseo students will participate in a daylong campus celebration April 17 by showcasing their research accomplishments and creative talents during the college's sixth annual GREAT Day - Geneseo Recognizing Excellence, Achievement & Talent. The students will share their work with visitors through presentations, exhibits and performances.

"GREAT Day is one of the most wonderful things we do on this campus," said Geneseo Provost Carol Long. "It's a spring celebration, a symposium that celebrates student and faculty scholarship, performance and creative activity. It's a full day of involvement that shows the great richness of our students' work well-supported by our faculty."

Watch Provost Long discuss GREAT Day 2012.

National Geographic archaeologist and explorer Fredrik Hiebert, one of the discoverers of Afghan cultural history, will deliver the GREAT Day keynote address, "Afghanistan: Cultural Crossroads Then and Now," as the speaker for this year's Jack and Carol Kramer Endowed Lectureship. The lecture series is endowed by SUNY Geneseo alumni Jack and Carol Kramer, both 1976 Geneseo graduates. His address begins at 1:45 p.m. in Wadsworth Auditorium.

In 2003, Hiebert began a National Geographic project in Afghanistan that has become famous around the world. Working with museum curators at the Kabul National Museum in Afghanistan, he led the team that conducted an inventory of the newly discovered treasures of the museum: art objects and archaeological finds which had been hidden for their protection during a tumultuous decade of civil war.

After years of study and archival work, a selection of the objects has appeared as a special National Geographic exhibition around the United States and Europe. Fred curated this exhibition in addition to working to secure the cultural heritage of Afghanistan through advocacy, training and development of museum resources. In addition, he has been active in working with U.S. armed forces on developing a program of cultural heritage awareness for service members. Hiebert also has traced trade routes overland and across the seas for more than 20 years. He also conducts underwater archaeology projects in the Black Sea and in South America's highest lake, Lake Titicaca, in search of submerged settlements.

Hiebert completed his doctorate at Harvard in 1992 and held the Robert H. Dyson chair of archaeology at the University of Pennsylvania before joining the National Geographic Society in 2003. He extends the enthusiasm for archaeology to the public in lectures, presentations, films and museum exhibits.

In addition to endowing the GREAT Day Lecture Series, Jack and Carol Kramer have provided major support for other Geneseo programs. In 2004, they established The Carol Kramer Endowed Scholarship for Excellence in Psychology and The Jack Kramer Endowed Scholarship for Excellence in Physics, merit awards that provide tuition assistance for students who demonstrate financial need and show a strong commitment to their field of study inside and outside of the classroom.

No classes are scheduled at Geneseo April 17 to accommodate GREAT Day events. The lecture and all GREAT Day events are open to the public without charge.

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