For Immediate Release — Thursday, May 4, 2006


Mary E. McCrank

Media Relations Officer

(585) 245-5516

Calvin J. Gantt appointed director of Access Opportunity Program at SUNY Geneseo

GENESEO, N.Y. — Calvin J. Gantt has been appointed director of the Access Opportunity Program (AOP) for the State University of New York at Geneseo.

His responsibilities will include overseeing all aspects of AOP, including the admission process for students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, as well as for students who are from various underrepresented minority groups, adult students 24 years of age or older, and immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for less than six years. Gantt assumed his new duties April 5.

Geneseo's AOP administers comprehensive services including admissions, financial aid and academic support to students in the program. Equal Opportunity Program (EOP) was initiated in 1968 to provide academically and economically disadvantaged minority and white students an opportunity to attend college. In the late 1990s, the program was changed to Access Opportunity Programs, which includes both the state's EOP program and the locally sponsored Transitional Opportunity Program (TOP). The EOP and TOP programs have assisted 367 students this year.

Gantt brings with him into his new role vast experience from his roles at Geneseo and other area higher education institutions, said Geneseo Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Katherine Conway-Turner.

"As assistant director of AOP, Calvin has been a wonderful and talented resource to the AOP programs for many years, and I look forward to working with him closely as the new Director of AOP," said Conway-Turner. "Calvin's commitment and dedication to students is well known, and he is described by students as an outstanding mentor, advisor and friend."

Gantt came to Geneseo in September 1998 to serve as assistant director of AOP. He previously worked at Monroe Community College (MCC), where he served as generalist counselor in the Student Services Center from 1995-98, and at SUNY Brockport, where he served as program coordinator of the Student Activities/Cultural Center from 1994-95. While attending graduate school, he served as a counselor intern, co-coordinator of Students for Educational Excellence and Responsibility and co-coordinator of the Peer Tutoring Program in the Educational Opportunity Program at SUNY Brockport.

Gantt replaces Isom E. Fearn Jr., who in January retired after 32 years of leading Geneseo's AOP, a month before he succumbed to cancer at the age of 64.

"Probably my biggest challenge will be following in the footsteps of Isom Fearn, who was such an icon and model of consistency at Geneseo for such a long period of time," said Gantt. "As his assistant, however, I believe that I am well equipped not only to carry on the legacy of success experienced by the AOP department, but also help lead the staff and students in addressing the many challenges we will be faced with, as technology continues to play a greater role in how counseling and advisement services are handled on college campuses."

Gantt received his bachelor's degree in liberal arts, with a concentration in law and human services, from SUNY Binghamton in 1992, and his master's degree in education, focusing on counselor education with a concentration in multicultural counseling, from SUNY Brockport in 1994. In addition, he anticipates receiving his doctorate of management in December 2008 from the University of Phoenix.

He is a member of the Council of Educational Opportunity Program Directors, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators and the American College Counseling Association.

He was named a New York Government Scholar in 1992, received a Minority Graduate Fellowship in 1992-94 and was recognized in 1998 with the Dr. Alice H. Young Teaching Internship Program.

A Bronx, N.Y., native, Gantt lives in Almond, N.Y. An avid volleyball player, Gantt coached volleyball teams at MCC, Brockport and Binghamton. He enjoys discussing politics and in the future hopes to open an adult daycare and retirement home with his partner of six years.