GENESEO, N.Y. - - SUNY Geneseo welcomed 1,009 new freshmen to campus this week as students moved into their residence hall rooms, attended Weeks of Welcome activities and met their professors for the first time in class.
"They're as talented and diverse as any group we've ever enrolled," said Kris Shay, director of admissions.
The academic profile confirms the observation: The median high school average for the class is 94; the median SAT score (composite of critical reading and math) is 1330. For the past several years, Geneseo's average has been about 300 points higher than the national composite average for all U.S. college students taking the test.
Equally impressive is the diversity of talent they represent. This year's class includes more student government leaders, team captains, award-winning writers and accomplished musicians, actors, and athletes than ever before.
"I've heard it said that high academic achievers tend to be too narrowly focused," said Shay, "but nothing could be further from the truth."
Geneseo's admissions committee selected the entering class from more than 10,000 applications. Total estimated enrollment this year will be 5,693 (5,500 undergraduates and 193 graduate students). Once again, the applicant pool was so strong that the college reluctantly denied admission to many highly-accomplished students. Rather than turning them away, Shay identified the top group of applicants from the waiting list and offered them admission to the spring term. Last year, more than 100 students accepted the offer and joined the Class of 2014 in January, taking the place of students graduating at mid-year or studying abroad.
First-time students are joined by a strong class of transfers and the largest class of international students in the college's history.
During student convocation Aug. 28, Geneseo Theater Professor Melanie Blood addressed "Transformational Learning at Geneseo," advising new students to take advantage of opportunities outside of their major that a liberal arts college like Geneseo affords them.
"We provide a variety of opportunities that can serve as a catalyst to transformational learning," said Blood. "Study abroad, research and creative collaboration with faculty, leadership opportunities in clubs and student life, service opportunities in the local community and aboard. The space to reflect analytically on these catalytic experiences is what creates the transformation in the individual's understanding of self, of individual's beliefs and of individual's behaviors."
At the opening faculty convocation Aug 26, Geneseo President Christopher C. Dahl recognized recent 2011 award recipients:
SUNY Board of Trustees Distinguished Professorship Honors
Kurtis Fletcher, Distinguished Teaching Professor of Physics
Dennis Showers, Distinguished Teaching Professor of Education
SUNY Geneseo Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching
Melanie Blood, professor of theater
Robert Doggett, associate professor of English
Aaron Heap, assistant professor of mathematics
Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Faculty Service
Douglas Baldwin, professor of computer science
Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities
Tze-ki Hon, professor and chair of the department of history
Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service
Paul Jackson, assistant director for information systems in the department of computing and information technology
Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Classified Service
Stacy Colt, for position of Secretary I in the department of communicative disorders and sciences
President's Award for Excellence in Academic Advising
Andrew Herman, professor and chair of the department of communication
President's Award for Excellence in Research and Creativity
Kevin Militello, associate professor biology
President's Award for Outstanding Professional Service
John Haley, systems manager in the division of administration and finance
Drs. Carol and Michael Harter Endowment for Faculty Mentoring Award
Thomas Greenfield, professor of English
Joseph M. O'Brien Award for Excellence in Part-Time Teaching
Maria del Rocio Vallejo-Alegre, lecturer of languages and literatures
James and Julia Lockhart Supported Professorship for Research and Creative Activities
Rose-Marie Chierici, associate professor and chair of the department of anthropology
Dr. Spencer J. Roemer Supported Professorship
Susan Bandoni Muench, professor of biology