Jul. 11, 2011

Alumni Association Recognizes Commitment to Education, Service and Professional Achievement

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GENESEO, N.Y. - The State University of New York at Geneseo Alumni Association presented awards to five individuals during its summer reunion July 10-11 to recognize their commitment to the association, college and higher education. The association also inducted four alumni into the society of Old Main for their service to the college and three alumni received Minerva Awards for their excellence in librarianship.
Receiving Excellence in Education Awards were Leo Lambert, president of Elon University in Elon, N.C., and Leslie Leibling Yardeni, a middle-school counselor in the Syosset (N.Y.) Central School District. The award is presented to alumni who have achieved extraordinary distinction in the field of education, including pre-K through post-secondary classroom teaching and school services.
Lambert received a bachelor's degree in English from Geneseo in 1976, a master's degree in education from the University of Vermont in Burlington and a doctorate in education from Syracuse University. Before being named president of Elon in 1999, he was provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Geneseo conferred an honorary doctorate of humane letters upon Lambert in 2002 to recognize exceptional achievements in higher education.
"Dr. Lambert is recognized as a leader in higher education and is highly respected by all of his colleagues," said Tanya Gesek, a member of the Geneseo Alumni Association Board of Directors, who presented the awards. "You are a shining star of excellence in the post-secondary world of education and we are proud to count you as a distinguished Geneseo alumnus."

Video: Dr. Lambert  responds to receiving his Excellence in Education Award.
Yardeni received a bachelor's degree from Geneseo in 1996 with a double major in psychology and communicative disorders and sciences. She earned a master's degree in guidance and counseling at Hofstra University.  Her colleagues praise her service to students and their families, saying she has inspired hundreds of students to achieve their goals.
"We are very proud of your accomplishments in continuously working to improve your students' lives," said Gesek.
Bruce Jordan, theater producer and director, received a Distinguished Service Award for making exceptional contributions to the Geneseo Alumni Association. Jordan is a 1966 Geneseo speech education major. After several years of teaching, he decided to pursue his passion for theater. As the original co-producer and director of the stage production "Shear Madness," he took the show on the road in 1978 and it has been on the road ever since. The production is the longest-running stage production in American history.
"Among his many commitments to Geneseo, Bruce is a reunion committee volunteer and consistently enjoys serving as a host to alumni, friends and classmates," said Gesek. "Bruce is a true asset to the alumni association and to our college."
Receiving Professional Achievement Awards were Paul Lambert and John Tournour.  The award goes to Geneseo alumni who have achieved distinction in his or her profession.
Lambert graduated in 1991 with a bachelor's degree in management science. He is the regional managing director of Merrill Lynch and oversees private wealth advisers spanning six Midwestern states. He recently accepted a leadership role as co-chair of the Geneseo Regional Alumni Committee of Chicago and is assisting with broadening the scope of the alumni externship program next spring in Chicago.
"You have distinguished yourself in your profession and are a valued member of the Geneseo community," said Gesek. "We enthusiastically look forward to your continued service to the college."
John Tournour, better known as "J.T. the Brick," graduated in 1987 with a bachelor's degree in communication. He began his career as a stock broker but won the first Jim Rome Smack-Off Contest, which paved his way into radio full time. He has built the largest nationally syndicated sports talk radio show at night in America. He also has been employed with the Oakland Raiders in various media roles. He began as the pre- and post-game host for radio, moving on to sideline reporting and then eventually hosting The Raiders Report, a weekly TV show. 
"Your ascent in the sports media world has been impressive and we congratulate you on your achievements," said Gesek. "We are proud to bestow this award upon you."
June Mitchell, Betty Mitchell Minemier, Joan Swarthout Carlucci and Patricia Southcombe were inducted into the Society of Old Main for their service to Geneseo.  Old Main was one of the earliest buildings on campus. 
Mitchell is a 1941 Geneseo graduate who majored in education and had a very successful career as an administrative librarian. She has served Geneseo well in every aspect through her volunteer efforts and through her generosity in support of the Geneseo library and students. Mitchell is also a member of the Robert MacVittie Society, which recognizes individuals who have the foresight and thoughtfulness to make bequests and other planned gifts to the Geneseo Foundation.
Minemier received her bachelor's degree in education and two master's degrees: library science and English. She enjoyed an outstanding career as an educator and library media specialist. She has served on the Geneseo Alumni Association board since 1982, including a term as board president. Minemier is member of Delta Kappa Gamma International, an international eduator's organization. She and her husband, Bob, have been generous supporters of Geneseo, and she also is a member of the Robert MacVittie Society.
Carlucci graduated in 1961 with a degree in elementary education and was a dedicated teacher for the Warsaw Central School District. She also earned a master's degree and computer diploma from the University at Buffalo and a certificate of advanced study in administration from SUNY Brockport. She served as an adjunct professor at Geneseo, supervising student teachers at the college. She served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors from 1988 - 2010. Carlucci is active in the Alpha Clio (Phi Kappa Pi) sorority, Geneseo's oldest sorority, founded in 1872 as a literary society, and established the Clio Endowment Fund for a Clio student at Geneseo. She also is a member of Delta Kappa Gamma International. Her husband, Chic, is also a 1961 Geneseo graduate and both have been generous supporters of the college.
Southcombe received a bachelor's degree in education in 1961 and also received a master's degree in library science. She enjoyed a very rewarding career as a librarian and library media specialist in several school districts. She served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors from 1963-2011, which included a term as secretary and a term as president. She is a member of the Robert MacVittie Society.
The college presented Minerva Awards to three alumni during the library science reunion reception. Minerva is the Roman goddess of wisdom and protection and Geneseo's Minerva Award recognizes alumni of the college's School of Library and Information Science, or earlier Department of Library Education, for their outstanding achievements and excellence in librarianship.
Receiving Minerva Awards were Helen Rice, Joan Lippincott and Michael Keller. Rice is a 1935 Geneseo graduate, who was on campus for her class's 76th reunion. Rice had a 39-year career in education as a teacher, librarian and curriculum planner in the Irondequoit (N.Y.) School System. She retired in 1973 as assistant superintendent of schools.
Lippincott is a 1974 Geneseo graduate and is the associate executive director of the Coalition for Networked Information in Washington, D.C., a joint program of the Association of Research Libraries and EDUCAUSE. She previously held positions at the libraries of Cornell University, George Washington University and SUNY Brockport. She received a doctorate in higher education policy, planning and administration from the University of Maryland.
Keller, a 1971 master's graduate of Geneseo, is dean of the Stanford University Libraries and was pivotal in establishing HighWire Press as an enterprise within the Stanford Libraries. He is active in the American Association for the Advancement of Science and other scholarly societies, including the Digital Library Federation and the Council on Library and Information Resources.
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