Apr. 04, 2013

Students to Showcase Excellence at Seventh Annual GREAT Day April 16; Former New York Times Science Reporter to Speak


GENESEO, N.Y. - At least 965 SUNY Geneseo students will participate in a daylong campus celebration April 16 showcasing their research accomplishments and creative talents during the college's seventh annual GREAT Day - Geneseo Recognizing Excellence, Achievement & Talent. Students representing all academic departments of the college will be sharing their work with visitors through presentations, exhibits and performances.

"GREAT Day is growing every year and with good reason," said Geneseo Provost Carol Long. "It celebrates the accomplishments of our students and faculty through scholarship, performance and creative activity. I look forward to GREAT Day every year because it powerfully affirms the strength of a liberal arts education."

Author Dava Sobel, a former New York Times science reporter, will deliver the GREAT Day keynote address, "Bringing Copernicus to Life in Prose and Script," 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. Her address begins at 1:45 p.m. in Wadsworth Auditorium.

Her address is based on a stage play Sobel wrote about Copernicus, "And the Sun Stood Still," which portrays the events that made him buck common sense and received wisdom to defend the Earth's motion around the sun. It's a familiar favorite theme of Sobel's: the great transformation of humankind's worldview through science."

Sobel is the author of "Longitude," "Galileo's Daughter," "The Planets" and "A More Perfect Heaven." In her 40 years as a science journalist, she has written for many magazines, including Audubon, Discover, Life and The New Yorker. She also has served as a contributing editor to Harvard Magazine and Omni and co-authored five books, including "Is Anyone Out There?" with astronomer Frank Drake. She received the 2001 Individual Public Service Award from the National Science Board for fostering awareness of science and technology among broad segments of the general public.

Sobel received her bachelor's degree from SUNY Binghamton in 1969 and was awarded two honorary doctor of letters degrees in 2002, one from the University of Bath, in England, and the other from Middlebury College in Vermont.

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. Jack Kramer is president of the Geneseo Foundation.

No classes are scheduled at Geneseo April 16 to accommodate GREAT Day events. The keynote address and all GREAT Day events are open to the public without charge.

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