Janielle Zinna Kovacik '97

Photo of Janielle Zinna Kovacik

Friday Knight Alumni Spotlight Q&A

Tell us about yourself. Where you live now, career, and/or family news. What have you been up to since you left Geneseo?
I moved back to Congers (the town I grew up in) in 2019. I am a speech-language pathologist for the North Rockland Central School district and a former union Vice President, but I gave that up when I had my son 3 years ago. I love my career and am proud to have survived this past year in the public schools during the pandemic. I got married to my husband Chris in 2014 and we had our son, the joy of our lives, in 2018.

What motivates you to work hard?
My family, the children I serve, the inspiration of my dad who always worked hard at everything.
What trait do you like most about yourself?
My ability to make people feel comfortable and calm. I tend to be able to put things in perspective for people and help them not to worry as much. I’ve also been told I’m a decent public speaker.    

Who are your heroes in real life?
My dad who recently passed. I was devastated but I carry everything he taught me in my heart every single day.        

What are you passionate about?
Being kind, respect and equality for women, raising my son to be a good person who is respectful to women, and helping children to be better communicators.    

Are you related or distantly related to anyone famous?    
I don’t think so. My family descends from Sicily, Italy so we have a lot of fun Italian-American traditions and expressions that I want to make sure my son grows up with.    

If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to and why?    
Any time my dad was alive so I could spend more time with him and 1997, my time at Geneseo were my favorite 4 years of life!!    

What kitchen appliance do you use every day?    
The microwave! I’m not much of a cook but my husband is! I do like to bake though!    

Who is your favorite author?    
Khaled Hosseini    

What was your favorite class or professor at Geneseo?
Dr. Robert Owens- he made learning about childhood language development pure joy and entertainment.

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