Welcome to the SUNY Geneseo Department of Chemistry. We've put together some useful information, including program descriptions and some information about the out-of-classroom experiences available at Geneseo.
Although the web is a great way to become acquainted with a college, it is no substitute for a visit. After exploring our web page, we hope that your interest is piqued and you plan a visit to Geneseo. Be sure to schedule a meeting with a faculty member and a tour of the Chemistry Department. We welcome you to attend a class, too. You can arrange a campus visit by contacting the Admissions Office. Write, call or e-mail the Chemistry Department Faculty and Staff for further information. We hope to hear from you.
Follow this link to find out about careers in chemistry: Careers in Chemistry
Read what Geneseo's alumni are saying about their experiences below. These former students would also be happy to answer questions you have about the Geneseo chemistry experience.
Ben Peterson, Class of 2012
I had only originally visited Geneseo on a whim, my whole family driving 16 hours from my small home of Nekoosa, Wisconsin and camping at Letchworth State park for a week the summer before my senior year of high school. Even though I was not looking to go so far from home, it was one of the few colleges in the nation that fulfilled my rather narrow requirements: a small, high-quality Biochemistry program where I could interact one-on-one with professors and obtain quality independent research experience, and high-quality DIII cross country and track programs. After that first visit, I felt strongly that Geneseo was perfect for me. After graduating, I can say with full confidence that my initial feeling was spot-on. From developing close working relationships with professors in both the Chemistry and Biology departments and the excellent classes that these professors taught, to the brilliant students around me with whom I could study, to the three years of research on a project I developed by working with members of both departments, I had innumerable opportunities to develop my skills and further my knowledge. Now working with the National Institute of Aging at the Bayview branch of Hopkins Hospital before continuing on to graduate school, I have often been complimented on my ability to ask the right questions the right way, follow evidence to a conclusion, and plan solutions to various problems in the lab. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that this is due to the stellar education I received at Geneseo." Email Ben Peterson.
Lindsay Sperling, Class of 2006
Geneseo helped me to develop key leadership goals through the amazing opportunities that were presented to me through the Chemistry Department. I was able to gain experience through teaching freshman level laboratories as well as become a leader within the department through my participation in the Chemistry/Biochemistry Club. Today I am beginning to make way through graduate school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the physical chemistry division. I could not have achieved these goals without the support I received from the Chemistry Department at Geneseo. The Chemistry Department provided me with more than just education; they were my home away from home. The close-knit community that exists in this Department still amazes me to this day and I was both honored and grateful to be a part of it. Email Lindsay Sperling. Alternate email for Lindsay Sperling.
Dr. Brian Augustine, Class of 1990
Ph.D. University of North Carolina
Professor of Chemistry, James Madison University
… it was my experience at Geneseo that drew me to a place like JMU. It was the close faculty-student interaction, the opportunities for undergraduate research, and the "hands-on" learning that I remember most about Geneseo… Email Dr. Brian Augustine.
Dr. Robert Loewe, Class of 1995
Ph.D. Carnegie Mellon University
Postdoctoral studies—North Carolina State University
“I strongly feel that the department did a fantastic job at teaching me chemistry. I am extremely grateful for the education I received at Geneseo. It has helped me throughout graduate school and continues to do so today. … courses at Geneseo presented an extra degree of detail and information and ultimately led me to a deeper understanding of the material at hand.” Email Dr. Robert Loewe.
Kristen (Schaal) Mulvill, Class of 1996
MS, University of Notre Dame, 1999
OSI Pharmaceuticals, Tarrytown, NY
“I had a great experience as chemistry major at Geneseo. The class sizes were such that I had no issue getting one-on-one attention from the professors. The undergraduate research that I conducted during the school year and in the summers prepared me for the rigorous research that was expected of me in graduate school. I also felt that the level of the classes that I took at Geneseo gave me an edge in graduate school and made the entrance exams much easier. I graduated from the University of Notre Dame with my masters degree in Physical Organic Chemistry. I am now employed at the Rohm and Haas Company in Philadelphia where I am a process chemist. I started out in the Agricultural Chemicals division and am now in the Specialty and Intermediate Chemicals division where I create chemical processes for manufacturing and also deal directly with the customer since we supply some key raw materials for the pharmaceutical industry. With my new job I get to travel all over the world, which has become very exciting.” Email Kristen Mulvill.
Faoud Ishmael, Class of 1996
Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine
“I am currently in the 5th year of the MD/PhD program at the Penn State College of Medicine. I hope to obtain my PhD in Chemical Biology sometime this year before returning to medical school for the final two years of clinical training. I owe much of my current success to the education, experiences, and support of the faculty at Geneseo. While at Geneseo, I was trained as a biochemist and engaged in research in organic chemistry... My research experience, class work, and interaction with the faculty in the chemistry department inspired me to choose this career path…” Email Faoud Ishmael.
Dr. Jamie Vergis, Class of 1996
Ph.D. Yale University
Postdoctoral student, University of Virginia
“Choosing Geneseo for my undergraduate career, without a doubt, was one of the best choices that I have made in my life. I am currently a graduate student at Yale University majoring in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry. When I first came to Yale, I was worried coming from a small college like Geneseo that I wouldn’t be able to compete with the other students from larger universities. Its turns out that the professors in the chemistry department at Geneseo not only prepared me for graduate school, the education that I received was top-notch and just as good, if not better than other students received from those larger universities. The chemistry department at Geneseo was great in watching out for its students. In fact, not only did the professors know the names their students, they actually knew their students and interacted with us on a one-on-one basis daily. It was a great atmosphere for learning, friendship, and fun. I miss Geneseo a lot and I go back and visit the department whenever I get the chance. The things that I remember most are the late nights in Greene studying with other classmates and of course the legendary Class of ’96 Chemistry Club end of year picnic… it hasn’t been topped yet! If I had to do it all over again I wouldn’t change a thing… Geneseo, it is a great school and the chemistry department is wonderful. There are reasons why U.S. News always ranks Geneseo high in its annual report of colleges and universities and the chemistry department is one of them in my opinion.” Email Dr. Jamie Vergis.
Erica Martin, Class of 1997
MS Polymer Science at The University of Akron
Chemist at Rohm and Haas Company working with emulsions in the Spring House Technical Center, Philadelphia, PA
“I think ‘The Chicas’ will be a legend in Greene. The chemistry department was a close-knit family atmosphere which I really connected with - not only did it foster learning but it helped me form lifetime friendships with faculty and fellow students. To this day the girls of the class of '97 chemistry all get together once a year for what we call ‘chica reunions!’” Email Erica Martin.
David Kwiat, Class of 1997
Medical school at Upstate Medical University
"Geneseo is a unique place. As a small college in a semi-rural setting you have the potential to develop a working relationship with your professors which facilitates the entire learning experience. As a student, especially in the chemistry department, you have the potential to be as well prepared as your peers at larger institutions. In recent years Geneseo has become increasingly recognized for its excellence and its reputation has served me well in reaching my career goals." Email David Kwiat.
Dan Fox, Class of 1998
Graduate student at University of California, Berkeley
“…the best part about the Geneseo Chemistry Department was that it was very easy to get to know all the professors, and all of you always had your doors open to us. It was also a very valuable experience to do lab research under a professor both in the summers and during the semester. … I think this sort of experience would be much different in a larger department that has a graduate program.” Email Dan Fox.
Paul Conrow, Class of 1999
MS, Rochester Institute of Technology
High school teacher, Rochester, NY
“During the four years I was at Geneseo, I always believed the chemistry professors were outstanding educators, trustworthy advisors, and in some cases true friends…I was well prepared to handle both the course work and research associated with my degree requirements at RIT…At Geneseo, every chemistry class that I completed was challenging, interesting, and in varying degrees fun to take. Each professor has a unique style or teaching talent…the classes were well presented, practical, and engrossing. Each course helped prepare me to carryout research, and I believe every course will supply me with at least a few great lessons for high school students. The upper level labs at Geneseo, and the guided research project opportunities are truly amazing. The guidance and personal support I received from various professors during my guided research was invaluable…” Email Paul Conrow.
Victor Izzo, Class of 1999
“Well, being a Chem student at Geneseo usually gets a couple of uuuhs and aaahhs. People are so scared of something that is relatively simple. There is no pressure for big term papers, writing programs, or tons of books. All you need to do is...understand stuff. It may sound hard but most of the time it is a team effort. I can remember many late nights hanging out in Greene...trying to study for a test but really just hanging out laughing and talking. Since the department was smaller than most, all of the faculty and students seemed to have a family type attitude. Everyone working towards learning the material…” Email Victor Izzo.
Mike Gorczynski, Class of 2000
Graduate student at University of Virginia, organic chemistry
“What can I say about Geneseo? Well, it was the perfect place for me. I made many important friendships with both students and professors. I enjoyed the sense of security associated with being in a small, friendly community. Class sizes were perfect for student-student as well as student-professor interactions. I ended up growing to love the town and its people and when graduation came, I was said to leave it all behind. Geneseo is all about the memories and I’ll cherish those forever.” Email Mike Gorczynski or Alternate email for Mike Gorczynski.
Julie Meidenbauer, Class of 2004
Chemist, Integrated Nanotechnolies, Inc., Rochester, NY
Choosing Geneseo for my undergraduate education was one of the best decisions I've made. I felt truly at home there, and the chemistry department was part of the extended family I formed during my four years. The professors are very approachable and were always willing to help, with homework to personal issues and everything in between. They know you as people, not numbers. The students also form a tight bond, because everyone is in so many classes together. I'm very happy I chose a school and department with such a close-knit feeling.
The education provided by the department allowed me to obtain a job in my field even before graduation. The classes provided me with a solid foundation, and the practical and hands-on research I performed helped me to develop my problem-solving abilities and gave me an insight into what would be required of me in the "real world". I was considered to have over two years of practical experience even before completing my degree, which was definitely a selling point in the job market.
Opportunities abound within the chemistry department. Nearly all professors have research students working with them, and internships with outside companies and agencies are also possible. In addition to my research, I was able to get credit for an internship with the local Sheriff's Office forensics lab. There is no shortage of education and experience, both in and out of the classroom, with the chemistry department at Geneseo.