Geneseo Launches a New Academic Year

SUNY Geneseo President Denise Battles speaking at New Student Convocation

SUNY Geneseo President Denise Battles speaking at the New Student Convocation on August 25 (SUNY Geneseo photo/Matt Burkhartt).

Two convocations welcomed new and returning students and faculty to campus for the beginning of Fall 2022.

New Student Convocation on August 25 marked the official start of the academic year at Geneseo. Faculty and staff attended the event in academic regalia to welcome new students into the Geneseo community. The event included a keynote address by Mark Broomfield, associate professor of English, whose spoken-word poem challenged students to consider who they are: “The journey to getting to know who you are / And the discoveries you make along your life’s journey / at Geneseo and beyond / Reveal a tension between / knowing your voice / and who you are without / your friends, family and social networks,” he said. “Your growth is tied to knowing / who you are / and who you are not.”

Alumni speaker Clare Cusack ’96, JD (political science and communication) currently serves as president and CEO of the New York Bankers Association, the premier trade association for the banking industry in New York State, as well as the secretary of the Geneseo Foundation Board. She offered students some lessons she had learned before, during, and after her time at Geneseo.

“You’re at an exceptional school, and you will receive an education as extraordinary as an ivy, but you will also leave with a profound belief in the power of both public liberal arts and public service,” she said. “That translates to being relentless and passionate in pursuit of your goals, but with empathy and impact and a deep concern for bettering the world you live in.” After sharing the stories of several exceptional Geneseo alums, she advised, “Live out your purpose. Contribute to others’ happiness. Feel awakened by adventure, strengthened by your identity, and humbled by the journey.”

SUNY Geneseo President Denise A. Battles delivered her keynote, “Advancing our Distinction: A Bold Vision for Geneseo,” at the Opening Convocation for faculty and staff on August 26. Battles highlighted recent accomplishments; identified challenges, such as sustaining enrollment and upgrading facilities; outlined plans to become the nation’s first equity-minded honors college; and discussed the critical priorities in the college’s next strategic plan.

The challenges faced by Geneseo require a conscious choice, Battles concluded. “Do we deem ourselves ‘satisfied’ with making incremental enhancements, hewing strongly to our comfortable past practices despite clear indictors of their unsustainability? Or do we take bold actions and risk dreaming big, advancing our distinction in a profound way that will align with our values and serve students—and our state—so very well? Make no mistake, pursuing the vision of becoming the nation’s first public equity-minded honors college is a risk—yes, a bit of a moonshot. But as Apollo astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the Moon said, ‘There can be no great accomplishment without risk.’ I believe strongly that we must choose the bold path for our College to achieve greatness.”

2022 award recipients announced at convocation:

Art Hatton Award for Excellence in College Advancement
Tracy Gagnier
Debbie Krueger

Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching
Donald House
Kiara Massar

Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service
Sherri Bush

Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service
Alice Rutkowski

Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Librarianship
Alan Witt

Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service
Shawn Plummer
Mark Sullivan

Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching
Ahmad Almomani
Ryan Jones
Pallavi Panda

Dr. Spencer J. Roemer Supported Professorship
Savitri Iyer

Drs. Carol and Michael Harter Endowment for Faculty Mentoring Award
Travis Bailey
Betsy Hutchison
Raslan Ibrahim

Distinguished Professor
Avan Jassawalla

Distinguished Teaching Professor
Ian Alam

Faculty Career Achievement Award
Stephen Padalino

James and Julia Lockhart Endowed Professorship
Kodjo Adabra

Faculty promotions and appointments announced at convocation:

Sarah Brookes, continuing appointment in communication
Jeanne Galbraith, continuing appointment with promotion to associate professor of education
Jennifer Guzman, continuing appointment in anthropology
Aaron Herold, continuing appointment with promotion to associate professor of political science and international relations
William Jones, continuing appointment in the library
Sherry Larson Rhodes, continuing appointment in the library
Alla Myzelev, continuing appointment in art history
Anand Rao, continuing appointment in political science and international relations
Josephine Reinhardt, continuing appointment with promotion to associate professor of biology
Yvonne Seale, continuing appointment with promotion to associate professor of history
Stephen Tulowiecki, continuing appointment in geography and sustainability studies
Alan Witt, continuing appointment in the library
Thea Yurkewecz-Stellato, continuing appointment with promotion to associate professor of education

Staff promotions and appointments announced at convocation:

Kristy Barkan, permanent appointment as director of web strategy
Lisa Bishop, promotion to enrollment specialist
Jay Charlebois, permanent appointment as advanced laboratory instructor
Betsy Colon, promotion to director of sponsored programs operations
Dan DeZarn, permanent appointment as director of sustainability
Joseph Dolce, promotion to senior instructional designer
Michael George, permanent appointment as director of graduate admissions
Kristopher Heeres, promotion to director of development
Matthew Johnson, promotion to manager of multimedia
Carol Marcy, promotion to director of college advancement communications
Amanda McCarthy, promotion to director of alumni relations
Michael Mills, permanent appointment as director of national fellowships and scholarships
Nathaniel Pietropaolo, promotion to assistant dean of students
Jeremie Stearns, promotion to assistant athletic director

Author

Robyn Rime
Senior Writer & Editor
(585) 245-5529