SUNY Geneseo Announces New School of Arts and Sciences and Interim Dean

Amy Sheldon

Amy Sheldon '90, Interim Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and Associate Professor of Geological Sciences

SUNY Geneseo has created a new School of Arts and Sciences comprising 18 departments across disciplines, including the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. The largest academic unit at the College, the School of Arts and Sciences offers substantive and challenging undergraduate learning across diverse academic offerings. Small average class sizes provide close, active collaboration with faculty and opportunities for undergraduate research.

“The School of Arts and Sciences allows us to support distinctive academic programs and departments that prepare students to meet the challenges of the 21st century,” says Amy Sheldon ’90, PhD, appointed interim dean for the School of Arts and Sciences. “The majority of our general education curriculum is also delivered through the school, which provides the foundation for Geneseo’s rich liberal arts education.”

The arts and sciences fields prepare students with specific disciplinary expertise and broad skills to thrive in various career fields and make a difference in the world. As part of the college’s commitment to integrative and applied learning, students in the arts and sciences at Geneseo have multiple opportunities to engage in learning experiences that pair disciplinary knowledge and skills with real work experiences such as internships, study abroad, research, and civic engagement. Geneseo arts and sciences graduates are ready to take on tomorrow’s challenges and thrive due to these experiences. For more information about Geneseo’s exemplary curriculum, visit A Geneseo Education for a Connected World.

As a public liberal arts honors college, Geneseo trains all students to think critically, communicate effectively, and consider multiple perspectives to solve challenging problems. In an online survey of employers, the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) found that 93 percent agree that candidates’ demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than their undergraduate major. Four out of five employers also agreed that all students should acquire broad knowledge in the liberal arts and sciences.

Distinguished professor of geological sciences Jeffrey Over, center, with students.
Distinguished professor of geological sciences Jeffrey Over, center, with students during environmental field work. (SUNY Geneseo/Matt Burkhartt)

“Geneseo's decision to create a new School of Arts and Sciences is an exciting moment in the college’s history because it allows us to champion and celebrate a range of high-quality academic programs,” says Sheldon.

Sheldon joined the faculty in 2000 and most recently served as an associate professor of geological sciences. She is also a former chair of the College Senate and presiding officer of the faculty.

During her terms as senate chair, the College launched multiple new academic programs, promoted greater inclusion of students and professional faculty in governance processes, completed a successful re-accreditation with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and approved and launched a new curriculum, “A Geneseo Education for a Connected World.”

Sheldon’s contributions to the College extend beyond her governance leadership. Since 2014, she has served as regional director of the New York State Master Teacher Program for the Finger Lakes region, a district that covers nine counties. A critical component of her work has been concentrated on equity-centered initiatives that are particularly important to STEM fields. She is actively engaged with alumni outreach and fundraising. She has been recognized with the Geneseo Foundation Corporate and Business Partners Award and the Art Hatton Award for Excellence in College Advancement.

“Amy’s extensive career at Geneseo, her strong record of collegiality and transparency, and her dedication to the institution situate her well to serve as founding dean of Arts and Sciences,” says Daniel Blankenship, interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “I look forward to working with her to develop the new School of Arts and Sciences.”


Kerri Howell
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