Parent Newsletter: February 2018

From the Beautiful Valley: News for SUNY Geneseo Families

Book with heart

A Message from the Dean of Students

Happy Valentine’s Day! And in the spirit of showing appreciation, here are some of the things I love about Geneseo.

  • A strong sense of community: We work hard to foster an inclusive and welcoming campus.
  • A spirit of kindness: Our students, staff and faculty travel the world over, contributing countless volunteer hours in projects that truly make a difference

But what I really love about Geneseo is getting to know your creative and talented students and watching their progress as they pursue and achieve their intellectual goals at the College.

Students like Thasfia Chowdhury '20 and Isabel Owen '20 who have won Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships allowing them to pursue academic studies or internships abroad.

Or Michael Wall ‘18, who will be joining his dad, Ron Wall, and eight other Geneseo students and staff, in assisting relief efforts in Puerto Rico in March.  

Please read the entire Parent Newsletter for more about our terrific students and what’s happening on campus, including upcoming deadlines and events. Should you have topics you would like to see in these monthly newsletters, let me know!


Lenny Sancilio
Dean of Students and Director of the Center for Community
(585) 245-5706

News and Accolades

  • Composer and singer Ysaÿe Barnwell ’67, ’68 will join Geneseo’s celebration of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. by conducting a Community Sing on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. in the College Union Ballroom. Barnwell was one of the longest-tenured members of the GRAMMY-nominated African-American a cappella ensemble, “Sweet Honey in the Rock.”

  • Students will have the opportunity to develop stand-out skills and learn how to project an authentic leadership style on Feb. 28 during SUNY Geneseo’s eighth-annual Women’s Leadership Conference and Networking Dinner. Denise Reed Lamoreaux ’84, president of SUNY Geneseo Alumni Association and director of diversity of North American Operations for Atos Corp, will deliver the keynote address.

Planning — Already! — for Final Exams

Students in classroom

Geneseo’s registrar publishes the College’s Final Exam Schedule. Final exam dates are tied to the course schedule to ensure that students have no conflicts; students are aware of final exam dates when they settle on their courses. Students should refer to their exam schedule before making travel plans at the end of the semester; faculty cannot change exam times except in extraordinary circumstances or for a student with learning accommodations.

Families can help students prepare for final exams in a few ways. Care packages are always welcome, but managing time, stress, and focus is even more important. Rather than waiting to cram right before final exams, students who check in with faculty during office hours early in the term can gain strategies for learning course content throughout the semester. The Center for Academic Excellence can direct students to campus learning centers, where experienced and talented upper-level students provide peer assistance.

Academic success means prioritizing learning. An engaged co-curricular life complements this priority. Athletics, clubs, films, video games, volunteerism and spending time with friends can be excellent stress relievers and can be sources of creative thinking and leadership development. By treating these stress relievers as a reward for studying (“I’m going to finish the draft of this paper and reward myself with an hour of gaming”), students can incorporate fun without heading toward failure.  

There are numerous time inventories available on the internet that can help students check their priorities. Even a tweak in a schedule to make sure eating and sleeping are high priorities can make a difference in overall student well-being.

Questions? Students can contact the Office of Academic Advising and Planning in Erwin 106 for assistance and more information.

New Preparatory Degree Program with the Eastman School of Music

Sheet music and piano

SUNY Geneseo has launched a new preparatory degree program that will ready bachelor’s students to apply for the master of arts degree from the Eastman School of Music.

Students who have met SUNY Geneseo admissions criteria and are selected for this program, upon satisfactory completion of a prescribed sequence of courses leading to the bachelor’s degree from the College, will be able to apply for a master of arts degree in music education with New York State professional certification in music in the Department of Music Teaching and Learning at Eastman.

Questions? For more on the program, visit the Music website or call (585) 245-5824.

Time to Reapply for Financial Aid

Be sure to complete the free application for Federal student aid (FAFSA) for the 2018-2019 academic year. Go to the FAFSA website to get started.

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool makes completing the FAFSA easier than ever. Don’t forget to use the link on the confirmation page of the FAFSA to the New York State TAP application. The TAP link can be found on the confirmation page of the FAFSA. For more information, check out The Parent’s Guide to Filling Out the FAFSA.

Interested in applying for the New York State Excelsior Scholarship for the first time? A separate application must be completed after filing the FAFSA and TAP applications. The Excelsior application has not yet been released but, if you go to NYS Higher Education Services Corporation and enter your email, you will be notified when it becomes available. Current Excelsior Scholarship recipients only need to re-file the FAFSA and TAP applications.

Questions? Visit the Financial Aid website or call (585) 245-5731.

Spring Break

SUNY Geneseo will be on spring break March 12-16. Residence communities will close at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 10, and reopen at 10 a.m. Sunday, March 18. For information on transportation options and schedules, visit the Parking & Transportation website.

Questions? Email the Office of Parking and Transportation or call (585) 245-5978.

Housing for Fall 2018

Returning students will soon have the opportunity to make their fall 2018 housing selections. Housing deposits are due March 31. Housing applications are due April 5. For information regarding housing selection for returning students, visit the Campus Living website.

For more information on housing options, visit the Residence Halls page.

Questions? Email Student Life or call (585) 245-5851

On-Campus Living: The Arts LLC

students who live in arts community

Students in the Arts Community, in front of a mural, painted last year by the Arts Community, showcasing their paintings from the free, in-hall “course” taught by a student staff member.

In the next in our series of living learning community (LLC) highlights, we explore the arts community in Nassau Hall. With a focus on creative pursuits in visual and performing arts, this LLC is open to all students.

Get to know the Arts Community LLC from:

Joshua Hagen, area coordinator of Nassau Hall: “The Arts Community is a unique opportunity for students to explore all different forms of art where they live — from film and movies, to painting and drawing, to music and dance — there really is something for everyone. The community provides opportunities for students to explore the arts regardless of their previous experience, skill level, or intended major. One of my favorite examples is the paint nights that we have in the building. Staff members walks anyone interested through a painting, step by step, in a way that anyone can replicate for themselves regardless of how much previous experience that they've had. Outside of the Arts Community, a class like this would probably cost a significant amount of money, but here it's something that is provided (free of charge) to let students get to know each other in a unique way.”

Meg Reitz, assistant director for educational initiatives: “The Arts Community is a great example of academic-residence hall partnerships. Lytton Smith, assistant professor of English, and Dan DeZarn, director of the Office of Sustainability, regularly teach “Art Talks — Concepts in Art and Art Talks — Campus Canvas” classes in Nassau Hall. By bringing their academic knowledge and passion into the residence halls, they are able to clearly demonstrate Geneseo’s strength for providing transformational learning experiences for students. These opportunities also engage students in learning in all aspects of their lives in college, demonstrating the value of lifelong learning.”

Dan DeZarn, director of the Office of Sustainability and well-known sculptor: “Over the last couple semesters, Lytton Smith and I have team-taught an art-focused class in Nassau Hall. We recognize that there are students all over campus that have a deep interest in creative expression, but there are few venues in place for them to explore their creative practices and to see professional artists display and talk about theirs. The point of our course is to bring students interested in art into contact with other creative people to foster an art community on campus.”

Shauna Ricketts is a senior Sociology and Political Science double major with a minor in Urban Studies who is taking the Art Talks course this semester: “Art Talks is an experimental space for creativity at Geneseo. This class allows students who are active in interdisciplinary art communities to brainstorm and execute individual and group projects. This course serves as a foundation for student confidence by proving that the execution of a creative vision is tangible even at a college that doesn't have a formal art department.”

For more information about the Arts LLC, visit the Arts Living-Learning Community website.

Questions? Email Meg Reitz, assistant director of student life for educational initiatives, or call (585) 245-6363.

Career Development Events

Internship fair 2017

Career Development is hosting two of their largest events of the semester in March. Students are required to wear professional business attire at both of the events. For assistance in accessing Geneseo’s free professional clothing lending service, Encore, students can stop by Erwin 116 to check out available options.

Etiquette Dinner

March 6, 2018, 6:00-8:00 p.m.

The etiquette dinner includes a networking segment followed by a sit-down dinner with Geneseo alumni. Students will learn critical etiquette skills needed when dining with a recruiter as part of a job interview.

Professional Job & Internship Fair

March 21, 2018, 1:00-3:30 p.m.

The fair is a great opportunity for students to meet with over 70 employers from various career fields who are looking to fill internships and full-time positions. Find tips and reminders for this event as well as the list of employers attending on the Career Development website.

Questions? Email Career Development or call (585) 245-5721.

Graduate Programs

Students can still apply to Geneseo’s graduate programs.

Education: The summer and fall 2018 application deadline is April 1. The fall 2018 application deadline for graduate education assistantships is also April 1. Details are listed on the Graduate Programs website.

Accounting: Applications are open for our masters in accounting program. The fall 2018 regular decision application deadline is June 1.  

Interested students should apply to the Geneseo graduate program today.

Questions? Email Graduate Admissions, visit the Graduate Admissions website or call (585) 245-5040.

Fraternity/Sorority Life Primer for Parents

Your student may be one of over 300 who just accepted an offer of membership into one of the College’s 30 social, service, or professional fraternities/sororities. You may have a lot of questions about what this means, what resources are available to you and your student, and who to contact if you have questions. Check out our Parent FAQ page, which provides answers many of the questions we are often asked by parents.

Questions? Visit the Office of Fraternal Life website, email the Office of Fraternal Life or call  (585) 245-5968.

Online Ordering for On-Campus Restaurants and Cafés


Members of the Geneseo campus community are now able to skip the lines in on-campus restaurants and cafés and pre-order meals through a new online ordering system. Customers can use their computer or mobile device to view the menus of participating on-campus restaurants, place their customizable food order, choose a pick-up time, and pay for their order using their meal plan, flex account, campus cash account, or credit card. The food is cooked to order and timed for pick-up.

This new initiative is part of enhanced services for our customers. “We are excited about the improved service and value that this option brings to our campus,” says Jonna Anne, managing director of restaurants and cafés. “Students as well as faculty and staff are extremely busy and have demanding schedules. Online ordering will assist them in managing their time.”  

Questions? Visit the online ordering site.

Commencement: Saturday, May 12

Parents of seniors: It’s never too early to start thinking about commencement. This year’s ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 12. Seniors who have filed applications to graduate and are planning to participate in their appropriate commencement ceremony will be allotted four guest tickets beginning Monday, April 9. Each ceremony has a different ticket.

Be sure to check out our Commencement website for updates and information.

Questions? Call Scheduling & Events at (585) 245-5500

Commencement weekend dining options: Academic departments will host receptions in various locations across campus after the ceremonies, and students and their families are invited to join the faculty to mingle and celebrate. A concession stand will be available outside Merritt Athletic Facility beginning at 7 a.m. and will serve hot and cold beverages, snacks and hot lunch items. Additionally, the Big Tree Inn will have special commencement menu on offer May 12.

For accommodation options, visit the Commencement accommodations page.

Intercollegiate Athletics & Recreation Upcoming Events

Faulkner and D'Alfonso

Gillan Faulkner '19 (left) and Lukas D'Alfonso '21 pose after record-setting performances at Boston University on Saturday, February 10.

  • Feb. 16: Men’s & Women’s Basketball at Cortland - 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.
  • Feb. 17: Men’s Ice Hockey vs. Brockport 7 p.m. (Wilson Ice Arena)
  • Feb. 17: Men’s & Women’s Basketball at Oswego - 1 and 3 p.m.
  • Feb. 23-24: SUNYAC  Women’s Basketball Tournament Semifinals/Championship (Schrader Gymnasium)
  • Feb. 21-24: SUNYAC Swimming & Diving Championships (Erie C.C., Buffalo, N.Y.)
  • Feb. 23-24: SUNYAC Indoor Track & Field Championships (Brockport, N.Y.)
  • Feb. 28: Lacrosse Season-Opening Doubleheader (College Stadium)
    • Women vs. William Smith 3 p.m.
    • Men vs. Morrisville 5 p.m.

For all the latest athletic schedules and results, check out the website or download the Geneseo Knights Front Row App to have scores and updates delivered directly to your mobile device. Also follow @GeneseoKnights on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Important Dates

  • Feb. 15: On-campus graduate program info session
  • Feb. 16–18: Siblings Weekend
  • Feb: 28: Women’s Leadership Conference
  • March 5: Housing deposits due
  • March 6: Etiquette Dinner
  • March 12-16: Spring break
  • March 21: Professional Job and Internship Fair
  • March 30: Housing deposit due for returning students
  • April 1: Graduate programs in education: summer and fall 2018 application deadline
  • April 1: Graduate education assistantships due
  • April 5: Housing applications due
  • June 1: Graduate accounting applications open for fall 2018 regular decision

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