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Winter 2012

geneseo scene

A magazine for alumni, parents and friends of SUNY Geneseo


Everyday Heroes Main Street Alumni • Geology Rock Stars

geneseo Winter 2012



Everyday heroes Student volunteers and alumni in the Geneseo Fire Department help fellow community members in their most vulnerable times. Saving lives, they find extended family and personal revelations.

14 Main Street alumni Alumni who have carved out business niches in Geneseo have a proud tradition of helping uptown remain vibrant for decades.

20 Geneseo’s rock stars For 20 years, geology students have experienced the magnitude of their field by doing research at some of the most geologically engaging formations in the world.


One College Circle Alumni News Class Notes

COLUMNS 2 7 13

President’s Message Letters to the Editor Athletics The magic of playing Quidditch.


Perspectives A Lost Girl discovers herself on a global detour.

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Random Profile: One Cup Mission Driven

Cover photo: Keith Walters ’11 Table of contents photography: Keith Walters ’11 Fall begins to change the landscape at Letchworth State Park. Known for its rich geologic and cultural history, it is a favorite among students and visitors.

Postmaster: Please address changes to the Collins Alumni Center, McClellan House, SUNY Geneseo, 1 College Circle, Geneseo, NY 14454-1484. Standard-class postage paid at Lebanon Junction, KY 40150

geneseo scene

Vol. 37, No. 3; Winter 2012


President and Resident:

The Geneseo Quality of Life y job as president of Geneseo provides the added benefit of living in the Village of Geneseo. I am fortunate to experience the best of both college and community. In leading Geneseo, I take great pride in the quality of our liberal arts education that truly transforms students’ lives. Every day, I see inspiring examples of faculty and staff preparing young men and women for the future, reinforcing the theme of our campaign — Shaping Lives of Purpose. At the same time, living in Geneseo, I savor the unique combination of 19th-century American charm and 21st-century entrepreneurial spirit that defines our village. With economic and demographic shifts now challenging Main Streets across the country, the Village of Geneseo is balancing tradition and change to enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors. This successful blend of past and future affirms the mission of Geneseo and the collaboration between the college and community. I have been reminded of this relationship daily, ever since Ruth and I moved here 18 years ago. preparing young men and women For example, when I hear the siren and see a fire truck or ambulance race by, it is gratifying to for the future, reinforcing the know that Geneseo students and alumni are on theme of our campaign — the call. Our students comprise one-third of the Shaping Lives of Purpose.” Geneseo Fire Department. These “everyday heroes” who protect life and property embody a core Geneseo value in their service to society. The opportunity to train and volunteer at the department not only prepares students to lead lives of purpose, but also enhances the quality of life in our village and other communities where they choose to live. Similarly, when I stroll down Main Street — especially during Summer Reunion (July 13-15, 2012) — I know that Geneseo students and alumni are strengthening our local economy with the businesses they own and operate, some for more than 40 years. Through their time, talent and money, they are reinvesting their Geneseo education into the very community that first welcomed them. These lives of purpose highlighted in this issue illustrate what we already know. Geneseo alumni leave their mark on the world — from the storefronts of Main Street to the bright lights of Broadway, from the high peaks of California to the South Pole. Through Shaping Lives of Purpose: The Campaign for Geneseo, we will continue this wonderful tradition. Since our national launch and five regional campaign events, we have raised $18 million toward our goal range of $22 to 25 million. Other regional events are underway across the country. Your support and partnership are vital to our success. Together, we can ensure that the Geneseo quality of life remains a force in yours.

M The Geneseo Scene is published by SUNY Geneseo, Division of College Advancement, Office of College Communications. Kris Dreessen, Editor Carole Smith Volpe ’91, Art Director Contributing writers: Holly C. Corbett Bristol ’00 Lisa M. Feinstein Anthony T. Hoppa David Irwin Madeline Smith ’14 Contributing photographers: Keith Walters ’11 Kris Dreessen Christopher C. Dahl, President Anthony T. Hoppa, Assistant Vice President for College Communications

Alumni Relations Office Rose G. Anderson, Assistant Vice President of Alumni Relations Michelle Walton Worden ’92, Associate Director of Alumni Relations Tracy Young Gagnier ’93, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations Francis E. Zablocki, Online Community Manager Alumni Relations Office at Collins Alumni Center McClellan House SUNY Geneseo 1 College Circle Geneseo, NY 14454-1484 Phone: (585) 245-5506 Fax: (585) 245-5505

Parent Relations Office Tammy Ingram ’88, Director of Parent Relations Erwin 202 Phone: (585) 245-5570

“Every day, I see inspiring examples of faculty and staff


Contact the Scene at Visit the website at Phone: (585) 245-5516

Christopher C. Dahl


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One College Circle CAMPUS NEWS Window to the night sky Geneseo’s observatory atop the Integrated Science Center provides students an opportunity to conduct advanced research and explore, photograph and analyze the night sky. Last semester, a student examined eclipsing binary stars. During the winter session, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy Aaron Steinhauer and students conducted research at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona and presented their findings at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Texas.

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Medieval city, academic head start Bailey Hall transformation The beetle battle Green power, on the go News in brief Winter 2012



CAMPUS NEWS The new Siena Italian Studies Bridge Program gives freshmen who start courses in the spring — like Tori Starr, left, Tara Rebuck and Tal Yaari — the opportunity to study abroad for credit before coming to campus.


Italy study bridges the freshman gap In Siena, Italy, last semester, Tal Yaari ’15 learned a new language, explored Italian cinema, cooking and culture, and lived with a local host family. Yaari discovered new abilities and that she easily adapts to a new way of life. She also can bake a mean tiramisu. “I learn millions of new things every day, either with a textbook or without one,” said Yaari while in Italy. “The best lessons I learn are from mistakes, conversing with the locals and putting myself out there.” Yaari is one of the first four Geneseo students to participate in the new Siena Italian Studies Bridge Program. It offers freshmen who are accepted to Geneseo in the spring semester the opportunity to study in the medieval city for credit before they begin courses on the Geneseo campus. The Siena


Italian Studies Program is open to all students, and freshmen who start classes on campus in the fall, during each spring semester. “The Siena bridge program is an exciting opportunity for our students,” said Kristine Shay, director of admissions. “This is an uncommon program and

reflects the college’s innovation and caring for our students.” Geneseo has a strong commitment to global education: It is one of the key focuses of Shaping Lives of Purpose: The Campaign for Geneseo. The college offers more than 40 programs on five continents hosted by Geneseo or in partnership

with other institutions. From fall 2010 through summer 2011, nearly 500 Geneseo students participated in global education. The Siena bridge program is one way the college is addressing a strong and growing interest in study abroad among parents and students, says Rebecca Lewis, interim assistant provost of international programs. The college holds a study abroad session during each Parents Weekend. More than 400 parents typically attend. The new Siena bridge program offers students cultural and language immersion with an integrated service-learning component that helps students become part of the community, says Wes Kennison, faculty fellow for international studies. It’s especially suitable for younger students because of the small class sizes, strong oversight from Siena staff and professors, and organized activities and trips. — Kris Dreessen

Renovated Bailey to house social sciences When renovations to Bailey Hall are completed — in about two and a half years — the 45-yearold building will become the new home to the college’s social science departments. The new Bailey will be about the same size, but will be a better designed, state-of-the-art facility with fully appointed tech-smart rooms, a north and south atrium — and more space for the social sciences than they now have in Sturges or Fraser halls. The entire basement, for example, will be converted to research laboratories for the psychology department. All departments will have more gathering space, such as seminar rooms. “For the first time, all psychology faculty 4

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members and the student researchers who work with them will have laboratory space designed specifically for their needs,” says Ganie DeHart, professor and chair of the psychology department. “The space will have state-of-the-art facilities, individually configured lab suites for cognitive, social, clinical and developmental research, and a specialized exercise psychology lab.” Renovation is set to begin on the new Bailey, where the departments of psychology, sociology and anthropology will move from their current space in Sturges and geography from its space in Fraser. Bailey was the original science building,

constructed in the mid-60s and named for the late Guy A. Bailey, a longtime science faculty member. The building later became the exclusive home of biology when physics, chemistry and geology moved to the newly constructed Greene Hall in 1970. Greene was later renovated to become part of the new Integrated Science Center, which eventually absorbed all of the physical sciences. The Bailey project is part of the college’s multi-year plan to update older facilities. When Bailey is done, Continued on the next page...



Assistant Professor of Geography James Kernan examines a tree sample with Geneseo Central School science teacher Randy French ’82 and seventh-grader Emily Slade during a mapping session, an effort to stave off an infestation of the emerald ash borer in upstate ash trees.


Read more about ash trees and ash borers online

blown infestation would be devastating because we could lose many of our ash trees in a short time period.” Kernan started the mapping project in fall 2010 with students in his Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) class. The group produced a geographic map of publicly owned land for the Livingston County Planning Department. From

Sturges will be next. The $21.6 million Bailey project is funded through the State University Construction Fund. The college has several additional construction projects in various stages of implementation, including renovation of Monroe Residence Hall, with occupancy scheduled for January 2013. Changes to Letchworth Dining Hall are in the final stages of design, as part of a fiveyear strategic plan by Campus Auxiliary Services, which runs campus food services, to elevate dining options on campus. — David Irwin

there, the Planning Department began the inventory with students supervised by Professor of Biology George Briggs, mapping more than 600 ash trees. Last summer, Kernan, student interns and research assistants completed half of the campus inventory. Seventh-grade students taking accelerated science at Geneseo Central School with

Randy French ’82 joined the effort last fall. So far, Kernan’s team has mapped more than 1,000 trees, collaborating with Livingston County Planner and Geneseo alumna and geography major Heather Ferrero ’96. “Our students are gaining ground-floor, hands-on experience with data collection at the onset of a research project,” Kernan said. “They also are getting practical experience interacting with professionals from the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the Livingston County Planning Department, as well as mentoring the next generation of researchers.” Kernan’s work is supported by grants from the Geneseo Foundation to fund equipment needs and student research assistants. — Anthony T. Hoppa


It’s man versus insect at Geneseo for Assistant Professor of Geography James Kernan. Working with Geneseo geography majors and local middle school students, Kernan is mapping the location of area ash trees and producing an inventory as part a strategy in the fight against the tiny but devastating emerald ash borer. The bright green insect — which first invaded Michigan in 2002 — landed in Livingston County last summer. Now, the half-inch monster threatens ash trees on campus and in all of New York state. Kernan says the mapping is critical to help stave off a potential economic and environmental disaster. “We’re developing an inventory by locating as many ash trees as possible to determine the most at-risk areas and consider management options — often pesticides or removal.” It’s not if, but when. The beetle assault is inevitable. “We can’t stop the ash borer from spreading, but we can try to delay penetration in our region,” Kernan said. “A full-

As pictured in this rendering, the renovated Bailey Hall will be home to the social science departments, providing state-of-the-art facilities and labs designed specifically for teaching needs.

Winter 2012



NEWS IN BRIEF Award-winning biology research studies water quality impact Top environmental agencies in the United States and Canada are lauding a Geneseo-led watershed management project in an area near Geneseo’s campus as a success story. Professor of Biology Isidro Bosch and Geneseo students, in partnership with SUNY Brockport faculty and stuBOSCH dents, examined the impact of best agricultural management practices on near-shore water quality from 2003-2009. Their research has demonstrated that upstream agricultural practices that are cost-effective to implement and to maintain significantly reduced algae, weed growth and bacterial contamination in areas where people most encounter it. The project was funded by $1.2 million in federal and local grants and was honored by the State of the Lakes Ecosystem Conference, hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Environment Canada.

Student wins national leadership award Toby Ring ’12, who has been helping to make extracurricular life diverse and rich, has won a RING national leadership award for from Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, the largest Jewish campus organization in the world. Ring, a history and adolescent education major, is one of five students to receive a Philip H. and 6

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Matthew Bower ’13


Student smartphone app wins big for the green cause Matthew Bower ’13 and teammates from two other colleges created an idea for a smartphone app that recently won second place in an international competition and $2,000 in seed money to develop the product further. Bower’s team excelled at the 4th Athgo Global Innovation Forum in Washington, D.C., sponsored by Athgo and the World Bank Speakers Bureau. Athgo is a nonprofit organization that empowers people ages 18 to 32 to develop business plans for ventures that are profitable, socially beneficial and environmentally friendly. One hundred students from 30 countries competed to create small, green-technology commercial plans. Bower’s team’s app is called emPower, a mobile application for smartphones that targets U.S. residential consumers and lets users to track energy usage holistically and for individual appliances, allowing them to turn individual appliances on and off on the go. Suzi Rudd Cohen Student Exemplar of Excellence Award. The award is given to students who display exemplary leadership on their campuses by inspiring others to act and lead, building meaningful relationships, fostering innovation and creativity, and modeling and inspiring Jewish growth. An active member and leader of Geneseo Hillel for several years, Ring is president of the Hillel Student Board.

Geneseo earns top ranking The college is beginning the spring 2012 semester with another accolade for providing outstanding education. Geneseo is ranked third for out-of-state students and 11th for in-state students in

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine’s 2012 list of best values among the nation’s public four-year colleges. For several years, Geneseo has ranked high on the list, which highlights four-year schools that combine outstanding education with economic value.

Geology department to study extinctions Professor of Geological Sciences Jeffrey Over received a National Science Foundation grant for a two-year collaborative research project to examine reasons for major biological extinctions that occurred during the Late Devonian period in geological history. This time interval, which occurred some

375 million years ago, marks one of five major extinctions. Better understanding of the events can provide clues to how climate cycles have affected Earth’s history and offer insights on the impact of modern climate changes. Geneseo will work with Boise State University, and the grant will support two Geneseo undergraduate students to work on the multi-disciplinary international science team, which will use high-precision technology to gather data in Germany and three states, and to participate in professional meetings to present results.

Campus opens new digital media lab A state-of-the-art digital media lab is now open in Milne Library. Students and faculty can use professional-level equipment and software to create and edit video and audio materials, podcasts and interactive websites. Library, computing and information technology staff also offer guidance on using the lab.

Athletic events streaming live Can't get on campus to watch your favorite Geneseo sports team? Cheer them on at home. The college is now streaming video for selected indoor events, including volleyball, ice hockey, basketball, and swimming and diving. See who’s playing at -knights-live.

New soccer coach takes over Geneseo has been showing off its soccer prowess with an intercollegiate team since 1947. The 2011-2012 season — Geneseo’s 65th — welcomed new Head Coach Dominic Oliveri ’01, who took over for longtime coach Michael Mooney, who is now director of athletics. Oliveri marked his first season with a record of 9-7-3.


Letters to the Editor We want to hear from you! The Scene welcomes feedback and encourages discussion of higher-education issues, content and your thoughts about Geneseo. Send letters, which may be edited for space, to or to the Scene editor, SUNY Geneseo, Roemer House, 1 College Circle, Geneseo, NY 14454.

Sept. 11 essay is an inspiration Class of 1982 alumnus Bob Hogan’s essay in the fall issue of the Scene about his reflections after surviving the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center was truly inspiring to me. While many Americans have shared their personal experiences of escaping the World Trade Center, Bob’s story pulled me in like no other. Because of the connection we all share as Geneseo alumni, this account seemed personal, as if a classmate were telling me a story while on campus. The article was so gripping that I keep that issue nearby so I can re-read it and be reminded of its message. Many thanks to Bob for writing about his experience, and to our alumni magazine for sharing it with us. — Chad Salitan ’09 Memory scrapbook full a decade later I can’t imagine trying to chronicle all the things I love and miss about my Geneseo days. Geneseo is where I found my confidence as both a student and a leader. The opportunities provided a strong foundation as I went on to graduate school, jobs and now, as I finish my doctorate. While at Geneseo I was a DJ on both radio stations, vice chair of Central Council, chair of the Arts and Exhibits on the Activities Commission, and all kinds of other things that really set the tone for what I would go on to do in life.

I started in the Educational Opportunity Program. I owe a debt of gratitude to the people in that program who believed in me. I was a fan of the Inn Between and the Vital Spot. I still miss the sunsets over the valley, Christmas caroling in town with the Madrigal Choir,

and Aunt Cookie’s — especially after a night uptown. — Lynne Constantine Johns ’90 Proud to be part of Shaping Lives of Purpose After attending the New York City launch for the Shaping Lives of Purpose: The

Rewind mystery — remembered!

Dozens of alumni and current and former staff members wrote to us about this photo taken on the steps of Sturges Hall in the early 1970s — including some who are in it! Thanks to David Buckley ’70, Bev Blatt ’74, Glen Grossman ’76, Cyndi Everest Ringrose ’75 and others. It, in fact, advertised an open house in the Scene in 1973. Laura Bryan Twilliger ’76 was surprised to find herself (behind the bearded man and dog) with friends Betty Manley (second row, left)

and Ringrose (in the Phi Kappa Pi shirt). Everyone recognized the late Professor Emeritus Charles “Doc” Goetzinger (left), and his canine companion, Strider. “Doc changed my life in innumerable ways ...,” remembered Barbara Maille ’83. “I credit him with being the reason I had the courage to travel to India, to get a graduate degree and to really get the value and importance of life-long learning.”

Campaign for Geneseo and following that up with the opportunity to be part of the Buffalo campaign event as presenters, my wife Tracie and I were again reminded about all that Geneseo has given us. Careers. A family. All of those memories came flooding back. In addressing those gathered at the Buffalo event, one could read the same measure of pride on all of the faces looking back at us. The collective bond that Geneseo provides is undeniable. We’re very thankful to have been afforded the chance to have a small part in the effort to help support the college that has given all of us so much. They were two very special nights that we won’t soon forget. — Chris Brown ’94 & Tracie Lopardi Brown ’95 The best four years I graduated in 1988 and I still remember almost all of my freshman year, living in Suffolk dorm and the friends I made. I actually saved a guy’s life that year, too! I also remember making the choice to pledge Omegas and it was the best choice, next to choosing Geneseo itself, that I ever made. Aunt Cookie’s, the Inn Between, living on Main Street above Taco Junction, sorority parties .... The list of what made life at Geneseo great is endless. To this day, it was the best four years of my life. — James Carter ’88 Winter 2012


Every second of response time matters in a fire. Mike Lanni ’12 runs a hose during his final test course to become a state-certified firefighter. Helping classmates and community members in their most vulnerable times has given him a deeper respect for life, he says.


geneseo scene

More than a third of the Geneseo Fire Department’s emergency responders are students. They are a lifeblood when the siren sounds.

Story by Kris Dreessen Photos by Keith Walters ’11

eat blasts Mike Lanni ’12 as he follows his partner on his hands and knees into the burning building. The air is choked with blinding smoke. He peers through a sliver of sightline where the grey has lifted, looking for signs of life before standing to search the room. Only the blinking red and green lights of air packs pulse in the blackness. Lanni moves quickly and methodically, one hand on his partner’s pant leg, the other sweeping a metal bar back and forth, feeling around, over everything solid it touches, so as not to miss a victim. They cover the entire room and then back down the staircase to search another level — feet first, then knees, then hands, Lanni thumping his bar on each step to make sure he won’t fall through. In the basement, he hits a wall of wet, white smoke that is streaming out from where another squad is quenching the blaze. No longer does he walk toward fire thinking about what could go wrong or the consequences if he misses a victim as his air pack hisses away precious minutes. Staying calm and performing in chaos are now second nature. •••


Winter 2012


Students comprise one-third of the Village of Geneseo’s ambulance and firefighting crews. Many, like Rebecca May ’12, discover their personal and career goals and push themselves beyond what they thought possible.






View more Fire photos online



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Lanni successfully completed the search with his squad of four trainees from departments all over Livingston County. It was one of the final evaluation tests, after 88 hours of drills to master more than 30 essential firefighting skills. During the final test, Lanni and Nicolas Peterson ’12 executed searches, extinguished a simulated basement fire and backed up their fellow firefighters, at times carrying or pulling a 70-pound hose while wearing 30 pounds of gear. Later that day, they stood beside the Geneseo Fire Department chief and officers in full dress uniform — as official New York state firefighters. “The training is just as much work mentally as it is physically,” says Lanni. “… That uniform was filled with pride that made me tougher, stronger and more disciplined. I stood invulnerable, beside my brothers.” Lanni and Peterson — who also are certified medics — are among some 35 Geneseo students who actively volunteer with the Village of Geneseo Fire Department, whose members respond to approximately 1,700 medical and 275 fire

calls for help each year. Students account for one-third of the department’s 105 members — eight of whom are Geneseo alumni, says Chief Andrew Chanler, a 24-year volunteer. Beside community members, the students help protect 10,000 people in the area, including the college campus, and assist neighboring towns. “We are unique because we provide fire and ambulance service and we are still 100 percent volunteer,” says Chanler. “We absolutely couldn’t do it without the students … They are a lifeblood in being able to provide that service to the community.” ••• Geneseo Fire Department members like Allen Hawley ’75 often visit the student volunteer fairs on campus in the fall but don’t need to work too hard to recruit. Students apply to become members each month, says Chanler. Many of them, like Rebeeca May ’12, get their start in Geneseo First Response, the college’s student-run emergency medical service and the only one integrated directly into the area 911 system. They often have interest in a career in the

medical field and discover or confirm their goals: May decided she wants to be a physician’s assistant. Lanni and Tyler Gilmore ’12 want to be doctors. Peterson has applied to the New York City fire department. All students who volunteer with the fire department can choose to train as firefighters, EMTs (emergency medical technicias, or medics), or both. Each specialty demands months of rigorous training — 88 hours for firefighting level I and 130 for EMT-basic. That qualifies them to do that job throughout the state, with the same credentials as beginning paid ambulance or fire staff, says Chanler. Once they get certification, they learn and demonstrate their skills riding with more experienced volunteers until they can respond with the same professionalism and expertise, he says. On a recent night shift, May helped a man who had been in car accident. After he got home, the pain set in. He called 911. May — who also is a firefighter — responded as the crew chief, checking his vitals and stabilizing him. Ultimately, she made the call for a paramedic to administer advanced treatment. “It’s given me a lot of confidence in my skills. You build with each call,” says May. “I have a lot of experience training other people and a lot of responsibility, but I’m used to having that now.” Last semester, five students were enrolled in the EMT course. Some volunteers — such as former chief and current 1st Assistant Chief Frank Manzo ’98, a 17-year member, and Alex Cook ’10 — went on to train another 1,600 hours to become paramedics while they were students. Now, they are among Geneseo Fire Department members who train a new generation of students to respond beside them. They and other alums are proud so many want to serve the community. “It’s really neat to see the students giving their time and doing the right thing,” says Steve Kelley ’78, an ambulance lieutenant. “It’s a real testament to their character and quality and the quality of people we have at Geneseo.” It’s a challenging commitment. May’s accident call was one of three on her 12hour Sunday overnight shift, during which she guided two medic trainees, with class Monday morning. But it’s worth it. Every call is a chance to help, and can be death — or life. Lanni and May have both performed

CPR, bringing back patients or keeping them alive until they reached the hospital. After a call for an attempted suicide, the emergency room doctor told May that if the patient had gone untreated just two minutes more, the patient would have died. “It’s very earth-shattering to know that I can have that effect,” says May. “It encourages me to go out and learn more to make more of a difference.” ••• Everyone is fearful or unsure of their abilities in some aspect of training, says state fire instructor David Macaluso. It may be heights and climbing a ladder or sucking out the final few breaths of air when the

Students account for one-third of the department’s 105 members — eight of whom are Geneseo alumni. — Chief Andrew Chanler

Mike Lanni ’12, second from left, and Nicolas Peterson ’12, back right, line up just before graduation as state-certified firefighters. Lanni says succceeding in the mental and physical challenges made him proud, strong and able to think and act in chaos and help people in their most vulnerable times.

tank is way past zero to find out truly how much time they have in a fire. In training, says Macaluso, “we push them toward it, and beyond it.” It takes a person who is assertive, ambitious, committed and who puts service above self to be a firefighter or medic, says Chanler. And teamwork. Teamwork is the most imperative aspect of response, says Macaluso. Going through challenging training and experiencing the same situations as emergency responders brings intense friendships among volunteers. Students say they find teachers, confidants and mentors among the members and each other. More senior members often reach out following difficult calls, says Lanni, so


Medic trainee John Lau ’14 checks the vital signs of a firefighter after he and other new firefighters searched and extinguished a blaze in a training tower during a final skills evaluation.

Winter 2012


Tyler Gilmore ’12, relaxes in down time with a new medic he is helping to train. As others did for them, students and alumni help teach new members skills and build confidence.

“Riding in the back of the ambulance on calls, you understand just how delicate human beings are. I have a higher respect for life.” — Mike Lanni ’12

they can talk. “I would trust them with my life,” says Lanni. That community, and the connection they make with the greater community as a student volunteer, inspired Manzo and Cook to build lives in Geneseo. They didn’t want to leave the community they found at the fire department. “You look after each other as a big family,” says Manzo. ••• Every time May climbs into the ambulance, she gains more confidence, the ability to lead and to teach, and has proven to herself hundreds of times that she can make life-saving decisions in emergencies. The Geneseo Fire Department provides a foundation for many kinds of strength and service that many student volunteers continue, wherever they go. George Hicks ’00 stayed in Geneseo following graduation in large part because of his fire department experience, but ultimately chose to serve full time in his hometown of New York City as a firefighter with Ladder 130 in Queens.

“Being a volunteer is the ultimate serving of your community,” says Hicks. “There is a similar feeling that I’m doing something for the greater good of the community.” That inner belief that they make a difference — as volunteers now and in the future — is shared by the student volunteers, who have helped babies, senior citizens and sometimes their own classmates when they are in need. They see the difference they, as individuals, and as a team, make. “I’m much more careful. I try to look after my friends more,” says Lanni. “Riding in the back of the ambulance on calls, you understand just how delicate human beings are. I have a higher respect for life.” Lanni will always remember the call his medic team answered for a man who had a heart attack on the street. Weeks later, Lanni saw him at the very same place. “The man called me over to thank me,” says Lanni. “It’s so nice to feel a sense of accomplishment and significance to someone else.”

Several alumni and dozens of students serve the all-volunteer Geneseo Fire Department and help protect 10,000 people, including the college campus. Strong relationships built on immense trust, respect and shared experiences feel like family, they say.


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Quidditch for the muggles Geneseo students bring Harry Potter’s favorite magical sport to life.


Joseph Monoenko ’13 gets ready to hurl the quaffle past an opponent at a recent match of Quidditch, a sport adapted from the Harry Potter book and film series. Unlike the wizards, Geneseo players can’t fly, so they run with broomsticks. The team won an East Coast tournament last semester.

By Madeline Smith ’14

hen Matthew Cavanaugh ’12 tells peers that he participates in Harry Potter’s favorite game of shooting through the sky on wooden broomsticks while harnessing his power to hurl metal balls and using his agility to catch golden snitches, everyone’s first question is, “How do you fly?” Since no one has discovered the secret to flight, Cavanaugh and his teammates recreate Quidditch for muggles — or the nonwizard way — by running with brooms between their legs for the entire match. “It can get a little tiring … but you get used to it faster than you think,” says Olga Iodka ’12, president of Geneseo Quidditch. Iodka and Cavanaugh, who is vice president and coach, have worked together to build up a fledgling intramural club that has grown both in size and skill since its founding in 2009. The team now boasts 21


members. Last April, the team outplayed several East Coast teams to win the 2011 Butterbeer Classic at Vassar College. Geneseo’s team is part of the International Quidditch Association, which governs 1,000 clubs worldwide; it is one of more than a dozen intramural sports offered at Geneseo. Last year, about half of all Geneseo students — nearly 2,800 — participated in an intramural sport or tournament, according to Intramural Director Brooks Hawley. Quidditch is the only intramural sport adapted from the Harry Potter $15 billion


Organize your own Quidditch game in 7 easy steps! Players introduce the game —

empire, but members aren’t necessarily Potter fanatics. “One misconception,” says Nick Tobey ’12, “is that Quidditch is a Harry Potter fan club that does this on the side, but it’s really the other way around.” The team is more of a close-knit group of friends who love to compete together. The game is fast, physical and strategic. Each team fields seven players whose mission is to score goals by hurling a “quaffle” (aka volleyball) through three hula hoops erected atop aluminum poles. To score, three “chasers” from each team pass the “quaffle.” Each time they land a quaffle in a hoop, they earn 10 points. The “keeper” guards the hoops. “Beaters” throw “bludgers”— dodgeballs — at the opposing chasers to prevent them from scoring. Entirely separate from the competition on the field, each team has one “seeker” whose only job is to capture the elusive “Golden Snitch” — a neutral player, dressed in yellow. Whichever seeker grabs the sock that hangs from the snitch’s back pocket earns 30 points and the game is over. But it’s a tricky task seeing as the snitch has free rein to run and hide all over campus. “The snitch is allowed to throw, trip and do all sorts of physical tactics to prevent you from catching him,” said Michael Hsu ’12, an experienced seeker. “The snitch likes to mess with people,” says Iodka. They often enjoy climbing trees to playfully tease frustrated seekers. Last fall, the team competed in its largest competition yet — the International Quidditch Association World Cup in New York City, where they faced teams from Arizona, Ottawa, Florida and Delaware. One hundred teams and 20,000 spectators attended the event. “It’s not as serious as the other sports,” Cavanaugh explained. “It’s a made-up game, it’s fun, it’s entertaining and as much as some of us love Harry Potter, it’s more about playing a sport with people you love.” Winter 2012


Abbey Road? No, Geneseo! Alumni have turned their passions for music, dance, health and other areas into businesses that have helped Main Street thrive for 40 years, including these alumni, and the mayor.


geneseo scene

Main Street Alumni Alumni who own businesses on Main Street have helped keep downtown thriving. Story by Kris Dreessen Photos by Keith Walters ’11 l “Buzzo” Bruno ’72 opened a shop on Main Street while he was still a student. He and members at his jazz quartet saw a need for a local place that offered quality music gear to musicians for a good price. Buzzo Music has been a destination in Geneseo for more than four decades. He is one of several alumni whose entrepreneurial spirits have helped keep Main Street vibrant all these years. The short commercial strip boasts seven alumni-owned businesses. In addition, the office of the village mayor, Professor Emeritus of Geological Sciences Richard Hatheway, is there. “I am proud and grateful to be in the long line of this alum-village tradition,” says Jacki McCausland ’76, owner of Valley School of Dance and co-owner of Shakti Yoga. “We come together proudly as a ‘communiversity!’” The alums say they loved their college experience, and stayed or came back because that close-knit feeling is as strong in the community as it was on campus. They were able to build their careers here because they found ways to integrate their passions — whether it is music, healing or the joy of dance — with businesses that fit a niche. It’s one of the reasons businesses have remained open for decades, says Hatheway, who has watched Main Street evolve during his 25 years as mayor. As many small-town Main Streets struggle to survive, Geneseo’s has managed to thrive. Main Street has been successful for several reasons, including its pedestrianfriendly layout, according to Louise Wadsworth, the downtown coordinator for Livingston County Development Corp. and a former 26-year Main Street business owner. The village, various organizations and merchants diligently promote what Geneseo has to offer and partner with the each other and the college in efforts. For example, resident assistants tour businesses and sample fare from restaurants so they can share the information with students, and communication classes have developed marketing plans for business owners. That college-community relationship is extremely important to Main Street, say Wadsworth, Hatheway and the alumni. With nearly 5,700 students, as well as faculty and staff right next door, there is a strong college and community base for the businesses to serve. That makes the difference. “We have a community that values its Main Street and supports it,” says Grayce McLaughlin ’82, co-owner of Touch of Grayce gift store.


Winter 2012


Touch of Grayce 65 Main St. Alumni owners: Grayce McLaughlin ’82 and Fred Mingrino ’73 Majors: Grayce, Art history Fred, Communication Open since: 1995 hen the variety shop closed at 65 Main, Grayce and Fred decided to open their own store in its place. During the 10 years that Grayce was a stay-at-home mom, she wished that there was a place on Main Street to buy toys. The idea for their store was born. Touch of Grayce first offered educational toys, children’s books and other items like natural health-care products and has expanded to include items that they see as both beautiful and practical, such as U.S.-made pottery and wooden cutting boards. They emphasize doing business with companies that have good track records for employee conditions and offer a variety of fair trade items. “I’d say we have both useful and delightful things,” says Grayce. “Things that catch my eye that we haven’t seen before.”


Ellen, left, Buzzo and Gary.

Buzzo Music 106 Main St. Alumni owner: Al “Buzzo” Bruno ’72 Break-time music: Playing his horns outside the shop Major: Music history Open since: 1970


etween the vintage photos of Buzzo’s jazz quartet, band posters and memorabilia, a hand-drawn sign assures customers that, “If we don’t have it, no one ever needed it.” “I thought of that myself,” laughs Buzzo. “It’s true.” Buzzo Music has 150 guitars on display, plus ukuleles, mini hand drums, parts, CDs, your favorite bands on vinyl — and cassette — and even Jerry Garcia plush dolls, all crammed into a space not much larger than a big living room. Buzzo opened the store with his Al Bruno Quartet bandmates in 1970, while they were students. They invested $500 each to offer gear to local musicians. Originally from Brooklyn, Buzzo says he “didn’t even think about” going back. He stayed in Geneseo, built his business, performed music, and became a resource for musicians and music aficionados in the region. Decades later, Buzzo is a legend in longevity and one of Geneseo’s most well-known alumni, memorialized in 2010 on a student-created mural in the union that depicts Geneseo’s beloved landmarks. Buzzo Music has expanded its offerings over the years, but not much has really changed. They still offer lessons to aspiring musicians. They make repairs and offer expertise. Buzzo’s longtime staff also are among his best friends — Ellen Phillips ’71 and Gary Holt ’73, who also was a member of the Al Bruno Quartet. Artwork and mementos given by customers and friends in the ’70s — like the “Truckin’ on Down to Buzzo’s” painting and Green Giant statuecum-bulletin-board — still greet customers. Buzzo’s there every day and still playing trumpet and singing with an All Stars band. “I found what I like and get to do what I love,” says Buzzo. “I feel lucky.”


geneseo scene

Touch of Grayce strives to differentiate itself by providing what Grayce calls “a welcoming place” with personal touches like student discounts and free gift wrapping. Student employees make up the majority of staff. They often stay several years and become close friends, says Grayce. “It really makes me feel good about people working here.” As a college student, Grayce bought her music from Buzzo’s and cookbooks from Sundance Books, where Fred is manager. Grayce says Buzzo and Sundance owner Barry Caplan inspired the way she runs her own business with emphasis on making customers and employees happy. The reason Grayce appreciates their business ideals is simple: “They lead from the heart.”

Grayce, left, and Fred.

Neal, left, and Tammy.

Royaltees 90 Main St. Alumni owners: Neal ’83 and Tammy Wycoff ’89 Moynihan Majors: Neal, Communication Tammy, Secondary English and Math Open since: 1985 lways into art, Neal liked creating original t-shirts. People liked his designs, they sold well during sidewalk sales on Main Street and people needed shirts. It was a good fit. Neal opened Royaltees first in a Main Street basement and lived in a small attached apartment with a hot plate and a mini fridge. He did all his own screen printing and washed the screens out in his shower. “It was pretty humble, pretty humble,” laughs Neal. He invested what he made into the business and it grew. The Moynihans say they’ve done well because they’ve stayed with their original focus — Geneseo-themed clothing and gifts. Neal still chooses the designs and screen prints some in house. Now is a fun time because their old college friends are at the age where they stop by on campus tours, orientation or visits with their own children. The Moynihans’ son, Ryan, is a freshman. “There are a lot of proud legacies. Geneseo has a pretty special place in a lot of people’s hearts,” says Neal. “… We feel very lucky that we were able to raise our family in a neat little town where we can make a living surrounded by college students, who we were, too.”



View alumni-owned businesses on a Main Street map and more photos online.

Winter 2012


Geneseo ChiropraCtic 60 Main St. Alumni owner: Christopher Rubeck ’89 Major: Biology Open since: 1995 otal Americana. That’s the allure of Geneseo, says Christopher. You see all your neighbors at the summer fest and meet the mayor at the Bear Parade. “There are so many small nuances that make this a special place,” he says. As did so many alumni, Christopher loved his experience at Geneseo as a student, learning to be an adult in the intense pressure cooker of college life. After he earned his chiropractor license, he worked for a practice in the area and made visits to the Geneseo Main Street satellite office before taking it over. He invested his life savings to open his own practice, but knew it was a good investment. Main Street has always been vibrant. Now, Christopher is part of the Americana landscape. If people don’t know him as a chiropractor, they recognize him walking his mini schnauzers Gunther and Rocky on the main drag and on campus. Gunther’s got the drill down so well he trots a few paces perfectly ahead, leashless. They also like to sleep in the window — and in his holiday displays. Students, staff and faculty are some of his regular clients — including his own professors. “I have the opportunity to try to help people and that’s something that a lot of people don’t have every day,” he says. “That ability to help fills my soul.”

T Angela, left, and Jacki.

Valley School of Dance and Shakti Yoga 63 Main Street Alumni owners: Jacki McCausland ’76 and Angela Amedore-Caplan ’75 Majors: Jacki, Dance. Angela, Dramatic arts. Open since: Valley School of Dance, 1982; Shakti Yoga, mid-1980s ngela and Jacki met at Geneseo at a workshop featuring improvisational jazz musicians. When the band invited students to get up and move, they did. “We were the only ones. We were not shy!” says Angela. “We danced together before we even spoke to each other.” For nearly 30 years, they have been best friends as well as business partners. They opened Valley School of Dance and then Shakti Yoga a few years later. Jacki now owns the dance studio solo; Angela owns Sweet Briar and Radiance Spa outside town. They co-own and direct Shakti. As yoginis and dance instructors, they say they get to share “the pure joy” of movement, as well as Anusara yoga. Its poses and philosophy are designed to help students open and center themselves in body, mind and spirit. Angela and Jacki began meditating and practicing yoga 38 years ago as students. “College was a time when I had so much freedom to explore, research, examine, risk and refine. I continue to do so and the learning ground was Geneseo,” says Angela. “I was introduced to concepts, beliefs and facts. I had to find my place in the big picture.” Now, students explore in classes and as instructors in the dance studio. A few students who were licensed massage therapists have worked at Radiance Spa, and interns have helped Angela design spa treatments with students in mind. Jacki has taught dance at the college since 1984, now in the role of adjunct lecturer. They say it’s amazing to be part of such a close-knit community, continue to learn and teach, and build a career with a best friend. “It’s a really special thing,” says Angela.



geneseo scene

Christopher and Gunther

Village of Geneseo mayor Professor: Professor Emeritus Richard Hatheway. Honorary alumni member since 2009. Department: Geological sciences Mayor since: 1986 or 39 years at Geneseo, Richard Hatheway taught students about the Earth as well as essential skills such as critical thinking. He relished being part of their personal and professional growth and success. He chaired the geology department for 21 years, from his appointment in 1986 until his retirement in 2007. As the geology department chair, Richard felt his role was to collaborate and seek unity in decisions made in the department. He brings that same philosophy to his role as mayor. He has been the village mayor since 1986. Richard collaborates with area tourism, development and business alliances to promote a healthy Main Street. One of the ways that the village assists business owners is by offering grants to defray costs of erecting hand-carved wooden signs to better market themselves and keep Main Street attractive. Main Street’s development, from more general stores to specialty stores, and services and restaurants, has been pretty organic, he says. Entrepreneurs realize what the market needs and fill it. The best part of living in and helping to lead Geneseo, he says, is seeing how good life is in the village. “Geneseo was a great place to live, to work, to raise a family and to enjoy the quality of life we have come to take for granted,” says Richard. “I was willing to invest my efforts in the community because Geneseo provided us with everything we could have ever hoped for in terms of family life.”

F Charleen

Not Dot Shop 127 Main St. Alumni owner: Charleen Crump-Nesbitt ’79 Major: English and Journalism Open since: 2010 ach time Charleen enters the Not Dot Shop, she looks forward to seeing what new things her coowners have brought in to sell. The items leave as gifts, new home décor for customers, or may be reinvented into something else entirely. For a little more than a year, the 12 owners of the cooperative have been offering customers a way to repurpose anything from vintage purses to furniture, as well as purchase handmade jewelry and other art. Marcia Podhorecki, Charleen’s longtime friend, created the Not Dot Shop and gave it a name with purpose — No One Thing Does One Thing. The co-owners rent space to sell their items, volunteer shifts to staff the shop and pay a percentage of their sales to promote the business. Charleen dedicates her space to various items she and her family members no longer need, antiques and reinvented historic memorabilia. Charleen’s framed art from authentic labels from the Geneseo Jam Kitchen — a Main Street business that cooked up sweet spreads from the late 1800s until the 1940s — are among her most popular items. It’s Charleen’s second Main Street venture. She and her husband, Chuck Nesbitt ’76, owned Swain Ski & Sports on Main from 1979 to 1984. Chuck has spent more than 30 years teaching biology at Geneseo and York central schools and Charleen is owner of Katydid Creative Resources. Charleen performs copywriting, graphic design and other services for clients. The Not Dot Shop is a side venture that sparks fresh ideas. “Turning things into pieces of art or making use of things that someone was ready to let go,” she says, “is another form of creativity. It’s fun to see that happen.”



Winter 2012



Rock Stars Geneseo’s

For 20 years, geology students have been mining knowledge and awe on field trips to some of the most geologically diverse areas on Earth. By David Irwin

: 20

View more trip photos online

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bout 20 years ago, Distinguished Service Professor Richard Young was chatting with his colleague, Professor Richard Hatheway, about expanding the scope of field experiences for Geneseo’s geological sciences students. Sure, limestone and black shale are interesting rocks and plentiful in western New York, Young said, but argued that the area’s lack of greater geologic variety left an educational gap. He felt students needed exposure to geologic mother lodes to get the full impact of the discipline. Hatheway, then department chair and now professor emeritus, agreed. In 1991, he joined Young to organize the first of a biennial two-week-long field trip for junior or senior geological sciences majors to


study and conduct research at some of the most remote but geologically magnificent areas of the world. “Studying geology in a classroom from a book is easy,” says Young, “but standing beside an actual rock formation or volcano or glacial deposit gives students an entirely different perspective. You don’t really appreciate the magnitude or the scale of these massive geologic formations until you’re actually there. It gives them a wide visual spectrum of geology over hundreds of millions of years.” Young and Hatheway took the first group of eight students in 1991 to Arizona to observe the Grand Canyon and surrounding area, where Young has spent his entire career conducting research. He is an inter-

During a geological sciences research trip, students study icebergs in a meltwater lake at the Tasman Glacier on New Zealand’s South Island, and how rapid glacier melting is evidence of global warming.

national authority on the canyon. New groups also visited that area in 1997 and again in January 2011. Other years the students have gone to Texas (1993); Hawaii (1995); the San Andreas fault (1997); New Zealand (2000 and 2009); Costa Rica (1999); Puerto Rico (2003); Trinidad (2005); and Cyprus (2007). All department faculty have participated in at least one of the trips. The winter-break field trips are rugged educational camping ventures, where students and faculty study the geology during the day and cook over campfires and sleep in tents at night. They use vans to get to the sites and transport their own food and water because there is no running water. Students begin preparing for the field experience during their freshman and sophomore years. In the fall before the trip, the students present a seminar and are encouraged to consider research projects to pursue while in the field. They also go with all department faculty on a fall weekend camping field trip within driving distance of Geneseo to learn outdoor skills, such as campfire cooking, to prepare for the two weeks in the wild. The 30 students and four faculty on the January 2011 trip to Death Valley, the Sierras, the Mohave Desert and the Grand Canyon arrived New Year’s Eve and set up tents in the middle of nowhere, where nights dipped below freezing. Some mornings the campers woke up with ice or snow on their tents. Among them was Katherine Dominguez ’12, a geological sciences and adolescent education major, who says roughing it was worth the educational benefits. “It wasn’t just a trip, it was an experience,” she says. “I definitely stepped out of my comfort zone for two weeks, which is not something I would normally do beforehand. It prepared me for what my future would be as a field geologist and taught me to be an investigative scientist. I studied it, now I see it and understand it.” Dominguez and her research partner, Peter Scharfschwerdt ’12, decided to investigate a Grand Canyon igneous rock intru-

Students study sediment transport by examining unusual stream water in Death Valley, which had recently received unusual moisture from snowfall melting in the adjacent mountains.

sion to determine if the rock is younger or older than the surrounding layers. The work could help determine when erosion or volcanism began in the canyon. They brought back volcanic rock samples to Geneseo and are eagerly awaiting results from radioactive rock-age analysis. The final day of the trips is typically spent in commercial lodgings, where students are pleased to have showers and indoor amenities. At a final-day banquet, they enjoy food cooked by someone else. The students keep journals and in the spring semester present a second seminar on their projects and discuss findings with underclassmen, which generates enthusiasm for the next excursion. They often present their findings during GREAT Day (Geneseo Recognizing Excellence, Achievement and Talent), the college’s annual spring symposium that celebrates students’ scholarly endeavors. Ben Laabs, associate professor of geological sciences, has accompanied students on several of the expeditions, including the January 2011 visit. To him, following students he has taught is most rewarding. “When I see a student who has taken one of my classes I will say, ‘You remember when we talked about this? Well, this is it! This is what it looks like,’” says Laabs. “The best part is when they start explaining what they learned to other students. They make critical observations and begin to appreciate why the research is done the way it is.” The trip to New Zealand in 2009 was way

beyond the expectations of Michael Calzi ’09. He double majored in geological sciences and anthropology and now teaches eighth-grade science at University Preparatory Charter School for Young Men in Rochester, N.Y. “The bonds I made there were incredible,” says Calzi. “I use the rock samples I collected in New Zealand in my classes when I teach the tectonics or rock units.” Even though the trips are set in primitive conditions, a significant investment is required for airfare, food and ground transportation. Gifts from geological sciences alumni to the department through the Geneseo Foundation have helped assure that no student is unable to go because of financial hardship. In the past 18 years, more than 300 different geological sciences alumni have supported their department with foundation gifts. “The support of alumni is critical for making this happen and we are appreciative of what they do,” says Young. Many students also raise funds for the trip by working concession booths at Buffalo Bills home games, an activity Laabs arranged several years ago. “These trips are so important as a learning experience but we also have fun like we’re on a family vacation,” says Laabs. “I see our students transition into a professional geology mode. They start out thinking in terms of numbers and maps and wind up thinking in terms of memories, which is a whole new perspective.”


Winter 2012



Amanda, left, Jen, and Holly at the top of the 20,000-foot Franz Josef Glacier in New Zealand.


LOST GIRL As she approached her 30th birthday, Holly C. Corbett Bristol ’00 gave up her job and her New York City life to take a round-the-world exploratory journey to find herself. The adventure answered her question, sometimes in ways she never expected. She wrote about her experiences in the book “The Lost Girls,” which is now a website and role model for other adventurous women.

By Holly C. Corbett Bristol ’00 Holly C. Corbett Bristol lives with her husband on a lake in upstate New York and is based part time in New York City. She is the health editor for and a contributor to For more on her round-the-world trip with her two friends, visit


geneseo scene

he sun was melting into the sea, and my two best friends were floating on surfboards beside me. We’d come to the end of the ultimate girlfriends getaway: a yearlong trip around the globe. Nearing our 30th birthdays and without the ties that come with marriage and children, Jen, Amanda and I had taken a timeout from our frenetic lives working in media in New York City to explore the world outside our cubicles. “Secret Spot X”— a surf camp that lies somewhere north of Coffs Harbour and south of Byron Bay on the eastern coast of Australia — was our last stop before returning home to the Big Apple. Though our on-the-road adventures were coming to a close, at the moment there was still an ocean separating us from our old lives. Squinting my eyes to scan the horizon, I couldn’t spot a single resort — let alone person — on the wide crescent of sand that curved around the rugged Australian coastline into what appeared to be infinity. We were in front of the bonfire on our last evening, and the sun was just beginning its downward descent. As it sank, the shadows from the fire grew taller, kind of resembling Aboriginal rock art. I’d plopped myself on the ground in front of two chairs holding Amanda and Jen. “Remember when we were camping on the Inca Trail in Peru, our very first country? Australia seemed like a world away this time last year,” I said. “Uh-oh, Hol, don’t go getting all sentimental on us on our last night,” Amanda said. As hardnosed as she can come across when you first meet her, I knew by now she was really a softie underneath. “Hey, guys?” Jen chimed in, her cheeks flushed from the heat of the fire. “I want to try to ride a wave one more time before we leave … Do you want to go?” I hesitated for a minute, wondering if we should stay put where it was comfortable and warm. But the ocean was right there, and there was still enough light left to paddle out. “Okay, let’s do it,” I’d said, standing up and brushing the sand off my jeans. Amanda and Jen pushed back their chairs to leave trails in the sand, and we went to get the wetsuits we’d already hung out to dry on a line outside the cabin’s windows. Then we tucked our boards under our arms and walked down to the beach to paddle out together. Our feet padded on powdery sand, then rock-hard sand, and then into the surf. The water and the air were almost the same temperature, and I waited


for the cool liquid to fill my wetsuit before my body heat would warm it up. The three of us floated on our boards and stared at the water stretching towards the setting sun. It felt so peaceful there, floating between Jen and Amanda on top of the ocean. Since my very first time traveling abroad as a senior at SUNY Geneseo embarking on a study-abroad program called Semester at Sea, I’d always dreamed of surfing in Australia, but I never really believed I’d actually do it.

stepped outside of the country, we sort of just assumed the goal of the journey would be to get un-lost. We thought the trip would yield the kind of earth-shattering, value-bending, shout-from-the-mountaintop epiphanies that would help us discover just what we wanted out of our short existence on this planet. We thought the trip would instantly change our lives. We wanted to be found. Looking back on it now, we might have been putting a teensy bit too much pressure on the universe — and ourselves. While we’d

“And while we couldn’t predict where the road might lead, there’s one thing we did know for certain: Getting lost wasn’t something to avoid after all, but something to embrace.” But I found the courage to take a big risk and quit my job to realize my dream of traveling the world because having two other women by my side made me feel braver than I might have on my own. We’d traveled through five continents and more than a dozen countries and had plenty of adventures along the way. We’d hiked the Inca Trail to the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru, volunteered at a school and lived on a farm in Kenya, learned to meditate at an ashram in India, met street kids-turned-waiters in a restaurant in Cambodia. Memories and dreams. Dreams and memories. I was awash in a sea of them. I figured it was fitting for our final stop to be on the ocean. Something about a wide expanse of open water always made us feel more inspired and alive. That was the feeling we wanted to reclaim for ourselves when we first left on our journey nearly a year earlier. We wanted to hold onto that feeling now that we’d come to the end of the road. Now, the wide ocean — like the anticipation we felt at the beginning of our trip — was calling for us. That endless expanse of blue was inspiring us to dream bigger for our lives — even if those dreams sounded crazy and unrealistic (such as quitting our jobs to travel the world together). With the trip coming to an end, unspoken realizations were beginning to sink in for the three of us: Typical stresses such as fast-paced jobs and stacks of bills would be right there waiting for us when we returned home, as would the things we loved (such as our families and familiar beds). Back when we first starting calling ourselves The Lost Girls, a tongue-in-cheek nickname we invented long before we ever

had several smaller epiphanies along the way, we wondered: Had we learned enough? Did we really change? Would our new attitudes last after returning home? As it turned out, yes. Though circumstances probably wouldn’t have changed much while we were away, we sensed that we had somehow changed. In the future, if we were ever tempted to play it safe rather than take a big risk in order to go after another seemingly crazy dream, we now had faith that we wouldn’t let fear hold us back from at least trying to reach that dream. And while we couldn’t predict where the road might lead, there’s one thing we did know for certain: Getting lost wasn’t something to avoid after all, but something to embrace. So I glanced at Jen and Amanda, both leaning back on their boards as the now-gentle swells rolled on by. We lingered for a moment, soaking up that split second of silence that comes before the next wave breaks. Then the waves began to roll in higher and stronger. I looked behind me to see a swell rising up, and felt the momentum of it push my board forward. Time to go. I turned to Jen and Amanda said, “The sun’s almost set. Let’s ride this one back in.” From the book THE LOST GIRLS: Three Friends, Four Continents, One Unconventional Detour Around the World by Jennifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett and Amanda Pressner. © 2010 by Jennifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett and Amanda Pressner. Reprinted courtesy of Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Winter 2012




Lee Constantino Class of 1995 By Kris Dreessen


ONE CUP Inspired by the idea that everyone has a story to share, we offer the “random profile.” Each issue, we don a blindfold and throw a dart at a map of the United States to choose our state, then take aim again to choose a lucky alum. We catch up, relive memories and share life insight, like we are talking over coffee. Up next ... Kansas. Could it be you?


geneseo scene

QUICK FACTS Home: Frisco, Texas Graduation year: 1995 Degree: Bachelor of science, accounting Family: Wife, Tracy. Sons Cameron, 7, and Carter, 5. Daughter Remi, 3. How you describe Geneseo: A very beautiful and prestigious college in a smalltown environment. Favorite campus hangout: Ira S. Wilson Ice Arena. Hockey! Best Geneseo memory: My first two years at Geneseo, making great friends living in Livingston Hall. Most important life lesson you learned at Geneseo: Work hard and play hard. Don’t take anything too seriously and enjoy whatever you are doing. What you would tell incoming freshmen or graduating seniors: Freshmen, enjoy every day at Geneseo. They will be some of the best days of your life. Seniors, network like crazy. The best jobs will be from people you know. Favorite saying: What ain’t worth askin’ for, ain’t worth havin’.


hen Lee Constantino ’95 visited his older brother, Mark ’89, on the Geneseo campus, he liked the small-town, warm environment. A hockey player since he was 8, Lee also wanted to be a Blue Knight. “I felt comfortable there and loved the facilities and the opportunity,” says Lee. He never played with the team. A knee injury sidelined that goal, but through hockey he found a lifelong role as mentor, community leader and coach. Lee began refereeing local youth hockey competitions on weekends. He made solid calls and began coaching youth teams. He was noticed — and was asked to be assistant coach of the Geneseo High School team. “I really enjoyed coaching the high school team. I was seven hours away from my family but I felt like I had 16 players’ families welcoming me into their lives,” says Lee. As coach, Lee earned valuable pocket money. More importantly, he taught young players teamwork, athletic skills, strategy and a positive spirit, win or lose. “It was rewarding because I got to know a lot of the local families that I would never know if I was just a student,” says Lee, who often was invited to family dinners. Lee had the choice to play again after surgery, but chose coaching instead. He was enjoying college and appreciating the sport without the long hours of varsity training. He co-founded and played on Geneseo’s now defunct hockey club team. “The choice I made was to balance that fun and college experience with a little bit of life experience,” says Lee. “… I was getting as much or more out of it than the kids were because I was learning. I just loved it.” In coaching, Lee began to develop people skills and a soft, fair hand at resolving daily conflicts — skills he uses every day 16 years later as a coach and business leader. Lee earned his MBA at Penn State, where he met his wife, Tracy. They live in Frisco, Texas, close to her family. Lee has carved a niche as a chief financial officer. He leads smaller software and hardware companies in their quest to expand, and ensures they are lucrative and attractive to large companies for potential buy-outs. Lee has led five such companies in their attempt to reach their goal. The most recent company Lee led, Interactive TKO, Inc., sold for $330 million dollars to CA Inc. The Dallas Business Journal named him a finalist for CFO of the Year in the small-business category in 2008. Despite his busy career, Lee is still on the ice. He’s a left wing on a men’s league team in Dallas and coaches his 7-year-old son Cameron’s team. The experience of coaching while a student at Geneseo, says Lee, began to prepare him for the leadership he’s undertaken in life, his career and as a lifelong coach. “I think everything every day in life is tutoring for something that’s coming,” he says.

Alumni News ABOUT THE ARTIST: Artists from around the world make an annual summer pilgrimage to share their eclectic artistic expression at the Burning Man Arts Festival in the Nevada desert, from vehicles converted into sculpted expressions to spontaneous pieces of performance art. No art or services are offered for sale. Once Burning Man ends, there is no trace of the city that was once a temporary home to nearly 48,000 people. Laura Jackett ’81 photographed “Little House on the Prairie” during one of her visits to Burning Man. The door was open and the light on a bedside table was on so one could read a book before taking a nap inside. The image was selected for inclusion in the Schweinfurth Art Center’s Made in New York 2011 show as well as the Rochester Memorial Art Gallery’s 2011 Finger Lakes Exhibition. Jackett, a theater major at Geneseo who earned a master’s degree at Buffalo State College and a master of fine art from Rochester Institute of Technology, has taught at various colleges and has presented workshops at such places as The Smithsonian Institution and The George Eastman House. Her most recent body of work is a series of large-scale prints produced from 35 mm slides of her Burning Man collection. She also creates artists’ books and prints and incorporates alternative photographic processes.

Share your artwork with us! Send a short bio and a link or examples of your work to


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Alumni event photos The write stuff Polar pioneer Class Notes Winter 2012




Alumni Events March 7, 2012 BUFFALO REGION Buffalo Sabres – Alumni Event/Game

May 17, 2012 SYRACUSE REGION Regional Campaign Launch

March 14, 2012 CHICAGO REGION Regional Campaign Launch

May 19, 2012 WESTCHESTER/CONNECTICUT REGION Regional Campaign Launch

March 15, 2012 NEW ENGLAND REGION Boston Externship Reception

May 30, 2012 LONG ISLAND REGION Regional Campaign Launch

March 22, 2012 SAN FRANCISCO REGION Regional Campaign Launch

July 13-15, 2012 GENESEO CAMPUS SUMMER REUNION Celebrating class years ending in 2 or 7

April 27-28, 2012 GENESEO CAMPUS Spring (Alumni) Weekend/Greekfest

Geneseo: Alumni (Mudcats) Baseball Game and Gathering sponsored by John Keene ’98, Eric Schillinger ’05, Justin Swackhamer ’05 and Steven Witter ’05.

Sept. 21-23, 2012 GENESEO CAMPUS HOMECOMING WEEKEND Clio Sorority set to celebrate 140th Anniversary

Don’t miss out! It is also very important that you keep Geneseo informed of your current mailing address. You will receive event invitations and notifications based on the address we have on file, the address where this issue of the Scene was mailed. If the address on the back of this magazine isn’t up to date, you might be missing out.

Geneseo: Community Advocates Reception Sandy Brennan, left, Cynthia Oswald, Emerita Myrtle Merritt, Louise Wadsworth, Marilyn Lyon and Holly Brandow Mullin ’87.

GENESEO ALUMNI REGIONS • Albany Region • Buffalo Region • Chicago Region • Colorado Region • Florida - East Coast Region • Florida - West Coast Region • Los Angeles Region • Long Island Region • New England Region • New Jersey – Northern Region • New York City Region • North Carolina Region

• Philadelphia/New Jersey – Southern Region • Rochester Region • San Francisco Region • Syracuse Region • Washington, D.C. Region • Westchester/Connecticut Region • Community Advocates for SUNY Geneseo

See who you missed and view more photos of many events! Visit our alumni homepage:

Philadelphia/New Jersey — Southern region pre-game reception and Phillies game, with tickets sponsored by Geoff Schmidt ’96 Elayne Schmidt, left, Todd Hartson ’82, Cindy Hartson ’82 and Andrew Lucking ’07.


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The Office of Alumni Relations is always looking for regional event ideas and event sponsors. Contact the office at if you would like to work with us on an event.

San Francisco region alumni reception hosted by James “Jambo” Larkin ’85

Chicago region gathering and Chicago White Sox game hosted by Paul Lambert ’91.

Albany region 9th Annual Geneseo Day at the Races in Saratoga, N.Y. Patricia Weiss Collins ’81, left, Valarie Scott ’82, Deborah Silverman McGovern ’82, Theresa McHarg-Agel ’82 and Bernadette Anderson Johnson ’83.

Long Island region clambake (West Islip, N.Y.) hosted by John ’87 and MaryGrace Jiran ’84 Gleason Louise Bianco Loyst ’89, left, Michelle Flood ’88, Chris Revera Zukowski ’85, MaryGrace Jiran Gleason ’84, Susan McCormick Ruggiero ’85 and Marianne Leonard Cunningham ’85, friends and Clio sisters.

Winter 2012


Regional Campaign Launch Events

Washington, D.C. region at Sidley Austin LLP sponsored by Kristin Graham Koehler ’91

Florida - East Coast region sponsored by John ’90 and Jonna Van Wagenen ’88 Shutowick at their home in Lakeland

Dan Vavonese ’91, left, Andrea Tuwiner Vavonese ’91, Kristin Graham Koehler ’91 and David Koehler.

David Hilman ’88, left, John Linfoot, George Speedy ’71, Dona Ammons and Scott Armstrong ’85.

Left, Buffalo region at Park Country Club of Buffalo sponsored by members of the Buffalo Alumni Committee and others Chris Brown ’95, left, Kevin Gavagan ’75, Jill Yonkers ’96, President Christopher C. Dahl, Tracie Lopardi Brown ’95, Distinguished Teaching Professor of History Bill Cook and Jim Leary ’75.

Right, New York City region national launch event at Gotham Hall sponsored by members of the Geneseo Foundation Board of Directors Ann Marie Palmieri ’00, Matt Palmieri ’96 and Stu Klein ’96.

Above, Rochester region at Locust Hill Country Club sponsored by members of the Rochester Alumni Committee and others Sarah Scholomiti Rook ’95, left, Matt Hartstein ’95, Carmela Vannelli Camarella ’97 and Michael Camarella ’98.


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Scenes from Homecoming 2011

Athletics Hall of Fame Inductees Keith Hyde ’81 (ice hockey), left, Jeff Stitt ’81 (ice hockey), Kim Stone Butts ’95 (cross-country/track) and Bethanne Cincotta Canero ’96 (cross-country/track).

Celebrating the Sciences keynote Speaker Dr. Bill Piccione ’75.

Members of the Sig Ep fraternity reunited on campus to celebrate their experiences.

Greek Hall of Fame inductee Val Scott ’82, right, Phi Lambda Chi Sorority, with Rose Anderson, assistant vice president of alumni relations.

Alumni celebrate Homecoming at Saturday’s All Alumni Happy Hour, which welcomes alumni from all eras.

Greek Hall of Fame inductee Stephanie Brown ’05, left, with Alpha Kappa Phi Sorority (AGO) President Corinne Smith ’12.

Greek Hall of Fame inductee Tim Tobin ’89, left, Sigma Nu Chi Fraternity, with President Christopher C. Dahl.

Winter 2012




“I imagined if I’d had a different teacher, or if I hadn’t signed up for that class, my life would be so different.” — Molly Smith Metzler ’00

class of ’00 Molly Smith Metzler PHOTO BY KRIS DREESSEN

The Write Stuff On Dec. 19, a new comedy starring David Hyde Pierce and Rosie Perez premiered at the acclaimed Manhattan Theatre Club. On opening night, a celebrity studded audience experienced the play, and gave it thunderous applause. Molly Smith Metzler ’00 proudly walked the red carpet as playwright of “Close Up Space,” a story about a father and daughter struggling with grief, love and communication. From behind the curtains, Metzler watched the performance, drinking in the audience’s reaction to her characters. “It was such an honor,” says Metzler, “to see David Hyde Pierce and Rosie Perez give life to the characters I dreamt


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up in my little Brooklyn apartment.” It all began in Geneseo — with a single class during her final senior semester. Metzler, an English major, signed up for Introduction to Playwriting with Professor Emeritus Terry Browne. Her first assignment: write a 10minute scene involving conflict. Metzler penned an intimate look into a family’s first holiday gathering following divorce. Those 10 minutes changed her life. “I wrote all night … It was very emotional,” remembers Metzler. “Something unlocked and I realized just how passionately I could express myself. I’ve never been the same.”

That idea became a one-act play, “Training Wisteria.” At Professor of English Melanie Blood’s invitation, Metzler staged it at Brodie Hall’s Black Box Theatre before graduation. Seeing her story interpreted into real life was electrifying. “I left a playwright that day,” she says. Browne, she says, gave her encouragement and confidence to pursue her dream, even during the long hours she worked as a restaurant server or sommelier. Browne took that time, she says, to tell her she was talented and to go for it. “It changed everything for me,” says Metzler. “I imagined if I’d had a different teacher, or if I hadn’t signed up for that class,

my life would be so different.” Metzler continued her success as a master of arts student at Boston University. “Training Wisteria,” which she had made into a full-length play, won the Kennedy Center National Student Playwriting Award. It was the first of many accolades. Metzler’s plays have earned 13 awards. She earned a master of fine arts in dramatic writing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and went on to hone her craft at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Marsha Norman. Even as “Close Up Space” appeared off Broadway through February, Metzler’s comedy “Elemeno Pea” opened in January at the South Coast Repertory theater in Costa Mesa, Calif. Next season, Metzler will again walk the red carpet, this time for the New York City premiere of “Elemeno Pea.” Each night, she will find the same energy flow through her that did the first time she saw her words and vision come to life in Brodie. “It’s that magical, electric place where we all meet and experience something together … It’s very tactile and emotional,” says Metzler. “The audience is half of the equation. You create the world together.” — Kris Dreessen


Polar Pioneer In the world of scientific exploration, cartographer and physical scientist Tony Meunier ’70 literally put his name on the map. In recognition of his work with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the United States Board on Geographic Names approved naming Mount Meunier, a peak overMEUNIER looking the Amundsen Sea in Antarctica. The honor is one of several earned by the geology alumnus for his pioneering efforts using satellite technology for National Science Foundation-sponsored field research and mapping applications in Antarctica. His work is detailed in dozens of scientific publications. After joining the USGS in 1972, Meunier became one of its first research digital cartographers and an early advocate of using Landsat imagery obtained from Earthobserving satellites. Meunier retired as a senior scientist in 2010 and is now a scientist emeritus with USGS Polar Programs. In his 38-year career, he received the Congressional Antarctic Service Medal and the U.S. Department of the Interior’s second-highest distinction, the Meritorious Service Award. “I was born in rural Wisconsin in winter and raised in Buffalo, so maybe I was destined for a career involving cold, snowy weather,” he joked. Whereas scientists dream of getting just one chance to conduct research in the polar regions, Meunier has been selected on four occasions. He went once to the Arctic while serving in the U.S. Air Force

in 1966 and three times to the bottom of the world with the USGS. Despite “normal” working conditions that included sub-zero temperatures (minus 103 F), steady 20-mph winds

Meunier’s polar odyssey to Antarctica began in 1973 on a 14-month deep field expedition with a USGS satellite surveying team that wintered over at the Geographic South Pole Station. Using cutting-edge satellite

Pittsburgh. “You can’t find meteorites if they’re covered by snow, so the trick is to find snow-free areas known as blue ice fields,” he explained. Using Landsat technology, Meunier located precise areas “Dr. Young had this scholarly enthusiasm for more cost-effective and searches. — not just in geology but in everything — productive Helicopters transported that I took with me in my career.” Meunier’s snowmobile team to sites never explored by — Tony Meunier ’70 humans; traversing 1,500 and crevasses that could swaltracking equipment for the first miles, they discovered metelow a snowmobile, Meunier time in Antarctica, they deterorites at every location. considered himself one of the mined accurately the position The next year, another group luckiest people in the world. of the ice — and ultimately, the returned to a promising area “You’re rubbing elbows with rate of glacial ice movement. first explored by Meunier’s some of the leading internaIn 1982-83, Meunier joined team and found the controvertional scientists whose projects the U.S. Antarctic Search for sial Allan Hills Martian meteare the best of the best,” he Meteorites team as a visiting orite, thought to contain fosexplained. scientist with the University of silized bacteria from Mars. Meunier made his last expedition in 1995-96 with the first U.S. Absolute Gravity surveying team to provide data for precise mapping of uncharted areas. Now stateside, he can spend more time with his wife, Betsy Grossklaus ’70, his “best Geneseo memory” and now a retired school teacher, and their son and grandchildren. Looking back on his career, he credits Geneseo and Distinguished Service Professor of Geological Sciences Richard Young, his adviser, for putting him on the path to life success. “Geneseo taught me how to focus on one goal, and mine was to earn a degree,” said Meunier. “Dr. Young had this scholarly enthusiasm – not just in geology but in everything – that I took with me in my career.” Surprisingly, Meunier has not developed an aversion to snow. If the South Pole beckoned, “I’d go back in a heartbeat.” of — Anthony T. Hoppa

class ’70

Tony Meunier


Winter 2012



Class Notes 1940s Mary McMaster Melenbacker ’42

attended the Washington D.C. launch event for Shaping Lives of Purpose: The Campaign for Geneseo on Oct. 26, 2011. It was the first Geneseo regional event Mary has attended. She is looking forward to a campus visit for Summer Reunion on July 13-15, 2012, to celebrate her 70th class reunion.

1950s Barbara Long Dick ’52 plays first

violin in several music groups, belongs to several book discussion groups and has served for more than 18 years as a volunteer, teaching poetry to school children.

1960s Rob Mason ’69 went on the trip of

a lifetime in May 2011, visiting Paris; Lucerne, Switzerland; Nice, France; Innsbruck, Austria; Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Germany; and Italy’s famous cities of Pisa, Florence, Rome, Pompeii, Assisi and Venice.

1970s Class of 1972 — celebrating their 40th reunion and Class of 1977 — celebrating their 35th reunion July 13-15, 2012. Leon Kransler ’73 and Martha Popowich Kransler ’73 visited Germany and Austria in September 2011. Dale Hayes Klein ’77 was selected to speak at the 2012 conference of the New York State Hospitality & Tourism Association. Brian Meath ’78 is the secretary of the Board of Directors of Thompson Health System in Canandaigua, N.Y., and serves on the Board of Directors of Happiness House — Finger Lakes Cerebral Palsy Association, which supports disabled children and adults and their families in four counties.

1980s Class of 1982 — celebrating their 30th reunion and Class 32

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of 1987 — celebrating their 25th reunion July 13-15, 2012. John Wadach ’81, a physics and engineering science professor at Monroe Community College in Rochester, N.Y., was recently awarded the Association of Community College Trustees’ 2011 William H. Meardy Faculty Member Award, a national award for demonstrating excellence in teaching and helping develop innovative programs. A former chairman of MCC’s engineering science and physics department, he is credited with doubling the enrollment of students taking courses in the department. He also helped prepare MCC teams that last summer finished first, second and third in the American Society for Engineering Education — TwoYear College Division competition. Lori Esposito Darden ’83

received a Master of Education degree in pre-K through sixth grade from Marymount University in Arlington, Va., last August. She is teaching fifth grade for Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia. Charles Sawyer ’83 passed the CFP Board examination in July 2011 and in October 2011 received his certification. He is now a certified financial planner practitioner. Erik Gould ’87 and Rebecca Siemering are proud to announce the birth of a baby girl, Asha Jean Gould, born on March 15, 2011, in Providence, R.I. Karen Wheelock Byrne ’88 and Ed Byrne are happy to announce their marriage on October 10, 2010. They reside in Orchard Park, N.Y. Jeffrey Fasoldt ’89 was selected as the 2011 Rochester Financial Executive of the Year in the Large Company category by the Rochester Business Journal and Financial Executives International. He is executive vice president and chief financial officer of Toshiba Business Solutions in Rochester, N.Y. Cheryl Burnett Nelan ’89 recently started her own business, CMIT Solutions of Monroe, serving small- to mediumsized businesses in Rochester, N.Y.

1990 Michael “Sebbie” Sebastian and

Jennifer Pilarz are happy to announce their marriage on May 7, 2011. They reside in Raleigh, N.C. Martin Williams and

Sarah O’Brien Williams ’04 are happy to announce their marriage on May 28, 2011, in Pultneyville, N.Y. They live in Sodus, N.Y.

1994 Todd Hughes recently accepted a position at Next Century Corp. in McLean, Va., as chief technology officer. Previously, he served at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency as a program manager. Colleen Dobbins Murphy ’94 was recently promoted to senior vice president of human resources with Santander Consumer USA Inc. in Dallas.

1996 Christopher Castelli and Kaylin Castelli are proud to announce the birth of a baby boy, Xavier Harold. Christopher was also recently honored by the National Press Club for reporting on the lack of cockpit voice recorders in the Pentagon’s V22 Osprey aircraft, a scoop that prompted the U.S. Congress to investigate and led the Pentagon to ultimately budget money for the required devices. Michelle Lannon Gordon and Kevin Gordon are proud to announce the birth of a baby girl, Delilah Joy, born on July 1, 2011. Julie Rossbach and GianLorenzo Metzger are happy to announce their marriage on Oct. 16, 2011, in Wallingford, Conn. They reside in Cromwell, Conn.

1997 Celebrating their 15th reunion July 13-15, 2012. Andrew Berkowitz received his second Radio & Production Award, as First Runner-Up: Best Small Market Commercial of the Year. Laura Kujawski Blaha and Robert Blaha are proud to announce the birth of a baby girl, Casey Elizabeth, born on June 23, 2011, in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Michelle Barto Davis and Anthony Davis are happy to announce their marriage on April 2, 2011, in Washington, D.C. They live in Long Branch, N.J. Michelle recently transferred to the New York regional office of the SEC as a staff accountant. Nicole PaulyRejewski and Kevin Rejewski are proud to announce the birth of a baby boy, Ryan James, born on June 23, 2011.

1998 Sara Beinert and Stephen Gracia

are happy to announce their marriage on June 5, 2010, in Brooklyn, N.Y., where they reside. She was recently promoted to associate director of development, individual giving, from major gifts officer at the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York City. Peter Rosella is an attending radiologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center and at University Medical Imaging. He also serves as co-director of the University Medical Imaging Advanced MRI Fellowship

Scene around the world Submit your images to with a subject line of “Scene Around the World.” See the complete photo gallery at

Laura Barker ’97, a foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State, recently finished serving a year at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq. Here, she is at the late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s “Crossed Swords” parade ground in Baghdad’s International Zone.

Leon Kransler ’73 and Martha Popowich Kransler ’73 at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

Bob Boneberg ’73, with an elephant at a watering hole in Chobe National Park, Botswana.

Above, Teachers Allison Fallier ’04, left, and Kristin Pikuet ’04 spent their summer break touring Australia and New Zealand, and had their photo taken at Fetherdale Wildlife Park in Syndey with a sleepy koala named Boomba.

Left, Five Geneseo alumni climbed Mt. Katahdin, Maine’s tallest peak, to celebrate the upcoming wedding of Bryan Midlam ’04. Pictured at over 5,000 feet are: Brendan Ryan ’06, left, Midlam, Pushpinder Jassal ’03, Matthew Gorman ’03 and Jeff Vito ’03.

Dave Dutton ’88 visited Chateau de Hautefort in Thiviers, France, with his wife, Noel, and kids.

Winter 2012




Program. Jodi Ellenbogen Rosen and Alan Rosen are proud to announce the birth of a baby boy, Michael Joseph, born on Feb. 21, 2011, in Atlanta.

1999 Lisa Wood Bradley and James Bradley are proud to announce

the birth of a baby boy, Jesse Lee, born on March 3, 2011. Donald Burger and Christina CardonaBurger are proud to announce the birth of a baby girl, Macie Carole, born on Feb. 22, 2010, in Rochester, N.Y. Donald recently accepted a position at AndersonVanHorne Associates in Victor, N.Y., as an independent financial advisor. Kerri Ketcham Flesch and

Sean Flesch are proud to announce the birth of a baby boy, Liam Albert, born on Sept. 4, 2007, in Rochester N.Y. Melani Cook Heller and Max Heller are proud to announce the birth of a baby girl, Paige Leah, born on July 26, 2011, in Manhasset, N.Y. Shannon Raymond Luongo and Vincent Luongo are proud to announce the birth of a baby boy, Maxwell Winsor, born on Oct. 1, 2010. James Razza and Rachel Peters Razza are proud to announce the birth of their son, Benjamin Paul, born on Sept. 23, 2011, in Syracuse, N.Y. Danielle Leisner Rocktaschel recently accepted a position at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as a pediatric audiologist. Julie Sacco Bastedo and Michael Bastedo are proud to announce the birth of a baby boy, Charles Michael, born on Aug. 21, 2011, in Buffalo, N.Y.

Save the Date

Summer Reunion July 13 -15, 2012

Summer Reunion 2011 brought back over 800 alumni and guests. Next year’s reunion promises to be even better, but we need your help. We’re looking for alumni volunteers from anniversary years 1962 (celebrating their 50th reunion), and every five years through 2007 (celebrating their fifth reunion) to serve on Summer Reunion 2012 Reunion Committees. Contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 585-245-5506 to volunteer, or e-mail: It’s a fun way to make a difference at your alma mater.


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2000 Lauren Crescenzo DeGasperis

and Philip are proud to announce the birth of a baby boy, Jordan Gregory, born on May 21, 2011, in Mount Kisco, N.Y. Lori Finkelstein Happ and Aaron Happ are proud to announce the birth of a baby boy, Justin Matthew, born on Aug. 3, 2011, in Rochester, N.Y. Gavin Pratt and 17 friends who all graduated between 1998 and 2000 vacationed in the Outer Banks, N.C., last summer. They had a “Geneseo T-Shirt Day,” which included favorites from the past and new shirts for all six kids.

2001 Stephen Ciullo received a doctorate

in special education learning disabilities and behavior disorders from the University of Texas at Austin on Sept. 29, 2011. He is researching interventions to enhance the educational outcomes of students with high incidence disabilities. Krista Norton Foglesong and Jason Foglesong are proud to announce the birth of a baby boy, Devon Lee, born on Oct. 22, 2011, in Phoenix. Mieko A. Ozeki became a senior fellow as part of the Environmental Leadership Program’s New England Regional Network. Adam Tabelski and Rachael Millspaugh are happy to announce their marriage on July 9, 2011. They reside in Medina, N.Y. Laura Tripi and Peter Andolina are happy to announce their marriage on July 23, 2011. They live in Hamburg, N.Y. Holly Yandon-Davis and Michael Davis are proud to announce the birth of a baby girl, Leah Katherine, born on April 25, 2011.

2002 Celebrating their 10th reunion July 13-15, 2012. Eric Allen and Nicole Santariello Allen ’04 are proud to announce the birth of a baby boy, Carter Thomas, born on July 24, 2011, in Rochester, N.Y. Caitriona Fitzgerald and Ryan Mingo are happy to announce their marriage on Sept. 4, 2011, in Wells, Maine. They reside in Cambridge, Mass. Caitriona is chief of staff and general counsel in the office

of Massachusetts State Sen. Barry Finegold in Boston. Brad Franco is an assistant professor of history at the University of Portland in Oregon. He received his Ph.D. in 2010 from Syracuse University. Christopher Kvam received a juris doctor degree from the University at Buffalo Law School on June 1, 2011. Marc Martis and Amy Ferrentino Martis ’03 are proud to announce the birth of a baby girl, Lucy Rose, born on Feb. 2, 2011, in Buffalo, N.Y. Krista Heitmann Rodzinka and Mark Rodzinka are proud to announce the birth of a baby boy, Jackson Anthony, born on April 9, 2011. Joseph Salinetti and Laura Gabriel Salinetti ’03 are proud to announce the birth of a baby girl, Emma Gabrielle, born on Aug. 27, 2011, in Schenectady, N.Y.

2003 Amy Ferrentino Martis and

Marc Martis ’02 are proud to announce the birth of a baby girl, Lucy Rose, born on Feb. 2, 2011, in Buffalo, N.Y. Nancy McClumpha and Mike Idland are proud to announce the birth of a baby girl, Marielle Davie Idland, born on Oct. 8, 2011, in Buffalo, N.Y. Laura Gabriel Salinetti and Joseph Salinetti ’02 are proud to announce the birth of a baby girl, Emma Gabrielle, born on Aug. 27, 2011 in Schenectady, N.Y. Julie Todoro Wolf and Andrew Wolf are happy to announce their marriage on Aug. 13, 2011, in Rochester, N.Y.

2004 Carrie Ann Cain Cecere and Joseph Cecere are proud to

announce the birth of a baby girl, Caylee Noelle, born on Sept. 4, 2011, in Fairfax, Va. Tim J. Conheady was recently promoted to director of information technology at CDS Unistel Inc. in Webster, N.Y. Jonathan Rado and Kara Wisniewski are happy to announce their marriage on Sept. 17, 2011, in Doylestown, Pa. They reside in Perkasie, Pa. Nicole Santariello Allen and Eric Allen ’02 are proud to announce the birth of a baby boy, Carter Thomas, born on July 24, 2011, in Rochester, N.Y. Sarah

O’Brien Williams and Martin Williams ’90 are happy to announce their marriage on May 28, 2011, in Pultneyville, N.Y. They reside in Sodus, N.Y.

2005 Ben Delozier and Kasie Collins ’08 are happy to announce their marriage on May 21, 2011, in Northville, N.Y. Guests included many Geneseo alumni. Kristen Curtiss and Grant Hanley are happy to announce their marriage on June 18, 2011, in Buffalo, N.Y. They reside in Kenmore, N.Y.

Join us for our second annual travel abroad opportunity for Geneseo alumni, parents and friends. Last year’s first adventure was such a huge success, that we are looking forward to offering this once-in a-lifetime trip led by Geneseo faculty!

Explore Siena Italy July 30 - August 10, 2012

Chefalo are happy to announce their marriage on Oct. 15, 2011, in Auburn, N.Y. They live in Syracuse, N.Y. Their ceremony was officiated by Tessa’s aunt, Holly Adams ’86. Devin Guinn recently accepted a position at in New York City as a buyer. Dr. Sharon Mahoney and Hung Huynh are happy to announce their marriage on Sept. 2, 2011, in Pittsford, N.Y. They reside in West Henrietta, N.Y.

2007 Celebrating their 5th reunion July 13-15, 2012. Amy Williams Di Bari and Jeremy Di Bari are happy to announce their marriage on July 23, 2011, in Lake George, N.Y. Daniel FitzGerald was promoted to staff software engineer at IBM Corp in Endicott, N.Y. He has been a member of IBM’s z/VM Development Organization since June 2007 and is attending Binghamton University. He is working on a master’s degree in computer science. Jamie Fragnito recently accepted a position at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Golisano Children’s Hospital in Rochester, N.Y., as an assistant in the Office of Advancement. Christopher Grayeski and Carly Tydings are happy to announce their marriage on Aug. 5, 2011, in Rochester, N.Y. Christopher Morens recently accepted a position at the Kessler Center through Easter Seals in Irondequoit, N.Y., as a special education teacher. Jaime Scherer Singer and Patrick Singer are happy to

2011 Derek Weng recently accepted a position at the New York City Housing Authority as a resident engagement coordinator. He will provide project support for environmental sustainability initiatives in the city’s public housing programs.

IN MEMORIAM ALUMNI Mary Cook Baker ’40, July 24, 2011 Doris Kohler Kent ’43, Dec. 5, 2010 Audrey Bowen Worthington ’46,

2006 Tessa Cassidy and Anthony

Washington, D.C., as a presidential management fellow.

Aug. 1, 2011 Ethel Chadsey Meulendyke ’48,

Reservations are underway, and there are a limited number of spaces for this exclusive trip. For more information regarding the itinerary, cost and deposit schedule,

May 8, 2011



For information, contact Alumni Relations at (585) 245-5506 or

June 22, 2011

announce their marriage on Sept. 4, 2011, in Rochester, N.Y., where they live. Peter Swanson and Patricia Hackett ’08 are happy to announce their marriage on July 16, 2011, in Huntington, N.Y. More than 30 Geneseo alumni joined their celebration.

2008 Kasie Collins and Ben Delozier ’05

are happy to announce their marriage on May 21, 2011, in Northville, N.Y. Many Geneseo alumni were guests. Patricia Hackett and Peter Swanson ’07 are happy to announce their marriage

on July 16, 2011, in Huntington, N.Y. More than 30 Geneseo alumni joined their celebration.

Jessica Gilmore McGough and Kyle McGough are happy to announce their marriage on Aug. 13, 2011, in Auburn, N.Y. They reside in Williamsburg, Va., where Jessica is completing her last year of law school. Chad Salitan recently graduated with a master of arts degree in international affairs from George Washington University and accepted a position at the U.S. Department of State in

emeritus of philosophy, died Nov. 10. 2011. A 36-year faculty member, he led the Department of Philosophy as chair from 1978 until his retirement in 2005. During those years, he made significant contributions to students, curriculum and the college as a whole, including founding the Geneseo Honors Program in the 1980s, which provides students opportunities to explore

Patricia Fagan ’57, June 15, 2011 Amanda Bresnick Hanna ’64, Beverly Nostro ’66, Jan. 26, 2011 Bruce Ladue ’67, Aug. 18, 2011 Joseph Paris ’68, June 6, 2011 Paula Betlem ’72, Jan. 11, 2011 Barbara June ’73, Jan. 24, 2011 Marian Moffatt Bickle ’75, Jan.

1, 2011


In Memoriam: FACULTY William J. Edgar, distinguished teaching professor

Joseph Shubert ’51, Nov. 24, 2010 Nancy Long Ryan ’52, Nov. 16,

James McHale ’75, May 30, 2011 Joan Cheney Mann ’76, Dec. 20,

2010 Michael Bartosik ’76, Feb. 27, 2011 Jeanne Michaud ’80, March 9,

2011 Clement Lane ’84, May 30, 2011. Kathleen Wells Erickson ’86,

Sept. 1, 2011 Sarah Heffron-O’Donnell ’03,

Oct. 2, 2010 STUDENTS Edward Collins, June 2, 2011

ideas and interests. In honor of his vision and dedication to students, the college renamed it The Edgar Fellows Program. Edgar received numerous awards of merit for his teaching, was a prolific author of professional papers, and gave back through scholarships and mentorship. He also played a key role in creating the Humanities requirement, having taught the original prototype of the course and then shepherding the requirement through College Senate as part of the Core Curriculum in the early 1980s. Edgar’s influence and example helped establish the tradition of interdisciplinary teaching at Geneseo that continues today. Winter 2012


Summit Craig Knoche ’75, top right, celebrates reaching the summit of Mt. Whitney with disabled and injured veterans and active duty soldiers.

Alum helps wounded warriors discover abilities and spirit climbing California’s tallest peaks. By Kris Dreessen


raig Knoche ’75 was a student during the Vietnam War as young men were drafted and people protested across the country and on campus. Those days and the hostility that many soldiers met when they returned home stuck with him. “I have always felt very strongly that people who are in uniform and serve their country should never be treated the way my generation treated returning veterans,” says Knoche. “I feel strongly that should never happen again.” As a volunteer who works with disabled and injured veterans and active-duty soldiers, Knoche knows the emotional and physical scars faced by those who have chosen to serve. He found his own way to help them with rehabilitation and to give back. A rock and mountain climber with 25 years of experience in the wilds, Knoche also is a member of the Menlo County Mountain Search and Rescue team. He and his wife, Anne, have topped the summits of the tallest


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peaks in North America and several 20,000foot peaks in South America and the Himalayas. They chose to share their expertise to help injured veterans and soldiers reach new heights — literally. Knoche and volunteers, including Anne, guided dozens of veterans and soldiers of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to the summits of California’s “Fourteeners” — mountains over 14,000 feet. In 2008 and 2009, Knoche led several trips up Mt. Langley, Mt. Muir, White Mountain and Mt. Whitney, the highest mountain in the lower 48 states. The climbers were rehabilitating from or living with various injuries including shrapnel wounds, traumatic brain injuries, posttraumatic stress disorder and amputations. Many of the volunteer guides were veterans themselves, says Knoche. Knoche organized the Wounded Warriors Fourteener Project with volunteers and saw

how powerful the journey was for many of the guides, and especially the veterans and soldiers. On top, Knoche’s climbers celebrated their achievement, their abilities, and in some ways, new freedom. “When they are on top, they are beaming and they are hugging everybody in sight,” remembers Knoche. “One fellow stripped naked and he turned into the wind and he just screamed at the top of his lungs for joy.” The Knoches still welcome wounded warriors from Balboa Naval Hospital and Camp Pendelton for dinner twice a year. They began by hosting the dinners at their home; as the number of veterans and soldiers who attend grew, they’ve moved it to a larger home. The gatherings have become a tradition to say a sincere thank you to service men and women. “They are treated like royalty here,” says Knoche.



James and Arleen Somerville:

Investing in Geneseo’s new generation By Lisa M. Feinstein

efore coming to Geneseo, Professor of History Emeritus James Somerville taught introductory courses at a large university to huge classes of students. At Geneseo, he wanted to do something more innovative — and he did. From 1967 to 1997, James challenged students to analyze topical issues and their place in the world. At a time when very few colleges in the nation offered such courses, James developed classes that examined African-American and women’s history in addition to traditional offerings such as pre-Civil War America and the American Revolution. James challenged students to not only look to the past, but also to critically examine contemporary topics, such as the impact of the Vietnam War. Today, James and his wife, Arleen, are still forging new paths and setting an example for Geneseo alumni and students. Though James retired nearly 15 years ago and Arleen retired from her position as the director of the Science and Engineering Libraries and as the chemistry librarian at the University of Rochester in 2000, the Somervilles still very much believe in the power of higher education — especially for first-generation college students. “Arleen and I have been in higher education for most of our professional lives, and we know the importance of a college degree,” says James. “We wanted to help provide opportunities for young people



with financial needs whose parents did not attend college.” The couple established the James and Arleen Somerville First Generation Scholarship Endowment. The Somervilles also established the James K. Somerville Sophomore History Endowed Scholarship, which benefits a history student who demonstrates financial need. “We both know that college graduates often find the most satisfying and fulfilling jobs,” says Arleen, “… And we are very aware of the increasing cost of college education.” The Somervilles keep in touch with their former students, following the careers of graduMake a difference ... ates who have gone on to become lawyers, teachers, visit librarians and more. They also have close ties to the community and, after retiring, chose to stay in Geneseo. “We love everything the college brings to the community and the cultural attractions. They can’t be beat,” says Arleen. “You can see plays and concerts and so much more.” The Somervilles hope their commitment to the college and community inspires others to stay connected to Geneseo and similarly support future generations of students.


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Geneseo Scene  

Encompassing a variety of voices, the Scene tells the Geneseo story in a compelling manner to engage readers and inspire alumni, parents and...

Geneseo Scene  

Encompassing a variety of voices, the Scene tells the Geneseo story in a compelling manner to engage readers and inspire alumni, parents and...