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Fall 2011

geneseo scene

A magazine for alumni, parents and friends of SUNY Geneseo

Our Defining Moment

Shaping Lives of Purpose T H E C A M PA I G N F O R G E N E S E O

geneseo Fall 2011



Our defining moment The most ambitious fundraising campaign in college history will ensure current and future students have the same transformational opportunities.


Building on momentum Whatever life’s changes, the Geneseo experience never wanes. Alumni are taking the reins to renew that sense of community in 18 cities and regions, and connect with alumni nationwide.


Ramen to riches Our alumni chefs and expert bakers transform drab dorm food into affordable mouth-watering meals you can easily make at home. It’s love at first bite.


One College Circle Alumni News Class Notes

COLUMNS 2 7 18

President’s Message Letters to the Editor Athletics Geneseo’s most decorated athlete in history.


Perspectives A 9/11 survivor reconsiders what’s most important.


Random Profile: One Cup

Cover photo: Keith Walters ’11 Table of contents photography: Juliann Kane ’12 Freshmen watch their first sunset over the valley after the new student convocation. Some brought cups of tea to sit and talk and get to know each other.

Postmaster: Please address changes to the Collins Alumni Center, McClellan House, SUNY Geneseo, 1 College Circle, Geneseo, NY 14454-1484. Third-class postage paid at Rochester, NY 14606



Vol. 37, No. 2; Fall 2011

Geneseo’s defining moment


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: Lisa M. Feinstein Anthony T. Hoppa David Irwin Madeline Smith ’14 Peter Wayner ’11 Contributing photographers: Juliann Kane ’12 Keith Walters ’11 Kris Dreessen Carole Volpe ’91 Ryan Donnell Vasiliy Baziuk

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

n my 17 years at Geneseo, I have never experienced more energy and excitement than on the evening of Sept. 15, 2011, when almost 450 alumni, faculty, parents and friends gathered in New York City at Gotham Hall for the national launch of our campaign. That evening, I had the honor to announce the public phase of Shaping Lives of Purpose: The Campaign for Geneseo. Years from now, I believe, history will mark that occasion as a turning point in the life of this great college. Each of us can play a vital part in this history. No matter when you graduated, this campaign is a moment to be proud of your alma mater and join together to ensure an even brighter future for Geneseo. The campaign is intended to support six major priorities: The Fund for Geneseo; the new Center for Inquiry, Discovery and Leadership; scholarships; academic innovation and faculty support; global education; and athletics. Already, donors have committed $16.5 million, and with the announcement at the launch of a $1 million gift commitment from Ed Pettinella ’73, momentum is building. In terms of size, scope and intensity, Shaping Lives of Purpose: The Campaign for Geneseo is the most ambitious advancement initiative ever undertaken by the colof your alma mater and join lege. Over the next several months, we will engage all 18 together to ensure an even regional alumni committees to open up the campaign brighter future for Geneseo.” across the country. To keep everyone informed of news and events, we have created a campaign website at Future issues of the Scene will include a special campaign newsletter. We also will send tweets and Facebook posts to convey news as it occurs. Our beloved college is the common bond that connects us across the decades and across the miles. You can see it in this issue’s stories and photos. They affirm what we already know: our alumni and students are doing exciting and valuable things that make the world better. These accomplishments began at Geneseo — springing from a creative idea and nurtured by an encouraging professor, a supportive classmate, or a motivating coach. That’s what this campaign is about: shaping lives of purpose. Our goals are high, and our plans ambitious. Through our support, each of us can leave a legacy to current and future students who will forever benefit from the Geneseo experience. A life of purpose makes other lives better. How fitting that, a long way from our beautiful Genesee Valley, loyal alumni gathered in Gotham Hall where these words were inscribed on its stone walls: “Waste neither time nor money but use both for your own and your neighbor’s good.” That’s an apt motto for our campaign.


“No matter when you graduated, this campaign is a moment to be proud

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


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

Christopher C. Dahl


geneseo scene


Football flashback: A friendly game from an earlier era. FILE PHOTO

One College Circle CAMPUS NEWS

More Mud? More Fun! Erika O’Dowd ’13 hugs Vicky Wong ’11, left, after a good tackle and play during a mud football game in the Village Park. The girls wanted to play a match with pick-up teams, refereed by their male friends.

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Marketing mavens Geneseo’s celebrity design New at the union Exploring Walden Spotlight on student research News in brief Fall 2011





Hannah Zimmerman ’12, left, speaks with Thresa Brado, co-owner of Rainy Days Café & Bakery in Mt. Morris, about her ideas on marketing the business. Zimmerman leads marketing campaigns for dozens of Mt. Morris businesses as main street manager, a position funded by The Geneseo Foundation through developer Greg O’Connell ’64.


Students’ fresh approaches enhance business strategies When Mount Morris restaurant Questa Lasagna unveiled its new slogan, “No Freezers. No Fryers. Just Fresh, Authentic Italian Cuisine,” chef Tim Knowles did not thank some PR powerhouse, but a handful of Geneseo students. They came up with the best words to describe his food, and the feeling he wanted to convey. “(The students) are so smart,” said Knowles, who worked with the group before his May 2010 opening. “They sort of thought outside of what my mind was doing. That fresh approach and energy was really good for me.” Since 2005, students in Associate Professor of Communication Mary Mohan’s Theory and Practice of Public Relations and Public Relations Case Problems courses have collaborated with businesses and

communities throughout the region to help clients brand and promote themselves, their services and products. Students break into groups to act as public relations agencies.

Students last year collaborated with community leaders to brand four urban neighborhoods in Geneva, N.Y. Being part of a project that will affect an entire community fostered

creativity, says Andrew Martin ’11. His group engineered a reputational facelift for the City Central area with a new slogan, “The Right Angles,” which symbolizes the city’s initiative to highlight its best points. This year, students are leading initiatives for Rochester urban neighborhoods, the Geneseo Tourism Committee, Main Street Merchants Association and others, including a continuation with Mount Morris revitalization efforts. Greg O’Connell ’64, a real estate developer who transformed New York City’s Red Hook area and is now focusing on Mount Morris, says Mohan’s students are an asset. “It opens people’s eyes and tickles their imaginations about what’s possible,” says O’Connell. He says students and businesses alike enjoy the benefits of reallife experience. Mohan calls this “reciprocal transformation,” and it’s been one of her primary goals since she started at Geneseo in 1987. “Real-world experience is at the core of the projects,” she says. “There are no right or wrong strategies. They just have to use their research and analytical skills — and have the courage to take a risk.” — Peter Wayner ’11


The Wright stuff: Renowned architect’s influence graces Geneseo’s campus Did you know that America’s beloved architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, has an imprint on the Geneseo campus? Design of the campus is infused with his inspiration through the work of architect Edgar Tafel, a Wright protégé, who died last January at age 98. Tafel was an apprentice to Wright at Taliesin, Wright’s summer home and studio in Wisconsin. Among numerous projects, Tafel worked on Wright’s famous Fallingwater home in Pennsylvania. He ardently preserved Wright’s legacy in his designs and brought his mentor’s vision to Geneseo FILE PHOTO


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The Union has been a gathering spot since 1970. Starbucks is the newest addition.

The Union gets a caffeine boost Perched in a leather chair watching her classmates stroll past while sipping a venti iced coffee, Kathryn Boland ’14 can’t imagine life at Geneseo without the Robert W. MacVittie College Union. Boland has spent countless hours in the union, chatting with friends over coffee and sandwiches, studying for French literature, shooting pool on a Friday night and putting together playlists for her weekly WGSU radio show. “The union is not just a place to meet up,” says Boland. “It symbolizes a community … We come together here.” Starbucks is the union’s newest addition and part of a five-year strategic plan to elevate dining offerings on campus. As a respected brand worldwide, Starbucks will attract customers and is an option the entire campus community can be immediately comfortable

in the early 1960s. Tafel’s firm designed Erwin, Brodie and Newton halls, MacVittie College Union, the southside residence quadrangle and Red Jacket Dining Hall. TAFEL Tafel himself designed the stained-glass window in Brodie and the gazebo, a landmark where thousands

with, says Mark Scott, executive director of Campus Auxiliary Services, which operates campus dining. Two years ago, CAS renovated Books and Bytes café in Milne Library. Red Jacket and Letchworth dining halls will also be updated. Next door to Starbucks, the former Gus market is already under renovation and will reopen in February as Fusion Market, offering internationally inspired cuisine. The

Corner Pocket pool area is undergoing a makeover and will also open in February, says Scott. Students can use their meal plans in all of the establishments. “I could be in the union all day, starting out with some early-morning Starbucks, then going to a cultural dinner, and finishing off with a late night of pingpong and billiards in the Corner Pocket,” says Boland. “It’s really the most versatile

building on campus.” Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright Taliesin fellow Edgar Tafel (see corresponding story), the union opened in 1970 and has been the heart of activity on campus ever since. It was renamed in 1989 in honor of the longtime college president. More than 4,600 events were held in the union last year, including square dances, movie nights, cultural dinners and performances and even a dance party in a room full of foam during Weeks of Welcome for students. “This past year, my friends and I spent a lot of time at the Corner Pocket and Starbucks,” says Vincent Stowell ’14. “It’s a mellow environment where people generally take a break from work and stress.” — Madeline Smith ’14

of alumni have observed breathtaking sunsets. He purposely avoided highrise buildings that were more typical on college campuses to maintain a “non-threatening” ambiance and worked to blend the design of the campus with the town. At the time, the concept was quite different. “Much of what felt good about Geneseo was the overall charm of the campus and entire town,” says Tanya Gesek ’93, a clinical psychologist and

member of the Alumni Association board. “I lived on the southside residence area when the ‘tundra’ still existed and I loved it there. Walking across the ‘tundra’ to the south-side felt like going home and your stresses melted away because of the terrific view.” Tafel also played a key role in creating the 1964 master plan for Geneseo — essentially the blueprint for the ambiance and atmosphere the campus exudes in union

with the valley. He quickly connected with the community and lectured on campus occasionally. “Tafel made a personal statement in his work, but the influence of someone like Wright is hard to deny,” says Paul Hepler, professor emeritus of art and co-author of Geneseo’s history book. To honor his work, the college conferred an honorary doctorate of fine arts upon Tafel in 2001. — David Irwin


Fall 2011 5


Spotlight on Student Research NEWS IN BRIEF

The future of medicine New athletic director takes over Michael Mooney, a former Geneseo coach with 26 years of leadership at the college, is the new director of intercollegiate athletics and recreation. He takes over for MOONEY Marilyn Moore, who retired in 2010, overseeing 20 varsity teams, facilities and staff. Mooney previously served in several positions including head men’s soccer coach, director of intramurals and recreation, and associate director of inter-collegiate athletics and recreation. He is also the national chairperson of the NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer All-America Committee and is a four-time SUNYAC Coach of the Year.

Record high for study abroad Last summer, 280 Geneseo students studied abroad or volunteered for course credit

Greg Roloff ’12 won’t graduate until May but he already has years of experience in hard research to advance stem cell regeneration and other high-profile medical advancements. Like many Geneseo undergrads, the biology and chemistry major got his start early, perfecting a technique for growing breast cancer tissue as the foundation for advanced study. Roloff ROLOFF worked with Distinguished Teaching Professor Robert O’Donnell to determine how Tamoxifen and other cancer drugs attack malignant cells. Those research skills earned Roloff a position as a summer intern after his sophomore year at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedicial Science’s stem cell and genetics lab, where he was part of

in more than 40 programs on five continents, hosted by Geneseo or in partnership with other institutions. Among them are Kartik Pilar ’12 and Forrest Smith ’11, physics majors who each received a $5,000 SUNY scholarship to work alongside scientists and students at the University of Paraiba in eastern Brazil.

a team examining promising methods for regenerating damaged heart tissue. At the tender age of 21, Roloff is a published co-author about the study in The American Journal of Physiology. “It’s priceless,” says Roloff of the opportunity. Mastering fundamentals of solid research early at Geneseo, he says, helped him win that internship and his paid fellowship last summer at another University at Buffalo lab, where he examined the electrical architecture of heart cells, so they might function as one with stem cell tissue. “Everything you do the first day in the lab carries over,” Roloff says of his Geneseo skills. “That was a big stepping stone.” Roloff plans to spend a year working in the stem cell and genetics lab after graduation before heading off to medical school — inspired by his first work with O’Donnell. “Stem cells and cancer research are where my true passions lie,” says Roloff.

Professors earn honors The SUNY Board of Trustees recently presented faculty members with its most prestigious honor. Dennis Showers, a 25-year faculty member, was named a distinguished service professor for his contributions to teacher education and national and international

Exploring Walden: Humanities’ newest location Henry David Thoreau penned “Walden” more than 155 years ago, but his reflections are still a staple of environmentalism and thought. Students in the college’s newest Humanities II course in Concord, Mass., explored the classic where Thoreau wrote it. They also examined history and thought since the 1600s in the course, led by English lecturers Edward and Mary Gillin. The late Professor of English Emeritus Walter J. Harding was an internationally recognized Thoreau historian.

: Read the class blog —


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organizations related to science and math. Kurt Fletcher, a 19-year faculty member, was named a distinguished teaching professor for his abilities to shape the lives and careers of students and make physics accessible to students of all majors. More than 40 Geneseo faculty members have earned this honor.

Service with distinction For the fifth straight year, Geneseo has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll and for the second year received a “with distinction” commendation — the highest federal recognition the college can achieve for commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement. In 2010, more than 4,000 Geneseo students participated in nearly 79,000 hours of service.


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.

Congratulations to medal recipient Let me join the many thousands congratulating Glenn Gordon Caron ’75 for his Geneseo Medal of Distinction. I had the privilege of working with Glenn in the very early days of GSTV, back when it was a two-camera operation in a lounge in the union. Glenn’s creative genius was apparent even in his college days and it was no surprise to most of us when he hit the big time in Hollywood. Plus, his great

sense of humor made classes a lot more fun. — Jack Sheehan ’77 Photo essay is timeless representation of the Geneseo experience I love the pictures in the “17 Weeks” photo essay of a final semester at Geneseo in the summer issue. I graduated 20 years ago, yet the pictures reflect what I experienced at Geneseo. My four years there are ones that I will remember fondly forever. It’s a time I hold very special. — Laura Ziegler Gorman ’91

Alumnus thankful Geneseo shaped his life My days at Geneseo proved to be life-changing for me, both personally and professionally. Simply put, I would not have my family, career or the longterm and abiding friendships made at Geneseo. I met my former wife at Geneseo, and have three great adult “kids” and five beautiful grandchildren. My 35-year career in housing began as a result of a directed study supervised by former sociology professor Paul Zelus. I currently

serve as assistant commissioner with New York State Homes and Community Renewal. While at Geneseo, I also had the good fortune to form strong ties with a close nucleus of friends, who, although now we are spread all over the country, still regularly get together after nearly 40 years. I am still close friends with professor Zelus. Geneseo has played a truly formative role in my life and I will forever be indebted to the university for my own “Geneseo experience.” — Alan Smith ’76

And a letter from the Editor This is our eighth issue since we unveiled the new Scene in summer 2009. As editor, I relish sharing the stories of our community. The Scene is also proud to reflect well on Geneseo, winning seven awards from SUNY and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, in overall magazine, photography and writing, including 2011 best magazine among SUNY institutions. Our readership survey has provided insight as we move forward. Your feedback confirmed your curiosity about student achievements, alumni careers, Geneseo history and tradition, and, of course, how members of our Geneseo family are making a difference. The survey revealed that three-quarters of you read every issue and half rely on the Scene for most of your Geneseo information. Nearly all said it strengthens their connection to the college and with each other. Readers also said they have been inspired to write, submit a photo, donate to the college, or contact a classmate. We have received many thoughtful letters about Geneseo memories and how you have been inspired to connect with classmates or instructors — sometimes decades later. Thank you. This is great news and it reinforces what I am reminded of every day: you truly love Geneseo. This shows in the success of the Geneseo Alumni Regional Committees — teams of alumni uniting in their local areas all over the country (see related story on page 12.) More than 6,500 alumni and guests have attended more than 100 campus and regional alumni events nationwide since 2010. The Scene mission is to facilitate such connections and highlight what’s best about Geneseo — you. Please continue to share your thoughts, letters and photos with us. We’d love to hear from you at Sincerely, Kris Dreessen Fall 2011


Our Defining Moment Geneseo excels at pRovidinG students with outstandinG oppoRtunities. SHAPING LIVES OF PURPOSE: THE CAMPAIGN FOR GENESEO will ensuRe that cuRRent and futuRe students will leaRn and discoveR theiR passions to achieve theiR dReams. By Kris Dreessen 8

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xploring new ideas in her humanities class, Jonna Van Wagenen Shutowick ’88 began to understand her role in the world, and found her calling as a teacher. As a Chamber Singer, David Turner ’72 discovered the joy of feeling unbridled passion as he performed difficult arrangements with classmates beyond what he thought he could achieve. As a freshman, the very first person John Gleason ’87 met was MaryGrace Jiran Gleason ’84, who would become his wife. The best friends they made on campus have remained so, throughout the decades. “Everyone can reflect and say, ‘I had that same moment,’” says John Gleason. “Everyone who attended Geneseo had that someone who impacted them in some way — whether it was a teacher or a friend. It is the shared recollections and experiences we have that tie us together, whether you graduated from the ’70s, ’80s or ’90s. Geneseo is still part of your life.” The Gleasons, Turner and Shutowick gathered on Sept. 15 with nearly 450 alumni from all eras at one of New York City’s most historic landmarks to celebrate what Geneseo means in their lives — and experience a defining moment in the college’s history. Under the chandeliers at Gotham Hall, they relived those Geneseo memories that fill their scrapbooks and moments of truly transformaVAFIER tive learning — personally and academically — during a special event to launch Shaping Lives of Purpose: The Campaign for Geneseo. “Tonight’s celebration marks the beginning of a new era in the life of Geneseo,” said event emcee and Geneseo Foundation Board member Jeffrey Clarke ’83, as he shared news of the campaign. “This initiative will have a lasting and powerful impact on Geneseo — a place that has shaped the lives of so many young men and women.” HERZMAN Clarke is executive chairman of the Travelport Board of Directors and chairman of the board of Orbitz Worldwide. Shaping Lives of Purpose is the most ambitious fundraising initiative ever undertaken by the college, with a goal of raising $22 to $25 million from alumni, parents, friends and faculty and staff. The campaign will bolster Geneseo’s endowment and strengthen academic innovation and faculty support, student scholarships, global education, The Fund for Geneseo and athletics. The campaign also will support the new Center for Inquiry, Discovery and Leadership, which will offer boundary-pushing opportunities for students and faculty to collaborate with individuals and organizations who play critical roles in industry, business, the arts and other fields. Already, alumni are giving back: The college is entering the public phase of the campaign with $16.5 million in gifts, including a $1 million commitment by


the acclaimed chamber singers lead off the special shaping lives of purpose program at Gotham hall. PHOTO BY KRIS DREESSEN


event emcee Jeffrey clarke ’83, left, thanks edward pettinella ’73 following the announcement of pettinella’s $1 million gift to the Geneseo campaign.

A gift from the heart Edward Pettinella ’73 has had successful careers in the auto industry, banking and real estate. As CEO and president of Home Properties, Inc., he leads the operation, development and rehabilitation of apartment communities all along the East Coast. The vital theories he explored and hands-on skills he learned at Geneseo in the classroom and as class president, he says, were invaluable. “It was a tremendous foundation,” he says, “… from a book standpoint and what I learned interfacing with other students, honing negotiating skills and trying to sell my points of view to fellow students. That all played a critical role for me in jobs through the decades ... I not only got a tremendous education, but I also had fun. It was a complete package for me.” For what Geneseo has given him, Pettinella made a $1 million gift commitment to Shaping Lives of Purpose: The Campaign for Geneseo, bringing the college to $16.5 million of its $22 to $25 million goal. “It came from my heart. I stepped up because Geneseo needs it,” Pettinella says. “Gifts from alumni will certainly enhance the institution that myself and tens of thousands of other alumni have attended. I think this is just the beginning.”

Fall 2011



nearly 450 alumni reflected on the impact Geneseo has had on their lives at the new York city event. pictured from left are Jeffrey Burkard ’89, co-chair of the chicago regional alumni committee, Jim leary ’75, vice chair of the Geneseo foundation Board, and John shutowick ’90.





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Edward Pettinella ’73, made just hours before the New York event. “It is a testament to the belief that we all have in Geneseo,” said Frank Vafier ’74, campaign chair and Geneseo Foundation board member. “Tonight, we all experienced that passion and enthusiasm for what Geneseo has been in the past, is today and will be in the future. There is a collective sense that this is a truly amazing place and what we are doing will continue our legacy.” It’s forward thinking and imperative for Geneseo to create its own future, according to Distinguished Teaching Professor Bill Cook, due to ever dwindling state funding, which has fallen from 80 percent of the college’s operating funds in the 1970s to less than 20 percent today. “If we’re to be Geneseo in the future, we’re going to have to decide for ourselves what we’re going to be,” he said. “We’re going to be the outstanding liberal arts college. We’re going to give students an unprecedented list of opportunities … and we’re going to have to do it ourselves.” Cook and Distinguished Teaching Professor Ronald Herzman spoke about the rewards of teaching during the special program, which also featured tributes

by several alumni and students, who shared how hands-on learning, internships, relationships and self-discovery were an integral part of their own Geneseo experience. The acclaimed Chamber Singers led the program, filling the hall with the opening chorus of Handel’s “Messiah” and two other pieces, directed by director Gerard Floriano ’84, who was inspired to pursue a career in music while he himself was in the group as a Geneseo student. Hearing their soulful notes, Turner felt the same rush he did 40 years ago, when being a Chamber Singer was his portal to the world — and a community where he found kindred spirits and the exhilaration and reward of hard work. “It taught all of us how to work together, how to set a common goal and how to strive for excellence,” says Turner. Those experiences of transformation were shared by three other alumni who found themselves at Geneseo. Diane Willkens ’75 developed her love of international relations studying in the nation’s capital. Today she is president and CEO of Development Finance International Inc., sharing financial consulting expertise

to tackle pressing global issues. Graduate student Ana Pietrantoni ’11 credits her professors’ guidance with learning to trust herself, to gain confidence in her abilities and confirm her career goal to become a dentist. And Gleason proudly remembers the terrifying experience of trying to pass Professor Emeritus David Martin’s toughas-nails economics tests. He passed the course knowing he was prepared for whatever challenges life would throw his way. Greg Roloff ’12 and other students are still finding themselves at Geneseo. Roloff shared with the audience how he discovered his own passion finding better ways to fight cancer in the lab with Distinguished Teaching Professor Robert O’Donnell. By his junior year, he knew he wanted to help save lives as a cancer research scientist. The speakers say that is the heart of a Geneseo education. Geneseo prepares students for life. To discover the courage to take risks, the passion to pursue their dreams and the confidence to make them come true. As a member of the audience, Shutowick says she saw herself and her friends reflect-

ed in the alumni who shared their stories on stage. Geneseo made her “100 percent” who she is today, she said. “It felt like you were family there,” she said. “Our Geneseo roots keep us together. Geneseo is so much a part of who we are.” In the next 10 months, alumni will host events across the country to bring fellow alumni, parents and friends together Jonna shutowick to learn more about the campaign. Similar tribute programs will highlight what’s best about Geneseo and provide a chance for alums to reflect on their own experiences and with each other. Alumni in Rochester, N.Y., and in Florida continued the New York City momentum by holding events immediately following the Gotham Hall gala. “We are all invited to be a part of this new era in the college’s history — to come together and build Geneseo’s future,” says President Christopher C.


Dahl. “Shaping Lives of Purpose: The Campaign for Geneseo allows us to secure that future, and guarantee it for generations of students to come. Gifts from alumni and parents are especially meaningful because they come from those who best know the power and richness of the Geneseo experience.”

Shaping lives of purpose:

Alumni know the power of Geneseo Geneseo gave me an awesome education, but it was so much more than that. Geneseo took a shy, introverted, unconfident kid and provided me the opportunity to grow into the person I am today. The faculty and staff embraced students like me. They helped me to grow and experiment with leadership skills I didn't know I had. They went out of their way to help us succeed, not just academically but socially. You knew you mattered at Geneseo. That has been Geneseo throughout the years, and it’s amazing! My wife, Carol Patterson Kramer ’76, and I have met Geneseo graduates who are incredibly successful in a wide variety of fields. They continually prove to us that when you graduate from Geneseo, you have the opportunity to excel in anything. The Geneseo experience truly points young people towards lives of purpose. Shaping Lives of Purpose: The Campaign for Geneseo is our opportunity to ensure that future generations experience our alma mater the way we did. As alumni, we know better than anybody the difference Geneseo makes in students’ lives. This campaign is a momentous occasion for Geneseo, something the college has never attempted. That’s why my fellow members of The Geneseo Foundation Board of Directors and I personally funded the campaign launch in

New York City. The event exemplified what this endeavor means for future generations of Geneseo students. We wanted to provide exposure for the campaign while relieving the college of the financial burden. This way, every dollar we raise as alumni will PHOTO BY KRIS DREESSEN have a direct and meaningful impact on Geneseo’s future, and future students. The campaign is creating a foundation of support for the college and is helping establish a tradition of alumni-giving at Geneseo. This is an important step. As a board, we want our own legacy to be the story of how this campaign helped to build a tradition of support for the place we so dearly love. Now that we are at a stage in our lives where we are able, it’s important to give back so Geneseo can continue to inspire young people as it inspired us. — Jack Kramer ’76 Chair of The Geneseo Foundation Board Fall 2011


Building on

MOMENTUM across the country, GENESEO ALUMNI are building a tradition of reconnection. By Kris Dreessen

aul Furcinito graduated 23 years ago and for The committees stretch from nearby Rochester, many of those years has reunited with a handful N.Y., where more than 14,000 alums make their of close friends at Homecoming. homes, to the thousands who live in Florida, the During each trip, he tours campus to take in the Midwest and California. valley, strolls Second Street, savors an Aunt That’s a lot of alums all over — and that’s the point. Cookie’s sub and enjoys a beer with buddies on the Committee coordinators and other alumni memporch of Club 41. bers spearhead efforts to connect alumni with the That “special sauce” — as Furcinito college and each other for social “Alumni are our likes to call Geneseo spirit — of events and professional networking camaraderie, community and educaopportunities. greatest treasure. tion for life is what makes the Since January 2010, the regional They are a wealth of Geneseo experience magical, he says. committees have hosted an average of It keeps Geneseo an integral part of expertise for students four events per month, from family his life, despite the passing of and for the college. outings at baseball games to intimate decades. They are our greatest home dinner parties. They organize Everyone who called Geneseo inspiring programs about the college, ambassadors.” home knows that feeling, says bringing Geneseo to their own backFurcinito. yards. — Rose Anderson, assistant “What I sensed when I was 21 is Alums who participate see their vice president of alumni relations now confirmed at 44,” he says. Geneseo circle multiply to include “There’s something unique about the everyone in their area. Geneseo experience that provides a natural bond for “We are bringing the Geneseo community close to alumni that far exceeds what many other people home again,” says Chicago committee co-chair experience. The proof is in the pudding 20-plus Jeffrey Burkard ’89. “Being part of a community is years out. There is a great deal of enthusiasm among not a physical place. It’s about the people and the alumni about Geneseo.” Furcinito has seen that sentiment put into action as co-chair of the college’s new regional committee in New England. They are hosting more events and seeing more alums come out to ball games, receptions and dinners. Geneseo staff have partnered with alums across the country to create committees in 18 regions of the United States, where the largest clusters of alumni live. There is also a community advocates group in Geneseo.


alumni gathered for a picnic at the Bisons game last July in Buffalo, n.Y. it is one of the many varied events hosted by alumni that bring graduates of all eras together.


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GENESEO … IN YOUR BACKYARD Alumni committees represent the college in 18 ever-growing regions across the country:


Geneseo’s 18 regional alumni committees are connecting alumni with the college across the country, including Rochester, n.Y., which hosted a special shaping lives of purpose: the campaign for Geneseo event on oct. 13 at locust hill country club. pictured at locust hill are committee members matthew hartstein ’95, left, allana macdonald lazeroff ’90, chuck lamb ’72, dan o’Brien ’73, laurie weckerle Baker ’85 and mike Kauffman ’84.

relationships around you.” As the network in each region grows, there is great opportunity to create unique programming and to mentor current students, such as the new Chicago externship program this spring. For 25 years, the college has provided an opportunity for 16 students to attend a week-long externship in a major city, learning from alums who can share their career experiences. Burkard was on that first trip, to New York City. The experience inspired him, he says, to pursue his dreams. He felt confident moving to Chicago after graduation. To give back, he and other Chicago committee members are organizing an externship program in their own city. Students will be able to hear their stories, explore careers in business and other fields, and network. “The idea of moving to a much larger city and making roots can be overwhelming. To see other alums who had moved there and made it — and to see the energy a large city has — was very inspiring,” reflects Burkard of his opportunity. “To be able to open that experience to more students is fantastic.” Such willingness to share expertise is indicative of what alumni can do for each other and for the college, says Rose Anderson, assistant vice president of alumni relations. “Alumni are our greatest treasure,” says Anderson. “They are a wealth of expertise for students and for the college. They are our greatest ambassadors.” The committees are evolutionary and a necessity

to establish a tradition of support among alumni for the college, says Dan O’Brien ’73, co-chair of the Rochester, N.Y., committee. It’s a pivotal time for the college, he says, as Geneseo earns more national attention and state financial support dwindles. San Francisco region co-chair Kevin Canty ’77 says, “We’re doing our part to ensure that alumni have a sense of what the school is doing, its mission as it moves forward, challenges based on tough economic times and seeing what we can do to generate additional enthusiasm.” As such, regional committees play a vital role in Shaping Lives of Purpose: The Campaign for Geneseo. Following the Sept. 15 launch event in New York City, the Rochester crew hosted a kickoff celebration Oct. 13, followed by events in Florida and Washington, D.C. More events will be planned throughout 2011 and 2012, with special programming that shares stories of Geneseo’s importance to its alumni. This is an opportunity, says Burkard, for alumni to build a legacy of a Geneseo community across the country through the committees, and to strengthen the college so it can sustain amazing opportunities for current and future students, just as he and other alums have had. “The university was such a wonderful environment to come of age,” says Burkard. “That was a critical time in our lives. It’s a great institution in a beautiful setting, with professors who keep that passion alive. It’s important to me — and to all alumni — to be able to do that for generations to come. It is part of our legacy.”

albany, n.Y. new england Buffalo, n.Y. chicago colorado florida — east coast florida — west coast los angeles long island, n.Y. new Jersey new York city north carolina philadelphia Rochester, n.Y. san francisco syracuse, n.Y. washington, d.c. westchester county, n.Y./ connecticut

Launch events for the Shaping Lives of Purpose: The Campaign for Geneseo will be held in cities throughout 2011 and 2012.

: Look for campaign updates and events in your region

Fall 2011


Ramen to Riches

Dorm food drab transformed into dinner fab

By Kris Dreessen ike most of his classmates, John Murphy ’74 relied on the campus dining hall for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In between? Ahhh, those were the memorable meals — the timeless culinary delights of dorm food. Mac ’n cheese. Simple PBJs. Tins of tuna. Mugs of ramen, with enough salt per tiny flavor packet to melt the snow on Geneseo’s Main Street after a winter storm. Thirty-four years later, the dreaded — albeit beloved — school survival cuisine lives on. Marsha Dupiton ’13 never cooked before Geneseo. Her freshman year, with meal plan credit depleted, she often concocted snacks like ramen soup, garnished with frozen veggies and sliced hot dogs. “Necessity breeds creativity,” laughs Dupiton, who recently made her first lasagna — with an oven. So, can you elevate ho-hum dorm food into something you actually fancy — and relish serving your friends and family? Five Geneseo alums who are professional chefs and bakers took up the challenge and turned college memories into dinner gold. Majoring in business, fine art, psychology and history at Geneseo, they each found a passion for creating delicious food. They have trained and worked internationally, develop recipes for global companies or teach the new generation of cooks and serve solid meals to hundreds daily. One is head chef at one of New York City’s finest eateries, owned by celebrity chef Mario Batali. Their only rule? Choose either boxed mac with powdered cheese, tuna, PBJ or ramen and share an affordable, tasty meal that any of us can try. We’ve included their recipes online.


: Try their recipes! — Post your own! on the SUNY Geneseo Alumni Facebook page



geneseo scene

John Murphy ’74 Hometown: Bethpage, N.Y. Dorm food transformation: Sweet ramen with veggies Secrets to success: The basic ingredients are good and take little to no

work, but you can dress it up by adding fresh vegetables and fresh-grated ginger. Major: History with education Position: Fourteen years as culinary arts instructor at Barry Tech Career and Technical Education Center in Westbury, Long Island, teaching aspiring chefs knife skills, sanitation and basic and advanced cooking techniques. Formerly an executive chef at Asian fusion, Italian and other eateries. Guest cooks for friends’ and former students’ eateries. Claim to flavor fame: Mentored gold medalists in statewide culinary competitions and top finishers in national skills contests. Life before food: High school social studies teacher and football and wrestling coach in upstate New York. Flavor strategy: Keep it simple, with strong flavors. How I became a chef: A friend had a restaurant that was struggling. He asked me to cook. I was too naïve to think I couldn’t cook. I liked it enough to switch careers. I won a scholarship to attend the School for American Chefs. Best Geneseo memory: Hanging the Prometheus torch on the clock tower and not getting kicked out of school for it. Creative motto: You have to think outside the box and take risks or your food will be like everyone else’s. College snack staple: We had a pizza addiction. It’s a long walk from Nassau and Onondaga to pick up a pie in the middle of winter! Most underrated dorm food: You could exist on PBJ if you had to; with the addition of banana and chocolate you have all the food groups, though I don’t think that’s what Michelle Obama had in mind when she put together the new food plate idea.



Kim “Aunt Kimmy” Cutler ’80 Hometown: Roswell, Ga. Dorm food transformation: Toasted PBJ Secret to Success: Toasted, it’s a homerun! It

can be a meal or dessert, and the options are limitless. Add anything you like, from peanuts to raspberries, to make a new flavor. Major: Fine art Position: Owner and chef of Aunty Kimmy’s Creations (, a “sweet boutique” offering custom cakes, cookies and other goodies. Prior experience: 27 years in pastry, including training at The Hotel de Paris-Monte Carlo in Europe. I later opened and ran Edible Expressions café and bakery for 11 years. I created and opened Aunt Kimmy’s Creations in 2007. Signature dish: Anything with sugar. Why the food siren sings: I can use my art talent and creativity. Best thing about being a chef: I can snack well all the time! About taking risks: I switched from a career in fine art to culinary for job security and discovered that I can utilize my artistic talents in pastry. I had always baked, even as a child, so I think it was destiny. Dorm food low point: Popcorn for lunch and dinner. Chef challenge confession: I actually loved ramen and mac ’n cheese.

Fall 2011


Tracy Holleran ’93 Hometown: Fairfield, Conn. Dorm food transformation: Asian sesame noodles with chicken

(pictured on the front) Secrets to success: Omit the ramen flavor packet and you lose a

lot of the sodium. Add flavor back in with ingredients like peanut butter and sesame oil, chicken for lean protein, and veggies for nutrition and color. Major: Psychology Positions: Owner and cooking instructor of The Secret Ingredient Cooking School ( in Fairfield, Conn. Recipe developer for corporations, including Bigelow Tea. Freelance food writer whose work has appeared in publications such as Italian Cooking and Living and in cookbooks, including Trader Joe’s: Dinner Done. Blogs at Life before food: Nine years as a career counselor for universities and colleges, including associate director of career services at Yale University and an instructor of interviewing strategies at New York University. A-ha moment: I was a stay-at-home mom and wanted to work, but not 9 to 5. Providing cooking classes was perfect to combine what I love and what I’m good at — food, teaching and presenting. Style: Unfussy with no compromise on flavor. Best college food memory: 2 a.m. subs at Aunt Cookie’s followed by a 99-cent breakfast special at Omega. (I did sleep in between.) What I ate most at Geneseo: Hub burgers. It’s a miracle my cholesterol isn’t sky high. Something surprising: For all my blustering about organic food and fresh ingredients, there’s nothing that makes me weaker in the knees than lard-filled double-stuffed Oreos. Food for which there is no hope: All the cans of Spam on Earth should be buried at the bottom of the ocean. PHOTO PROVIDED

Matthew Abdoo ’02 Hometown: New York City Dorm food transformation: Spaghetti with tuna

putanesca Secret to success: In much of Italy, anchovies provide aroma and flavoring. In small doses it greatly elevates a dish, making you wonder what that flavor is. Capers add a salty component and texture. Major: Business administration Position: Co-chef de cuisine at celebrity chef Mario Batali’s New York City restaurant Del Posto, the only four-star Italian eatery in the city. Graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park. Former chef at Marc Orfaly’s Marco Restaurant in Boston. Trained and worked in Tuscany, Italy. How I got to work for celebrity chef Mario Batali:

Networking and lots of hard work. PHOTO PROVIDED


geneseo scene

Christopher Damiani ’88 Hometown: Hamburg, N.Y. Dorm food transformation:

Tuna cassoulet Secret to success: 30 minutes from prep to table! Tuna is the most versatile food in your cupboard — hot or cold. Jazz it up: Substitute imitation lobster meat for upscale flair. Major: Psychology Position: Regional executive chef for 10 senior living and hospital facilities in western New York for the Morrison Compass Group, a subsidiary of the world’s largest food service company. Manages the Erie County Medical Center food services in Buffalo, N.Y., and its 120 food employees daily. Prior experience: Chef at western New York establishments including Hyatt Hotels, Erie Community College and Wegmans. Motto: Every day you have to show up ready: you’re only as good as your last meal. Culinary specialty: American regional cuisine. I also learned the art of sushi rolling from a Japanese merchant marine. Now, my family has sushi around the house, at parties and every Saturday watching a Buffalo Sabres hockey game. Life Before Food: My passion has always been food, even in college. I was a dishwasher/waiter at the Bronze Bear café, a

What was most important in my success: Understanding

how the industry works and knowing that experience, hard work and the ability to take a chance would pay off. Life in the four-star dining lane: I work in a pressure cooker, 12 to 15 hours a day, up to six days a week, and manage 20 cooks. I keep my cool with amazing family and friends to come home to who provide endless support. Life before food: I’ve been cooking my whole life. The only job I had outside of the hospitality industry was a bag boy at a country club as a teen. Mission accomplished: I’ve wanted to become a chef since high school. I wake up excited. I get to do what I love, every day! Signature style: Rustic Italian, like grandma used to make. Why the food siren sings: Food makes people happy.


bouncer and cook at the Inn Between, and an Aunt Cookie’s sub boy. Why the food siren sings to you: Eat, drink, be merry. A-ha career moment: A good meal at the Glen Iris Inn in Letchworth State Park. It was warm, inviting, and this place was timeless, always serving delicious food. On taking risk: See your future, do what you see. Can anyone really save Spam?: Spicy Spam Reverse Sushi Rolls — Spam, screamin’ hot sriracha hot sauce and a touch of mayo. You’ll never know it was Spam.

Whether it is a bowl of chicken soup when you’re sick or a piece of chocolate when you are sad, food has the ability to make you feel better and lift one’s spirit. About taking risks: Go for it. Mistakes will always be made, but it is how you pick yourself back up and learn from them that defines you. Best Geneseo memory: The friends I made. Dorm food staple: PBJs. Dorm food masterpiece: Making baked ziti and garlic bread for our floor freshman year in the very tiny kitchen area of Genesee Hall.

Fall 2011




geneseo scene


MOST decoRated Michelle Rodriguez ’11

rockets down the lane as if she’s a fish in water, but her legacy is her

quiet determination and team focus. By Peter Wayner ’11


ichelle Rodriguez ’11 balances on the diving block, waiting for the starting gun. She is the most decorated athlete in Geneseo history, but she’s not thinking of medals, her competitors, or the crowd. She is only focused on the lane ahead. At the starting gun, she will explode off the block and tear through 200 yards in 1 minute, 50.01 seconds. “If you don’t believe in yourself before you go behind the blocks, then you really don’t have a chance,” she says. “I can’t control the girl next to me … I just have to focus on what I can control and race my race.” Self-discipline helped Rodriguez shatter nine Geneseo records and five SUNYAC records, earn 11 achievement awards, and shine the spotlight on her alma mater on the national level. In her four-year swimming career at Geneseo, she brought home 16 All-American certificates from the NCAA championships. To be All-American, an athlete must finish in the top 16 at the national level. She takes over as Geneseo’s most decorated athlete — with the most All-American certificates — from another swimmer, Josh Muldner ’99, who had 15. Eight-time SUNYAC Coach of the Year Paul Dotterweich saw Rodriguez blossom into an outstanding athlete who makes rocketing through the water look effortless. Freestyle is her forte, but she broke records in backstroke and two relay events as well. “Every year, she got faster in every one of the events she competed in at the NCAAs,” Dotterweich says. “That’s almost unheard of.” PHOTO BY VASILIY BAZIUK

Rodriguez kept it simple: she just strived to be better. A communicative disorders and science major, she also earned the 2011 Louise Kuhl Award for Career Achievement for her outstanding athletic career contributions. Rodriguez will be a Geneseo sports icon for years, but modesty and determination are her trademarks. “She would shrug praise off — put her face in the water and go,” says Dotterweich. She was also more concerned about the team than herself, he says. This sentiment was the overture of the SUNYAC championship her freshman year, in 2008. Geneseo was on a three-year losing streak, which meant Rodriguez’s senior teammates might graduate without winning a title. “We couldn’t let that happen,” remembers Rodriguez. “We had to win.” She helped ignite the team early in the meet by clinching first in the 500 freestyle — and earning a total of 60 points for the team. “Winning was the best feeling ever, because our seniors were so happy,” Rodriguez says. “I was ecstatic … I love that atmosphere and the challenge you all face together and then overcoming, winning or picking up from your loss.” Much of her overall contribution to the team was through her attitude and determination, says Dotterweich. She’s kind of quiet. When she did say something, everybody listened. “Every day,” he says, “she would lead by example.”

“Every day, she would lead by example.” — Coach Dotterweich

Geneseo sports round-up —

Fall 2011



Life re-examined On Sept. 11, 2001, Bob Hogan ’82 was in One World Trade Center when a hijacked plane crashed into the floors above him. Alive in the wake of a worldchanging tragedy, he asked soul-searching questions — and changed his life. By Bob Hogan ’82 This piece was edited from an essay Bob Hogan wrote about his experience. To read the complete article, visit


t 7:30 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001, I was headed for my bank management team meeting in the North Tower of the World Trade Center. I was struck by how beautiful a day it was. As the chief operations officer for Bank of America Securities, I oversaw nearly 1,000 associates; only six weeks earlier, I had moved 150 to new office space on the 81st

floor. Just before 8:45 a.m., I left a meeting to answer a phone call. At my desk, staring out the window, I heard an unusual rumble. Within seconds, the blue sky disappeared behind a bright orange curtain of fire and black debris. I stood up and threw the phone down. The building started to tilt, then slowly righted itself. Stunned, I tried to comprehend what was happening — fire 81 stories above the street, blown-out window, tilting building, streams of paper floating outside. By the time my brain rebooted and told my feet to move, most of our 150 associates had already fled to the stairwells. I found an exit and waited at the door, yelling for stragglers. I saw one person only — a severely burned young man with an expressionless face — and I had what I believe to be the first of two life-saving divine interventions. I got an overwhelming feeling that I needed to leave right now. I started down the stairs but after a few flights came to a sudden stop. The stairwell was backed up with people. I was amazed that one of the world’s tallest buildings had a staircase so small that it barely fit two people across. 20

geneseo scene

Most people were scared but surprisingly calm. Some were talking about a small plane that may have hit the building, which actually made me feel better, as I believed it was an accident. I had caught up with one of my managers, David, who had courageously waited for me. We continued down together. About this time, my wife, Laura, home in North Carolina, had heard the initial reports that a plane had hit. She called my assistant, asking which building I was in and what floor. “81. Tower One.” My wife immediately thought I was dead. As I reached the 55th floor, I received news on my pager that two planes had hit both towers and that President Bush was calling it a terrorist attack. We started to see firefighters. At first I felt relief, but as they went by, I was struck by their expressions of hopelessness and fear — the look of someone who may not be coming back. It was similar to photos of World War II soldiers storming the beaches of Normandy. We finally reached the lobby, where police and rescue workers calmly directed us to exit through the basement mall concourse. I finally felt safe. Little did I know that I was just beginning the next phase of this nightmare. And then came the second divine intervention that saved my life. A female transit authority officer looked directly at me and screamed, “RUN! DON’T LOOK BACK!” David and I sprinted across the concourse and up an

time that day I was dead. I fled up Fulton Street. People were screaming and running in all directions. The earth shook violently and the sound of destruction grew stronger as I turned onto Broadway. I ran toward the old Swiss Bank Building and jumped behind its side, praying that it was big and strong enough to withstand what was crashing behind me. David narrowly jumped in beside me, seconds before the tidal wave of debris forcefully blew by. Over the next few hours, we navigated through the dust clouds and walked across the Manhattan bridge — where I witnessed Tower One fall — and hitchhiked to JFK airport, where I rented a car. I finally reached my wife by phone to tell her I was alive. In the following weeks, I thought about the loved ones who never received a phone call, including three colleagues of mine who died trying to escape. I spent a lot of time soul searching, looking at the person I was, and more importantly, the person I needed to be. The important things in life surround who you are as a person. It’s about your character and the choices you make every day. I dove deeper into truly understanding my faith. I reinforced my wife and children as my priority in my life, ensuring they come ahead of my job and other things I had let consume my day. I stopped thinking that the world revolved around me. I fully realized that many firefighters who responded gave their lives attempting to save ours. Besides praying

Bob hogan ’82 lives in charlotte, n.c., with his wife, laura, and three children — Bobby (20), shannon (18) and danny (15). he is now executive vice president of certusBank.

Don’t let it take a life-altering event to realize the things that are truly important. escalator to the street, where I finally saw the magnitude of disaster. Both towers were ablaze, the sky black with smoke and debris. I finally got a cell phone signal and called my wife. As I was telling her I was okay, I heard a terrible wrenching of twisting metal overhead, unlike anything I had ever heard. It was time to run again. Over my shoulder, I saw Tower 2 collapsing towards us. It had only been 60 seconds from when David and I exited the concourse mall and when the tower began to collapse — 60 seconds we would not have had but for the warning to run from our guardian angel. Looking back at this unbelievable sight, I yelled out and the cell phone line cut out. My wife was watching on TV as the building fell and thought for the second PHOTO BY ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/CLIFF WASS

for them and their families, I felt a need to do more and visited the firehouses closest to Ground Zero a week after Sept. 11. Thanking the men for their service, I joyously discovered that the rescuers I had passed in the stairwell survived. Speaking with them was very emotional and fulfilling. I felt a common bond with them: We survived this traumatic event together. There was much laughter, and many tears. If there is anything I can share from my 9/11 experience, it is this: Don’t let it take a life-altering event to realize the things that are truly important. I hope my story ultimately inspires you to take a closer look at your life and how you have chosen to live it.


Geneseo lost four alumni on sept. 11, 2001, who are remembered on a memorial in the spencer J. Roemer arboretum: James Kelly ’83 Richard Bosco ’89 dennis o’Berg ’95 Yan Zhu cindy Guan ’99

Fall 2011



One Cup Mary Ellen Rooney Barsotti PHOTO PROVIDED

Class of 1982 By Peter Wayner ’11


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 st Gue rower h t 6 ee ’7 dart

map of the United States to choose

nt ie l edd preside Gaa

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 ... Texas. Could it be you?


geneseo scene

QUICK FACTS mary ellen Rooney Barsotti and her son patrick.

Home: Danville, Ky. Graduation year: 1982 Degree: Bachelor of science in elementary education How you describe Geneseo: A fantastic lberal arts school located in the best college town in the United States. Favorite campus hangout: The Hub. Best Geneseo memory: Fishing in the fountain and painting the Greek tree while a Clio pledge. Most important life lesson you learned at Geneseo: I learned to trust my instincts, open myself up to new opportunities and believe that anything was possible. This ultimately led me to take the leap of faith and move to Houston for that first teaching job, which truly shaped my adult life. What you would tell incoming freshmen or graduating seniors: Don’t limit yourself to what you think you are supposed to become. Find your niche, even if it takes a while. Have faith, work hard and believe that you deserve to find your happiness. Favorite saying: “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” (Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture)


everal times a week, Mary Ellen Rooney Barsotti ’82 and her eldest son, Patrick, made the trip from their home in Danville, Ky., to the hospital. Driving to Lexington, they talked about normal things like schoolwork or what they would eat for dinner — conversation Mary Ellen knew her 15-year-old needed. Before he was diagnosed with leukemia, a cancer that affects production of blood cells, Patrick was an honor student, varsity soccer player and the kicker for the championship-winning Boyle County High School football team. That daily life quickly disappeared. Mother and son made the 30-mile trip often for three and a half years, which allowed them to grow very close. A former elementary education teacher and reading specialist, Mary Ellen stayed home after she had kids. She already was close to Patrick and her other son, Philip; being by Patrick’s side as he fought cancer strengthened their bond. “We got to know each other on a different level …” says Mary Ellen. “It’s kind of like an unspoken thing between us. We just sort of get each other.” She let Patrick be himself, too. When he was healthy enough, he once again kicked for his football team — with a central line in his chest used for administering medication. “Looking back, I was probably crazy for letting him do half the things I let him do,” she says. “But it was a big part of his therapy.” At Geneseo, Mary Ellen says she discovered the need for selfsufficiency and found the best way to comfort her son was to prevent him from losing himself amidst the cancer. “I could be who I was and not worry so much about popularity and who’s who,” Mary Ellen says of her time at Geneseo. “I knew the value of living life as you want and wanted to nurture that in Patrick.” In 2008, the Barsottis celebrated a milestone — no more treatments. This year, Patrick graduated from Centre College in Danville with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology. He wants to be a drug patent lawyer. Students at Centre College receive a coin at the beginning of their senior year bearing the college seal. The night before graduation, the student gives the coin to the person who has affected his or her life the most. “(Patrick) …. gave me a big hug and told me I was his honoree,” says Mary Ellen. “That was a really special moment.” In Patrick’s recovery, Mary Ellen says she and her family have come to feel differently about the tough time. “I actually view our experience as a gift in many ways. Not only do we all view life in a new light, but have gained a deeper appreciation for relationships with those who come in and out of our lives,” says Mary Ellen. “… We’re not the Waltons by any means, but I think when we take time, take a breath, we have a different perspective. “This is the moment you’re in. Embrace it for what it is.”

Alumni News ABOUT THE ARTIST: Teresa Vito ’80, of Pueblo, Colo., discovered a fascination with color, line and shape as a young child. A fine art student at Geneseo and full-time artist since 1992, she paints living energy — in the outdoor landscape, still life, or the unending variety of the human face. “Christmas at Rita’s” features a favorite Mexican restaurant surrounded by thunder clouds in Taos, N.M. Vito has taught and studied at the Art Students League at Denver and Colorado’s Loveland Academy of Fine Arts. She painted with renowned artist Richard Schmid for five years and has won numerous national awards including an Award of Excellence, Best Portrait and Best Still Life Awards from Oil Painters of America. See more of her work at

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


24 28 29 30

Alumni event photos Leading the fashion world King of sports talk Class Notes Fall 2011




Alumni Events

Albany, N.Y. New England Buffalo, N.Y. Chicago Colorado Community Advocates for SUNY Geneseo Florida — East Coast Florida — West Coast Los Angeles Long Island, N.Y. New Jersey New York City North Carolina Philadelphia Rochester, N.Y. San Francisco Syracuse, N.Y. Washington, D.C. Westchester County, N.Y./ Connecticut

October 26, 2011

January 19, 2012



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

Regional campaign launch

November 3, 2011

Spring 2012


Regional campaign launches

Regional campaign launch buffalo110311

Florida — East Coast North Carolina Colorado San Francisco Los Angeles New England Westchester County, N.Y./ Connecticut Syracuse, N.Y. Albany, N.Y.

November 12, 2011 WESTCHESTER/ ROCKLAND, N.Y.

Regionional parent and alumni reception suffern111211

April 27-28, 2012 November 17, 2011



Greekfest/Springfest/ Alumni Weekend

Regional campaign launch chicago111711

Geneseo campus July 6-8, 2012 SUMMER REUNION All graduation years ending in 2 or 7 will be honored. Interested in serving as a reunion leader for your class? Contact Tracy Young Gagnier ’93 at Don’t miss out! It is 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 may be missing out.

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

Florida — East Coast region reception hosted by John Carroll ’75 Distinguished Teaching Professor of History William Cook, left, John Shutowick ’90, Geneseo Director of Special Development John Linfoot, John Carroll ’75, Jonna Van Wagenen Shutowick ’88 and President Christopher C. Dahl.

Syracuse, N.Y., region reception hosted by Eric Hinman ’02 and Joseph Szlosek ’02 Eric Hinman ’02, left, Jill D’Amico, Rich Feldmann ’02 and Graeme Spicer ’02.


geneseo scene

Florida — West Coast region reception hosted by A.D. ’75 and Denise Scoones

Philadelphia region reception at Longwood Gardens hosted by Jack ’76 and Carol Patterson ’76 Kramer

A.D. Scoones ’75, left, Denise Scoones, Gisele Figueroa, Luis Figueroa ’76, Dawn Thompson, Jeff Butters ’90 and Dave Miller ’90.

Washington, D.C., region reception hosted by Linda Warren Grodin ’61 Anne Irwin Tillinghast ’96, left, Peter Tillinghast and C.C. Christakos ’83.

Above, New England region reception hosted by Steve ’89 and Jen Fiorella Back row: Steve Fiorella ’89, left, Geneseo Director of Special Development John Linfoot and Derek Borek ’93. Front row: George Bumila ’93, left, Geneseo head men’s ice hockey coach Chris Schultz ’97 and Bill Loveland ’89.

Raleigh, N.C. Alumni Networking Reception

At left, Long Island region reception hosted by Bob ’76 and Linda Avallone Alfred Chin ’72, left, Caryn Geringer Camiolo ’85, John Camiolo ’86, Tom Glascock ’92, Dan Gangi, Kevin Bozza ’95, Jennifer Schoeneman-Wysokowski ’88, Mao Sung Yao, David Wysokowski, Walter Boden ’70, President Christopher C. Dahl and Robin Rhodes Patnam ’85.

Fall 2011


Westchester County, N.Y./Connecticut region reception hosted by Roger Lavan ’85

Los Angeles region reception hosted by Tom Moser ’60 Greg Fiorella ’94, left, Jeff Ross ’73, Shareen Ross and Tom Moser ’60.

Albany region Stratton Air National Guard Base and Tour hosted by Valarie Scott ’82

Westchester County, N.Y./Connecticut region hosted by Jim Houston ’80 Angelika and Chris ’96 Mattoni, left, Jim Houston ’80 and Sharon and Alan Pollack P’13.

Long Island region reception hosted by Jerry ’70 and Ginger Foy ’70 Duvall Jason Platt ’94, left, Jerry Duvall ’70, Ginger Foy Duvall ’70 and Kevin Bozza ’95.

Buffalo, N.Y., region Bisons ballgame and Geneseo picnic 26

geneseo scene

’90s reunion at the Statesman

Summer Reunion 2011 The next Summer Reunion is July 13-15, 2012.

Library tea

Alumni barbecue Class of 1966

Delta Kappa Tau

Alumni Fall 2011




Life in the fashion lane In the driver’s seat at one of the most popular clothing lines, Christine Sconzo Munnelly ’86 is a time traveler of sorts. As vice president of women’s merchandising at Aeropostale, she’s leading promotion and sales of the current collection while creating next season’s looks and scrutinizing the last. “At any one time, I’m working in all four fashion seasons. You feel like you’re in the past, present and future all of the time,” says Munnelly, “which is why I kind of feel like my life is lived in the fast lane.” The brand’s denims, printed tees and accessories for the teen market generate $2.4 billion a year in sales at more than 1,000 stores throughout North America, Puerto Rico and the United Arab Emirates. At Aeropostale, Munnelly is

involved with every aspect of the women’s line, from choosing designs and color palettes a year before a collection hits the racks, to managing production, setting retail prices and even deciding how clothes are displayed.

ing employees function better together. But first, she wanted to gain work experience and save for a master’s degree. So, Munnelly became a development trainer at the exclusive Bergdorf Goodman in New York City. The understanding of

I never really thought I couldn’t do something ... When you don’t have that fear, then you can. “It’s the most dynamic, interesting career I could have imagined for myself, because it is so all-inclusive,” she says. “It’s both art and science.” A psychology major at Geneseo, Munnelly never planned to become a high-profile business executive. She intended to focus on psychology of the work place, help-

human nature that she learned at Geneseo helped her succeed, despite having no sales experience herself. That first job launched a 25-plus-year career in retail. Munnelly went on to spend 16 years at Macy’s department stores, honing her skills as a buyer and gaining more responsibility. She left Macy’s to focus

class of ’86 Christine Sconzo Munnelly PHOTO BY KRIS DREESSEN


geneseo scene

on specialty stores and accepted the vice president position at Aeropostale in August 2008. Willingness to take on challenges — and the belief that she could succeed — has been key to Munnelly’s career. “I never really thought I couldn’t do something,” she says. “When you don’t have that fear, then you can.” She says she learned much of her self-confidence at Geneseo, where she also realized “whatever I accomplished was because of the time and effort I put into it.” Munnelly credits Distinguished Service Professor of Psychology Emerita Karen Duffy and other professors with building that foundation and providing opportunities, including internships. Munelly also spent a semester in London. It was a pivotal experience for her. After the official courses, she and Karen Krauss Ehman ’86 backpacked through Europe. “It was character-building,” says Munnelly. “It gave me a much better perspective on the world. Geneseo made that possible.” Munnelly has kept Geneseo dear to her heart — as a foundation and in her personal life. She married her college sweetheart, Mark Munnelly ’86. Ehman and Ehman’s husband, Randy Ehman ’86, are still close friends with the Munnellys, often vacationing with two other Geneseo couples, Tim’ 85 and Jenni Misner McCaffrey ’86 and Mike ’85 and Anne Wyffels Eble ’88. “You know what it is?” says Munnelly, “At Geneseo, you meet great people. They are interesting and they are real and they have heart.” — Kris Dreessen

class of ’87 John Tournour PHOTO PROVIDED

Living a sports fan’s dream The name sounds like someone from professional wrestling — JT the Brick — but even though John Tournour ’87 is not on the Smackdown circuit, he does plenty of verbal wrestling as host of the largest syndicated TOURNOUR sports/talk radio program at night on Fox Sports Radio. The show is carried in 250 markets around the country (1 - 6 a.m. ET). “I never dreamed of being a radio host when I got into the business back in 1996, and to be with Fox for 10 years is truly a blessing,” says JT. Tournour’s entrance into sports/talk radio was unconventional. He became a stock

broker after graduating from Geneseo in speech communication but retained his penchant for sports. He won competing sports/talk host Jim Rome’s first “Smack-Off” when listeners provide their best “smack talk.” That led to both radio and television jobs in several major western markets, including hosting television programs for the NFL’s Oakland Raiders, which he still does today. “Geneseo definitely gave me a platform to grow,” says JT. “My parents and my fellow DKs understood that you had to take chances in life to get ahead and that made a tremendous impression.” JT tackles all sports on his show but the NFL and college football are king. A native New Yorker, he is a longtime Yankees and Knicks fan. In

fact, his nickname “the Brick” came from Rome calling the New York Knicks the “New York Bricks” for their lackluster offense in the mid-90s. “Brick” became a word for a New Yorker so JT adopted it as his moniker. He lets his listeners voice their opinions when they are upset about something — and the show takes constant preparation. “You have to know about all sports and about individual issues in each market,” says JT, who lives in Las Vegas with his wife, Julie, and sons John and Jason. He considers his relationship with NFL football champion Jim Brown among his most memorable experiences: “Emceeing his 75th birthday party in L.A. was the highlight of my career.” He considers his proudest broadcasting accomplishment

the military night he hosts every Thursday on his show through the American Forces Network. He takes calls about sports and other topics from American armed forces serving in combat zones. For his career accomplishments, the Geneseo Alumni Association presented Tournour with a Professional Achievement Award last summer during Reunion Weekend. “Receiving the award was a dream come true, especially with it happening in front of my fellow DKs at our 140th reunion,” he says. “The Geneseo experience is something that will always be with me. It was perfect. I got a tremendous education, met great people and established long-term friendships. It was a life-changing experience.” — David Irwin Fall 2011



Class Notes 1970s Class of 1972 — celebrating their 35th reunion and Class of 1977 — celebrating their 40th reunion July 13-15, 2012. Katherine Weir MLS ’71 retired in May after 22 years at Illinois State University as business librarian. Tom Ingrassia ’74 was a featured speaker last May at the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in San Francisco, presenting his multi-media program “Motown and the Civil Rights Movement,” which focuses on the connections Tom Ingrassia between music and society in the 1960s. He also recently presented a program on the pop culture of the 1960s, “Girl Power: The Supremes as Cultural Icons,” at The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts in Worcester, Mass. Gregory Adamo ’76 was recently promoted to associate professor at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Md. His book, African Americans in Television: Behind the Scenes, was published by Peter Lang Publishing. Dale Hayes Klein ’77 has launched her blog, What Would Dale Do? at Laura Huffman Tek ’77 is an attorney in private practice in Nashville, Tenn.

1980s Class of 1982 — celebrating their 25th reunion and Class of 1987 — celebrating their 30th reunion July 13-15, 2012. Tami Warner Johnson ’80

was named the Most Inspiring Educator in her area in the May edition of Great Lakes Bay Lifestyle Magazine, which covers Midland, Bay City and Saginaw, Mich. She teaches at Midland Christian School in Midland. Mark 30

geneseo scene

Pellegrini ’80 graduat-

ed from Wingate University in North Carolina with a doctorate in pharmacy Tami Warner and is a Johnson pharmacist at Carolinas Medical Center in Concord, N.C. Denise Kelly Powers ’84 recently had a book published by Teachers College Press, titled Starting with Their Strengths: Using the Project Approach in Early Childhood Special Education. Denise coauthored Denise Kelly the book Powers with a friend and colleague and lives in Richmond, Va., with her husband, Mike Powers ’84, and their children. James Jambo Larkin ’85 and Felicia J. Lee were married on April 3, 2010 in Healdsburg, Calif. They live in San Francisco. Jennifer Juzwick Lauria ’88

recently accepted a position at the Buffalo Niagara Partnership in Buffalo, N.Y., as a membership representative. Cynthia Nagle ’88 recently accepted a position at the Statewide Financial System Program in Albany, N.Y., as communications manager, managing the agency outreach efforts for the SFS Cynthia Nagle Program, the largest public sector Enterprise Resource Planning program in the country. She builds awareness and understand-

ing of the SFS Program and implementation and oversees execution of the SFS Master Communications Plan in support of Go-Live as well as the communications team staff. She previously was a field marketing account supervisor at McCann Erickson Worldwide. Corri Halpern Wilson ’88 was promoted to full-time lecturer in the sport management department at Southern New Hampshire University and retired as athletic director at Auburn Village School in New Hampshire in June 2011. John Busher ’89 owns and operates a game download, news and information site called Kevin Hicks ’89 has served as the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) professor of military science at Valley Forge Military College in Wayne, Pa., since June 2009. He was promoted to colonel in April 2011 and deployed to Afghanistan in June 2011.

1990 Julie Clark recently published

the book Asperger’s in Pink, which guides readers through her family’s adventures raising a young child with Asperger’s Syndrome, a mild form of autism. The book includes commentary from her daughter, Kristina. Emily McRobbie has been awarded the 2011 Faculty of the Year award at Coconino Community College in Flagstaff, Ariz.

1992 Celebrating their 20th reunion July 13-15, 2012. Joseph Conte and Meredith Conte are proud to announce the birth of a baby girl, Mira Grace Conte, born on May 13, 2011. Matt Witzky recently accepted a position as CEO at Cone Holdings LLC in Cleveland, Ohio, a group of companies that consists of two lead-

ing distributors of medical diagnostic imaging supplies, Cone Instruments & Medi Nuclear Corp.

1994 Laura McMann Mahoney is

employed at the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, Va., as a grant analyst. Mark Nagi recently accepted a position at the Tennessee Department of Transportation in Knoxville as community relations officer. He previously was employed at WATE-TV as sports anchor and reporter. Kathleen Neary and Matthew Powell are happy to announce their marriage on June 5, 2010, in Franklin, Tenn., with the added bonus that both the bride’s parents and the groom’s parents were married on that same date 39 years earlier. Kathryn Drury Wagner and Brett welcomed a baby daughter, Delilah Jane, on Dec. 15, 2010.

1995 Darlene Szmyr Nichols and Jason Nichols are proud to announce the birth of a baby girl, Hailey Elaine, born on Feb. 5, 2010 in Saratoga, N.Y.

1996 Alexandra Collins Burless

recently accepted a position at Catholic Charities in Elmira, N.Y., as a case manager. Lt. Keith Lowenstein of the U.S. Navy flew Proud Warrior 427 to Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Ariz., for deactivation and preservation. Lt. Keith Lowenstein

Marc DiPaolo

saw the birth of his first child, Quentin Dominic DiPaolo, on April 1, 2011, and the publication of his

Scene around the world Submit your images to with a subject line of “Scene Around the World.”

Michael Denesha ’61 at the Great Wall of China.

Left, Debra Evans DeVoe ’75, left, and Suzanne WantuchWarren ’71/MA ’73 enjoy the English beach in Cornwall’s seaside town of Bude. David Cheng ’10 at the Panecillo in Quito, Ecuador, while he volunteered in a school for a month as a school psychologist.

Leslie Mannix-Plucknette ’81/MA ’86 and her husband, Doug Plucknette, explore the buried city of Pompeii in Italy, and say a hearty hello to their friends from Allegany!

Michele Furois Draiss ’80 went to London for her 30th wedding anniversary and took her Scene.

Several Geneseo grads vacationed together in Florence, Italy, and met up with Distinguished Teaching Professors Bill Cook and Ronald Herzman and the Siena Geneseo travelers for an Uffizi gallery tour. From left to right are: Bruce Richter ’89, Lisa Austin Richter ’89, Herzman, Cook, Jonna Van Wagenen Shutowick ’88, John Shutowick ’90, Scott Armstrong ’85 and Steve Huebner ’90.

Fall 2011 31

Scene around the world ... some more

Geneseo alumni met in Las Vegas to celebrate all of their 40th birthdays. From left to right are: Michael Faraci ’93, Brian Niederberger ’92, Maryam Tabrizi ’93, Rachel Williams Densmore ’93, Trudi Olsen Tuinstra ’93. Lynda Corsette Stafford ’92 and Anthony Tartaro, who attended Geneseo until 1991.

Dina Golovner Gorlick ’76 at the Mission Santa Barbara in California.

Erica Martin Bennett ’97 at the entrance to Denali National Park in Alaska, where she saw America’s tallest peak and numerous wild animals, including grizzly bears.

Anne-Marie Paquale ’95 at the Colosseum in Rome.

Jenny Perfetti ’01 at the Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore, Scotland.


geneseo scene

Gerry Szwalkos Wilson ’66, left, and Karen Sherk Davis ’66 spent 10 days cruising the west coast of Iceland, climbing volcanic rock, visiting waterfalls and geysers and watching orca whales, puffins and other wildlife.

2001 in the ceremony included

second book, War, Politics and Superheroes: Ethics and Propaganda in Comics and Film. He is an assistant professor of English and film at Oklahoma City University and has previously published the books The Conscious Reader and Emma Adapted: Jane Austen’s Heroine from Book to Film.

Andrea Moore Gegli and Andrea Zamorski. Matthew Zvolensky and Nicole Braunreuther Zvolensky ’03

are proud to announce the birth of a baby boy, Andrew James, born on March 25, 2011, in Binghamton, N.Y.



Celebrating their 15th reunion July 13-15, 2012. Aimee Gauthier is proud to announce the adoption of a boy, Alexander Edward Gauthier, born on March 16, 2007, in Uralsk, Kazakhstan and adopted at the age of 23 months.

Celebrating their 10th reunion July 13-15, 2012. Samantha Bell is an assistant professor of English at Johnson County Community College near Kansas City, Kan. She is also a contributing creative nonfiction editor with the Emprise Review. Jacob Clements and Sarah Hysert Clements ’07 are proud to announce the birth of a baby girl, Vika Evalina, born on March 3, 2011, in Rochester, N.Y. Colleen Volmut Hochmuth and Eric Hochmuth are proud to announce the birth of a baby boy, Brayden James. He was born on Oct. 8, 2010, in Port Jefferson, N.Y. Joseph Salinetti received an MBA in new venture development from SUNY Albany on May 14 and recently accepted a position at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Albany as an associate.

1998 Dan Calhoun recently accepted a position at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro as an assistant professor of educational leadership. David R. Friedman completed a graphic design certification at Hunter College in New York last August. Amanda Pielecha Sauter and John Sauter are proud to announce the adoption of a boy, Henry Xavier, who was born on Oct. 22, 2010, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

1999 Lindsay Least Benton received

an MBA in marketing from Northeastern University in December 2009. She and David Benton, of Boston, are happy to announce their marriage on April 16, 2011, in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. Their maid of honor was Gina Lattanzio Grande ’98. Kate Pangburn Fong ’99 has her own personal injury law practice in Connecticut with her husband, Corey, and is a co-author of a recently published book from the American Bar Association called The Road to Independence: 101 Women’s Journeys to Starting Their Own Law Firms. Tara Sweeney Sroka recently accepted a position at Draftfcb Healthcare in New York City as art director. Several pieces of her artwork were published in the

autumn issue of Somerset Digital Studio.

2001 Sean Fitzsimons and Sara

2000 Paul Brown is attending Boston

College to pursue a doctorate in higher education administration. Megan Ross Malette

and Matthew Malette are Paul Brown proud to announce the birth of a baby girl, Cameron Jane, born on June 13, 2011, in Albany N.Y. Kristin Furano Picardo ’00 and Jason Picardo ’01 are

proud to announce the birth of a baby boy, Marco Jon, born on March 21, 2011, in Rochester, N.Y. Chelsea Strazza-Jevens and Chris Jevens are proud to announce the birth of a baby boy, Logan Sawyer Jevens, on Sept. 26, 2010.

Fitzsimons are proud to announce the birth of a baby boy, Max William Fitzsimons, born on Dec. 23, 2010. Kevin Moeller recently accepted a position at Media Behavior Institute in New York City as executive director of research and analytics. Mieko Ozeki received a master of liberal arts in sustainability and environmental management from Harvard University Extension School last May. Jason Mieko Ozeki

Picardo and Kristin Furano

Picardo ’00 are proud to

announce the birth of a baby boy, Marco Jon, born on March 21, 2011, in Rochester, N.Y. Molly Rothermel and Tip Rawding are happy to announce their marriage on July 3, 2011, in York, Maine. They live in Arlington, Va. Other alumni from the class of

2003 Eric Blask and Jennifer Putorti Blask are proud to announce

the birth of a baby girl, Olivia Patricia Blask, born on Feb. 22, 2011, in Rochester, N.Y. Candice Fountain Cosker and Michael Cosker are proud to announce the birth of a baby girl, Sophia Marie, on April 21, 2011. Sara Fleszar recently accepted a position at Presbyterian St. Luke’s Hospital in Denver as a clinical oncology pharmacist specialist. Sara recently was employed at St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital as clinical pharmacist in Savannah, Ga. Nicole Braunreuther Zvolensky and Matthew Zvolensky ’01 are proud to announce the birth of a baby boy, Andrew James, born on March 25, 2011, in Binghamton, N.Y.

Fall 2011 33



demic year. Jeff Lipp and Christina DeFilippi Lipp ’05

2004 Jonathan Rado

Jonathan Rado

received a master’s of science degree in chemistry from Lehigh University on May 23.

2005 Courtney Westbrook Foster

and Kyle Foster are proud to announce the birth of a baby girl, Claire Eloise, born on April 8, 2011, in Alexandria, Va. Michael Lester and Nicole Notowitz are happy to announce their marriage on May 28, 2005, in Letchworth State Park in Mt. Morris, N.Y. They reside in North Carolina. Christina DeFilippi Lipp and Jeff Lipp ’06 are proud to announce the birth of a baby boy, Marco, born on Dec. 9, 2010, in Niskayuna, N.Y. Rachel Pagliocca recently accepted a position at GolinHarris Public Affairs in Arlington, Va., as an account supervisor. She was recently a legislative assistant at the U.S. House of Representatives. Kimberly Cervello Rogers and Matt Rogers are happy to announce their marriage on June 12, 2010.

2006 Dr. Matthew A. Hanna earned a doctor of dental medicine degree from University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine on May 29, 2010, and is continuing his educaDr. Matthew A. tion at Hanna Stony Brook University Hospital, where he is the chief general practice dental resident for the 2011-2012 aca-


geneseo scene

are proud to announce the birth of a baby boy, Marco, born on Dec. 9, 2010, in Niskayuna, N.Y. Christopher J. Marrin and Lisa Nachreiner of Columbia, S.C., were married on July 11, 2009. Chris, an attorney, and Lisa, a special-education teacher, met on the Geneseo Ultimate Frisbee team and still play the game together.

2007 Celebrating their 5th reunion July 13-15 2012. Sarah Hysert Clements and Jacob Clements ’02 are proud to announce the birth of a baby girl, Vika Evalina, born on March 3, 2011, in Rochester, N.Y. Sgt. Nicholas Patch ’07 of the U.S. Marine Corps recently won the Marine Corps Cup Match at the National Rifle Association National High Power Rifle Championships at Camp Perry, Ohio. In addition to his national championship, he placed 56th in the President’s Rifle Match to earn the honor of “President’s 100.”

2008 Helen Brewer is a certified pub-

lic accountant. After two years in public accounting at Eisner LLP, she has changed companies and is an internal auditor at New York City’s public utility company, ConEdison. Kelly Ernst recently accepted a position at the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y., as assistant director of public relations for the Hajim School of Engineering & Applied Sciences. She also recently completed her master’s degree in marketing at the William E. Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester. Rachel Kingston recently accepted a position as a reporter for WIVB-TV in Buffalo, N.Y. She previously worked as a news anchor/reporter at WBENFM radio in Buffalo. Karen Merrill is an auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in the Rochester, N.Y., office and recently became a certified public accountant. Diana Snyder

received a law degree, cum laude, in business and finance law from Boston University on May 22, 2011, and will join Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP as a corporate associate in the firm’s office in Palo Alto, Calif.

Helen Tobey Burr ’35, April 20,

2011 Janet Brandlin Lendt ’44,

March 16, 2011 Mary Gaus Woodward ’46,

May 5, 2011 Ralph Harris ’47, April 10, 2011 Betty Overhiser Ettington ’51,


March 29, 2011

Ryan Busha received a master’s

May 3, 2011

degree in health management systems from Duquesne University on May 7, 2011, and received a Fulbright Scholarship to study childhood obesity in Lithuania during the 2011-2012 academic year. Brittany Simmons recently accepted a position with Monroe County in Rochester, N.Y.

Janice Frei Burroughs ’61, June

Marilyn Harter Fitzgerald ’53,

27, 2011 Sandra Kebler Clinton ’62,

April 27, 2011 Judy Caretta Hughes ’62, April

7, 2011 Judith Ades Weiss ’63, June

24, 2011 Carol Brown Woodland ’64,

April 30, 2011 Olga Szpylczyn ’69, March 23,


2011 John Melaro ’70, March 16,

Danielle Machynski Calhoun


and Patrick Calhoun are happy to announce their marriage on July 13, 2010, in Groton, Conn., where they live.

Barbara Thomas Russell ’75,

July 3, 2011 Larry Bennett ’80, March 30,

2011 Joan Ellen Mann ’80, Dec. 20,


Robert Adamo ’83, March 16,

Meghan Brill of Philadelphia


recently accepted a position at ASI in Trevose, Pa., as an account executive, membership sales. She plays rugby with the Keystone Women’s Rugby team, a premier division team. Maggie Gotch recently accepted a position as an assistant account manager at Pinckney Hugo Group, a full-service marketing communications firm Maggie Gotch in Syracuse, N.Y. Megan Pogemiller has been accepted to East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tenn., to pursue a master’s degree in biology.

Clement Lane ’84, May 13, 2011 Bernard Buck ’87, May 2, 2011 Teresa Leigh ’88, May 6, 2011 Barbara White ’91, June 14,

IN MEMORIAM ALUMNI Lydia Hees De Marco ’29, May

12, 2011 Eloise Williams Belle ’32, Oct.

25, 2010


2011 David Hartstein ’98, June 17,

2011 Katie Brice ’03, April 19, 2011 Pamela Eder ’10, May 1, 2011 FACULTY • Harold Battersby, professor

emeritus of anthropology from 1970 to 1998 with an expertise in linguistics and Near East studies, died July 19, 2011. • Joseph Zaremba, professor emeritus of economics and management, who taught from 1970 to 2000, died April 13, 2011. • Barbara Rhodes, lecturer emerita, who was a part-time instructor in the Department of English and a director of the Learning Skills Center from 1967 to 1993, died on Aug. 10, 2011.


LEE GABLER ’11 FINDING COMMUNITY: “At first, Geneseo felt like a big place. I came from a really small high school. We had 87 people in our graduating class. On the Geneseo cross-country team, we looked out for each other and I learned to gut it out — I trained hard but did not always see the reward right away. The team is family. In the physics lab, I fused atoms and examined their released energy for a project in which I collaborated with my professors and with labs all over the country. Together, we worked on our small parts of a larger question. It’s cool to be part of something that is a great challenge, and which decades from now may change the way we think or do things — and I played my part in it. At Geneseo, I learned what it means to be part of a community.” ABOUT ME: cross-country team member, physics major and research student, lifelong bagpipe player. NOW: Studying mechanical engineering at the University of Virginia and developing equipment to assess brain damage in soldiers.


Fall 2011 35


Alumni Adventures in

Italy Last summer, Geneseo professors opened the medieval cities of Siena and Florence to 26 alumni, parents and emeriti, who reveled in history, culture and landmarks usually not experienced by visitors. Beloved professors Bill Cook, Ronald Herzman and Wes Kennison led private tours through some of the world’s most exclusive galleries and sites and welcomed them to their second home — the Onda neighborhood of Siena. It was so successful, next year’s “Study Abroad for Alums” is already planned — July 30-Aug. 10.


World-renowned Siena expert and Distinguished Teaching Professor Bill Cook explains how municipal engineering of the streets and the water system give clues to social interaction and daily life in Siena during the high Middle Ages.

San Gimignano, Europe’s best-preserved medieval city.


: See the trip photo gallery —



Faculty Fellow for International Studies Wes Kennison, in yellow, discusses the history and significance of the Piazza del Campo in Siena.

Tony DeFusto, Barb Ingrassia ’74/ MLS ’75 and Annalisa Emaman ’95 learn to make pasta.


geneseo scene


Jim Houston ’80:

Providing new opportunities for his Geneseo community By Lisa M. Feinstein

s his senior year was drawing to a close in 1980, Jim Houston was keenly aware that attending Geneseo had been the right choice. “I spent time reminiscing and reflecting,” he says. “Those memories, those recollections reinforced all of the reasons why I chose Geneseo.” Those memories included playing broomball, performing undergraduate research, serving as a student representative on the tenure committee and playing Frisbee on the quad. A double major in psychology and business, Jim found that the college offered diverse experiences that redefined his worldview. When Jim talks about Geneseo, he paints the picture of a community of teachers and learners who form meaningful relationships in the midst of transformational experiences. “I didn’t want to be a number,” says Jim. “I wanted something more personal — and that’s what I got.” Today Jim is a partner at The Prince Houston Group in New York City, a firm that recruits executive leadership talent for wealth management firms. He also is a member of The Geneseo Foundation Board of Directors.


“I decided to serve on the board because I wanted to give back. I wanted to be selective and do so with an organization that has a real and direct impact in an educational setting. Geneseo was the right choice,” he says. “It is by far one of the finest liberal arts colleges in the country. To be part of the board, and support these opportunities for students who might not be able to have them otherwise, that makes a difference for me.” When the college announced the launch of Shaping Lives of Purpose: The Campaign for Geneseo, Jim was one of the first to support the campaign. He created an endowment within the newly established Center for Inquiry, Discovery and Leadership. His gift will support student ambassadors who will be active participants in designing the center’s programs and independent learning experiences, which will reach beyond the classroom and their personal comfort zones. “I wanted my campaign gift to have a direct impact on students. I wanted to very specifically know that students’ experiences were richer and stronger as a result of my support,” says Jim.

NonProfit Org U.S. Postage


Syracuse, NY Permit No. 3893

Division of College Advancement 1 College Circle Geneseo, NY 14454

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Geneseo Scene Fall 2011 issue  

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 Fall 2011 issue  

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