Alumni Career Partners Profile

Fall is not only a segue from summer to winter, but it is also a transitional period for seniors to start thinking about life after Geneseo, particularly their future place in the work force. And while many may be considering traditional nine-to-five positions, there are countless career fields that offer a little more leeway. Take Dr. Diane Stanitski '89, a double major at Geneseo in geography and communication, who works with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and who is also a science education consultant and soon-to-be professor of geography at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

As a scientist, Stanitski has had the opportunity to travel the world collecting data and doing research. Some of her experiences included "camping for months and digging snow pits on the Greenland Ice Sheet, rafting down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon to collect microclimate data, and deploying a tsunami buoy off the coast of Chile with a team of U.S. and Chilean scientists." It is the constant excitement of going to unique places, discovering new things and then reporting her findings to her students that Stanitski loves most about her job. Her position allows her to do research in the field one day, and then interact with students and work on projects with NOAA or the Smithsonian, where she is helping create a new ocean exhibit, or write one of her science books for children.

For those interested in hands on science, Dr. Stanitski suggests students explore the field first by helping their current professors with local research, so that they can experience what it is like to work in a lab or field as well as see the daily duties of a science professor. Stanitski also stresses that students make every effort to pursue a career field that they are passionate about because the best part of working in a job that you love is the feeling that you aren't even working. She made her passion a career by following the advice of her mentor, Melvin Marcus at Arizona State University, who said, "Never say no to opportunity!" She also suggests that showing motivation and interest is the first step to getting a job in the field that you desire.