Taking on both a physics and a mathematics major seems to be a four-year commitment that would barely leave any time to breathe, let alone get involved in any extracurricular activities. Senior Donovan Shickley, however, has managed to excel in physics, mathematics and get a rich and diverse experience out of his time at Geneseo. He has done everything from singing in cathedrals in Italy to researching self-healing armor, all while to maintaining an active involvement in the community.
Shickley, who hails from Niskayuna (near Albany), started volunteering for Friends of H.O.R.S.E. Rescue his freshman year.
"I got into it because my girlfriend was really into horses," he said. "It was a lot of fun and a lot of work, which was what really made it rewarding."
During his sophomore year, he was the safety advisor and junior year he was treasurer of the organization.
A big part of Shickley's life is music, and he has managed to incorporate it into many different aspects of his time here at Geneseo. He was in festival chorus his freshman year and joined the Chamber Singers sophomore year.
"We would usually just tour high schools to sing," said Shickley, "but we got to go to Italy for 10 days and toured cathedrals. We sang five or six songs and I had a tenor solo in one of the songs."
In addition to these formal singing groups, he has played at different events around campus, often to benefit others.
"My sophomore year I was an RA in Nassau and that was the year that Hurricane Katrina hit so we decided to do a fund raiser," he said. "The RAs split into teams and the person who raised the least money would shave their heads. I played music and sang in the lounge and people would drop money into my guitar case. The guy in charge of the other group dropped in a dollar and I ended up winning by 60 cents."
Shickley has also studied abroad on the sociology trip to Edinburgh in Scotland, where he had the chance to play guitar on the royal mile and ended up making £15, or about $30. After the three-week study of paranormal science, he traveled to London and Paris.
This past summer, he participated in computer science research testing self-healing armor. "It was really interesting because I had never really dealt with it before," he said.
When he is not playing guitar, studying, rescuing horses, singing or researching, Shickley likes to play volleyball. He has played on both the men's and co-ed teams, and can often be found playing pick-up on the weekends.
In his time at Geneseo, Shickley's academic excellence has been honored by induction into four honor societies: the honor societies for physics, math, Golden Key and Phi Eta Sigma.
After graduation, he intends to go to graduate school in North Carolina for the applied-math Ph.D. program. He received a researcher's teacher grant: a two-year minimum program. While Shickley is not sure what he wants to do after he finishes school, he knows he wants to travel and maybe, one day, be a professor.