On Wednesday afternoon, the English for Speakers of Other Languages Center was filled with balloons, student, staff and noteworthy speakers, in addition to the normal decor of a sprawling world map and flags from countries around the world, celebrated its one-year anniversary.
According to Jeannette Molina, director of the ESOL center and dual-degree programs, the center's goal is to provide support services for both international and domestic students, faculty and staff who are non-native English speakers.
The creation of the center one year ago provided a foundation for English language writing classes that already existed for non-native speakers. According to Molina, the Provost's office recognized a need for the center and sparked its creation.
"We went from non-existent to not only having a location but also a full-fledged facility for students," said Molina.
According to Molina, roughly 200 people have used the center and its offered services throughout the year.
Today, the center is outfitted with a language lab equipped with software tailored to assist college students, textbooks, language workshops and student tutors. Molina stressed that the services offered through the center are, "non-remedial, academically intensive," programs suited to Geneseo's challenging academics.
At the celebration, Provost Katherine Conway-Turner and President Christopher Dahl spoke, as well as Geneseo faculty, staff and students, spoke about the center.
Joanne Yen, a senior and "Speech Buddy" with the center, was in attendance. As a Speech Buddy, Yen helps students improve their English skills in a casual, conversational setting.
"It's nice that ESOL students have a place that they can come to that's specifically for them," she said.