Student Spotlight: LA Coordinators bring entertainment to Geneseo

Although many students know about the Limelight and Accents performance series, few are familiar with the two dedicated students currently responsible for organizing this branch of the Activities Commission.

Senior Kelsey Ryan and junior Ahmed Sheikh have been the Limelight and Accents coordinators for the last several performance seasons.

According to Sheikh, the two took the positions at the same time. "I always used to plan big events [in high school] - talent shows, fundraisers. Limelight and Accents was the next step [and an] opportunity to expose Geneseo to things it had never been exposed to before."

"I kind of fell into the position," said Ryan. "I started out for a little while as Activities Commission events coordinator. I've always been interested in performing arts though and Limelight and Accents sounded like fun."

Ryan went into more detail about the particulars of being elected to the position. "The position actually goes for a year and a half." According to Ryan, elections take place in October so that those chosen shadow the current coordinators until summer, when they plan the series for the coming fall.

Putting the series together is a very involved process. According to Sheikh, "Each January we're sent to a performing arts conference called APAP [Association for Performing Art Presenters]." While there, he and Ryan observed potential acts for the coming year's Limelight and Accents series. Sheikh described the event as "[the place] where we learn to detect good shows."

Both coordinators were eager to thank associate director of College Union Activities Carey Backman for helping them improve the series during their time as coordinators. "The series would not be the series it is today if it wasn't for Carey," said Sheikh.

Over the semesters, Ryan and Sheikh have brought a vast assortment of acts to Geneseo. "In a series we try to have a good balance of different types of things," said Ryan. "In past years we've had comedy, theatre … we try to be well rounded."

Sheikh said that one of the greatest parts of his experience as Limelight and Accents coordinator was having the opportunity to "leave a footprint in the lives of those who have attended any of our shows. That's what I value the most - they saw something they wouldn't normally see because of me."

"Personally for me it was doing something - doing multiple things - that I didn't think I could do," said Ryan. "It was scary, but it was definitely worth it."

Ryan, who is graduating this spring, said she is planning to use her experiences as a coordinator in her choice of career. "When I started in Activities Commission I had no idea what I wanted to do - it gave me a lot of direction. I'm hoping to go into event planning or marketing."

"I'm not going directly into event planning," said Sheikh, who hopes to become a doctor. "I do plan to use the organizational skills and leadership skills in the medical field."

Ryan and Sheikh' replacements for next year are junior Kian Bichoupan and sophomore Kellie O'Keefe.