Where Are They Now: Geneseo alum flies high with career

Since its inception, Geneseo has been known for providing a liberal, yet professional education for students who eventually distinguish themselves in both their graduate schools and in future careers.

One such Geneseo graduate has become an extremely influential player in the developing field of ornithopters - aircrafts that fly by flapping their "wings." Nathan Chronister, Class of 1994, spends his time working with these incredible bird-like machines.

"I was originally attracted to Geneseo due to my ambition to become a science teacher," said Chronister. He said that in his freshman year he took a few anthropology classes with professor Robert Anemone.

The professor's enthusiasm led Chronister to discover his own fascination with how living things interact and evolve. Thus, he found himself a biology major, which Chronister claims his high school teachers had never once inspired him to pursue.

Chronister said that his interest in birds began as a little kid growing up in Highland, N.Y., thus explaining how he managed to apply his biology degree to building these innovative planes.

While in college, he said he had considered a business in selling ornithopters. Since the technology wasn't yet that far along however, he decided to strike a balance between his interests and practicality.

Chronister worked in environmental education until 2003 when he decided to try promoting ornithopters as a full-time occupation.

Apart from studying hard as a biology major, Chronister was a part of DSA, SPACE and the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship as their "token agnostic." He claimed that getting to know people with various points of view helped him become a more open-minded individual. This, he said, was the best part of his experience in joining different organizations.

Surprisingly, Chronister said that the most valuable thing that he learned at Geneseo had nothing to do with academics; it was the experience of living in a community with special friendships that taught him the most.

Chronister wished to share some advice with current Geneseo students stemming from his personal experiences. "You will hear a lot of talk about economic recovery," he said. "Because of our reliance on rapidly-depleting natural resources, the economy will continue to contract during our lifetime, though there may be some brief upturns along the way."

He suggests that students should give serious thought to which career options will be viable in this economy by actively-seeking internships and work experiences that will help them choose a career and get their foot in the door.

"Consider AmeriCorps, etc., if you can't find a job after graduation," said Chronister, whose experiences at Geneseo helped shape him into the person he is today.