Geneseo hosts an event to celebrate the sciences

On Friday and Saturday, Geneseo hosted a new event titled "Celebrating the Sciences" in the Integrated Science Center that displayed achievements in the biology, chemistry, geological sciences, physics and astronomy departments.

The event, which began Oct. 16 with an open house tour of the ISC, drew students, faculty and alumni together to showcase the building's cutting edge facilities, including an optics laboratory, greenhouse and astronomy observation deck.

Throughout the day, participants from the campus and community were given the option to audit classes in every represented discipline. Observers also had the opportunity to attend various lectures, such as the crowd-pleasing demonstration of the indirect relationship between pressure and temperature by professor David Geiger, chair of the chemistry department. Geiger used liquid nitrogen to fit several fully inflated balloons into one small beaker. Upon removal from the nitrogen, the balloons re-inflated spontaneously.

In addition to these events, several distinguished alumni panels from the biology, geological sciences, physics and astronomy departments hosted a question and answer forum for students.

Friday ended with the alumni and faculty reception, where Richard Hatheway, distinguished professor emeritus and mayor of Geneseo, was awarded an honorary lifetime membership to the Geneseo Alumni Association in recognition of his dedication to the college and venerable service to the Geneseo community.

Saturday's schedule was highlighted by faculty research presentations and the All Sciences Celebration, where Tom Hudak, class of 1983, both impressed and frightened attendees with his collection of snakes - several of which he draped around the necks of volunteers.

"I'm really pleased to see so many alumni here, to see what they are doing after completing their undergrad years here," said Provost Carol Long. "It is such a good connection to have students learn from alums. I myself am new to the community and I always find such functions beneficial in gaining experience and learning from one another."

"This really is a celebration of the sciences and opportunity for so much accomplished alumni to share their experiences with the students," said President Christopher Dahl. "We are celebrating your success as alumni and our success as a college in producing such excellent past students."

Dahl called for alumni contributions to further undergraduate research and hinted at the establishment of an alumni endowment in the sciences similar to the newly minted endowed professorship in the School of Business.

Danielle DeMarco, class of 2006, said she felt nostalgic for her years of undergraduate education while attending the celebration. "We walked around to see the posters around the ISC and explore the building," she said. "It is so nice to see all of the old professors. I really wish I could come back and be a student now."