Geneseo remembers Jodi Shaw, 21

Jodi Shaw, a psychology major in the class of 2011, died August 21. In her time on campus she was active as a lobby host, Geneseo Hillel member, Geneseo First Response volunteer and Orchesis dancer and choreographer.

According to Dean of Students Leonard Sancilio, Shaw came to Geneseo in January 2008, "as a deferred admit."

"I remember her first coming in [to the Office of Admissions]," said Amanda Neill, senior admissions advisor. "She had this big smile … she was such a shy, sweet girl. I was surprised to see her get involved with us, and it was great to watch her come out of her shell and grow over her time here."

Shaw was both a lobby host and a class host in the office of admissions and also worked at numerous special events, Neill said. "She was always up for anything we needed her to do and was very generous with her time. We talk a lot about how our students are so generous and so willing to give back, and Jodi was the embodiment of that."

"It's not hard to see where Jodi got it from," said sophomore Alyson Tarney. "She comes from a house filled with love from her brothers and parents. They are one of the nicest and most considerate families you'll ever meet."

Tarney also said that Shaw was "a fantastic tap dancer." Shaw started dancing at the age of three and performed tap, ballet, jazz, lyrical and hip-hop. During her time with Orchesis she choreographed four tap dances: "September" in fall 2008, "Sing, Sing, Sing" in spring 2009, "Nothin' Better to Do" in fall 2009 and "Gotta Give 'Em a Rhythm" in spring 2010.

Shaw also made a great impact on fellow residents of Monroe Hall, according to former Monroe residence director Karen Clark. "Jodi was always there to support everything we did in Monroe Hall. We never had to wonder if she'd be there."

"If there was an event that people weren't so sure about, she would be the one to assure everyone that it would be great," said Shaw's former senior resident assistant Niko Brown. Both Clark and Brown said that Shaw helped foster an atmosphere of community in Monroe. "She was always really happy and always around," Brown said.

Shaw was also part of Geneseo First Response. "She was really dedicated to GFR," recounted Clark. "She would get picked up right in front of my apartment whenever she was going out in the middle of the night - that takes dedication."

Geneseo Hillel held a memorial service for Shaw during its first meeting last Friday night. Senior Rachel Pierce organized the service. "No matter who she was with, she always smiled and said 'hi,' always wanted to know how your day was going," Pierce said.

"She was such a happy person," said senior Beth Semel. "She was just overwhelmingly positive."

"Her upbeat and positive personality definitely influenced those around her; it definitely influenced me," said junior Toby Ring.

Pierce recounted Jodi's participation in the "highs and lows" segment of Hillel meetings when members share their high and low moments from that week. "Jodi never had a low, or if she did it would be something like 'having too much work,' to which we would remind her that she was a college student," Pierce recalled with a smile.

"She will be missed and she will be remembered," Tarney assured.

Contributions in Shaw's memory may be made to the Temple Society of Concord, 910 Madison St., Syracuse, NY 13210.

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