Students shine at G.R.E.A.T. Day

On Tuesday April 17, the sixth annual Geneseo Recognizing Excellence, Achievement & Talent Day showcased the work of over 900 students across multiple academic disciplines.

G.R.E.A.T. Day provides students with the opportunity to present their own work and to explore the work of their peers throughout the day.

After opening remarks from Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Carol Long, the day of presentations began. There were student posters in the College Union Ballroom, art exhibits in the Kinetic Gallery and the Milne Library Gallery, the Chamber Music Festival in the Fireside Lounge and presentations throughout academic buildings across campus.

In a classroom presentation, sophomore Spanish education major Michelle Walpole presented her research on food taboos through the lens of anthropology. Through a student survey, Walpole found that students in Geneseo often are not open to trying foods from other cultures. She said she hoped her research would help her peers to “understand cultural eating habits before [they] judge them.”

Three of 22 communicative disorders and sciences students who researched Language Sample Analysis presented their findings in Welles Hall. Sophomore Margaret Wayne, junior Stephanie Halvax and junior Carolyn Mahon presented the culmination of a five-year-long study used to compare the time it takes to administer a standardized language test with the time it takes to collect and analyze a language sample. The study found that sampling is on average 13 minutes and 58 seconds faster than standardized testing. The students said they are hoping that their research will help lead to what Mahon said is a “different assessment process” that will be more efficient.

Across campus in the Union Ballroom, students of multiple academic departments presented their research through poster presentations.

Senior psychology and math major Katie Boyle studied the effects of potential risk factors for verbal sexual coercion of college women. She found that in the context of hooking up, women with lower sexual refusal assertiveness were more likely to experience verbal sexual coercion. Boyle said she hopes that these findings will be implemented in prevention programs, because a higher SRA is likely a protective factor against verbal sexual coercion.

“Most studies just focus on sexual assault in general,” said Boyle. “Verbal sexual coercion is basically sexual assault without the physical aspect of it and … obviously it potentially happens a lot on college campuses.”

While students presented their research in the ballroom, a variety of student artists presented their work in the Kinetic Gallery and the Milne Library Gallery.

“Geneseo students are quite clearly very talented and have displayed a variety of artistic strengths,” said sophomore Hannah Wyland after viewing artwork in the Kinetic Gallery.

Upstairs in the Fireside Lounge, senior Erin Pipe hosted the Chamber Music Festival where ensembles showcased various genres of music.

“It’s all worth it, all the work that goes into it, just to … share what the Geneseo music department has to offer,” she said.

The Iris String Quartet presented Dvorak’s “American” Movements 1, 2 and 3. Junior Marie Kalet, one of the quartet’s violinists, said she was excited about performing.

“G.R.E.A.T. Day is a good opportunity to play [music] for people who don’t normally come listen to you,” she said.

This year’s G.R.E.A.T. Day keynote speaker Fredrik Hiebert, fellow of the National Geographic Society, gave the Jack ’76 and Carol ’79 Kramer Endowed Lectureship in Wadsworth Auditorium. His lecture, titled “Afghanistan – Then and Now,” focused on Hiebert’s work in 2003 at the Kabul National Museum in Afghanistan. Hiebert led the team that conducted the inventory of the museum’s newly discovered treasures; their findings included art objects and archeological finds that had been hidden during a decade of civil war. Hiebert later displayed these finds in a National Geographic exhibition around the United States and Europe.