Students who have taken a physics course know that many of the lab setups can be extensive and time consuming; however, many do not know the person behind it all. Clint Cross, senior instructional support specialist of the Geneseo physics department, said he “has the longest title in the physics department,” but looking at all he does, the long title is fitting.
In addition to setting up the labs for general and analytical physics as well as modern optics, Cross repairs and replaces all damaged lab equipment. He also runs the physics machine shop, where he teaches classes over the summer.
While attending Monroe Community College, Cross worked at an electronics company that led to his recruitment for an experimental operations group at a laser energetics lab. It was through this group that a research lab at the University of Rochester sought out Cross to do research on nuclear structures.
Cross said his experience at the lab was “fantastic, interesting and challenging.” He added that it was so enjoyable that he could’ve “worked there forever.”
At a dinner party through members of the research lab, Cross met with some faculty of the Geneseo physics department. There, he learned about the position that he would soon come to hold.
“[The physics department has] a great faculty [and] awesome students,” said Cross. “We are a recognized physics program, and it shows by how well [our students] are prepared to go on to the next challenge in their lives.”
In addition to being a faculty member of the physics department, Cross is also the adviser of the Geneseo Iaido Club. The club meets every Friday and practices Japanese sword fighting at the squash courts in Schrader Hall.
“The best part about [being the adviser of] the Geneseo Iaido Club is watching a student walk in with no experience and then watching them grow in the art,” said Cross.
Cross said he has always loved activities that involve movement. In college, Cross studied ballet and modern dance due to his fascination with Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev. He had to take a break from dance when he married and had children but said his wife encouraged him to get back into activities for himself once his children were older.
Cross said that his interest in martial arts started with his love for the television show “Kung Fu.” He also attended the Academy of Chinese-Indonesian Fighting Arts in Rochester, N.Y. where he learned the fighting style of Kuntao, a combination of Chinese and Indonesian styles.
Cross said he felt a sense of welcoming from the first time he went to the academy, which is why he stuck with the art.
Since taking his position at Geneseo, Cross also developed an interest in long-range precision rifle shooting. A former Geneseo student and current Marine Corps competitive shooter introduced him to the sport. Cross shoots in competitions throughout New York State and practices one to two times per week.
When Cross is not on the Geneseo campus, he said he enjoys cooking all weekend long for family and friends and that he especially enjoys barbecuing and cooking seafood.