After months of searching, Geneseo’s Center for Inquiry, Discovery and Development has a new director: Cynthia Oswald. The CIDD aims to work with students to expand on the ambassadorships that Geneseo offered in the past. According to Interim President Carol Long, the CIDD was almost three years in the making as part of the Shaping Lives of Purpose, The Campaign for Geneseo.
The CIDD is an extension of the ambassadorships offered at Geneseo, which are designed to encourage high-level student leaders to take on self-directed projects.
“[CIDD] has an internal advisory group and also calls upon the advice of the student ambassadors and the advice of the donors who have so generously funded our ambassadorships,” Long said.
Oswald said she is focused on putting the center on the map and creating positive branding on local, national and international levels.
“The ambassador students received a $5,000 grant this summer, and we’re going to utilize those students and programs to promote what is going on at the Center,” Oswald said. “This is an opportunity for SUNY students to get what private students get.”
Oswald, former president of the Livingston County Chamber of Commerce, said she is excited to use her past career history in creating organizations.
“I look forward to being the first director [of the CIDD] and putting my leadership ideas and creations in. Being around the students will help me stay creative and keep me thinking outside of the box,” Oswald said.
“The Center for Inquiry, Discovery and Development is important because it gives heightened leadership students a way to be self-directed in the real world with projects that have an immediate impact and create a legacy,” she said.
Oswald said that Long gathered community volunteers to begin laying the foundation for making this virtual opportunity a physical center.
The purpose of the CIDD office, which is located in Doty Hall Room 303, is “to support high-end student programming in all fields and to enhance collaboration among student and community leaders,” according to Long.
The opening of Doty Hall in September afforded the CIDD the opportunity to move into a physical space, which includes conference rooms and offices. According to Oswald, this space allows the CIDD to “develop into what the students and donors want us to be.”
In addition to continuing the ambassadorship program and giving students the opportunity to get funded, firsthand experience working in their desired fields, the CIDD also includes an international aspect.
“We want to create an external board rather than an internal one, and have it filled with influential people polled internationally,” Oswald said. “We want to include people with a connection to Geneseo itself and people with a connection to our mission. We’re not sure who we’re getting yet, but we’re looking. This will draw attention to the Center and benefit students because it will get them to network.”
The center contains offices for the Institute for Community Well-Being, the Academic Grants and Awards program, the Edgar Fellows Program and the Presidential Scholars, in addition to the Student Ambassador and international programs previously mentioned.
CIDD is hosting its first event at 1 p.m. Oct. 26. It will be a mixer for students and their families during Parents Weekend to introduce the Geneseo community to the Center.