Gallery curator comes to helm of school newspaper

Junior Chelsea Butkowski exudes a ridiculous aptitude and devotion for both art history and communication that led to her appointment as The Lamron’s editor-in-chief for the coming school year. Butkowski’s breadth of on-campus leadership positions include: president of Heard@Geneseo, Arts & Exhibits Coordinator at the Kinetic Gallery and Arts and Entertainment editor at The Lamron. This year, she worked as an assistant residence director in Ontario and Seneca Halls.

Furthermore, Butkowski is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, was nominated to be a Presidential Scholar and served as the Community Advocates Ambassador in Community Engagement, recognized by the Center for Inquiry, Discovery and Development. Through the ambassadorship, she created a magazine of the interviews that Heard@Geneseo collects in a documentation of stories from members of the Geneseo community.

She said that the Kinetic Gallery, Heard@Geneseo and The Lamron unite all of her interests and have given her a “sense of my interests and my own self and talents.”

“Before I came to Geneseo, I didn’t really think I was capable of doing half the things I did,” she said. “I think that I’ve just become way more of a developed person.”

A lot of students ask Butkowski how she manages – what’s her secret? We were sure she had a time turner; she proclaims to have a Google calendar and checks her email constantly. But what motivates her is what she calls being “hyper conscious of people.”

“I don’t like to leave anyone hanging, but I’m also passionate about it and at the same time I want to improve other people’s experience,” she said.

This summer, Butkowski is looking forward to an internship with the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City. It was a difficult decision; She chose the position over a magazine internship, reflecting her inner conflict between her major coursework.

“Obviously it’s not a defining moment in my entire life but for the next few years, it’s going to be a defining moment,” Butkowski said, adding that she chose the art history path after her experience in the Kinetic Gallery, a campus location that she calls her “baby, pride and joy.”

“I am truly passionate about programming there,” Butkowski said. “I put together the most ridiculously complicated exhibitions and spend hours installing them by myself just because I like it.” She notes that it’s been an interesting experience being a Geneseo gallery curator at a time when the arts are “taking a big hit.”

“My goal since I’ve started has been to make art accessible to students and not just pick things that I like and I feel like I’ve somewhat accomplished that,” she said.

Butkowski’s Lamron career has been similar, as she entered the position of assistant Knights’ Life editor with a mild understanding of journalism. Since then, she has written every week and for every section while helping to make arts and features writing more accessible for her staff.

“I think I became very determined to grow in The Lamron and I became determined to grow at Geneseo and take leading roles in things,” she said. “I didn’t do that so much in high school and I think it’s really just that working hard has paid off.”

As for next year, Butkowski is confident in The Lamron and its new and old members. She said she will apply what she’s taken from Residence Life, as “being editor-in-chief or managing editor is basically like being an RA.”

“Being on the The Lamron has taught me to go with the flow so much more and let things come and happen the way they’re going to happen,” she said. “Now I feel very well-established in The Lamron and I know the ins and outs. I’d say there’s no other organization that has the history that The Lamron has.”