Geneseo hired approximately 31 new faculty and staff members for the 2016-2017 academic year, according to Geneseo’s website. New hires have been spread throughout the college community. The new faculty and staff members have begun to form impressions of the college and the Geneseo community. Assistant professor of mathematics Cesar Aguilar shared his reactions to Geneseo students from the past month.
“I think the students, for the most part, are really motivated to do well,” he said. “I can tell they really care about academics, but at the same time I see a lot of them are really involved with extracurricular activities. It’s just good to see in general that the students are involved in academics and things outside of the classroom.”
Aguilar said that he had not heard of Geneseo before his application process.
“I had never heard of SUNY Geneseo until about a year ago, and I didn’t realize the reputation that it has for being a very good public liberal arts school,” he said. “As time goes on, I feel more pride in the school. The campus size is great, it’s nice that the village is small so you can walk just off campus and you’re in the village.”
The new director of the Access Opportunity Programs—which are programs that assist students who are underrepresented in higher education—Diedre DeBose said that when she started working with AOP, her priority was to engage students.
“One of the things that I thought was important was meeting with the students to see what they thought their needs were regarding AOP,” she said. “As far as just being acclimated to the overall college campus, everyone has been great. [We have been] working together to collaborate on various projects with regards to addressing the needs of the students.”
Lecturer in philosophy Carly Herold spoke positively about the village of Geneseo. “I really like the village a lot,” she said. “I think it’s got a lot of character and I love how much is going on there. For a town of our size, I think there is a lot of life and soul to the place and there’s so much to do.”
Herold elaborated on why her and her husband, assistant professor of political science Aaron Herold, chose to teach at Geneseo.
“One answer is that it was the job that we were offered and so we were very happy to come here,” she said. “The other answer, which is the more important and the truer answer, is that it’s an excellent school … and the region is absolutely gorgeous.”
The new faculty and staff have come to the college from different parts of the country. Aguilar taught at California State University at Bakersfield, DeBose worked in a similar position at Canisius College and Herold finished her doctoral degree at the University of Texas at Austin, according to the Geneseo website.
Instructor in literacy and reading Thea Yurkewecz spoke about her previous knowledge concerning Geneseo and its alumni.
“I’ve worked with a lot of teachers in the [Albany] region and a lot of the best teachers I know have graduated from here for their undergrad,” she said. “When the opportunity came up to apply here, it was a no-brainer that I’d need to be here since it’s where they’re producing the finest educators right now in New York State.”
For DeBose, working at Geneseo is a professional step forward.
“I was looking for a challenge, I was looking for more leadership responsibility and I definitely was interested in an opportunity to develop more professional growth,” she said. “I’d been at Canisius for almost 10 years, so I was looking for something different, a new opportunity. I applied and I was blessed and fortunate enough to get this opportunity.”