Questions persist among college community over rationale for removing School of Business dean

The decision in early January to remove Denise Rotondo as the dean of the School of Business has continued to raise concerns among faculty and students. 

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Student Life Organizes Interactive Living-Learning Communities in residence halls

The Department of Student Life will implement two new Living-Learning Communities in Putnam and Wyoming Halls. These communities aim to supplement the existing LLCs across campus and provide a different residential experience. 

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College community confused, concerned over demotion of business school dean

Former Dean of the School of Business Denise Rotondo was removed from her position in early January. 

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Junior Ivan Cash discovers cultural differences after a week in South Africa

"Are you excited for the Super Bowl?" my friend Sandy asked, the day before I was to travel from New York to Cape Town, South Africa, where I would be staying for five months. "I'm not sure if they watch it there," I replied. Sandy laughed at this, telling me not to be silly and assuring me that "everyone in the world watches the Super Bowl."

As it turns out, ESPN is included in basic cable for the people of Cape Town, providing the opportunity to watch the big game live, without illustrious commercials, at 1 a.m. However, contrary to Sandy's belief, and as my host father would explain, "South Africans just don't

care about the Super Bowl." After learning I was right, I was proud of myself for being so culturally attuned.

In just a week of living in Cape Town, however, it has become apparent that my initial pride in understanding the foreign culture was premature. This became first evident while riding in the car, on the left side of the road, when the topic of speed arose. I was quickly embarrassed to have no familiarity with kilometers, or with any part of the metric system.

While one might find this lack of knowledge trivial, my ineptitude regarding the subject hindered my ability to engage in a conversation on more than one occasion. I noticed another cultural difference while reading the local newspaper, in which I was surprised to find rugby and cricket as the only games in the sports section. Basketball, hockey, baseball and football were nowhere to be found. I later discovered that rugby and cricket are really the only two popular sports in South Africa. As an avid sports fan back in the States, I was humbled by the need to have the rules of these sports explained to me.

The disparity in culture also came up in conversation with my South African friend Denver, when I referred to American household-name NBA player Lebron James. I was shocked when Den admitted he had no clue who "Jebron" James was. I wasn't necessarily surprised that he didn't know Lebron, the basketball player, for the NBA's popularity in South Africa is negligible, but I was truly surprised that he had never heard of Lebron James, the product endorser.

I had always assumed that American athletes or celebrities who endorse products in the U.S. also endorse products in other countries. But Denver explained that popular brands like Nike and Adidas are endorsed by local rugby and cricket players, as opposed to American icons. Here it becomes apparent that very few celebrities are relevant worldwide, the exceptions being those with the status of Michael Jordan. It amazes me to think that I could misunderstand a concept so seemingly obvious.

I am not ashamed of myself for not fully grasping South African culture before I came here, but it is worth pointing out that one must be aware of the many similarities and differences between cultures worldwide. While I've only been here for a week, I advise that maintaining an open mind and avoiding making assumptions are two essential ways to ensure a successful experience traveling abroad.

because it's your health...

Tip of the Week: The ABCs of Vitamin and Mineral Supplementation

Vitamins and minerals are substances your body needs in small but steady amounts for normal growth, function and health. Together, vitamins and minerals are called micronutrients. Your body can't make most micronutrients, so you have to get them from the foods you eat or, in some cases, from supplements. Vitamins are needed for a variety of biologic processes, including growth, digestion, mental alertness, and resistance to infection. They also allow your body to use carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

Whole foods are your best sources of vitamins and minerals. They contain a variety of the micronutrients your body needs, ­ not just one. An orange, for example, provides vitamin C and also beta carotene, calcium and other nutrients. A vitamin C supplement lacks these other micronutrients. Whole foods also have dietary fiber, which is important for digestion and can help prevent cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Adequate fiber intake can also help prevent constipation.

Vitamin and mineral supplements can't copy all of the nutrients and benefits of whole foods, but they can complement your diet. If you have trouble getting enough nutrients, you might benefit from taking a vitamin or mineral supplement. To use supplements safely, learn about your nutritional needs and understand how to choose and use dietary supplements safely.

If you do decide to take a vitamin or mineral supplement, check the supplement label. Product labels can tell you what the active ingredient or ingredients are, which nutrients are included, the serving size and the amount of nutrients in each serving. The label also provides directions for safe use and tips for storage. Avoid supplements that provide "megadoses." In general, choose a multivitamin-mineral supplement that provides about 100 percent daily value of all the vitamins and minerals. Most cases of nutrient toxicity stem from high-dose supplements. Play it safe. Before taking anything other than a standard multivitamin-mineral supplement of 100% daily value or less, check with your doctor, pharmacist or a registered dietitian. High doses of some vitamins or minerals may cause health problems.

Question: I've never really had a regular period (since school has started, I've had it three times, and it's been five months). Recently I had intercourse for the first time with my boyfriend, and three days later I thought I had my period, but it only lasted for two hours at best. All through the week there has been a little bleeding in the morning and nothing much else. I haven't had a gyno exam and I'm not on the pill. What should I do?

Answer: The best thing to do is to make an appointment at Health Services and speak to a clinician about this concern. It would be best to have an examination and a pap smear now that you are sexually active. You may also want to consider/discuss birth control options.

Question: Does the Health & Counseling center provide condoms for students?

Answer: Yes, free condoms are available in the Self-Care Center, first floor Lauderdale.

(This column is courtesy of the Lauderdale Center. YAWA is an anonymous, online service on the Health & Counseling Web Site:

Deep Freeze 2007 as successful as it is cold

With only an hour and 35 minutes left in their five day long Deep Freeze Against Cancer, members of the Alpha Chi Rho fraternity, better known as the Crows, breathed a collective sigh of relief. With the end near, the below freezing weather became progressively easier to overcome. "There have definitely been colder days," said senior Tom Coleman, a member of the fraternity.

The Crows kicked off their sixth annual Deep Freeze at 8 p.m. on Jan. 28. Officially concluding at 4 p.m. on Feb. 2, the Deep Freeze aimed to raise money for the American Cancer Society. In the final hours of the event, they surpassed their monetary goal of $1500, and were well on their way to raising $2000.

This year, the Crows took their cause to the Geneseo Wal-Mart, where they were able to double what they had raised on campus. Alpha Chi Rho also reported outstanding support from students, faculty and the surrounding community for the Deep Freeze. Rochester's television station, 13 WHAM, came to Sturges Quad to cover the event.

Nightly activities made up another new facet to amplify the fundraising. Monday night began with tree painting, leaving the Greek Tree a festive red. On Wednesday night, Dr. Robert O'Donnell spoke in Newton Hall about cancer research, and Thursday night featured kickball.

While the temperature in Sturges Quad dropped as low as 8 degrees through out the week, it provided visibility for the fundraising. The 23 brothers of the fraternity all took turns working at the table outside of Sturges Hall. Each member took a daily four hour shift, and everyone was required to take one overnight shift, which lasted from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.

Surviving 12 hours in freezing temperatures required careful attention to layering. Huddled between the newly painted Greek Tree and a sign that measured their progress, sophomore Phil Heiler wore four pairs of pants, while Coleman stuffed himself into five pairs of pants, two pairs of thermal socks, and hand warmers.

Friends showed compassion for both the cause and the brothers. "People bring us warm things because they feel bad for us," said Coleman, referring to the thoughtful cups of hot chocolate brought to them throughout Deep Freeze. The overnighters also roasted hotdogs over a grill, savoring a much-needed warm meal. "One you get the overnight over with, it's smooth sailing," Heiler admitted.

SU professor discusses women and goddesses in Hindu culture

On Feb. 1, Syracuse University professor Dr. Anne Grodzins Gold gave a lecture titled "Gender and Religion in a North Indian Village," about Hindu beliefs and the intimate relationship between goddesses and Hindu women. Gold has spent the last 25 years living off and on in an Indian village in Rajasthan.

Gold is a professor of cultural anthropology at SU. She made her first trip to India in 1979, intending to study the pilgrimages of Hindu people. Upon her arrival to Rajasthan, she met an American studying folklore who asked her to come to a small village. The women in the village took Gold in, and her experience with them turned her attention to women's studies. As she began recording the stories and lives of the women, she noted that "it was completely accidental. I had no intention of going there."

Freshman Caitlin Klein said, "What struck me the most was that she didn't go over there looking to study women's rights. It's commendable that she went with that and became one of them." Over the past 25 years Gold has done extensive studies on pilgrimages, gender relations, epics of world renunciation, and cultural constructions of the environment. When she first arrived in 1979 the people were both critical and curious. In the past, only men from America had come to their village, and the female villagers weren't allowed to ask questions. Now they were allowed to talk to an American and have their questions answered.

"They were very curious," Gold said. "They thought that streets in America were paved with glass, and that we put all of our elderly into jails."

The lecture focused on the strong bonds between goddesses and Hindu women. Men do not bond as strongly with the goddesses, but still have a relationship with them, praying and even becoming possessed, Gold said.

Gold focused primarily on the strength women gain from their relationship with the goddesses. The women go on pilgrimages to visit their shrines, at which they place offerings and spend the night singing, dancing and worshipping with other women. According to Hindu beliefs, each goddess has different powers. The goddess Durga gives women the ability to stand up for themselves. She's known for defeating the buffalo demon, an event symbolic of female strength.

The lecture seemed to be rushed, and it would have benefitted from more detail. Facing a diverse audience, with some knowing more about India and the topic than others, Gold stuck to the basics of her experience.

"It was interesting," freshman John Whelehan said, "but I wish there was more time for her to explain the differences between how men and women worship. All in all, it was a neat educational opportunity and it was exciting to learn about the different cultures and people." The overall response to the lecture was a positive one.

Sophomore Seth Palmer stated, "I was really interested to hear her talk about the use of Indian goddesses in the Indian feminist movement." The audience as a whole was equally receptive to a lecturer who clearly knew and understood her topic very well.

Italian feast to benefit furry felines

On Friday, Feb. 9, the Hearthside Cats organization will host their 13th annual gourmet Italian dinner. The Italian feast will be held at 7 p.m. in St. Mary's Parish Center on Church Street.

Hearthside Cats is a local non-profit organization run entirely by volunteers. Since they were established in 1991, they have helped over 1500 stray cats find homes. Hearthside Cats tries to ensure the welfare of each and every cat they take in. Each is given veterinary care and shelter in the comfort of a foster home.

Hearthside Cats reaches out to the community by allowing responsible people to adopt their cats. Any person or family can adopt a cat on the conditions that they do not de-claw or keep the cat indoors. "Some of the cats here have lived hard lives before they came to us. We want to make sure we find them good homes," said Victoria Raschi, a member of Hearthside Cats.

The organization plans to keep growing and hopes to raise enough money to establish a self-sufficient shelter. Hearthside Cats currently does not have enough space to house all the homeless cats in the community. This shelter would accommodate up to 50 cats at one time, and tentatively include individual/group rooms, play equipment, ramps, rooms for treatment and education, a reception and office areas, and an "adoption room." The adoption process would also be easier, with all the cats and kittens on one site.

Seventy-five percent of the capital necessary for the shelter will be granted by the state. The organization will raise the rest of the money on their own, with the help of local sources and fundraisers, such as the dinner at St. Mary's. Lynn and Wes Kennison will be cooking a multi-course Italian feast for the evening. There will also be a vegetarian option for those who do not eat meat, so everyone that attends can enjoy a gourmet meal. "The people who cook do a wonderful job. I was a waitress last year and didn't get to sit down and eat, but the nibbles I could get were delicious," Raschi said. The food will be accompanied by a silent wine auction and door prizes.

Tickets can be purchased for $24 at the door or online at All profits from the evening will go directly to the organization. For further information about Hearthside Cats, or if you are interested in offering a donation, contact the organization through their Web site or by telephone at 585-243-0873.

INVASION OF PRIVACY: Larry Blackman finds fulfillment and happiness at Geneseo

Larry Blackman is a man of many identities. He is a professor, family man, philosopher, published genealogist, and now the acting chair of the political science department. As a professor at Geneseo since 1973, Blackman has taught a handful of philosophy courses, ranging from Introduction to Philosophy to Theory of Knowledge. He also teaches Humanities, INTD 105, and Genealogy.

Blackman graduated from the University of Kansas in 1963 with a B.A. in philosophy. He studied abroad in Germany, at the University of Marburg, where he spent his extracurricular time playing sports. A successful golfer, Blackman won a tournament at the Livingstone Country Club in 1979. Blackman playfully boasts his "mediocre" basketball skills, but more importantly stresses his enjoyment of the game. He also enjoys watching football and tennis.

In 1968, Blackman attended Union Theology Seminary where he underwent training to become a Presbyterian minister. However, "through religion I came to philosophy," he said; and that is where his passion remained. Blackman earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Minnesota in 1976.

"Luck drew me here," Blackman said, referring to his position at Geneseo. At an American Philosophy Association convention in Boston, he obtained an interview for one of two job openings at Geneseo. Blackman said he got the job through "some quirk of fate," and "it's been a nice fit ever since. I love the department, the people and the courses I get to teach."

The study and research of genealogy is one of Blackman's most interesting hobbies. He has published a large volume of his family history, in which he traced his mother's maiden name, Timberlake, back to Virginia during the early 17th century. He also found a link to fame in his relationship to Jennifer Aniston, whose step-mother is first cousin once-removed to Blackman's mother. Blackman was president of the Rochester Genealogy Society from 1999 to 2001, and is now president of Sons of the American Revolution, an assembly of men who can trace their lineage back to those who fought in the Revolutionary War.

Blackman, raised in the hot Kansas climate, now lives in the temperate environment of suburban Rochester. He has a step-son who is a Geneseo alumnus, a son, a daughter, and is married to Fran, a retired secretary of Geneseo's geology department. "I'm very fortunate," he said, "I have a nice job, and a nice family. Some things don't always work out so well for everyone. I am truly grateful for what I have."

Blackman said he could retire now but hopes to continue working for as many as five more years. "Teaching is my main occupation here. I get to teach students the same things I find interesting and important. What could be better?" Blackman asked. "My goal," he said, "is to carry the mace at graduation," an honored tradition that is bestowed upon the professor who has taught at Geneseo for the longest time.

Corner Pocket Olympics bring students and groups together

Last Friday night, the Corner Pocket and lobby of the Student Union were abuzz with students participating in the Corner Pocket Olympics. The Japanese Culture Club (JCC), Geneseo Area Gaming Group (GAGG), and Geneseo Anime Club (GAC), came together to provide students a night of entertainment and friendly competition.

Events included pool and ping-pong tournaments, and competition in the video games Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero. Winners of each event received generous prizes, including pool cues, ping-pong sets, and a wireless console for Guitar Hero.

According to Margaret Armenia, a junior and the vice president of JCC, the event was held for the first time last year. "I thought it would be cool if we took over the Corner Pocket for a night," she said. Members of the clubs involved sought to create an event that would appeal to students of all interests. The success of the previous year brought forth the involvement of GAC and GAGG, who worked with JCC to create a celebration of the various Corner Pocket games that students enjoy every day.

JCC hosts cultural events and assists in Asian-American studies on campus, but wished to lead an event that the entire student body could enjoy. Humza Ahmad, a senior and treasurer of JCC, visited the Olympics last year and was eager to be involved in the event's second run. "We're focused on having a good time, that's what keeps JCC alive," Ahmad said.

Ahmad was also pleased with the cooperation that led to the event's success. "It was really great to see the synergy of the three groups."

Many members of the three organizations share interests, and the rosters of the three groups often overlap. Dan Fitzgerald, senior and president of GAC, noted that the club "considers themselves officially tied to these groups…it's good to do something together." GAC contributed to the Olympics by coordinating the Dance Dance Revolution competition that awarded the winner, sophomore Darryl Eychner, a set of the video game and console.

The Olympics also featured a ping-pong tournament that displayed participants' agility in this fast-paced sport. Returning champion Wesley Zeng Xiao Wu played his way to first place for the second year in a row. Zeng Xiao Wu received a set of ping-pong balls and paddles. The winner of the pool tournament was decided by a series of single elimination matches. Sophomore Adam Batt defeated many pool enthusiasts to receive first place and the prize of a custom-made pool cue.

Pizza and drinks were available to all participants, and even those who weren't aware of the festivities in advance enjoyed the competitive atmosphere. Kara Burlingame, a sophomore, came to the Corner Pocket for a casual night of pool before signing up for her first tournament with the Olympics. "Pool is a good pastime in college…it's a sport you don't have to shower after."

GAGG spearheaded the Guitar Hero competition in the front lobby to promote the organization's annual convention, Running GAGG, an entire weekend of gaming runs from Feb. 16 to 18 in the Union.

"You don't have to be a gamer to enjoy it," said Brian McCormick, a senior and president of GAGG. Participants of Guitar Hero were evaluated on skill and stage presence by a panel of judges: Joe Thompson, a senior and electronic gaming official of GAGG, McCormick, and Ben Keipper, a senior, acting as the "Paula, Randy and Simon" of the electronic guitar-strumming competition. As McCormick put it, "We're just rockin' out."

At the end of the night, the Corner Pocket Olympics ended with success. Those who were responisble for the event looked back on it with a sense of achievement, and the response of everyone involved was equally satisfied.

Rochester mayor's chief of staff discusses leadership qualities

On Jan. 25, G. Jean Howard, chief of staff for Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy, gave a lecture called, "A Journey through Leadership and my Pearls of Wisdom" to students in Newton Hall. She started with an emphasis on the importance of being a leader in today's society, giving a brief background of her personal experiences and accomplishments.

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Student takes helm of leaderless junior class

Adam Gross is the new president of the junior class. Incidentally, he is also the first president that the class of 2008 has had.

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Union pool tournament a success

Last Thursday, the Corner Pocket hosted a pool tournament for students, offering "fabulous prizes" to the winner. Thirty-two people entered the tournament, some for fun, some to figure out what the grand prize was, and others for pride. "I'm not doing it for the grand prize, I'm doing it for the bragging rights," said freshman Nick Gloumakoff before the tournament began.

Some people prepared for the tournament by adding pool practice to their already busy schedules, "I've come down to play more pool than usual to get ready for this," freshman Jose Santiago admitted. Others counted on whatever skill they had attained over the past semester by playing for fun. Before the tournament even began competitors were evaluating one another. "If someone has a pool glove and their own pool cue, they know something," Jeff Pyo noted.

At 7:30 p.m., the last minute practicing came to an end and the rules were announced. Just after, the balls were racked and the games began, five at a time. Before each game it was the responsibility of the individuals playing to establish specific rules of the game. Players competed until they lost, at which point they were out of the tournament.

Those who were eliminated left with the promise of returning to redeem their game. "I'll definitely do this tournament again," said freshman Ryan Blaney after his elimination. "I like to play pool, it's fun, even if I'm not the best at it." Others were more dramatic. Gloumakoff dominated the table throughout his game, but scratched when it came down to the eight ball. With his elimination, Gloumakoff made a loud promise to play again. "I could have won. I'm definitely coming back."

The number of competitors quickly narrowed, and Texas-born senior Tara Bush became a crowd favorite. She was the only female to enter the tournament, and she dominated her games. She sunk difficult shots and said "hitting the balls at angles" is the secret to her success at pool. As she continued to win, her competitors deemed her "Kryptonite."

Bush did better than she expected, making it to the championship game. "I worked in a lot of bars and would play pool sometimes, but I'm really surprised I made it this far." John Palmero, a freshman and self-proclaimed rookie, surprised himself as well by reaching the championship game. The game between Bush and Palermo was close, with fans on both sides, but in the end, Palmero won. "It feels good to win," he said moments later. "Hopefully I can play again and defend my title." He received a $20 gift certificate to the campus store for his victory. Bush won a free lunch at Mama Mia's for coming in second.

With tentative plans to hold similar pool tournaments every other Thursday, be sure to check the Corner Pocket for more information and to participate in future tournaments.

A day in the life of... Greek brothers and sisters

With a reputation as elusive as it is prominent, and traditions as respected as they are controversial, the Greek community rings with distinction at Geneseo. There are a wide variety of perspectives among students, professors and parents, ranging from the concerned to the defiant to the proud. The most compelling view, however, comes from the fraternity brothers and sorority sisters themselves.

Among Greeks, there is little ambiguity with respect to their value on campus: "Greek life doesn't just bring students, town residents, and administration together," said Dave Barner, "it is the heart of Geneseo." As a senior, Barner is a member of Sigma Nu Chi and president of Inter-Greek Council (IGC). "I've made hundreds of friends, networked with alumni, and developed and grown as a person," he said. Senior Kristen Sweeney, of Alpha Kappa Phi (Ago), said that Greek life "really connects you to the college" and sophomore Alex Cortese said that "this experience has made me realize what a wonderful thing tradition can be," reflecting on the 134-year history of her sorority, Phi Kappa Pi (Clio).

Members of the Greek community see its impact on their lives by the values that it instills on academic and community levels. The social bonds formed within these organizations are the closest many of these students have ever experienced. Following the traditional terms brothers- and sisters-for-life, Sweeney said, "I can see myself being really close with [my sisters] for the rest of my life." Expressing the same sentiment, Cortese said, "I have great friendships with every member of my organization, from freshmen to seniors, and even the alumni." Students have found that the social aspect of Greek life connects them to the past, present and future of the school itself. Senior BJ Scanlon said that, because of his place in Alpha Chi Rho, "I'm always going to be coming back to Geneseo."

Despite the opportunities to flourish socially, Greeks hold themselves to the highest academic standard. Pledge processes are known for library hours, and members are restricted from compromising their grades for their life as a Greek. Senior Emily Wright, of Alpha Kappa Phi, noted that the GPA of the Greek community is on par with that of the college on a whole. "I believe this is an extremely strong argument for naysayers who believe Greek life to foster only strong social bonds and ignore academia," said Wright.

Among the friendships and schoolwork, outreach is an essential element. According to senior Cassie Gielow, president of Alpha Delta Epsilon, "Greek life keeps you busy, but it also connects you to what is going on at Geneseo." IGC holds mandatory service projects. "A great deal of community service on campus is done by the Greeks," Barner said. A common concern among those outside of Greek life is balancing all these commitments in daily life. Barner explained that members discover time management through the pledge process, learning that "incorporating them all together" saves any one area of Greek life from overwhelming another.

With the undisputed pride and happiness among fraternity brothers and sorority sisters, it may be hard to determine the source of controversy often associated with Greek life. "I think it is unfortunate that some people have such a negative perception of sorority and fraternity members," said Gielow, referring to the common "party-animal" stereotype. There is also the notion of "paying for your friends," referring to the dues members pay each semester. But according to Barner, "dues fund social and service events that would not occur otherwise." Another stigma is the apparent militancy between organizations, but members agree that incidents are few and resolutions are quick, as group unity overwhelms individual conflict.

Much of the anti-Greek sentiment arises during the time of pledging, which is quickly approaching in this Spring semester. This process is known for instilling values through tradition and ritual. "While pledging isn't easy, it instills a lot of pride," Barner said. "By making it difficult, you become one." But when hazing enters the scene, the process itself seems to be a contradiction. One cannot find values through sub-human treatment, pride through degradation, and unity through attacks. Compromising morals is crossing the line, and will ultimately breed weaker organizations than stronger ones. According to Barner, that is precisely why the College and the IGC have upheld a zero tolerance policy for hazing in the past few years.

Greek life does come with a degree of sacrifice, but according to fraternity brothers and sorority sisters, one gains far more than one loses. "Everyone puts in different amounts of time based on what they want to get out of being involved in their organization," Cortese said. And almost all fraternity brothers and sorority sisters have found that their time spent in the Greek community makes time spent in Geneseo fresh and fulfilling.

Alumni Career Partners Profile: Erik Rueckmann '96 Attending physician

Ever thought about working in the medical field? Perhaps it's time to learn a little bit about Dr. Erik Rueckmann, an attending physician at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Rueckmann, a 1996 graduate of Geneseo who earned a medical degree from SUNY Upstate Medical University in 2002, works in the emergency room, serves as a physician for the Office of Pre-Hospital Care at the University of Rochester, and is the medical director for an urban ambulance service.

By working with emergency medical services (EMS), Rueckmann is able to provide education, conduct research, and support operations through medical direction. His work in the emergency medical field allows him to "see people of all walks of life, and gives [him] an opportunity to make their lives better." A career in the emergency medical field is an exhilarating task that allows individuals to tend to patients ranging from the need for a place to sleep, to patients requiring immediate intervention to keep them alive. "I like the unexpected…in a half an hour, you may deliver a baby while pronouncing someone dead in the next room…every patient has a story to tell," states Rueckmann.

When asked why he participates in the Alumni Career Partners program, Rueckmann reminisced about the friends he had, a summer of research, the legacy of living in the Meadows, and the daunting task of getting into medical school. He explained how Geneseo's pre-med community guided him through the application process. He now understands the importance of giving back to a place that helped get him where he is today. Rueckmann's advice to students: "Take your time in college. Find out who you are and what your interests are. Becoming a physician necessitates that you have life experience to create an empathetic/compassionate bedside manor, coupled with a solid academic foundation to provide the knowledge/critical thinking needed as a clinician. Geneseo provides a great atmosphere to obtain both."

For more information on Rueckmann and other Alumni Career Partners, visit the Career Services Web site at, and watch The Lamron each week for a featured Career Partner. The Alumni Career Partner Profile is a joint program between the Undergraduate Alumni Association

(UAA), Career Services and The Lamron.

INVASION OF PRIVACY: Kristen Rathbun encourages others to leave a legacy

As coordinator of Senior Challenge and a communication major with a concentration in journalism and media studies, Kristen Rathbun understands the importance of publicity.

Senior Challenge, established in 1987, successfully raises thousands of dollars each yearfor the College budget. The class of 2002 raised a record $27,887 and, among other things, donated a memorial to alumni who passed away on September 11. According to Rathbun, most seniors are still not as enthusiastic about the annual project as its accomplishments suggest, which she feels is due in part to the way past campaigns were run. "A big weakness of past campaigns is that they didn't start fund raising until Spring semester."

Rathbun, working as coordinator of the Senior Challenge for an internship, aspires to raise awareness and funds earlier than in previous years through a series of events. These events, such as raffles and free giveaways, raised $2,000 last semester. Upcoming events sponsored by Senior Challenge include a dodgeball tournament and Pizza Hut Night. Rathbun hopes her efforts will "break the mold that Senior Challenge is nerdy" and "change the face of Senior Challenge and communicate to the public that it's not just about fund-raising, but also about unifying as a class before you leave."

Seniors who participate will help Rathbun and her collaborators purchase a 15-foot presidential clock and award $1,000 in scholarships. Two scholarships will be awarded to members of each class based on leadership and students' contributions to campus. If the rewards are not enough incentive, participants have the option of making the donation in honor or name of someone who has impacted their lives. Or, if it's fame donors are after, Rathbun emphasized that those who donate "will be recognized in The Lamron, on our Web site, and at graduation."

She views Senior Challenge with optimism, hoping that students can raise $20,070 and reach a greater potential. "Senior Challenge is chance for me to commemorate my college career and preserve the best four years of my life," Rathbun said.

Rathbun applies the same optimism to other aspects of her life. The most valuable lesson she's taken away from Geneseo is to "enjoy yourself and have fun in everything that you do." Rathbun utilizes this lesson as a member of Musical Theater Club (MTC) and in her other interests as well: holidays, bright colors and food. She also described herself as "all about the 80s," citing Say Anything with John Cusack and the Broadway musical The Wedding Singer as some of her favorites.

In addition to Senior Challenge and MTC, Rathbun is an enthusiastic member of the Lamba Pi Eta Communications Honors Society as well as an advocate of studying abroad. During Spring semester of her junior year, Rathbun spent four months in Melbourne, traveling along the east coast of Australia. These travels provided her with unique opportunities, such as scuba diving, bungee jumping, seeing Steve Irwin, and hugging a dingo. The experience contributed to her "individuality, confidence, and overall world view," Rathbun said.

Rathbun advised students to take advantage of the same opportunities. "Get involved, find your niche, try everything that remotely interests you." She recommended students get involved as soon as possible to avoid putting it off or being intimidated by activities they would have otherwise enjoyed. Rathbun reiterated, "It's clean slate. Make it what you will."

Students' research paves the way for DNA computing technology

The next generation of computers may not be housed in plastic and metal, but within test tubes and perhaps even in the human body itself. A DNA computer could be thousands of times smaller than any silicon chip currently being made. And while DNA computers may never be at the heart of the next must-have gaming console, they might be in the gamers of the future, regulating body chemistry and treating illnesses like diabetes.

A research team at SUNY Geneseo is working to help compile a library of DNA strands suitable for such technologies.

The iconic image of DNA is a double helix; a twisted ladder with nucleotide base rungs. These bases are Adenine(A), Thymine(T), Guanine(G) and Cytosine(C), and they fit together in specific pairs. Base A should only bind with base T and base G should only bind with base C. This is known as Watson-Crick base pairing, and it's exactly these rules that make DNA computing possible.

Regular computing works in binary. The computer reads electronic pulses that represent the digits 1 and 0. A DNA computer would read information in A, T, G and C. DNA computing would be similar in practice to a type of computing called parallel computing, where computers are linked to one another and all work on different parts of one problem at the same time. It's not that DNA can solve a problem that much more quickly than silicon; it's that DNA is so small that millions of possible solutions can be introduced, and because of base pairing, only the right answers stick.

But Senior Lauren Wood and Sophomore Arunima Ray, both students of biochemistry and mathematics, aren't interested in strands that pair up right. They're interested in mistakes. If something called cross-hybridization of DNA strands occurs, the bases won't match up correctly. Cross-hybridized strands don't show Watson-Crick pairing. Sometimes A binds to C, or bulges form in the strand, disrupting the helix structure. If such strands are used for processes like DNA computing, the results are unreliable.

For DNA computers and technology that uses DNA in similar ways, cross-hybridized strands need to be recognized and eliminated. Wood and Ray are working with Wendy Knapp Pogozelski, Professor of Chemistry, and Anthony Macula, Professor of Mathematics, to test a system that can detect cross-hybridized DNA strands. Their technique uses the fluorescent dye SYBR Green I, which causes cross-hybridized strands to fluoresce, or light up. Finding out which strands are cross-hybridizing allows the researchers to create a DNA library, a database of strands that don't cross-hybridize, that would produce reliable results if used. One of the major benefits of this new technique is that it allows scientists to test many different strands at once, accelerating the construction of a reliable DNA library. Previously, scientists could only compare two strands at a time.

What Wood and Ray are doing is called a proof of principle. The technique has successfully identified known strand cross-hybridizations, and now it needs to be proven again by testing the technique in larger, randomly assembled pools of DNA. If this technique is further validated, it may bring us one step closer to a new world of computing. Wood and Ray recently presented their research on "Detection of Cross Hybridized Strands Within Pools using SYBR Green I Fluorescence" at the Joint Meeting of MAA and AMA in January.

NOW shows reality of inequity at Sundance bake sale

Last week, when students went to Sundance Books, they could buy more than just their textbooks for the semester. Along with stacks of academic knowledge, students found fresh cookies, biscotti, and other baked goods for sale.

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Alumni Career Partners Profile: Kate Navin '02

With graduation fast approaching, many students will soon face the competitive pressures of the real world. Most will seek jobs in industries where there are limited job openings. While Geneseo alumna Kate Navin, Class of 2002, agrees that the job search is daunting, she feels that with a little hard work and some persistence you can land your dream job.

Navin graduated with a bachelor's degree in theater. These days, she works as a theatrical literary agent for the Abrams Artist Agency in New York City. Navin says, "There will be hardships along the way, but if you maintain your focus you will eventually catch a break," and hopes students will heed this advice.

In her first job interview, she was quizzed on everything related to New York Theater. She didn't know any of the answers

and was not granted a second interview. However, that bump in the road did not deter her from following her dream. Navin loves her job as an agent. It allows her to work with artists at the top of their field, utilize her creativity, attend as many Broadway show openings as she wants, and all while still being able to maintain a nine to five work day. She also feels that her job as an agent keeps her on her toes because every day presents new issues and challenges. While most people associate agents with the HBO series Entourage or Tom Cruise in Jerry McGuire, Navin insists she doesn't yell or swindle people. Rather, she works to develop artists and their projects which take both a lot of time and effort. Navin says the best advice she can give to students is to remember people and names. Becoming familiar with people in the industry is the best way to break into any field because there is a chance that opportunities may arise from those contacts.

For more information on Navin and other Alumni Career Partners, visit the Career Services Web site at, and watch The Lamron each week for a featured Career Partner. The Alumni Career Partner Profile is a joint program between the Undergraduate Alumni Association (UAA), Career Services and The Lamron.

Invasion of Privacy: Yuichi Tamura, living life and teaching students through humor

Take one part sociology professor, one part comedian, and one part Tom Cruise, and the result is what students and faculty alike recognize in Yuichi Tamura. Although Cruise himself can't be found roaming the sociology department, according to Tamura, he and Mr. Cruise have a "psychological connection." The parallels run deep: "My wife is taller than me. Nicole Kidman is taller than Tom Cruise. That makes me Tom Cruise," said Tamura.

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