Spanish minor, Gurnaina Chawla, received a 2016 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence

Spanish Awardee
Gurnaina Chawla between Chancellor Zimpher (left) and Geneseo Vice President for Student and Campus Life Robert Bonfiglio (right)

Spanish minor Gurnaina Chawla (and two other Geneseo students) has received a 2016 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence. The award was presented to her by Chancellor Zimpher who expressed her commitment to recognizing outstanding achievement students from the SUNY system; “This award is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to stand-out SUNY students whose achievements reflect their own impressive hard work as well as the support of their families and friends, and SUNY’s world-class faculty and staff. […] The 248 students we honor with this year’s award have excelled academically, become role models on campus, and established themselves as leaders in the community. Congratulations to all of the students receiving the 2016 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence”, said the Chancellor.

The Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence was created in 1997 to recognize students who have best demonstrated, and have been recognized for, the integration of academic excellence with accomplishments in the areas of leadership, athletics, community service, creative and performing arts, campus involvement, or career achievement.


Chloe Forsell, the 2016 Recipient of the Dr. Gerard Gouvernet Ambassadorship

Chloe Forsell

Chloe Forsell, a French and English double major, is the 2016 recipient of the Dr. Gerard Gouvernet Ambassadorship.

The Dr. Gerard R. Gouvernet Endowed Ambassador in French Language and Culture is selected through a competitive proposal process with high preference given to students studying the French language. In memory of Dr Gérard Gouvernet, this fund is dedicated to providing a transformational experience in a French-speaking nation to one advanced-level SUNY Geneseo student of French per year. Course work, an internship, research activity, a cultural immersion or service-learning experience, or other types of transformational experiences that a student proposes in order to earn credit toward a SUNY Geneseo French major may qualify for this $5,000 award. Earnings from this endowment will fund a stipend for the Geneseo student selected as the Dr. Gerard R. Gouvernet Student Ambassador. It is understood that travel to France will commonly be part of an approved experience funded through this endowment. Dr. Gouvernet instilled a passion for learning in his students as a Geneseo faculty member for 26 years. This ambassadorship is generously supported by an endowment created by Mrs. Suzanne Gouvernet.

The selection Criteria are the following:

The most qualified applicant will:

  1. Have declared a French major or minor at least one semester prior to applying for the Ambassadorship;
  2. Have demonstrated an interest in creating and pursuing a cross-cultural project in a country whose primary official language is French;
  3. Plan on keeping a reflective journal while abroad that will demonstrate what is being learned and the impact of the experience;
  4. Commit to participate in National French Week (Fall Semester) and/or G.R.E.A.T Day (Spring Semester) in order to make a presentation about the impact of the ambassadorship experience.

Chloe’s research project supported by this ambassadorship will explore the complexities that surround non-white identity, particularly in Western nations with a history of Eurocentric oppression, mistreatment, and misunderstanding of non-white peoples, with a focus on the city of Montpellier in France. In Chloe’s own words: “The Gérard Gouvernet Ambassadorship Award would provide me with the opportunity for development, learning, and achievement via a fully immersive experience that will provide results that prove positive and constructive to both my own personal growth and the connection of several communities.”

Dr. Beth McCoy and Dr. Lytton Smith are the research and writing mentors for her submitted project.


Dr. Kodjo Adabra featured in the Fall 2015 Positively Geneseo Highlight Book

Dr. Kodjo Adabra was nominated and featured in the Fall 2015 Positively Geneseo Highlight Book. Positively Geneseo was established to recognize individuals and organizations for their efforts in spreading positivity across campus; through this, Positively Geneseo emphasizes the values of Tradition, Excellence, Innovation, Commununity and Integrity.
The nominator said the following: “Professor Adabra should be featured in the highlight book because he impacted the hearts and minds of many at Geneseo in many ways than words can convey. He escaped his country of Togo due to his out-spoken activism and feminism advocacy among other things but still maintains his positivity. He may not be known as much because he’s from the French dept. which is small but I can attest that a lot of students who have had his classes can reveal amazing things about his positive energy and sense of humor.”
The Department of Student Life hosted a reception on Sunday December 6, 2015 at 2:00pm in the Hunt Room of the MacVittie College Union to recognize the nominees.


French and Adolescence Education major Kami Smith received a 2015-17 scholarship

To request a photo please contact Keith Walters at x5870,
 Kami Smith

French and Adolescence Education major Kami Smith is one of the nine SUNY Geneseo students recipients of the 2015-17 scholarships this year through the Jewish Foundation for Education of Women-SUNY International Relations and Global Affairs Program. The two-year awards also support leadership training skills through mentoring and networking opportunities. In addition to the scholarship support, the program includes a monthly seminar series for two academic years, paid internships in New York-based global organizations during the summer between the student’s junior and senior years. It also facilitates networking, professional development and mentoring opportunities.

The scholarship program, which started in 2011, is coordinated by the SUNY Levin Institute in partnership with three SUNY campuses: Geneseo, Binghamton University and Stony Brook University. The program is open to female students of all disciplines and religions. They also must demonstrate financial need and live in New York City or within a 50-mile radius of the city. The scholars receive up to $5,500 in scholarship assistance each year and receive a $3,500 stipend for the eight-week summer internship.

Center for Languages & Cultures (CLC) officially inaugurated on November 11, 2015

Article written by Jamie-Lynn Irwin

101_3227The Center for Languages & Cultures held its Inauguration Ceremony on Wednesday Nov. 11 in Welles 2 at 2:30 p.m. The event embraced students and faculty alike, inviting anyone interested to see what the center has to offer. The affair offered not only delicious cultural snacks, but also time to personally chat with professors, too.
Adjunct Spanish instructor Rocio Vallejo warmly welcomed all to the event. In its duration, the event buzzed with a myriad of conversations, all in a variety of languages—Spanish, French, Russian and more. People bustled around the wide assortment of foods the buffet held.
The opening menu began with the two appetizers: Tortilla de patata from Spain and Republic of Togo’s Amadan. The main courses were from the cultures of Mexico and Spain; they were “Enmoladas” and “Empanada Gallega.” The large sweet assortment came from Latin-America, Poland, Italy and Algeria.
Each intriguing dish was delicious in taste and rich in cultural personality. Menus were placed around the center to give each dish’s name, cultural connection and origin. Some treats ranged from traditional dishes to favorites from “roadside restaurants.”
As the event went on, the humor and enthusiasm that the department of languages and literatures exuded became prominent through their connected conversations and laughter.
“[The Languages and Literatures Department] is the coolest! Everyone’s middle name here is ‘cool!’” assistant professor of Francophone studies Kodjo Adabra exclaimed. In just one conversation, one could learn about and be introduced to everyone in the department—the encouraging community the center provides is phenomenal.
“Monday through Thursday, the center provides tutoring and help for students if they need it,” lecturer in Spanish Elizabeth Adams said. She discussed how the center helps with tutoring and translation services, along with how the center reaches out to the community by helping in Geneseo High School and other communal facilities.

Adams added that the center is always trying to reach out to create an interactive way of connecting with the student body. The center interacts with students in a number of ways, such as round circle chats and book talks.
Adjunct lecturer in Spanish Felisa Brea explained that the book talks allow students of various levels to participate. “You just read the book, then come and talk about it,” Brea said. “You can speak in Spanish or if you need or want, English.” The next book talk is on Dec. 2.
The Inauguration Ceremony not only allowed students to ask questions about their language studies, but it also facilitated student connections with the inspiring and heartening department. The Inauguration Ceremony was a great time that helped students get to know the professors of the languages and literatures department and to explore the Center for Languages & Cultures. Moreover, the celebration allowed students to immerse themselves in a cultural experience.

Spanish major Sara Rosenzweig, the Female Athlete of the Week – Nov. 2, 2015

Sara Rosenzweig, Women’s Cross Country

Female Athlete of the Week – Nov. 2, 2015

Name: Sara Rosenzweig
Class: Junior
Hometown: Merrick, N.Y.
High School: Bellmore JFK
Sport: Women’s Cross Country
Major: Biology and Spanish

Rosenzweig captured the individual crown to lead the women’s cross country team to its fifth-straight State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Championship, Saturday, hosted by Plattsburgh. Rosenzweig covered the six-kilometer course in 21:48.6, besting the field by over 10 seconds.