The Undergraduate Geography Experience at The State University of New York, Geneseo – Student Perspective

Authors: Benjamin Suriani*,
Topics: Geography Education
Keywords: Undergraduate Student Experience
Session Type: Lightning Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Maryland C, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The State University of New York (SUNY), College at Geneseo enrolls 5500 students, mostly undergraduates. It is located in Geneseo, NY, in a rural portion of the Rochester Metropolitan Area. The Department recently peaked at more than 100 geography majors, and has an additional 100 Environmental Studies and 60 Urban Studies minors. In 2018, we received the AAG’s Bachelor’s Program of Excellence Award, partially based on the Department’s strength in providing integrative high impact experiences. As a senior Geography major, primarily interested in urban issues, resiliency, and GIS, I have participated in many of these experiences. For example, the Urban Issues Senior Seminar capstone class, which is research and writing intensive, includes site visits to organizations vital to community development. I also took advantage of the Department’s numerous study abroad/study away programs, spending intersession in Argentina, and doing field work to accompany a hybrid-online Urban Geography class in Red Hook Brooklyn. Knowing that internship opportunities are critical to post-grad preparedness, I secured multiple internships with regional government agencies in the urban planning/development field. Also important to undergraduate success is access to research opportunities; thus, at SUNY Geneseo, I have participated in a directed study, and presented GIS-based original research at conferences, including AAG 2018. I have also been involved in the Department community by TAing an introductory course, and serving on the e-board for both Geography Club and the GIS Association. None of these accomplishments would have been possible without the outstanding student-faculty relationships the department cultivates.

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