Friday, April 6, 2012

A Recent Graduate's sucecss: A Fusion of Hard Work and Innovation

24-year-old Ian Szalinski, a 2010 graduate of SUNY Geneseo, found great success upon entering the working world.  He has created a new organic Muesli cereal, Muesli Fusion, which is currently being sold in 93 locations throughout 11 states.  And, with his recent collaboration with Wegmans, the only place for Szalinski’s business to go is up.
            Szalinski was a business major and psychology minor at SUNY Geneseo.  He was also founder of Geneseo’s ski and snowboard club, a member of the men’s rugby team and a participant in G.O.L.D.  As Szalinski looks back on his years at Geneseo, he says that it was an entrepreneurship class he took that made him believe running his own business was something he’d be interested in doing.  Two years later, this belief has come to life.  
Muesli Fusion is a whole grain cereal made with dried fruits, nuts and seeds. It is a healthy product with no artificial flavors.  “I have been eating Muesli for years,” Szalinski says when explaining how he came up with the idea for the product, “there aren’t that many products on the market and there is nothing organic, so I decided to start a new organic product.”
            An innovative way that Szalinski has promoted his product is through the use of social media sites like Twitter and Facebook as well as his own blog.  It allows him to communicate with customers and gives them a connection to the brand.  “It’s not necessarily driving a specific number of repeat customers, but it’s a great way to spread news,” he says.  “Social media can be an important business tool if it’s done right, but it isn’t for all businesses,” Szalinski explains, “It’s largely for consumer businesses.  If you have a product on shelves it can be good because it needs a wide consumer base.”  And Szalinski’s consumer base is absolutely growing as a result of his product being sold in Wegmans.  For the future of Muesli Fusion, Szalinski hopes to expand the market here on the east coast and then move further west.  He is also looking to hire more employees to help with the increasing demand.
            Some advice Szalinski has for Geneseo students and alumni who want to start their own business is to do a lot of research before making big investments.  He also attributes networking as an important aspect of his success.  “Be prepared to do a lot of work and adapt when things don’t go the way you want them to,” Szalinski adds.  “People told me it was going to take twice as long and cost twice as much.  For me, it has probably taken four times as long and cost ten times as much,” Szalinski joked.  But, we have to admit it looks like it was well worth it!

Friday, March 9, 2012

A G.O.L.D. Mine of Information

On Wednesday February 29th, the G.O.L.D program held a series of workshops on campus entitled Leadership with Purpose: 2012 Women’s Conference.” G.O.L.D. stands for Geneseo Opportunities for Leadership Development and has been a program here at Geneseo for over 10 years directed by Tom Matthews. The Geneseo Alumni Association sponsored this particular conference where the the workshops focused on the theme of Women in Leadership and featured Geneseo alumni as guest speakers. Rachel Bernstein, an Office of Alumni Relations Intern and current Geneseo Senior, attended one of these workshop and shared her experience.

Please read Rachel's experience below, and if you have any career advice that you would like to share with our graduating students share them in the comments section.

-The Alumni Relations Team


I attended a workshop entitled “Navigating Challenges in the Quest for a Leadership Position,” which was hosted by two Geneseo alumae. The first presenter was Jennifer Walker, a graduate of the class of ꞌ94, who is currently President and CEO at Credit Union Auto Finance. The second was Twanda Christensen, a graduate of the class of ꞌ98, who is a marketing manager at Summit Federal Credit Union. Both women spoke about the challenges presented to women entering the workforce today. They advised, inspired and motivated the audience by emphasizing the skills that will help students successfully navigate a job after graduation.

They highlighted skills like getting along with people, setting a good reputation early and sticking to it, producing top quality work, volunteering to assist in tasks and keeping an open mind. Both women agreed that these are the most important qualities women in the workforce can have in order to be successful.

“As women in business we like to share what we learned so that students today don’t make the same mistakes,” Twanda commented on why returning to her alma mater and speaking to current students is so important to her. “Our ability to succeed related back to our education received at Geneseo,” she added. Jennifer agreed, saying, “The staff and professors really built my confidence when entering the workforce. As alumni, this is our opportunity to help students.”

The workshop brought a lot of helpful information and insights to students as they look towards the future. Being able to listen to these two women who graduated from Geneseo and found success is truly inspiring.

- Rachel Bernstein

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Blue Knights Winter Recap

The winter season has come to an end here at Geneseo and all seven teams finished strong in their final games and meets.  Men's basketball, women's basketball, women's equestrian, men's hockey, men's swimming and diving, women's swimming and diving and track and field have all completed successful seasons and clinched high seeds in their conferences.

Men's basketball, coached by Steve Minton, finished 3rd overall in the SUNYACs.  With an overall record of 14-13 and a conference record of 11-7, the team tied with Brockport and fell just short of Oswego and Cortland.  Women's basketball, led by Scott Hemer, finished fourth in the SUNYACs, behind Buffalo State, New Paltz and Oneonta.  They ended their season with an overall record of 16-10 and a conference record of 11-7.  Women's equestrian, coached by Kim Sanford, placed fourth at their last two shows in Cazenovia and St. Lawrence this past weekend.  The team finished third overall in their region and have an impressive 12 riders qualified for Regionals in St. Lawrence on March 31st.  Men's hockey, led by Chris Schultz, finished their season with a fourth place finish in the SUNYACs behind Oswego, Plattsburgh and Buffalo State.  With a total of 15 CPts the team had an overall record of 13-12-1 and a conference record of 7-8-1. The men's and women's swimming and diving teams, both coached by Paul Dotterweich, finished with records of 8-4 and 7-5 respectively.  At the SUNYAC championships, both teams finished 1st out of 9 teams and are looking forward to the NCAA Championships in Indianapolis, IN on March 28th.  Our, track and field team, coached by Dave Prevosti, had strong finishes this past weekend at the SUNYAC Championships at Hobart & William Smith with the men's team finishing 1st/8 teams and the women's team finishing 3rd/8 teams.  The track and field team is practicing hard for their remaining meets in the spring season.

After finishing up their winter season, the Geneseo Blue Knights are looking forward to the spring season.  With four teams beginning their seasons soon, the Knights are once again seeking top seeds in the SUNYACs.  Games and meets will be starting soon for track and field, men's lacrosse, women's lacrosse and women's softball.  Be sure to check online for a schedule of upcoming games and come support your Geneseo Blue Knights soon!

-The Geneseo Alumni Team

Friday, February 10, 2012

Sharing your sweethearts--through Tweethearts!

Do you and your loved one share the common bond of meeting in or attending Geneseo as a student?  Whether it began as a friendship that turned into your life-long love or it was love at first sight, we would love to hear your stories!  In the past, this campaign celebrated the thousands of alumni couples whose love or friendship began during their Geneseo years; however, this year, the campaign has extended to all alumni who would like to share what they love most about Geneseo and their experience here.  Everyone can share their stories via the Geneseo Alumni Facebook Page or on Twitter by using hashtag #GeneseoTweethearts.  After sharing your story, head to to make a gift in honor of your loved one or your love of Geneseo! This donation will help support the growth and success of both Geneseo and our students!

Back on campus, a number of Valentine's Day related events are scheduled for the week leading up to February 14th.  There will be a Geneseo late Knight Slam Poet event on February 10th, which will feature poet Sierra Demulder.  From February 9th-11th, the Womyn's Action Coalition (WAC) will be sponsoring a production of the Vagina Monologues.  The brothers of Alpha Phi Omega are also sponsoring Valentine's Day card making that will be sent to active soldiers overseas.  

We hope to see everyone out to participate in these Valentine's Day events and don't forget to share your Geneseo love stories on Twitter, using the hashtag #GeneseoTweethearts!

The Geneseo Alumni Team

Friday, February 3, 2012

Geneseo alumna Linda Freund '09 wins Super Bowl video competition

Linda Freund, a Geneseo alum of the class of ’09, who graduated with a BA in English and theater and minor in sociology, is going to appear in a Chevrolet commercial in this year’s Super Bowl. Freund, who goes by the stage name Linda Elizabeth, is a working actress in New York City. She has appeared in numerous film, television and theater productions, both before and after graduation, including countless theater performances during her years as a student at Geneseo.

Freund just finished making the SAG independent film THE RETRIBUTION and is currently working on a film called THE LONG CON. Freund and a group of friends won the Chevrolet Route 66 video competition with their commercial “Happy Grad.” They will now be rewarded with the honor of having it debut on the most anticipated commercial day of the year. You can view Freund’s winning commercial here, and be sure to look for it on TV this Sunday!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Meet the Alumni Team: Megan Cheever '03

Alumni Outreach Coordinator of Alumni Relations

As the Alumni Outreach Coordinator of Alumni Relations Megan Cheever, '03, is the newest member of the Alumni Relations team.  She works on encouraging alumni of SUNY Geneseo to remain active with the University.  Megan creates a number of opportunities for alumni to attend regional events, volunteer and be actively involved in the continued success of the university and its students.  She also works directly with the Regional Program designed specifically for alumni.

Megan graduated from Geneseo in 2003 with a Bachelors of Science in Communication and English.  She began working here at SUNY Geneseo as the Assistant Director of The Fund for Geneseo.  For almost three years, Megan oversaw the Phonathon Program and the Senior Challenge Initiative.  She spent her next five years as both a fundraiser and as an alumni relations professional at The Rochester Institute of Technology.  While there, Megan worked for three years as the Assistant Director for The Saunders College of Business—raising and managing money for scholarships, planning events and working with alumni boards.  She was then promoted and worked with the Alumni Relations Chapters Team where she managed regional events for RIT.  While holding this position, Megan says she, “saw amazing places and met amazing people, and it was truly rewarding.”  After working at RIT, Megan began her current position at SUNY Geneseo on November 1st, 2011.

Once an undergraduate student here at SUNY Geneseo, Megan remembers her time at Geneseo fondly.  She says her favorite thing about Geneseo as that “Geneseo feeling.”  Megan describes this feeling as, “the friendliness from everyone you walk by on campus, the warm welcome from every business in the village and just how at peace I feel walking down Main Street every day.”  She says those feelings have not changed since her time as a student and attributes Geneseo as the reason she has become the successful person she is today.

While Megan is certainly kept busy with all of her duties in the office, she still enjoys keeping active outside of work.  She enjoys practicing yoga, going out to movies, reading and traveling during her spare time.  Traveling is also something that Megan has the opportunity to do while working with our Regional Program.  Within this program, she works to build a strong regional presence for SUNY Geneseo in the most populated cities across the country.  Megan says that she is, “thrilled to be able to play a part in all the Geneseo has to offer to our alumni.”

Looking at the year ahead, Megan is eager to work on many regional events, traveling to different cities and meeting with Geneseo alumni.  Megan says that, “everyone has such a great story to tell about their time in school and I can’t wait to hear all of them!”

We hope you will join us in welcoming our newest member of the Alumni Team!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Geneseo Blue Knights- Winter Season

The Geneseo Blue Knights had a strong finish to their fall seasons, with a number of teams clinching top seeds in their conference. Men’s soccer finished 3rd in the SUNYACs and women’s soccer finished 5th in the conference. Women’s field hockey held a 4th place finish and women’s volleyball topped off their season with 3rd place in the West Division of SUNYACs.  Both men’s and women’s cross country finished 1st at the SUNYAC meet held in New Paltz.  The final fall team, women’s tennis, were SUNYAC champions with their 1st place finish in the West Division.  They are looking forward to their final meet in April at NYU.
Winter sports here at Geneseo are well underway and the seven teams are already holding impressive records.  With many teams more than halfway done with their games and meets, it is a great time to see how they have done and what everyone connected with Geneseo has to look forward to in the near future. The Knights’ seven winter teams include: men’s basketball, women’s basketball, women’s equestrian, men’s hockey, women’s swimming, men’s swimming, and indoor track and field.
            The seven teams have already been very successful and many currently hold top seeds in the SUNYAC division standings.  Men’s basketball, coached by Steve Minton, has a current overall record of 8-10.  They are 6-5 in the conference, which makes them 4th in the conference behind Oswego, Cortland, and Buffalo State.  Women’s basketball, coached by Scott Hemer, currently holds a 12-6 overall record.  They hold the fourth seed in the conference, with a 7-4 record.  Women’s equestrian, headed by Kim Sanford, has already competed in six shows and has two more to go in their season.  They are currently ranked 3rd in arguably the most competitive region of the International Horse Show Association.  Coached by Chris Schultz, men’s hockey has an overall record of 11-10.  Within their conference, they hold a 5-7 record and they have 10 CPts—making them 5th in the conference.  Men’s and Women’s swimming and diving, both led by Paul Dotterweich, have been highly competitive this season with dual meet records of 8-4 and 7-5 respectively.  Men’s and Women’s Track and Field, coached by Dave Prevosti, has started their season out strong and looks forward to the remaining meets of their season.
            The winter season is still far from over and there are a number of games and meets that will be held here on campus.  For a full schedule of upcoming sporting events check online for the winter sports schedule.  Come check out the Geneseo Blue Knights and show your support for our winter sports teams soon!

-The Geneseo Alumni Team