Geneseo strives to educate globally aware citizens and foster a sense of civic responsibility here and abroad.

By Denise A.  Battles

The phrase “It takes a village …” comes from a now well-known African proverb, but its meaning has morphed into an acknowledgment of the collective responsibility we all share for addressing humanity’s issues. At SUNY Geneseo, we cultivate the ideals of global citizenship and thinking because — as we’ve learned — our world is ultimately one village. What occurs in one small region can have an unimaginable impact on people and continents that are far away. 

Educating globally aware citizens and bolstering a sense of civic responsibility are central to what we do at Geneseo. To achieve these lofty goals, we must think beyond our borders, outside our communities or our nation, to a future shared with all of humanity, as technology and our shared challenges mean that we are inextricably linked. 

According to the latest Open Doors information, approximately 37 percent of our students study abroad each year — a rate nearly four times higher than the national average — but a sense of global citizenship can be developed through more than travel and experiences abroad. We strive to provide all our students with opportunities to push their boundaries, broaden their perspectives and open their minds to new ideas, philosophies and cultures right here on campus. 

Wayne Hall, for example, is home to Dante House, a Living Learning Community (LLC) of first-year students interested in global citizenship. There, students from across New York State and the region live with international students, providing a dynamic environment that promotes cultural exchange and builds lifelong friendships that cross borders.  

Geneseo’s diverse curriculum is designed to inspire global thinking and awareness of the world’s international community. Our talented faculty and award-winning academic departments do so by offering courses ranging from Chinese Philosophy to Geography of Food, from Politics of Russia to Global Health Issues, and many more. 

That global awareness is evidenced by the College’s remarkable growth in U.S. Student Fulbright Award recipients, who return to enrich our campus community through their varied and extensive scholarly experiences in countries worldwide. Early in 2020, we took pride in our third consecutive designation as a Top Producer of U.S. Student Fulbright Awards. The College was the first dedicated SUNY institution to receive that national recognition.  

Our SUNY Geneseo “village” is much more than a local community as we look past the sweep of the Genesee Valley to reach across our nation and around the world. Our faculty, staff, students and alumni seek a wider horizon, inspiring others to think and act as world citizens who share a common planet and future.