Meet Our GOLD Leader Mentors

WHAT IS A GOLD LEADER MENTOR?

GOLD Leader Mentors are student leaders who volunteer their time to work with the GOLD program. Mentors staff the GOLD Leadership Center in MacVittie College Union Room 114 weekday afternoons & evenings, participate in GOLD events and complete certificate programs, serve as role models for other student leaders and campus organizations, provide information on campus activities and organizations, and help students to make connections and get involved in campus life.

The mentor staff introduce speakers at workshops, oversee student Personal Development Sessions and provide support and assistance for all GOLD programs, including Leadership Certificate Programs. Student leaders and students enrolled in the GOLD Leadership Certificate Program are encouraged to apply for the leader mentor positions in the spring semester. Become a GOLD Leader Mentor.

MEET OUR 2013-2014 GOLD LEADER MENTORS!



ALEXIS ANNITTO

is a junior Math major with a Business Studies minor from Smithtown, NY. In addition to being a GOLD Mentor, she is the Senior Resident Assistant for Genesee Hall, is a member of National Residence Hall Honorary, and is actively involved with First Year Programs specifically as a Student Orientation Coordinator this past summer. GOLD is a unique program that fits everyone's needs in some way or form and allows students to take part in the workshops at your own pace. Her best advice is to try different workshops because you never know what you might get out of it.

Fun fact about Alexis: Out of the 52 weeks of the year I have been in Geneseo for 45 of them.
Favorite Leadership Quote:
" A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way." (John C. Maxwell)

 


MEGHAN BARRETT

is a sophomore Biology-English double major in the Edgar Fellows Program from Penfield, NY. Meghan feels that the GOLD Program helps students understand their leadership potential, prepares them with technical skills to be used in any field after graduation, and allows them to connect with other driven and improvement-centric peers. In addition to being a GOLD Leader Mentor, Meghan is also an Undergraduate Laboratory Instructor for Biology 116, a Teaching Assistant in the Technical Theatre Shop, a VegSOUP Lighting Designer, a Lamron Staff Writer, and helping to head the English Department Blog Project. Meghan`s favorite leader is Rosa Parks, a strong and independent introvert who knew her leadership potential (and herself) and utilized it effectively.

Fun fact about Meghan: I love crocheting and bacon. Someday, I hope to design and crochet a blanket…that looks like bacon.
Favorite Leadership Quote: "Don`t agonize, organize." (Kennedy, Florynce R.)


JACOB BLISS

is a senior Business Administration major with a Sociology minor from Wolcott, NY. In addition to being a GOLD mentor, Jacob is in Phi Beta Lambda, Geneseo Toastmasters and works at Red Jacket as a supervisor. The leader Jacob admires most is Winston Churchill, for his ability to cement an entire country together in the face of a World War with only his words. He feels like the GOLD program is the best place to become acquainted with and to expand on your leadership roles and responsibilities. His advice is to start workshops as soon as you arrive on the first day to make sure you earn all the awesome certificates.

Fun fact about Jacob: He is a certified scuba diver.


RACHEL BOWEN

is a junior Psychology major with a Business minor from Rochester, NY. In addition to being a GOLD Mentor, Rachel is involved with Psychology Club and is pledging the service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega. Her most admired leader is her mother because she is such a strong woman and encourages her to always stay true to herself and to do her best. Rachel believes that the GOLD program is making a positive impact in the lives of the students at SUNY Geneseo and that future leaders are being born. The program touches on so many areas that relate to college and the working world. Her advice is to find what GOLD workshops appeal to you and to take as many as you can fit into your schedule.

Fun fact about Rachel: She is doing Psychology research with Dr. Schneider, who is a fantastic professor!
Favorite Leadership Quote: "A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way." (John C. Maxwell)


MELISSA CATALDO

Is a sophomore from Eden, NY, studying Childhood/Special Education with a concentration in Mathematics within the Ella Cline Shear School of Education here at Geneseo. In addition to being a GOLD mentor, she is the President of the Elementary and Secondary Education Association, co-captain of the Geneseo Cheerleading Team, and serves as a campus tour guide for incoming students and their families. Melissa loves the GOLD program because it gives each student different opportunities to realize and reach their leadership potential through the attendance of workshops and achievement of certificates.

Fun fact about Melissa: Underwent knee surgery to repair her ACL during her senior year in high school, and still has not regained feeling in part of her leg.
Favorite Leadership Quote:
" A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" (Lao Tzu)

SAMANTHA CRAMER

is a senior Anthropology major with a minor in Central and Eastern European Studies from Albany, NY. Sam is the office manager for the GOLD program as well as the Assistant Residence Director of Steuben and Jones Halls. Outside of Geneseo Sam is a memeber of Gay, Lesbian Straight Education Network's National Advisory Council, advocating for safer schools for all students. Sam loves the GOLD program because it is a great way to cultivate leadership skills at your own pace. You can take a variety of different workshops at the times that suit you best.


Fun fact about Samantha: She has a laugh that can be heard from anywhere on campus.
Favorite leadership quote:
"Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground." (Theodore Roosevelt)


IWONA DRAPALA

is a senior Economics and Math double major from Brooklyn, New York. In addition to being a GOLD Mentor,Iwona is a Resident Assistant in Nassau Hall, as well as an active member in Orchesis Dance club. The leader she admires most is Ban Ki-moon because of his strides to reform peacekeeping, as well as other diplomatic issues around the world. Iwona feels that the GOLD program is an excellent opportunity to get involved in learning about leadership skills, as well developing new ones. Her advice to anyone interested in the GOLD Program is to attend workshops with an open mind, because there are so many things to be learned!

Fun fact about Iwona: She is fluent in Polish!


ERIN FITZGERALD

is a junior Math major with a Public Administration minor from Long Island, New York. In addition to being a GOLD mentor, she is on the board of Circle K, involved in Orchesis and is a sister of Sigma Kappa. Her favorite part of the GOLD program is that there are different opportunities available, from big to small. The GOLD program is a great program that everyone should get involved in.

Fun fact about Erin: She has six brothers.
Favorite Leadership Quote: "Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you`ll be able to see further." (J.P. Morgan)


BRANDON GAYLORD

is a sophomore History and Philosophy double major from Phoenix, AZ. In addition to being a GOLD Mentor, Brandon is an entrepreneur, a GOLD presenter and brings an extensive resume to Geneseo. Brandon’s favorite aspect of the GOLD program is not only the vast amount of knowledge one can learn but also the different kinds of knowledge presented. Having had gainful employment consistently over the last ten years, Brandon brings real-world experience that he is happy to share on things such as: how to land a job, resume-building and how to get promoted.

Fun fact about Brandon: Brandon worked on a cruise ship for a little over a year, travelling around Hawaii, Alaska and the Caribbean.
Favorite Leadership Quote: "I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else, where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. If I could not go to Heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all." (Thomas Jefferson)


COLE GLEASON

is a sophomore Biology major with a Legal Studies minor from Chatham, NY. In addition to being a GOLD Mentor, he is an attendant on Geneseo First Response, a member of the Men Incorporating Leadership, Empowerment, and Service (MILES) organization, vice-president of Genesee Hall Council, and a member of the Geneseo Club Baseball team. Cole's parents are his most admired leaders as they instilled in him good morals and a strong work ethic. In his opinion, the GOLD program is valuable because of the important professional and life skills that are provided in each workshop.

A fun fact about Cole: He is an avid fly fisherman.
Favorite Leadership Quote: "A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd." (Max Lucado)



AMELIA HEISELMAN

is a sophomore French major and Chemistry minor from Central Square, NY. In addition to being a GOLD Mentor, Amelia is a member of the varsity women's basketball team and a member of UAA. Amelia believes the GOLD program can benefit each and everyone who takes advantage of the great opportunity because anyone can identify and relate to at least one out of the hundreds of workshops there are to offer.

 

Fun fact about Amelia: Her before game ritual includes taking a shot of her grandpa's homegrown honey.
Favorite Leadership Quote:


ASHLEY JONES

is a junior Accounting major from Endwell, NY. In addition to being a GOLD Mentor, she serves a Resident Assistant for Onondaga Hall, an Event Coordinator for the Society for Women in Business, a tour guide and a member of the Accounting Society.

 

Fun fact about Ashley: She interned with a state senator this summer.
Favorite Leadership Quote:
"We are what we repeatedly do, excellence therefore is not an act but a habit." (Aristotle)


ABBY KLUTTS

is a senior Biochemistry major from Harpursville, NY. In addition to being a GOLD mentor, Abby plays for the women's field hockey team. She is a member of the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, the Geneseo string band, Undergraduate Alumni Association and the women's club ice hockey team. Her most admired leader is her brother Dan, because of his fearless attitude about sticking up for people and keen ability to lead by example. Abby sees GOLD as an opportunity to develop as an individual and interact and network with new and exciting people. Her advice to students is not to take themselves too seriously. Try new things and take interesting workshops because you want to, not because it looks good on a resume.

Fun fact about Abby: She sometimes opts to take the hearse on errands around her hometown.
Favorite Leadership Quote:
"If you want a quality, act as if you already had it." (William James)


JESSICA KROENERT

is a junior International Relations and French double major, and a member of the Edgar Fellows Honors Program. In addition to being a GOLD mentor, she is a Resident Assistant in EcoHouse, Vice President of Geneseo Environmental Organization (GEO), and an organizer of Geneseo’s Fossil Fuel Divestment campaign. Jessica greatly admires the leadership style of Mohandas Ghandi, who emphasized the power of peaceful and meaningful action to resist injustice and enact change. For Jessica, the most valuable part of the GOLD program is their great schedule of workshops on a wide variety of subjects, ensuring that there will be something of interest for everyone. Her advice to anyone interested in GOLD is to find a workshop that sounds interesting and give it a try!

Fun fact about Jessica: Her favorite animal is the elephant
Favorite Leadership Quote:
"Don't find fault, find a remedy." (Henry Ford)


SAMANTHA LAMBERT

is a Communication major and Sociology minor from Brooklyn, NY. In addition to being a GOLD mentor, she is the president of Italian Culture Club and publicist of Hippies for Hope. She also is the social media intern working within the office of College Communications and is a greater in the Admissions Office. Samantha admires Malala Yousafzai for her insane courage and ability to advocate for women’s rights, especially the right to education. She loves the GOLD program because it encompasses all aspects of being a leader and is accessible to a variety of students.

A fun fact about Samantha: She lived in Italy for six months and loves taking pictures.
Favorite Leadership Quote: "You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality."(Walt Disney)


DAN MARTIN

is a sophomore Economics and Communication double major with a minor in International Relations, looking into the fields of Economics and Communications. He is from a small town in Syracuse, NY. In addition to being a GOLD mentor, Dan is an Inter Residence Council (IRC) representative from Onondaga Hall, on the Undergraduate Student Association Elections Committee (USAEC), the treasurer for Men's club tennis, and a very active member of both Colleges Against Cancer (CAC) and Finance club. The leader Dan most admires is his father because he has never led Dan down the wrong path and has always had Dan's best interest at heart. Dan believes that the GOLD program is successfully teaching young student leaders how to successfully grow as leaders and individuals. Dan knows that any students involved in GOLD will use what they learn to better themselves during their time at Geneseo as well as after graduation.

Fun fact about Dan: He has won multiple Ping Pong tournaments.
Favorite Leadership Quote: "The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man's determination." (Tommy Lasorda, LA Dodger's Manager)


DANIEL MATTHEWS

is a senior Political Science and International Relations major from Massena, New York. In addition to being a GOLD student mentor, Dan is also the Fundraising Chair and “Deep Freeze” Co-Chair for the National Fraternity of Alpha Chi Rho, a College Student Senator, a member of the Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, and has also participated on various work trips for Habitat for Humanity. Dan admires Martin Luther King Jr. for his dedication to social justice and his use of civil disobedience to inspire others to challenge the status of minorities in American society. Dan believes that GOLD offers students a unique opportunity to develop valuable skills that will assist them with future careers and positions. Dan’s advice to students is to take as many workshops as they can fit into their schedules and aim for completing all certificates by the time they graduate.


Fun fact about Dan: He studied abroad in Argentina 2011 Winter Break and in Russia Summer 2012.
Favorite Leadership Quote: "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." (John Quincy Adams)

DOMINIC MORE

is a sophomore chemistry major with minors in business studies and mathematics. In addition to being a GOLD leader mentor, Dominic is a tour guide, club baseball player, student representative of the chemistry/biochemistry club, and organic chemistry researcher. The person that he admires most is his father. Dominic believes the GOLD program offers an incredible amount of information about leadership, but also teaches others about the importance of volunteering and serving your community.

 

A fun fact about Dominic: He loves to play soccer.
Favorite Leadership Quote: "Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality." (Warren Bennis)

 


RACHEL MOORE

is a sophomore Biology major with a Business Studies minor on the Pre-Dental track from Schaghticoke, NY. In addition to being a GOLD Mentor, she is the Secretary of Pre-Dental Club and a member of Sigma Kappa Sorority. Her favorite aspect of the GOLD program is that it teaches you important leadership skills that can be applied to many parts of everyday life.


Fun fact about Rachel:She LOVES coffee ice cream.
Favorite Leadership Quote: "Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." (Ralph Waldo Emerson)


NICHOLAS PALUMBO

is a senior Psychology major and Biology minor from Utica, New York. Besides being a GOLD Leader Mentor, Nicholas is an Undergraduate Research Assistant with the Sibling and Peer Research Group in the Psychology department. The person that he admires the most is his father. Nicholas finds the GOLD program to be an incredible way to network oneself not just amongst your peers, but also amongst alumni of Geneseo. As well as learning life skills that might not be necessarily taught in the classroom that will follow GOLD certificate holders with them far beyond their undergraduate time at Geneseo. His advice to any new students to the GOLD program is to take as many workshops as you can; even if they may not seem inherently the most appealing, you will be surprised to find out how much you can learn!

Fun fact about Nick: He worked on the "Obama for America" campaign during the 2008 election.
Favorite Leadership Quote: "When an individual is protesting society's refusal to acknowledge his dignity as a human being, his very act of protest confers dignity on him." (Bayard Rustin)


JOSHUA ROYCHOWDHURY

is a junior Psychology major with minors in Chemistry and Cognitive science, from Queens. In addition to being a GOLD mentor, he is a co-president of the Geneseo Poets Society, plays for the Mens Warthog rugby team, and is an executive member of the hip-hop club(LFS Flow). His favorite part of the GOLD program is the extensive variety of workshops offered every single semester."

Fun fact about Joshua: A fun fact about him is that he is a black belt in shotokan.
Favorite Leadership Quote: "You can't lead the people if you don't love the people. You can't save the people if you don't serve the people." (Cornel West)


NIKITA SHAH

is a junior Accounting major from Oman. In addition to being a GOLD Leader Mentor, she serves as the Treasurer for Accounting Society, and Vice President for Enactus – a student run organization on campus. She is also interested in photography and her work has been accepted by Geneseo’s MiNT magazine and English club magazine in the past. The leader that she most admires is Rosa Parks, who refused to give up her bus seat to a white man, a civil rights activist. Nikita’s favorite aspect of the GOLD program is its versatility. There is a different GOLD certificate for every leader. .

 

A fun fact about Nikita: She is left-handed and trilingual
Favorite Leadership Quote: "Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes." (Peter Drucker)


ALYSSA STEFANESE

is a junior English Literature major with a women’s studies minor from Staten Island, NY. In addition to being a GOLD mentor, Alyssa is a dedicated tour guide, a group session ambassador, and the Public Relations Manager of the Lamron. She is also a member of English club and the Livingston Cares Board of Directors. This summer Alyssa interned at BELLA NYC Magazine and studied abroad in Ireland. One of her most admired leaders is Susan B. Anthony, for fighting for what she believed in not just for herself, but for all future generations of women. Alyssa loves the GOLD program because it gives anyone in the Geneseo community the opportunity to learn to be a leader. Her advice is to take as many workshops as you can.

A fun fact about Alyssa: She has seen over fifteen Broadway shows.
Favorite Leadership Quote: "Be the change you wish to see in this world" (Gandhi)


TIFFANY STEPHENSON

is a senior Political Science major and Sociology minor from Brooklyn, NY. In addition to being a GOLD mentor, Tiffany is the treasurer of the Muslim Student Association and a member of the Student Advisory Board for Access Opportunity Programs. She volunteered in the past through Livingston cares by going to Mississippi to aid in hurricane relief efforts in January of 2013. She is a graduate of the Women's Leadership Institute and is prepared for leadership roles beyond Geneseo. Someone that exemplifies leadership in her life is her Dad who is objective, compassionate and understanding. For Tiffany, GOLD represents opportunities for students like herself to gain skills in order to be effective leaders of tomorrow. Her advice to students is to create the environment that will enable them to thrive as leaders, and others will follow suit.

A fun fact about Tiffany: She loves being under water.
Favorite Leadership Quote: "Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out." (Robert J. Collier)


CAROLINE STOCKERT

is a junior Biology major with minors in Mathematics and Spanish from Albany, NY. In addition to being a GOLD mentor, she is a member of the Geneseo Wind Ensemble, Biology Club, Academic Affairs Committee, Community Health Alliance, and Orchesis Dance Club. She is also a member of Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society and Tri-Beta National Biological Honor Society. Caroline believes the GOLD program is a great way for students to get involved on campus, develop their leadership skills, and prepare for their future careers. She enjoys the small class sizes because they allow students to engage in discussions and receive personalized leadership advice.

A fun fact about Caroline: She loves country music.
Favorite Leadership Quote: "The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things." (Ronald Reagan)

 

MARIA VOLPE-MCDERMOTT

is a is a senior political science major with a pre-medical concentration from Albany, NY. In addition to being a GOLD Leader Mentor and Co-Office Manager, Maria serves as a student ambassador and a tour guide for the Geneseo Admissions Office, is a Floor Representative on her Residence Hall's council, a member of Geneseo First Response and an active member of Habitat for Humanity and intramural sports. The leaders Maria most admires are her mother and grandmother. Maria believes that the GOLD program is a great opportunity for students to develop leadership skills, as well as learn skills that can be used throughout one's life. Her advice for new students in the GOLD program is to begin by attending workshops that interest them to learn about how the program functions.

A fun fact about Maria: She has a twin brother with a different birthday.
Favorite Leadership Quote:
"There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why...I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?" (Robert Kennedy)

 

GINA VILLAZHINAY

is a sophomore Psychology and Communications double major with a minor in Women’s Studies from Westchester, NY. In addition to being a GOLD Mentor, Gina is also community service chair of the national sorority Delta Phi Epsilon, a tour guide, fundraising coordinator for Community Health Alliance Club and has attended a Livingston CARES trip to LI for the Sandy Relief. She is also currently working on her undergraduate research project through COPLAC (Council of Public Liberal Arts College). She has also served as Treasurer of Putnam Hall/EcoHouse her freshman year, was a member of the Crew Club and volunteered at the Teresa House and Parish Outreach Center. The leader that Gina most admires is her sister who has thought her to never give up. GOLD has helped her become a great student-leader that isn’t afraid to step out of her comfort zone to challenge the status quo. Her advice to anyone who is interested in GOLD is to take advantage of all the opportunities the program has to offer.

A fun fact about Gina: She is bilingual and loves the outdoors.
Favorite Leadership Quote:
"Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal." (Vince Lombardi)


AYUMI YAMAZAKI

is a junior Accounting major from Japan. In addition to being a GOLD mentor, she serves as the Vice President for the Enactus organization on campus, Student Association Representative for Japanese Cultural Club and a member of Shakti. She is also a member of the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, Golden Key International Honor Society and the International Honor Society Beta Gamma Sigma. The person who Ayumi admires the most is her father as he is a strong man and never gives up. My favorite aspect of the GOLD program is that you meet many students with different leadership and team work experiences. Her advice is to get involved as soon as possible and make use of the great opportunity the GOLD program provides.

Fun fact about Ayumi: She can speak Japanese, English and Sinhala.
Favorite Leadership Quote:
" The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things." (Ronald Reagan)

Last Updated:01/22/2014 by Nick Palumbo


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