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2024 Student Ambassadors: Home

The Eddie Lee '76 Ambassadorship for First Generation Students

Image of Gaetan Jean Louis

Gaetan Jean Louis '25

High School Library Renovation in Haiti

How might we make education more accessible to children in Haiti and strengthen their academic performance through the renovation of their school’s library?

My name is Gaetan Jean Louis and I am a junior student double majoring in Sociology and Spanish. I was honored to be a recipient of the Ambassadorship grant to fund my project of completely renovating my high school's library in Haiti, which is where I'm originally from. My project consists of bettering the library's infrastructure, purchasing more literary and academic books, and rechargeable lamps that students will be able to borrow to study (and read) at home whenever they face power shortages/blackouts. Haiti is one of the most impoverished and unstable countries in the hemisphere and electricity is unfortunately a rare commodity. By providing students with those resources and tools, I hope that my project will maximize their academic performance both in school and in the French baccalaureate. I also hope to incentivize them to read and educate themselves more through that project. Literature broadened my horizons, sharpened my critical thinking and most importantly allowed me to travel in space and time when I was still living in Haiti. I want to share that passion with the generations to come as I firmly believe that they will also benefit from it.

The Keith '11 and Joanna '13 Walters Artist-in-Residence Ambassadorship

Image of Mia Ferraro

Mia Ferraro '24

Women in Tattooing

How might we show young women that they have a place in any male-dominated industry but more specifically the tattoo industry?

Women in Tattooing's goal is to shine a light on the individuals from the past and present who have created a name for themselves in a historically male-dominated field. While tattooing in recent times has become more socially accepted it is still an overlooked art form by many traditional artists and art historians. It is important to showcase the creativity that tattoos hold and the unique self-expression they allow us to project through art. With this exhibition, we hope to discover why people enjoy self-expression through tattoos, educate the public about an often overlooked art form, and the empowerment this field of work can bring to all genders, but especially women. Women in Tattooing will showcase women from the past and present along with female artists who are currently working in the City of Rochester, their stories, their art, and how they have become empowered through tattooing.

The Frank Vafier '74 Ambassadorship in Leadership (2 Awarded)

Image of Torianna Robleto

Torianna Robleto '24

Rewriting Monolithic Views

How might we give New York public schools the incentive to test out altered social studies curriculum as a way to promote unbiased African and Black studies?

New York State social studies standards are not comprehensive of Black and African studies; they show a monolithic view of history and culture while disregarding the importance of current events. I will address this issue by researching how Senegalese public schools educate their students on current national events and interviewing local educators and others to determine what West Africans want Americans to know about Africa as a whole and Senegal specifically. I will use this information to rewrite some of the NYS standards in order to create a trial-ready professional development course that promotes true cultural responsiveness through unbiased and updated Black and African studies content.

The Frank Vafier '74 Ambassadorship in Leadership (2 Awarded)

Emily Fitzpatrick         Victoria Stucchi

Emily Fitzpatrick '24                                Victoria Stucchi '25

Geneseo Sex[Ed]

How might we create workshops and events, update our program website, and expand campus outreach to better address the sexual health needs of SUNY Geneseo students?

Sexual health education is lacking on college campuses nationwide, especially for queer students, disabled students, and students of color (Aubrey et al., 2020). Adolescents and young adults ages 15-24 account for over fifty percent of all STI rates, despite only making up twenty-five percent of the sexually active population (Edison et al., 2022). Additionally, data from the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System shows that LGBTQ+ young adults are more likely to engage in sexual risk behaviors, such as not using a condom or dental dam (Kann et al., 2018). Disabled people are typically infantilized and left out of sexual education conversations entirely (McDaniels et al., 2016). People of color are at much higher risk for sexual assault and STI’s, and simultaneously receive less access to proper sexual education (Kuehnel, 2009). The purpose of our project is to expand on the work of Olivia Khangi (‘23), who received the 2023 Ambassadorship in Innovation, to provide inclusive sexual health information that will improve the sexual health of the SUNY Geneseo community. A major goal is to explicitly increase equity and inclusion for groups that are typically excluded from sexual health programming, including those that are queer, disabled, and/or BIPOC.

The Community Advocates Ambassadorship in Community Engagement

Alex Gaboury

Alex Gaboury '26

Building Community with Non-Patient Siblings

How can we provide a space for siblings of individuals with disabilities and mental health concerns to come together with peers to reflect and work through challenges outside their family of origin?

Relationships with siblings are crucial for development and long term outcomes. For siblings of individuals with disabilities or siblings of individuals with mental health concerns (i.e., non-patient siblings), sibling relationships have especially salient developmental effects. This suggests the need for extra-familial support structures, such as peers in similar situations, to provide emotional validation and a place for authentic self-expression. The goals of this ambassadorship is to provide that space for non-patient siblings that also works to disrupt these patterns of expectation, obligation, and responsibility and instead provide ways of considering self and personal goals alongside and within familial obligations.

The Ambassadorship in Diversity

Juslannie Rosso Brito

Juslannie Rosso Brito '24

Transformative Travel: The Impact of Study Abroad on Underrepresented Students

How might we increase the promotion of study abroad to first-generation college students, students of color, and other underrepresented students at SUNY Geneseo?

As a first-generation, low income, student of color, I have encountered that many fellow underrepresented students don’t consider studying abroad as an opportunity for our communities. In order to tackle this problem, I am organizing a spring student-led panel on the impact of study abroad, how to prepare to study abroad, and other resources on campus. I will work with the office of Access Opportunity Programs to create a brochure regarding the student perspective on study abroad. I will collect narratives from underrepresented students on campus as well as during the SUNY Geneseo faculty led Senegalese study abroad program during the Summer 2024. At the end of the program I will also create a video presentation on the experience of underrepresented students on the trip, to publish online for the entire SUNY Geneseo community to view. By providing a platform for my fellow underrepresented students, there will be an increase in information going out into our communities to equip and encourage one another to study abroad.