Where Are They Now: Paige O’Connor ’16

Hi friends! Let me start by saying that Geneseo is and will always be one of my favorite places on the face of the planet and the memories I made during my time there can never be replaced. That being said, life after Geneseo has been more than I could ever ask for. I always thought that life after college would be much less fun and more depressing, but I am happy to say that couldn’t be further from the truth.

As most of you know, I was planning on becoming an officer in the Marine Corps. after college and, in the beginning of last August, I was finally accepted into Officer Candidates School. The one catch was the fall class was already full and females are not allowed to go during the winter class. This meant I would have to wait almost a year to attend. Still, my commitment did not falter. That is until I began teaching in the fall while I prepared for OCS.

Needless to say, I fell in love with teaching and now that is my path. I recently got accepted into the New York City Teaching Fellows Program, which is an accelerated teaching certification and Master’s program. Over the summer, I will participate in a rigorous certification course and by the fall, I will have my own classroom in the Bronx. I plan on moving to White Plains while I teach and take night classes to receive my Masters in Education.

Besides working a lot, I also had the amazing opportunity to travel Europe for a month (which included an epic meet up with Pendles in London) with one of my best friends from home. If I could give you seniors one piece of advice, it would be to spend all of your money on a trip to Europe right after graduation (okay not ALL of it, only most of it).

I wouldn’t say the transition after college was hard, just a change of pace. There are an endless amount of things I miss about Geneseo, not least among them athletics, friends, garbage plates, Letchworth, intramural championships, snow days, and the pace of a small town.

Besides traveling after college, the best advice I could give is to not be afraid of change. My journey has taught me that it’s okay to change your vision of where you want your life to go. You never want to feel trapped on one path simply because you feel that you, your family, and your friends have expended too much time and effort into making it work. The ones that love you will support you no matter what you choose, as long as you do what makes you happy. I’ve always been one with a plan so changing my life plan was one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to make, but it was the right one for me.

All in all, I would not trade my experience at Geneseo for anything, especially my experience as a student athlete. It gave me friends that will last a lifetime, and a support system that I would not have made it through college without. It taught me about sacrifice, dedication, friendship, and hard work. Appreciate the time you have left in Geneseo, and don’t take the privilege of being a student athlete for granted.

Love to you all! Here are some pics from my past months as a college grad.

XOXO

Po

po1
My sister winning the Division II National Lacrosse Championship in Denver, Colorado
po2
My cousin’s wedding in Michigan
po3
Guinness Factory in Dublin, Ireland
po4
Reunited with Pendles in London, England (unrealllllllll)
po5
Bike riding through Vienna, Austria
po6
Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany
po7
Reunited with some fantastic people in Geneseo
po8
A quick trip to Mexico!
Advertisements

FY Shea Casey: My First College Spring Break

Spring Break, which is usually filled with sunshine, tropical beaches, and travel, was instead filled with all the great aspects of home. I am one of the furthest from school, so after a nice seven-hour drive home, me driving the entire way of course, I was just happy to be home, laying in my own full-sized bed with my Boston Terrier, Chloe, lying next to me. The next morning, right after I woke up, I of course did what any typical Long Islander would do, drive to the nearest bagel deli and purchase a delicious BEC (for those who don’t understand my terminology, I purchased a bacon, egg, and cheese on a nice toasty egg everything bagel). After starting my morning off right, I then took this tasty sandwich to the beach, and saw something I’ve missing for a while: the Atlantic Ocean. Living only ten minutes from the beach, I have been taking advantage of my luckiness, so when I’m at school not near any ocean beach, I start to miss driving to the closest beach and relaxing.

After, I attended the annual Westhampton Beach St. Patrick’s Day Parade with my close friends, despite the freezing temperatures and snow still on the ground. It was so nice to see old family friends, neighbors, and even a few of my old high school teachers. Once the festivities ended, we warmed up and grabbed another food delicacy of Long Island: a slice of pizza. After we finished eating my best friends, Hailey and Chloe, and I drove around to all the fun spots we used to go to during our high school years and. It was so refreshing to finally be back home without a worry in the world, no homework due, no test to study for, etc.

This break was most definitely about seeing all the people I’ve been needing to see, so besides my friends, I spent most of my time with my family. I haven’t seen them in almost two months, so I thought it’d be best to just catch up on things and pretend like no time has passed. Even though we really didn’t do anything more than go out to dinners and watch new movies, like Beauty and the Beast which was SO good, it was still such a fun time to bond with my parents and brother.

Towards the end of break, my friends and I decided to change things up and take a day trip to New York City. We got very lucky with the sunny weather and the temperature in the 50s. Once we got off the train, we saw a little bit of the huge St. Patrick’s Day Parade then walked to the New Museum (and yes that’s it’s actual name) to see some unique art. The art museum was a little on the odd side but still was incredibly interesting to go to. After we finished the exhibits we grabbed lunch at a cute Italian restaurant, which served some of the most delicious margarita pizzas I’ve ever had. Once we finished eating, we just walked around the city finding cute places to hang out, take some pictures, and just enjoy the moment. We headed back in the evening, so that we’d arrive home in perfect time for the traditional St. Patty’s dinner. Since both sides of my family are heavily Irish, we always get together for a family and friends traditional dinner, of course including corn beef, cabbage, and my favorite, Irish soda bread!

For the last two days of break, I spent most of my time saying my goodbyes and see you soons to my friends and family. It wasn’t sad whatsoever because I knew that I’ll see them all in two months from now. I was also really excited to come back to Geneseo, because this place has truly become my second home. Everyone from my teammates, roommate, coaches, teachers, to just friends have made me feel so welcomed and comfortable since day one, and I knew since the first day of my freshman semester that this was exactly where I was meant to be.

Where Are They Now: Jia Sha ’15

A year after Geneseo

Hello there! My name is Jia and I was a part of the December 2015 Geneseo graduating class. It’s been a year since I graduated from college and life hasn’t slowed down one bit!  As athletes we all enjoy some quick stats so I thought I would share some of mine with you.

After Geneseo I…

  • Moved 1,425 miles away from home
  • Started working for a Fortune 500 company
  • Traveled to 12 states in 15 weeks
  • Adopted 1 adorable puppy named Mona
jia1.jpg
My adorable new puppy, Mona

My life after Geneseo started as soon as I finished my last final exam of my college career. I hopped into my car and moved to Dallas, Texas to start a new internship with Southwest Airlines. I worked in the Marketing department as the Integrated Communications intern and had the opportunity to learn from some of the best marketers. As a Southwest intern I not only had the privilege to work on amazing projects but I was also able to travel the country for free. Within 15 weeks I traveled to 12 states and made incredible memories with my fellow interns.

jia3jia4

After my internship with Southwest I was lucky enough to be hired on as a Marketing Coordinator supporting four different Marketing Directors, their teams, and contributing to special projects.

Even though I am enjoying my new adventure post college I do miss Geneseo very much! I am so thankful for the great education I received from Geneseo, the opportunity to play on the volleyball team, and all the friends and incredible memories I have made during my time at Geneseo. Looking back now, I wish I didn’t worry too much about my life after Geneseo because in the end everything will work out for the best! So, to all the current Geneseo students my advice to you is to enjoy every moment of college because it’ll be over before you know it! Enjoy all that Geneseo has to offer and especially playing volleyball because volleyball after college is just not the same.

FY Abby May: My Experience as a Student-Athlete

My experience as a volleyball player throughout high school and college thus far has been challenging, but extremely rewarding.  Volleyball gives me motivation to strive to reach my highest potential.  It gives me a well-structured lifestyle, which I noticed quite early in my life that structure is necessary for me to be successful.  The incredible sense of accomplishment I feel when I’ve reached a goal is something that constantly feeds my drive to improve.  Volleyball gives me chances time and time again to be able to feel this way, although the path to get there is not usually easy.  However, that is why the feeling is so powerful.  Whether it be stress from school, physical injuries, or a periods of low confidence, the end result always seems to wipe out anything that stood in my way during the process.

Throughout high school, I learned how to balance sports and a heavy workload.  I was better prepared to be able to manage my time and be aware of what was first priority when I got to college.  My experience in high school, especially senior year, was a time that I developed some leadership skills.  At times, it was difficult to have the pressure of being “on” all the time and consistently pick my teammates up when they were down.  My first season at Geneseo was most definitely a different experience, but in a very positive way.

When I became a member of the Geneseo Women’s Varsity Volleyball team this past August, I learned substantial information about myself throughout and after season.  Some of this was good, and some were things I realized needed to be worked on.  These things I needed to work on did not just involve my physical abilities of playing volleyball, but rather what I need to do to become a better teammate, leader, and athlete.  I noticed even more about myself after season when reflecting back and also being a part of the leadership council.

Starting college volleyball right before my first semester of school was quite the transition.  I had difficulty learning what I needed to do well in different classes, what was expected of me from my professors, and even how to find my way around campus (something my teammates know I have an abnormal difficulty with).  All these obstacles are typical of any first semester freshman.  I had a hard time putting in as much effort as I should have to become closer to people in the beginning of the year.  I was caught up and overwhelmed with figuring out college and finding my place here.  I tend to handle things like this on my own, not really asking people for help, which I know I need to get better at.  However, at this point in time, I am so grateful to have developed such great relationships with my fellow teammates, even though it took me a while to be myself and open up.  I am enjoying my life here more than I would have ever imagined, and it is all because of the team I am honored to be able to say I am a part of.

As my first year of college comes to an end, I will be able look back and appreciate what I have gained in such a short period of time.  I’ve learned more about volleyball in three months than I think I ever have, and gained insight on who I am and how I can make myself better.  I am looking forward to next season and what the future holds for Geneseo volleyball.  I would like to thank everyone who made this experience one that I will never forget.  I love you all and good luck to our seniors!

 

Where Are They Now: Paige Pendleton ’16

Hello! It’s Pendles here, writing from Newcastle upon Tyne, England. I am currently studying at Northumbria University pursuing a masters in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Technologies. I am also playing volleyball for our university team as well as our national league. Life in general is so much different here. The pace of everything – from classes to volleyball to coffee/teatime – is different.

My experience so far academically has been nice. The educational culture in the U.K. is much different, but I think Geneseo prepared me incredibly for where I am today. The countless all-nighters, the weeks where I had more assignments due than I could fathom, the caffeinated finals weeks (where looking back, the amount we accomplish in that small period of time is pretty legendary), the running from spring training sessions to class…. It all prepared me for being at this university now. Granted, I am not a Teaching Assistant like Lizzy, but it is still a challenge. The biggest change is the workload for me. Instead of infinitely long problems sets each week for most of my classes, I have a few massive assignments each semester. I have enjoyed my classes so far and I am really happy to be in a program that is so specific to what I want to be doing. Part of the reason why I chose this university is their specific degree for renewable energy technologies. It is not a major one can study at most universities in the States, so I would have had work my way into the solar panel field or wind turbine market through a Mechanical Engineering or Environmental Engineering degree.

I heard about this opportunity through a company called TeamGleas (look them up!!!!) where you make an online profile and coaches from universities in the U.K. and Australia can contact you about playing whilst getting your masters. The website helps match you with the best school for you academically and athletically. The best part is, there is no NCAA eligibility rules or stipulations to worry about because it is a completely different athletics system here.  I honestly made a profile my junior year at Geneseo and thought it was too good to be true and that it would never happen for me, so I ruled it out as a possibility… thinking I would just stay in New York at RIT or ESF to pursue a masters after retiring completely from volleyball. Just over a year ago though, I began communicating with my current coach about playing for Team Northumbria… and the rest is history.

My team is the top of both of our leagues, so it has been quite the change (having not made SUNYAC playoffs any of my years at Geneseo). My team is majority Americans that came from Division I programs, so I am surrounded by incredible volleyball players that make me better every day. Athletics in England are not regarded as highly as in the States…basically we are spoiled as NCAA athletes. We do not have trainers on hand such as Jeremy, Sharon, or Angelo to sprint to with any issue that can be fixed or helped immediately with their expertise. We do not have our own team rooms to decorate, pre-game dance in, or nap in. It is just culturally very different. It’s fun though, all teams for our BUCS conference play on Wednesdays. There is a sense of community in having that as your competition day, and also knowing there are plenty of sporting events to attend and support when you aren’t playing. Another change I have been adjusting to is playing a much longer season. We had a few weeks off for Christmas, but our leagues go until April so we have to make sure our old bodies last until then.  It’s different, but I love it!

I chose the unconventional path of living abroad while getting my masters and I couldn’t be happier. It was my first time flying over the ocean and leaving the continent. I live with three volleyball teammates and (don’t mind the cliché) have met some best friends that will last forever. Despite the lack of sunshine in England (it’s not a myth), Newcastle is an amazing city. Having grown up in a small town and attending Geneseo… I had never lived in a big city until now. Although I was mildly obsessed with Cricket’s, it’s nice to have infinite options of where to grab coffee or food (the closest Chipotle is in London, so Geneseo wins there… 30 MINUTES TO HENRIETTA IS NOTHING GUYS).  We are a 15-minute metro ride to the coast, a 3-hour train to London, and an hour train to Edinburgh. Travel wise, living here is ideal because flights from both Edinburgh and London are cheap!

To current students: be present where you are. Work incredibly hard in all your classes because it will pay off, but also enjoy the community you are a part of. I’m lucky to have joined a team with a great team dynamic here, but I definitely miss GSUVB and Geneseo in general. Enjoy those days where you see your house or room solely for sleeping. Be content sitting in room 336 of the union doing homework for 6 hours on a Saturday (drinking a venti iced coffee obviously). Be loud and get excited to play every game you play. Geneseo may be the last chance to play organized volleyball. Enjoy the fresh gear we get (I am now wearing Cortland colors here at Northumbria… torn with how to feel about that). Watch those sunsets with awe each night. I get to see sunrises out of my window every morning (when it isn’t cloudy…), but I can’t tell you the last time I saw a sunset here at all let alone one that compared to Geneseo. Support other teams as if they are part of your family. Basically, just appreciate the home away from home that is Geneseo before you are off with your next chapter. You never know where you’ll end up!

Here are some pictures 🙂

pp1
I look excited here (which I was), but I was equally terrified for starting over in a new country.

pp2

pp3
My layover was all day in Paris, so I visited a family friend Max and he showed me around.
pp4
This is the River Tyne in Newcastle, and this area is called Quayside where there are tons of places to eat and shop. Lots of clouds – shocker!
pp5
I had the pleasure of seeing Paige O when she was travelling around in September, and that was one of my favorite weekends. We met in London.

pp6

pp7
One of the best professional teams in China came to play us in October (Tiajin). It was the fastest offense I have ever seen. It was an incredible experience to play them for a week!
pp8
These are my housemates at a ‘football’ game. We have a team here in Newcsatle, Newcastle United and it is by far the most popular sport here.
pp9
My first rugby game.. It was a rival game between us and Newcastle University called ‘Clash of the Titans.’
pp10
This is the courtyard where part of Harry Potter was filmed. It is in Durham just 15 minutes away from my campus. It is so beautiful!
pp11
This is the coast, just a quick train ride away to escape the city.
pp12
One of my best friends, Ali. She plays basketball here and is a fellow American.
pp13
Our last practice before going home for Christmas.
pp14
Over break I got to see some Geneseo friends in Syracuse.
pp15
I went to Spain with my best friend Alex. The jeep tour we did was one of the coolest things I have ever done! We were on the island of Tenerife.

pp16pp17

pp18
(The one rival sunset to Geneseo I’ve seen since leaving home)

GSUVB Spring & Summer Camps

Spring is almost here, Knights fans, and that means its time to start thinking about registering for GSUVB’s 2017 Volleyball Camps! We’ve got several amazing opportunities for you to be a part of this year, so here’s a little info about what’s coming up and where you can sign up:

Spring Little Knights Camp

Join Geneseo Volleyball’s Head Coach Amber Dunn, her coaching staff, and her team for an exceptional instruction opportunity, games, and activities. Campers will receive feedback and instruction in all aspects of the game including hitting, setting, passing, and serving. This camp is designed to introduce skills to beginners and also refine experienced players’ skill sets. For the second year in a row, Geneseo Little Knights Camp is an event you won’t want to miss!

When: April 2nd, 3-5:30pm
Where: Schrader Gymnasium, SUNY Geneseo
Who: K-7th graders
How much: $30 per camper (includes a camp gift!)

 

Defense/First Contact Camp

Campers will receive quality instruction and a high volume of repetitions of passing and defensive skills, such as digging & serve-receive. Specific skills covered will include serve receive, individual defense, overhead digging, playing the second ball, serving, and learning how to properly dive and make emergency/recovery moves. Camp staff, which includes the current Geneseo Volleyball team and coaching staff, will model the importance of correct body positioning, eye-sequencing and floor quickness. While this camp will greatly benefit defensive specialists and liberos, it is not limited to players of that position! The Defensive/First Contact camp will offer a valuable experience for all volleyball players, regardless of their position.
When: July 26th, 9:30am-4:30pm
Where: Schrader Gymnasium
Who: 7th-12th graders
How much: $95 per camper (includes camp gift!)
**$85 if registered by July 1st!
All Skill Youth Day Camp
This camp is designed for K-8th graders of all skill levels who are looking to improve their volleyball skills and overall understanding of the game. The focus of this camp is on teaching all of the fundamental skills of volleyball through detailed technical progressions. Game-like scenarios and opportunities to compete will also be incorporated into both sessions in order for campers to practice their skills in live situations. Camp staff, which includes current Geneseo Volleyball players and coaching staff, will demonstrate and instruct proper techniques for all skills. The ultimate goal of this camp is to improve the camper’s knowledge of basic volleyball skills and provide multiple quality repetitions and opportunities to improve the athlete’s confidence on the court!
When: July 24th & July 25th, 9am-3:30pm
Where: Schrader Gymnasium
Who: K-8th graders
How much: $85 per camper (includes camp gift!)
**$75 if registered by July 1st!
Elite/Prospect Overnight Camp
This camp is designed for experienced players who are interested in advancing their skills and knowledge of volleyball and learning more about SUNY Geneseo as an option for their collegiate career. All sessions will focus on enhancing and perfecting technique rather than teaching individual skills. This camp is designed for players with experience that have a strong desire to work hard, be dedicated to the sport, and continue to improve their game. Campers will be provided with a true Geneseo Knight Volleyball experience with Head Coach Amber Dunn, her coaching staff, and her players. Camp sessions will be run similarly to high level collegiate practices with intense training instruction of hitting, blocking, passing, setting, serving, and defense. If you’re looking to test your skills in an intense environment and take your game to the next level, this is the camp for you! *Housing (in a SUNY Geneseo dormitory) and meals (at Geneseo’s dining hall) are included as part of camp registration fee.
When: July 28th-July 30th
Where: SUNY Geneseo (Schrader Gymnasium)
Who: 9th-12th & Incoming First-Year Geneseo Students
How much: $325 overnighters, $275 commuters
**$300/$250 if registered by July 1st!

 

We are also offering Satellite Camp options and Individual Lessons! Please check out our camp website at http://www.geneseovolleyballcamps.com/ for additional information and registration. We can’t wait to see you and continue to build the GSUVB program!!

 

GO KNIGHTS!