At Crossroads, new director fights against victim mentality

Geneva’s Crossroads office has grown, bringing together Geneva’s programs for enriched learning under one roof.

After teaching in Rome for the past two years, new Crossroads Director Jeffrey Cole hopes to fight against the negativity he found upon his return to campus.  He hopes that students can see the good happening on campus despite the poor attitude surrounding campus administration and the college as a whole.

“My hope for this year is that students will be champions of Geneva rather than victims,” said Cole. “That takes effort, but Crossroads is trying to give students more to be proud of.”

Crossroads continues to oversee Geneva’s study abroad programs, as well as international student services and recruiting. Additionally, Geneva Online, May and Summer at Geneva, early college/dual enrollment, the Fulbright Scholar Program, the Honors Program, the Geneva Visiting Artist and Lecture Series (GVALS) and summer camps all have been brought under the Crossroads umbrella.

Cole, a humanities and history professor, spearheaded the recent changes. He proposed the idea for the new Crossroads last summer because he felt that many programs at Geneva were unnecessarily independent and didn’t have strong faculty and administrative support.

“Certain programs need a champion, and I aim to be that champion,” said Cole.

While it is certainly challenging to be the director of an office with almost 15 different functions and “more…being added every day,” Cole relishes the challenge ahead of him and enjoys the fact that he never has the same day twice.

On June 1, the office, embracing its diverse role, officially became known as Crossroads: Geneva’s Center for Enriched Learning.

When asked about the overall goals for the new Crossroads, Cole said, “We hope to grow the programs, further integrate into Geneva culture and contribute to campus in ways that allow opportunities for students to flourish. Overall, we hope to serve the institution by being a visionary office.”

One project that remains close to Cole’s heart is the reopening of the Rome program, which closed last semester. There is hope for the future, said Cole, as Geneva retained the legal privileges for a school in Italy, making the process of potentially restarting the program in the future as simple as finding a place to house it. However, there are no funds available to restart the program at this time.

Though the Rome program is closed, Crossroads continues to connect Geneva students to international programs run by other universities.

While Geneva students travel the globe in large numbers, only a few international students make their way to Beaver Falls.

There are 6 international students on campus this semester, but Crossroads hopes to continue increasing that number. In the early 2000s, Geneva was home to between 80-100 international students each year until administration decided to scale back international recruiting efforts. Cole thinks that the increased diversity will only benefit the campus and allow both native and international students to have a richer academic experience.

(Published September 15, 2015 in The Cabinet, Geneva’s online student newspaper)

At Crossroads, new director fights against victim mentality

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