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Geneseo Migrant Center:
The Center and the College

Since the 1960s, Geneseo faculty and students have shared in and helped shape the Center's research agenda. The migrant population is a living laboratory for studies of cultural diversity, the economic and social conditions of farmwork, and the challenges of education and family services in rural areas.

Dr. William Cotton

Geneseo students  are involved with the Center in several ways: as volunteers, as interns, and as part-time employees. For some students, these options open up a career ladder, leading to graduate school or full-time employment in service professions. Hands-on experience in Center programs enriches academic training in many fields.

There are also opportunities for part-time employment in Center programs. In the past, student workers staffed the weekend program for migrant families. Geneseo students work as in-camp teachers in adult education and arts. Some move on to full-time careers in migrant services.

Dr. Robert MacVittie

The Center began in 1968 as an on-campus institute for migrant studies. SUNY Geneseo's then President, Dr. Robert MacVittie, worked with Drs. William Cotton and Gloria Mattera of the Education Division and John Dunn of NYSED's Bureau of Migrant Education to build a program that would link research on migrancy with professional training for teachers and direct service to migrant children.

For more than a decade, the Center was affiliated with SUNY Geneseo. Although it is now institutionally separate from the College, its founders' shared vision still animates Center programs. And the Center has continued, and even enlarged, its service to the Geneseo college community.

Students can also receive college credit for work with farmworkers. Undergraduate and graduate students in education enrolled for the first workshops for teachers of migrant children. The College's former School of Library Sciences placed interns with the Center's Resource Library.

In 1989, a grant from the USDE's Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education supported the FACES (Farmworker Arts, Culture and Education with Students) program, expanding internship recruitment and training. Students in anthropology, art, communication, education, geography, organizational and occupational behavior, public relations, and sociology have interned at the Center and LVA-LC.


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