Becoming a Lumen Circle Fellow

As we begin to wrap up the Spring term, we are excited to share that you can now apply for Summer and Fall Lumen Circles Fellowships!

Through the Lumen Circles Fellowship program, you have the opportunity to connect and collaborate with fellow faculty from multiple institutions through virtual learning communities. Together you will explore evidence-based practices, reflect on your teaching experiences, and share ideas and feedback.

Your participation is covered by SUNY OER Services and the SUNY Center for Professional Development. We ask you to commit to participating fully in fellowship activities, recognizing SUNY is investing in you with this opportunity to deepen your expertise as a student-focused educator. 

For more information contact Christopher Price, Ph.D., Academic Programs Manager, SUNY Center for Professional Development,

OER Creation Support at Fraser Hall Library

Creating your own open educational resource might sound intimidating, but did you know that you can get support at every step at Fraser Hall Library? The Library’s publishing services, part of the Collection Management department, handles many open access publications, but also supports faculty in the creation of OER. To get in touch with us about OER support, please fill out the simple form at

Whether you are starting from scratch or retooling some classroom materials that you want to share with other colleges and universities, we can help from the beginning. We consult on the format, timeline, and tools used for the project and help make a project plan.

We offer support with finding media that is openly licensed, and citing that media properly. We can facilitate peer review—whether it be a formal blind peer review or a more informal and collaborative review. We can also have the manuscript proofread by qualified volunteers.

Formatting and preparing a text for final publication can be frustrating and time consuming. To help with this process we staff student publication assistants to take your project from the manuscript stage to the final layout. Our layout process also focuses on accessibility, so your final product will be fully accessible to your students. And lastly, we maintain stable websites where your work can be accessed by students for free, and, if appropriate, create a printed version that can be easily ordered online. 

KnightScholar, Geneseo’s institutional repository, can also support OER work. In addition to housing open textbooks, students, faculty, and staff can deposit their OER creations and adaptations into KnightScholar. Student work can be a useful means for creating open educational resources for future classes to use, and KnightScholar can become an open educational space.

New Online Collections in KnightScholar

James W. Kimball Traditional Music and Dance in New York State Collection

In his 40+ year career at SUNY Geneseo, ethnomusicologist James Kimball has documented traditional master musicians of New York State, specializing in the Eastern square dance tradition. The James W. Kimball Traditional Music and Dance in New York State Collection is a curated selection of Kimball’s significant research recordings between 1976-2008 as well as earlier materials from various sources. It includes unique interviews and community performances of notable fiddlers, square dance callers, dance musicians, and community members whose knowledge bridges 19th-century repertory to contemporary practice of the tradition.  Enjoy this freely-available collection at

Geneseo Literary Magazines

The Geneseo Literary Magazines project consolidates nearly all of the out-of-print literary history of Geneseo, which consists of 70 issues from 8 publications spanning the years 1955 through 2017. Until now, these have largely been sequestered away in the library’s Special Collections and the English Department’s files.  View the Geneseo Literary Magazines project at

Milne Library Publishing Partners with SUNY Press

In November 2021 Milne Library Publishing announced the release of the online textbook Gendered Lives: Global Issues, edited by Nadine T. Fernandez and Katie Nelson. Geneseo’s Melanie A. Medeiros contributed the chapter “Intersectionality and Normative Masculinity in Northeast Brazil.”

This was the first OER that Milne has published in partnership with SUNY Press. Gendered Lives was one of seven SUNY OER Services-funded creation projects in 2018-19, two of which went on to work with SUNY Press for formal publication. SUNY Press partnered with Milne Library Publishing to provide the free and accessible online versions of these texts alongside the print versions. Milne Library has been publishing open textbooks since 2014 and has a reputable history of producing high quality texts that give students better access to their learning materials. 

Gendered Lives takes a regional approach to examine gender issues from an anthropological perspective with a focus on globalization and intersectionality. Chapters present contributors’ ethnographic research, contextualizing their findings within four geographic regions: Latin America, the Caribbean, South Asia, and the Global North. Each regional section begins with an overview of the broader historical, social, and gendered contexts, which situate the regions within larger global linkages. These introductions also feature short project/people profiles that highlight the work of community leaders or non-governmental organizations active in gender-related issues. Gendered Lives: Global Issues can be read online. The affordable print version is available from SUNY Press

The second text that is part of this partnership is Introduction to LGBTQ+ Studies: A Cross-Disciplinary Approachedited by Deborah P. Amory, Sean G. Massey, Jennifer Miller, and Allison P. Brown. Geneseo’s James Aimers contributed the chapter “Queer New World: Challenging Heteronormativity in Archaeology.” This text is forthcoming; the online version will be released in late May 2022, while the print version will follow later this summer. 

Introduction to LGBTQ+ Studies: A Cross-Disciplinary Approach offers accessible, academically sound information on a wide range of LGBTQ+ topics. The twelve chapters cover LGBTQ history, culture, and Queer Theory, but also explore LGBTQ+ relationships, families, parenting, health, and education, as well as a chapter on how to conduct research on LGBTQ+ topics. Finally, it explores LGBTQ+ issues from the ancient world to more contemporary global perspectives. It will be the first open textbook in this subject area to be published.

SUNY Create

SUNY Create is a Domain of One’s Own initiative established by a small cohort of SUNY campuses that is rapidly growing across the system. Available to both students as well as professional and teaching faculty, SUNY Create provides the opportunity to register a domain name and create a digital presence through various mediums such as blogs, portfolios, and wikis. Participants can easily install open source applications such as WordPress, MediaWiki, Drupal, Scalar, and Omeka to one’s own domain, and use this space to create one’s digital identity and express creativity. With a mission to promote web literacy, digital identity, and ownership over one’s digital content, SUNY Create gives users the tools and guidance they need to participate in responsible, critical digital citizenship.

The First Year Chronicles is a project run out of Geneseo’s Center for Digital Learning in collaboration with several INTD105 professors to incorporate self-reflective blogging into each course. We chose Geneseo OpenLab as the platform for the project. This WordPress multisite platform is unique in the way that it provides each user with their own WordPress site as a subdomain of the larger Geneseo OpenLab multisite. Beyond each user having a WordPress site, Geneseo OpenLab provides a dedicated site to each group that is set up on the multisite, which could be an Organization, a Course, or a Project. Geneseo’s OpenLab installation is made possible through SUNY Create.

If you’re interested in learning more about SUNY Create or getting involved, please contact Amanda Schmidt at

New OER Adoption in Biology

One of the newest adoptions of OER at Geneseo is Dr. Suann Yang, who started using a new open textbook this spring in her class BIOL 350: Foundations of Biostatistics.

Many of the commercial textbooks in this subject area cost between $50-$100 on the low end, so Geneseo students saved at least $1,500 this semester (based on the class’ enrollment of 30 students).

The text, Introductory Statistics for the Life and Biomedical Sciences ( was published July 26th, 2020, and is a derivative of the same publisher’s OpenIntro Statistics 3rd Edition by Diez, Barr, and Çetinkaya-Rundel.

The publisher, OpenIntro, is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit. They offer four other statistics texts and three mathematics texts.

Introductory Statistics for the Life and Biomedical Sciences offers many ancillary resources, including labs, sample exams and problem sets, and data sets. The problem sets and solutions are only available to “Verified Teachers” to protect the integrity of the resources.

Dr. Yang had previously been using OpenIntro’s Statistics for the course, and because the new biostatistics text was based on the book she already used, the transition was a relatively easy one. 

Of all the ancillaries offered, Yang found the data sets the most useful for her purposes. She prefers to create her own labs, activities, and assessments for her classes, so generally doesn’t use those publisher resources, whether from a commercial publisher or an open one. 

Using an open textbook has allowed her to teach the course the way she prefers; often introducing subjects and learning outcomes in a different order than other biostatistics courses and texts. Another advantage she sees is an added flexibility to omit topics or offer optional assignments, because an open textbook reduces the feeling that she’s asking students to invest in a resource that isn’t fully used.

In the case of this newest adoption, Dr. Yang contacted the Open Services Committee for help making the textbook a little more user-friendly for her and her students. Since the book is available as one large PDF, she requested that the file be split up into chapters so they could be posted individually, allowing students to more easily navigate to the correct section.

These PDFs of the textbook live in Canvas for students to refer to as per her modules and syllabus. This is very convenient for the students as they don’t have to refer to an outside website or separate download to get to the textbook, or create a separate account in an outside system.

If you have questions about transitioning to using an open textbook, whether it be reorganizing your course, or the more practical questions of how students access and read the text, feel free to get in touch with the Open Services Committee!

What is the Open Services Committee?

Incorporating Open Educational Resources (OER) into classroom instruction allows students and faculty to search, publish, and share content to improve usability and fair opportunities. In its mission to promote OER and related open practices, the Open Services Committee (OSC) at SUNY Geneseo provides services and hosts several events throughout the academic year. 

Open events and services provided by the OSC include:

  • Open Access Week, typically held mid- to late-October.
  • Open Education Week, typically held at the beginning of March.
  • Openly Available Sources Integrated Search (OASIS) streamlines the OER search by providing instructors with one central location from which to identify, discover, and access Open material they can incorporate into their courses.
  • Webinars and blog posts that inform the Geneseo community about current Open practices and activity at Geneseo. You’ll find our posts on the Fraser Hall (previously Milne) Library blog.
  • Instructional help from committee members and liaison librarians for finding open educational materials on the web and incorporating open materials onto a LibGuide for your course. You can request OER help on the library website.
  • Reviewing proposals for new publications to be published by Milne Library Publishing. The committee evaluates new proposals for publication with our imprints Milne Open Textbooks and Geneseo Authors.
  • And….. this OER Symposium! This event is typically held exclusively at Geneseo each May. Historically held in-person, due to the pandemic, we began the OER Symposium virtual newsletter in 2020. The goal of this newsletter is to keep you (and us!) connected with each other and the latest news and information on OER in lieu of a face-to-face meet up during a busy time of the semester.

The current membership of the committee is:

  • William Jones (chair), Digital Resources and Systems Librarian, Fraser Hall Library
  • Allison Brown, Digital Publishing Services Manager, Fraser Hall Library
  • Joe Dolce, Senior Instructional Designer, Computing & Information Technology
  • Teddy Gyamfi, Evening Access Services Manager, Fraser Hall Library
  • Sedar Ngoma, Assistant Professor, Mathematics
  • Amanda Schmidt, Digital Humanities and Learning Coordinator, Center for Digital Learning

For more information on how to get in touch with us, visit, and to learn more about Open Education at Geneseo, check out our Open Educational Resources for Faculty LibGuide.