An uncommon college experience in Northern New York.
Immerse yourself in a campus culture that's as eclectic as you are.
Protecting the Majestic Grey Crowned Crane
Taking flight like the endangered birds she studies, Bridget Amulike has launched an inspiring career as a conservation biologist, educator, and researcher. Born and raised in Tanzania, Amulike is now in the middle of a prestigious two-year SUNY PRODiG Fellowship at SUNY Potsdam, teaching her students about wildlife conservation with real world examples from her research in Africa on grey crowned cranes.
United for Ukraine
Dr. Gregory A. Gardner has been many things to many people throughout his varied career: Military intelligence officer. Visiting professor. Business expert. Colleague. Friend. No matter his role, he has always focused his efforts on advancing democracy and promoting free commerce—first with the U.S. Air Force, and later as a SUNY Potsdam faculty member and Fulbright Scholar.
Crafting a Horror Show
Perfectly in sync with the Halloween season, the Department of Theatre and Dance just completed five performances of “Night of the Living Dead.” Leading up to the show, students and faculty were busy working behind-the-scenes as they designed the set, and learned the nuances of applying stage makeup, before taking the stage in the Black Box Theater.
A Personal Connection
As a parent of a son with autism, Autumn Frazee Brown ’23 has always valued the importance of great educators. A longtime advocate for her son, she has seen the positive impact teachers have had on his life—ultimately influencing her own decision to pursue a master’s degree in education at SUNY Potsdam.
Smile for the Camera
Imagine a game camera with reading glasses. That’s one of the creative ways that four faculty members have been capturing photos of an unsuspecting assortment of small mammals through the modified lens of a wildlife camera. Funded by a grant through the Lougheed Center for Applied Learning, Dr. Glenn Johnson, Dr. Kate Cleary, Dr. Jessica Rogers, and Dr. Bridget Amulike launched a pilot project this summer to determine the most effective ways to collect data on a variety of critters ranging from deer mice and shrews to chipmunks and weasels—research that will inform future projects looking at tick abundance in the region.
Mentor for Success
Jessica Burnett ’09 & ’11 supports more than 250 students with disabilities in her role as assistant director of Accommodative Services. The New York State Disability Service Council (NYSDSC) recently acknowledged her efforts by presenting her with the New Professional Award, which recognizes an individual who is self-motivated and who seeks out resources and training opportunities to improve their job.
Protecting the Endangered
Traveling up and down the east coast, and through the Gulf of Mexico, Brogin Van Skoik ’11 puts his degree from SUNY Potsdam to the test. Working as an endangered species observer on a large dredging vessel, he carefully monitors the human impact on a precious assortment of turtles, fish, and whales—halting dredging operations at a moment’s notice if too many species are harmed by the shipping operations.
Adversity Yields Opportunity
After sustaining a season-ending ankle injury his sophomore year, followed by a concussion his junior year, Adam Kelley ’20 was told that he could no longer play competitive soccer. Despite the devastating news, his connection with soccer remained strong, and he remained on the sidelines to coach his peers. Now two years after graduation, he’s working as an assistant soccer coach at Clarkson University, and continuing to build on his years of experience as an athlete and leader on the field.
The American Dream
In just four years, Miryam Veliz Calderon ’20 & ’21 graduated from SUNY Potsdam with an undergraduate degree in math and Spanish, followed by a master’s degree in secondary math education. With a unique combination of language, math, and teaching skills, Veliz Calderon quickly landed a job back home on Long Island after commencement. At just 22 years of age, she’s already a leader in the classroom, working as a bilingual math teacher with immigrants who have recently arrived in the U.S.
Path of the Professional
After landing her dream job as the executive director for the St. Regis Tribal Gaming Commission in Akwesasne, Jill Benedict ’01 & ’24 was still looking for ways to challenge herself. Twenty years after receiving her undergraduate degree from SUNY Potsdam, she has returned to her alma mater to pursue a graduate degree in management—allowing her to parlay her educational experiences into transferrable leadership skills for the Mohawk government.
As the director of healthy communities for the Special Olympics, Onolee Stephan ’06 has dedicated her life to helping others, and it all started at SUNY Potsdam. After completing the College’s community program, and getting her MPH at Boston University, she landed a job as the director of healthy communities for the Special Olympics—overseeing the funding for health programs in six U.S. states, and 50 international chapters, while leaning on the skills she acquired at SUNY Potsdam years earlier.
Taylor Post ’22 has been dancing her entire life. Guided by her grandmother’s passion for dance, she continued to refine her dance and choreographic techniques as a student at SUNY Potsdam, while working closely with supportive faculty in the Department of Theatre & Dance. After receiving her degree in May, she returned to her hometown of Hopewell, N.Y., where she is helping to run the family business, a dance studio her grandmother opened more than half a century ago.
From a high-altitude forest in Guatemala to a biological corridor in Costa Rica, Dr. Kate Cleary brings years of experience, steeped in hands-on international research, into the classroom. As an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Studies, she has been working closely with students to study bats in St. Lawrence County, collecting data about their population numbers that will be shared with the U.S. Geological Survey’s North American Bat Monitoring Program.
Coming Full Circle
Ever since graduating from SUNY Potsdam with a degree in community health, Missi Wooldridge ’08 has continued to make a positive impact on the world around her—focusing her career on drug policy reform and harm reduction. This fall, she will be giving back to her alma mater, and returning as an adjunct professor in the College’s fully online master’s degree program in community health.
Mentor for the Next Generation
After transferring to SUNY Potsdam in 2019, Noah White '22 has thrived in the College's BA/MST program in secondary science education. Completing several hands-on student teaching placements in local middle and high school classrooms, he has been paving the way to a bright future as a STEM educator.
Driven to Excellence
At just twenty years old, Victoria Sekyere ’23 has already published a book, started a non-profit organization, and is in the process of applying to law school as she wraps up her degree in criminal justice with a minor in pre-law at SUNY Potsdam.
A Mover and Shaker
Unlike the slowly developing rock formations that she studies with her students, Dr. Page Quinton has moved mountains since she started at SUNY Potsdam—infusing the campus with her passion for teaching as she launches new applied learning initiatives in and out of the classroom.
Becoming a Literacy Leader
After graduating with a degree in early childhood / childhood education in 2020, Karina Antonio ’20 & ’22 spent a year working as a pre-school teacher, before returning to SUNY Potsdam in the fall of 2021 to pursue a master’s degree in literacy. A first-generation college student, and the first person in her family to receive a master’s degree, Antonio’s passion for education is fueled by her desire to see her students succeed, in the same way that she did in her youth.
Foundations for Success
Not far from their childhood homes, Emily Vierno ’22 and Kristen Parker ’22 realized that SUNY Potsdam was the perfect fit to launch their careers in health care. The North Country natives are now in the final semester at the College, wrapping up their degrees in exercise science as they prepare for graduate school. Both students were recently accepted into the graduate programs of their choice as they pursue their passions for physical therapy and sports nutrition.
The Stars Aligning
Jaylen Kawenninon Francis-Herne ’23, who is pursuing a degree in community health with a minor in human services, first enrolled at SUNY Potsdam in 2012. Fresh out of high school, she wasn’t prepared for the road ahead, and withdrew during her first year. Eight years later, she has returned to the College—this time with an unwavering determination and focus driven by the responsibilities of motherhood and a commitment to serve the Mohawk people within her community.
Arts Management in the Real World
Business savvy students pursuing a degree in arts management are gaining valuable hands-on experience this semester at organizations around the North Country—impactful capstone internships that allow them to take what they’ve learned in the classroom out into the real world. Led by Arts Management Coordinator Joshua Vink, students are completing internships at organizations like the St. Lawrence Arts Council, Brick & Mortar Music and the Community Performance Box Office.