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School of Arts & Sciences

Immerse yourself in the sciences, humanities and fine arts, in an environment that prizes creativity and discovery.

The School of Arts and Sciences at SUNY Potsdam exposes students to a variety of fields within the fine arts, sciences, humanities and social sciences. The School’s strong foundation in the liberal arts prizes creativity and inquiry, offering a full palette of study in 18 departments offering majors, minors and interdisciplinary programs that encourage hands-on learning opportunities for every student.

Go Beyond Expectations

Our professors go out of their way to demonstrate how academic coursework applies to the world outside the classroom.

Faculty Interaction

National and state surveys say we excel in the quality of the relationships our students have with their professors.

Performing Arts Center

The Performing Arts Center (PAC) provides our students with practice and performance spaces that host cutting-edge technology.

Fertile Ground for Exploration

A double major in anthropology and international studies, Simisola Macaulay ’23 has taken on leadership roles as the president of the anthropology club, a student ambassador for Admissions and Advancement, and a peer study abroad counselor in the Lougheed Center for Applied Learning. Whether giving a TEDx Talk on gender expression within the Yoruba community in Nigeria, or conducting research on maternal practices of women in the Maasai tribe in Tanzania, she has continued to personalize her educational experiences by connecting them to her family and African heritage.

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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, a bilingual math teacher working with immigrants who have recently arrived in the U.S.

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Examining Humanity Through an Anthropological Lens

From nightly performances on a Royal Caribbean cruise line, to acting gigs all over the world, Charlie Sarkioglu ’22 has had a fruitful career embracing his passion for the arts. Now he’s shifting gears as he completes his undergraduate degree in anthropology at SUNY Potsdam—something that he believes will positively impact his future theatrical projects.

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A Philosophical Mind for Animals

After graduating summa cum laude with a double major in music and philosophy, Kate-Nicole Hoffman ’17 has continued to excel academically. First receiving her master’s degree from York University, she’s now pursuing a Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania, and conducting research on animal cognition—a natural extension of a Presidential Scholars research project that she completed years earlier as an undergraduate student at SUNY Potsdam.

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A Calling to Give Back

Jason Sanchez ’23 was raised by strong women. His mother, who has held jobs as an EMT and teacher, and his grandmother, who spent her career working in law enforcement, both have had a significant impact on his academic path at SUNY Potsdam within the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice.

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An Unwavering Trajectory

After devising an ambitious plan to complete her undergraduate degree in just three years, Cashlynn (Jaggers) Colbert ’19 & ’21 immediately landed a job as an art teacher at Salmon River Central School. Now she is back at SUNY Potsdam, wrapping up an educational technology specialist master’s degree program at the College, all while teaching art full time in the North Country.

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A New Lease on Life

Leaving behind a decade-long career as a paramedic, Laura Schappert ’08 & ’22 returned to SUNY Potsdam for a fresh start. She’s now pursuing a degree in biology, and gaining hands-on experience as a beekeeper, researcher, and caretaker for a lively cohort of amphibians within the walls of Stowell Hall. 


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Hammering Out the Past

From analyzing rocks within the walls of the geology lab, to visiting rocky outcrops around Northern New York, Megan Heins '20 gained valuable skills as an undergraduate student at SUNY Potsdam. Now she's completing a master's degree, with plans to get a Ph.D. in the field of micropaleontology.

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Choosing Potsdam

From the beaches of Long Island to the mountains of Northern New York, Grace Conway ’24 jumped at the opportunity for a change in scenery when she graduated from high school. Now she’s pursuing a degree in environmental studies at SUNY Potsdam, and after just one year at the College, she's already receiving grant funding to assist Dr. Glenn Johnson with his ongoing efforts to protect threatened Blanding’s turtles in Northern New York.

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Raising the Bar

As a preamble for her education and career, Sara Behuniak ’14 found herself playing the role of a lead defense attorney in high school. A reading of Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” set the stage for a mock courtroom trial as Behuniak and her classmates brought the pages of Capote’s non-fiction masterpiece to life—and in doing so, she found her true calling.

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A Veteran’s Passion for Medicine

After serving in Afghanistan as a hospital corpsman during a seven year stint in the U.S Navy, Kellen Bertrand ’21 returned stateside and set his sights on getting a degree at SUNY Potsdam. He’s now in his final year at the College, and wrapping up a degree in biology and chemistry all while maintaining an impressive 4.0 GPA. In the spring he will be applying to medical school where he plans to parlay his success in into a lifelong career.

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Blazing New Trails

After excelling in SUNY Potsdam’s geology and wilderness education programs, Brandon Keough '18 quickly transitioned to graduate school where he's been conducting research in remote parts of Alaska and combining his passion for both disciplines. His hard work has paid off. When he finishes grad school at the end of the year, he will start a career as a geoscientist at ExxonMobil.

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Seeking a Better Life

In an effort to escape persecution and violence in her native country of Burma, Judith Par ’20 and her family fled to a refugee camp in India when she was just a child. In 2013 she came to the U.S.—having to quickly make sense of a new language, culture and her academic coursework. Just three years later she enrolled in SUNY Potsdam's sociology and criminal justice program, and excelled in the Law Enforcement Training Institute. Par is now studying for the GRE, taking civil service examinations, and will be applying for graduate school later this summer.

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Murals for the Masses

Amy Swartele, who has been a professor in the Department of Art for the past 20 years, just completed a vibrant mural in downtown Potsdam! After securing a grant for professional development, she has been expanding the scope of her work and learning the nuances of creating large scale murals—all with the goal of launching SUNY Potsdam's first-ever mural painting class in the fall of 2021.

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Taking the Pulse of the World

Isaac Griffith '15 & '16 is no stranger to challenges, and he knows the importance of pushing the envelope to discover more. His witnessing of glaring inequalities based on access to resources have been formative of his world view, and help lend perspective to the travel experiences he hosts in the vibrant city of Dubai.

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The Man Behind the Lens

If you’ve recently gazed on photos of Jupiter’s murky gases or a panorama showing unprecedented detail on the surface of Mars, chances are, you were seeing Daniel Krysak’s work. Krysak ’08, who graduated from SUNY Potsdam with degrees in both speech communication and archaeology, with a minor in geology, is living the dream of just about every techie and space buff. He's one of the people behind all those stunning panoramas of Mars, for three different NASA missions.

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Working Hard for Others

A magna cum laude graduate with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology and a minor in women’s and gender studies, Serena Rockingster ’19 sees herself as a professor and clinical psychologist far down the road of her future. Rockingster could have gone many places for her advanced degree, but she stuck close to the North Country in hopes of setting up a counseling practice that will help bring healing to Vermont’s underrepresented populations. 

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