The SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association is proud to welcome new members into the alumni family each year as our students officially become graduates. We love connecting with our alumni and friends—whether through social media, virtual events or in-person gatherings across the country. Our shared experiences at SUNY Potsdam keep our community strong, no matter the distance.
You can help the Potsdam family grow by sharing your love for the College with a prospective student. The Admissions Office will connect with the student, and you can receive a Potsdam Proud Package, including resources for students you know and a gift for you. Complete the online form today!
Stay connected with alumni and friends all year long!
Social media allows us to share nostalgic memories, exciting news and relevant stories with our growing network of alumni and friends. Follow our public pages on Facebook and Instagram, or request to join our private alumni groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Crane School of Music Livestream
Don’t miss a performance by any of our talented students, faculty members or guest artists! Many Crane School of Music concerts and recitals are streamed live on YouTube and Facebook.
Alumni Update Form
Have you recently moved to a new city, married the love of your life or celebrated a career milestone? We want to know! Complete our online Alumni Update Form to ensure we have your most up-to-date contact information or to submit an exciting life update to be considered for the next issue of Potsdam People.
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, a bilingual math teacher working with immigrants who have recently arrived in the U.S.
Controlling His Destiny
With a broad smile on his face, Scott Rajeski ’88 rang the opening bell at the Nasdaq stock exchange to celebrate the initial public offering (IPO) of Latham Group, Inc. Under Rajeski’s leadership as president and CEO, Latham was the first company in New York’s Capital Region to take its stock public in several years. Rajeski cites decades of hard work and the education he received at SUNY Potsdam as the foundation for his continued success. Now, he is committed to investing in the next generation as a mentor, inspiring young professionals to control their own destiny.
Healing Through Dance
Intertwining her academic interests in dance and psychology, Maribel Flores ’20 graduated from SUNY Potsdam with a singular vision for her future—to help people dealing with trauma through dance movement therapy. She’s now pursuing a master’s degree in dance movement therapy at the Pratt Institute in New York City, and gaining valuable real-world experience working with dementia patients.
Finding Mentors for Success
Marking the culmination of her success as a musical studies major at Crane, Christina Morris ’21 recently staged A Concert for Equity and Equality at Hosmer Hall. Pouring her heart and soul into the concert, she organized the event, secured a grant to pay her musicians and composers, and then conducted the concert from start to finish. She leaves Crane with unrivaled experiences—working one-on-one with Crane professors, touring Asia with the National Youth Orchestra, and attending Tanglewood’s prestigious conducting program—as she embarks on a career in conducting.
Chords of Success
Wheeling a large Lyon & Healy harp through the halls of SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music is nothing new for Shannon Boyle ’20 & ’22. For more than a decade she has been mastering the harp at Crane, first in middle school and high school through the National String Project, then as an undergraduate student, and now while pursuing her master’s degree in music performance. Through an outpouring of scholarships, she will be graduating in May without any debt as she looks ahead to the future as a musician and educator.
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.
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.
The Good Fight
A sense of service defines the work of Pamela Charleson ’06 & ’08, who has found ways to turn the challenges of her own experiences into gifts and important lessons for others.
Rising on the Wings of Dance
Zoe Walders '16 has refused to let a pandemic quash her creative spark. Dedicated to the art of dance, she brings her talents full circle in a new filmed dance-theatre production presented by her alma mater.
Landscape of Discovery
As he mastered sculpting, painting and graphic design in SUNY Potsdam’s Department of Art, Evan Blondell ’06 had no way of knowing that he was planting the seeds for a fruitful career as a landscape architect. Armed with an artistic eye, and years of training, Blondell now works in major urban centers to transform the landscape into breathtaking parks that intertwine modern design with nature.
Taking the World by Storm
From an immersive experience in SUNY Potsdam’s Department of Modern Languages, alumna Meghan Sullivan ’11 launched an impressive career with the United Nations World Food Programme in Haiti—humanitarian work focused on food insecurity in the Caribbean nation, where around 3.7 million people are in desperate need of assistance.
A Creative Journey to Tinseltown
From Potsdam to Hollywood, Keisuke Hoashi ’89 has continued to push the creative envelope his entire life. The SUNY Potsdam alumnus has carved out an impressive career in acting—starting on stage during a live performance at SUNY Potsdam—he has gone on to appear in more than 85 TV shows and movies, 80 national TV commercials, and 150 live theatrical productions, everything from "Mad Men," and "Bob’s Burgers" to national TV commercials for TD Ameritrade and Citibank.
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.
High Fashion Mask-erade
The accomplished fashion designer and savvy entrepreneur Saad Hajidin ’88 has turned his company InPhorm into an ally in the fight against COVID-19—shifting his focus from manufacturing women’s activewear to producing protective face masks. The SUNY Potsdam alumnus has been working with his factory in Thailand to manufacture protective face masks that are fashionable and eco-forward, while also meeting guidelines set forth by the FDA.
Generations of Success
On a blustery winter day in New York City, two successful women (Christine Haile ’74 and Kadiatou Balde '19) pose for a photo in front of the Hudson River. On the surface, they may not seem to have much in common. One is a retired Chief Information Officer with over 38 years of experience in higher education. The other is a young scholar and entrepreneur who graduated from college less than a year ago. The pair’s connection stems from SUNY Potsdam, their shared alma mater.
Lisa ’81 and Dan Shields ’80
“Our time at Potsdam was definitely a highlight of both of our lives,” Lisa shares. “We wouldn’t have met – and maybe re-met– without it. It was an important experience and foundation for both of us in all kinds of ways.”