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Alumni & Friends

SUNY Potsdam Alumni and Friends are the backbone of the College

The Alumni Association Awards are the best way for outstanding alumni and friends to be recognized and celebrated! Nominate a deserving alum that you know by December 1, 2020.

Stay connected with SUNY Potsdam alumni and friends all year long!

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.

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Taking the Pulse of the World

Isaac Griffith ’15 & ’16 developed an interest in global learning and social justice on an international level during an undergraduate trip to Cambodia in 2014, part of a SUNY Potsdam travel abroad class examining the origins and impacts of human trafficking. Since then, he has earned two master’s degrees, and has led and coordinated travel experiences in Dubai, one of the world’s emerging cities.

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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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In Her Own Words

Natasha Brooks ’15 & ’17 has discovered just one of many ways to see the world after graduating from SUNY Potsdam. An aerospace medical services technician, Brooks has parlayed her college experience into a desirable job serving her country while immersing herself in global culture.

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Under Healing Sky

Mike Yuhnke ’12 found his compass and fresh inspiration when he transferred to SUNY Potsdam and became immersed in wilderness education. Following graduation, his adventures took him on soul journeys to the world’s forgotten corners and high peaks. These days, Yuhnke helps at-risk youth find their own pathways to healing.

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Bearing Witness

Doctors face challenges like never before in handling the COVID-19 pandemic. One of SUNY Potsdam's own, Dr.Stuart Etengoff ’82, gave us a report from the field.

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Taking the Lead

When Adam Smith ’15 entered SUNY Potsdam his freshman year, he never imagined he would be backpacking throughout the Adirondacks or scaling walls of ice and rock. Through the wilderness education program he gained leadership skills that set the stage for a successful career in outdoor education. Now he’s come full circle, back at SUNY Potsdam as an instructor in the same program where he was once a student.

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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.

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An Afternoon with Jacob Collier

Grammy award-winning musician Jacob Collier met with students from The Crane School of Music on Wednesday, May 13 during a private Zoom call. The English singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist talked with students for over an hour about the intricate beauty of music and the creative power of ideas.

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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.

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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.” Learn More

The Destruction Guy

Exquisite truths lie buried in history's destructive events — if you just know how to look. Read about SUNY Potsdam graduate Jesse Millek '12 and his work to bring new clarity to the disasters of antiquity.

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Rising Out of Darkness

As a wounded service member returning from Iraq, alumnus James Wilkes ’01, ’06 & ’10 re-entered civilian life with a battery of injuries, including significant memory loss. For the past 15 years, he has been continuing to climb out of that darkness left behind in war. After receiving degrees in biology, business administration, and instructional technology and media from SUNY Potsdam, he went on to an impressive career at IBM. In his spare time, he tackles the most daunting endurance races on the planet—including recently completing the Quintuple Anvil Triathlon, with 703 miles of biking, running and swimming.