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Potsdam Prepared: Spring 2022 Updates

The Reporter

The Reporter is SUNY Potsdam's news portal for faculty and staff. It features important information and announcements including campus policies, upcoming events, benefits information, grant information and updates about colleagues’ accomplishments.

Small Steps

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.

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Batwoman

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.

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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.

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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.

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Finding Her Calling in the Classroom

Courtney Ferguson '22, a childhood / early childhood education major at SUNY Potsdam, discusses her reasons for becoming a teacher, and how she strives to support her students—in the same way that her kindergarten teacher was there for her when she was a child.

Launch Video

Mentor for the Next Generation

Encouraged by his mother to pursue a career in teaching, Noah White ’22 transferred to SUNY Potsdam in the spring of 2019 to combine his passion for chemistry and education. He is now completing his second student teaching placement as he wraps up the College’s BA / MST program in secondary science education.

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Expanding her Horizons

Relocating from Ghana to New York City when she was 10 years old, Jessica Semenyo ’22 found herself looking for a college experience away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. That’s when she discovered SUNY Potsdam. Over the past four years, she has embarked on many adventures through the Live Now program, while completing her degree in community health. After walking across the stage at commencement in May, Semenyo plans on attending graduate school to become a registered dietician.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Discovering Her Calling

With an emphasis on hands-on learning, SUNY Potsdam's arts management program has been the perfect fit for Madi Bray-Trophia '22. Learning the nuances of writing grants and developing her own business plan has paved the way to hands-on experiences at the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions (MONC), and an internship at the St. Lawrence County Arts Council. 

Launch Video

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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Learning in the Real World

Following in her mother’s footsteps, Raegan Becker ’22 is completing her master’s degree in special education at SUNY Potsdam, and gaining real-world skills as an educator at Colton-Pierrepont Central School. By collaborating with Dr. Mei Shen—an assistant professor at SUNY Potsdam who received a Kilmer Grant for research through the Lougheed Center for Applied Learning—Becker has been assisting with a research project to assess the effectiveness of inclusion-based classrooms for special needs students at Colton-Pierrepont. When she graduates in May, she with be leaning on her applied learning experiences at the College as she launches her career as a teacher. 

Launch Video

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.

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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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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.

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Seeds of Change

In an ever-changing world, SUNY Potsdam is at the forefront of adapting with the times, and developing relevant academic offerings for students. During the Spring 2021 semester, Dr. Christa Haifley offered a Cannabusiness class for the first time—one of three new courses that will form the backbone of a Cannabis Studies minor currently being developed at the College.

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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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