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.
The Tick Trackers
As Jada West ’24 drags a light-colored flannel sheet across the forest floor, she searches for microscopic creatures most of us hope to never encounter. Pulling the sheet over leaves, plants, and soil she captures Blacklegged ticks like a lint roller absorbing fuzz balls from a favorite sweater. Working with Dr. Kate Cleary, Dr. Glenn Johnson, Dr. Bridget Amulike, and Dr. Jessica Rogers, West and four other students were able to get hands-on experience through grant-funded research this summer, studying small mammals and examining tick abundance around Potsdam.
Full Steam Ahead
The Fall 2023 semester is fully underway! We loved seeing the excitement of all our students as they returned to campus last week.
Destined for Coaching
As a young hockey player, Travis Crickard ’11 dreamed of one day becoming a head coach in the Canadian Hockey League (CHL). Years later, after completing his undergraduate degree at SUNY Potsdam, a master’s degree at the University of Ottawa, and working for numerous hockey organizations around Canada, he has reached his goal. Last year, Crickard landed a job as the head coach for the Saint John Sea Dogs, one of 60 junior hockey programs in the CHL that regularly funnels athletes directly into the NHL.
Putting it All Together
Elira Mavraj ’22 & ’24 and a dozen other graduate students, many of whom are already working as music teachers around the state, are mastering technical instrument repair skills this summer at Crane. Taught by Musical Instrument Technician Miles DeCastro, the hands-on class offers students a unique opportunity to learn how to fix everything from flutes and clarinets to trumpets and trombones—invaluable knowledge to help them launch their careers as elementary, middle and high school music teachers.
Realizing His Dreams
When Wilber Parada ’20 arrived at SUNY Potsdam his freshman year, he already had a vision for his future. His plans to one day become a Doctor of Physical Therapy would involve years of hard work, completing undergraduate and graduate degrees, and passing the National Physical Therapy Examination. Seven years later he has made his dream a reality. Parada is now working at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC, one of the top-rated hospitals in the country, where he’s conducting research on exoskeletons and robotics, and helping to rehabilitate patients suffering from chronic illnesses.
A Musical Feast
After getting his degree in music education from Crane, Kyle Peters ’15 has continued to excel as a composer, educator and professional percussionist. He now holds the position of percussion instructor at the Eastman Community Music School where he leads a studio of 45 students, while staying sharp in his free time as a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Every summer he returns to SUNY Potsdam as a leader and instructor at Crane Youth Music.
Road to Redemption
For Jake Winters ’24 and a group of approximately 40 inmates in the Riverview Correctional Facility, SUNY Potsdam’s new Potsdam@RCF program has been making an indelible impact on their lives—providing them with the skills to succeed as they reenter the job market and helping them transition back into society. The SUNY Potsdam baccalaureate program is one of a select few offered through the Second Chance Pell Experiment to help incarcerated individuals access higher education.
Forging a Unique Path
As her classmates headed home for the summer, Olivia Krytus ’26 packed her bags for Fort Jackson, South Carolina, for an intensive 10-week boot camp with the Army National Guard. This fall she will be back on campus to continue juggling her studies in business administration and psychology with service in the Army National Guard.
The Shape of Music
Fifty years of Crane Youth Music has left a lasting imprint on the lives of many young musicians. From the first note to the latest camp, this enduring symbol of passion and purpose has shaped countless futures. Led by the talented faculty and alumni educators, campers have learned valued skills and forged lifelong friendships—many choosing to return to Crane to pursue their undergraduate degrees after high school.
“A Key to Freedom”
From inside the walls of the Riverview Correctional Facility, Brandon Rodriguez ’24 diligently completes the coursework for his SUNY Potsdam sociology degree. Part of the first cohort in the Potsdam at RCF program, he works as a teaching assistant for Dr. Nancy Lewis and leads study sessions for his fellow inmates—using education as a key to free his mind. After being released from prison earlier this year, he moved to Potsdam, exchanging his classroom behind bars, for a seat in Satterlee Hall.
Hands Across Cultures
Bringing years of research experience from remote regions of Latin America into the classroom, Dr. Sergio López and Dr. Lydia Rodríguez have continued to share their passion for anthropology with their students, while creating unique applied learning opportunities for them along the way. Since 2016, they have worked with their students to organize the annual AIBR International Conference of Anthropology, which unites 600 professionals and students from around the globe—a formative, even life changing experience for students studying anthropology or Spanish at SUNY Potsdam.
Compositions for Nature
When the Wild Center was looking for a new music installation for their Forest Music Trail, they turned to three students at the Crane School of Music. Katherine McAuliffe ’23, Cole Fortier ’23, and Amanda Rizzo ’22 were commissioned by the center to create unique, original music, which is now being amplified through a series of 24 speakers along the peaceful trail, to enhance the experience of visitors to the Adirondack museum.
As she pulls the microphone close and hits record, Tatiana Merced ’24 captures audio for her podcast series—part of a multi-year Presidential Scholars project to examine how people of color have shaped the fabric of music history. Merced’s ongoing research, and subsequent podcasts, are now available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Youtube, and feature interviews with prominent musicians, conductors and composers from diverse backgrounds including Crane’s own Dr. Michael Dudley Jr.
Interweaving Nature and Art
After receiving a full scholarship to pursue her BFA in visual arts at SUNY Potsdam, Hong Hong ’11 has parlayed her undergraduate experiences into an impressive career as an artist and professor. Recently, she received a $50,000 grant through the United States Artists Fellowship, which along with the Guggenheim and the MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grants, is considered one of the most prestigious awards an artist can receive.
“A Once-In-A-Lifetime Opportunity”
A lifelong curiosity about the inner workings of humankind brought Alexandra Sveshnikova ‘25 to the SUNY Potsdam Department of Anthropology. The fire of that curiosity will be fueled by a research trip this summer to Kenya, where she will be part of a cutting-edge examination of our origins and the history that preceded human tenure on earth, as she joins Associate Professor of Biological Anthropology Nasser Malit and more than 20 researchers and experts from around the globe.
Measures of Success
Just a mile down the road from SUNY Potsdam, Claudia Basabakwinshi ’24 slips into her waders and carefully steps into the chilly water flowing through Parkhurst Brook. Extending what looks like a blue telescopic ski pole, she measures the water velocity with a flow meter, as her classmate Allyssa Card ’26 calculates the depth of the stream. The two students are part of the first cohort in the College’s brand new environmental science program, which is preparing students for careers in environmental conservation and protection.
In Search of Lost History
Years of detective work by SUNY Potsdam archaeologist Dr. Hadley Kruczek-Aaron and her search for a forgotten African American settlement in the Adirondacks are highlighted in "Searching for Timbuctoo," a new film by Paul Miller. The examination of pre-Civil War social justice and roots of abolitionism in the North Country has been screened and discussed across central and northern New York.