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.
Finding a Higher Octave Down Under
Jenn Belisle ’20 has thrown the doors of possibility wide open. The Crane School of Music student broadened her horizons when she took the plunge and traveled on a teaching assignment to another hemisphere.
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.
Melanie Shank ’16
After getting her Master of Music degree in vocal performance from SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, Melanie Shank ’16 landed a job at the most prestigious performing arts center in the world. Shank now works as the executive assistant to the vice president of concert halls and operations at Lincoln Center—helping to run the operations for 26 performance spaces on over 16 acres in Manhattan.
Choices Toward Love
For those willing to juggle university classes and commitment to children, the challenge of being a student parent also offers the sweet rewards of family. SUNY Potsdam parents Megan and Zachary Bovee share their story.
Natalia Anapolis ’20
With a tank of air on her back and fins on her feet, Natalia Anapolis ’20 stepped into the Coral Sea off the coast of Australia. The scuba diving adventure was a completely new experience for her—foreshadowing her work in Australia over the next few weeks as she stepped into a classroom as a student teacher for the first time. Last fall, Anapolis spent 13 weeks Down Under where she got to explore the continent, while also completing her student teaching placement as part of her degree in childhood/early childhood education.
After Potsdam: The Pathway Up
Amanda Moeller ’15 learned key lessons of the corporate world while studying business administration at SUNY Potsdam. Now a manager at Goodyear global headquarters, she shares some insights and experiences.
Mountains Give New Form to LeighAnn Montaglione
The Adirondacks have stretched and formed LeighAnn Montaglione '20. When she graduates in May, she’ll take a suite of skills with her that will help connect her dual passion for photography and conservation.
Road to Physical Therapy
SUNY Potsdam’s exercise science program has been a treadmill to success for Lucas Rucci ’20 and Wilber Parada ’20. Now in their final semester at SUNY Potsdam, both students were just accepted into the Doctor of Physical Therapy programs of their choice.
Nicole Weed ’20
Nicole Weed ’20, a senior in the Department of Anthropology, is currently working on a Presidential Scholars project looking at how technology has affected language and communication over time. With opportunities to work as a research assistant for Dr. Lydia Rodriguez and as an intern for Dr. Faris Khan, the culmination of her experiences has been paving the way for graduate school and a successful career as a linguistic anthropologist.
Brianna Polite ’21
Now a junior at SUNY Potsdam, Brianna Polite ’21 has continued to develop confidence and leadership skills as a dancer and choreographer in the Department of Theatre and Dance. Once introverted, she’s now taking the lead as the co-captain of Team Envy (the hip-hop club on campus), and as a choreographer for her own dance composition, “Progression,” which was recently staged during the Student Choreographers’ Concert.
Tabitha Brown '20
It’s never too late to go back to school. Just ask Tabitha Brown who is back in college after a 25-year hiatus. After raising a family and homeschooling her children, she decided it was time to complete her bachelor’s degree—starting the same year her daughter went off to college. Brown is now excelling as a non-traditional student in SUNY Potsdam’s Department of History where she has been delving into local history projects to explore Northern New York’s past.
Laura Wessing '15
In four years, alumna Laura Wessing graduated summa cum laude with a double major in computer science and mathematics, as well as getting a master’s degree in math through the BA / MA program. In that time, she completed three internships, two of which were with the U.S. Air Force. Now she leads the quantum algorithms team at the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, N.Y.—overseeing complex research on quantum bits.
Lt. Col. (Ret.) Jeffrey Gerrish is SUNY Potsdam’s coordinator for military, veteran and adult learners. He brings a wealth of both military and educational experience to the position, after 29 years in the U.S. Army and the Army National Guard, and a career as a high school guidance counselor and assistant principal.
For incoming first-year students, there’s no better opportunity than the Environmental Studies Adirondack Experience. The unique program allows students as they focus on three disciplines (English, ecology and environmental studies), set against the backdrop of the Adirondack Mountains. View a day in the life of our students exploring the Spring Pond Bog Preserve and the Wild Center in Tupper Lake as part of the Adirondack Experience.
Paul Dougall ’20
Paul Dougall ’20 is a true Renaissance man. Now in his last year at SUNY Potsdam, he is completing not only a degree in music business, but two separate degrees in mathematics as part of the Department of Mathematics’ BA / MA program—a unique opportunity for highly motivated students to graduate with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics at the same time. Over the summer he landed an internship at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center where he was able to incorporate all of those disciplines.
Scott Elliot ’21
Scott Elliot ’21 has always wanted to be a teacher. After spending nearly 22 years as a musician in the U.S. Army, he’s turning that dream into a reality, as he pursues his master’s degree from SUNY Potsdam in childhood education, studying in Watertown. For more than two decades, he traveled the world playing his saxophone and clarinet to improve relations with other countries and support the troops, while he was stationed in Panama, Japan and Iraq. Now retired, his real-world experience will bolster his efforts in the classroom, as he follows his path to becoming a teacher.
Ivy Huber '19
After walking across the stage at Commencement in May, Ivy Huber ’19, a double major in middle/secondary English education and literature/writing, spent the summer teaching English to children in Italy. Now she’s back home to start her career as a sixth grade English teacher at Waterloo Middle School after successfully completing SUNY Potsdam’s teacher education program and two student teaching placements in St. Lawrence County.
Amber Rudolph ’20
Whether she’s visiting an ecovillage in Ireland, conducting a research project about a community garden, or cleaning a boa constrictor tank in the Department of Biology, Amber Rudolph ’20 has been gaining a cornucopia of applied learning experiences, while pursuing a double major in biology and environmental studies at SUNY Potsdam.
Dr. Jessica Rogers
Dr. Jessica Rogers, an assistant professor of environmental studies at SUNY Potsdam, brings global applied learning experiences into her classroom every day. Whether she’s teaching introduction to environmental studies, Geographic Information Systems, or conducting research on the purple loosestrife—her passion for teaching and environmental conservation is at the heart of everything that she does.
Archaeology Students Dig at Camp Union
From June 24 to July 19, SUNY Potsdam Professor Dr. Hadley Kruczek-Aaron led an archaeology field school for 12 of her students at Camp Union in Potsdam—a Civil War training ground once used by soldiers preparing for battle. Students spent four weeks unearthing layers of dirt, digging excavation units, using sifter screens and bagging artifacts. The Meadow East Apartment Complex property in Potsdam became the students’ outdoor classroom for a month as they searched for historic remnants from the Camp Union occupation.
Mike Rogge '08
When he’s not carving through the fresh powder at Alpine Meadows in Lake Tahoe, Mike Rogge ’08 leads a successful career as the editor The Ski Journal and the founder/owner of the media production company, Verb Cabin. Since graduating with his degree in writing and literature from SUNY Potsdam over a decade ago, Rogge has turned his dream into a reality—skiing as many days as possible and writing about it professionally.
Kalis Nunes has been on a trajectory of success ever since he first set foot on campus his freshman year. After entering SUNY Potsdam through the Bridges Program, he went on to work as a resident assistant, a tutor for TRiO, a coordinator for multicultural weekend, on top of being the president/captain of the Bear Witness Step Team. Now he is taking on his most significant leadership role yet, as the next president of the Student Government Association.
Brooke Falsion ’19
Brooke Falsion ’19 is a record setter. During her time at SUNY Potsdam, she became the first All-American in the history of the SUNY Potsdam women’s soccer program. She was also the SUNYAC Offensive Player of the Year during her senior year, while setting several new SUNY Potsdam women’s soccer records, including being the all-time leading scorer with 46 career goals. Academically, she was just as impressive—recently graduating summa cum laude with a degree in exercise science.
Crane Students Embark on Epic Journey Through Peru
From May 19 to 31, a group of 16 current and former Crane students traveled to South America for an epic journey through the Andes in Peru with Dr. Jeffrey Francom, an associate professor and coordinator of the choral area at SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music. They started by learning traditional Andean music at a cultural center in Calca, Peru, before setting out for a seven-day backpacking trip along the Salkantay and Inca Trails.
Jillian Dolder ’17 & ’18
Finding a job after graduation is always the ultimate goal, and for Jillian Dolder, that came to fruition literally two days after Commencement. She received her diploma on a Saturday and found herself standing in front of a group of high school students on Monday morning.
Dr. Faris Khan
Last semester, Dr. Faris Khan launched a new digital anthropology studio, as well as starting a digital anthropology internship to utilize the space. His implementation of digital technologies has been driven by an aspiration to introduce his students to new ways of conducting research, while also making anthropology more accessible to the public.
Dr. Janelle Jacobson
As a faculty member in SUNY Potsdam’s Department of Public Health and Human Performance, Dr. Janelle Jacobson teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in community health. From classwork to internships to professional projects, Jacobson believes that the best foundation for community health majors is to start tackling real-world problems.