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.
After graduating with a degree in community health, Danielle Thompson ’15 immediately landed a job with the New York State Department of Health. She’s now an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), and in 2022 she launched her own business, Bloom Breastfeeding, to support new mothers with their breastfeeding goals.
Sailing into the Classroom
Much like the character in her children’s book, Katie Yang ’23 has been on her own adventure—teaching English in China, volunteering as an ESL teacher at Fort Drum, and now completing her master’s degree in childhood education at SUNY Potsdam. Her book, “Sailor Sam and the Crab Invasion,” which was written during her Literacy I class with Carolyn Stone, is now on sale at Barnes & Noble.
Art for the Making of It
Josh Sperling '06 used his art degree to build the foundation for his rise to international acclaim and a creative style that blurs the line between two-and-three dimensional forms.
From Liberal Arts to Big Tech
Just over a decade ago, Daniel Romlein '12 graduated from SUNY Potsdam with a degree in studio art. Now he works at one of the biggest technology companies in the world—combining a myriad of liberal arts skills from his undergraduate years that became the foundation for an impressive career at Google and YouTube as a user experience (UX) designer.
When Opportunity Calls
As athletes from around the world converged at Maxcy Hall for the 2023 FISU World University Games, Melanie Heidman ’25 stepped up to the plate as an integral part of the statistics team for the international event. An exercise science major from Rochester, Heidman is parlaying the experience into an internship to examine how people from around the world unite and transcend language barriers through sports.
An Agent for Change
SUNY Potsdam Professor Dr. Seon Levius knows that business technology has no meaning without the human element. Drawing from core principles of his Business Process Analysis course, Levius is bringing a broad perspective in ICT, policy and human resources to help a Caribbean disaster management agency operate effectively in the digital age.
Chris Chandler ’13 has dedicated years to stopping human trafficking in the North Country before it gets started. Born in Pennsylvania, Chandler wanted a college experience away from home, and the road led to Potsdam. After graduation, he remained in the North Country and landed a job as a human trafficking liaison and senior caseworker with St. Lawrence County Safe Harbour, working at the grassroots to raise awareness of risks of human trafficking, and ensure that warning signs are properly addressed.
Charlie Patterson '22, who is completing the rigorous BFA in visual arts along with a degree in art history, discusses how he has used printmaking to explore new viewpoints and elevate other voices.
Excelling On and Off the Court
Dyamon Hunter ’23—who recently scored her 1000th point to become the seventh player in SUNY Potsdam women's basketball history to hit that mark—talks about life, academics, athletics, and the family dynamic on her team.
Lights, Camera, Action
During her final semester at Crane, Erika Murata ’22 lined up the internship of a lifetime, working on the set of the Late Show with Seth Meyers in New York City. Leaning on skills from her music business degree, she has been assisting audio engineers and the house band as they prepare the music for the show.
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.
Choreography in Motion
The Fall 2022 Student Choreographers’ Concert, which was just staged at the Performing Arts Center Dance Theater from Dec. 1 to 4, showcased SUNY Potsdam creativity with five individual choreographic works that included an aerial performance for the first time in the history of the Department of Theatre and Dance. Titled “Frames in Motion,” students had been rehearsing their pieces since early in the fall semester in preparation for the live performance.
Fertile Ground for Exploration
A double major in anthropology and international studies, Simisola Macaulay ’23 has taken on leadership roles as the president of the anthropology club, a student ambassador for Admissions and Advancement, and a peer study abroad counselor in the Lougheed Center for Applied Learning. Whether giving a TEDx Talk on gender expression within the Yoruba community in Nigeria, or conducting research on maternal practices of women in the Maasai tribe in Tanzania, she has continued to personalize her educational experiences by connecting them to her family and African heritage.
Protecting the Majestic grey crowned Crane
Taking flight like the endangered birds she studies, Bridget Amulike has launched an inspiring career as a conservation biologist, educator, and researcher. Born and raised in Tanzania, Amulike is now in the middle of a prestigious two-year SUNY PRODiG Fellowship at SUNY Potsdam, teaching her students about wildlife conservation with real world examples from her research in Africa on grey crowned cranes.
United for Ukraine
Dr. Gregory A. Gardner has been many things to many people throughout his varied career: Military intelligence officer. Visiting professor. Business expert. Colleague. Friend. No matter his role, he has always focused his efforts on advancing democracy and promoting free commerce—first with the U.S. Air Force, and later as a SUNY Potsdam faculty member and Fulbright Scholar.
Crafting a Horror Show
Perfectly in sync with the Halloween season, the Department of Theatre and Dance just completed five performances of “Night of the Living Dead.” Leading up to the show, students and faculty were busy working behind-the-scenes as they designed the set, and learned the nuances of applying stage makeup, before taking the stage in the Black Box Theater.
Unearthing Answers from the Past
Jeimi Toribio '23, a double major in archaeological studies and anthropology, discusses how the archaeology program at SUNY Potsdam has allowed her to explore the past through hands-on field experiences—most recently during an archaeology field school in the Adirondacks where she unearthed artifacts from the 1800s.
A Personal Connection
As a parent of a son with autism, Autumn Frazee Brown ’23 has always valued the importance of great educators. A longtime advocate for her son, she has seen the positive impact teachers have had on his life—ultimately influencing her own decision to pursue a master’s degree in education at SUNY Potsdam.
Join us for a look back at the first week of activities on campus as students moved into their dorms, navigated through the first-year funnel, got acquainted during welcome weekend activities, and walked across campus during the first week of classes!
Mentor for Success
When students with disabilities need assistance with residence life and academic accommodations on campus, they turn to Jessica Burnett ’09 & ’11, the assistant director of Accommodative Services. To better serve her students, Burnett recently completed 25 online training sessions, which in turn caught the attention of the New York State Disability Service Council (NYSDSC). The organization presented her with the New Professional Award this summer, which recognizes an individual who is self-motivated and who seeks out resources and training opportunities to improve their job.
Smile for the camera
Imagine a game camera with reading glasses. That’s one of the creative ways that four faculty members have been capturing close-range images of an unsuspecting assortment of small mammals through the modified lens of a wildlife camera. Funded by a grant through the Lougheed Center for Applied Learning, Dr. Glenn Johnson, Dr. Kate Cleary, Dr. Jessica Rogers, and Dr. Bridget Amulike launched a pilot project this summer to determine the most effective ways to collect data on a variety of critters ranging from deer mice and shrews to chipmunks and weasels—research that will inform future projects looking at tick abundance in the region.
Creative Arts Camp Leader
Aaliyah Cabellero-Cortez '23, a senior majoring in theatre at SUNY Potsdam, discusses her leadership role at the Creative Arts Camp, as she works with drama students to create and memorize scripts, before performing for a live audience in the Black Box Theater.
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.
Path of the Professional
After landing her dream job as the executive director for the St. Regis Tribal Gaming Commission in Akwesasne, Jill Benedict ’01 & ’24 was still looking for ways to challenge herself. Twenty years after receiving her undergraduate degree from SUNY Potsdam, she has returned to her alma mater to pursue a graduate degree in management—allowing her to parlay her educational experiences into transferrable leadership skills for the Mohawk government.
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.
As the director of healthy communities for the Special Olympics, Onolee Stephan ’06 has dedicated her life to helping others. It all started at SUNY Potsdam. After completing the College’s community program, and getting her MPH at Boston University, she landed a job as the director of healthy communities for the Special Olympics—overseeing the funding for health programs in six U.S. states, and 50 international chapters, while leaning on the skills she acquired at SUNY Potsdam years earlier.
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.
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.
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.
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.