MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW FOR RETURN TO OZ IV, Oswego’s reunion for alumni of color, coming Sept. 27 to 29.
A special dinner and ball, a concert by the Gospel Choir, a picnic at Fallbrook await you at the end of the “Yellow Brick Road” to Oswego.
Visit alumni.oswego.edu/returntooz for more information. Join us on Facebook at facebook.com/sunyoswegoreturntooz to post photos, give shout-outs or share songs you would like to hear throughout the weekend.
Don’t miss out! “Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Oz” this September.
COOKING IS A BIG DEAL TO MAUREEN O’DONNELL SANCHEZ ’87. She sells luxury ingredients to Chicagoland restaurants, she blogs about her family’s kitchen adventures and Feb. 24, she competed in front of a national television audience on Food Network’s “Chopped.”
“Chopped” tests chefs’ skill, speed and ingenuity. Each week, four chefs compete before a panel of expert judges and turn baskets of mystery ingredients into a three-course meal.
“It was an incredible experience to be in front of all those cameras and be in an unfamiliar kitchen with unfamiliar ingredients and cooking in front of celebrity chefs,” said Sanchez, who gained appreciation of great food starting with paella dinners at the home of Professor Emeritus Pedro Diez Del Rio as a child.
Sanchez was a familiar face on campus and in the community as a student, working at Penfield Library and tending bar at Old City Hall.
A Spanish major at Oswego, Sanchez started out in customer service at a Cambridge software developer and she continued in different capacities for different companies as she found herself on the move from Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore, and Raleigh, before finding a career that truly fits her tastes. Today Sanchez sells delicacies like truffles and caviar to high-end restaurants in Chicago and beyond.
At home in Oswego, Ill., she and her husband, Gene, are devotees of scratch cooking, focusing on using often self-grown, unprocessed ingredients to create healthy gourmet meals for their three children.
Sanchez’s TV aspirations went well beyond her love of cooking. Although she didn’t become the “Chopped” Champion, “It was a great opportunity to get press for my sister,” said Sanchez, who has become an advocate for missing persons during a decades-long search for her sister, Judith Erin O’Donnell. Last seen in November 1980, Judy has influenced Sanchez to pursue her passions. “Judy has provided the lens. The rest of the noise and distractions fall off and you can focus on what’s important once you find it.”
—Shane M. Liebler
Emmett Van Slyke ’99 is the composer of sidewalk sounds. Sounds are activated when stepping on the red pavers installed outside Syracuse Stage on E. Genesee St.
Photo Credit: David Lassman, The Post-Standard
The Oswego Alumni Association and college Athletics Department welcomed five to the Oswego Athletic Hall of Fame at an induction ceremony Oct. 27 in the Sheldon Hall Ballroom. From left, tennis’s Richard Nelson ’70, soccer’s Donna Clark-Gayne ’89 (seated), track and field’s Wally Yelverton ’77, wrestling’s Mark Bowman ’83 (seated) and ice hockey’s Sean Fitzgerald ’89 were honored. The 2013 Athletic Hall of Fame Induction will take place Nov. 2. Visit alumni.oswego.edu/halloffame for more information.
(100 words) + 10 random questions
A LABORATORY INTERNSHIP WITH CHEMISTRY PROFESSOR KESTAS BENDINSKAS and summer of hands-on experience at W.R. Grace & Co., thanks to the support of W. R. Grace CEO Fred Festa ’81, eventually put Katherine Cook ’06 on the front line of fighting breast cancer.
“The extra attention and opportunities offered at Oswego made me a competitive candidate for graduate school,” said Cook, who pursued her Ph.D. at Wake Forest University.
A postdoctoral research fellow at Georgetown University, Cook aims to make a common form of breast cancer treatment more effective. The disease has touched several members of her family.
“Understanding breast cancer is a personal goal and the reason I went into cancer research.”
1. Hardest part of lab work:
I guess the hardest part of lab work would be staying positive when things don’t work — which in science is quite often. Science can be harsh: Experiments don’t work, manuscripts get rejected and grants don’t get funded.
2. Easiest way to handle it:
Easiest way to handle the negativity is loving what you do. I went into science because I enjoy figuring out problems (and you get to use fun equipment).
3. Least missed part of undergraduate life:
The winters! Safe to say Oswego cured me of my love for snow. I promptly moved south after that!
4. Tiniest particle you’ve ever seen:
I just finished a project where we looked at the effect of chemotherapeutic drugs on mitochondria structure through electron microscopy.
5. Biggest discovery you’ve ever made:
In graduate school I had the opportunity to work on a compound that we were able to translate into clinical trials. It is very rewarding to see your work go on to treat patients!
6. Most impossible science term to spell:
Therapeutic. The E and the U always get switched . . . but that is what spell check is for! And don’t get me started on European journals that use British spelling.
7. Favorite professor?
Dr. Kestas Bendinskas, of course. Jim MacKenzie comes in a close second. I did my internship project working with Kestas and the hands-on lab experience really helped with getting into graduate school. Both professors were very approachable and happy to help you with any problems either lab technical questions or questions with class work. They would have to be the reason I continued on in science.
8. Most memorable Oswego moment:
Bridge Street Run of course! The next day the fountain was always green and filled with soap bubbles!
9. Favorite Oswego nightspot:
Coleman’s. Thursday trivia night and Guinness Burgers were the best!
10. Best place to grab breakfast:
Nothing beats Wade’s for Saturday morning breakfasts!
Matthew Pond ’08 and Kristin Amone ’09 were married in October in Rochester. Alumni in attendance included, from left: Jimmy Lacagnina ’10, Joe Ferrari ’10, Nicole Lafe ’09, Chris Caputo ’09, the bride, the bridegroom, Don Heagle ’09 and Kelley Kowalczyk ’12. Matthew is earning his MBA and currently works for Enterprise Holdings. Kristin recently earned her master’s in school psychology and works as behavioral specialist for Hillside Children’s Center. The couple resides in Rochester.
Deborah Richards ’04 and Leonard Tilton were married Aug. 17 at Fallbrook in Oswego. Alumni in attendance included, from left: Krista Schneider ’09, Heather Merchant ’09, Susan McWilliams Friedrich ’04, Rhonda Searle Payne ’98, Eric Payne ’96, Elaine Trudell ’76, Mark Gastin ’01, Jackie Miller ’03, Jill Maskulinski Darling ’03, Samantha Acevedo ’03, Matthew Finster ’00, ’02; George Young ’03, Jennifer Finster, Leann Donnelly Young ’05 and Chantel Martin Moran ’99. The couple resides in Brewerton, where Deborah works as a graphic designer for CGS. Leonard is sales manager for the consumer electronics division of WYNIT Distribution in Syracuse.
Dan King ’07 and Meghan Ryan ’07 were married Sept. 8 in Wappingers Falls. Alumni in attendance included Erika Squillace Gauthier ’05, Mike Gauthier ’05, Andrew Coates ’07, Sean Michel ’07, Craig Celeste ’07, Jason Comack ’07, Patrick Gariepy ’07, Jamie Lyn Brown ’07, Nicole Truax ’07, Michael Kelly ’08, Addie Velez Lasagna ’07, Brian Kelleher ’07, Justin Finch ’07, Kimberly Hough ’07, Ryan Monahan ’07, Lindsay Nash ’07, Kayla Ryan ’12, Sean Lappin and Andrew Miner ’08. Dan is a resource manager and Meghan is a media buying manager. The couple resides in Hoboken, N.J.
Derek Goodroe ’05 and Danielle Richie ’06 were married June 9 at The Beeches in Rome, N.Y. Alumni in attendance included, first row, from left: Steve Baker ’12, Walter McAteer (Sigma Chi), Lindsey (Gualtieri) Kain ’05, Heather Garcia ’07, Ryan Cady ’05 (Sigma Chi), Bob Little (Sigma Chi), Diana Parise ’06 (Maid of Honor), the bridegroom, the bride, Lisa Cooper-Sykut ’05, Jamie Sykut ’04, Kristen Lovullo ’05 (Alpha Epsilon Phi), Ashley (Babbitt) Cady ’06 (Phi Lambda Phi), Kristi Goodroe Jost ’02, Richard Jost ’02 (Sigma Chi) and Debbie Hochberg. Pictured second row, from left, are: Melissa Trinchini ’05, Robert Scott ’12, Thomas Heavey ’05 (Sigma Chi), Adam Marinelli ’04, Nick Gratch ’07, Shannon Higgins Gratch ’06, Crystal Boomhower Grau ’08, Scott Grau ’05, Stephanie Izzo , Chrissy Cooper ’05, Adam Hoop , Nikki Newidomy ’09, Melissa Vozga Stercho ’05 (Sigma Delta Tau), Debbie Lanzi ’81 and Kelli Griffin ’04 (Phi Sigma Sigma). Pictured third row, from left, are: Martin Beckwith, Dan Harvell (Sigma Chi), Chris Janus ’03 (Sigma Chi), Kristina Lavery ’10, Michael Goodman ’07 (Sigma Chi), Nate Guinn ’04 (Sigma Chi), Adam Simon ’93 and Michael Robinson ’94. Stephanie Buck Molloy ’06 also attended, but is not pictured. Derek is marketing coordinator for Ashley McGraw Architects in Syracuse and Danielle is assistant director of graduate recruitment at Syracuse University. The couple resides in Brewerton.
Jessica Tremblay ’07 and Mat Burridge ’07 were married Aug. 26, 2011. Alumni in attendance included, back row, from left: former Laker men’s basketball coach Kevin Broderick M ’92, Ryan Schupp ’08, Kase Kinney ’08, David Gardner ’08, Jake Constance ’06, Chad Burridge ’12, the bridegroom, Dominick White ’08, Amanda McClaughlin ’05 and Todd Franze ’08. Pictured front row, from left, are: Kelly Mraz ’07, Alaina Hannahs ’08, Lyndsey Marquit ’07, the bride, Nick Perioli ’07, Sally Shuster ’05, Kristin Sterling Myatt ’05, Samantha Driscoll ’08 and former Laker women’s basketball coach Michelle Collins. Jessica teaches fifth grade in the Oswego City School District and Mat teaches sixth grade in the Hannibal School District, where he also serves as varsity basketball coach. The couple resides in Oswego.
Swayzee Grodin ’05 and Brian Young ’07 were married on Dec. 1, 2012, at the Grand Cascades Lodge in Hamburg, N.J. Alumni in attendance included Jedidiah Gardner ’07, Scott Healy ’07 and Yvette Bohman ’04. Swayzee is a senior account executive at an advertising agency and Brian is an IT and network manager for an application development company. The couple recently bought their first house and are living in Jamesburg, N.J.
Each week, La Rae M. Martin-Coore ’99 is used to getting a few glances when she cruises the grocery aisles with her husband, son and three carts in tow.
They’re shopping for their extended family, the six New York City teens who live with them in Manlius.
The girls are enrolled in the A Better Chance, or ABC, program at Fayetteville-Manlius High School. The nationwide initiative brings bright inner city youth to high-achieving school districts to give them a different perspective while preparing for college and career.
ABC, one of two in the state, has been a part of the community for nearly 40 years. Martin-Coore took over as resident director last fall and made quite a commitment. As part of the position, she and her family moved into the ABC house in Manlius.
“The way a family operates, that’s very much the way we operate,” Martin-Coore said.
She is a mentor, counselor and, in many respects, mother to these teens. On any given night, the house is buzzing with activity — the stairs creak with frequent commuters running up and down, cell phones vibrate with text message alerts and gatherings in the kitchen or at the dinner table fuel constant conversation.
“I have a passion for working with young people, young women in particular,” says Martin-Coore, who also works as the academic coordinator for Le Moyne College’s Higher Education Preparation/Upward Bound Program. As a high schooler at Nottingham in Syracuse, Martin-Coore was herself a participant at Le Moyne before heading to SUNY Morrisville and eventually to Oswego.
“I like to help students achieve with the same opportunities that I have had in my life,” says Martin-Coore, who at Oswego was very active in ALANA and the Black Student Union — the community service projects, in particular.
Helping Students Succeed
Like Upward Bound, ABC focuses on getting talented students ready for college. The teens must meet high academic standards to qualify.
“This is just another experience for the students to have,” Martin-Coore says. “You get to learn about people from all walks of life and get along with all different people.
“That’s the college experience … and colleges recognize that too,” she says. “It sets you apart.”
Even the youngest in the house, freshman Tanaja Stephenson of Brooklyn, has college plans. “I like that I’m being challenged more than I would at home,” she says over a plate of chicken riggies with her housemates.
Many in this group of six, like junior Sara Elzeini of the Bronx, have aspirations to enter the medical field.
“I think it might be hard for some kids to go away to school,” says Elzeini, vice president of her class at Fayetteville-Manlius and a part-time swim instructor at the YMCA. “I feel like it won’t be a shock to me to go to college.”
The teens split up household chores and handle their own, like laundry, says Martin-Coore, who lives in the home with her husband, Zaire M. Coore ’98, and son, Zaire J. Coore.
Students spend all four years of high school at their ABC destination.
“You get to connect with people you would otherwise never have met,” said sophomore Kesi Rivera of Harlem. “This program opens a lot of doors.”
Martin-Coore hopes to one day open her own leadership academy for young women of color.
“I’m showing them who they can possibly become,” she says. “I know when I do that, I’m going to be blessed.
“It’s about being happy.”
There is beauty in their decay.
In rusty brilliance, the remnants remind passersby there was life here. There was commerce, there were castle homes, there was economic might in the Empire State.
Robert Yasinsac ’99 has done his best to capture it before these abandoned buildings disappear.
He concentrates his urban exploration on the Hudson Valley, where factory ruins and grand mansions are left for dead. With his camera, Yasinsac brings history to life.
“There’s a lot of change happening out there right now,” says Yasinsac. Long-neglected riverfronts welcome new development like condominiums. At the same time humble, but historical, structures are swept away.
“I think we’re at a time when these are the last buildings that are still standing,” says Yasinsac, a history and anthropology major who has spent the better part of two decades capturing the ghostly remains of Upstate New York. “I am documenting what is still here. I’ve got all these pictures of places that aren’t around anymore.”
The Tarrytown native cannot restore these brick-and-mortar gems he first discovered on grade-school class walks around his hometown. In attempting to highlight the hidden dignity of faded façades and disintegrating interiors, Yasinsac also hopes to inspire restoration and save them.
A growing number of urban explorers have taken to cities and towns, posting discoveries on the Web as Yasinsac and his partner in photography Tom Rinaldi do at hudsonvalleyruins.org. It’s a promising phenomenon to Yasinsac, who works as historian at the Phillipsburg Manor historic site in Sleepy Hollow.
“Hopefully the more people [who are] involved and have even a casual interest, the more will get saved,” he says.
Photographs by Robert Yasinsac ’99
Words by Shane M. Liebler
Oswego has been designated a military-friendly college in Military Advanced Education’s 2013 guide.
The publication, which helps inform education service officers, transition officers and the service members they counsel, named SUNY Oswego to its annual list in the 2013 Guide to Military-Friendly Colleges & Universities, noting that schools on the list “go out of their way to implement military-friendly policies in support of our men and women in uniform.”
“. . .We have highly skilled, highly motivated young men and women coming into the workforce. They are a tremendous asset for us, for the whole country, and we need to nurture what we have there.”
— Lt. Col. Mike Waters ’70
“I think the designation shows the extent the campus goes to, to provide a welcoming environment (for current service members and those transitioning to civilian life) and to give them the specific support they need,” said Benjamin Parker, academic planning coordinator for SUNY Oswego’s Division of Extended Learning.Oswego’s services to veterans include counselors, weekly college representative at Fort Drum, acceptance at full value of credits earned for military schooling and training, increased opportunities for faculty and staff to learn the challenges facing returning service members, relationships with community institutions that routinely assist veterans and flexibility in academic options, such as the college’s all-online Master of Business Administration degree.The college has a cross-campus, interoffice committee working to further improve veterans’ services and dedicated space in 206F Culkin Hall for the Veteran’s Services Office.
Vets helping vets
Oswego alumni veterans are part of the network for those just entering college life. Lt. Col. Mike Waters ’70 USAF (Ret.) who spent more than 34 years in the military, part time and full time, has extended a helping hand to fellow veterans because of the help he encountered returning from the Vietnam War.When his unit was about to be called back just six months after he enrolled at Oswego in 1967, he found that professors were willing to make accommodations for his absence and the college helped by retaining his job as an RA, which was crucial to funding his studies.Waters has funded a scholarship for military veterans, especially combat vets, who are in need of financial help.In addition, he recently started a new fund, to provide non-interest loans for veterans with short-term financial needs. “Veterans come here on the G.I. Bill, but they may not get their money until several weeks into the semester,” he says. The fund Waters established will help to bridge that gap.“With the military downsizing … we have highly skilled, highly motivated young men and women coming into the workforce,” Waters notes. “They are a tremendous asset for us, for the whole country, and we need to nurture what we have there.”Recognition of alumni service in the military is a goal for Col. Jack James ’62, USMC (Ret.). James instituted a salute to veterans at Reunion 2012, and sponsored pins to recognize alumni military service by branch.All veterans are urged to contact the Alumni Relations Office at King Alumni Hall or call 315-312-2258 to enter their military service as part of the alumni record.
April 18 School of Business and School of Communication, Media and the Arts Networking event in New York City*
April 27 Fun Day at the Zoo, Syracuse, N.Y.*
May 2 Alumni and Friends Reception with President Stanley, Naples, Fla.*
May 3 Oswego College Foundation Board Meeting**
May 17 Commencement Eve Dinner and Torchlight Ceremony*
May 18 Commencement
May 22 Lunch & Learn Webinar
June 6-9 Reunion 2013*
June 8 Annual Business Meeting, Oswego Alumni Association, Inc.*
July 25-28 The City of Oswego’s fantastic Harborfest! On-campus housing available to alumni*
August–October GOLD Welcome
to the City parties*
August 2 Brew at the Zoo, Syracuse, N.Y.*
August 5 Emeriti Luncheon**
August 23 Welcoming Torchlight Ceremony*
September 20-22 Baseball Alumni Reunion Weekend*
September 27-29 Return to Oz IV Alumni
of Color Reunion*
October 5 Communication Studies
October 10-11 School of Business Alumni Symposium*
November 2 Oswego Athletic Hall of Fame Inductions
November 6 Dr. Lewis B. O’Donnell Media Summit**
MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW:
June 5-8, 2014 Reunion 2014
* Alumni and Parent Relations, 315-312-2258
** University Development, 315-312-3003