Visit alumni.oswego.edu for a complete up-to-date listing.
August 30 Green and Gold Day*
September 15 Alumni Buffalo Bills Game and Tailgate*
September 19 GOLD Welcome to the City Party NYC*
September 20-22 Baseball Alumni Reunion Weekend*
September 27-28 Soccer Alumni Reunion Weekend*
September 27-29 Return to Oz IV Alumni of Color Reunion*
October 3 Ribbon Cutting of Rice Creek
October 4 Dedication of the Richard S. Shineman Center for Science, Engineering and Innovation
October 4 Oswego Alumni Board of Directors Meeting*
October 4 Oswego College Foundation Board of Directors Meeting**
October 5 Communication Studies Alumni Dinner*
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
Bookmark Our New Homepage! alumni.oswego.edu
A program sponsored by the Oswego Alumni Association and Career Services Office helps students make the sometimes intimidating transition from college to career. Recruiters, local experts, and Oswego alumni presented workshops to help more than 100 students forge a pathway to success.
Keynote speaker Kevin Sutherland ’05, a member of the Graduates Of the Last Decade Leadership Council, suggested students take every opportunity to network and get their résumé out to as many people as possible, including alumni.
“We are family, this is it, Oswego!” Sutherland said. Sutherland is the budget coordinator for Tompkins County, where he has worked for three years.
Interviewing is nothing to sweat about as long as you’re prepared, explained personnel coordinator for Maxim Healthcare Services, Renee Abstender Marchak ’94. Marchak said she has an array of experiences with the interview process and applies the knowledge she gained at Oswego when interviewing future employees. “Oswego did so much for me,” Marchak said.
Students stood wall-to-wall to hear Tim Barnhart ’02, a member of the Oswego Alumni Association Board of Directors, explain with honesty and realism about saving money and understanding financial planning following graduation. “As far as the education that you get, and the work ethic I was taught, I wouldn’t take another school over this school,” Barnhart said of Oswego.
Barnhart explained to students how to begin saving money, manage student loans, and still have a comfortable lifestyle after graduation. While attending Oswego, Barnhart interned with Northwestern Mutual, the company where he is now a managing director. He said that without taking the internship with Northwestern Mutual and exploring his career options in college, he would have never found his dream job.
-Brittany Hoffmann ’14
We’ll always wonder why. But, for Matthew Sturdevant ’97 the story of Newtown, Conn., is about how. How will the community repair itself?
Sturdevant, a journalist who has essentially been embedded since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary,
is telling that story.
“My task has always been to follow the people,” says Sturdevant who, along with other members of the staff of the Hartford Courant, is a runner up for the Pulitzer Prize.
By following and by listening, Sturdevant has uncovered touching stories behind tattoos, a very special animal sanctuary and other tributes to people lost in the infamous shooting Dec. 14. They are now a part of Sturdevant’s own story, the unlikely tale of a psychology and business major who almost became a potato farmer.
Sturdevant struggled academically and financially at Oswego, working toward two degrees while pulling endless shifts in the dining hall. A roommate—a communication studies major—planted the seed of journalism, and Matthew discovered his gift for storytelling post-grad as he sampled various jobs and traveled the east coast.
A lover of the outdoors, Sturdevant spent five summers as a guide at a Boy Scouts of America High Adventure base in Maine during and after college. He returned to the city of Oswego for a time as a therapy aide in the mental health wing of Oswego Hospital.
“No question, working with people at such an acutely sensitive time in their lives helped me in journalism,” he says, a fact born out when the Pulitzer committee commended the Hartford Courant staff for its sensitivity in handling coverage in Newtown.
While living in northern Maine, Sturdevant applied for a job at a weekly in rural Caribou, where he, with help from textbooks provided by his editor, essentially taught himself the skills of journalism.
“If it hadn’t worked out being a reporter those few days, I would have been harvesting potatoes,” Sturdevant recalls.
But, it did work out. And Sturdevant developed a talent for digging deep for stories. He initiated a “Not Forgotten” series at the Glens Falls Post Star that became almost a tutorial in how to handle sensitive topics. Each week, he would choose sparse obituaries, call the relatives for information, and craft proper tributes to the deceased.
Since arriving nearly four years ago at the Hartford Courant after stints at the Caller-Times in Corpus Christi, Texas, and the Daily Press in Newport News, Va., Sturdevant has again employed his Oswego experience as a business reporter and blogger.
But, when not covering health care, insurance and business, he’s often called to journalism’s front line of breaking news, the Boston Marathon bombing and Superstorm Sandy among them.
His most difficult assignment to date, though, he’s still working on: the stories of all the survivors, those children with lifetimes left to live.
“Once the basics of the story have been told, it’s really the story of how this town is coping,” he says. “The rest of the world may have moved on, but in Connecticut, especially in Newtown, they’ll be talking about this for decades.”
—Shane M. Liebler
Focusing on students and their needs as a way of paying tribute to her family perfectly fits Linda Panarites Sweeting’s sensibilities regarding philanthropy. A 1975 graduate, she has been making gifts to SUNY Oswego’s annual fund and volunteering as a reunion gift organizer over the years, but always “hoped to do more.”
When she consulted with her husband and her brother about honoring departed family members through an endowed scholarship, they were of one mind in creating a fund that would provide financial assistance to one entering student each year. That student would come to SUNY Oswego from Spencerport or Hilton, alternately, and would personify the values of the Panarites and Sweeting families.
Sweeting spent her career in the alumni and development office at SUNY Brockport, where she saw the “difference a gift could make in the lives of the student and the donor.” She says she always wanted to make a gift to Oswego that went beyond supporting the annual fund, and she was inspired in philanthropy by coworkers, especially Brockport faculty member emeritus Frances Moroney Whited ’44.
“I valued my time at Oswego and the education I received as a student,” Sweeting says. “Now, I completely admire and trust the people in the Office of Development, and I really like the direction Oswego is going in terms of academics.”
Sweeting says her father’s people came to America from Greece, and even though they all valued education, only one of the siblings had the resources to complete a college degree. The Panarites-Sweeting Family Scholarship will ensure that the selected student will have access to higher education without incurring crippling debt.
“When we talked to professionals at Oswego, we said we didn’t want to put a lot of restrictions on the choice of the recipient,” Sweeting says. “But when we met Bianca, the first recipient, and her family, we felt as if she had been hand picked for us.”
—Linda Loomis ’90 M ’97
Members of the Class of 1963 celebrated their 50th reunion at the Golden Alumni Society Luncheon in the Sheldon Hall Ballroom. Pictured from left: front row — Ed Church, Rosalie Nicastro DiMeo, Patricia Dubiel, Barbara R. Fleming, Harriet Goldstein Gorran, Clair Wylie, Larry Holzman, Marcia Peterson Brown, Mary Bome Kocher, Anne Wadley Lauko, Anne Friedman Kriz, Joyce Van de Merlen Landau, and Susan Mikolay Pate; middle row — Frederick Winstedt, Bill White, Stan Syversten, Robert Sumner, Richard Stratton, Dolores Jolly Stieper, David Kresel, Robert Skinner, Marilou Huberth Santoro, Joseph Sheperd, Joan Ward Rein, and Mary M. McCarthy; back row — Mary Miceo Corapi, Stephanie Caraoli, Karl Kriz, Francis Hughes, Joseph Lauko, Dave Loascio, Joe Loffredo, Ann Jaeger Hardesty, Karen Kotary O’Bryan, Marilyn Burkell Roth, James Purdy, and George Stieper.
This column celebrates the publishing success of Oswego alumni authors, illustrators and recording artists. Please keep us informed about new books and audio recordings by requesting that your publisher or distributor send a copy for the Oswego Alumni Bookshelf at King Alumni Hall.
Edwin Peterson ’54 explains in great detail the complexities of milk glass with full color images in his book Milk Glass Plates. Self published. 2010.
John W. Parsons ’54 most recent novel, ETB, follows the heroine from his previous novel, Stone and Mortar, as she takes on another worldly cause. John has also written two other novels, Unselfish and A Journey Through Life. He is working on his fifth novel. Wasteland Press. 2012.
Craig W. Fisher, PhD. ’65 shares his knowledge of fundamentals and information quality in the textbook, Introduction to Information Quality that he co-wrote with Eitel Lauria, Shobha Chengalur-Smith, and Richard Wang. The purpose of the textbook is to alert business professionals to the pervasiveness and criticality of data problems. The Author House. 2011.
Edward Albert Maruggi ’72 tells mirthful tales of travelling through Italy in his most recent novel, Humorous Happenings While Traveling in Italy. Edward is the author of three other books pertaining to being an Italian-American, Mushrooms, Sausage and Wine: Life with an Immigrant Father; Italian Heart, American Soul, and Remembrances. Winston Publishing. 2011.
Patricia A. Nugent ’75 wrote a book entitled, They Live On: Saying Goodbye to Mom and Dad, with 300 vignettes portraying the stages of caring for and saying goodbye to a loved one, as seen through the eyes of a daughter and her terminally ill parents. Self published. 2010.
Lois Hamill ’79 provides practical, step-by-step guidance for managing all facets of archival collections, from acquisition, arrangement and description to storage and security. Archives for the Lay Person is a guidebook for people who care for historical records, photographs, and collections but do not have professional training. AltaMira Press. 2013.
Jodi Weinstein Mullen ’92 and Michael Mullen ’94, both professors and staff members at SUNY Oswego, along with their children, Andrew and Leah, have written Naughty No More, a workbook for children who want to make good decisions. This book offers simple, kid-friendly activities that provide opportunities for growth. Balboa Press. 2013.
In his career as a guidance counselor at Newburgh Free Academy, Thomas Hill ’96 helps students identify their interests, set reasonable goals, and plan actions to reach those goals. The 2013 first-place winner of Tour de Syracuse and the New York State Bicycle Racing Association Championship (both category 4) uses the same strategies in his pursuit of victory in cycle racing.
Four years ago, Hill was content to enjoy cycling as a way to socialize with friends. “When I bought my first road bike, I thought I’d never race it. Then the competitive side of me took over, and I decided to train for an event,” he said. Now, he’s on the road for approximately 150 miles a week. On a recent outing, he completed 6,000 feet of climbing over a 45-mile stretch.
“Basically, we just climbed four mountains that day,” Hill said. “I go out with the goal of torturing myself.” By pushing beyond the limits of the previous training session, Hill builds strength and endurance. As a positive side benefit, he has lost 50 to 60 pounds and gained stamina.
“Racing is a great motivation to get in shape,” Hill said. “Every pound on your body, you carry with you on every cycling session. Having that race goal in my mind, reaching for the win, helps me focus on my health and fitness.”
As NYSBRA champion, category 4, Hill could have been content to maintain the status quo. But, instead, he has continued to train hard and compete aggressively. By conquering his own best times and adding wins, he has moved to category 3. The upgrade to a more competitive category has made a big change in Hill’s goals and expectations, and he focuses now on improving his time rather than on winning each race he enters.
Hill and his wife, Sandra, a school nurse teacher, live in Walden with their six-year-old son, Thomas, who spends a lot of time riding his BMX bike.
Hill says he is proud to be part of an “Oswego Family.” His mother, Deborah Dixson Hill ’66 and father, Paul Hill ’66, met in Symphonic Choir when Dr. Maurice Boyd was the director. Before retirement, Paul taught chemistry at Newburgh Free Academy, and Deborah was a reading specialist at the elementary level. Both work part-time in college-level education programs.
“My parents were careful not to influence me in my college decision,” Hill said. “I had a few choices in mind, but when I visited the campus, that clinched it for me.” He majored in Zoology and Spanish at Oswego, and earned a master’s of science degree at Fordham University.
Hill’s mother is not surprised that he has excelled at road racing. “Tom was always a good athlete,” she said, “and he loves moving fast.” Still, it is the slower, more serene moments at his alma mater that stay with him today.
“I’ll always be grateful for the years I spent at Oswego,” Hill said. “Some of my fondest memories are those of just relaxing at the shore with friends.”
—Linda Loomis ’90 M’97
Landing a job in Los Angeles after graduation, Michelle Rene Garcia ’06 continues to work for a cause she values. At The Advocate, a gay rights magazine, she began as a temporary hire and advanced to commentary editor.
“We’re on the front line of history,” she says. “In the seven years I’ve been here, I’ve witnessed a massive sea change in the way Americans view gay rights.” She notes the milestones of justice: a president who supports the freedom to marry and still gets re-elected; positive representations in the media, a dozen states legalizing marriage equality, and LGBT people, including celebrities and athletes, coming out to their families, friends and coworkers.
“Equality isn’t just an issue of the gay agenda or some lobbying group, a faceless ‘they.’ Now, it’s about someone’s son, or sister or best friend. It’s personal, and people are remembering that personal is political again.”
After graduation, Garcia, who was active on the Oswegonian and worked as a resident assistant, and her husband, Adam Campbell-Schmitt ’06, headed to L. A., where Adam, a broadcast major, works as a stage director and comedy writer.
“We met at Oswego, doing improv. ‘Cause that’s what the cool kids do.”
Garcia, who majored in Journalism with minors in Political Science and Women’s Studies, says all her interests, education and experience have come together in her career and in the screenwriting she’s doing on the side.
“Thirty years from now, I can look back at this time and say: I was there. I was part of history.”
—Linda Loomis ’90 M ’97
We call it “serendipity” when dreams come true. Nicole Castro Pursel ’09 says she’s had a brush with that unexplainable good fortune in her career. After completing an internship at Time Warner Sports and earning her degree in journalism, she accepted an administrative assistant position at Wegmans in her hometown of Rochester.
One lucky day, she was asked to help out with the monthly “Wegmans Cooks” segment on Bridge Street, a Syracuse-based morning television show, where Chris Brandolino ’96 is one of the hosts. Pursel says all her experiences and education kicked in once she was suited up and on the set.
“My Oswego experience as an on-air talent for WTOP and my journalism background in gathering and presenting information clearly and accurately really helped.”
Inspired by her experience on Bridge Street, Pursel applied for a transfer from desk to kitchen, and she’s now an administrative cook for the Rochester-based retail grocer, working in the Liverpool store. With the head chef, she oversees food preparation, organizes ordering and helps train food workers.
“I love my job,” she says. “It’s a dream come true.” As for that cooking show of her own. Well, someday, perhaps. But for now, she and her husband, Robert Pursel, a teacher at West Carthage Elementary School, enjoy their Central Square home and reap the benefits of Pursel’s passion for preparing wholesome delicious food.
— Linda Loomis ’90 M ’97
While in the Peace Corps, Linehan taught eighth and ninth-grade English, established a secure and functioning community preschool and created a Parent-Teacher Association. She also coordinated a pen-pal exchange project with an eighth-grade classroom in Zambia and a school in northern California where students were encouraged to practice their writing skills and exchange cultural perspectives.
She planned and held weekly sessions of Girls Leading Our World (G.L.O.W.) club, an empowerment organization focusing on leadership, confidence and decision making. Linehan wrote and received a grant to fund a weeklong session of Camp G.L.O.W.
Linehan says she found inspiration at Oswego after involving herself with the alternative spring and winter break program through the Office of Service Learning and Community Service.
“I feel like I owe so much of my starting point to these programs at Oswego,” Linehan said.
-Brittany Hoffmann ’14