More than 150 Oswego upperclassmen networked with more than 35 alumni professionals at the annual New York City Career Connections event Jan. 10 at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan.
Citigroup’s Marcia Thompson-Young ’81 delivered a keynote speech at the networking event, which followed a series of alumni-hosted day visits around the city.
Doreen Mochrie ’85, seated at left, hosted an afternoon session at Perry Capital for students interested in finance. Marcia Belmar Willock ’50 Professor of Finance Mary Tone Rodgers is seated at right.
New York City Career Connections is a career networking program of the Oswego Alumni Association and receives support from The Fund for Oswego.
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!
ALUMNI CAN STAY ON CAMPUS FOR THE BIGGEST PARTY of the year! On-campus housing will be available for alumni who wish to relive their favorite Oswego memories by attending this year’s Harborfest, July 25 to 28.
Alumni will be housed on campus (dorm to be determined) according to class year, with a maximum of two adults per room. Alumni may begin checking in Thursday, July 25, at 2 p.m. and must check out by Sunday, July 28, at 11 a.m.
There is an early bird special of $65 per night for those making reservations on or before July 19 by 4 p.m. Reservations made after July 19 at 4 p.m. will be $70 per night. For those registering by July 19, refrigerators will be available upon request for an additional $10 for the weekend. Mattresses for children 16 years and younger will also be available to rent for $10 for the weekend. Linens for beds and towels will be supplied. The Centro bus will be running the regularly scheduled City service from the Campus to Downtown – however regular fares do apply and this service only operates on the regular schedule of Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Don’t miss the opportunity to attend this exciting Oswego tradition!
To make reservations please visit alumni.oswego.edu/harborfest or you may contact Allison Craine at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Alumni staying in special alumni housing will also receive a commemorative Oswego Alumni Association favor.
To register for Harborfest Housing you will need to login or register for OsweGoConnect. Your unique security code to enter the community is the 9-digit ID number is located above your address on the mailing label of the alumni magazine. You will only need this the first time you enter and then you will choose your own personal password.
Getting Away With It
I stole. It’s hard to believe those two little words follow a man around for 28 years like a shadow but they do. Do the right thing and you forget it in a day, do the wrong thing and you regret it for years. And you can try to justify what you did; rationalize it away but the harder you push it away, the more it sticks. I’ve found guilt seldom has anything to do with courtrooms and trials because in the end we are all our own judge and jury. As long as you know what you did there’s no getting away with it.
It was 1984, the fall of my junior year at SUNY Oswego. Like a lot of college kids I took loans, paid my own way and was broke all the time.
Money was as rare as free time and as anyone who has ever struggled can tell you there are weeks where you literally have to watch every penny if you want to eat. It was a week like that, that led me down the road to perdition. I had exactly ten dollars in my pocket which had to last me six days. Whenever I was this broke, I’d go to the store in the student center and buy a bagel for fifty cents. The bagels were huge and filling so they were a nice substitute for lunch. I went to the counter, handed the guy my ten dollar bill, took the bagel and change and turned to go. I counted the money before putting it in my pocket and realized the clerk made a mistake in my favor. He gave me change for twenty dollar bill not a ten.
When times are tight and money falls into your lap the voices of your better angels are easily drowned out by the sounds of a growling stomach. You start to talk yourself into doing the wrong thing. I told myself in that moment that this school had overcharged me for so many things. They had fees on top of fees for courses and services I’d never use. Heck even the laundry machines in my dorm must have stolen from me. Soon enough you convince yourself that you are entitled to that extra ten bucks the guy gave you. They won’t even miss it.
I knew it was wrong to keep it but I was young, broke and stupid, so I took it. For the next few days I found myself avoiding that store for fear the guy might realize what he’d done and ask me about it. Even when I did eventually go back I hung my head and found it difficult to meet his eyes when he rang me up at the register. To the casual observer I’d gotten away with it but the truth was I hadn’t. That ten dollars owned me now and wouldn’t let me go.
Long after I graduated from Oswego that ten dollars I took kept turning up in my mind, like a stone in your shoe. I couldn’t understand how such a small stone could cause such a large ripple in the pond that was my conscience. Then in 1994 I went to see the movie Quiz Show and had a moment of clarity. Toward the end of the movie there’s a scene where Rob Morrow tells a story about an uncle who cheated on his wife and never got caught. Many years later he came clean about what he’d done and everyone in the family asked him why in God’s name he confessed, after all he’d gotten away with it. He said, “It was the getting away with it that I couldn’t live with.”
So why am I telling you this story now; confessing to a petty larceny I committed 28 years ago? Same reason I guess. I haven’t been to confession at church in a long time but I do believe you can talk to God and ask for forgiveness whenever you want. So there I was sitting at a red light on Route 9 near Hoffman’s Playland in Latham when I had a short yet long overdue chat with the big guy. I said I know I can’t go back in time and give the money back but please know I’m sorry, I learned from it and I’ll never do something like that again.
The light turned green and then something very odd happened. I put my directional on and pulled into the Stewart’s shop to grab a cup of coffee. I handed the clerk a ten dollar bill, took the change and turned to go. Anyone in the store that day would have seen me stop and smile because for an instant it was 1984 again. In my hand wasn’t change for my ten dollar bill but a twenty. I looked up toward the ceiling and said under my breath, “Thank you for the second chance.”
The manager was pleasantly surprised when I told him of his error and handed back the ten dollars extra he’d given me. “Wow, thanks,” he said. He probably thinks I’m this rare good guy who did the right thing when in reality I’m just the dummy who did the wrong thing 28 years ago and has paid interest on the debt ever since.
I haven’t been back to Oswego since graduation but a part of me will be visiting soon. The store in the campus center will soon receive an envelope with a ten dollar bill attached to a newspaper column telling this tale of avarice and absolution. I’m sure that guy who gave me the wrong change is long gone but when it comes to one’s eternity and passage at the pearly gates, the sheep that got away needs all the help he can get. •
Reprinted with Permission of the Troy Record.
John Gray ’85 is the news anchor at News10 ABC in Albany, N.Y. He also is an award-winning columnist for the Troy Record newspaper and Capital Region Living Magazine. While he resides in the Albany area helping raise his three children and his dog Max and has traveled extensively, he still insists he has never seen a sunset prettier than those outside of Onondaga Hall on Lake Ontario.
Ed. note: SUNY Oswego gratefully accepted John’s donation last autumn.
OSWEGO alumni magazine welcomes submissions for consideration for “The Last Word.” They should be no more than 600 words and should reflect upon the writer’s Oswego experience. Send to email@example.com.
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.