Oswego Alumni Educate Students on Health Careers
Alumni in the medical field described a healthy outlook for careers in their profession March 6 at the first-ever Health Care Careers Conference.
From physical therapists and veterinarians to medical technicians and physician’s assistants, career options go well beyond the titles of doctor or nurse.
Dr. Colleen Enwright O’Leary ’74 spoke about some of those opportunities at the event hosted by The Compass and the college’s Health Professions Advisory Committee.
O’Leary, professor of anesthesiology at SUNY Upstate, graduated from Oswego with a bachelor’s degree in biology, but also earned dozens of credits in chemistry and Spanish.
“When people apply for our medical programs, we’re looking for a well-rounded student, one who demonstrates that they can deal with a heavy workload,” she said.
During her time at Oswego, O’Leary did much more than the minimum requirements. She was a volunteer EMT at Oswego’s Student Association Volunteer Ambulance Corps as well as a volunteer at Oswego Hospital.
“I knew at age 12 I was going to be a doctor,” O’Leary said. A graduate of Oswego in three years, O’Leary spoke of one of her favorite classes and professors.
“I took organic chemistry and I loved the professor,” she said of mentor and friend, Dr. Augustine Silveira Jr. “I’m really good at memorizing, and [for medical careers] you need to think critically. He taught me how to think critically. It was the best thing I took out of SUNY Oswego.”
O’Leary also named professors James Seago and Geno Germano as influences.
Karla Lauenstein ’73, director of the clinical lab of pathology at SUNY Upstate, also graduated from Oswego with a bachelor’s degree in biology. She explained at her workshop that one of the most important things to do is to shadow a professional.
“You can read and study, but when you come in to shadow, you learn so much,” Lauenstein said. “It’s really good to see it and watch what’s going on.”
SUNY Upstate Associate Director of Admissions Donna Vavonese ’71 encouraged Oswego students to pursue careers in health care.
“I think we have students from Oswego in all of our fields,” she said of SUNY Upstate. “Your education here at Oswego is what you make of it. We love it here!”
⎯ Emily Longeretta ’12
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