Campus Life News

Home can have many connotations.  Some people feel warm and safe when they think of home.  Then there are others among us who we blindly pass everyday who can’t explain what home means to them. It leaves a void in their souls that can’t be explained.

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” – Maya Angelou

Mic-anthony Hay, 24, a senior journalism major at SUNY Oswego has lived in many places.  He was born in Queens, NY, but his duration there would be cut short.  His family, which included his parents, three sisters, one brother and himself, moved to five acres of land in Columbia County, Florida for one year.  Life was very different living in the country from the concrete pavement of New York City. 

“I loved exploring outdoors.  My brother and I did not play video games.  We made sling shots and used acorns,” he said with a large grin on his face.

Turning the age of 10 resulted in his family taking on a larger adventure.  They would all move to Mic-anthony’s parents’ homeland of Jamaica.  This was a very exciting time for him.  He was eager about this move. He heard stories of family members, his heritage and the laidback Caribbean culture.  Every tale made him even more excited about the three-hour trip by plane to Jamaica. 

Once he got there it wasn’t long for him to have a perfect sense of the island.  “In Jamaica there is a strong sense of community.  There are fruits on the trees; it is a great place to be.  The land takes care of the people, which makes Jamaica so unique.  Everywhere you go there are banana trees, fruit trees and vendors.  You can’t starve in Jamaica,” explained Mic-anthony.

His life on the island changed drastically when his parents separated.  At the age of 16, his mother made a difficult decision to have him leave Jamaica and go back to the United States to finish his education. She arranged to have him live with a family member in Douglas, Georgia.  Mic-anthony only lived with them for a short term and he then moved in with a high school friend and his family.  He credits his success in finishing high school to them.

After graduation, he had to leave Georgia due to financial reasons.  His mother arranged once again for him to stay with a friend of hers.  This time his life seemed full circle with his arrival back to Queens, NY.  Living arrangements were difficult at this time, because he had to live in a section of the woman’s basement.  College was out of the question at that time because he was considered an out-of-state resident.

He was able to find full-time work as an assistant to the dietarian clinician at a nursing home.  “Getting that job was almost a fluke.  My only job experience was at a blueberry farm in Georgia,” he explained. 

At this time, it was by chance he met a professor who told him of the importance of college and recommended him to enroll in Dutchess Community College in Poughkeepsie, NY.  He was accepted in 2013 and studied liberal arts and humanities. 

His time at Dutchess Community College was very eventful.  Mic-anthony reflected, “I played two years on the soccer team, which was my passion and outlet.  I found support and a home at the EOP (Educations Opportunity Program) Office.”

There he met two counselors, Doris Diaz-Kelly and Katherine Leonard, who were his mentors and support network as he tried to find direction while living on campus.  They were very instrumental in telling Mic-anthony how his interests and passions could be used to establish a goal in pursuing higher education.  He never thought he would attend a four-year college until he had the backing and encouragement from the EOP counselors.

“I started watching the loans rise and wondered what do I need to do for my future.  I loved to write and tell stories, which eventually led to SUNY Oswego,” he added.

He became interested in SUNY Oswego due to the course offering and the location on Lake Ontario.  Doris and Katherine acquired a car from the college and they were off driving several students, including Mic-anthony, to visit a few SUNY Universities, including SUNY Oswego.

With sincere joy on his face Mic-anthony said, “On the day of my tour I found out that I was accepted to SUNY Oswego.  One of the monitors said, ‘Congratulations Mic-anthony Hay, you have been accepted.’  It was a great feeling.  I had a photo taken of me by the sign near Sheldon Hall.  I got emotional. College is now home.  The campus community is my home.  This is going to be my home for the next few years. 

On the first day of classes he was offered a job at Campus Recreation as a photographer.  He had experience and a passion for photography that blossomed when he was a student in Poughkeepsie.  He liked the location of SUNY Oswego, with its proximity to the Bluffs and Salmon River.  Taking sports photographs and exploring the natural beauty of the area helped him build his portfolio and his desire to produce more captivating pictures.

“SUNY Oswego gave me an opportunity to give me content for my photography.  I was unable to travel when I first got to Oswego.  At college I was able to work and keep social media channels going,” said Mic-anthony.

Professors have been great mentors for him at SUNY Oswego, in particular Juliet Giglio and Dr. Avind Diddi.  They have helped guide him in pursuit of his future.  Encouraged him to use the knowledge he acquired in his courses to improve his writing, which enhanced his posts on social media.

In February 2017, his storytelling on social media pages and vlogs helped him receive recognition from a Fortune Global 500 corporation.  He was approached by SONY to be a part of the company’s new community, Alpha Imaging Collective.  This group is a coalition of photographers and videographers who are passionate about creating new imagery and sharing with their followers around the world.

Since being adopted into the SONY community Mic-anthony has had the wonderful experience of taking pictures while traveling to California and Alaska.  He has been able to meet respected artists, including Pulitzer Prize Winners and New York Times Bestsellers.  This fantastic network of people offers him career advice, as well as friendship.

The friendships he has developed through Alpha Imaging Collective can’t replace the connections he has made at SUNY Oswego.  Professors have become his mentors and friends, and he has created a special bond with his peers and co-workers on campus.   His time at SUNY Oswego has been irreplaceable.

With a passionate heart Mic-anthony stated, “Not having a home; first time on campus felt like home.  Home is a feeling.  I had to move so much in my life.  SUNY Oswego offered me stability and the opportunity to grow mentally and flourish in my talents and passions.”

Visit these sites to view Mic-anthony's exceptional photography and videos:

- Kelly V. Perkins