More than 1,700 SUNY Oswego students are eligible to take part in the three Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 16, with many already set on their next stage of life.

Central New York residents will start recognizing meteorology major Molly Mattot as the weekend morning meteorologist for WSTM-3/WTVH-5 and on the CW-6’s 10 p.m. newscast Mondays through Wednesdays, a job she has begun but will take on full time after graduation.

“My time at WTOP-10, both on-air and as a manager, is irreplaceable and priceless,” she said of the college’s student-run TV station. Through the college’s storm-chasing course and lake-effect OWLeS research grant, she “got to do tasks that I now do every day at my job, and learned which I liked, disliked, which were easy and which I needed to improve on … I made professional connections with professors and alumni that helped me get the job I have now.”

Five-year accounting/MBA major Dianora DeMarco earned a competitive one-year post-graduate technical assistant position (one of only six nationally) with the Financial Accounting Standards Board, a private-sector organization that establishes financial accounting standards governing the preparation of nongovernmental entities’ financial reports.

“Oswego connected me with Big Four recruiters, which allowed me to complete two summer internships in New York City, one with KPMG and the other with PricewaterhouseCoopers,” DeMarco said. “SUNY Oswego’s Honors Program provided me with a structured environment to complete an undergraduate thesis. It was because of my undergraduate thesis that I became interested in the regulatory component of accounting and the policy side of the financial industry in general.”

Many School of Business graduates already have jobs at Big Four accounting firms after graduation, several in New York City with KPMG and PwC, because of the school’s reputation, internships and outstanding alumni network, said Dean of Business Richard Skolnik.

Professional positioning

Technology education major Julie Lundgren earned a teaching position at Liberty High School in Virginia thanks to preparation and networking at a national conference in that state as a member of the Oswego Technology Education Association.

She credits the technology department that is “like a family” to her, has an outstanding reputation in the education field and provided countless opportunities. “Your professors are like parents and your classmates are like siblings,” Lundgren said. “It’s so rewarding to be in a program like that. We have small class sizes and lots of one-on-one work. You’re encouraged to be creative. The amount of growth you can achieve there is motivating and inspiring.”

Public relations major Anja Godlewski-Dykes will work as communications coordinator for the MedTech Association, managing the association’s social media accounts, website and other member communication, plus helping with health advocacy with elected officials.

“During my time at Oswego I completed a handful of internships and was able to gain experience in higher education (Alumni Sharing Knowledge program), advertising (Pinckney Hugo Group) and healthcare (MedTech),” she said. “Additionally, I was very active in organizations on campus, specifically the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and the Future Alumni Network (FANs),” learning from leadership positions in both.

Finance major Aaron Millard will become an assistant bank examiner for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, an independent U.S. Treasury bureau, traveling for examination and regulation activities with banks and federal savings associations throughout most of the state.

“I have learned valuable skill sets that I can apply in the professional world and have been able to use in job interviews,” Millard said. His classes provided a foundation, while membership in the Enactus organization “taught me how to work on a team and accomplish goals that have major impacts on local businesses. The School of Business has been an essential part of my career preparation with both its courses and its student organizations.”

Gabrielle Reimann, a dual major in history and political science, will start work this fall as a full-time teacher in New York City through the federal Teach for America program.

“I have had advisers that have dropped everything to help me when I needed it,” Reimann said. “Oswego’s faculty is absolutely outstanding. Without such caring, success-driven people, I do not think I would be as prepared as I am. … I have taken advantage of clubs, honor societies, Greek life, on-campus jobs as well as educational outreach programs to further expand my knowledge both in and out of the classroom.”

Advanced degrees ahead

Eyub Yegen, a dual major in finance and applied mathematical economics, will take his many Oswego honors, published research opportunities and experiences into doctoral studies in finance at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.

“The close collaboration with faculty really gave me a competitive edge when I was applying to Ph.D. programs,” Yegen said. “I frankly believe that without having so much research experiences that Oswego offered me, new doors in my career path would have not opened. The faculty members, administrative staff and the overall research-friendly environment of Oswego really motivated me to conduct research on topics.”

Thomas Bodnar will take his biochemistry degree to Ohio State’s Ph.D. research-based program, supported by a track record that earned free tuition and a generous stipend.

“I think Oswego has helped me the most by providing extensive extracurricular and research opportunities,” Bodnar said. “A couple summers ago I was able to do research for free in Brazil for an entire summer. … Also, Oswego had an alumni connection that allowed me to apply and get a paid internship to a catalyst manufacturing and research company in Columbia, Maryland, for another summer.”

Sarah Popovitch, a biology major and student-athlete, will start attending Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine this fall.

“Being a part of Oswego’s cross country and track teams has allowed me to work with a wonderful group of people who motivate me every day,” Popovitch said. “I am also thankful for the flexibility I’ve had within the biology program to pursue multiple internships. My experiences as an intern gave me a competitive edge as an applicant to vet school and helped cultivate my interest in veterinary medicine.”

Psychology major Demi Siskind earned a scholarship to study developmental psychology in the Columbia University master’s program, where she will study risk, resilience and prevention for atypical early-childhood populations, planning to later pursue a Ph.D.

Interning with the Socio-emotional Adjustment and Resilience (SOAR) Project, “I was able to work with preschoolers and third-graders by implementing a prevention/intervention protocol of positive social and emotional skills,” Siskind said, as the internship “allowed me to pinpoint what I wanted to go to graduate school for and what psychology-related route I wanted to take.”

Graphic design major Mackenzie Gillett will pursue a master’s in arts therapy at Nazareth College this fall. She owes her interest in pursuing an art therapy degree to being a peer educator in the college’s Counseling Center. “I even got to help start a new online video series called ‘Brush Your Brain,’ which provides students with tips relating to mental health issues such as procrastination, long distance relationships and test anxiety,” Gillett said.

As technology management major Edward McCormack works on securing a position in the operations manufacturing sector, preferably in the Empire State, he feels well prepared thanks to an internship with a local high-precision machinery company. “Through this experience I was able to work closely with machinists, programmers, quality control, engineers and management,” McCormack said. “This experience was nothing that could have been learned in a classroom.”

About Commencement

Oswego’s three Commencement ceremonies will take place in the Marano Campus Center convocation hall and arena Saturday, May 16. A 9 a.m. ceremony will celebrate graduates of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. A 1 p.m. session honors School of Education graduates. At 4 p.m., graduates of the School of Business and the School of Communication, Media and the Arts will receive degrees. Ceremonies will stream live from a link on the homepage.