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September 19, 2018

Best-Selling Author, Global Chair and Google Executive To Address SUNY Oswego Graduates


OSWEGO — SUNY Oswego will convene three ceremonies to honor its class of 2018 at the college’s 157th Commencement on Saturday, May 12, in the Marano Campus Center. Accomplished alumni will serve as the keynote speaker at each of the ceremonies.

Christene Barberich ’91, global editor-in-chief and co-founder of the award-winning women’s media company, Refinery29, will speak at the 9 a.m. ceremony for graduating seniors in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Speaking at the 1 p.m. ceremony for the School of Business will be Robert E. (Bob) Moritz ’85, global chairman of PwC.

And at the 4 p.m. ceremony for the School of Education and the School of Communication, Media and the Arts, Jeff Hoefer ’80, who heads Google’s Digital Imaging Group for Brand Marketing and Hardware, will speak.

Best-selling author

Christene Barberich

Christene Barberich

The company Barberich co-founded, Refinery29, reaches 500 million visitors across media and platforms globally. She is also the New York Times best-selling author of “Style Stalking” and the creator/host of the acclaimed podcast “UnStyled.”

An Oswego graduate in both English writing arts and in art, Barberich has produced pieces for T Magazine, Travel & Leisure, New York magazine and Amuse, among many other titles.

In 2017, she participated as the first-ever Mentor-in-Residence at Savannah College of Art & Design and was also selected as a fellow for the Edith Wharton Writers-in-Residence program.

Prior to co-founding Refinery29 in 2005, she held posts at Gourmet Magazine, The Daily and The New Yorker, and was the founding editor of the award-winning CITY magazine. She was named one of Folio’s Top Women in Media for Industry Leadership, as well as a top female in media on the AdWeek Disrupters List.

Barberich is a frequent industry speaker and has provided brand consulting and/or content for a mix of fashion and lifestyle clients, including American Eagle, Nine West, Prada Beauté, Nike, Yves Saint Laurent Fragrance and others. She serves on the Steering Committee of the New York State Council for Women and Girls, and lives in Brooklyn.

Global leadership

Robert E. Moritz

Robert E. Moritz

After joining PwC (formerly PricewaterhouseCoopers), following his SUNY Oswego graduation in accounting, Moritz rose steadily through the ranks of the professional services firm, which now spans 157 countries and 220,000 people providing audit, tax, consulting, and deals services around the world.

A partner since 1995, Moritz has an audit and assurance background, primarily dealing with financial services, banking and capital markets clients.

During the course of his career, he spent three years with PwC Japan, working with European and US-based financial services companies operating in Asia.

Prior to taking on the global role, Moritz led the U.S. firm of PwC as its chairman and senior partner. During his seven-year tenure, the U.S. firm focused on increasing quality service, enhancing the collective reputation of the PwC Network through talent development and capabilities expansion, growing profitably, and championing diversity and inclusion efforts.

PwC is a founding member of the United Nations’ HeforShe 10x10x10 IMPACT Champions network.

Moritz is also a trustee of The Conference Board and a member of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy.

An active alumnus, he also is a director of the SUNY Oswego College Foundation and last made a trip to campus Oct. 12 to deliver a presentation titled “Global Trends and Building Skills for the Future.”

Moritz recently completed two terms as the chairman of the Governing Board for the Center for Audit Quality, a non-partisan and non-profit group dedicated to enhancing investor confidence and public trust in the global capital markets.

From Atari and Apple to Google

Jeff Hoefer

Jeff Hoefer

Hoefer grew up in Binghamton and graduated with a bachelor of fine arts degree from SUNY Oswego.

After graduation, his interests led him to pursue employment in California as a model maker, which launched a career spanning 38 years in Silicon Valley.

As the computer made its way into everyday tasks, his occupation focused on computer-aided design.

Beginning with Atari Inc. and Lunar Design for 19 years, he then joined the Apple Industrial Design team in 2005, spending 10 years creating products from the first iPhone to the “iWatch,” now known as Apple Watch.

Hoefer joined Google four years ago, and presently heads up the Digital Imaging group for Brand Marketing and Hardware in Mountain View, California. Throughout his profession he has collaborated on more than 1,500 projects in product design, movies and the gaming industry.

His experiences over these years have taught him the high value and power of visualization, starting at the early stages of product development, and how to leverage those assets through to packaging and marketing of products.

A model of the SUNY Oswego campus that Hoefer built in 1979 still adorns one of the walls of Hewitt Union, giving credence, he said, to a valuable start on his future.

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