OSWEGO — More than 500 SUNY Oswego students are eligible to take part in Dec. 17 Commencement ceremonies, ready to take Oswego experiences and preparation into their plans.
Sheneya Wilson, who will earn her MBA and bachelor’s degrees in accounting, will start in June as an external auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of multiples places she interned during her time at Oswego. First she plans to work tax season with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program in New York City.
She credits some of her success to the encouragement of staff in the School of Business, including Lisa McGhee-Laracuente in the business advisement office, who persuaded her to work toward her master’s and find financing to support it, and Dean Richard Skolnik’s support along the way, including helping her plan to pursue her Ph.D. after she completes her Certified Public Accountant testing and at least a year of work.
Wilson gave an award-winning presentation at a conference at Shanghai Normal University in China, served as associate director of finance for the Student Association and became a vice president for accounting and finance honor society Beta Alpha Psi.
She said the School of Business provides many professional development opportunities, including a Ph.D. conference in Chicago she earned acceptance to in mid-November.
Wilson also gained organizational experience co-chartering the campus chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants with Bilikiz Adebayo, a fellow MBA/bachelor’s in accounting student graduating in December, and Justin Brantley, a May 2016 graduate.
Co-founder Adebayo will start full time as an audit associate with public accounting firm Grant Thornton in New York City next fall. Until then, she will continue studying for her CPA exams and, during the summer, “would like to do some mentorship, teach dance at a camp counselor and travel, because those are things I’ve always wanted to do, but never had the opportunity to,” she said.
Adebayo’s student involvement opportunities included serving on four executive boards and as a resident mentor/graduate resident mentor for four years. She even started a dance scholarship — the Adebayo Dance Scholarship — under the African Student Organization to recognize a student who achieves academic success while dancing as part of any campus organization.
“These out-of-class experiences really help me to work with others and to learn when to be a follower and when to be a leader,” Abebayo said. “In the classroom, I really learned what it is to apply yourself and to be dedicated and motivated to push through even when things were not going my way. I realized that being positive had a greater outcome than giving up.”
Training for success
Wellness management major Timothy Scalisi will work for Optimal Fitness Boston, where he will be a one-on-one personal trainer for clients, as well as a strength and conditioning coach for high school and college athletes.
An internship there over the summer helped him cement the position and learn more about the fitness industry. One day, he hopes to become a strength and conditioning coach for a Division I college team.
“Inside the classroom my higher level HSC (health science) courses prepared me with the knowledge I have for fitness and nutrition,” said Scalisi, who also served as captain of the Laker wrestling team. “Outside the classroom, being an athlete helped me establish a solid work ethic, build time management skills, and practice leadership and communication skills.”
As Julia D’Rozario, a dual major in physics and cinema and screen studies, looks to start graduate school in the fall, she brings experiences that include creating more than 120 diagrams in the physics textbook “Electromagnetism: Problems and Solutions,” pursuing a range of grant-funded research and giving more than a dozen presentations at national and regional conferences.
D’Rozario credits her mentor, Dr. Carolina Ilie, in physics for giving her research and publishing opportunities on campus and beyond. D’Rozario spent the past summer as part of a research team at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln examining solar-cell efficiency, for which she hopes to publish a paper.
The previous summer, D’Rozario was a laboratory research assistant at the Federal University of Paraiba in Brazil.
Psychology major James Duffy is already writing his next chapter, as he is also enrolled in master’s work in school counseling at New York Institute of Technology. In addition, he has many job interviews lined up after December graduation.
“NYIT granted me this conditional acceptance because of the degree of academic rigor and encouragement that Oswego has provided me with — my resume is strong and loaded with extra-curricular research positions, co-authorship presentations and job positions that are the result of my hard work,” Duffy said. “I’ve had a truly unique undergraduate experience that I would find nowhere else but at SUNY Oswego.”
Asa’ Gibbs is applying for fall graduate school at the Berklee College of Music’s Spain campus — where she studied abroad over the summer — as well as to New York University. A business management major with minors in audio design and production and in marketing, she also learned more about the music business from a hands-on internship at SubCat Studios in Syracuse.
Her involvement in clubs, including developing skills and serving as an officer of the Business Management Club, Student Association Programming Board and Two and A Half, also helped prepare her for her next steps. “In everything I was involved in, I was able to build toward something and learn and grow in an organization, just like I will in my work,” Gibbs said. “It was also nice because it made me feel like I was making a difference.”
Childhood education major Elizabeth DeJesus plans to pursue a teaching position in Nassau County or around New York City, where she is currently student teaching, then her master’s in literacy education. “I love working with a diverse group of students and believe that it makes the learning experience for the students a great one,” she said.
“My friends in my education classes really helped with learning to work together and also sharing of creative ideas that I will definitely bring into my future classroom,” DeJesus said. “Being able to work with people that were in the same major really helped me to stay organized and on top of everything. The education courses called for time in the classroom for every block, and with every experience I had, I was entered into a different experience of what a classroom can be.”
Public relations major Kalie Hudson plans to return to her hometown of Rochester for additional experience in an internship or part-time work, following up on a solid resume that included two years as student director of the college’s Lewis B. O’Donnell Media Summit and serving as vice president of human resources for campus TV station WTOP.
“The options to choose my electives to fit my career interests and the assignments in my PR research, case studies and capstone all prepared me in the classroom,” Hudson said. “I was able to gain strategic PR skills through these courses as well as learn about some outside disciplines such as broadcasting and digital media that have helped me in the workplace.”
SUNY Oswego’s December Commencement will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, in the Marano Campus Center convocation hall and arena.
A live webcast will stream, linked from the college’s home page, oswego.edu.