OSWEGO — Among the nearly 1,600 students eligible to participate in SUNY Oswego’s three May 14 Commencement ceremonies, many have already found future paths in research, education, business, media and other fields.
Philosophy major Kimberlyn Bailey has two big research opportunities ahead. She earned a highly competitive two-year post-baccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award with the National Institutes of Health, starting in September, and will spend her summer doing biostatistics research at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
For the NIH position, “I got five offers and I picked my favorite, which was a computational neuroscience lab with Dr. Dietmar Plenz,” Bailey said. For the summer program, “you take advanced courses in epidemiology and biostatistics, and you work with a Harvard professor to do a research project, and this is all done in six weeks.”
Bailey earned these placements through a strong track record of conference presentations and research, including a chemistry project at Kolkata University in India. Majoring in philosophy “taught me how to think things through” and has been “such great preparation,” she said.
Sasha Padilla will continue her biochemistry studies in Notre Dame’s Ph.D. program with a full-tuition scholarship as well as an assistantship that provides a stipend.
Ultimately wanting to work in medical research, Padilla has found ample opportunities at Oswego.
“Being able to do research two summers in a row with the support of the school, including my mentor Dr. Kestutis Bendinskas, definitely allowed me to find my love for research, and I am very excited to see where things take me next,” she said.
Padilla served as president of Alpha Sigma Chi sorority, on residence hall councils, on the Honors Program Advisory Board and as a Funnelle Hall resident assistant.
“All of these leadership roles have really taught me important values and skills that I believe will greatly benefit me as a graduate student and throughout my future career,” Padilla said.
Broadcasting major Ian Dembling joins the tradition of Oswego graduates finding jobs in the media, as he heads to Savannah, Georgia, to become a full-time on-air reporter at Fox28 News.
Learning in classes, at campus TV station WTOP-10 and internships including “CBS This Morning” and Fox40 News in Binghamton showed him how to thrive in a news environment, Dembling said, while studying abroad in Spain helped him become fluent in Spanish and gain a broader worldview.
“Oswego was amazing because it allowed me to get credit for all of the internships I was a part of, so I was able to go out into the ‘real world’ and still make sure I was able to graduate within four years,” he said.
Christen Weingart will take her MBA in public accounting to a position on the assurance team at PricewaterhouseCooper’s Hartford, Connecticut, office.
A non-traditional student who took six years off before starting her MBA at Oswego, Weingart said she found “faculty, staff and fellow students of the School of Business were all very encouraging and helpful in reaching my goals — from academic advisement in the MBA office to academic support and professional advisement during professors’ office hours to the moral support of other students.”
A seven-month co-op as an internal auditor at Biogen “was an amazing experience and it was great to be able to apply the concepts I had learned in the classroom in the real world,” she said. “Doing the co-op gave me confidence in my decision to become a CPA and the practical experience I gained along with the contacts I was able to add to my network played a major role in securing the full-time position with PwC.”
Nicholas Eddington, a dual major in software engineering and in cinema and screen studies, will become a software engineer for SRC Inc. “I like to think that everything I have done during these last four years has really shaped who I am now,” he said.
“When I started I had several professors I went to, who weren’t necessarily my advisers but really went the extra mile to help me find direction and lead me through both my majors and general college career,” Eddington said. “I gained a real passion for working in a team environment from my cinema major, and working at (NASA’s) Jet Propulsion Laboratory helped me get a feel for what it was like making software that other people will actually use, and that really reinforced my interest in software engineering.”
Making an impact
Julia Shipley, a dual major in French and in language and international trade, was already accepted into four universities in the United Kingdom for a master’s in translation when she received an even more appealing offer – working with French schoolchildren under the competitive Teaching Assistant Program in France.
Shipley will help teach English in the Nice region in southeast France, where she also had a study-abroad experience in spring 2015. Through a French National Society Honor Society Scholarship, she stayed for an intensive six-month session that summer.
“I want to be a professional business translator, maybe with an NGO, non-governmental organization, or a multinational business as a document translator,” she said. “The French major as a whole has given me confidence in the language that has allowed me to do so much. The introduction to the world abroad has really piqued my interest … to pursue things through real-life application.”
Business administration major Darlene Le plans a career in helping college students, as she will enter the Syracuse University master’s in higher education program this fall while working part-time as a community development specialist in residence life at Onondaga Community College. But first, she has a busy summer preparing.
“After graduation, I will be interning for six weeks during the summer at the University at Albany’s Career Services as a career and professional development intern,” Le said. “During one of my weeks, I will be attending the Dungy Leadership Institute at the Ohio State University.”
A program through Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education will make the summer activities possible, while she owes the interest and these opportunities to first interning at SUNY Oswego’s Office of Career Services.
Wellness management major Eric Flagg’s next step is a full-tuition scholarship at Penn State University School of Law, working toward passing the bar exam and earning a juris doctor degree.
“It took my experience with a variety of academia to identify what my passion is, but in the end the process was entirely worth it,” said Flagg, who was involved in many student organizations and tried two other majors before finding his way in wellness management. A current internship at the Central New York office of U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer “has definitely fortified my interest in one day running for public office,” he added.
SUNY Oswego’s three Commencement ceremonies will take place in the Marano Campus Center convocation hall and arena May 14.
A 9 a.m. ceremony will celebrate graduates of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
A 1 p.m. session will honor School of Business graduates.
At 4 p.m., graduates of the School of Education and the School of Communication, Media and the Arts will receive degrees.
The ceremonies will stream live from a link on the college’s home page, www.oswego.edu