THE ALUMNI COLLECTIVE A QUARTERLY MAGAZINE CELEBRATING 60 YEARS
COMMUNITY IMPACT As the snow melts and the earth begins to awaken from its frigid slumber, the warmth of the sun will soon herald trees to bud and flowers to push through the soil, once again renewing our faith in potential and growth.
a variety of programs and services to limit many barriers they encounter.
SUNY Adirondack’s mission as a learning- and teaching-centered college is to offer strong education opportunities, along with the necessary student support programs to meet the needs of the community and help create a well-rounded, educated workforce to drive the region’s economy.
The college has relationships with businesses throughout the region to place students in internships that help develop their skills and prepare them for careers in their fields of interest. By receiving hands-on training, interns put their education into use and become better future employees. Our close ties with industry leaders help us stay connected to their needs, shaping our curriculum to help our students be competitive job candidates.
All students who wish to pursue an education or training program can do so through an easy application process, with several financial aid and scholarship options from which to choose. We meet students where they are in their educational journey and attend to their academic and daily life needs through
At SUNY Adirondack, we have a long list of alumni who bring their talents, insight, creativity and education into the world, making our community a place of innovation, with unlimited possibility.
VOL. 2 | MARCH 2021
MUCH LIKE THE COLLEGE COMMUNITY, SUNY ADIRONDACK ALUMNI ARE A MICROCOSM OF OUR BROADER COMMUNITY. They come in as students, searching, find themselves here, then bring their gifts out into the world as caring agents of change. In this quarterly magazine, we celebrate all the ways our alumni shape our world, close to home and afar, with their hearts always rooted right here at SUNY Adirondack.
Business Leaders Community Builders Entrepreneurs Health Care Workers Lawyers Outdoor Guides Photographers Pilots Restauranteurs ... and so much more
SUNY Adirondack is a community college with an emphasis on community. We serve nearly 8,000 students in our degree, certificate and short-term training opportunities. With courses delivered in person, online or both, SUNY Adirondack is the region’s educational provider of choice and a pathway to success. With more than 30 unique academic programs, workforce training courses and programs, and hundreds of personal enrichment opportunities, SUNY Adirondack is a leader in preparing students to transfer anywhere upon degree completion and creating the next generation of workers and leaders for a bright future. The learning goes beyond the classroom, with one-on-one mentoring and counseling, and practical experience available through on-campus research projects and internships at local businesses.
ALUMNI ADD $99.1 MILLION
IN INCOME TO
“MIDDLE-SKILLS” JOBS THOSE THAT REQUIRE MORE THAN A
HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATION
BUT NOT A BACHELOR’S DEGREE WILL ACCOUNT FOR 45 PERCENT OF JOBS AVAILABLE IN NEW YORK
STATE’S LABOR MARKET THROUGH 2024
MORE THAN HALF OF SUNY ADIRONDACK GRADUATES ARE
EMPLOYED BY BUSINESSES BASED IN WARREN,
WASHINGTON AND SARATOGA COUNTIES
SUNY ADIRONDACK OFFERS A RATE OF RETURN OF 4 PERCENT TO TAXPAYERS Economic impact study is based on 2016-2017 data
“It helped set a foundation for my company in the local area and made me feel connected to the local business community.”
When John Delisle enrolled at what was then Adirondack Community College as a high school graduate, he took classes alongside his mother and aunt, also students at the time. Unusual, perhaps, but also fitting for a man who has built his life around family and community. As a young student, Delisle had recently started a small business,
providing landscape and snowremoval services. He had a helper or two on occasion and two trucks. Today, Grasshopper Gardens has a team of 115, a fleet of 50 trucks and a clientele that runs from northern Essex County to southern Albany County. “What l learned at ACC, in hindsight, were realistic experiences that I can say now looking back that really
helped,” Delisle said. “As I have run my company here for more than 25 years, what the professors I had were setting up and showing us was real life.” Local business owners presented in his classes, expanding his network. “It helped set a foundation for my company in the local area and made me feel connected to the local business community,” Delisle said.
HOMETOWN: SOUTH GLENS FALLS, NEW YORK 1999 GRADUATE OF SUNY ADIRONDACK, BUSINESS CURRENTLY: OWNER, GRASSHOPPER GARDENS
Those connections have intensified as generation after generation of families work for Grasshopper Gardens, and enlist the business’ services. “The strength of Grasshopper Gardens is that it’s a family-run company and we have many different families involved,” he said. “The people of Grasshopper — this is what
drives me personally and what drives our company — it’s about creating opportunities for the people involved in the company and for our clients, being available to help them create spaces and maintain lawns and landscapes to enjoy. It’s truly a family business serving families.” That love of community grew at SUNY Adirondack.
“Campus has certainly changed and expanded,” Delisle said. “It’s a much bigger campus from when I was there, but it still has a small-town feel, a local community strength I feel is the college’s strong point.”
“More than anything, SUNY Adirondack was there for me.”
HOMETOWN: QUEENSBURY, NEW YORK 2010 GRADUATE OF SUNY ADIRONDACK / 2012 GRADUATE OF UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA WILMINGTON / 2014 GRADUATE OF WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY CURRENTLY: EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS OF THE SOUTHERN ADIRONDACKS Bill Moon leads a nonprofit agency dedicated to providing youth with role models, but he learned the importance of having a support system as a student at SUNY Adirondack. “Mentorship isn’t telling anyone to do something or not do something; it’s about showing someone another way to do things and supporting them when they go that direction — and still supporting them if they go another direction,” said Moon, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Southern Adirondacks. Moon pictured himself studying business in college. But during a summer job at Camp Chingachgook in high school, he caught the “nonprofit youth advocacy bug” and his future became a lot less clear. He enrolled at SUNY Adirondack and started exploring majors. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do and I definitely wasn’t at a point where I wanted to take college seriously,” he said. Moon changed his major multiple times and, he admits, skipped a fair number of classes. “I was definitely that young person trying to find their way,” said Moon, who spent four years earning an associate degree. “More than anything, SUNY Adirondack was there for me,” he said, explaining how the security he found at the college shaped his philosophy on mentorship. “The college was there to support me when I was working things out. If I wasn’t great about going to classes, they were there. If I switched majors, they were there for me.
“If I wasn’t in an environment that gave me that support, I don’t know if academia would have had a place in my life,” he said. “So when I went to a four-year institution, I was done with that phase and was able to focus.” Moon went on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the South before returning to the region. “I had an idea when I was very young, I wanted that corporate cutthroat and then I went to Chingachgook and everything turned on its head,” he said.
“As I continued to take youth mentoring jobs, I could see the impact I had on younger people and if you impact young people, you have the ability to change lives.” Now he does just that by empowering young people to make good decisions for themselves. “If I tell you to do something because it’s good for you and you do it because I said to, I’m the one controlling the situation. But if you choose it for yourself, you’re more likely to live it and you have the power because you chose it. You can choose wrong 99 times out of 100, but that once might be the time that will stay,” Moon said. And that idea is rooted in his experience at SUNY Adirondack. “I felt like SUNY Adirondack allowed me to make some mistakes,” he said. “I never felt like they weren’t going to be supportive.”
“StartUp ADK taught us some soft skills, but also gave us ready-to-go tools we’re still using today.”
Cara Greenslade, Grace Kelly, Kelli Germain and Will Fowler stand in their studio in The Shirt Factory in Glens Falls.
GRADUATE OF SUNY ADIRONDACK’S STARTUP ADK PROGRAM CURRENTLY: OWNERS OF SIDEKICK CREATIVE, GLENS FALLS, NEW YORK
When Will Fowler and Cara Greenslade attended SUNY Adirondack’s StartUp ADK, they didn’t have a plan to start a business. “It was a good opportunity to think about the next step in our careers, but we didn’t have the idea of launching Sidekick,” said Fowler, partner and creative director of Sidekick Creative, a 3-year-old graphic design agency in Glens Falls. He was attending the course at his mother-in-law’s suggestion and Greenslade, his co-worker at a regional design firm at the time, was writing an expansion plan for their employer. “It kind of sparked our imagination and had us thinking, ‘We could probably do this for ourselves,’” Fowler said. “It was the spark that lit the fire underneath us.” In the time since, Fowler, Greenslade and their partner, Kelli Germain, have ignited into an in-demand downtown business.
Despite being relatively new in the business world — “I still feel like we’re babies, even though we’ve been around for three years now,” said Greenslade, the business director — the trio has presented on a panel discussing entrepreneurship hosted by SUNY Adirondack and was invited to appear at StartUp ADK, where it all began for them. “This course is so different: You’re not sitting there taking notes,” Greenslade said. “There’s a new person every class teaching and giving you advice on starting a business.” The variety of presenters gives attendees a broad range of knowledge. “The course covers so many different topics, which is important because you don’t know to think about all the different facets of starting a business,” Fowler said. “It exposes you to everything you need to know.” Germain didn’t take StartUp ADK, but she finds the connections her partners made crucial.
“A banker, an accountant …” she listed. “It’s all locally recommended people, which is super valuable.” Among those contacts are other business owners. “Being able to jump into a network of people from the get-go, all these professionals we met throughout the course,” Fowler said, “we went from knowing no one to knowing all these businesses and services.” The company has completed projects for numerous prominent regional businesses and municipalities.
“I think the first year would have been a lot rougher without it,” Greenslade said. “StartUp ADK fast-forwarded us by a year.”
NEARLY 3,000 STUDENTS TAKE NON-CREDIT WORKFORCE PREPARATION CLASSES AT SUNY ADIRONDACK EVERY YEAR.
“Once I had the creative tools I needed from SUNY Adirondack, I was able to turn those into a business.”
HOMETOWN: SOUTH KINGSTOWN, RHODE ISLAND 2013 GRADUATE OF SUNY ADIRONDACK, MEDIA ARTS CURRENTLY: OWNER AND LEAD CINEMATOGRAPHER OF KENNETH COOPER FILMS A guest speaker at a SUNY Adirondack class changed the course of Kenny Hopkins’ life. He attended the college, studying media arts because he liked graphic design. Somewhere along the way, he picked up video and editing. But when a local professional spoke at a class, something clicked for Hopkins. “If I didn’t have that class with that person there, I can pretty much guarantee I would not be doing what I am right now,” said Hopkins, founder and lead cinematographer of Kenneth Cooper Films. “What they said about their connections with local studios intrigued me.” Working for regional studios creating graphics, shooting video and handling photo production led to Hopkins creating his own large network of connections, which got him thinking about working for himself.
“I decided it was something I wanted to do, turning it into a full-time business gradually over three or four years,” he said.
“Because of my background at SUNY Adirondack with graphic design and being familiar with those tools, I was able to do some design work and make a website. I was able to use the degree I had to go out on my own and get the essential things you need as a business in the world right now.”
Once Hopkins had Kenneth Cooper Films up and running, he met with a coach to help him take his business to the next level. He learned that he should hire others to do what he isn’t best at, and to focus on maximizing the reach of his strengths. With that advice, Hopkins planned a business expansion. “I thought, ‘What do I want to do? Where do I want to go?’” The answers were to document high-profile, elite and luxurious events around the world. “This is what I want to do, so I’m going to do it.” Hopkins has flown to Florida, California and Italy, making connections and landing high-profile jobs (the likes of which he contractually can’t discuss). “I’ve always been a little business-minded,” he said. “Once I had the creative tools I needed from SUNY Adirondack, I was able to turn those into a business.”
“You can start at SUNY Adirondack and go very far. I believe I’m fulfilling my life’s purpose. Every time I go to work, I feel fulfilled.” Kathleen Brown was working the night shift and had some downtime. Instead of grabbing a cup of coffee or even just sitting to rest for a few minutes, the nurse went to the room of a patient battling mental health issues who had stopped caring for herself.
“Her hair was so matted, it took me like three hours to brush it out,” Brown remembered. “She was so grateful. Something as basic as brushing hair. When you go to nursing school, you learn all these crazy things that could happen and all these little things you need to know, but then you’re at work
and you’re so grateful you can do this little thing for this patient.” Brown earned a bachelor’s degree in public health after high school, then worked as a home health aide, caring for an elderly couple on Long Island. She loved the family but knew that if she became a registered nurse, she could make an even bigger impact.
Health Care Workers
HOMETOWN: CENTRAL ISLIP, NEW YORK 2015 GRADUATE OF SUNY OLD WESTBURY 2018 GRADUATE OF SUNY ADIRONDACK, NURSING 2020 GRADUATE OF SUNY PLATTSBURGH /WORKING ON MASTER’S DEGREE AT SETON HALL UNIVERSITY CURRENTLY: NURSE AT SARATOGA HOSPITAL ASSIGNED TO MEDICAL SURGICAL UNIT “I knew I could do more for people,” said the Central Islip native. “Getting that education as an RN really made me able to do more.”
She researched nursing schools, found SUNY Adirondack, applied and enrolled. She moved into the Residence Hall as a 23-year-old and dove into the college’s highly competitive Nursing program. “I was able to tackle a lot of things while I was in clinicals before I even became a nurse,” she said. After graduation, Brown was hired by Saratoga Hospital, where she was assigned to a medical surgical unit. There, she handles a little bit of everything — children with mental health issues, adults in alcohol withdrawal, elderly patients recovering from surgery, people with COPD, to name just a few. Over the past year, that has also meant caring for COVID patients, which presents new challenges, Brown said.
“There’s a lot more on [nurses’] plates,” she said, explaining how some people battling coronavirus require nurses’ aides sitting in the room to ensure safe breathing. The aides being tied up leaves nurses with more to do. “I’ll be in my PPE mopping a room now.” The virus has changed patients’ emotional needs, too. “Being isolated is causing a lot more anxiety, when you’re in a room with a door closed all the time and only interacting with three or four people in a 24-hour period,” she said. “They want us nurses to stay in the room longer, so we try to continue conversations when we have other things to do, but they need that human one-to-one talking.” Brown said the nurses rely on one another for emotional support and that she finds respite in the peace of her home. She also stays busy working toward a master’s degree at Seton Hall University, where she is studying to become a nurse practitioner. “You can start at SUNY Adirondack and go very far,” she said. “I believe I’m fulfilling my life’s purpose. Every time I go to work, I feel fulfilled.” KATHLEEN AT HER NURSING PINNING CEREMONY
THE 2020 YTD PASS RATE FOR SUNY ADIRONDACK NURSING STUDENTS WHO TOOK THE NATIONAL COUNCIL LICENSURE EXAMINATION FOR REGISTERED NURSES FOR THE FIRST TIME IS 91.95 PERCENT.
“I definitely will acknowledge there are going to be bad days. Some days, it’s extremely stressful and difficult, but I still find a lot of satisfaction in the little victories.”
Health Care Workers
HOMETOWN: MECHANICVILLE, NEW YORK 2017 GRADUATE OF SUNY ADIRONDACK, NURSING CURRENTLY: COVID ICU NURSE AT ALBANY MEDICAL CENTER
Alyssa Carknard was 6 years old when she discovered her life’s work, visiting her mother and newborn sister at the hospital. Carknard stood in awe — and not of Allison, her little sister. “I don’t know what it was about the nursing staff who took care of Allison and my mom, but I automatically thought they were the coolest people on the planet,” Carknard said. “My parents said that from that point on, I never shut up about it.” As a Nursing student at SUNY Adirondack, she chose labor and delivery as a clinical internship. Then, she took the class again. “I found out neuroscience was my niche,” she said. “It’s so broad and complex, but so focused at the same time, I really fell in love with it from the start.” After graduating from SUNY Adirondack, she was hired at Albany Medical Center to work in the neuroscience progressive care unit, which she described as “not quite ICU, but not a regular floor.” She loved helping patients recovering from strokes, traumatic brain injuries, post-operative brain surgery, spinal cord injuries and seizure disorders. After working hard the past few years, she applied for and earned a job in interventional radiology.
“It’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen,” she said, describing the specialization in which imaging procedures allow doctors to perform medical procedures such as biopsies, tumor treatment, stent and catheter placement — all through a tube no bigger than a plastic drinking straw. “It’s a whole different ball game, but so cool.” The resurgence in COVID-19 throughout the region forced Albany Medical Center to redeploy its staff, relocating procedural-based nurses to other units. In that restructuring, Carknard was moved to a COVID ICU unit. Carknard is disappointed to leave her post, but happy to help where needed. “We have talked about how if this doesn’t get better, we will have to shut down the entire state again, which no one wants,” she said, explaining how critical the hospital’s response is. “We’re looking at this as, ‘This is now or never.’ The hospitalization capacity is the only thing keeping the state open.”
OK either. People in their 20s and 30s have kidney or lung failure, or need a pacemaker, and it’s devastating to see the long-term effects.”
No matter how difficult the job gets, though, Carknard loves her work. “One of the biggest bonuses of the job is the ability to see these people go from their worst to their best and go home,” she said. “That’s so rewarding.”
She was scheduled to start in the COVID unit a few days after speaking to SUNY Adirondack and admitted she knew there would be new challenges. “Another thing with COVID is, it’s not necessarily a lot of people are dying, but the people who live are not necessarily ALYSSA AT HER NURSING PINNING CEREMONY
“You don’t have to go to a big-name school to get into Albany Law or other colleges like it; it’s completely attainable by taking the community college path.”
HOMETOWN: SCHUYLERVILLE, NEW YORK 1997 GRADUATE OF SUNY ADIRONDACK, LIBERAL ARTS 1999 GRADUATE OF SUNY GENESEO / 2003 GRADUATE OF ALBANY LAW SCHOOL CURRENTLY: REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY AT IANNIELLO ANDERSON, P.C. Peeking out from beneath the crisp sleeve of Dan Wade’s suit jacket is a bright green Kermit the Frog watch, a sharp contrast from the attorney’s otherwise traditional professional attire. “I’m very much an optimistic person and relate to Kermit,” Wade said. “No matter what’s going on around you, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.” Making the most of every situation has been a central part of Wade’s philosophy since he was a student at SUNY Adirondack, where he played tennis, served on the student Senate, was active in the Humanities Club and played in a band.
“It’s cliche, but SUNY Adirondack is one of those places, those things, that can be whatever you make of it,” said Wade, a real estate attorney at Ianniello Anderson in Glens Falls.
“You can get out of it whatever you put in.” Wade knew in high school he wanted to be a lawyer, so attending SUNY Adirondack was a stepping stone, a low-cost way to start his undergraduate work. After graduating with a concentration in political science, he earned a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Geneseo and a juris doctor from Albany Law School. “I saved a ton of money, getting the same credits I would have at a four-year school, so by the time I graduated with my bachelor’s, I didn’t have a ton of debt,” he said. “That’s important because debt is one of the biggest issues that affect kids graduating college and going into the workforce. Their debt is so high, it hampers what jobs they can take because if you’re stressed to the max, worrying about how to pay student debt, you’re going to think twice about starting a family or buying a home.” Those are experiences Wade has enjoyed immensely. He, his wife and their son moved back to this region, where
Wade grew up, a few years ago. They bought a home and love sharing before-and-after photos of the renovations they complete. Wade’s outlook on life spills over into everything he does: den leader in Cub Scouts, board member at World Awareness Children’s Museum, and active member of Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce — where he sings the praises of SUNY Adirondack. “I like to shed a light on all the possibilities a smaller college like SUNY Adirondack can provide,” he said. “You don’t have to go to a big-name school to get into Albany Law or other colleges like it; it’s completely attainable by taking the community college path.”
SUNY ADIRONDACK HAS TRANSFER AGREEMENTS
WITH MORE THAN 30 FOUR-YEAR COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES. SUNY PLATTSBURGH AT QUEENSBURY serves more than 350 full- and part-time students in undergraduate and graduate degree programs, such as: • B.A. in Criminal Justice • B.S. in Business Administration • B.A. or B.S. in Psychology • R.N. to B.S.N. in Nursing
“Pangaea Adventures allowed me to have the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of a guiding business, shadow tours led by guides, and eventually worked my way into leading tours myself.”
THE 21ST CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT OF NEW YORK GENERATES $1.5 BILLION ANNUAL IN OUTDOOR RECREATION, PLACING THE REGION IN THE TOP 20 AMONG 435 DISTRICTS.
Outdoor Adventure Guides
HOMETOWN: QUEENSBURY, NEW YORK 2020 GRADUATE OF SUNY ADIRONDACK, OUTDOOR EDUCATION CURRENTLY: SALES ASSOCIATE AT SPORTS PAGE AND TOUR BOAT GUIDE IN LAKE GEORGE Dan Manzella grew up kayaking, biking, hiking, skiing, rock climbing and exploring the outdoors. But paddling a kayak on Prince William Sound within sight of the Columbia Glacier, he learned how to impress a crowd. Of course, the orcas, humpback whales and sea otters that made regular appearances on the kayak trips he guided for Pangaea Adventures made for easy conversational fodder. “Sea otters — which are about the cutest animals ever — are the furriest creatures on the planet,” Manzella said. “They have 2 million hairs per square inch.” Manzella, who graduated from SUNY Adirondack in May, spent last summer as an intern at Pangaea, helping with office work, gear maintenance and leading trips along the second-largest tidewater glacier in North America. “I was not just doing one thing, which was nice,” he said. “I was able to learn the ins and outs of a guiding company.” Clint McCarthy, Manzella’s advisor at SUNY Adirondack, introduced him to the owner of Pangaea two years ago, when no intern positions were available. A few months later, Manzella received a call asking him to sign on as an intern for the next season for tours out of Valdez, Alaska, about six or seven hours from Anchorage.
“I had kayaked my whole life, but never really did sea kayaking, so I definitely learned a lot,” Manzella said. “I was a total newbie, but the company told me what to be prepared for.” The Queensbury High School graduate read up on glaciers, the history of Alaska, the Valdez oil spill and its impact, and, yes, fun facts about wildlife like the otter. That research paid off, as he relished days on the job when everything went flawlessly. “One of the first trips I did on my own, everything clicked: Everything was packed right, and the group had a great time,” he said. “My boss gave me a really nice compliment and mentioned early on [in the internship] that he wanted to have me back, which is really awesome and gave me some confidence.” When Manzella was finishing high school, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to study in college. He was considering two colleges where he could cross-country ski, but realized some family issues were going to keep him in the region — something he didn’t want. His former ski coach mentioned SUNY Adirondack’s Outdoor Education program might be a good fit.
“At first, I wasn’t too excited to be staying here, but once I found about about the program, I was,” he said.
And SUNY Adirondack didn’t disappoint. “Not only did it prepare me for my professional field, but I also was still experiencing the outdoors,” he said. A desk job — or even just being indoors — definitely does not work for Manzella, who the day before speaking to the college had gone back-country skiing on Mount Marcy with friends. “I’ve always worked since I was 14 years old, so it’s nice to have something in my field,” said Manzella, who works at Sports Page and in the summer will offer guided boat tours of Lake George. “It feels good to be young and starting my career early.”
“I feel like I learned so much, like I have knowledge that gives me a leg up.”
HOMETOWN: SOUTH GLENS FALLS, NEW YORK 2018 GRADUATE OF SUNY ADIRONDACK, MEDIA ARTS CURRENTLY: OWNER OF HANNAH ROSIE PHOTOGRAPHY
Throughout middle school, Hannah Hutter and her best friend staged iPhone photo shoots for holidays, changes of season and just about every other occasion they could. They decided to hire a photographer for the celebration of their friendship anniversary (at this, Hutter giggles and said, “That sounds so silly now.”), and Hutter was awed seeing the professional at work. “Watching how much the photographer enjoyed her job, how passionate she was about it, that was an aha moment for me,” she said. “I wasn’t the kid who was super into photography and asked for a camera for Christmas. I feel like photography is something that just kind of fell in my lap.” She didn’t think her love of photography could be a career choice, so after high school, she enrolled at SUNY Adirondack as a Business major. “I was miserable,” she remembered. “I am someone who likes to do
DID YOU KNOW THAT THE MEDIA ARTS LAB HAS A MAKER SPACE EQUIPPED WITH THE FOLLOWING:
everything with intention and I just kept thinking, ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do with this.’” What she did know, though, was that people were willing to pay her to take photos. “When I kind of really figured out what I wanted to do, I realized a degree in Media Arts in photography would be more beneficial for me than business,” she said. She started Hannah Rosie Photography while she finished her last semester of business classes. Once she changed programs, her outlook transformed. “The Media Arts program is so underrated,” she said. “I feel like I learned so much, like I have knowledge that gives me a leg up.”
In the time since graduating in 2018, Hutter has built a thriving business. “I feel like people don’t look at photography and realize you can make money doing it,” she said.
GLOWFORGE PRO 3D which uses a beam of light the width of a human hair to cut, engrave and shape designs from a variety of materials, including wood, leather, acrylic, fabric, cardboard and paper;
“But going headfirst into wedding photography, I’ve learned just how lucrative it is.” Over time, she expanded to specialize in branding for small businesses and bloggers. “It’s a complete change of pace from wedding photography,” she said of what constitutes about 60 percent of her business. “The process and time I spend with couples is longer, but the majority of the time, I’ll only work with them once. But with branding photography, something I’m thoroughly enjoying about it is the opportunity to work with the same clients over and over.” Hutter provides custom photographs for her clients to use on their social media platforms, to provide a truer sense of the businesses’ identity. “The difference it makes in the way their brand is represented on those platforms and the way it elevates their brands is astonishing,” she said.
CARBIDE 3D NOMAD is a CNC milling machine that offers precise engraving and relief printing;
MAKERBOT PRINTERS that use high-temperature extruders to melt thermoplastic filament into 3-D creations;
SCREEN PRINTER creates professionalquality silk screening;
FORMLABS PRINTERS that use lasers to mold resin or ceramics to create extremely smooth 3-D prints;
VINYL CUTTER creates precise designs on vinyl and other materials
“SUNY Adirondack, for me, was a new beginning.”
HOMETOWN: SARATOGA SPRINGS, NEW YORK 2003 GRADUATE OF SUNY ADIRONDACK, MEDIA ARTS 2010 GRADUATE OF ROCHESTER INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY CURRENTLY: MEDICAL PHOTOGRAPHER FOR THE MAYO CLINIC IN ARIZONA
Nathan Pallace learned how to be a student at SUNY Adirondack and today his work helps educate surgeons around the world. As a medical photographer for the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, he documents surgeries, photographing sterile fields and chronicling minute details to help doctors learn from medical cases. “It’s a constant education,” he said. “These doctors are learning from everything they do: Every case is different and they’re constantly building on that.” The same can be said for Pallace’s career, which evolved from drummer in a band — “we were a big deal for a microsecond in the ’90s,” he quips — to newspaper photographer to an international award-winning surgical photographer. In his mid-20s, Pallace was living in New York City and thought he’d pursue music forever. But as his friends started to get day jobs, save some money, say “I do” and buy houses, he realized he couldn’t live the rock ’n’ roll life forever. “The music industry is a steady kick to the teeth, living paycheck to paycheck, then month to month, and you get tired of that after a while,” he said. “Education seemed like the obvious solution.”
The Saratoga native moved back north and enrolled at SUNY Adirondack. “I didn’t have a degree and I didn’t have much,” he remembered. “In high school, I wasn’t a very good student. I had to rediscover myself, reinvent myself and figure out education. I got my footing at [what was then [ACC. All of a sudden, I just immersed myself and really appreciated education for the first time.” That served Pallace well, as the internship at a local paper he secured while attending SUNY Adirondack led to a full-time job as a photojournalist. “I wouldn’t have made important connections without that job,” he said. As he saw the newspaper industry decline, he realized he would need to reinvent himself again. He enrolled in Rochester Institute of Technology, which has one of the leading photography programs in the country. “I was always interested in forensics — primarily because every other show on TV at that time was ‘CSI’ this or that — and I knew photography played a big role in that,” he said, explaining how he started a bachelor’s program at the age of 33. He studied life science-based imaging and signed on for a rarely
offered surgical photography class, which led to a position at a hospital in the United Kingdom, then contracted work for Rochester General Hospital and, eventually, the job at the Mayo Clinic.
Nine years later, Pallace said his job is still a great conversation piece. “I’m one of the only people in the world to see this kind of stuff, one of the documentarians who make it possible for people to see it,” he marveled. “Maybe a dozen people see any given surgery, maybe seven see it from start to finish; I see up to 30 a day.” SUNY ADIRONDACK
STUDENTS WILL EARN
MORE THAN $127.2 MILLION IN FUTURE SALARIES, ABOUT 0.7 PERCENT OF THE GROSS REGIONAL PRODUCT Economic impact study is based on 2016-2017 data
“People spend crazy amounts of money at other colleges, but you can do anything here [at SUNY Adirondack] that you can do at a larger school.” Unsure of what he wanted to do and not convinced college was for him, John Apisson III reluctantly sat down with his high school counselor, who asked him to consider looking into some SUNY schools. “Quite frankly, I didn’t want to go to college,” he said. “I went right to the top of the list: to the As, and there was SUNY Adirondack,” Apisson said. He opened the college catalog to take a look at the programs SUNY Adirondack offered when he
found himself in the As once again. “Adventure Sports — that’s pretty unique. I can go to college, snowboard and rock climb … OK, that’s not so bad,” he thought to himself. “I only applied to one place and it was the right place,” said Apisson. “You walk out of your classroom and see the mountains. It’s still New York, but it just felt so different than Long Island.” “People spend crazy amounts of money at other colleges, but you can do anything here [at SUNY
14 PERCENT OF SUNY ADIRONDACK STUDENTS ARE FROM OUTSIDE THE REGION.
Adirondack] that you can do at a larger school,” he said. A self-proclaimed extrovert, Apisson took comfort in the size of the campus and accessibility of the faculty.
“It was big enough that it didn’t feel like high school and the right size to feel like it was my own space and to try new things.”
JOHN APISSON III
HOMETOWN: PLAINVIEW, NEW YORK 2019 GRADUATE OF SUNY ADIRONDACK, INDIVIDUAL STUDIES CURRENTLY: CONTRACT AND FERRY PILOT IN LAKELAND, FLORIDA
Apisson became an active member of CAB and Senate but still found himself unsure of the career he wanted to pursue.
like to stay in one place,” he remembered. His father finally suggested he take a discovery flight to see if he had a true interest in flying.
He began with Adventure Sports — now called Outdoor Education — and also considered following in his father’s footsteps with some photography courses, but ultimately decided to switch to Individual Studies so he could round out his college experience with some business courses.
Apisson found Harris Airport in Fort Ann, a small local airport that offered discovery flights. The pilot showed him around a Cessna 172, a small aircraft from the 1960s. He took note of the dashboard and the rudder pedals. “It’s not like a car. You expect to drive with your hands, not steer with your feet,” he said. As they took off and ascended to about 300 feet in the air, the pilot told Apisson to take over. “It was awesome — so exhilarating.”
In the fall of 2018 while visiting with his family and talking about what he wanted to do after graduation, Apisson’s eyes lit up when the topic of flying came up in casual conversation. “My grandfather was a flight surgeon in the Navy and he told us how he had to take flying lessons so that he understood all of the elements that impacted the officers.” “We started to talk about my love for travel and adventure and how I don’t
As he looked at the dashboard, he noticed a compass that reminded him of the one on his grandfather’s boat. As they flew over Lake George and began to descend, he noticed a pontoon boat beneath them. By the time they landed, Apisson had made up his mind to become a pilot. One month after graduation, he moved to Vero
Beach, Florida, and began pilot training at Flight Safety Academy. He now works as a contract and ferry pilot, transporting planes from one place to another and building up his hours as he works toward his goal of becoming a commercial pilot. “The end goal is to get to the airliners, but it’s all about building up your hours and I still like keeping my options open,” he said, noting that he still has a lot to learn but the support of the aviation community has helped him gain invaluable experience. “I’m flying my current boss to North Dakota because it is the last state he hasn’t visited and he wants to check it off the list.” Apisson continues to enjoy the ride that has taken him around the country, but every once in a while plans to land back in the Adirondacks, where his adventure began.
“I found my roots at SUNY Adirondack. It all started there and taught me so much. Everyone should take advantage of the wonderful opportunity that’s right in our backyard.”
HOMETOWN: SCHUYLERVILLE, NEW YORK 2011 GRADUATE OF SUNY ADIRONDACK, LIBERAL ARTS CURRENTLY: OWNER OF JUICIN’ JAR IN GLENS FALLS The death of a loved one can stir a lot of emotions. For Cristina Hanchett, losing her father led to her opening a business. “It was a huge turning point in my life,” the SUNY Adirondack graduate said of the 2013 death of her dad, when she was just 21 years old. “I needed some time to relax and heal and, through all of that is how my idea of Juicin’ Jar came about.” When Hanchett graduated from Schuylerville Central School in 2009, she wasn’t prepared to make a big move. “I wanted to go to college, but wasn’t ready to leave home yet,” she said. “I kind of just wanted to dip my toes into college.” She registered for classes at SUNY Adirondack and quickly realized she was in over her head. “It was a huge change from how easy high school was, when you could do the bare minimum and pass and it was all about socializing,” she said. “My first semester, I was the worst student ever. I couldn’t get a grasp on studying or even making it to class on time. I got my first grades and said, ‘You can do better.’” She buckled down and started putting effort into her education.
“It was a good structure for me to grow up and really think about my choices and realize the choice I’m making is a direct reflection of where I’m going in life,” she remembered. She earned an associate degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Psychology, then transferred to Plattsburgh State, where she decided the field wasn’t for her. At a job fair, she secured a position at the Sagamore Resort. “That was huge in my career,” she said. “I was trained in multiple departments and said, ‘I’m focusing my career on hotel management.’” She switched her major and transferred to SUNY Adirondack’s joint program with Paul Smith’s College. Hanchett’s father loved that she found such a stable career path. “He was so proud of me that I worked there. He said, ‘You’re going to be running a place like that someday.’”
Instead, after his death, Hanchett took a break from college with just one semester left. She dove into her work at the hotel. “It was a nice distraction from my real-world problems.” The next summer, she opened Juicin’ Jar in Lake George. Through a few iterations, she learned what worked for her business and honed its mission. “Part of our mission statement is encouraging a path to a healthier lifestyle,” she said. “My dad struggled with alcoholism and I wanted to change my view and direction in life. I found what matters and wanted to focus on being the healthiest version I could be.” Juicin’ Jar evolved from a summer stand in Lake George selling fresh juices and smoothies to having an entire menu at its downtown Glens Falls restaurant. “In Glens Falls, people appreciated the real point, the healthy eating, the juices,” she said. “We wanted to connect more with the local community.” “I found my roots at SUNY Adirondack,” she said. “It all started there and taught me so much. Everyone should take advantage of the wonderful opportunity that’s right in our backyard.”
The passport to the future. Improving the lives of others. The most powerful weapon to change the world. Many brilliant people have said inspiring things about education and we are fortunate to see its real-life impact every day. At SUNY Adirondack, our professors and instructors are highly skilled professionals, experts in the classroom and in their fields of study. And, our students will attest, they’re also really good people — caring, encouraging, inspirational — deeply invested in helping their students reach their goals. We prepare our students to go on to great things, pursuing further education and in the workforce. When they graduate, they enrich our creative, vibrant, dynamic community, through their careers, volunteer efforts and involvement. Our region’s employers aren’t just hiring college graduates; they’re investing in the future by bringing to their teams problem-solving, well-rounded critical thinkers. This college adds $140.3 million to the region’s economy every year, an impressive figure. But more importantly, we deliver thoughtful, forward-thinking citizens who take on jobs about which they are passionate. Our graduates are educators, scientists, chefs, nurses, managers, designers, technicians, farmers, accountants, lawyers, sound engineers, writers — and pretty much everything between. They are the people who make this incredible region such a wonderful place to live, work, play and, of course, pursue an education. SUNY Adirondack prides itself on offering great value, an affordable education with high-caliber professors, for one of the lowest tuition rates in the SUNY system. We are proud of how we respond to our community’s needs and offer areas of study to prepare skilled professionals for regional employers. But we are most proud of the lasting impact our graduates make through hard work, passion and commitment to community.
Kristine D. Duffy, Ed.D. President
J. Buckley Bryan Jr.,
Capt. Evan Love,
Buck Bryan is a longtime resident of Bolton Landing and a two-time graduate of SUNY Adirondack, earning degrees in Business Administration and Psychology. As a retired commercial airline pilot and U.S. Navy Officer, as well as an entrepreneur and retired SUNY Adirondack adjunct faculty member, Bryan has been a driving force and pillar of the community.
Jennifer has more than 25 years of health care experience and has dedicated her career to improving health care for older adults. She graduated from SUNY Adirondack’s Nursing program in 1991 and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Health Care Management and a master’s degree in Nursing Education from SUNY Empire.
Capt. Evan Love enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1975 at the age of 17. He was assigned to the ballistic missile submarine USS Francis Scott Key, SSBN 657, where he completed five deterrent patrols as a reactor operator during the Cold War.
Class of ’87, ’94
Bryan is an advocate for education and philanthropy. He has served as a member and president of the Foundation Board of Directors and played a key role in the development of the college’s entrepreneurship program. Bryan has also served as a member and former president of Lake George Association, and was a member of the Board of Directors of Warren and Washington Advocacy, Bolton Landing planning board, Bolton Landing Volunteer Fire Department and National Ski Patrol.
Class of ’91
Pettis is an adjunct faculty member at SUNY Empire, a member of the Alzheimer’s Association of Northeastern New York Board of Directors, the New York State Auxiliary Board for Nursing, the Foundation of New York State Nurses Board of Directors, and the Alumni Student Federation Board of Governors of ESC.
Pettis was named an Alzheimer’s Association Ambassador to U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer in 2019 and was recognized by the National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence as a Distinguished Educator in Gerontological Nursing in 2020.
Class of ’83
After his honorable discharge in 1981, Love relocated to Fort Edward and completed a degree in Engineering Science at SUNY Adirondack. He later went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from RPI.
Love worked for the Naval Laboratory for 34 years as a licensed professional engineer. He also remained in the Navy Reserve until his retirement in October 2017, achieving the rank of captain. Love continues to serve his community and fellow veterans in his retirement as an active member of the Red Cross, St. Stephen’s Church and the Employer’s Veterans Organization.
For more information on the Trailblazer program, visit sunyacc.edu/trailblazers. To nominate an alum, please contact Danielle Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-743-2244.
“One of the things that make community colleges so special is they do not pick and choose their students — they work with all students.” - Jill Biden GREAT FUTURES START HERE. FIND EVERYTHING YOU NEED AT SUNY ADIRONDACK.
Learn more at www.sunyacc.edu/admissions
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