Alumni Stories

Jasenya McCauley ’21: Saving the Planet From Fashion Waste, One Shopper at a Time

Posted July 17, 2024

Jasenya McCauley ’21 used to be a compulsive shopper. ... MORE

SUNY Empire Mourns Alumnus Who Co-Founded Feminist Arts School

Posted July 12, 2024

Nancy Azara ’74, a sculptor best known for her carved wood sculptures and mixed media collages, has died. ... MORE

Lynn Lubecki ’05: Seeing the Potential at Any Age

Posted June 28, 2024

When Lynn Lubecki ’05 was in high school, a guidance counselor told her she wasn’t college material. ... MORE

New Alumnus Celebrates Graduation With Friend and Former Boss

Posted June 11, 2024

Heather Kuhn ’22, ’24 was on the verge of getting a bachelor’s degree in 2011 when she moved to Austin, Texas. ... MORE

Tanita Allen ’17, ’22: Proof that Black People Get Huntington’s Disease Too

Posted May 20, 2024

May is Huntington’s Disease Awareness Month, and Tanita Allen wants you to know that people like her are out there. ... MORE

Jasmine Tang ’96: Teaching Chinese with Joy and Purpose

Posted May 2, 2024

Jasmine Tang ’96 never set out to teach Chinese. But for the last 33 years, she has dedicated her career to teaching not only the language, but also the culture and customs. ... MORE

Andrea Wolper ’95: Showcasing Her Creative Spirit

Posted March 26, 2024

Andrea Wolper ’95 still remembers how unnerving it was, singing at New York City jam sessions and open mics after several years away from performing. ... MORE

Brenda Simmons ’05: Preserving Black History in a Resort Town

Posted February 23, 2024

In the wealthy enclave of The Hamptons, on the east end of Long Island, NY, Brenda Simmons ’05 is keeping Black history alive — and making history while she’s at it. ... MORE

Mark Spawn ’07: Doing Detective Work With a True Crime Podcast

Posted February 9, 2024

When Mark Spawn ’07 worked as a detective in the 1990s, he brandished a badge, a gun, and a fingerprint kit. ... MORE

Rhoda Overstreet-Wilson ’06: Twice a First in Central New York

Posted February 1, 2024

It’s fitting that Rhoda Overstreet-Wilson ’06 is making history in Auburn, NY, the city that abolitionist Harriet Tubman made her home after freeing slaves on the Underground Railroad. ... MORE

George Irlbacher ’83: Playing Santa is Serious Business

Posted December 8, 2023

It was 1996, and George Irlbacher ’83’s brother Mark was about to host his first holiday party for patrons of his new archery store in Tonawanda, NY, along with family and friends. ... MORE

Ennis Smith ’04: Telling a Big Story With a Tiny Essay

Posted November 14, 2023

For Ennis Smith ’04, it all began with a jar of orange marmalade. ... MORE

Lois Barth ’12: Finding Her Courage to Sparkle

Posted November 1, 2023

Lois Barth ’12 has one word to describe her career: holographic. ... MORE

Kenya Cagle ´81 ´83: Following His Passion for Film

Posted August 24, 2023

Kenya Cagle is living his dream and making independent movies that are winning accolades. ... MORE

Elena O'Connor sings opera in Europe and the U.S.

Posted August 3, 2023

Elena O’Connor ’17 ’23 had assumed that one day she would be a dentist. Instead, she fell in love with opera. ... MORE

American Dream Comes True for Seyon Srithar ’22

Posted July 11, 2023

Seyon Srithar ’22 flees to U.S. during peak of civil war in Sri Lanka ... MORE

James Allan Matte ’76: A Lifetime Spent Eliciting the Truth

Posted June 1, 2023

James Allan Matte ’76 has devoted his life to exposing the truth. ... MORE

Lynda Wilson ’23: When the Purpose is Helping Others

Posted April 11, 2023

Lynda Wilson ’23 has spent a lifetime helping people, as a social worker, therapist, and mentor. ... MORE

Larry Johnson ’21: Heading to the Finish Line

Posted March 21, 2023

Larry Johnson ’21, an undergraduate in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, was elected to SUNY Empire’s Alumni Student Federation Board of Governors last November. ... MORE

Nan Eileen Mead

Nan Eileen Mead ’15 ’20 ’22: Advocating for Educational Equity for All

Posted February 22, 2023

Nan Eileen Mead ’15 ’20 ’22 knows firsthand the power of education. She’s dedicated her life work to ensuring that others get the same educational opportunities she did. ... MORE

Anne Patterson ’88

Posted August 10, 2022

When Anne Patterson ’88 attended college as a teenager in the 1950s, she consistently struggled in her classes. Unaware of her dyslexia, her learning disability affected her ability to succeed academically without proper educational interventions. To provide some assistance, a professor suggested that she connect with classmates to share notes to help with the holes in her own notetaking. ... MORE

Rachel Sproule '22

Posted July 20, 2022

This spring, Rachel Sproule arrived at SUNY Empire’s Albany commencement at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, determined to walk across the stage. For most students, the walk is a relatively simple feat. But for Rachel, who is visually impaired and uses a walker, the walk was a goal unto itself. ... MORE

SUNY Empire’s Oldest Graduate in Class of 2022 Has No Plans to Stop Learning

Posted June 29, 2022

At a time when most people are making plans to retire, Harry J. Williams was preparing to go to college. This spring, at 73, the New York City native became the oldest member of SUNY Empire’s class of 2022, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in computer studies. ... MORE

Michell Wright Jumpp '06

Posted May 23, 2022

SUNY Empire Alum Applauded for Work as Librarian, Appears on TODAY Show ... MORE

Emad Rahim, ’02, ’03

Posted February 18, 2022

Journey from Cambodia to College ... MORE

2021 Alumni Awardees

Posted January 27, 2022

Each year, SUNY Empire State College presents four awards to alumni for their lasting impact on society and the college through outstanding professional, military, philanthropic, and volunteer accomplishments. ... MORE

Matthew Kilgore '18

Posted January 5, 2022

Setting the Stage for a Finished Degree ... MORE

Ryan Zieno '16

Posted October 17, 2021

Called to Serve, Called to Learn ... MORE

Amalia Dache '09

Posted September 30, 2021

Breaking Barriers in Academia ... MORE

Tony Gaskin '17

Posted May 7, 2021

To the Stars ... and Beyond ... MORE

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Alex Davidson '20

Posted March 5, 2021

An Independent Spirit and Artistic Vision ... MORE

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Rachel Sabella '20

Posted January 13, 2021

“I needed a program that worked with my schedule but also gave me a New York real-world experience.” ... MORE

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Judith Rae '04, '06

Posted November 18, 2020

Lead with your heart and the rest will follow ... MORE

Alumni Awards

2020 Alumni Awardees

Posted November 13, 2020

SUNY Empire Spotlights four with Alumni Awards in Virtual Celebration. ... MORE

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Christopher Burke '07

Posted September 9, 2020

Blind Ambition: Pioneering a new certificate program ... MORE

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Martina Hušková '05

Posted September 9, 2020

Entrepreneurship for the Greater Good by current student Lea Tran ... MORE

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Pete Marzahl '15, '18

Posted August 28, 2020

From Satellite Feed to High-Speed Internet: Follow Pete Marzahl’s Academic Journey ... MORE

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Samantha Marnon '19

Posted August 17, 2020

When Personalized Learning Meets Online Education ... MORE

Oliver Riley '12, '20

Posted July 27, 2020

Earning a Seat at the Table Where Effective Solutions Start ... MORE

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Nakesha Vines '20

Posted July 15, 2020

Preparing for a Second Career ... MORE

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Kenichea Nichols '20

Posted June 29, 2020

A Master of Nursing Education …and Self Care ... MORE

Her Next 50 Years

Posted August 2, 2021

Elaine walked across the stage at SUNY Empire State College’s winter commencement armed with her bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration and an advanced certificate in healthcare management. She says the desire to help others — and to earn her degree at SUNY Empire — is in her blood. She has decided to pursue her long-awaited master’s degree at SUNY Empire — a Master of Business Administration in healthcare leadership. ... MORE

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Blain Smith '20

Posted June 1, 2020

The 20-Year Bachelor’s Degree ... MORE

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Christine Jensen '19

Posted May 12, 2020

Demanding Career Meets Flexible Education ... MORE

Jennifer Pettis, MS, RN, CNE ’12, ’17

Posted May 11, 2020

The Changing Face of Nursing Education ... MORE

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Doug "Brian" Sherman '17

Posted March 2, 2020

Lifelong service. Lifelong learning. ... MORE

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Toneisha Colson, ’17, '19

Posted February 10, 2020

Setting the Bar High ... MORE

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Lisa Bryk '16

Posted October 7, 2019

A Degree, a Promotion, and a Dream Fulfilled ... MORE