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Alumni & Friends

Thank you for joining us for Virtual Reunion Week 2020!

We hope you enjoyed our first-ever Virtual Reunion Week! Please take just a few moments to share your thoughts by completing a brief survey! Your feedback is important to us as we plan for future programming.

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Stay connected with SUNY Potsdam alumni and friends all year long!

Taking the Pulse of the World

Isaac Griffith ’15 & ’16 developed an interest in global learning and social justice on an international level during an undergraduate trip to Cambodia in 2014, part of a SUNY Potsdam travel abroad class examining the origins and impacts of human trafficking. Since then, he has earned two master’s degrees, and has led and coordinated travel experiences in Dubai, one of the world’s emerging cities.

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Working Hard for Others

A magna cum laude graduate with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology and a minor in women’s and gender studies, Serena Rockingster ’19 sees herself as a professor and clinical psychologist far down the road of her future. Rockingster could have gone many places for her advanced degree, but she stuck close to the North Country in hopes of setting up a counseling practice that will help bring healing to Vermont’s underrepresented populations.

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In Her Own Words

Natasha Brooks ’15 & ’17 has discovered just one of many ways to see the world after graduating from SUNY Potsdam. An aerospace medical services technician, Brooks has parlayed her college experience into a desirable job serving her country while immersing herself in global culture.

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Under Healing Sky

Mike Yuhnke ’12 found his compass and fresh inspiration when he transferred to SUNY Potsdam and became immersed in wilderness education. Following graduation, his adventures took him on soul journeys to the world’s forgotten corners and high peaks. These days, Yuhnke helps at-risk youth find their own pathways to healing.

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Bearing Witness

Doctors face challenges like never before in handling the COVID-19 pandemic. One of SUNY Potsdam's own, Dr.Stuart Etengoff ’82, gave us a report from the field.

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Taking the Lead

When Adam Smith ’15 entered SUNY Potsdam his freshman year, he never imagined he would be backpacking throughout the Adirondacks or scaling walls of ice and rock. Through the wilderness education program he gained leadership skills that set the stage for a successful career in outdoor education. Now he’s come full circle, back at SUNY Potsdam as an instructor in the same program where he was once a student.

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High Fashion Mask-erade

The accomplished fashion designer and savvy entrepreneur Saad Hajidin ’88 has turned his company InPhorm into an ally in the fight against COVID-19—shifting his focus from manufacturing women’s activewear to producing protective face masks. The SUNY Potsdam alumnus has been working with his factory in Thailand to manufacture protective face masks that are fashionable and eco-forward, while also meeting guidelines set forth by the FDA.

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An Afternoon with Jacob Collier

Grammy award-winning musician Jacob Collier met with students from The Crane School of Music on Wednesday, May 13 during a private Zoom call. The English singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist talked with students for over an hour about the intricate beauty of music and the creative power of ideas.

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Generations of Success

On a blustery winter day in New York City, two successful women (Christine Haile ’74 and Kadiatou Balde '19) pose for a photo in front of the Hudson River. On the surface, they may not seem to have much in common. One is a retired Chief Information Officer with over 38 years of experience in higher education. The other is a young scholar and entrepreneur who graduated from college less than a year ago. The pair’s connection stems from SUNY Potsdam, their shared alma mater.

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Lisa ’81 and Dan Shields ’80

“Our time at Potsdam was definitely a highlight of both of our lives,” Lisa shares. “We wouldn’t have met – and maybe re-met– without it. It was an important experience and foundation for both of us in all kinds of ways.” Learn More

The Destruction Guy

Exquisite truths lie buried in history's destructive events — if you just know how to look. Read about SUNY Potsdam graduate Jesse Millek '12 and his work to bring new clarity to the disasters of antiquity.

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Rising Out of Darkness

As a wounded service member returning from Iraq, alumnus James Wilkes ’01, ’06 & ’10 re-entered civilian life with a battery of injuries, including significant memory loss. For the past 15 years, he has been continuing to climb out of that darkness left behind in war. After receiving degrees in biology, business administration, and instructional technology and media from SUNY Potsdam, he went on to an impressive career at IBM. In his spare time, he tackles the most daunting endurance races on the planet—including recently completing the Quintuple Anvil Triathlon, with 703 miles of biking, running and swimming.

Rebecca Scholldorf ’15

When she was still a sophomore, alumna Rebecca Scholldorf ’15, a clarinet performance major at the Crane School of Music, decided to pursue a second degree in music business. It proved to be one of the best decisions of her life. After completing the required internship for her music business degree her senior year, she was immediately offered a job by that same company, DANSR, Inc., the exclusive distributor of Vandoren reeds, mouthpieces and accessories.

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Mike Rogge '08

When he’s not carving through the fresh powder at Alpine Meadows in Lake Tahoe, Mike Rogge ’08 leads a successful career as the editor The Ski Journal and the founder/owner of the media production company, Verb Cabin. Since graduating with his degree in writing and literature from SUNY Potsdam over a decade ago, Rogge has turned his dream into a reality—skiing as many days as possible and writing about it professionally.

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Brian Dougherty ’06

Brian Dougherty ’06 landed his first job in the music industry immediately after graduation. What started as an internship for Samson Technologies his junior year, parlayed into a full-time position that started nine days after commencement. Now he works for Sennheiser—one of the leading music industry companies in the world.

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Brooke Falsion ’19

Brooke Falsion ’19 is a record setter. During her time at SUNY Potsdam, she became the first All-American in the history of the SUNY Potsdam women’s soccer program. She was also the SUNYAC Offensive Player of the Year during her senior year, while setting several new SUNY Potsdam women’s soccer records, including being the all-time leading scorer with 46 career goals. Academically, she was just as impressive—recently graduating summa cum laude with a degree in exercise science.

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Jillian Dolder ’17 & ’18

Finding a job after graduation is always the ultimate goal, and for Jillian Dolder, that came to fruition literally two days after Commencement. She received her diploma on a Saturday and found herself standing in front of a group of high school students on Monday morning.

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John Alleyne '14

SUNY Potsdam alumnus John Alleyne ’14 has found great success since graduating with a B.F.A. in studio art five years ago. He went on to work at the Museum of Modern Art, received his master’s degree from Louisiana State University and now works as an artist and adjunct professor at three universities in and around Baton Rouge.

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Dr. Jeffrey Milroy '02

Alumnus Dr. Jeffrey Milroy ’02 has built his career around promoting physical activity and safety in collegiate sports. After being recruited from Canada to play hockey at SUNY Potsdam in 1999, he went on to graduate with a degree in community health—the stepping stone for a successful career in public health.

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Jessica Petersen '11


Shortly after graduating from SUNY Potsdam, Jessica Petersen '11 landed a job as a musician on Carnival cruise ships. Over the course of seven years, she worked on 19 different ships and traveled all over the world—from South America to Singapore and from Bermuda to Hawaii. 

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Emma Simon '12

Emma Simon ’12 recently returned to campus as an actor in the Pendragon Theatre’s touring production of “Pride & Prejudice” during the Fall 2018 semester. She didn’t stop there, staying on for several more days to lead a clowning techniques workshop for current students and speak about her work as an actor in New York City.

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Megan Bowdish '88


Despite graduating with a double major in elementary education and English literature, Megan Bowdish ’88 stumbled onto a completely different career path. After meeting Ray Bowdish ’87 as an undergraduate, she got married and ended up leaving teaching behind to run Never Tire Farm. She now grows vegetables and plants in eight greenhouses during the harsh North Country winters and sells them to more than a dozen businesses throughout the region.

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Claudia (Kaufmann) Mengel '76

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Logan Running ’17


After transferring to SUNY Potsdam his junior year, Logan Running ’17 quickly found his path working on cutting-edge nanoparticle research in the chemistry department—research with the potential to treat cancer more effectively, and with less harmful side effects. 

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