Celebrating 2020 Graduates

Class of 2020 Graduating Senior Profiles

The English Department is very proud of this year's graduating seniors all of whom have completed their work at SUNY Cortland with grace and fortitude under very trying circumstances.  We hope to celebrate in person soon, but in the meantime, we are sharing profiles of some of our graduating seniors.  Congratulations all!


Kianna Acevedo

Female student Acevedo

Name: Kianna Acevedo, BA AEN

Hometown: Queens, NY

Future plans: Adolescent English Educator (I plan to get my Masters and an extension to teach grades 5-12)

Favorite classes/professors: 

    • AEN Block courses- Dr. Bender
      • Audre Lorde & Digital Divides- Professor Savonick
        • Grammar- Cori McKenzie
          • Honestly every ENG and AEN class I’ve taken has been a great learning experience 

          Best experience: Since day one at SUNY Cortland, from meeting my roommates, to my first trip to the dining hall, it has been the best experience. I am devastated that my time at Cortland has been cut short, yet I am beyond grateful for every single happening that's taken place during my years at Cortland. 

          Story: I wake up at 5:30 am, turn off my alarm, and look out the window. It's blizzarding out and I have to go to Syracuse for observation hours. I take a deep breath in… and let it out. “Today is gonna be another great day.” I start my day, happy as ever, leaving my dorm room for another adventure in “Candyland.” 


          Dana Battaglini

          female student Battaglini

            Name: Dana Battaglini, BA Adolescent Education in English

            Hometown: Mineola, NY

              Future plans: I want to be the best secondary English teacher/literacy coach I can possibly be!

              Favorite classes/professors:

              • Shakespeare w/ Harbin
              • Writing about Literature w/ Bradway
              • TP School Stories w/ Radus
              • Methods w/ Bender

              Best experience: Developing an army of supporters within the AEN cohort is by far the most rewarding experience. The bond within the English department is unmatched by any other unit at SUNY Cortland.

              Story:  It’s a normal dreary afternoon in Cortland, the camera zooms in on me having an emotional breech and Dr. Bender yet again having to talk me down from it. 


              Gabrielle Baxter

              Name: Gabrielle (Gaby) Baxter, BA Adolescent Education in English

              Hometown: Vestal, New York

              Future Plans: Get my Masters in either English or Literacy, adopt several cats, spend more time reading and maybe write a book.

              Favorite professors

              • Tyler Bradway
              • Dan Radus
              • Andrea Harbin
              • Cori Mckenzie
              • Geoffrey Bender

              Best experience: 

              Funny Story: The first time I had a class in B-17A, I spent twenty minutes wandering through Old Main trying to find the classroom because I didn’t realize there was a floor below G level.


              Gabriele Burhans

              female student Burhans

              Name: Gabriele Burhans, BA English

              Hometown: Cortland N.Y. 

              Future plans: I will take a small break before my master’s to truly figure out what I want to go for.

              Favorite experiences:

              • I will miss bringing Trueman (dog) to class and witnessing his very focused attention on the lessons. 

              • Will miss Radus,  Leffel, and Danica S. All are great professors that truly enlightened me as a student and person. 

              Vanessa Doane

              Female student Doane with sign

                Major: Adolescent Education- English (AEN)

                Future plans: Completing my Masters Degree in Literacy from SUNY Cortland and starting my career as a middle school/high school English teacher.

                  Favorite classes:

                    • ENG261- Women in Literature with Dr. Knight
                      • ENG374- Literature for Adolescence with Dr. McKenzie

                      Favorite Professors: I loved all my English and AEN professors. I’ll miss them all!

                      Favorite experiences: Acting out a character in The Real Inspector Hound in British Literature 2 with Dr. Alwes, attending the Tau Sigma induction, starting English Club, joining the Tae Kwon Do Club, and working as an Orientation Assistant


                      Emma Gulbin

                      Female Student Gulbin

                        Name: Emma Gulbin, BA Adolescent Education in English

                          Hometown:  Wall, NJ

                            Future Plans: To get my masters and a full time teaching job! I would like to get an extension to be able to teach grades 5-12.

                            Favorite classes/professors:

                            • Methods courses with Dr. Bender
                            • Writing about Literature with Dr. Bradway
                            • Writing Poetry with Dr. Hernandez
                            • American Lit with Dr. Radus

                            Best Experience: I am so happy I came to Cortland because I was able to experience what this amazing department had to offer. Spending my four years on the Cortland swim team was an unforgettable experience, as well. I wouldn’t trade my time here for anything!


                            Hannah Hall

                            Female Student Hall

                              Name: Hannah Hall, BA Professional Writing

                              Hometown: Baldwinsville, NY

                              Future plans: I want to be an editor and potentially go to grad school 

                              Favorite classes: Anything with Dr. Alwes or Dr. Franke is always a fun time. I also enjoyed taking The Publishing Industry and contributing to the Hoxie Gorge Review! 

                              Best experience: I can't pick just one! There were so many. 


                              Katie Hallman

                              Female Student Hallman

                              Name: Katie Hallman, BA English

                              Hometown: Syracuse, NY 

                              Future Plans: Go on to get my masters in teaching and travel a little.  

                              Favorite Classes:

                              • ENG 429 (digital divides)
                              • ENG 430 Audre Lorde
                              • ENG 374 Adolescent literature 

                              Favorite Professors:

                              • Danica Savonick
                              • Cori Mckenzie
                              • Karla Alwes

                              Allison Hovey

                              female student Hovey

                              Name: Allison Hovey, BA Adolescence Education in English

                              Hometown: Baldwinsville, New York

                              Future Plans: Complete student teaching, receive my masters in literacy, and travel

                              Favorite Classes:

                              • ENG 429 Medieval England
                              • ENG 374 Adolescent Literature
                              • SOC 373 Deviant Behavior

                              Favorite Experiences: Joining Alpha Phi, where I served as Vice President of Marketing and studying abroad in England!


                              Alice N. Luo

                              Female student Luo

                              Name: Alice N. Luo, BA English

                              Hometown: Staten Island, NY

                              Future plans: I plan to become a middle school English teacher while also running a business that caters to holistic healing. I plan on creating an organic skincare and bodycare line as well as selling holistic herbs. I also plan to become an esthetician. 

                              Favorite classes: My favorite classes thus far have been Prof. Neville’s Intro to Poetry class., Prof. Savonick’s Audre Lorde class and Prof. Radus's American Literature class.

                              Best experience: My best experience at SUNY Cortland was every single day because I somehow always managed to make every single day sentimental. Whether it was meeting new people, accomplishing small goals or exploring new places in Cortland. I always found a way to make every day meaningful.


                              Brian Poerio

                              male student Poerio

                              Name: Brian Poerio, BA English

                              Hometown: East Quogue, NY

                              Future Plans: MAT Program AEN English

                              Favorite Professors/Classes:

                              • Professor Alwes Romantic Age Literature
                              • Talking about literature with Dr. Radus

                              Michela Risolo

                              female student Risolo

                              Name: Michela Risolo, BA Adolescence Education in English

                              Hometown: Hewlett, NY

                              Future plans: Get my Masters and a full time job!

                              Favorite classes/professors:

                              • Adolescent Lit and so much more with Dr. Bender
                              • Grammar with Cori McKenzie
                              • American Lit with Dan Radus
                              • Writing about Literature with Tyler Bradway

                              Best experience: Doing daily tours with the Adolescence Ed cohort to visit our professors and stalk the bookshelves and having numerous mental breakdowns in Dr. Bender’s office.


                              Steven Salisbury

                              Male student Salisbury

                              Name: Steven Salisbury

                              Hometown: Cranston, RI

                              Future Plans: I plan to get my MFA in poetry either this year or next. Currently my ultimate goal is to become a professor of creative writing, though my passions take me in many directions so I’m not sure. 

                              Favorite Classes:  

                              • Dr. Bradway’s Literary Analysis
                              • Heather Bartlett's Advanced Creative Writing,
                              • Dr. Franke’s Creative Nonfiction
                              • Kevin Rutherford's Rhetoric of Video Games

                              Some of my favorite days at Cortland consisted of shopping for cheap records in Ithaca, getting burritos, going hiking, and playing D&D with new friends. My favorite part of this experience was meeting a few people I could truly connect with.


                              If you are a graduating Senior from the English Department and would like to share your story, please contact Dr. Andrea R. Harbin.