SUNY Cortland’s Commencement in May was a major life milestone for the more than 1,000 students who earned diplomas.
It was also a significant moment of reflection for the parents, grandparents, siblings and friends who cheered on the graduates.
William Proefriedt of Farmingdale, N.Y., penned a letter to Newsday about watching his grandson Josh Finkelstein ‘19 at Commencement.
Proefriedt commented on the wisdom shared by former Student Government Association President Sophie Umansky ’19 as well as the remarks of President Erik J. Bitterbaum.
“When I graduated from college in the 1950s, I was the first in my family to do so,” Proefriedt wrote. “My father had graduated from high school and my mother from eighth grade. I didn’t appreciate then how important my graduation ceremony was to my parents. I’m sure there was a healthy percentage of parents and grandparents in the audience at Cortland whose pride and enthusiasm were fueled a bit more warmly by a child being the family’s first to receive a degree.”
Read the entire letter at Newsday.com.
In other news:
- Lindsey Darvin, assistant professor in the Sport Management Department, joined the State of Sport Management podcast to talk about a number of topics, including a recent tweet that went viral. Darvin shared an image of University of Alabama running back Najee Harris celebrating a touchdown using the same outstretched arms pose as U.S. women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe, showing the impact of the team’s run to a World Cup title this summer. Her tweet has received nearly 20,000 likes and 2,500 retweets since she shared it on Sept. 15.
- Robert Spitzer, distinguished service professor and chair of the Political Science Department, was quoted in a Christian Science Monitor story on National Rifle Association donors pulling their financial support of the organization because of perceived corruption and mismanagement.
- Thomas Lickona, professor emeritus of childhood/early childhood education and director of the Center for the 4th and 5th Rs, was highlighted in CBCPNews during a recent visit to the Philippines to talk to students, parents and educators about character building and value formation in children.
- FOX21-TV (Princess Anne, Maryland) featured Chief Diversity Officer James Felton III for receiving the Top Chief Diversity Officer of the Year award from the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP).
- Carissa Medeiros, assistant women’s lacrosse coach, was featured in The Standard-Times (New Bedford, Mass.) prior to her induction into the Stonehill College Athletics Hall of Fame on Nov. 1. Medeiros was an All-American lacrosse goalkeeper at Stonehill, leading the team to an NCAA Div. II national title in 2003. She previously served as head coach of the women’s lacrosse programs at Bentley College and UMass Lowell.
- Former women’s lacrosse head coach Kathy Taylor was featured in U.S. Lacrosse Magazine after being named the new head coach at Colgate University. Taylor led the Red Dragons to a 115-17 mark in six seasons in Cortland from 2009 to 2014.
- Former host of “The Tonight Show” Jay Leno talked to The Daily Freeman about his start in comedy in the 1970s, playing shows at SUNY campuses including SUNY Cortland, before a recent gig in Kingston.
- Ryan McCarthy ’01 was named head coach of the football team at Central Connecticut State University. McCarthy had been the team’s interim head coach. After previous coaching stops at Siena College and the University at Albany, McCarthy had been the offensive coordinator at CCSU for four years before becoming the interim coach at the start of the 2019 season.
- Jeffrey Ziegler M ’89, C.A.S. ’95 was named interim superintendent of the Duanesburg Central School District. Ziegler had previously served as interim director of curriculum for the Lake George and Schuylerville Central School Districts and was the superintendent of the Fort Edward Union Free School District.
- Brooke Vandewalker Bramoff ’03 was named project coordinator of For a Substance-Abuse Free Environment (SAFE) in Sag Harbor, N.Y. and was featured on SagHarborExpress.com. She recently helped to organize an exhibition basketball game featuring the Drug-Free All-Stars, a group of retired and semi-pro players who promote good choices. Brooke and her husband, Eric Bramoff ’03, the athletic director for the Bridgehampton School District, were both student-athletes at SUNY Cortland.
- Ann Dunwoody ’75 spoke to cadets at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. when she received the Association of Graduates’ Thayer Award on Oct. 10. Dunwoody, the first four-star general in the history of the U.S. Army, was recognized for accomplishments that mirror the academy’s mission of “Duty, Honor, Country.”
- Kevin Fee ’90 was named to the Board of Directors of The Center for Discovery, a leading provider of healthcare and education services for children and adults with complex conditions, medical frailties and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Fee is the co-founder and managing director of Castlerock Asset Management and has developed major real estate projects in New York and Nashville, Tennessee.
- Jake Ceresna ’16 was selected by the D.C. Defenders of the XFL in the new football league’s 2020 draft on Oct. 16. Ceresna, a defensive lineman, has previously played for the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League and spent time in training camp with the New York Giants this summer. The XFL will open its first season in the spring of 2020.
- Kyle Richard ’19 was honored as a Courageous Student-Athlete as part of the annual Giant Steps Awards sponsored by the Institute for Sport and Social Justice. Richard was shot twice after breaking up a sexual assault in progress during a party on Long Island in the summer of 2017. An advocate for preventing domestic and sexual violence, Richard has spoken at a number of campuses around the country, including Utica College, SUNY Maritime, Stevens Institute of Technology and the University of Minnesota.
- Christian Berenguer ’16 and Christopher Gutierrez ’17, graduate assistants in the Recreational Sports Department, worked with a group of 20 Cortland students, staff and community members during the summer months to train and prepare for the Dick's Sporting Goods Half Marathon, in which they competed on Sept. 22. “The group started off with a few individuals who simply wanted to run a race together, but then exploded to a group of 20 individuals,” said Gutierrez. The team name, NARP, an acronym for “Non-Athletic Regular People,” was created as an all-inclusive team for all fitness levels. The name was designed to encourage participants of the campus community to join in this race. More information can be found on the WICZ-Fox 40 website.