Nearly 1,800 students were eligible to take part in SUNY Oswego Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 18, and many have their next steps already lined up.

Kingsley Ibezim will head to the Washington, D.C., metro area for a job as a technical solutions specialist at IBM, a position he earned competing with “the best of the best,” he said. 

A willingness to learn and try as much as possible -- as an information science major with minors in business and digital humanities -- helped prepare him for a role requiring technical knowledge and problem-solving skills. Ibezim also said starting his search early, in the summer before his senior year, led to interviews with many top companies before accepting the competitive IBM opportunity.

Electrical and computer engineering major Brian Emigholz will take a job as a software engineer at Lockheed Martin, where he had a previous experience through SUNY Oswego’s co-op program, which provides full-time paid work with a partner company.

At the end of his summer co-op, his reviewer said "knowing how to ask questions and working as part of a team were big strengths," Emigholz recalled, as classes that involved a lot of group projects and explored different ways to work in groups, as well as time as a Laker tennis player, both potentially helped him prepare for his job.

Broadcasting major Abbey Buttacavoli will become a full-time multimedia journalist for WWNY TV-7 in Watertown, after working her way up at campus TV station WTOP from reporter to assignment desk to news director, as well as additional learning through internships at Spectrum News in Albany and CNY Central in Syracuse.

“Being able to say I’ve run my own news department helped employers feel they could trust me to work in their field,” said Buttacavoli. “The passion of the students doing this and the support of our professors to let us do this on our own really prepare WTOP staffers well.”

Abbey Buttacavoli pictured in WTOP TV, which prepared her for a full-time multimedia journalism job at WWNY-7 in Watertown

Abbey Buttacavoli in the WTOP studios, which helped launch her toward a full-time job as multimedia journalist for WWNY TV-7 in Watertown.

‘Enriching experiences’ 

Childhood education major Kasey Fuller will start her teaching career at Union Mill Elementary School in Virginia, thanks to placements, extracurricular activities, the Leighton Learning Community in an Oswego elementary school and the Teacher Opportunity Corps program.

“Oswego has provided me with a variety of enriching experiences that have helped me to become career ready,” Fuller said. “There really is something here for everyone and the possibilities are endless. There are so many enriching opportunities that will equip students not only for their time after Oswego, but more importantly, for a lifelong career.”

Sushmita Banerjee, a computer science major from India, will work as a front-end developer for Ahold Delhaize, where she had a co-op placement through Oswego. That experience and the preparation of her classes set her up for this position. 

“I’ve built a portfolio of a strong work ethic, sticking to the job and being a good co-worker,” said Banerjee, who has consistently held three jobs since her sophomore year in college, including tutoring, serving as a teaching assistant and being a resident assistant.

For Stephanie Sinsabaugh, earning her master of business administration in health services administration culminates a decision seven years ago to follow “the next right opportunity to professionally grow and to influence change," and leads to a position with United Health Services Hospitals in Binghamton as a multi-specialty practice manager, she said.

“The SUNY Oswego HSA MBA program has prepared me for this role by expanding my knowledge of healthcare to the broader industry,” Sinsabaugh said. “Obtaining an MBA is one of the proudest moments in my professional life. It comes at a time of value where healthcare is amidst a transformative era. 

Zhushun Cai will take his master's in human-computer interaction into a user-experience researcher position as CBT Nuggets, an Oregon-baed educational platform for information technology professionals. He attributes his next steps to knowledgeable and caring faculty, as well as an internship that allowed him to conduct hands-on UX research in Vietnam.

"I am proud to become a member of the Oswego community, especially the HCI program," Cai said. "Everyone is friendly and the professors truly care about your future and want you to be successful."

Sonya Kedarnath in front of The Village townhouses

Sonya Kedarnath will continue her journey in higher education, with a goal to keep making a positive difference.

‘Make a difference’

Human development major Sonya Kedarnath will head to graduate school for a master’s in educational leadership and students affairs at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. She has already earned an assistantship in the college’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, and her career goal is to be a chief diversity officer in higher education.

She enjoys that she has already made an impact as an Oswego admissions representative, as “I’ve had freshmen come to me saying, ‘you were my tour guide, I came here because of you,’” said Kedarnath, who also has helped students through the Office of Career Services and as a resident assistant. “I feel like you have to get involved to actually make a difference. 

Douglas Castro and Carlos Minaya will both take their accounting degrees to work at PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York City. They both cited opportunities inside and outside the classrooms -- including studying abroad -- for preparing them for the future.

Castro enjoyed leadership experiences at Oswego that include coordinating the School of Business’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, “which allowed me to interview taxpayers and review tax returns for low-income families in Oswego and Fulton,” he said. “The taxpayers were usually left smiling which was a rewarding experience.”

Minaya credited the Educational Opportunity Program, which invests “in potentially successful individuals who are just in need of additional financial and academic support,” he said. “This experience was the foundation of my core values which I still live by today. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity given to me through EOP.”

Business administration major Leanne Cotter will start a management position as service team leader for Wegmans, for which she credits many classes, clubs, professors and time in the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority.

“Having to do several group projects, different presentations pertaining to several different companies, and finding new ideas and ways to better companies has helped me think in a real life perspective,” Cotter said. “The assignments that allowed for critical thinking as well as working with others have given me the skills needed in my current job to be able to effectively communicate and understand others every day.”

Public relations major Morgan Rowe will start a full-time marketing position for Loretto Health and Rehabilitation while starting in Oswego’s MBA program part-time.

“I think being treated as a professional while in the classroom, being held accountable for getting my work done on time and correctly, and being an intern for various offices on campus all helped prepare me for what is next,” Rowe said. “I learned how to manage my time, how to effectively work with others, and how to be more independent.”

About Commencement

Accomplished individuals received honorary degrees and serve as keynote speakers at SUNY Oswego’s three Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 18, in the Marano Campus Center.

Dr. Mildred García, president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, spoke at the 9 a.m. ceremonies for Oswego’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Jeff Ragovin, a 2000 Oswego graduate and the chief growth officer of Social Native, addressed the 12:30 p.m. School of Business graduation. The 4 p.m. combined ceremony for the School of Communication, Media and the Arts and for the School of Education featured Noreen Reale Falcone, past president of the U.S. Federal Association - Order of Malta, and Dr. Yvonne Spicer, mayor of Framingham (Mass.) –- a 1984/1985 Oswego graduate and a leading national advocate for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

The ceremonies are available for viewing any time on SUNY Oswego's YouTube channel.