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 Summer scrapbook cover photo
  • 2017-09-07
  • Anna Loria

Summer Scrapbook

Brockport students, faculty, staff, and alumni spent the summer months doing incredible things: from research and scholarship to traveling the world.

Study abroad: 67 students

(Six from Delta College)

Where are students were this summer in the world

Australia: University of SydneyAustralia and New Zealand Program

Czech Republic: Prague Internships

England: The Brockport Oxford Program

Central Europe: Experiencing Culture and History in Central Europe

France: Epitech Computer Science Program & Institut de Touraine

Ireland: Dublin Internships & Maynooth University

Israel: Archaeological Excavation

Italy: John Cabot University

Mexico: Universidad Internacional

Scotland: Literature, Language and Culture

Washington D.C.: The Brockport Washington D.C. Internship

Vietnam: The Brockport Vietnam Program


An East High School chemistry class experiment led by student De’Aunte Johnson, now a freshman at SUNY Brockport intending to major in business administration, was chosen by NASA to travel for six to eight weeks in the SpaceX rocket launched on August 14. Performed by Johnson and two of his classmates, the experiment tested the effect of microgravity on the deterioration of chlorophyll in phytoplankton. Johnson said the experiment almost went unfinished, but after rounds of trial and error, it’s flying high.

“The experience was unbelievable. News station after news station came to interview us. We were even given a chance to audition for a Microsoft commercial via Skype.” – De’Aunte Johnson

 De'Aunte Johnson performs experiment

Lecturer in the Department of Theatre and Music Studies Maria Scipione '91 directed a 'Shakespeare in the Park' at Highland Park Bowl in Rochester, NY. Her production of As You Like It starred three alumni of the theatre department: Misty (Stratton) Macey '11, Skylar Shaw '16, Shannon Toot '15.

Set of As You Like It

Photo credit: Annette Dragon

Senior Kiara Alfonseca, who double majors in journalism and broadcasting and English, completed an internship and fellowship with a national investigative news organization in New York City, ProPublica.

“Little did I know, they would pick me to continue working with them and sponsor me while doing it." – Kiara Alfonseca

Graduate student Michelle Thomas researched the benefits of education for inmates within the Rochester area. Thomas is a McNair student who started graduate school at Brockport this fall in the counselor education program.

Michelle Thomas poses in front of her internship site

Senior Olivia Cacciatore, who double majors in art and dance, was a graphic design intern at The Vermont Country Store. In addition to assisting with a 12-hour professional photo shoot, she created multiple order forms and sales inserts for their catalogues.

 Professor of Art Timothy Massey built his mother a new pergola in Tennessee.

Timothy Massey's pergola

Judy Woods '67 took a road trip from the source of the Mississippi River at Lake Itasca, MN, to Hannibal, MO, crossing the river 30 times.

"We learned about turn-of-the-century logging, the fur trade, steamboats, Charles Lindbergh, Mark Twain, and so much more. We got the full Mississippi experience, with flooding along part of the trip!" – Judy Woods

Led by Associate Professor in the Department of Anthroplogy Jennifer Ramsay, juniors Erika CurtisMcKenzie Fiege, Samantha Russello, Matt VineyardChris Zinter, and Lena Evers-Hillstrom (Geneseo), as well as sophomore Jared Rosenberg, spent five weeks in Israel excavating the Sixth Ironclad Legion through the archaeological excavation study abroad program.

Students excavate in Israel

Vineyard, who double majors in history and anthropology, also participated in a month-long internship at the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem. He took part in a number of projects: post-dig processing of Legio material, cataloging a library pull to be donated to a local college student in need, and helping to excavate the institute’s attic.

Junior environmental science major Elly Moore spent three weeks in Xpu-Ha, Mexico, through the Ecosystem Field Studies (EcoFS) program, where she lived on a beach in the Caribbean while learning field research methods. Once back in New York, she returned to her passion — skydiving.

“Part of the course was designing and executing our own research project. Mine was focused on fish behavior, and I found a trend in prey refuge type, where certain fish are likely to be hiding.” – Elly Moore

Moore performs research on the beach

Donna Kowal, associate professor and director of the Honors College, guided a summer program called "Experiencing Culture and History in Central Europe" with 14 students from Brockport and other SUNY schools. The trip included a community service project in which the students mapped gravestones in a German-Jewish cemetery in Wroclaw, Poland. Their work will help visitors find their family members' graves. As a reflective assignment, the students created photo essays on issues concerning public memory.

Students map out a grave site

Joanne Dennison '82/'85, founder of The Ordinary Success Project, worked in Bangkok, Thailand, for a week.

"Thanks, Brockport, for a great foundation for my life." – Joanne Dennison

Senior Anjelica Barrett, who double majors in dance and kinesiology, lived in Italy for a month, dancing and traveling around the country with the company Alambrado Danza. While there, Barrett learned from several instructors, including Brockport alumna Andrea Vazquez '11. The Delta College student choreographed, produced, and performed her own solo.

Barrett dancing in Italy

Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Sport Studies and Physical Education Lauren Lieberman helped develop Camp Abilities in Riga, Latvia. Lieberman partnered with Aija Klavina of the Latvian Academy of Sport Education to host 20 children from around Latvia, engaging them in 11 unique sports. The camp employed counselors from Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and the United States. Lieberman said, "the camp will continue next year with even more children."

Camp Abilities in Latvia

Sophomore Jordan Small, journalism and broadcasting major, covered the Washington Spirit of the National Women's Soccer League.

"I've been able to meet many great people and tell the stories of some pretty inspiring women." –  Jordan Small

Jordan Small talks to a professional soccer player

Junior psychology major Madi Hiddie spent her summer in Brockport as an intern for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions — but her internship didn't confine her to campus. The photo below shows Hiddie at Cornell University, where she represented Brockport at its annual summer college fair.

Madison Hiddie at Cornell University

Tom Gosdeck '73 and his wife, Catherine, took a trip to Europe.

"We witnessed the reunification of Berlin, the history of Potsdam, the destruction and gradual rebirth of Dresden, the serene beauty of Warsaw and Krakow combined with the horrors of Auschwitz and Treblinka, completed by a return to one of my favorite places, Prague." – Tom Gosdeck

Tom Gosdeck in Europe

Senior Jennifer Siegel, studying history, anthropology, and museum studies, participated in a storage renovation project as an intern at the Rochester Museum & Science Center. As part of one of her several assignments, Siegel worked to account for and conserve documents, art, books, frames, quilts, technological instruments, and other objects in the museum's storage.

Jennifer Siegel works at her internship

Professors Carole Pelttari and Kathleen (Kate) Yurko, who teach in the Master of Science in Education literacy education program in the Department of Education and Human Development, led 11 students from Brockport and 2 students from other colleges on a study abroad trip to Scotland. The professors designed an interactive course called Scotland: Literature, Language and Culture. At the end of the trip, Pelttari and graduate student Alyssa Owen presented a paper at the United Kingdom Literacy Association Conference on ways children construct literate identities.

Pelttari and Yurko are planning for another study abroad trip to Scotland in summer 2018. Community members are welcome to enroll and travel with them. Contact Carole Pelttari or visit the study abroad website for details.

Martha Donnelly, a sophomore studying English, went camping in Lake George, NY, with her friends.

Donnelly with her friends on Lake George

An on-campus fundraising event in April gave Kate Hochbrueckner '17 the support she needed to install a water tank in Uganda, Africa, this summer through the Ugandan Water Project (UWP) — her dream since high school.

"Going to Uganda and seeing the people I was directly helping was life changing. I got to teach students how to use water filters to produce clean, drinkable water." – Kate Hochbrueckner '17

Ugandan children pose with Kate's water tank

Thanks to Ellen DeGeneres and Walmart, Brittany Houlder and 40 other deserving students from the Summit Academy charter school in Brooklyn, NY, received four-year scholarships to state universities in New York of their choice. Houlder chose Brockport, and she's enrolled this fall as a freshman kinesiology major. This was considered DeGeneres' "biggest gift ever" in her show's history.

Junior journalism and broadcasting major Kayla Green interned at News 4, WIVB-TV, in Buffalo.

Kayla Green poses at her internship site

From June 9 to 23, athletic trainer Hanan Sokol ’12 lived in a desert as part of a missionary trip to Turkana, Kenya, called Bread of Life Africa. Read about his impact on the people of Turkana.

Associate Librarian Charlie Cowling saw his cousin, Miles Croom, for the first time since 1967. Seeing the Jimmy Doolittle display while visiting the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Ohio was a special experience. Their grandfather and Doolittle were once friends.

Charlie Cowling with his sisters and cousin

Jennifer Johannes, a junior studying mathematics and computer science, participated in the pre-Research Experience for Undergrads (pREU) at Clemson University in South Carolina. Through this month-long program, Johannes and a team found ways to improve an algorithm proposed in a mathematical paper by conducting research in coding theory.

“This summer, I was able to grow academically in the subject area I love most and become more independent.” – Jennifer Johannes

Senior communication major Sam Pitkin studied abroad at John Cabot University in Rome through Brockport's study abroad program. (She spent plenty of time exploring Europe on the weekends.)

Sam Pitkin in Rome

Senior Nicole Guida, who studies English, went skydiving. She called it one of the best experiences she's ever had.

These Golden Eagles got hitched! On the left are Assistant Director of Housing Carl O'Connor '07/'09 and his wife, Alyshia (Zurlick) O'Connor '04/'09, with their Brockport alumni wedding guests. On the right are Haley (Plymale) Johnson '16 and Gary Johnson '17.

Wedding photos

Professors Pamela Beach, Lauren Lieberman, and Melanie Perreault, along with two undergraduate students, Jennifer VanEtten and Aaron Wood, all of the Department of Kinesiology, Sport Studies and Physical Education, traveled to the 13th International CHARGE Syndrome Conference in Orlando, FL. The team conducted research on the motor skills, balance, and physical activity of children with CHARGE syndrome. In November, Beach and Perreault will present their findings at the International Consortium of Motor Development Research in Portugal.

Senior physics major Max Munger worked at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source as part of a summer internship at the Naval Research Lab.

Max Munger at his intership site

Graduate student Sarah Donovan, studying history, interned as an interpreter at the Genesee Country Village & Museum, where she educated guests on the museum's history and engaged them in games and activities.

"This internship reminded me how much I love sharing my knowledge of American history with others." – Sarah Donovan

Sarah Donovan interacts with guests at her internship site

Last Updated 7/29/21

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