Graduate Student Profiles
Meet a few of our grad students!
Alexis Clune: A Distinctive Draw
“What better place to study in an Environmental Science program than one surrounded by miles and miles of beautiful nature, like in the Adirondack Park?”
“I was originally drawn to SUNY Plattsburgh’s Professional Science Master’s: Environmental Science (M.S.) graduate program for a number of reasons. The most prominent reason was the location! What better place to study in an Environmental Science program than a place surrounded by miles and miles of beautiful nature, like in the Adirondack Park?
The Professional Science Master’s (P.S.M) program itself was also a huge draw. I was always uncertain about embarking on a thesis-based master’s because, for me, researching just one question as my focus was not what I was meant to do. The P.S.M. program allowed me to get my master’s and use internships and leadership coursework in lieu of a thesis. I think this option gives me many opportunities and fits my learning style better."
"Most of my classes are extremely hands-on and interactive with nature thus far. I recommend any class given at Miner Institute because I feel like doing the work is better than a lecture on the topic. During this semester I have been using the application iNaturalist to document roadkill incidents on roads adjacent to various habitats. This experience has been enlightening and interesting and I plan on continuing it after the semester ends. After graduating from my graduate program, I ideally want to open up my own non-profit, probably dealing with wildlife species or education. I plan on taking my internships in various non-profits to give me a better idea of where I can start. Luckily, this area is full of organizations with options for my internship.”
James McGrattan: An Easy Decision
“One of the best aspects of graduate school in Speech-Language Pathology at SUNY Plattsburgh is the camaraderie established in your cohort.”
“I attended SUNY Plattsburgh as an undergraduate transfer student, and I found it difficult to turn down graduate study in the Speech-Language Pathology program once I was accepted. The faculty and student dynamic are unmatched. Previously, I attended a college that was very large, and although the school is recognized as a stellar research institution, I felt as though I was invisible on campus and in class. At SUNY Plattsburgh, professors and employees give you their time and attention, which is simply not the norm at other universities. After attending interviews at universities around the northeast and midwest, I realized what a quality graduate program SUNY Plattsburgh has, which made my decision an easy one."
"Without a doubt, my first semester as a graduate student was a busy one. Research into evidence-based interventions, preparation for sessions, scheduling times to meet each week, and all of the report writing we do was far more time consuming than I previously imagined! That said, these exercises and step-by-step approaches to clinic will prepare me to be the best clinician I can be in future endeavors. The program allows for students to have a say in what type of facilities and population they would like to work with. It is a pleasure to work with my professors in all aspects of research development, and my time here has strengthened my knowledge in the Speech-Language Pathology field. One of the best aspects to graduate school in Speech-Language Pathology at SUNY Plattsburgh is the camaraderie established in your cohort. Personal growth has come out of the compromise and collaboration between each of us this past semester. We see each other every day, yet are still excited to get together inside or outside of the school setting."
Chantel LaValley: A Perfect Fit
“Not only have I learned about health and fitness, but I’ve learned a lot about leadership, as well as how to operate a business.”
“I currently work 40 hours a week at a doctor’s office. The fact that this program is completely online, and I can study around my work schedule, was instrumental in my decision to apply. I have always been athletic, but struggled with my weight during childhood. My sophomore year of college, I realized that it was time to make a change. I started clean eating, buying all my groceries, and cooking all my meals myself. I continued to work out frequently, and lost 50lbs. I strongly believe that this program will better prepare me for dealing with my future patient’s health. I want to be knowledgeable about how my patients can improve their health outside of medication use. I also want to work with my patients to improve their education about fitness and wellness."
The Necessary Tools
"I feel that I’ve already learned so much in this program. It’s challenging, but through determination and time management, I’ve done well so far. The professors are extremely knowledgeable in their subjects, and I find the assignments to be both educational and enjoyable. One aspect of the program I really enjoy is the incorporation of business concepts. Not only have I learned about health and fitness, but I’ve learned a lot about leadership, as well as how to operate a business.
I know this program will give me the tools I need to ensure that my patients are healthy and happy. In five years, with the help of my work in the Fitness and Wellness Leadership master’s program at SUNY Plattsburgh, I hope to be a newly graduated Nurse Practitioner or Physician’s Assistant. I also hope to continue to build upon all the experience and education I have gained while in this program, and give back to the community. I am honored to be a part of this new online graduate program, and I look forward to my future."
Kristine Dickson: Sights Set on Leadership
“I love the face-to-face classes with the professors; however, I also enjoy the flexibility that this program affords with the online component as well.”
In 2004, Kristine received her bachelor’s degree from the College of St. Rose, where she also went on to earn her master’s degree in 2006. She began teaching at Fonda-Fultonville Central School District in 2005 as an elementary special education teacher, where she has worked for 12 years. Kristine was starting to investigate what her next steps might be in the field of teacher education, when grant funding became available for her to pursue a Teacher Leadership Certificate at SUNY Plattsburgh. After completing this certificate, she decided to continue on into the School Building Leader program. She ultimately has her sights set on a School District Leader Certificate, with the goal of obtaining a district level position as a Director of Pupil Services/Special Education.
Second to None Faculty
When asked about her favorite part of the program, Kristine says the authentic learning experiences have been invaluable to her, as well as having knowledgeable professors who have shared their personal administrative experiences. “The faculty is second to none. Dr. Johnson and Dr. Brooks are fantastic mentors for us. They have made themselves available to answer our questions, relieve our fears, and help us develop into the best educational leaders that we can be. I love the face-to-face classes with the professors, however, I also enjoy the flexibility that this program affords with the online component as well. It has made it much easier to juggle the responsibilities of being a wife, mother, and professional.”