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Alumni in Classroom Experience Visits Slated Throughout Spring Semester

ace visits

Seven SUNY Plattsburgh alumni are returning to their alma mater to share their experiences and advice with students through the Alumni in the Classroom Experience program.

The ACE program offers grant funds for faculty and staff to bring alumni back to campus to share their perspectives with students, who in turn are able to learn from and network directly with graduates in their fields.

The Plattsburgh College Foundation and Plattsburgh Alumni Association provide funding for ACE visits each academic year. Faculty design and coordinate the visits themselves. Sometimes it’s a guest lecture, sometimes a full day of activities.

This semester, ACE alumni include:

  • Yessenia Fuenes ’15, senior staff writer for Earther.com, an online news organization that focuses on progressive, social justice and environmental topics. While at SUNY Plattsburgh, Fuenes had a dual major in environmental science and journalism. As an ACE visitor, Fuenes led a combined Center for Earth and Environmental Science/sociology seminar about her work and the importance of the media in communicating science to policy makers and the public; she was also a guest star on the student-run talk show, “Late Night for the Planet” at Olive Ridleys in downtown Plattsburgh; and she discussed topics and issues she covers in classes in journalism, environmental science and sociology. Fuenes’ visit took place Feb. 19 and 20.
  • Tanja Costa ’14, Clinton County Head Start teacher and center director. While at SUNY Plattsburgh, Costa majored in sociology. As an ACE visitor, Costa spoke to current students and staff in Student Support Services at their academic awards ceremony where she discussed her experiences as a sociology major, a member of the Sociology Club and her current experiences with Head Start; she spoke spoke to students in the INT 390 junior/senior seminar course about her personal transition from college to the professional world; she spoke at the Career Development Center about careers in Head Start; and visited with a calculus class to discuss navigating higher education as a first-generation college student. Costa’s visit took place Feb. 20.
  • Edward Ross ’93, director of technology and continuous improvement, MarketSource in Marietta, Ga. Ross was a business/marketing major while at SUNY Plattsburgh. As an ACE visitor, Ross visited with students in marketing classes throughout the day, discussing technology in marketing and management, leading innovation in a large company, continuous improvement in service solutions, and writing for social media. Ross’ visit to campus was March 3-4.
  • Matthew Bergeron ’99, associate council with New York State United Teachers. A political science major while at SUNY Plattsburgh, Bergeron will talk to political science students about the role and history of public employee unions in new York and will offer students advice on preparing to apply for and attending law school. The evening of his visit, Bergeron will discuss “The Pitfalls of Social Media and College Students.” Bergeron’s visit to campus will take place March 25.
  • Marianne Jeffreys ’82, professor of nursing, CUNY College of Staten Island and CUNY Graduate College, majored in nursing while at SUNY Plattsburgh. During her ACE visit, Jeffreys will talk to nursing majors on career paths open to them, including research careers and doctorate options. Jeffreys will be on campus April 4-6.
  • Matthew DeBellis and Kelly Powers, both Class of 2017 grads and education majors while at SUNY Plattsburgh. DeBellis is a teacher in the Rye Neck School District; Powers teaches in the White Plains School District. As part of their ACE visit, the educators will host the seminar, “Challenges and Rewards of Working with Diverse Leaners” for first-year teachers. In addition, they will be part of a round table discussion in partnership with Educational Opportunity Program students: “What We Wish Our High School Teachers Knew.” DeBellis’ experience teaching STEM courses and Powers’ experience in the humanities will present education majors with an interdisciplinary look at teaching. They will be on campus April 8-9.
  • Rachel Davis ’92, a self-employed artist, will talk to art students about the paths she took after college to become a successful, working artist. She earned her bachelor’s degree in art at SUNY Plattsburgh. Her works have been exhibited in national venues around the country. She will talk about balancing working as an independent artist, teaching adult and student workshops, exhibiting her art work, being a leader in her local arts community and raising a family. Davis will be on campus April 17.

For more information on the Alumni in the Class Experience program, contact Paul LeDuc, associate director, alumni relations, at 518-564-2090 or email [email protected].

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