Plattsburgh State Salutes the Class of 2003
PLATTSBURGH, NY __ On Dec. 13, Plattsburgh State University of New York will send forth another class of graduates who are off to start the next step in their lives. Some will continue their education at institutions across the country while others will enter the workforce -- we're proud of each and every one of them and can be confident that they have a solid foundation as a result of their Plattsburgh State education. The following articles highlight a few students from the Plattsburgh State Class of 2003.
A senior geology major from Newington, Ct., Brett Jutras was attracted to Plattsburgh State by its vicinity to the Adirondacks and Lake Champlain.
"I like the area. What drew me here was the location. I like the feel of the area and have made great friends," said Jutras. "And, the professors, especially in geology, have been enormously helpful."
While a student, Jutras has had the opportunity to work with other students and professors on a National Science Foundation funded project studying the watersheds in the Adirondacks.
"The best part of the project for me was to see what my role is as a geologists on a project that involves a multidiscipline group working together. I have found that I work on the basis, the fundamental level, and others are building their work on top of that," said Jutras, who hopes to go to graduate school next fall.
"First I'll get my master's then maybe on to get a Ph.D. I'm keeping my options open, which is my whole philosophy in life," said Jutras, who is a "non-traditional" student -- an adult student who will graduating at the age of 28.
"I'm a person who has a lot of questions and, at Plattsburgh State, I always got answers
from the professors. You don't always get that," Jutras said. "I've always had interesting
projects, especially working on long term papers for (Associate Professor) Mary Roden-Tice.
I really learned the most out of those and the whole research aspect."
Kristina Parker, from West Chazy, N.Y., is a history major with a museum management minor.
"I've been interested in history since about 12," said Parker, who was this year's winner of the Emily McMasters Prize for History Writing presented by the Clinton County Historical Association.
Parker's paper was about William H. Miner and the development of the Altona Flat Rock region. She has an interesting family perspective -- her great grandfather was the very first caretaker of Flat Rock and her uncle was the last caretaker before the position was terminated.
"I wrote the piece for my junior seminar paper for Dr. Stewart Voss," said Parker. "Wayne Miller, who used to be in charge of Special Collections, advised me to enter. I was caught completely off-guard by winning."
Dr. James Lindgren, professor of history, said that the department is very proud of Parker.
"Since her first days at Plattsburgh State, she's not only committed to the study of history, but determined to apply her learning to the many historical sites and museums in the area," said Lindgren.
Parker has applied to the Cooperstown Graduate Program to further prepare herself for a career in museum studies.
"Eventually, I would like to be a curator," said Parker, who has interned at several
places including the Alice T. Miner Museum, the Kent-DeLord House and is currently
at the Chazy Town Historian's Office.
Jasmin Chambers is a Spanish major with a French minor from St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Following graduation, Chambers is looking forward to graduate school, possibly attending the University of Georgia where she has been offered a graduate teaching assistantship.
Her long-range goals include going back to her country to teach either French or Spanish.
"There is a need for teachers in those areas in my country. I'm looking forward to teaching these languages -- it will be a joy to share my experiences with the students," said Chambers, who said she has enjoyed her time at Plattsburgh State. "I like it very much, except the winter. I could never say I'm cold when I go back home."
Chambers had the opportunity to attend the Universidad de Monterrey in Mexico as part of the Study Abroad Program at Plattsburgh State.
"I traveled throughout Mexico," said Chambers. "It was just an awesome experience. I took six courses, five in Spanish and one American literature course."
Chambers said that she has gotten much encouragement from the faculty at Plattsburgh.
"(Assistant) Professor Fernando Iturburu really helped me -- he has always encouraged
me. And my advisor, (Assistant Professor) Jean Ouedraogo, has been very helpful. He's
very nice and always sends me emails about graduate schools."
Brandy Brown, an English literature major and French minor senior from Plattsburgh, has her sights on teaching secondary education in the Plattsburgh area.
"I love the area and don't want to move too far away," said Brown, a presidential scholar. "I always knew I wanted to come to Plattsburgh State. I didn't even apply anywhere else, because I wanted to go here."
Brown is a member of several honor societies including Phi Eta Sigma, Sigma Tau Delta, Phi Kappa Phi and Omicron Delta Kappa.
As a presidential scholar, Brown worked on an advanced honors project, producing a paper titled, "Baudelaire: An Albatross and his Legacy." The unique thing about this paper is that she wrote one version in English and another in French.
Another project that she is proud of is her work on Dr. Richard Frost's book on the history of Plattsburgh's first century as a city, which was commissioned as part of a centennial commemoration for 2002.
"I researched a chapter on churches in Plattsburgh for the book," said Brown. "Dr. Frost was a visiting professor and I took his class on the history of Plattsburgh. At the end of the semester, he emailed the class to ask for help on his book, and I volunteered."
Brown said that she has a large family in the North Country and is looking forward
to teaching in the area. Her sister is also a Plattsburgh State student in her sophomore
The Art Department at Plattsburgh State in conjunction with the Plattsburgh State Art Museum is currently presenting "Sights by Six," an Honors exhibition in the Main Lobby of the Myers Fine Arts Building. The exhibition is free and open to the public.
The works are by six December 2003 graduating students who will be receiving their bachelor of fine arts degrees. The artists are: Amanda Mavis Agnew of Lake Placid; Lorraine DeLaney of Plattsburgh; Natalie Gaines of Liverpool; Jessica Griffin of Plattsburgh; Monique Ford of Bedford Corners; and Kahoru Otani of Shizuoka, Japan.
The exhibition is an entirely student-run show consisting of photographs, paintings and prints and gives a chance for these young developing artists to leave their last mark on Plattsburgh State.
"It's a nice note to leave on," said Agnew, a dual English and studio art major. "Our final touch to our education at Plattsburgh State."
Agnew plans to work as an artist to further develop her body of work and then plans to apply to graduate schools in a year or so.
"I've been able to integrate my two majors so that the things I've learned in English I've been able to apply to my art," Agnew said.
Otani will be going home to Japan following graduation.
"I have mixed feelings. I'm ready to go home, but I will miss Plattsburgh," said Otani, who will look for jobs in printmaking when she gets home.
Griffin said that planning for this exhibit has been very rewarding.
"I've learned a lot about organizing a show. The placement of the work is one of the main lessons that has been very important in my development. I think we've done very well in putting together a cohesive show and presenting our body of work as a group," said Griffin.
Ford said that she's excited to graduate and will be looking and applying at graduate schools for next fall.
"It's important to keep my momentum going. I've been here for four-and-a-half years, so it's time to move on," said Ford.
DeLaney plans to stay in Plattsburgh for the summer then move out West to San Francisco where she'll look for a job and explore graduate programs.
"I fell in love with San Francisco after visiting a friend there a couple of years ago," said DeLaney. "I'll miss Plattsburgh. We have a tight community of art students. Graduating will be a relief, and my family will be proud."
Gaines is also looking out West at graduate programs. She said that she is excited about the exhibit.
"All of the paintings I've done boil down to these five in the show. I see in these everything I've learned beforehand. It's very exhilarating," said DeLaney.
-- 30 --