Alumni Profile: Devin Tokarz

Hometown: Long Lake, NY
Graduation Year: Spring 2014

Why did you choose to attend Morrisville?
“I applied to three schools– all in the SUNY system. Originally, I wanted to go into physical therapy and all of the schools had really great programs. I chose Morrisville because not only were the programs very in-depth, they were also applicable to my future goals, jobs and aspirations. I fell in love with the school and the program when I visited. I didn’t end up staying in my original major. I switched to Criminal Justice and was thankful that they had such an enriching curriculum."

What is your favorite thing about Morrisville?
“Morrisville’s programs are really devoted to getting students ready for future employment. Morrisville is focused on getting students in touch with people, networking, building resumes/portfolios and getting them real world experience before they graduate. This was obvious to me when I went through my internship and finished with different opportunities after graduation.”

What did you learn from your internship that will help you the most in your future?
 “I interned at the Onondaga Medical Examiner’s Office for 600 hours during the spring semester of my senior year. We dealt with suspicious, untimely or unintended deaths. I went to death scenes, talked to families, helped with autopsies and processed bodies. It definitely reaffirms your commitment to the program and to the field. My internship taught me a lot! The biggest thing that it taught me was self-confidence, because you have to be confident in yourself when you’re dealing with these types of sensitive situations.”

What are your plans for after graduation?
“I was offered a few opportunities through the Medical Examiner’s Office and a couple other places that partner with them. Right now, I’m actually looking at going into the military.”

How did your education at Morrisville get you to where you are today, or help you with where you want to go?
“Morrisville helped me in many different ways. Dealing with the sensitive situations during my internship was very stressful. You have to deal with a lot of outside factors: distraught families, disturbing images, etc. These occurrences made me stronger. I already had a lot of training, unbeknownst to me, which a lot of interns or people lack. I knew how to communicate professionally, hold myself with confidence and evaluate certain situations. They taught me how to represent myself well and handle the situations with the care and skill they deserve.”

What activities were you involved with on and/or off campus?
“I was a student-athlete on the lacrosse team and I also played soccer my freshman year. I was a member of the Criminal Justice Club and a Student Ambassador in the Admissions Office.”

What professor and/or staff member influenced you?
“There are so many great professors and staff members! One main influence would be Professor Clare Armstrong-Seward. She really helped me out, kept me focused and helped me in the internship process. My head lacrosse coach Jason Longo was another great influence. He really pushed me and showed me what you can achieve when you put your mind to it. Also, working in the Admissions Office gave me the opportunity to work with different people. Being a student ambassador I interacted with a lot of different families from various areas, so having that ability to communicate with a lot of different people really helped me out in my internship.”

What has been your favorite memory of Morrisville?
“My favorite memory had to be freshman year lacrosse when we won the conference championship. I had never won a full championship (undefeated!) in my life before and that was something really spectacular. I was really glad to be a part of it!”

What advice do you have for other students?
“The biggest thing I would say is no matter what you do you should find a silver lining. Have fun with whatever you are doing. Everything is an experience or a chance to learn and grow. Make that a focal point in your life for bigger and better things.”