SUNY Morrisville graduates jump into careers after commencement

Published date
3 p.m.

Malcolm Ivers isn’t wasting any time making his mark on the world. He’s jumping right into the renewable energy field after graduation, working as a wind turbine technician for one of the leading onshore wind companies.

He’s moving from Rochester to get closer to his job at RWE Renewables, which starts on June 3. He’ll be working at Munnsville Wind Farm, a 34.5 MW project located in Madison County. RWE constructs, owns and operates some of the highest performing wind, solar and energy storage projects in the United States.

Ivers was among graduates who received their academic degrees during SUNY Morrisville’s commencement ceremony on May 11. He graduated with an associate degree in renewable energy technology.

Cheering grads on were family, friends and proud faculty and staff. SUNY Morrisville President David Rogers was joined by school deans and members of the College Council in presiding over the ceremony, which began with the Syracuse Scottish Pipe Band leading graduates into the formal commencement exercises. The stage was adorned with ferns and flowers grown by students in the college’s horticulture program.

Excitement was heightened by graduates’ stories — many sharing careers they already have lined up, and others about furthering their education, like Nickolas Dalton, who earned an associate degree in individual studies and is coming back to pursue a bachelor’s degree in applied psychology.

Ivers specifically sought SUNY Morrisville to pursue a career in onshore wind. He transferred from another college, ambitiously completing the program in just a year.

In his new position, he’ll be performing general maintenance and electrical trouble shooting, among other tasks and “all things I have done in class,” he noted.

“I knew after completing the program, I would be in the job I wanted based on what I learned, skills and real-world experience,” Ivers said.

He’s not alone.

William Burns graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in automotive management. He has a job lined up as a mechanic at Firematic Supply Co., where he will be responsible for repairing and maintaining emergency fire and rescue apparatus.

“SUNY Morrisville played a vital role in obtaining this job by giving me the skills and opportunity to participate as an intern with the company, who then offered me a position upon graduation,” Burns said.

Aurora Haines is a wildlife specialist with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS), in Rensselaer. She graduated from the environmental & natural resources management bachelor’s degree program.

Vincent Swinnich’s automotive management Bachelor of Business Administration degree was the stepping stone for his job as a field engineer for Lockheed Martin doing defense work.

“The combination of hands-on automotive work and business — so many of the skills I gained transfer to what I will be doing in my new position,” he said.  

Successfully lining up careers out of the gate was a sentiment shared by other graduates, too, including

Jake Hartnett, who earned a Bachelor of Technology degree in renewable energy. Hartnett finished an internship with Nickels Energy Solutions that led to his full-time job as a solar project manager, where he’ll be responsible for designing and planning residential solar projects from start to finish.

“SUNY Morrisville played a vital role in me obtaining this through an in-depth, hands-on curriculum, great internship opportunities and caring educators with real-world experience,” Hartnett said. “For this position in particular, networking through classmates and industry partners of the program helped me get a foot in the door.”

Agricultural business students Kierra Kenyon, Lauren Schampier and Gavin Gates all landed jobs, too: Kenyon as a business assistant at Dairy One Cooperative, Inc.; Schampier as a loan coordinator for Farm Credit East; and Gavin Gates, a sales manger for Agri-plastics in Cortland.

The skills to succeed are a major factor in a SUNY Morrisville education.  

“For the last few years, all of us here have worked to give you the knowledge, the skills and the attitude you will need to succeed,” Rogers said. “Be proud to tell the world, by your words and your work, that you are a graduate of SUNY Morrisville and the State University of New York,” he advised.  

In his parting words to fellow classmates, Jarred Butler, an automotive graduate and former Student Government Organization president, shared this: “Don’t forget to enjoy your time, not only in college, but in life, too. Days can easily slip away from us so we must make them count. Live with reason. Do something YOU want to do. This is the start of a new chapter.”

Faculty speaker Richard Marcoux acknowledged the faculty’s pride in their graduates.

“The relationships and friendships you made, how you showed up not only for yourself but for others, how you engaged in making Morrisville a better place, demonstrate your maturation as an adult and citizen,” said Marcoux, professor of computer & information technologies. “As a community, we take pride in what you have accomplished and our part in that accomplishment.”