Faculty, staff, student ambassadors and volunteers packed SUNY Morrisville’s new recreation center excitedly answering questions from more than 130 inquisitive prospective students and their families during the college’s Open House on Oct. 21.
Among them was Alex Imperio, whose last-minute decision to attend ended up with him winning a scholarship, further rousing his excitement to be a Mustang. His sights set on the criminal justice program, Imperio wants to follow in family footsteps to become a state trooper.
Imperio and his mother, Jill Weissinger, of Middletown, were headed out to another college’s open house when they decided to drive, instead, to SUNY Morrisville.
“The entire day has been meant to be,” Weissinger said, pointing out that she was even wearing green, one of the college’s colors. “The professors — everyone has been so welcoming today.”
“I’m excited about everything I have seen here today,” said Imperio, who was especially impressed by the criminal justice lab and simulator, which allows students to learn how to react in various law enforcement scenarios while remaining in a safe environment.
SUNY Morrisville’s Open House is an opportunity for participants to meet with faculty and staff from programs and departments across campus and learn about SUNY Morrisville’s student life and unique programs. Included in the day was a welcome from SUNY Morrisville President David Rogers and a slate of activities, including Mustang athletics contests.
“We show them what it really feels like to be a Mustang,” Caleb McGuire, director of admissions, said.
“You can meet a professor, tour facilities, talk to career services, talk to campuswide advising and really get a sense of what campus is like in a couple of hours,” said Julia Rizzo, director of the individual studies program.
During the event, Imperio was among five participants whose name was randomly drawn for a $1,000 scholarship to attend SUNY Morrisville.
“As a single mom, this will really help me financially,” Weissinger said.
“It’s another exciting reason to come here,” Imperio said. “It shows so much appreciation for future students. It’s already like it is home here.”
A different appreciation prompted Bria Pierson, a health-related studies student, to volunteer at the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) information table. She attended an EOP event this past summer, which heightened her excitement to share her experiences.
“I came to show my support for EOP and to give back and tell others all about what it has done for me,” Pierson said. “It is a family of positive support and anytime you need help, there is someone there for you.”
Out of all of the colleges she visited, SUNY Morrisville’s energy was unmatched.
“The one-on-one attention and willingness of faculty and staff to help — and EOP helps you with every detail to help you stay on track,” Pierson said. “SUNY Morrisville had my heart from the get-go.”
Adding to participants’ experiences were faculty and staff who shared their enthusiasm about the college.
“I enjoy getting to see students through their academic journey,” Rizzo said. “We have an incredibly diverse student body. We have students from low-income backgrounds and lots of first-generation students. That really gives me a sense of pride in what we do at Morrisville and also the values that we embody as a campus.”