e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

ESF Graduates Look Forward to Green Futures

College convocation celebrates student achievement

Spenser Howden graduated from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) with a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture. He's heading home to his native Alfred, NY, to work as a foreman in a local nursery.

"I'd like to move on and get a job with a landscape architecture firm,'' said Howden. "Right now, this job is good to have.''

Jane C. Schmid, who transferred to ESF from Illinois State, leaves Syracuse with a bachelor of science degree and open calendar for the summer. After months of tests, papers and studying, she's ready to "relax, look for jobs and take some time to explore the Northeast and the Adirondacks,'' she said.

Her ideal job: A position in environmental education, "probably at a nature center.''

Shawn P. Ruzzi, who earned a bachelor of science degree, will return to his native North Carolina, work in the restaurant business for the summer and seek opportunities in his field, aquatic fishery science.

"That's been my objective all my life,'' said Ruzzi. "I plan to do research, eventually.''

For Chelsae M. Radell, who grew up in rural Central New York with a love of the outdoors and native ecosystems, attending ESF was a natural choice. One of the highlights of her three years as an undergraduate was working with ESF scientists on a study of tiny Tanzanian toads, extinct in the wild but thriving in the laboratory at ESF. The research caught the attention of the National Geographic Society.

Radell is looking for a job in conservation biology and applying for master's degree programs. Her fellow classmates selected her to serve as their speaker at ESF's annual convocation on Saturday, May 12.

"So here we all are with the future ahead of us,'' Radell said to the gathering. "Our disciplines are varied, but our goals are the same. The world is over-populated and is getting increasingly disconnected from nature. …

"I have no doubt in my mind the undergraduate, master's and Ph.d candidates in this room will make the world a better place. ESF has given us a fierce 'green fire' that will never burn out.''

ESF's convocation, held in the Crouse-Hinds Concert Theater of the John H. Mulroy Civic Center in downtown Syracuse, was a joyous celebration, a day ahead of joint commencement with Syracuse University on Sunday, May 13, in the Carrier Dome.

The College awarded more than 430 degrees this year, including 332 bachelor's degrees, about 85 master's degrees and 15 doctoral degrees.

--By Margaret McCormick