Young Alum Success Stories


Office of Admissions
Fenner House
The State University of New York at Fredonia
Fredonia, NY 14063
(800) 252-1212 toll free
(716) 673-3251 local
(716) 673-3249 fax

Early Success

Madison BrownMeet Madison Brown. As a Sport Management major, she earned internships with the Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bisons. Today, this 2013 graduate is working for Buffalo?s new HarborCenter project, and contributing to the economic resurgence of downtown Buffalo. See her story here>>

Betsy ThayerMeet Betsy Thayer. She came to Fredonia seeking a career change. She left as one of the top new accountants in the nation. See her story here:

Raul LopezMeet Raul Lopez. He took a chance on a university that was seven hours from home. Today, he works with Fortune 500 clients at Ogilvy Public Relations -- and he's loving every moment! See his story here>>

Mercedes SornozaMeet Mercedes Sornoza. A Brooklyn native, she studied Criminal Justice and Spanish. Today, she's a Probation Officer, changing the future for individuals and our society. See her story here:

Liz Ruff Class of 2011Meet Liz Ruff. In 2011, she earned a degree in Musical Theatre. A few weeks later, she landed a role in Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Cats!" See her story here:

Jud HeusslerMeet Jud Heussler. As a freshman, he started his own radio show. As a senior, he interned with Buffalo's Kiss 98.5 FM -- which hired him before he even graduated! Today, he's known by music fans across Western New York. See his story here:

Heather SmithMeet Heather Smith. In 2012, she gradated from SUNY Fredonia's College of Education. Today, she's a middle school science teacher near Rochester, N.Y. See her story here:

Georgie Fu Class of 2012Meet Georgie Fu. She graduated in 2012 with a double major in computer science and public relations. Today, she's pursuing a master?s degree in International Affairs with a merit fellowship at George Washington University. See her story here:

Fredonia "family" helped Gangloff achieve med school dreams

As a senior in high school, Steve Gangloff wanted a university where he could begin a career that would immerse him in science. What he wasn't expecting, however, was how immersed he would become with the faculty who taught him.

Steve Gangloff"I visited several universities, but I immediately knew Fredonia was the place for me," the Amherst, N.Y., native recalls. "Fredonia's students were the happiest, the most welcoming, and had the best stories! When I met my future professors and administrators, I immediately felt like I was part of the family."

His instincts were right. The faculty and staff in the Biology Department took a real interest in him — not just in his classroom performance, but in his life.

"They became my family away from home. Every professor knew me by name and took the time to get to know my aspirations," Mr. Gangloff attests. "When I was accepted into the University of Buffalo's School of Medicine, I was greeted with a wave of congratulations and high-fives from professors, students — even the custodial staff."

That second "family" was never more appreciated than in the months following the passing of Steve's father. That's when Dr. Scott Ferguson, Steve's genetics professor and research mentor, really made a difference.

"Dr. Ferguson stepped in as a role model and support system when I needed one the most," Gangloff says. "He ensured that I was making the most of my career, assisted me with important decisions, and helped me reach my goals. He not only made sure that I was thriving, but that I was happy."

A big part of that happiness came from Steve's research — a trademark element of Fredonia's undergraduate experience in the sciences. He worked independently for two years and his research, which will soon be submitted for publishing, made him the first person to utilize an innovative technique — which clearly impressed admissions boards during his medical school interviews, he attests.

He also made time to get involved outside the classroom, becoming president of three groups. He also tutored other students, led numerous events and trips, attended events from nearly every discipline, and opened his mind to new ideas and perspectives — advice he received from his father before leaving for Fredonia.

"My dad always told me to get involved and embrace the full college experience. I wasn't too sure what this 'experience' was supposed to be, but Fredonia quickly taught me," this 2012 graduate explains. "Becoming involved in the campus — becoming a leader — is not simply something you do; it is something that changes you. It improved my ability to communicate, honed my potential, widened my field of vision and taught me valuable life lessons."

Besides campus initiatives, Gangloff started his own business, Dehydrate2Store, which educates people to maximize the shelf life of food by dehydrating products for emergency preparedness.

"The faculty and staff did a phenomenal job preparing me for a promising future as a physician," says Gangloff, who earned a partial medical school scholarship as well. "Fredonia set these experiences right at my feet; all I had to do was pick them up. For that, I could not be more thankful."

Steve Gangloff is fulfilling his dream of improving the health and lives of those in his community — because he is a Fredonian. Would you like to become one? Just visit our admissions section to learn more — and connect with a counselor who can make your dreams come true too!


Page modified 7/15/14