Fredonia welcomes return of 2015 grads in alumni-in-residence series 

by Roger Coda
James Foley speaking in Science Center

Writers @ Work events bring Fredonia alum to campus to speak and meet with current students.  Above, alumnus and former U.S. Ambassador James B. Foley ('79) presenting at a Writers @ Work event in the Science Center. 

One of the more academically and professionally diverse team of graduates ever assembled for the Four Years Out residency, part of the Writers@Work: Alumni-in-Residence Series at the State University of New York at Fredonia, will meet students during the first week of April. 

Through a writing workshop, panel discussion and classroom visits, four graduates from the class of 2015 will describe their post-graduation experiences and explain how their time at Fredonia prepared them to achieve career success. They will also have an opportunity to meet prospective Fredonia students at the accepted student reception. 

Returning to their alma mater will be Andrea Vasiloff, a channel account specialist at Ingram Micro, Buffalo; Christopher Sanchez, quality improvement project coordinator at Millard Fillmore Suburban and DeGraff Memorial Hospitals, Buffalo; Maggie Gilroy, multimedia journalist at the Press & Sun-Bulletin, Binghamton; and Naomi Coufal, technical writer, specialist with Hill-Rom/Welch Allyn, Skaneateles. 

“Corporate Communications: Writing in a Business Context” will be held on Thursday, April 4, 5 p.m. in the Science Center Kelly Family Auditorium. It will be followed, at 7 p.m., by “How to Succeed Four Years Out: Advice from Recent Graduates.” In the latter session, also in the Kelly Family Auditorium, alumni will discuss their years at Fredonia and how their career paths developed in the four years following graduation. Pizza will be served and students can chat informally with alumni in between the two events, at 6 p.m., in the adjacent atrium. 

“Technical Writing in the Sciences with Naomi,” with Ms. Coufal, will be held on Friday, April 5, 11 a.m., in the Fenton Hall English Reading Room. Prospective and current students can learn more about technical writing in the health sciences field. Complimentary refreshments will be served. The Career Development Office is hosting the session. 

Individual classroom visits by Mr. Sanchez and Ms. Vasiloff on Friday, April 5, include: BUAD 327 (Operations Management I) and BUAD 427 (Operations Management II); Ms. Gilroy, at COMM 347 (Social Media) and COMM 231 (Storytelling/Features); Coufal, ENGL 372 (Grammar and Style for Writers) and ENGL 213 (Texts and Contexts).  

An informal open office hours session will be held on Friday, 10 a.m., in the Fenton Hall English Reading Room. 

Open houses, including those hosted by the departments of English and Business, for accepted students, will be held Saturday, April 6, noon, in conjunction with the campus’ accepted student reception. Coufal and Gilroy will attend the English open house, Sanchez and Vasiloff the Business open house. 

An “Ask the Alumni” session will be held on Saturday, April 6, 1 to 3 p.m., in the Steele Hall Fieldhouse. As part of “Go Big BLUE Day,” alumni will have an opportunity to meet prospective students and their families and describe their experiences at Fredonia and the value of a Fredonia degree in the job market. 

All Four Years Out residency events are free and open to the public. 

Coufal received a B.A. in 2013 and a M.A. in 2015, both in English. The graduate degree led to her first job as a copywriter and ultimately to technical communication positions. As a technical writer in the medical device industry, Coufal writes operation manuals, work instructions and service directions for a variety of medical devices. The position allows her to pursue her passion – writing, editing and research. 

Coufal is membership manager of the Central New York chapter of the Society for Technical Communication and highly recommends that association as a resource for those pursuing careers in technical communications. 

Gilroy received a B.A. in Theatre Arts and Journalism, a M.A. in Arts Journalism at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and was named a 2018 fellow of the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Critics Institute. 

A prolific writer, Gilroy is a news reporter for the Sun-Bulletin daily newspaper and the USA Today Network and a freelance journalist specializing in theatre and performing arts. She has been published in American Theatre magazine and Irish Culture & Dancing Magazine and has contributed articles to the Star (Elmira, N.Y.) Gazette, Ithaca Journal and The Daily (Oneonta, N.Y.) Star, as well as the New Jersey Performing Art Center’s playbill. 

At Fredonia, Gilroy combined theatre and journalism studies to enhance her writing skills in the arts. She penned articles in the News and Reverb sections of The Leader, served as the Reverb editor and editor-in-chief, and also redesigned the student newspaper from a broadsheet to a tabloid in 2015. Gilroy also worked as a dramaturg for several Walter Gloor Mainstage productions, including “The Diary of Anne Frank,” “The School for Scandal,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Rent” and “Hair.” 

Sanchez received a B.S in Business Administration: Management and Economics. He applied what he learned at Fredonia into a career at Kaleida Health. Sanchez works closely with administrative teams as an advisor on quality and patient safety initiatives. He leads teams of subject matter experts and front- line staff to improve overall patient and employee experiences.  

Vasiloff received a B.S. in Business Administration, is a founding member of Fredonia chapter of the American Society for Quality and an Enactus alum. She completed a two-year management internship with Wegmans after graduation and worked briefly in operations management. Leadership experience gained at Fredonia led to being hired as a team lead/support rep at Ingram Micro, a company that helps businesses maximize the value of technology. In 2018, Vasiloff was promoted to channel account specialist in Ingram Micro’s VMware line. 

Vasiloff, who earned project management certification at the University at Buffalo, is involved in many facets of the Ingram culture and devotes time to networking and volunteering with organizations.  

Organizers of the Writers@Work series at Fredonia include: Admissions, Alumni Affairs, Career Development Office, Fredonia College Foundation and the departments of Biology, Business, Communication, English, History and Theatre and Dance. 

Writers@Work is supported by the Faculty Student Association, the Fredonia Alumni Association, the Fredonia College Foundation, the Carnahan Jackson Humanities Fund of the Fredonia College Foundation, Fredonia Convocation and Mary Louise White Fund.  

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