Category Archives: Featured Stories

SUNY Oswego offers graduation cash

ow promises students who graduate in four years a $300 return on their investment, said SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley.

Starting with the December 2013 graduating class, students who enrolled at SUNY Oswego as freshmen in the fall 2010, or subsequent fall, semester and graduate no later than May of their fourth consecutive year, and meet all other requirements of the Oswego Guarantee, will receive the $300 Oswego Graduation Return on Investment (Oswego Graduation ROI).

“We are enhancing the Guarantee we introduced over a decade ago to remind students of the value and financial benefits of earning their baccalaureate degree in four years or less,” Stanley said.

Kristi Eck, the president’s interim chief of staff, said the new Oswego Graduation ROI could provide a jump-start on job-hunting expenses or graduate school applications and help SUNY Oswego graduates transition from college into the next phase of their adult lives.

“It’s really an incentive and a gift,” Eck said. “The message behind earning the Graduation ROI is, ‘You’ve recognized the value of earning your baccalaureate degree within four years; you’ve planned wisely with your academic adviser to create a four-year degree completion roadmap; and you’ve achieved your goal of graduating on time. Now, you have a $300 gift that we hope will help you accomplish more goals in the future.”

 Unique approach

The Graduation ROI supplements the original Oswego Guarantee commitments: necessary classes will be available to complete a baccalaureate degree in four consecutive years or the college will enroll the student in the course or courses tuition-free; the college will continue to make small classes available to encourage discussion and interaction between students and faculty; and Oswego pledges to hold each student’s cost for room and meal plans constant for four consecutive years.

“Through the $300 Graduation ROI, we are emphasizing to students and their families that graduating in four years means real savings for them,” Eck said.

Mutual responsibility

The college encourages incoming students, from day one, to start working with faculty and staff on a roadmap to graduation in four academic years or less, she said. “We want to keep college a valuable, cost-effective investment for our students. Therefore, we must continue to have frequent degree-completion planning conversations with our students throughout their years at SUNY Oswego, starting with first-year student advising and continuing through senior year planning.”

To assist with advising, this year the college launched Degree Works, a software tool to help students, their advisers, and other key faculty and administrators easily focus on developing academic plans that lead to a degree.

Also,  the college works with students early in their careers to enroll in needed classes, set mandatory meetings with advisers and move steadily toward declaring a major en route to a four-year degree.

For more information, visit

Phoenix middle schoolers check out future careers

Middle school students at E.J. Dillon in Phoenix thought about their futures at the school’s annual Career Day.

Students were allowed to select their top five choices from a list of 40 careers. They received their schedules in homeroom outlining three sessions of their choosing that spanned a half day.

A variety of professionals, from the entertainment world to the medical field, were asked to prepare a 40-minute classroom presentation.

Several speakers were Phoenix alums, including architect Phil Squadrito, preschool teacher Lisa Balles, cosmetologist Korena Grover, F.B.I. agent Michael DuBois and firefighter Dan Dunn.

Others are current Phoenix residents; pastry chef Ann Pellegrino, “DJ Bob” O’Connell, nurse Teri Lawless and nuclear operations specialist Robert Pellegrino.

An emphasis was placed on ways in which school prepares students to be successful in any career.

Chef Pellegrino mentioned how knowing a foreign language is helpful in her line of work. Words like Tiramisu and Crème Brulee come from Italian and French. Science and math are also used in baking, from substituting an ingredient to doubling a recipe.

Pellegrino explained how there are two- and four-year programs in culinary arts.  In a competitive industry, those scooped up for jobs are often the ones with the most education and experience.

Lisa Myers from the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse encouraged students to work in a field they’re passionate about. Students in the session shared their dreams of becoming stunt and voice actors.

Myers told students if they’re interested in a theatrical career, they can begin building their special skills now. In the world of performance arts, that can mean anything from knowing how to ice skate and do a cartwheel to taking voice lessons.

Veterinarian Scarlett Springate of Highland Animal Hospital stressed the importance of education and getting good grades. To become a veterinarian, she had to obtain a bachelor’s degree before going on to vet school for another four years.

Veterinarians need to have strong communication skills, despite working with patients that can’t verbalize their symptoms. Springate often has to relay information to an animal’s owner.

Special Agent Michael DuBois is no stranger to the Phoenix Central School District. DuBois graduated in 1983, and hadn’t been back until this Career Day visit.

DuBois, who now manages F.B.I. agents, started his career as a social studies teacher, and since then has held a job as a police officer and detective. One of the most important documents he refers to daily is the Constitution, a historical document he learned of as a student.

Patrick McDougall, a sound recording engineer, emphasized in his presentation the connection between skills learned in school, and those needed to be successful in the workplace.

He urged students interested in becoming sound engineers to take music theory and technology courses in high school. Understanding the physics of audio is also important.

Famed trumpeter to play at SUNY Oswego

Submitted by SUNY Oswego

Gifted trumpeter Brian Shaw will appear Dec. 5 and 6 in free SUNY Oswego concerts featuring college ensembles.

Shaw, a member of Louisiana State University’s music faculty, will perform with the college’s Big Band in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre.

That show will feature works by Duke Ellington, Kenny Wheeler, Pat Metheny and arrangements made famous by Doc Severinsen and the Tonight Show Band. The Latin Jazz Ensemble also will perform.

At 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, in Waterman Theatre, Shaw will perform with the college Wind Ensemble in Fisher Tull’s “Rhapsody.”

“Brian Shaw is a fantastic trumpet player and highly accomplished performer in classical and jazz music,” said his host, percussionist Eric Schmitz of the SUNY Oswego music faculty.

“We went to school together at Eastman in the early 2000s, so this will be a ‘reunion’ of sorts,” Schmitz said.

An alumnus of the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, Shaw plays Baroque as well as prize-winning modern trumpet, and has performed throughout North America, including Trinity Church on Wall Street, Music City Baroque in Nashville and Boston Early Music Festival.

His CD, “Virtuoso Concerts for Clarino,” includes what are considered some of the most difficult pieces written for trumpet.

Parking for those without a current campus parking sticker is $1. Visit for information on obtaining a day-use permit.

For more information about these and other end-of-year concerts, visit or contact the SUNY Oswego music department at 312-2130.

What’s happening at the CNY Arts Center?

Snow isn’t the only flurry on the radar.

December brings a flurry of activity to the CNY Arts Center in Fulton.

“Sew You Can” Christmas projects class will be offered Nov. 30.  Level One meets from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. followed by Level Two from 3 to 5 p.m.

The project will be making Christmas cookie coin purses. Students must have taken the beginners class and class will be limited to six students. All classes take place at the Arts Center at 357 State St. Methodist Church. Use the Park Street entrance.

Our Gingerbread House contest kicks off the holiday season for us. Gingerbread creations made by teams or individuals are due at the Gallery between 2 and 4 p.m. Dec. 1.

Stop by the gallery between Dec. 1 and Dec. 14 to vote for your favorite gingerbread creation. Winners will be announced Dec. 14 at our Holiday Open House from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Arts in the Heart Gallery, 47 S. First St.

Please see our web site for rules and suggestions.

Following the open house, there is a dinner planned, called Gifts of the Season Dinner Cabaret, the evening of Dec. 14.

This is a capital fundraising event. We will be serving roast beef and chicken, mashed potatoes, a vegetable and dessert. Entertainment will be provided throughout the evening. Tickets are available at the gallery or on-line at or call 592-3373.

Managers, why not buy a table of eight for your hard-working employees. This is a great way to have your Christmas party with no work on your part!

From 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4 we offer a class in collage. Learn about theme and composition to create interesting pieces. This class is in our classrooms on Park Street.

Saturday, Dec. 7 will be filled with holiday offerings. Have a day of art fun with holiday goodies from 9 a.m. to noon; holiday crafts from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. ; and watercolors from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

All classes require pre-registration. Classes and workshops charge a modest fee. Visit  for all the latest details and updates or call 592-3373.

All classes are held in CNY Arts Center located in the lower level of State St. Methodist Church, 357 State St., Fulton unless otherwise noted.

Remember we bring all arts to all ages at two separate locations. Classes, Writer’s Café, Author Spotlight, live theatre, and Arty Camp, are held in CNY Arts Center located in the lower level of State St. Methodist Church, 357 State St, Fulton. Please use the Park St entrance.

Arts in the HeART Galleryis located at 47 S. First St., downtown Fulton across from the gazebo for local artists who want to display their artistry. Monthly artists’ meet-ups and TH3 Happy Hour also takes place at the gallery. Artists can apply for gallery space online at

Mayor proclaims December Tree Growth and Care Month

On October 30, 2013, Members of the City of Fulton Tree Committee planted four trees along West Fourth Street in front of the city’s west-side water tower as part of their 2013 commitment to beautify our neighborhoods, city parks, waterways and main street corridors.

The City of Fulton has planted a total of 40 trees this year and was awarded an Urban and Community Forestry Grant allowing the city the opportunity to perform a comprehensive street and park tree inventory.

Mayor Ronald Woodward has proclaimed the month of December 2013 as Tree Growth and Care Month in Fulton as part of the City of Fulton’s Arbor Day 2013 celebration.



Bodley Bulletins, by Julia Ludington

By Julia Ludington

I hope that everyone is enjoying their Thanksgiving recess thus far and is looking forward to their holiday.

We had a very exciting event take place at GRB library this past week. On the 18th, senior Amelia Coakley signed her letter of intent to attend Binghamton University to play Division I lacrosse.

A small gathering of family, friends, and fellow lacrosse players were present to watch Amelia make it official. Cake and refreshments were served as Amelia was interviewed. I have had the honor of playing with Amelia and know that she will be a great contribution to the Binghamton team. Congratulations, we are all very proud of you!

On the 13th, students participated in the second Oswego County Academic Youth League competition of the year. I am proud to say our very own team won first place out of seven teams from other Oswego County school districts.

The task was challenging and required a lot of creativity. The students had to create their very own high school.

The curriculum of the high school had to be of New York state standard, but they were free to come up with 7.5 credits worth of electives for students that attended the high school.

The students had to specify if the electives were full or half-year courses, how many credits they were worth, and describe the material taught in the class as well as what activities would take place.

In addition, the team had to perform an infomercial encouraging students to attend their school, come up with a mission statement, and create a brochure. The team was very proud of their finish, as the projects took a lot of hard work.

Our winter sports teams continue to be hard at work. The girls’ varsity and JV basketball teams have their first game Dec. 3  against JD. The JV game starts at 5:30, and the girls will be playing at JD high school. Come support!

Elks donate dictionaries to Oswego elementaries

Submitted by Oswego schools

Dictionaries and the Oswego Elks’ Lodge 271 go hand-in-hand.

Once again the Oswego Elks’ Lodge 271 representatives brought boxes of dictionaries to  Oswego  elementary schools and continued support of area youth.

For the eleventh consecutive year the local fraternal organization has rallied to assist education with the donation of hundreds of student dictionaries to third graders throughout the Oswego City School District.

Oswego Elk’s representative Jan Pashley  distributed the dictionaries at  Charles E. Riley, Frederick Leighton, Kingsford Park, Fitzhugh Park and Minetto elementary schools.

Nearly 400 Oswego third graders are the beneficiaries of the nationwide “Dictionary Project”.

Pashley said, “This is a very worthwhile project that we have been involved in for several years. This is a great learning resource for these students and we are happy to be brining this program to our schools. “

The excitement was evident as the Elks’ members journeyed from classroom to classroom presenting each student with their new book.  Immediately after receiving their new books the students proudly put their names on their newest possession.

Students busily thumbed through their new books and discovered a variety of subjects that they didn’t know were in the dictionary.  This project provides for learning and organizing dictionary skills that are beneficial for all students to improve writing, comprehension and grammar.

The “Dictionary Project” has been supported by the Oswego Elks’ Lodge. It originated in 1995 as Mary French of Charleston, South Carolina, created the program to distribute dictionaries to as many third graders as possible.

In the last 18 years French, her board of directors and a network of volunteers, had raised enough money to put a dictionary in the hands of every public school third grader in South Carolina. The Elks’ have adopted this effort in New York State.

Currently the “Dictionary Project” has been implemented in all 50 states and the Oswego Elks’ Lodge once again displayed its dedication and commitment to Oswego’s children with the generous donation.

Author shares tips with Fulton students about how to tell a good tale

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

Author/Illustrator Peter Catalanotto recently visited Granby and Fairgrieve Elementary schools to talk with kindergarten through second-grade students about his stories and where they originate.

The acclaimed author explained how some of the stories he writes are true, while others are make-believe. Ideas for his stories come partly from his own life, with added bits from his imagination.

All stories must have two essential elements; a character that wants something and an obstacle or problem they must solve to get what they desire.

To use his own work as an example, in Ivan the Terrier, Ivan the dog wants his own story. After interrupting three separate classic fairytales, the narrator gives up and starts a tale about a dog named Ivan.

Students in the audience giggled in delight when Catalanotto showed an illustrated page of Ivan’s hind end, leaving his own story to catch a nap.

In Dylan’s Day Out, a story of a bored Dalmatian that sneaks outside, Catalanotto uses his imagination. While the author does own a dog who always wants to be let out, his dog in real life never tended goal in a soccer game with penguins.

Catalanotto encouraged students to try looking at things in a new way. In the story Dylan’s Day Out, he used black and white animals with colorful backgrounds, something he’d never seen done in a dog book before.

Catalanotto also showed students the process in which he illustrates a story. First he mocks up a storyboard and quickly jots down ideas. He circles words that he’s misspelled, that will need attention later.

A storyboard does not look like a book, but it’s a visual aid for an author to see what he or she has already written. It also allows Catalanotto to see his best ideas.

He also illustrates in pencil in the rough or dummy copy, which makes elements on the page easier to alter.

Catalanotto drew a Dalmatian about to be hit by a soccer ball for the student audience to see. He first works in light pencil, and traces over his lines more firmly once he’s satisfied with the page.

Catalanotto showed off some of his own tricks students can use in their next work of art.

For instance, instead of drawing lines around a soccer ball to show movement, Catalanotto uses an eraser to blur a pencil line. In doing so, the eraser becomes dirty with smudge marks. To clean the eraser, Catalanotto “drew” with it, making a spot on the dog’s nose.