Between late night s’more sessions on the lake, pizza-fueled information meetings between professionals and students, and trips to maximum-security prisons, Gary Morris ’88 effectively helps students realize that the time is now to start keeping an eye keenly on their future.
Morris is the chief mastermind behind the Sophomore Year Experience. Now in its second — or sophomore — year, the program helps second-year students figure out what the immediate and long-term future holds for them.
The program hosts numerous events throughout the academic year, including the Job-A-Rama job fair, the S’mores with Sophomores welcome back event and Pizza with Professionals, where professionals from various fields come to campus to share a meal and chat with students.
Students also have the opportunity to take their interests in a certain field off campus with the program’s “Test Drive Your Career” events, where Morris and faculty take students on trips to businesses that hire graduates from a certain major.
Last October, 20 chemistry majors made the trek to Rochester to learn about the science and engineering involved in the manufacturing of contact lenses at Bausch & Lomb in Rochester, where they met with alumni who explained what it means to be a winning industrial chemist, what employers look for in new hires, and how the science and engineering fields work together to take an idea from research and development to a packaged product.
Stephen Maier ’84 M ’89, spoke to the sophomores about the importance of the opportunities presented to them at Oswego. “There [are] things that you can do or choices you can make, like taking more classes, that really help separate you from other students,” Maier said.
Jesse Vanucchi ’13 said the trip showed him what type of chemistry to home in on post-graduation.
The program also received a $5,000 Target grant in November that Morris plans to use to send cash-strapped sophomores around the world to perform community service in foreign communities.
—Kyle C. Gargan ’11