Alumni Panel Offers Advice to Students During ALANA Week

p16-Alana-altThe key to success as a student is setting goals and evaluating how well you are meeting them—every single day.

That’s the advice one alumna offered to a crowd of about 50 students and other participants at an alumni leadership panel held Sept. 21 in the Marano Campus Center. The panel, part of the 29th annual ALANA (African, Latino, Asian and Native American) Student Leadership Conference at SUNY Oswego, provided students an opportunity to interact with—and gain insight from—successful alumni.

Tiffany McGeary ’11, a medication nurse for Oswego Behavioral Health Services, told students that she kept a planner and at the end of each day, reviewed what she had accomplished— a valuable method to manage her time, assure she was always prepared and, most importantly, meet her goals and build new ones.

“You have to have goals,” McGeary said. “If you have goals, you can know when you get where you want to be, and then you can put other goals in place.”

Other panelists—Rufaro Matombo ’12, digital media producer for “The Combat Jack Show” on the Loud Speakers Network; Grace Maxon-Clarke ’11, academic planning counselor for the Educational Opportunity Program at SUNY Oswego; and Soheila Ahmad Yaddow ’08, teacher for the Enrichment Program, Frazer K-8 School in Syracuse, N.Y.—echoed McGeary’s advice on time management. All juggled involvement in a variety of campus clubs and organizations alongside their academic endeavors, and all encouraged students to be realistic when it came to involvement and to find a network of support on campus.

“Surround yourself with positivity, and positive people,” Matombo said. As a student, Matombo taped signs on the door and wall in his residence hall room that said “Don’t Ever Give Up,” so it would be the last thing he saw before falling asleep. “That helped to motivate me to do all the things I had going on, plus keep a good GPA.”

The panelists also visited classrooms and made presentations through the Oswego Alumni Association’s Alumni- In-Residence (AIR) program, with support from The Fund for Oswego.

The ALANA Student Leadership Conference is a weeklong multicultural celebration featuring a fashion show, leadership workshops, a gala banquet and a musical performance by the Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra. For more information about ALANA, visit

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