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Maxwell Alumni Stay In Touch!

Eric Ennis, MPA 2014  Our Alumni Stay in Touch

Eric Ennis, MPA 2014
Our Alumni Stay in Touch

One of the BEST aspects of my work is getting to know so many dynamic and interesting people from all over the world. They are so passionately committed to making the world a better place that they are willing to invest in developing their skills and knowledge through graduate study.  Of course, the ones that I get to know the best are the ones who decide that SU’s Maxwell School is the best school for them. What these students find out is that not only do the obtain a first rate education, they also become part of a tight-knit community of scholars, fellow students, and alumni.  And our alumni stay in touch! They really do. Some, we hear from often, and others, from time to time. And sometimes we just reach out to them – and they respond back, quickly and with enthusiasm, even if it has been years since we have been in personal touch. That network…community…family…if you will, is a hallmark of our school and program. I am part of it (’96), and it bring me smiles and satisfaction every day.  We provide our students such a great experience, that they love to stay in touch and give back. What is better testament than that?

By example, last week, I received an email from a former student (he was my GA in 2011-12). It was short, happy, to the point:  “Hey Christine! Just wanted to let you know I got a new job! I’m going to be working for the minority side of the House Education and Workforce Committee doing early childhood education and some k-12 stuff. I’m looking forward to it! I’ll start late August but just wanted to tell you!” 

A few days later, this email came in from Eric Ennis. He graduated in 2014.

I remember being told as an MPA student how the faculty and staff at Maxwell always appreciate hearing from alumni on occasion, so I wanted to reach out and share some news.  I have recently accepted a new position with the City of Syracuse, now serving in the role of Economic Development Specialist. The Maxwell connection continues for me as I transition from working under one MPA alum (Stephanie Pasquale ‘97) to now working under another (Ben Walsh ‘05). This new role brings me over into the business side of our department, and I look forward to assisting with ongoing projects being developed in our rapidly-growing areas such as Downtown and University Hill, while also developing new commercial and employment opportunities in some of our city’s most economically-challenged neighborhoods where the need is even greater.

In the 14 months since graduation, I can see now more than ever how Maxwell has equipped and prepared me for one of the greatest opportunities I could have in the world (based on my passions anyway) – to make a difference and play a role in the transformation of my hometown. This was always my goal when I stepped onto campus for the very first time, and it’s a powerful thing to be able to sit here and say that’s exactly what I am doing today. So as a part of this email I’d like to say thank you for your help in that as well.

To fill my original position our office has hired internally, so unfortunately I have no open job position to share, but trust me I always keep an eye out for opportunities for current Maxwell students and alumni. I hope to find the time to stop up to campus and visit again soon, and in the meantime, I hope you’re enjoying working with the new class of 2016 students. I’ve had the opportunity to meet some already, and while they appear to be great, it’s my biased (but still rather honest) opinion that there really was no class like one from 2014.” 

I’ve had multiple other contacts with alumni just this past week as well.  They include an email from a most recent grad (’15) who introduced me to her friend from high school (who now works in DC) and “is a perfect candidate for graduate study at Maxwell”;  and and some catch up emails from alumni (’02 and ’04) in OH and WA who were more than happy to connect with a couple of prospective students I had recently met.  And today, another Maxwell alum, my predecessor, Ann Phelps (MPA ’80) who was the Admissions Director for the MPA program when I applied and attended is stopping by for coffee.

I have to say this sense of community makes Maxwell, Maxwell. Its one of the reasons that I stay here.  Not only do I get to meet all these interesting and amazing people – but they stay in touch, even years after they leave! How lucky am I – and how lucky is Maxwell to have such a wonderful community of students, faculty, staff and alumni who all feel deeply connected to the school.

I feel compelled to sign this post, Christine Ferris Omolino (’96)


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April 2024
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