Graduate Student Profiles
Fisher graduate Dan Agan decided to roll right into his graduate education to pursue an MBA immediately after earning his bachelor of science in Accounting from Fisher.
Fisher’s beautiful campus, small class sizes, and great reputation are what first appealed to Dan, and so he said it “made perfect sense” to continue on.
Dan was able to balance school with studying for the CPA exam (which he said is like a full-time job), thanks to his late afternoon and evening classes.
His professors welcomed students to their offices with open arms at any time, which Dan said made the tough course load much easier to handle. He also said many of the professors went out of their way to help him and his classmates during the rigorous recruiting process.
Jason Burgett is currently working in the role of a Clinical Nurse Specialist in the Imaging Science Department at Strong Memorial Hospital, where his responsibilities run the gamut from staff education and professional development to overseeing new staff orientation and operational projects.
He is also working on his obtaining his master’s degree in Advanced Practice Nursing in the Clinical Nurse Specialist track.
This will be Jason’s second master’s degree, and he says that Fisher is “an amazing environment that will push you to learn and grow.” The passion and knowledge that the nursing faculty have is what he enjoys the most, and he calls the educational format “conducive to lifelong learning,” encouraging a lot of interaction between students.
Kellie Burns is pursuing her MBA and working full-time at Paychex as a Project and Product Integrity Manager.
She was “thoroughly impressed” by her undergraduate experience at Fisher, and she knew that the supportive faculty and staff at Fisher would be what she would need to get through graduate work now that she had a family and a full-time job.
And while she had a little less sleep and a few less lunches with colleagues during the program, she said it “comes with no regrets.”
Kellie also says her time at Fisher has been so much less about the actual grade she achieves and so much more about the experience of learning. And that the professors, guest speakers, staff, and fellow students have created an “incredible life experience” for her.
Originally from New York City, Kamilla Claiborne came to Buffalo to pursue her undergraduate degree in criminal justice and now works as a paralegal at the Monroe County Public Defender’s office.
Now enrolled in Fisher’s Childhood/Special Education Master’s Program, the diverse atmosphere of the campus and the experienced faculty are what brought Kamilla here.
She says her time here has been a great learning experience, and while it was difficult to juggle it all at first, she has been able to overcome those obstacles.
Her advice to anyone looking to continue their education is to prioritize, set goals, be willing to work hard, and stay focused. Her peers at Fisher have helped her to do just that.
After completing her undergraduate degree in Communication/Journalism at SUNY Geneseo, Leah George started working in the local media landscape in radio and television news, and stayed in the field for 12 years.
She credits her experience in the MBA program with inspiring her to pursue an entirely new career, and today, she serves as the Managing Director in International Trade and Part-Time NYSERDA Regional Outreach Contractor for the Greater Rochester Enterprise.
The MBA program’s flexibility allowed her to take classes based on her workload and life circumstances. The small class sizes, close proximity to downtown, and reputable professors are the things that sealed the deal for Leah when she was deciding on where to pursue her MBA.
Rita Gupta already holds a bachelor’s degree in Physics and a master’s degree in Materials Science, but is currently enrolled in Fisher’s Master of Science in Math, Science, and Technology Education program.
She says the enthusiasm, helpfulness, and knowledge of the Fisher staff she worked with while trying to make a decision certainly helped her choose as well.
Rita is thankful for the knowledgeable faculty and advisors who guide students each step of the way. In fact, she hasn’t encountered a problem yet that wasn’t solved quickly.
Josh Harris first graduated from Fisher in 2005 with a degree in Spanish and a minor in Education. Today, he is a Spanish teacher at Wayne Central Middle School, and decided to turn his attention back to Fisher to pursue his master’s degree in Special Education.
The small class sizes and personal attention from professors were two things he knew he’d find after having been an undergraduate student at the College. He says the School of Education at Fisher is a “cut above the rest,” and he credits them for daily compliments he receives about the skills he brings to his classroom.
Josh says the College provides students with a supportive, practical, and professional environment for learning, and also gives them a meaningful education along with a skill set that they can use globally.
MBA student George Jegadesh was attracted to Fisher because of the small class size and the dedicated and passionate professors. He also liked the useful courses and the reasonable tuition compared to other schools.
And while he has sacrificed some sleep, he has been able to balance his work and school lifestyle well.
He says his favorite thing about Fisher are the faculty, whom he calls “experienced, dedicated, accessible, and passionate.”
Maria Katsetos is no stranger to Fisher. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Adolescence Education/Special Education and American Studies, along with a master’s degree in Literacy Education from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education.
Currently, she is pursuing her master’s degree in the Educational Leadership program.
The special education teacher at Victor Senior High School was very happy with her undergraduate education at the College; so much so that she didn’t look any further than Fisher to continue her education.
She would tell others looking at Fisher to visit the campus and sit in on a class to get a real sense of the environment here, an environment she says is “an honor” to be a part of.
Literacy Coach Allison Rioux spent her days at French Road Elementary School in Brighton and her nights in the Literacy Education Master’s Program not too long ago.
As an undergraduate at Fisher, she loved the professors and felt that they really pushed her to become a great teacher. So, it seemed natural to continue her education with those same individuals.
She felt that she had a good balance of theory and practice in the program, thanks to the faculty, and she was able to bring back what she was learning to her classroom and apply it to her teaching right away.
She always felt comfortable seeking professional advice from her teachers, who all felt as passionate as she does about literacy. Completing the degree helped her to realize that literacy teaching and learning was her true calling in life.
Pharmacy student Jessica Saxum received her Bachelor of Science degree from Fisher, and currently works as a pharmacy technician at Rite Aid.
She was a transfer student as an undergraduate, and said the professors and students were welcoming, which made for a smooth transition. So smooth, that she decided to pursue the pharmacy program after having become a proud member of the Fisher community.
She lives and breathes by a checklist that keeps her course work and pharmacy work on track. And even as a graduate student, Jessica has found ways to get involved in several clubs at the School of Pharmacy, which has helped her develop close relationships with her classmates and professors.
Her favorite thing about Fisher is the safe, comforting feeling she gets each time she sets foot on campus. Pharmacy students spend a lot of time here, and Jessica really enjoys that time when she is on campus.
Jill Vianco is a busy woman. She is a substitute teacher in the Webster School District, works at Perinton Community Center with children ages 5-12 in various roles, and tutors.
She is also enrolled in the Literacy Education Master’s Program at Fisher and admits she takes her schedule “one week at a time.”
Having gone to a small school for her undergraduate education, the close-knit community at Fisher was familiar to her. The flexible and welcoming professors are an added bonus (not to mention the Cyber Café’s buffalo chicken soup, one of Jill’s favorites!)
Between nannying and interning at Strong Behavioral Health, Mental Health Counseling graduate student Abby Wydysh has a full plate. And while the program is a demanding one, Abby say that Fisher makes it easier to balance all areas of her life.
Classes are offered at convenient times, and schedules are customizable. The professors stress the importance of self-care, and show genuine concern about helping each student with a good balance.
Abby looked at graduate schools from Rochester to California before deciding on Fisher. She says she just knew that the small and friendly community, all-star professors, and great reputation of the College would be perfect for her.
She says Fisher has provided her everything she wanted in a graduate program, and more, and she knows that everything she learned about the field and about herself will help her achieve her career goals.