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. Given these factors, he says it “made perfect sense” to continue with his studies here.
Dan was able to balance school with studying for the CPA exam (which he says is like a full-time job), thanks to his late afternoon and evening classes. Today he works in advisory services for Ernst and Young LLP in Rochester.
His professors had opened their office doors to students, making them feel welcome at any time, which Dan says made the tough course load much easier to handle. He also says many of the professors went out of their way to help him and his classmates during the rigorous recruiting process.
Kellie Burns pursued her MBA while working full-time at Paychex as a project and product integrity manager.
“Thoroughly impressed” by her undergraduate experience at Fisher, she knew that the supportive faculty and staff at the College would be what she would need to get through graduate work-- especially while balancing school with family and a full-time job.
While she had a little less sleep and fewer lunches with colleagues during the program, she says the experience “comes with no regrets.”
Kellie also says her time at Fisher was much less about the actual grade she achieved and more about the experience of learning. The professors, guest speakers, staff, and fellow students created an “incredible life experience” for her.
Originally from New York City, Kamilla Claiborne first came to Buffalo to pursue her undergraduate degree in criminal justice, then enrolled in Fisher’s childhood/special education master’s program. While working toward her graduate degree, she worked as a paralegal at the Monroe County Public Defender’s office.
An atmosphere of diversity on the Fisher campus, as well as experienced faculty, brought Kamilla here.
She says her time at Fisher was a great learning experience. While it was difficult to juggle work and school at first, she was 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. She says that her peers at Fisher 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, staying in the field for 12 years.
She credits her experience in Fisher’s MBA program with inspiring her to pursue an entirely new career. Today, she serves as the Managing Director of International Trade and part-time NYSERDA regional outreach contractor for 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 decided where to pursue her graduate degree.
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 graduate George Jegadesh was attracted to Fisher because of the small class size and the dedicated and passionate professors
While he sacrificed some sleep, he was able to balance his work and school lifestyles well.
He says his favorite thing about Fisher was the faculty, whom he calls “experienced, dedicated, accessible, and passionate.”
Maria Katsetos is no stranger to Fisher. She had earned her bachelor of arts degree in adolescence education/special education and American studies. She also had earned master’s degrees in literacy education and educational leadership from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education.
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 when deciding to continue her education.
Maria 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 that is “an honor” to be a part of, she says.
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, who has worked as a pharmacy technician at Rite Aid, received her bachelor of science degree from Fisher.
Jessica says that the professors and students were welcoming when she first came to Fisher as an undergraduate transfer student. They helped make her transition so smooth that she decided to enroll in the pharmacy program after having become a proud member of the Fisher community.
Jessica has lived and breathed by a checklist that keeps her course work and pharmacy work on track. Even as a graduate student, she has found ways to get involved in several clubs at the Wegmans School of Pharmacy, which has helped her develop close relationships with her classmates and professors.
Her favorite thing about Fisher has been 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 likes to keep busy. While enrolled in the literacy education master’s program at Fisher, she was a substitute teacher in the Webster School District, worked at Perinton Community Center with children ages 5-12 in various roles, and tutored.
She admits she had to take her schedule during that period “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 were an added bonus, she says. Asked to name another one of her favorite things about the College, she mentions the Cyber Café’s buffalo chicken soup.
Jill most recently added daily substitute teacher for the Manchester-Shortsville School District to her impressive résumé.
Between nannying and interning at Strong Behavioral Health, mental health counseling graduate student Abby Wydysh had a full plate. While the program is a demanding one, Abby says that Fisher made it easier to balance all areas of her life.
She found that classes were offered at convenient times, and schedules were customizable. The professors stressed the importance of self-care, and showed genuine concern about helping each student maintain proper 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 has learned about the field, and about herself, will help her achieve her career goals.