Inspiring entrepreneur selected as a Forbes Next 1000 honoree
As the semester came to an end, three agribusiness students had something a little extra to celebrate. They won the top three prizes in the 2021 Cotton Family Business Idea Competition, a competition where students have the opportunity to win money and take their ideas to the next level.
“It’s worth it if you put in the effort,” said Danielle Bunting ’21 while reflecting on her time as a SUNY Morrisville Mustang.
“If your goal is to make difference, you start with journalism and Morrisville.” Those words spoken by SUNY Morrisville journalism graduate Mike Gormley are precisely what he has been doing as a reporter covering politics and government for four decades. Since he graduated in 1981, Gormley has racked up more than two dozen journalism awards, including the 2016 New York State Publishers Association Distinguished State Government Coverage Award of Excellence for his investigation into New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s campaign finances.
As a single mother, Rolanda Campbell ’22 has faced her share of financial burdens while pursuing her education at SUNY Morrisville. But childcare costs, transportation worries and so many other financial burdens were alleviated thanks to the college’s Student Hardship Fund, which helped her stay on track. The fund supports students who incur a sudden expense or change in circumstances they cannot overcome with financial aid or family support.
As a hot housing market and spike in home remodeling propel the need for skilled tradespeople in the residential construction industry, Mike Gridley ’04 is doing his part to ease the demand. The assistant professor of residential construction at SUNY Morrisville has been teaching the tricks of his trade and molding skilled workers for more than two decades in the classroom and as proprietor of Gridley Construction, in Hamilton, New York.
There were smiles of joy, relief, elbow bumping, physically distanced selfies and Mustang Pride was in full swing as SUNY Morrisville graduates celebrated scaled-back, in-person ceremonies in lieu of a traditional commencement this year. The separate indoor ceremonies, which all followed New York State and Health Department guidelines, balanced safety and tradition, allowing graduates to put some normalcy back in their lives following COVID-19 restrictions, which forced a virtual commencement ceremony in 2020.
A life once limited is now filled with opportunity and dreams for Dahmili (“Molly”) Pierre Browne ’20. The SUNY Morrisville criminal justice graduate spent most of her childhood moving in and out of motels and living in shelters in a crime-ridden part of Bronx, New York, where sirens saturate neighborhoods and a quarter of all students drop out of high school. So much changed for Browne when the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) offered her the chance to go to college.
The future of agriculture, engineering and energy isn’t confined to traditional desks and lecture halls at SUNY Morrisville. Students will begin taking classes this fall in the $16 million Agricultural and Clean Energy Technology (ACET) Center, a 30,000-square foot applied learning technology building that will bolster the renewable energy, agricultural engineering, and diesel technology programs.