Alumni Achiever, Shawn R. Gray ’07
Unsure if he even wanted to attend college, Shawn began at CCC as a CJ major, along with his high school wrestling teammates. He quickly discovered that he was not that interested in the material but enjoyed his elective classes in biology and chemistry, which fostered his passion for the sciences. He joined the Academic Support Center as a tutor in biology and chemistry and served as vice president of Phi Theta Kappa. Gray transferred to SUNY Oswego where he began majoring in zoology, but later changed to biology and then added physics as a minor. While there, he was co-president of the transfer honor society and co-president of the Biology Club. Following graduation in 2010, Shawn attended Northwestern University earning his Master of Biotechnology (MBP) in 2012.
While attending Northwestern, Shawn met and made friends with classmates who originated from all over the world (China, India, Japan, Korea, and Russia). Since middle school, he had been inspired by the rich history and culture of China. Early civilization, as represented by world relics in China, drew his interest at a young age, and in college he wanted to gain a further understanding of the lives of his Chinese colleagues. He first visited China during the years of 2008 and 2010. Since 2012, Gray has been a science instructor at an international high school attached to Beijing Normal University.
Thus far, Shawn’s experience with China “has been great.” Although the country is very culturally different from the United States, he is enjoying himself and looks forward to being certified in the language (self-taught) this September.
Eventually, Shawn intends on finding a career as an international consultant for the industries of medical advancement and alternative fuel energies. “I am a strong believer in change and that change is for the better. New and improved technologies will provide crucial transformations to medical care and will sustain the demand on energy for mankind. I intend to play a role in these transformations once my oral Chinese and communication skills are up to par.”
Gray was a student intern in the Physics Department at SUNY Oswego where he performed scientific research. He was a research assistant/technical experimentalist with AuraSense Therapeutics, LLC, Northwestern University, in 2011 and 2012 where he served as an intern in the development of biomaterial functionalized-gold nanoparticle conjugates for gene regulation and cellular therapies. He was also a teacher’s assistant/lecturer and teacher’s assistant in Bioprocess Engineering for graduate students in the Master of Biotechnology Program (MBP) at Northwestern.
Academically, Shawn achieved the Dean’s List and President’s List while at CCC and SUNY Oswego. He earned the “Contributions to the Culture of Academic Excellence” from the State University of New York at Oswego in 2009 (Tau Sigma Transfer Honor Society; Biology Club). His professional service included the MBP “New Student” Mentors Coordinator with the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University and Tau Sigma Transfer Honor Society President. He worked with Habitat for Humanity from 2007 to 2010 and has held memberships with The Scientific Research Society of Sigma Xi since 2010, Tau Sigma Transfer Honor Society, and The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi since 2008.
Shawn is the eldest of four children. His parents, Lois A. (Terino) Gray ’83 and Kenneth Gray ’78, met while attending CCC in the ’80s; his brother Brett T. Gray is a 2013 alum. He married Brooke Yulan Chang in January of 2015 and the couples lives in Chengdu, China. Of his time at CCC, Shawn shares that Patricia ‘Pat’ Bullock (front desk), Teresa Hoercher, Vicki Hamberger and Peggy Carroway (ASC staff) helped to make his experience great.
“You are all ready for the next step”
Newly inaugurated as Cayuga eighth President, Dr. Brian Durant greeted the graduates on Sunday, May 22, and offered them a challenge. “You are all ready for the next step, we look forward to watching you and seeing what you can achieve in the future.” He told the students to continue to learn and recognize the contributions they can make during their lives regardless of the career paths they choose. Professor Loraine Miller ’73 served as Mace Bearer and Professors Howard Nelson and Thomas Casella were recognized as Professors Emeritus. Receiving Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence were Prof. Robert Humphrey, Jr. PhD and Prof. Joel Y. Humphrey, PhD. William DeMott and Michelle Speech received Excellence in Adjunct Teaching and Cayuga maintenance worker Ernest Leonard received Excellence in Classified Service.
The graduating class was joined by faculty, family and friends in Spartan Hall gym for the college’s 62nd-annual commencement. SUNY Chancellor’s Award winners for Student Excellence Martha Caster ’16 and Rebecca McDonald ’16, served as the College’s commencement speakers. Martha spoke about her experiences which had been both rewarding and embarrassing. She advised her fellow graduates to grow from their mistakes and push themselves. Rebecca shared that she benefited from Cayuga in several ways, and shared that she will treasure her time involved in the extracurricular programs and the relationships she formed at CCC.
Also recognized during the ceremony were the 2016 Alumni Award Winners; John E. Walsh ’65, Col. Thomas J. Powell, USAF (Ret.) ’66, Dr. Brian J. Kelly ’95 and Lori A. Cochran ’05. They were presented with their awards by Dr. Durant and Alumni Board President Gerry Guiney ’82, and were received at a reception in their honor directly following Commencement.
Four graduates of Cayuga Community College were recognized by the College’s Alumni Association with the 2016 Alumni Award. John E. Walsh ’65, Colonel Thomas J. Powell, USAF, (Retired) ’66, Brian J. Kelly, PhD ’95, and Lori A Cochran ’05 were acknowledged at Commencement on May 22, by College President Dr. Brian Durant. Following Commencement the recipients, with their family and friends, were welcomed at a reception held in their honor. Alumni Board President Gerry Guiney ’82 shared the accomplishments of each of the 2016 Award recipients, and Dr. Durant spoke about the recipient’s, and how family and friends play an important role in their achievements.
The champagne and hors d’oeuvres reception, held in the Rotunda, was sponsored by the Alumni Association. In addition to the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors, the event was attended by the College President and College Board of Trustees, Foundation Director and Foundation Board, College faculty and staff and other dignitaries.
The ACC/CCC Alumni Association hosts an awards program annually, recognizing alumni who have set themselves apart through their service to the community and/or Auburn-Cayuga Community College, its Foundation or its Alumni Association. Selection of recipients is based on a range of criteria which include volunteer service, involvement in civic functions, or vocational achievements, to name a few. Recipients exhibit qualities symbolic of the mission of the Alumni Association. Nomination forms are available on the College’s Alumni page or through the Alumni Office.
You can read more about the 2016 Award Winners in the fall issue of Spartan, which will be available online beginning in September at: http://www.cayuga-cc.edu/giving/alumni/spartan-alumni-newsletter/
Two time Cayuga Community College alumna Kathleen (DeJoy) Genkos ’87 & ’00 and her brother Scott DeJoy, recently completed and published their first book; “Hometown Heroes: The History of the Auburn Fire Department”. Both Kathy’s father and brother were Auburn Firefighters, and when the siblings recognized that there had not been a comprehensive book written about the History of the Auburn Fire Department, they decide to become first time authors.
“It is a project that we are both very proud of and hope that the community is as well,” Kathy said, “It’s been such an amazing journey so far – the Auburn Community is very supportive!” Kathy and Scott’s father, Frank DeJoy, is on the cover of the book. The duo participated in a book signing this month at Downtown Books & Coffee in Auburn, NY, where the book is being sold. It is also available for purchase through Amazon.com.
Cayuga’s 3rd Annual SPARTY and Recognition Ceremony was held on Friday May 13th, where College faculty and staff enjoyed the college-wide appreciation day which included lunch, games and music on the Auburn Quad.
College President Dr. Durant recognized Chancellor Award winners for Excellence in Teaching, Adjunct Teaching and Classified Service as well as recognition for Years of Service; which included Director of IT Greg Szczepanski ’75 who received a 40 year award. Also recognized were individuals who are retiring this year, including Professor Loraine Miller ’73. It was a beautiful day for SPARTY!
During the event Foundation Board President Kelly Gridley gave special recognition to former Board of Trustee and Foundation staff member Martha “Marty” Seward MacKay, who recently passed away. Marty gave generously of her time and council to both organizations. Also acknowledged were two Foundation Board Members, David Contiguglia and Lloyd Hoskins ’74, who recently completed nine years of service to the board.
The artwork of CCC student Jamie Condie ’96 was featured on the invitations and programs. His work was recommended by Melissa Johnson, Assistant Professor of Art at Cayuga, and is representative of a still-art session from her class.
In May, kindergarten students arrived on the Fulton Campus from Granby Elementary wearing t-shirts donated by the Cayuga Community College for the Kindergarten to College Success Program (K2C) developed by Donna Petersen ’07, a Learning Specialist, English/Adjunct Instructor. The Program was created to promote the early literacy connection in the elementary classroom between the College’s Early Childhood Education Program and the local school district in which Cayuga Fulton students complete their practicum placements.
The children were welcomed by Mrs. “P” along with the Fulton Division Chair, Dr. Robert Humphrey. Throughout the day, the students enjoyed a germ demonstration with Professor Jennifer Nichols ’01 in the nursing lab, and a read aloud with Librarian and Associate Professor Judy Campanella ’78, who wowed the children with her story about the superhero monster who helped save the Earth. The children then became superheroes themselves by creating their own capes with stickers and crayons.
Their day was completed with a stop at the Barnes & Noble bookstore, where David Alliger ’08 and his crew rewarded them with a tasty treat of hot chocolate. Before leaving, the students received a CCC goody bag.
This week, let’s take a fresh look at how to get the best photos with your phone.
1. Choose Your Subjects Wisely
Even though some cell phones now offer as many megapixels as traditional point-and-shoot cameras (see “Sony Ericsson, Samsung Duke It Out for Megapixel Supremacy” for evidence), not every scene is a great choice for your camera phone. I see a lot of people trying to take pictures of the stage at concerts, for example. I’m sad to say that pretty much all they will get is a dark frame with a blur of bright light in the middle.
Camera phones might have improved in the last few years, but you’ll still get the best results when you shoot stationary or slow-moving subjects in well-lit locations.
Does that mean you shouldn’t bother trying to take pictures in dark rooms or at that rock show? Of course not–there’s no extra expense, and you’re carrying your phone around anyway. Take lots of pictures; just don’t expect miracles.
2. Keep the Phone Steady
Have you noticed that you get more blurry photos with your camera phone than with your usual camera? It’s not your imagination. The shutter speed is slower, and you very likely have no ability to vary the exposure settings. So for best results, you’ll want to take a deep breath and then let out a slow, steady exhale as you gently trigger the phone’s shutter release. Hold the phone as still as you can, with both hands if possible. It’s not hard, but it does take some practice.
In order to take a great photo, you used to have to buy a fancy camera and editing software for your desktop computer. Then, you had to invest some serious time and energy into learning how to use them.
Thanks to smartphones and editing apps, we can now take high quality photos and edit them without any bells and whistles.
But taking a great photo on your smartphone is not as simple as pointing and shooting. There are plenty of bad smartphone photos out there — I’m sure you’ve seen one or two of them.
So, what’s the secret to taking great pictures with your smartphone? Turns out there are a few of them. Check out these tips below to improve your smartphone photography game. (And once you have the photo-taking part down, read this post to see the best photo editing apps for mobile.)
17 Tips for Taking Pictures With Your Smartphone
1) Turn on gridlines to line up your shot.
One of the easiest and best ways to improve the photos you take on your mobile device is by turning on gridlines so you can properly set up your shot. It superimposes a series of lines on the screen of your smartphone’s camera app that are based on the “rule of thirds” — one of the most well-known principles of photographic composition.
The rule of thirds says to break an image down into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, so you have nine parts in total. The theory is that if you place points of interest in these intersections or along the lines, your photo will be more balanced and will enable your viewer to interact with the image more naturally.