Recipient, the Joan L. Cunniff '53 and Alan R. Stephenson '52 Scholarship
Until her senior year of high school, Desiree Giroux thought she’d like to become a pediatrician. But some time spent
volunteering with Hospice patients at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany convinced her that “older people have a lot to teach us,” and she’s now considering a career as a physician’s assistant in the geriatrics field.
The 18-year-old Cohoes
native enrolled at UAlbany this fall to study biology but is keeping an open mind about her major, too: She’s also
interested in chemistry. As the recipient of the Joan L. Cunniff ’53 and Alan R. Stephenson ’52 Scholarship, Giroux
is grateful for the opportunities the award presents. “It shows me that there are people who care about my
education. In a way, it motivates me to do better in school because they want me to do well. They care about the younger generation,” Giroux said.
Alan R. Stephenson, Ph.D., B.A. '55, M.S. '58
As an undergraduate history major at the New York State College for Teachers, the University at Albany’s predecessor institution, Alan R. Stephenson received an outstanding education. He also acquired photography, stage-lighting and management skills that would steer him toward career success in both broadcasting and higher education.
After serving in the Korean War, Stephenson returned to State, graduating in 1955 and earning a master’s in biology in 1958. (He maintains his original undergraduate affiliation with the Class of ‘52.) Stephenson later completed the doctoral program in communications at Ohio State. A pioneer in educational broadcasting, he went on to teach at John Carroll University, where he is now a full professor.
Stephenson’s named scholarship memorializes his former schoolmate, Joan L. Cunniff. Female graduates of her alma mater, Cohoes High School, are afforded preference in receiving the award.