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Senior Profiles

Akintokunbo Akinbajo
Akintokunbo Akinbajo
Tracy Berens
Tracy Berens
Michael Key
Michael Key
Callie Knight
Callie Knight
Jennifer Lee
Jennifer Lee
Kayti Marr
Kayti Marr
Yvette Morris
Yvette Morris
Kim Shalvey
Kim Shalvey
Debbie Wells
Debbie Wells
Feature

Jon Hojnacki
By Tania Petrina, senior, originally from Yonkers, NY, recipient of a Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence has a major in accounting and minors in business and philosophy; active in Presidential Honors Society, Pi Sigma Epsilon, the Accounting Club and Omicron Delta Kappa. After graduation Tania will be working for Ernst & Young in New York City.

Jon HojnackiFrom being a University tour guide to working for a state assemblyman, political science major Jon Hojnacki has made the most of his opportunities at UAlbany.

When deciding where to go for college, Jon had to make a decision between two of his greatest loves, politics and cooking. After deciding in favor of politics, Jon then had two schools to decide between – Southern Vermont College and the University at Albany. He chose UAlbany because of its size and accessibility to the capital which provide a plethora of opportunities for students. Plus, he says, “When looking at the seal of the University, I felt that it was a place that I could take seriously.”

Looking back, Jon mentions a couple of pivotal moments. First and foremost, he reminisces about the various Fountain Days he has seen and the “immense feeling of school spirit.” He also mentions a world event that had a large impact on him, as well as many other students – 9/11. The night of 9/11, there was a candlelight vigil that took place around the fountain at the center of campus and it was a remarkable time of unity. Jon will never forget the sight of hundreds of students lined up in the campus center to give blood the next day.

Jon with MS Walk group.  Click for larger image.
  Jon (second from right) with MS Walk group.  Click photo for larger image.

Throughout his time here, Jon has been very involved. He is a member of the Presidential Honors Society, part of the Presidential Scholars Leadership Council, an Eboard member of Pi Sigma Alpha, the Political Science Honor Society and Omicron Delta Kappa, the National Leadership Honor Society. Additionally, he worked for Admissions as a tour guide, visit coordinator and assistant to the Presidential Scholar Program. In the University, some of the people who made the greatest impact on him were political science professors Anne Hildreth and Joseph Zimmerman, and Director of Admissions Robert Andrea. They all taught him how to put things in perspective and held him to higher standards, which motivated him to work harder.

Looking to commencement, he cites a variety of feelings – excitement, anxiety, and nostalgia about freshman year. He is especially happy with his choice to come to UAlbany and has no regrets. “My internship in the NYS Assembly made me realize just how well prepared I am for the governmental setting and I am confidant. My worries about the value of my degree have also been quelled as I've come to see how many UAlbany alumni are working throughout the state government.” This is evident in his plans for after graduation. In the short term, Jon will continue here at UAlbany for graduate school to gain a combined BA/MA. He will be pursuing a master’s in public administration at the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy. (This program Jon Hojnackiimpressively went from #8 to #5 in the US News rankings.) Long term, he is not sure where he will end up but would like to be involved in public administration, the government or not-for-profit sectors.

His advice to incoming freshman (as well as current students): “Give Albany a chance --both the school and the town. Just look around and you can find tons of stuff to interest you -- from The Palace to the Pepsi, and lots of volunteer opportunities. Talk to your professors and they can give you extra help to find research assistantships. Read the Podium bulletin boards and speak your mind to those who are in charge. Yes, that seems like more than one piece of advice, but it really comes down to -- look for opportunities and seize upon the ones that interest you because there is a ton to do here.”

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Senior Profiles

 

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