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Three UAlbany Freshmen Win "Explore UAlbany" Drawing

September 7, 2010



Sue Faerman congratulates the winners.

Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Studies Sue Faerman (at far right) congratulates the winners: Victoria Gurrieri, Vanessa DeJesus and Heather Strandholt. (Photo Mark Schmidt)


Three University at Albany freshmen have won $500 gift certificates from the UAlbany bookstore as part of the campus's academic orientation program, "Explore UAlbany." These students will get off to a strong academic start by having their first semester's text books paid for, thanks to a generous donation from SEFCU. The three winners � Heather Strandholt, of Beacon Falls, Conn., who is planning to major in psychology; Vanessa DeJesus of Malverne, N.Y., a premed major; and Victoria Gurrieri of Staten Island, who is undecided but leaning toward communication � said they were thrilled to learn their names had been selected.

All three winners participated in the "Explore UAlbany" on Aug. 27, part of the Great Dane Beginnings opening weekend of the fall 2010 semester. Strandholt chose to learn about nanobiology from Associate Professor Scott Tenenbaum. Gurrieri said she loved the session on crime presented by Assistant Professor Jamie Fader. And Vanessa attended the session on freedom and responsibility offered by Accounting and Law lecturer Paul V. Morgan, Jr. All three said the sessions were interesting, lots of fun, and got them off to a strong academic start. That start has been validated in their first week of classes. The three reported that they have found the campus very easy to get around, and said everyone is nice and friendly � especially to the incoming freshmen. "Once they know you are new, they really try to help you," said DeJesus. Guerrieri added that the faculty are "really nice and very knowledgeable. They put themselves out there to get to know you and to help you with their courses." Strandholt agreed, adding that "one professor even changed the time for office hours so more students from the class could come."

Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Studies Sue Faerman met the three winners to congratulate them and encouraged them to take advantage of all the educational opportunities UAlbany has to offer. All three are planning to study abroad, which Dean Faerman strongly encouraged. The freshmen were also congratulated by bookstore manager Heather White.  

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