Alum Panel

Alum Panel

What Can I Do With a Degree in Political Science?

On Monday, March 28, 2011, the Department of Political Science welcomed five HWS alums back to campus for a panel discussion entitled "What Can I Do With a Degree in Political Science?"

Students had the opportunity to interact with alums and ask questions about graduate school, career opportunities in the speakers' fields, and the variety of career options available to political science students.

The panelists included Michael Amodeo '01, Jennifer LeBlanc '94, Chuck Maloy '90, Tim Offray '09 and Michele Viterise '09.

Following his graduation in 2001, Michael Amodeo '01 attended the University of Buffalo Law School where he completed a concentration in financial transactions. In 2005, he was admitted to the New York State Bar and began counseling and representing businesses in Buffalo. He has also been admitted into the U. S. Federal District Court and Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of New York. Amodeo is currently an associate attorney with Damon Morey, LLP in Buffalo, N.Y. He is active in his community where he volunteers his professional services to the Buffalo Volunteer Lawyer Project which assists indigent clients with their legal issues. He is also active in local, state and national politics and recently was a candidate for the New York State Assembly. While at HWS, Amodeo was a member of Pi Sigma Alpha and Omicron Delta Epsilon honor societies. He studied abroad in Ecuador and was a four-year letterman for the Hobart Statesmen Football team where as a captain he led the team to its first ever NCAA Tournament.

Jennifer LeBlanc '94 is the vice president of development for ecoAmerica where she steers all individual, foundation and government fundraising strategies in support of general operations and five national programs. ecoAmerica is an organization dedicated to supporting the environmental movement and growing a base of public support for environment and climate solutions among mainstream Americans. LeBlanc joined ecoAmerica in 2008 after serving as the director of conservation programs for Catawba Lands Conservancy, a land trust in Charlotte, N.C. for three years. As director, she led the land protection program and developed strategic partnerships with community leaders, local public officials, and state and federal legislators to advance priority conservation projects. She has also worked as the assistant vice president of client services at the Foundation for the Carolinas and at The Conservation Fund in Arlington, Va. After receiving her B.A. in political science from William Smith, she received her master's in environmental policy and management from the University of Denver.

Chuck Maloy '90 is currently a New York State licensed real estate agent for Park Avenue Realtors in Rochester, N.Y., and the owner of Rockingham Property Group, LLC. His focus is on commercial real estate including retail, office, industrial, mixed-use and investment properties. Prior to entering real estate, Maloy earned his master's in educational psychology and statistics from the University of Albany and was a college lacrosse and football coach for 15 years.

Tim Offray '09 works for the Miami Division of Brown & Brown Insurance, Inc. as a commercial insurance advisor where he advises medium to large businesses on risk management and financial matters while working with business owners to create custom insurance packages to protect the assets of their companies. He was a political science major and double minored in international relations and economics. While at HWS, he attended the TUCK Business Bridge Program at Dartmouth College where he interned as a market research for Mesa International, a home décor manufacturer.

Following graduation, Michele Viterise '09 traveled to Beijing, China where she worked as an ESL Teacher for a company called Expertise Education and taught English in an international kindergarten classroom. She is currently a Rochester AmeriCorps member and Academic Advisor with the Upward Bound program at the University of Rochester. The program serves potential-first generation college students and low income high school students in the Rochester City School District. She is planning to attend law school this fall and wants to work in public interest after earning her J.D. While at HWS, Viterise was the co-founder of Americans for Informed Democracy, studied abroad in Bath, England and worked for the Center for Teaching and Learning as a writing colleague.

The 2010 panel consisted of the following graduates:

After working with the Commonwealth Attorney's Office in Alexandria, Va., Kristopher Grahame '04 began working for the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. and has since transferred to the Boston Division. At Hobart, he was a Russian Area Studies major and spent a semester abroad in Moscow. He received a Boren Scholarship from the National Security Education Program to study overseas in the Russian Federation during his senior year at Hobart.

After graduating from William Smith, Nichole Malec '05 worked for New York State Assemblywoman Susan V. John (D-NY), serving as legislative director until April 2009. Malec currently works as the regional director for Representative Daniel B. Maffei (D-NY) and oversees the Monroe, Wayne and Cayuga County portions of Maffei's district, which also includes Onondaga County and the City of Syracuse. Active in politics, she is a member of the Monroe County Democratic Committee and has managed campaigns for Monroe County Legislature and the New York State Assembly. At William Smith, she double majored in public policy and political science.

Currently running for Georgia Secretary of State, Michael Mills '96 is owner and founder of PR1776, a communications company. Prior to starting PR1776, Mills served as the southeast regional director of public affairs for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. He was legislative aide to Georgia Secretary of State Lewis Massey and campaign press secretary for lieutenant governor candidate Mark Taylor. Mills is also an avid volunteer, serving on the boards of YES!Atlanta, League of Women Voters of Georgia, Vote for America-Georgia, the American Cancer Society's southeast Corporate Leadership Counsel, Communities in Schools of Georgia, and the Georgia Breast Cancer Coalition. He is the author of a book titled "Battling Democracy's Decline." Mills was selected to the 2006 class of Outstanding Atlanta, Georgia Trend magazine's 2001 list of "40 Under 40," and was the 2002 Georgia State University Communications Department "alumni of the year." He is a 2001 graduate of Leadership Buckhead and a member of the Public Relations Society of America and the Corporate Volunteer Council of Atlanta. Mills earned a bachelor's degree in political science and holds a master's in communication from Georgia State University.

After graduation, Neil Wakeman '08 worked on Representative Dan Maffei's 2008 congressional campaign as well as for the New York State Democratic Party. Wakeman is currently a legislative aide for New York State Assemblyman Al Stirpe. He is also the chair of the Town of Camillus Democratic Committee, and during the 2009 elections, helped facilitate, for the first time in more than 30 years, a Democratic majority of the Camillus Town Board. Wakeman graduated from Hobart with a triple major in political science, international relations and Asian studies. During his time at the Colleges, Wakeman traveled abroad to both China and Japan and spent a semester studying at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS) in Copenhagen, Denmark. He also worked as a communications intern at the German Marshall Fund of the United States in Washington, D.C., was a Student Trustee, and an active brother of the Chi Phi Fraternity.

The 2009 panel consisted of the following graduates:

J. Casey Dunlavey, class of 2006, is an Account Manager with PAETEC Communications in Rochester, New York. Casey provides service and support to a base of commercial accounts to insure maximum satisfaction and revenue growth. PAETEC delivers personalized communications solutions and service to business class customers in more than 80% of the country's top 100 metropolitan areas.

Joseph Leska, class of 2001, is with C.R. Bard, Inc. and specializes in Surgical Device Sales. Joe graduated Hobart with a major in political science and minored in public policy. During college, he did two internships with New York State Assemblyman Robert J. Warner. After graduation, he held a few jobs before moving to C.R. Bard. His current jobs include expanding the company's business in trauma centers, facilitating training for new hires, and business development.

Laura Lorusso Peterson, class of 1991, lives on Cape Cod. She is Vice President and part owner of Cape Cod Aggregates Corp. and SM Lorusso and Sons, Inc. This is truly a family owned and operated business, as she works with her father, Sam, Uncle Tony, cousin, A.J., brothers Sam and Paul, and her husband, Dave.

Ann Rollo, class of 1987, is Vice President for Communication and College Relations at Wells College. She oversees staff in alumnae relations and communications and serves on many of the College's committees. She was instrumental in shepherding Wells College through its transition from a women's college to a co-educational school in 2005. Prior to her work at Wells, Ann worked at Alfred University and Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Joseph Sievert, class of 2005, is a Multifamily Building Analyst with Buffalo Energy. He works for a full service building consulting firm for energy efficiency in both existing buildings and new construction. In his free time, he volunteers with Buffalo ReUse, deconstructing houses to use the building materials in new and existing buildings.

The 2008 panel consisted of the following graduates:

Amanda Cortese, Class of 2002, is a staff attorney with the Domestic Violence Project of the Frank H. Hiscock Legal Aid Society in Syracuse, New York. She received her JD, cum laude, from California Western School of Law in San Diego, where she was the 2005 recipient of the Academic Achievement Award for Topics in Legal Reform. Prior to her current position she was a research associate at Ferrada, Walker and Cia, in Santiago, Chile. At William Smith, Amanda received the Ithiel de Sola Poole Prize in Political Science in 2002.

David M. Grome, Class of 2007, is an Account Executive in public relations and public affairs with Eric Mower and Associates in Rochester, New York. He works on client services and public relations for a variety of accounts including Eastman Kodak. At Hobart, David was a Druid, president of the Hobart Student Government, and was inducted into Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society.

Dave Higgins, Class of 1974, is the Internal Control Program Coordinator of the NY state Department of Environmental Conservation in Albany, New York. Dave oversees the DEC’s annual department-wide risk management review and coordinates the department’s policy system. Prior to this, among other positions, he was a senior administrative analyst for the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.

Joseph Scalero, Class of 1989, is the Village Clerk for the village of Mineola, New York. He serves as the chief administrative officer where he has been noted for his work in promoting open government and fair elections. Prior to this, he held positions as CFO and general manager for a telecommunications firm, was an aide to three congressmen, and a special assistant to a NYC Borough President.

Darrel Upson, Class of 1993, is a financial adviser for Ameriprise in New York. He began his career in Washington, D.C., working on policy issues and became director of Latin American operations for the Intrac Group. He also worked in Buenos Aires, Argentina for two separate businesses. He serves as a board member for Peoples of Progress Development, is a committee member for Village Care, and is a member of the Endeavor Global volunteer corps.

The 2007 panel was made up of the following:

Brooks Baker, class of 1990, joined the Steuben County District Attorney's staff in January of 1994, shortly before his admission to the New York State Bar. He currently prosecutes all DWI and related cases in Steuben County; the District Attorney’s Multiagency Drug Initiative; and the Steuben Country Civil Forfeiture Unit. He has taught many classes for various Steuben County law enforcement agencies. He received a Juris Doctor cum laude from Albany Law School in 1993.

Andrew Emborsky, class of 2000, was admitted to the New York State Bar in June 2005. He is currently an associate attorney with the law firm of Kruk and Campbell, P.C., located in Lima, New York. A 2003 graduate of Case Western Reserve School of Law, Mr. Emborsky was the Senior Editor of Health Matrix: Journal of Law and Medicine and a member of the Milton A. Kramer Criminal Law Clinic.

Lisa Errion, class of 1986, is the Director for Eurasia and Southeast Europe at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining USTR in 2000, Lisa had a ten year career as a Foreign Service Officer, with postings in Jakarta and Mexico City. Before that, she worked at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Brian Gottlieb, class of 1991, was recently the Director of Voter/Consumer Research in Washington, D.C., a political consulting firm. He has more than 11 years of experience working in and around Capital Hill. At V/CR he has had clients like the National Republican Congressional Committee, the Phillip Morris Company, and the Credit Union National Association. Prior to his current position, he served as Director for Federal Relations of the American Chemistry Council. He was also a Senior Legislative Aide for Representative Peter Torkildsen. He now owns his own consulting firm. In 2008 he was a participant in the HWS Annual Day on the Hill program in Washington, D.C.

Lauren Shallish, class of 2005, is the Chief of Staff to President Mark Gearan at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Previously, she was the Presidential Fellow at the Colleges. In that capacity, she assisted with the President's Forum and Radio Series, capital campaign events and communications, and Board of Trustees responsibilities. At William Smith, Lauren achieved many honors including membership in Hai Timiai, William Smith Congress, and Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society. She also worked as an intern in Alumni House.

The 2006 Panel consisted of the following graduates:

Art Medici, '71, is currently CEO of Internet Commerce Corporation in Norcross, Georgia. ICC operates an online value added network used by companies to exchange documents with their trading partners. Art has been with ICC since 2004. His earlier experience includes working with IMB, Nippon Electronic, Derwent, Inc. and several other firms. He has been on the Board of Trustees of the Colleges since 2002. He has made many visits to the Colleges, working with the Career Counseling Center and helping students learn interview techniques.

Michael Mills, '96, earned a master's degree in communications from Georgia State University and landed a job as a legislative aide to Georgia's then Secretary of State. In 1998, he signed on with Mark Taylor, who was running for (and won) the lieutenant governor's race. From there he launched a non-profit to improve civic participation, managed a public relations firm and recently took a job in Corporate Affairs with Wal-Mart. He currently manages Wal-Mart's media and community relations for seven southeastern states.

Chuck Ramsay, '92, achieved many honors while at Hobart. He was a Druid in his senior year, a recipient of the Roger J. Frankel Award, given to Hobart seniors for leadership and community service, and was a student trustee. After graduation, he worked in the Colleges' Admissions Office, recruiting students from New England and the West Coast regions. He went on to work in the Colleges' Office of Institutional Advancement and then went on to become the Regional Director of Major Gifts at Phillips Exeter Academy. He currently works in Institutional Advancement at Mount Holyoke College.

Tyler Spangenberg, '90, is the Statewide Director for the Coordinated Children's Services Initiative (CCSI) in New York. In this capacity, Tyler serves as the lead staff person for the CCSI's statewide leadership team that is made up of family and youth representatives. His prior experience includes working for the New York State Assembly Ways and Means Committee; serving as the Technical Assistance Project Director and Policy Associate for the NYS Conference on Local Mental Hygiene Directors; and Director of Research for a national behavioral health and medical management company.

Lisa Stanton, '01, is currently an attorney with Katten, Muchin, Rosenman, LLP in New York City, having previously worked with other law firms in both New York and Buffalo. She was admitted to practice in New York in 2005, having received her JD from the University of Buffalo Law School in 2004. She earned her BA (cum laude) from William Smith in 2001.


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