“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”- Susan Sontag

I have always considered myself a hiker; hiking the beautiful gorges around the central NY area, but what exactly qualifies you to be a hiker?IMG_20140627_161016_922

 It wasn’t until I was taken, to what turned out to be my very first mountain hike. Mount Marble: a very easy start, with sporadic steep inclines, created alongside several open faced tree bottoms, and large rocks smothered by the earth. Nothing I had ever seen before. It was magnificent for about 15 minutes then is started to get real and as in real, I mean it got tough. There seemed to be no top, no end to this long trail. I just wanted to see this view that everyone had been talking about.

Many friends and acquaintances had informed me that there was this label you could earn, known as the six-err (, an ultra-six-err or even a forty six-err (!  Of course I wanted to be one of those, maybe even all of them! When do I


IMG_20140627_161440_491Last summer I did Whiteface Mountain, which is just past Mt. Marble a ways. Boy was that an experience! Round trip the hike took about, give or take six hours.

This summer I was determined to hike more. Venture out in the Adirondacks as much as I possibly could. So far…

v  Otis took his very first hike up Silver Lake Mountain:

v  Next we did Lyon Mountain:

v  Then we explored the Silver Lake Bog:

v  We have also spent some time at Chazy Lake, kayaking, boating and

Alongside the vibrant campus life here at SUNY Plattsburgh, there is much to explore in the Upstate New York and Champlain Valley. The beautiful sights and sounds of the Adirondack region truly add to the educational experience. You are never far from a mountain, river, or lake. With an hour in every direction, you can visit more exciting destinations such as the cosmopolitan city of Montreal, Canada, the Olympic Village of Lake Placid, and Burlington, Vermont!

Visit the link provided to find more activities and resources:



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Level 500!

Grad school means that it’s time to look past courses like English 100 and Math 101.  During my last semester of my undergraduate program, I took two graduate level courses due to open availability.  This allowed me to compare the workload, class size, and content in my undergraduate classes to the graduate level.

People are always wondering if grad school is “hard,” and I will say that based on my experience so far, the workload is more intense, especially in terms of reading.  But the reading was information that I was highly interested in so it wasn’t extremely overbearing.  Not always being a fan of reading, I had been working on how to read more effectively at the college level, which helped. So it wasn’t a huge surprise when I was asked to read 200+ pages in one night.

At the gradList, Chart, Graphuate level I did noticed that the individuals that surround you are individuals from all corners of the map, who WANT to be there, who WANT to help you, and who have the same drive you do.  Those same individuals were my number one ‘go to’ for advice.  They were the ones I turned to when it came to who, what, where, when, and why, in the realm of course selection.

I am someone who likes to see the end in something.  I want to know how the entire road is going to be paved.  With graduate school thus far, I have had the ability to do this.  Looking at only 54 credit hours, I can plan which courses are offered each semester and decide on an outline for my complete degree program.

Each semester I plan to complete roughly 15 credits, and I will take a course during winter break and a course during the summer break. The courses selected were placed in appropriate semesters to ‘look forward’ to the next semester, and ‘look backward’ to previous semesters which helps give the complete picture.  I have organized the courses in order of interest to me.  Some are only offered during specific semesters, so I had to be sure I planned accordingly. In the long run, you are the only person that will ensure that you make constant progress in completing your degree!

Hello, Bonjour, Hola, 你好, Hej, Hallo!

IMG_20140611_123259_632Tonya Deese
Graduate Admissions Assistant
Graduate Student- Student Affairs Counseling
SUNY Plattsburgh

Recently I was awarded the Graduate Admissions Assistant position. Heading into graduate school, I wasn’t sure how I was going to afford it. Money was actually the number one concern on my list. With this being a total “wing-it,” last-minute decision, I wasn’t sure how I was going to afford this dream of continuing my schooling. In the process of applying to SUNY Plattsburgh’s Master of Science in Student Affairs Counseling program, I also applied for several graduate assistant positions as well as the Diversity Fellowship. Through the simple application process of filling in demographic information, a few short 300-400 word essays about myself, and an online application, I was shocked to be awarded both!

The graduate assistantship is a 20 hour a week position in the Graduate Admissions Office, while the fellowship entails simply going to school!  Both awards are tuition scholarships paid in full with a living stipend.

I am here to guide you through my personal experience of not only working as a graduate assistant, but my journey of being a new graduate student here at SUNY Plattsburgh!