Alumni: 84,000   Students: 17,000

Cynthia Wandursky-Sciacca ’87

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Cynthia Wandursky-Sciacca ’87

Why did you choose Empire State College? What do you think is the best thing about the college?
It was the mid 80’s and I was working for a major company and wanted to get ahead. I had a few college credits that I had garnered here and there and in a variety of subjects. I also had vocational school credits. Trying to put them together to form a degree at a traditional school was impossible. I was married, had a child and worked full-time. I also worked part-time at SUNY Farmingdale as an adjunct professor teaching a skill, therefore at that time, I didn’t need a degree (how things have changed). At the time, Adelphi had a program which granted credit for prior and experiential learning. However, it was not as generous as Empire State College. Several people had recommended ESC to me. I decided to give it a try. There are so many good things about ESC it is difficult to pick out one. I think it has to be the mentors. They really wanted to help me learn and help improve my outlook on life. I am sure some are better than others, but overall my mentors were just that, mentors. Rather than teaching me by rote, they encouraged me to broaden my horizons. To become more knowledgeable and to think rather than just react.

How did Empire State College help you shape your personal and professional goals?
As I mentioned above, the mentors guided me. They taught me as much about how to learn and expand my horizons, as they did the subject matter. They also taught me to have confidence in myself. I was also able to encourage and assist my friends and coworkers as they went to ESC. Eleven years after I graduated from ESC, I graduated from the Palmer School of Library Science at LIU.

What is your career highlight or proudest career moment to date?
Working as a librarian at the Longwood Public Library was the highlight of my career. I was able to use all my varied skills and education to serve the public.

What advice would you give to a current Empire State College student?
This is not a school for everyone. You have to want to learn and become a better person. No one is going to make you do the work. You have to want to do it. However, the mentors will guide you as you move along and will have open exchanges with you. They are very flexible and will work with you to accomplish your goals. I even went back as a post-graduate student to study with a friend who was feeling insecure about a topic she needed to study to finish her degree. The mentor said it was unusual, but was willing to give it a try and it worked out for both of us.

Why do you give back to SUNY Empire?
ESC was a life saver for me. It gave me a better sense of self-worth that I wasn’t getting from the work-place. The learning worked into my schedule. I want the school to be here in the future for others who are in the same predicament that I was.