Alumni: 78,000   Students: 18,000

Debra Alimentato ’10

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Debra Alimentato ’10
Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Curriculum and Program Development
Retired from Monroe Community College

Why did you choose Empire State College? What do you think is the best thing about the college?
The best thing about Empire State College was not having to be in a classroom. I was able to set my own pace, follow the course outline, and meet my deadlines all while working a full- time job and taking care of my family.

How did Empire State College help you shape your personal and professional goals?
Adele Anderson was my mentor throughout my five years at Empire State College. As we talked about my life skills and job experience, she was able to guide me through my journey. She is the one who helped me to connect the dots to the previous business courses I had taken while blending studies with my major; Community and Human Services. I earned a B.S. In Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Administration. I always had a desire to earn a bachelor’s degree but my family came first. I wanted my children to go to college to give them a better chance of supporting themselves and their family. When my youngest son died at 16 years old from cancer, my only regret in life was not getting my degree. When I decided to pursue this dream, my oldest two children had graduated from college, my daughter with her master’s, and my son with a bachelor’s; I decided it was finally my time. After I graduated a position became available at the college that was a perfect fit for me. My degree set me apart from the other candidates. When I retired, from my latest position, I was told that I set the bar very high.

What is your career highlight or proudest career moment to date?
My proudest career moment was being chosen for the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence in 2010. My son was the inspiration behind my whole journey and because of my fundraising efforts for Camp Good Days and Special Times, getting a story about him published in a book, and maintaining a 3.9 GPA while working full-time I was nominated and chosen as a candidate for the award.

What advice would you give to a current Empire State College student?
You can succeed at Empire State College if you are a motivated, self-starter who keeps moving forward and meets their deadlines on time. I convinced a friend of mine to try it and she graduated two years ago with her bachelor’s degree.

Why do you give back to Empire State College?
Students always need a helping hand, even for books. Every little bit helps.

Anything else you would like to share with fellow alumni and students?
like Nike says, “Just do it.”