Alumni: 84,000   Students: 17,000

Eric Zwieg ’18

ESC Shield

Eric Zwieg ’18
Graduate Student
Self-Employed

What three words best describe who and what you are?
Persistent. Accepting. Mindful.

What inspired you to earn your college degree? What was your “moment”?
Sitting across from Maria Patrick Oakley from Acess-VR and being told the options I had to continue successfully with my rehabilitation. The “moment” was when I believed it was possible, thanks to her encouragement and my willingness to change.

Why did you choose to attend ESC?
A program was made available through state initiatives for my rehabilitation and I felt it was a good fit.

Who supported and encouraged you along the way?
My sister Liza Alm and her family. My daughter Jessica La Falce and her family. My counselors Jose Ortiz (Big Popi) and Charlene Grimm. Bill and Lucine Kauffman. Also, the many new friends and associates I have met through First Presbyterian Church of Batavia and the numerous volunteer agencies I have worked with over the past two years in the community.

What, if any, obstacles did you overcome?
Constant day to day struggles of addiction, homelessness, poverty, and negativity that is all to common in society.

What advice would you give to a prospective ESC student?
Commit 100% of your passion towards completing something. A class, a semester, a calendar year, a degree and never look back.

Why do you give back to SUNY Empire?
Paying it forward.