Family members of Samuel A. Caccamise DDS '26 have gathered together to honor their father by giving a ificant gift to name an operatory after him. Samuel A. Caccamise was affectionately known by his patients as Dr. Caccamise helped thousands of people and dozens of civic, charitable and religious organizations. For years, the University at Buffalo has made life better in Western New York and around the world with bold action and an unmatched tenacity.
Since graduating in I have worked in textiles, selling fabric which has nothing to do with what I studied at Skidmore.
I value the education I received, in particular all that I learned from my American studies courses. However, nothing I learned prepared me for a career in textiles, being married, or having a baby. Upon graduation, I moved to LA and worked for a startup company to produce a multicultural sitcom for the Fox network.
I worked with a diverse group of people and was able to harness my understanding of cultural differences and perspectives while on the job. I then worked for Castle Rock Entertainment before moving back East.
Although accepted into the University of Maryland, I decided not to pursue a master's while there and moved back to NYC. It was at Primedia that I discovered event planning. I have been an event planner sincehaving worked for Gartner in Stamford, Conn. Event planning seemed a natural fit because of the interaction with people from all different backgrounds, domestic and international travel, and the research and attention to detail that planning requires.
I use my American studies degree every day in this capacity—particularly when trying to understand the needs of each client. I married in and my husband, Stewart, and I are expecting our first child in July. Life is good and I'm looking forward to the next stage! My lessons were usually with a history twist. I married in and my first child was born on December 2, Helena Grace Schaffer.
We moved to the town of Playa Grande, where we managed a surf camp and hostel.
My responsibilities included directing the staff, teaching surf lessons, managing the hostel's business s, and generating publicity. After a year of working at the surf camp, I was offered a job teaching world history at a new private school that had recently opened in the area. I accepted the position and currently work there. After being at the school for a semester, I was promoted to head of history. I teach from kindergarteners through high school seniors. I am also employed as the English editor and contributing writer to a local newspaper.
In addition, I teach dance to local students.
I currently live in Tamarindo. In the summer ofI moved to West Hartford, Conn. We married in the summer of '99 and had a baby boy Benjamin John Daniel Schwenk.
In February of this year. I was going for my master's in colonial American history at UConn, but left to work and take care of my family while Sophie finishes school. I started working for Wild Oats, a chain of natural and organic supermarkets.
I do marketing for them and I cover twenty stores across ten states. I do advertising, community relations, promotions, and special events for the twenty stores.
It's a fun job, but very tiring and very stressful. American studies has definitely helped me in my work. I am able to understand different areas around the country in terms of shopping trends, values, perspective, etc.
This is valuable for me because often I need to understand different areas of my region as a separate entity in order to develop marketing plans for them. My degree has also enriched my life because I have never put my interests in American culture and literature aside. I still read the same type of books and still watch the same types of documentaries. It has also helped develop my communication skills, which is very valuable when you need to and cell phone so many people on a day-to-day basis. I loved it but would get bored during the math lessons, so I decided to focus on social studies full time.
In the summer ofI was fortunate enough to be hired by PSa small, public, kindergarten—eighth grade school on City Island in the Bronx, N. City Island is a tightly-knit, beautiful, nautical community on an island in the very northeast Bronx with no tall buildings and no chain restaurants.
My students are terrific, and my administration and colleagues are great as well. My classroom overlooks Long Island Sound, which I use to my advantage when I bring the kids outside to make lessons more memorable e. I'm the only social studies teacher for about seventh and eighth graders, and by default, am the department chair and in charge of writing the curriculum.
Honoring their father
This task was, and still is, remarkably daunting, and I would not have been able to do it without the American studies background that I acquired at Skidmore. Seventh grade covers Native Americans through the Civil War. Eighth grade is Reconstruction up to the present. I use an excellent series of textbooks A History of US by Joy Hakim to help supplement what we cover in class, and I'm able to use so much that I learned about at Skidmore, particularly when teaching eighth grade.
Here are a few examples that come to mind: In Mary Lynn's Religion in America course I wrote a paper arguing that the Ghost Dance was a political and social movement in the guise of a religion, and then re-read that paper right before teaching the students about Wounded Knee.
My eighth graders are required to write an "exit project" which is a mini-research paper about any post-Civil War topic in American history. My favorite lesson of the year is my Babe Ruth lesson. The "aim" of the period is: How did Babe Ruth represent the mindset of the s? The lesson includes brainstorming our prior knowledge on the Bambino around a photo of him on the board, discussing an article that I used when writing my senior thesis, and viewing clips from The Babewhich I reference when writing my thesis.
I make a point to consider the s in general at various moments. I read two short excerpts from my senior thesis to the kids, and they are impressed when I reveal afterwords that it was my writing and I got to write it for a class. This is almost a push for them to go to college because you can specify much more in your interests and the classes are more fun that middle school.
At the end of the class, the kids write a letter to the Babe, either as a fan or a critic. As they are sharing their letters, I hand out Baby Ruth candy bars and mention that kids often included Baby Ruth wrappers in their letters to Ruth, hoping that they'd be autographed. I wear my Yankees tie and a pinstriped shirt and it's one of my favorite days of the year. I learned many of the strategies of how to teach at grad school, and it's totally possible to pass as a social studies teacher without knowing much outside of the textbook, but I feel like having such a strong American history background about what to teach allows me to sequence, simplify, and explain historical information in a way that is accessible and memorable to the students.
Having an eye for American cultural history is something I fully attribute to having been a student of American studies.
I love teaching and plan to stick with it for quite a while. Thanks, Skidmore! I intend to focus my studies on either 20th century political history, 18th century political history, 19th century women's history, or 20th century cultural history. I have taken additional courses in American studies, without completing my masters, at Syracuse University.
Then my husband and I moved to the Washington, D. At first I worked part-time and volunteered in political campaigns we had a daughter. My political interests continued to build as I was employed in several campaigns at the state level and then went to work for the Republican National Committee, where I ran two nationwide programs deed to engage more people in the American political process. Inwhen Ronald Reagan was elected, I first went to the White House where I helped with personnel selections for the new administration. Then, I was selected to run an outreach program at the Agency for International Development.
This ultimately developed into being appointed by President Reagan as the assistant administrator for external affairs at AID. Here I ran the public-affairs program for the entire U. For several years following my government service I had my own consulting firm.
I am currently working on a novel. For thirteen years I have also contributed substantial volunteer time as a trustee of a U. While it might not at first glance appear that my studies at Skidmore had any relevance to my career, I would suggest otherwise.
First and foremost, the de of the American studies major, when I was there, strongly encouraged independent thinking and what I call "whole" view thinking. For instance, in seeing an author or artist or politician in the context of their time, in relation to each other, rather than in isolation, you were urged to see the importance of the interrelatedness of ideas and wo men. This began the development of a critical thinking and reasoning skill which I believe has served me well not just in my career, but in my life.
Also, because of the small class size and the terrific faculty, we were pushed to think, not just learn. While my time at the gallery has certainly been enjoyable, I have decided to leave the art world and to begin a career in education. I have been accepted into a teaching program here called the New York Teaching Fellows. Chancellor Levy started the program this summer in response to the city's dire need for teachers.
The program lasts two years, during which time I will be teaching full-time and taking graduate courses. I am not sure which grade I will be teaching I am hoping for fifth or sixthand I will probably be at a school located in upper Manhattan or in the south Bronx. So I am taking a deep breath and trying to prepare myself for this change I will be moving from working in the wealthiest neighborhood in New York to one of the most impoverished, and I will be answering to "Miss Senator"—one friend commented that the title screams authority.
Let's hope she's right! I have wanted to make this career change for some time. I had initially planned to go back to school for history but when this program presented itself, I decided to take it.
I have always desired to meet the challenges of teaching in the inner city. It is that desire and a sense of obligation that has lead me to accept this fellowship. I am not sure where it will lead me. I still would like to return to school to study history and maybe teach at the high school level but for now, I see this phase of my career as teaching more for the service aspect rather than for my passion of a subject matter.
Perhaps someday I shall teach in a more academic setting. No matter what happens, I feel that this will be an unforgettable experience which shall prepare me for any future endeavor.
The program begins January 15, at which time I will begin graduate courses and work in the classrooms as an assistant.