Nazareth College is a super cool place full of super cool people who go on to do super cool things after they graduate. This January, we’re going to feature some of our alumni talking about what they’re doing out there in the real world as well as reflecting on their time here at Naz. Our first profile features Ben Stracuzzi, originally from Binghamton, New York, who graduated in 2013 with a degree in environmental science.
What are you doing now?
I work at LaBella Associates, D.P.C. as an environmental scientist. I first started at LaBella as an environmental analyst preparing Phase I Environmental Site Assessments. After about a year, I managed the Phase I ESA program and its team members. For the last year or so at LaBella, I have primarily been involved in lead in drinking water projects working for various school districts as well as private sector clients.
In what ways did your time at Naz prepare you for your life’s work?
Nazareth helped prepare me for many facets of my career. As an environmental science major, I received a great foundation in the sciences which are critical to my everyday work. Possibly even more important was my involvement in the Naz Undergraduate Association, my work as a student ambassador, and the internships I participated in while at Naz which helped mold many “real-world” skills. These experiences provided so may opportunities to be a leader, learn time management skills, and problem solve with a team.
How did your experiences at Naz spark your passion?
I am a firm believer in a liberal arts education like the curriculum at Nazareth because it expands your world view. Since Nazareth exposes you to so many different areas of academia, you discover what you really like and many times discover new interests you’d never thought you would have. In my case, I dreaded philosophy and music classes but learned to love them.
What is your fondest memory of your time at Naz?
While it’s probably difficult to choose just one particular memory, my favorite memories at Naz all involve the great classmates, staff, and professors I met along the way. Naz is so unique in that the campus community creates such strong bonds and an atmosphere of inclusion for everyone.
What’s some advice you have for incoming freshman and current students about making the most of this time in their life?
I’m sure I sound like a broken record, especially since this is something I tell all the students I meet during the Career Connections Breakfast I have attended the past two years but, take advantage of the opportunities to be involved in campus activities. It’s easy to get in the routine of just going to class and focusing on school work. By being involved in a club, intramural sport or community service, the campus experience is not only enriched but provides a great outlet to learn new skills and de-stress. Secondly, don’t take this time of life for granted and make time to have fun! You’re only an undergrad golden flyer once and while it is busy, it is equal parts exciting and fun!
Our next alumni profile, featuring Taylor Wroblewski a communication and media graduate, is coming soon. In the meantime, here is our series from last year featuring some of our incredible grads from the class of 2015.