Winter 2020

Three pairs of siblings at SUNY Morrisville are bringing more than just their skill and abilities to the game — they bring their chemistry, the anticipation of the next move, the difference in balance that counters the other and the desire to make a difference in Mustang athletics. Despite all spring- and fall-season athletics competitions being canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the siblings shared their thoughts about being teammates.
Shortly after he graduated from SUNY Morrisville, Kyle Clark ’18 returned to his fifth-generation family dairy farm with a four-year degree in dairy management and a plan to resurrect the creamery that once stood on the property, located on Elk Creek Road in Delhi, New York. His vision and hard work came to fruition with the official opening of Clark Farms Creamery on March 1, a venture that put the family name on milk bottles and dairy products throughout southern New York and beyond.
Like most first-year students in 2020, Mo the Mustang’s (they/them/their) arrival on campus at SUNY Morrisville was not what they originally had in mind. Wearing a face mask, practicing physical distancing, picking up meals to go and otherwise adjusting to pandemic life were some of the firsts that the college’s mascot experienced at the same time as other students.
Rebecca Werbela ’04 started an agriculture education program at Morrisville-Eaton Middle-High School in a small room with big plans. As they grew, so did the excitement of her students who are grabbing hold of dynamic lessons — getting their hands dirty building and planting, growing vegetables hydroponically and gaining an understanding about the hundreds of careers available to them in the agriculture industry.
It was going to be a memorable spring break in Morocco. As she packed her suitcase, Jessica Miller’s mind drifted to the mountainous country of western North Africa, a March trip she had planned for months to marry her fiancé, Mouaad Essaadi, who lives there.
One large, ongoing art project is how Taylor McDowell describes his life.Why? Because its elements combine to create a portrait of what the 2015 SUNY Morrisville graduate loves: web and game development, drumming, storytelling, art and music. Each has shaped the life of the 28-year-old New Hartford, New York resident, whose palette is a colorful blend of perseverance and will. Despite being born with 80% hearing loss, McDowell has persisted to become a drumming instructor, pit musician, well-known street performer, and a web and game developer.
Brian Simmons’ aunt offered him a job washing dishes on a Friday night when her restaurant in Nunda, New York, was short-staffed. “The rest is history,” he said. Since that day more than two decades ago, Simmons ’01 has built a successful career out of nourishing patrons as owner and chef of The Yard of Ale Restaurant. The casual-fine dining restaurant, located in Piffard, New York, the western Finger Lakes region, offers a diverse dinner menu, as well as a featured menu each week, showcasing specialty and seasonal ingredients prepared by Simmons.
As the COVID-19 pandemic caused the physical world to remain distanced, the virtual world of esports has emerged to connect people like never before. SUNY Morrisville students are among those taking a hold of esports (electronic sports), an organized sports competition featuring multiplayer video games where gamers from around the world can compete individually or as a team. They also can tune in as spectators.

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