Compass News

Navigating News on the Ammerman Campus Since 1962

Compass News

Compass News

Soon-to-be Grads Share Their Suffolk Experiences, Advice

Jay Kass
Cassidy Browne worked the front desk at the Babylon Student Center on April 18, 2024.

Compass News caught up with some soon-to-be grads to see about their experiences and time on campus. A common theme was that Suffolk is a community-oriented school that helps students become involved, grow outside their shells, and find their place in the world.
The students also offered insightful advice to new incoming students.





Joshua Skubliskas, 19, Fire Safety Major

Joshua Skubliska in the Islip Arts building on April 18, 2024. (Jay Kass)

Skubliskas, a Suffolk student since fall 2022, has been a volunteer firefighter for more than two years, following in the footsteps of his firefighter grandfather. “I’ve always looked up to him, saw him as the greatest, almost a hero,” Skubliskas said.
After he graduates, Skubliskas plans to apply to the FDNY and take more fire safety courses at the Suffolk County Fire Academy.
“I hope to get into a paid department and get paid for fighting fires,” Skubliskas said, who hopes to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps at the FDNY.
One day, he hopes to be an officer of an engine company.
Skubliskas said his favorite part of Suffolk was meeting people in his degree program.
“Some of the friends I’ve made here are probably what I would miss the most.”

Sean Chan, 20, Business Administration Major

Sean Chan outside the Student Government room on April 18, 2024. (Compass News/Jay Kass)

Chan has been accepted into SUNY Albany and SUNY Binghamton but hopes to get into Cornell.
His honors classes taught him he wanted to become an entrepreneur, showing him his passions.
“It’s definitely a life-changing experience taking that class and having your whole business plan laid out,” Chan said, who grew up in Hong Kong and has only been in America for 18 months.
Suffolk, he said, has given him a community.
With the many different ways to get involved, Chan began being part of the Student Government Association last spring and worked his way to vice president. “Without student government, I would never have the confidence that I have,” Chan said.
Chan advised students to “be proud of yourself and enjoy the moment. You only get to be that age one time, so enjoy the moment, say yes to opportunities, and don’t think, ‘‘I’m not capable.”
Chan added: “Be comfortable with uncomfortability.”

Cassidy Browne, 19, Human Service Major

Browne has attended Suffolk since fall 2022 and hopes to attend Stony Brook University or Adelphi University after graduation.
Browne completed a 350-hour internship in her second year at Suffolk, taking multiple courses to prepare her for work in the field.
Through her internship at the Family Service League in Bay Shore, she finds it challenging but eventually rewarding hardships when listening to the stories of the people she works with, clients with housing struggles, and the homeless or at-risk homeless population.
“It’s honestly a period of growth, and it really does make you appreciate everything,” she said. She helps people access resources and find ways to deal with these difficult times. “We’re here to help. That’s the best way I can describe it,” Browne said.
Through Suffolk, she separately completed a community service project by volunteering at Eileen’s free bodega, a 24-hour functioning food pantry with fresh produce that is entirely nonprofit.
Browne’s advice to students? “Take advantage of your time here because most of your universities don’t provide what Suffolk has. It takes the absolutely terrifying college world, and it makes it so much more welcoming,”

Raven Swann, Human Services with a concentration in Social Work

Swann hopes to attend Stony Brook University and has already been accepted into Adelphi University.
Through her Suffolk program, she has been interning at the Family Service League in Riverhead since September 2023, proving her invaluable experience.“The program I am a part of is really very resourceful, and it gives us an advantage of transferring to other colleges. Our internship really puts us above other schools,” Swann said.
She said the Suffolk curriculum is more extensive, putting students here above students from other schools and allowing them to get internships that other students may not have the opportunity for.
Swann’s favorite part of being at Suffolk was the teachers and their “ability to really connect [with] students.”
Swann’s biggest advice to students is to appreciate the savings a community college affords in different ways.
“College costs money, and the more you have a hard time, the harder it is to focus on classes.”

Tiffany Farez-Cajamarca, 20, Business Administration

Tiffany Farez-Cajamarca smelling the flowers on the Amerman campus on April 29, 2024.

Farez-Cajamarca plans to take a gap year after graduation and intern in human resources.
When Farez-Cajamarca came to Suffolk, she was undecided, but she found what she wanted to do through the new opportunities and the people she became friends with.
“When I came to Suffolk, it definitely brought up a new perspective. There was a whole new image of things,” Farez-Cajamarca said.
Suffolk has given her more paths, and the teachers have been giving her suggestions on what to do or go into based on their experiences, helping her look more into it, knowing she wants to go into HR.
Farez-Cajamarca enjoyed being involved in the Ammerman campus.
“Shout out to Ammerman. They do a lot of events. Very involved. A lot of student life is very centered around the students. I like that,” she said.
She made many new friends this semester and appreciated their passion for what they want to do and their collaboration with them.
Farez-Cajamarca’s advice for students is to get involved.
“Seeing other students and their involvement helps you see things from a different perspective. I’m very grateful for the opportunities I’ve gotten here and gotten to explore,” she said. “It’s going to be bittersweet, but I’ve definitely enjoyed my time here as well.”

View Comments (1)
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Jay Kass
Jay Kass, Multimedia Editor
Jay Kass is the multimedia editor of the Compass News, majoring in journalism. After Suffolk, she wants to go to Stony Brook University to obtain a bachelor's in journalism, or get a cosmetology degree at Navda Tech in the city to learn how to create crazy hair looks. Kass hopes to become a travel journalist to spread awareness of different cultures.

Comments (1)

All Compass News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • S

    Sean ChanMay 3, 2024 at 12:59 pm

    Loved the article. It was such a fun and relaxing interview with Jay. Thank you so much for doing this. Jay’s a rockstar!