2015 Graduates

Philip Kwashie                                    

Sage College of Albany
Law and Society
Accra, Ghana

Philip Kwashie says that his biggest inspiration throughout his education at Sage has been his family and his desire to make a positive impact on society both here and at home in Ghana. Philip was in the United States only a [Philip Kwashie]few months and still adapting to American culture when he began attending Sage. He chose Law and Society as his major because it offered a curriculum that cut across other course disciplines while also giving him the opportunity to focus on a specific interest. Philip says that his college experience has made him more tolerable and more accommodating and has given him a new perspective on life in the real world. “It’s always better to say what’s on your mind,” shares Philip. “Respecting the views of everyone without shying away from what you believe in.”

While at Sage, Philip interned with the New York State Assembly which has opened the doors to numerous job offers from New York State government and other prestigious firms. Philip will work for the New York State Assembly upon graduation.

Kara Hackett

Sage Graduate School/Russell Sage College
Master’s in Occupational Therapy (Sage Graduate School); Bachelor’s of Science in Health Sciences with a minor in Psychology (Russell Sage College)
Peru, New York

Kara Hackett decided to pursue the study of occupational therapy while in high school. She volunteered in a sensory tent for children with Autism and discovered a career where she could use both her creativity and holistic approaches to help others. While in graduate school, Kara felt a calling to work with veterans and is [Kara Hackett]excited about using her occupational therapy training to help our country’s heroes.

Kara says one of the most important lessons she has learned during her education is to be yourself. “Many places in society today we feel, especially as young women that we have to hide who we really are. But at Sage, women are encouraged to be innovative thinkers, looking outside of the box, creating change and influence.”   

During her undergrad studies at The Sage Colleges, Kara and her women’s basketball teammates made history when they earned a spot in the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament, the first in the program's history.  Kara is proud of her athletic and academic accomplishments. Her master’s thesis is completed with the potential for publication and she is looking forward to effecting change in the world.  “I’ve grown as a student, as a practitioner, as a friend, as an athlete, as a role model, as a person,” explains Kara. “I have struggled but I have also succeeded. I wouldn't take back any of the challenges I have faced over the past years because it has made me the person that I am today. The Sage Colleges, the faculty, the staff, and my peers have shaped me into the person I am today. And for that, I am forever grateful.”

Kara is in the process of  completing her first of two three-month level II fieldworks; the first in Boston within the VA system working with veterans and the second back at her alma mater Peru Elementary School. After those six months, she will take the national exam to become an occupational therapist and begin the job search. Her dream job is to continue working with veterans.

Debra Triblet

Sage College of Albany
Legal Studies
Jersey City, NJ/Rome, NY

Debra Triblet promised herself that when both of her sons finished their education she would continue with her own.  In fact, Debra’s youngest son attended Sage College of Albany so when she made the decision to return to school Sage College of Albany was her first and only choice.

Debra credits her experience at Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome, NY as [Debra Triblet]her inspiration for pursuing legal studies.  At fifteen years of age, she began working summers at the base as part of an after-school program.  It was then that she realized she had a strong interest in the legal field.  Upon graduation from high school, she continued working at the base, expanding her skills and growing her knowledge about the inner workings of federal government. Eventually Debra became an employee with the New York State Assembly and developed a great interest in both state and federal government.

Continuing your education at any age can be challenging. “Nothing good comes easy,” explains Debra.  “I enjoyed my younger classmates so very much.  What a pleasure it has been to have met and shared classes with so many exceptional people.  It is my belief that one can learn from people of any age and I have certainly gained a lot through my experience.”  Despite balancing the struggles of work, daily life, a family and an education, Debra made the dean’s list twice. “You really don’t know how much you have done in your life until you have to inscribe it on paper.  I never gave up and I believe that everything transpires for a reason,” shares Debra.  She credits her sons as being her biggest supporters.

Debra is considering graduate school, looking forward to finding a job in a field that she is passionate about, and is excited about volunteering where there is a need.

Kirsten Ackerman

Russell Sage College
Nutrition Science
Guilderland, NY

Kirsten Ackerman transferred to Sage her sophomore year so she could study nutrition while also playing tennis.  She grew up playing tennis competitively and was always very concerned with eating healthy in order to keep her body fueled for matches.

Kirsten served as co-captain of the Sage women’s tennis team for the past two years. She was awarded Women's Tennis Player of the Year for the Skyline[Kirsten Ackerman] Conference two years in a row.  During her last semester at Sage, Kirsten also played on the men's tennis team at the number one singles position with a winning record.  She was recognized as a Scholar Athlete and presented with the Gator Award the past two years.  During her junior year she was the first Sage player to make it to the quarterfinals of the ITA Northeast Regional Tournament (Division III). In her senior year, Kirsten competed in the semifinals.

Last summer Kirsten was selected as one of ten students from across the United States to participate in the Research Experience for Undergraduates program funded by the National Science Foundation.  It was an eight week program located in Stillwater, Oklahoma at Oklahoma State University.

Kirsten says her college experience has allowed her to determine what is important to her. “Over the last four years I have seen myself become more open to trying new things and seizing every opportunity that came my way. I have become more independent and well-rounded through all this exposure to new activities.”

Kirsten has accepted a position through Sage's Dietetic Internship program where she will fulfill requirements to sit for the Registered Dietitian licensing exam. She will also pursue her master's degree.

Caitlin Andreone

Sage College of Albany
Major:  Business Administration
Westerlo, New York

Caitlin Andreone has always been good with numbers and decided that a degree in Business Administration would give her the tools to make a difference in the community and the lives of others by putting her analytical skills to use.

While at Sage, Caitlin held a work study position with the National [Caitlin Andreone]Alliance on Mental Illness – New York State and also participated in an internship at the New York State Comptroller’s office. Both experiences helped to enrich her educational experience and left her feeling empowered.

Caitlin was also inducted into Phi Kappa Phi, and she completed he bachelor’s in three years. Caitlin’s parents have been her biggest inspiration. “They have always pushed me to work a little harder and give a little more love to everything I do,” shares Caitlin. “They taught me to not be afraid of challenges. They’ve instilled in me a desire to never stop learning and growing. Lastly, they both have helped me realize that the sky’s the limit and life is what you make it.”

Caitlin will join Ayco, a Goldman Sachs company, as a client analyst.  She plans to pursue her MBA.

Helen Putriment

Russell Sage College
Major:  Nursing
Troy, New York

Helen Putriment is a member of The Sage Colleges women's volleyball and women's track and field teams. At 30 years of age, she has been named Sage's Co-Female Athlete of the Year for her long list of athletic accomplishments.

Helen played four years on volleyball and was a four-time Skyline Conference All-Star as well as an All-Region performer. This spring she also competed on the outdoor track and field team for the first time.  In just four meets, she won the [Helen P]high jump at the Capital District Championship in a jump off to earn an ECAC Division III Qualifying mark (1.59 meters). She became the first Sage track student-athlete to win any event. While competing at the Matthew Vassar Twilight Meet, she won the women’s high jump with a school record performance, bettering the previous week’s record setting mark of 1.59 meters as she posted a performance of 1.62 meters, improving upon her ECAC qualifying leap. She is now Sage’s first two-time event winner for the young Gator program which is only in its second year. She added a second place finish in the javelin with a throw of 30.51 meters and a second in the shot put (9.72 meters). Helen is also Sage's first ECAC Division III participant competing in the high jump.