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Faces of New Paltz

Elizabeth Sydney

Past Faces of New Paltz
Julian de la Rua
Electrical Engineering
Amie Staley

Hometown: Commack, NY
Major: Marketing
Anticipated Graduation Year: 2014

  • President, Dean Student Advisory Board/Office Assistant/Student Mentor, School of Business
  • Vice President of Programming and Research, American Marketing Association
  • Zumba instructor, Athletic & Wellness Center/Zumbathon coordinator

Why did you choose New Paltz?

You walk onto this campus and you're just in love. You can't walk through it in the fall and not think, "This is absolutely gorgeous." You're one with the nature here. I've been a theater kid all my life, so I wanted to go to a school that has that artsy environment where, even though you're not an art student, you can still be part of it. I like the class sizes, the programs, the classes. I like everything about it. It was kind of a no-brainer for me. And when I met the dean of the business school (Hadi Salavitabar), I said, "I definitely have to be here."

Why did you decide to pursue business as your area of study?

I like to have many goals and achieve as many things as possible in a small period of time. In high school, I got a job at Chuck E. Cheese and realized I was really good at sales. Within six months I was promoted to party coordinator. At 16 years old, I was in a manager's position, training people who were older than me. It just came naturally to me. I realized I was actually really good at business.

How did you become the coordinator for Zumbathon?

When I came home for the first break, my parents said, "You look chubby!" They were joking, but my mom told me to try out Zumba. It had just become popular when I was a freshman. Then my second semester, freshman year, I put together the Zumbathon with (former Zumba instructor) Amanda Williams. Having helped with this fundraising, I knew I wanted to become more involved with Zumba. I started instructing the next year at the Athletic & Wellness Center, and now I'm the one who coordinates all the Zumbathons.

What is your favorite thing to do for fun in New Paltz?

I always make time to hang out with my friends and walk around campus. It's simple and easy. I stay on campus a lot, but off campus, I'm a personal fan of (McGillicuddy's) Wing Night. Fun fact: I love Wing Night, but I don't eat the wings. The spinach chicken dip is my favorite.

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