By: Diane Stirling
(315) 443-8975

The words of advice that his father had been giving him for so long finally made complete sense to Matthew Evangelisti.

As Matthew stood on stage at Convocation earlier this month, ready to graduate with his bachelor’s degree from the School of Information Studies (iSchool), he wasn’t shy about telling an auditorium full of fellow students, friends, family members and faculty that his father’s words were right.  And after four years in college, Matthew said, he finally understood what that advice truly meant.

His father had been telling Matthew that people do not deserve great things, they earn them, he said. “That finally makes sense to me, standing here,” the winner of the 2012 Undergraduate Leadership Award announced. He was selected for that honor from among the 158 bachelor’s degree program candidates. 

Then, Matthew turned around and applied that same bit of insight to his fellow graduates. “We can say we worked hard, and what we’ve earned today is one of those great things,” he told them in his address.

Matthew, also a Class of 2012 Alumni Leader, discovered another important lesson through the course of his iSchool years regarding the elements surrounding success. Having success for its own sake is not as significant in life as the lessons you learn about what is required to achieve success, he advised. “If I had to choose one thing that has driven me as a leader, it’s not just to be successful, but that I’ve learned how to be successful.”  

Reflecting on his iSchool years, Matthew said he felt he reached success in his academic career, but that it took him some time to do so. “One day, it kind of clicked for me. I felt more mature. It all kind of came together. Peer advising was a big part of that,” Matthew noted.

His after-graduation path takes Matthew to Hoboken, NJ, where he’ll begin work as an infrastructure engineer for JPMorgan Chase.  He’ll be working on the mainframe hardware that supports credit card transactions. His work will focus on making improvements to the current technology. 

While the Information Management and Technology graduate will miss the iSchool, he also is excited to get started on his career. The best thing he will take with him from these college days is the wealth of connections he has made here. “The more connections you make with the students, faculty and staff ties things together,” he noted. “They will always be there to help you.”

While he was surprised to be selected for the leadership award, Matthew displayed the attitude that likely contributed to his reaching such acclaim. “What it took to get this award has taught me what it will take to succeed outside of this place,” he summarized. “I definitely think that if you put the effort into anything, you can do it.”