Shadow LaValley '14

Can you describe your current position?

I am currently a transfer student from Morrisville State to Oneonta State. I look to further my education at Oneonta State. I have graduated from Morrisville State this past spring with an A.A. in Liberal Arts & Sciences: Humanities and Social Science. I am currently concentrating fully on earning a degree in Theatre.

You were a student at Morrisville not so long ago. Did you come to MSC already knowing what career you wanted to pursue?

I first went to Morrisville State in the fall of 2004, right after I had graduated high school. I originally wanted to earn a degree in Mechanical Engineering. I unfortunately left after the one semester because of the difficult transition from a high school setting to a college setting. At the time I was pursuing a career in racing, specifically NASCAR. After I had left Morrisville State in 2004, I did pursue racing and reached the level of “developmental driver” for a NASCAR Craftsman Truck team which was based in North Carolina.

Once I had seen the lifestyle of a racing career at the highest level, I made the decision that it wasn’t for me. I moved back to New York in 2009 to help my mother take care of my Mimay (aka. Grandmother), I decided to pursue a career as an actor in the entertainment industry. I first applied to Oneonta State, but was unable to attend because of my poor GPA. I decided to go back to Morrisville State in 2012 to improve my GPA and complete my general studies requirements so I could fully focus on the Theatre program I would attend later. I started back at Morrisville State during the summer semester of 2012 with a GPA of 1.41. I graduated this past May with a GPA of 3.52 as a Phi Theta Kappa honor student!

 

How did your time at MSC prepare you for your career and did some of your experiences influence your current interests?

When I started back up at Morrisville State, I was already working a full-time factory job along with two part-time jobs (substitute teacher & actor). I picked up another part-time job through Morrisville State as a student note-taker in August of 2012. I was able to hold all of these jobs and stay a full-time student at Morrisville State because of the Norwich Campus of Morrisville State. My day would start at 2:30 a.m. to prepare for the day, then after work at 3:00 p.m. I would travel the short distance to the Norwich Campus for classes. After my late-night weekday classes were over, I would travel the short distance back home to help my mother take care of my Mimay. During my almost two years at Morrisville, I only got between 4-5 hours of sleep a night.

My time spent at Morrisville State and balancing my full schedule will help me handle the tough schedule that the entertainment industry demands. Without the Norwich Campus of Morrisville State, I would not have been able to keep this kind of schedule, nor graduate with a GPA above 3.5. Thankfully I was able to take full advantage and can now transfer to pursue my dream.

What's been the biggest surprise or shock about post-college life?

I believe the greatest surprise after my time at Morrisville State is the amount of knowledge I can apply from all of my courses. Whether it is American Sign Language, Psychology, Sociology, Literature, Math, etc., I can apply all of the courses that I have taken from Morrisville State to my everyday life. I hope to keep building on that knowledge. 

What are your hobbies?

I enjoy spending time with family and friends, traveling, learning more about present-day politics, investment options and reading. More importantly, challenging myself to make a positive difference in the lives of others!

What’s your favorite Morrisville memory?

There are so many great memories from the Norwich Campus of Morrisville State. I think the interactions with my fellow classmates and professors are the best memories I will take away from my time at Morrisville State.

Describe yourself as a freshman in ten words or less.

Scared. Unsure. Planning for the future. Determined.

What’s your personal anthem? (A song that pumps you up, defines your life, etc.)

There are many. Two songs that stick out the most are “Work to Do” by Johanna Winkel and “The River” by Garth Brooks. Both inspire me to shoot for the moon and land amongst the stars!

If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?

My one piece of advice would be to enjoy my time and take in every moment. Once the time has passed, it won’t come back. So definitely enjoy your time at Morrisville State and enjoy your classmates and professors. That time really is irreplaceable!

Morrisville State College has a proud history that has lasted for more than 100 years. We invite you to come together to reconnect with one another and experience campus today.

Alumni News

  • Kelly McCombs '07 Kelly McCombs '07
  • Shadow LaValley '14 Shadow LaValley '14
  • Jessica (Wilkinson) Patterson '07 Jessica (Wilkinson) Patterson '07
  • Nicole Leaf '08 Nicole Leaf '08
  • Tim Barth '08 Tim Barth '08
  • Kelly Gentile '06 Kelly Gentile '06
  • Danielle Cook '97 Danielle Cook '97
  • Kaamil Baba Kamara '05 Kaamil Baba Kamara '05

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