November 2015 Family Newsletter

Editor’s Letter

Dear Spiders Family,

Greetings from London! I am currently pondering how quickly this fall semester has passed. Suddenly, I’ve gone from wearing T-shirts on warm, sunny days to spending my time deciding which coat will keep me warmest. After I’ve finished writing this, I’m off to study for midterms. Where has the time gone?

We’re three months into the fall semester and Spiders is thriving. Webs are being developed, content is being published, and graphics are being designed. The office was even decorated in the spirit of Halloween–we are Spiders after all! Teamwork is highly encouraged this year, as the younger Spiders learn from those with more experience under their belts. But for anyone who wants a little extra life advice, catch up with our recent graduates in “Where Are They Now?” Learn where the Spiders Class of 2015 is working, how they maintain a work-life balance, and what they miss most about Spiders. I’m sure for many, it’s the potlucks! 

Please enjoy this edition of the Spiders Family newsletter. Allow yourself to be taken back to the cubicles, and join me in appreciating all that Spiders has given us!

Will Skalmoski

Where Are They Now?

It’s been six months since graduation. Let’s catch up with the Spiders Class of 2015! Click on a name to read more.

Michael Brandt | Junior Web Developer, booj

Beth Fritzinger | Web Content Publishing Coordinator, Syracuse University

Linda Gorman | Junior Web Developer, Upstatement

Mary Manchin | Junior VFX Artist, Mad Old Nut Productions

Marcus McLean | Full-stack Web Developer, 160over90

Ricky Laishram | Graduate Student, Syracuse University

Meet Our Newest Spiders!

We asked, “What energizes you?” Click on a Spider to find out what they said.

Keep up with the whole team in our “Meet the Spiders” segment every Wednesday on Facebook.

Each week we’ll be introducing you to a member of our talented team! Get to know the Spiders and find out how they are making a difference at Syracuse University. Visit our Facebook page  for more information.

Spiders Alumni Spotlight

Dorwin D’Souza

In this newsletter’s Alumni Spotlight, we caught up with Dorwin D’Souza, a distinguished alum who played a critical role in establishing Spiders as we know it. Since graduating in 2011, Dorwin has been living in Seattle, Washington, working as a software development engineer for retail and web-giant Amazon. Over email, we asked Dorwin about his Spiders memories, as well as his current professional career.

Where are you from?
I was born in the United Arab Emirates, but I am an Indian citizen.

How did you end up at Syracuse, and what was your major while attending?
My cousin did his master’s degree at ‘Cuse 5 years before I started school. He is currently a senior manager at Microsoft, and it was his recommendation that brought me to SU. I studied computer and information sciences, with a minor in engineering management.

When and how did you land your current job at Amazon?
I applied to Amazon the fall semester of my senior year. After waiting a long time, I received a call back a week after my graduation ceremony! They flew me out to Seattle for an on-site interview and then made me an offer better than the one I had from another company.

What sort of work do you do at Amazon?
I am a software development engineer II at Amazon. I primarily design and write software for the company in the form of web-based services that expose APIs over the HTTP protocol.

Did Spiders prepare you for work outside of Spiders?
I would say so. The skill I learned the most from Spiders was to take a left turn every time I ran into a roadblock.

What advice would you give to current Spiders?
No job is too big or too small. It’s just our perspective that shrinks and enlarges.

What was your favorite food item from the Life Science Building Cafe (aka Freshens)?
Plain bagel with cream cheese and bacon (dont ask, just try it).

What is your favorite Jono memory?
A student came in to drop off her laptop for a Fresh Start, but she didn’t have enough money to cover the expense. Jono covered the cost. Also, on the day the iPad first released, he had the biggest smile on his face.

What is your proudest Spiders moment?
When my script for reading the SU ID card scanner was installed on OrangeTracker (JIRA).

Do you have a shoutout to any Spiders?
Cheers to Jon W, Rich P, Bob, Jono, Donal and Kara.

Fall 2015 Potluck Recap

By Ellie Haines

The first Spiders potluck of the semester was held on Friday, October 23, just in time to celebrate the end of midterms. Spiders and Online Platforms came together to enjoy a variety of food. Spider Katie Canete put her blood, sweat, and tears into organizing the potluck and it was a success, to say the least!

“I was very happy with how it turned out. Many people brought a lot of delicious dishes and everyone seemed to have a great time,” said Canete. “Also, I didn’t burn myself while making garlic knots thanks to Lyndsey!”

The potluck featured a plethora of appetizers, entrees, and desserts that represented various cultures and backgrounds. Claudia Rubin wanted to share her love for her family’s home cooking with the Spiders family, so she brought in Puerto Rican style rice with sweet plantains, red bell peppers, and salchichas—what we call sausage. It was delicious! Mark Manoledakis also shared a taste of his culture with Spiders by contributing a fresh homemade Greek salad.

Some other standout dishes were Chad Johnson’s homemade vegan and gluten free mac’n’cheese, Lyndsey Jimenez’s beef empanadas, and Beth Fritzinger’s Frankenstein look-alike cupcakes. All three of these dishes, and many more, were gone before anyone could even get seconds. Spiders and OP bonded over this tasty food and got back to work with full stomachs.

View Potluck Photo Gallery >