Senior Profile: Claire Alex

    Political Science and History (Spiders is my third major)

    Orange County, CA

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    Spider Will Skalmoski Makes Music with Band, Pizza Party

    Surrounded by empty Domino’s pizza boxes in their South Campus apartment, Will Skalmoski and his three roommates decided to start a band. Appropriately named Pizza Party, the rock and roll band which performs both original music and covers, has played more than 25 shows since that night in the fall 2014 semester.

    Will is a junior in the Bandier Program for Music and Entertainment Industries and a content publisher at Spiders. When he isn’t working, he’s rehearsing with Pizza Party.

    He has always known he wanted to make music. Will started playing the guitar at age 12 and has been writing songs for as long as he can remember. When he hit high school, he started to take songwriting seriously and has since produced pieces including “Lucy,” “Lies! You Told me,” and “Give it a Minute.” Pizza Party performs the songs regularly, in addition to other tracks called “Help me Out” and “Can’t Wait.”

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    Spider Colleen Linn Helps Resettle Local Refugees

    This past August, Colleen Linn began interning as a case manager at the Catholic Charities resettlement program in Syracuse. Colleen, a web accessibility consultant at Spiders, works with refugees who had to flee their home countries, including Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Bhutan, and now Syria, due to unsafe conditions. The program resettled 601 refugees in 2014.

    Resettlement includes assistance with applying to jobs, registering for English language classes, finding translators and housing, and securing medical care. The Catholic Youth Organization partners with the Syracuse City School District to run special programs that prepare refugee children for U.S. schooling. In 2014, over 2,336 children and teens received service at neighborhood centers, schools, and libraries within the city.

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    Planning For Your Financial Future

    Courtland Alex

    As part of the Spiders Guest Lecture Series, Courtland Alex, Agent Development Center Manager for State Farm, former certified financial planner, and father of Spider Claire Alex, gave a talk titled “Planning for Your Financial Future.” The purpose of this lecture was to inform Spiders about how to plan for retirement, and make them aware of how the financial decisions they make today will affect their future. Many Spiders had never considered their financial future prior to Alex’s presentation.

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    Introduction to Web Accessibility

    Colleen Linn

    During a Spiders monthly meeting in spring 2015, Spider Colleen Linn gave a presentation on the basics of web accessibility. For many Spiders, this presentation served as an introduction to the world of web accessibility and it outlined the best practices to follow. Linn is Spiders’ resident web accessibility consultant. Because web accessibility has become a very prominent issue facing users, she wanted to share her findings with her fellow Spiders and the OP team. Below is a brief outline of her presentation.

    If you would like any more information on web accessibility, including how to get your website up to code, please feel free to email

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