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Student, mother discuss foreign volunteer work with Honors Program members

Student, mother discuss foreign volunteer work with Honors Program members

Alfred State student Natalia Sytch and her mother, Vera Sytch, met with members of Alfred State’s Honors Program and their guests Thursday, Nov. 5 for a presentation on their lengthy travels this past summer in Cambodia, China, and India.

Natalia, a Rochester native with a double major in agricultural technology and veterinary technology, and Vera, a photographer, spent their time working with people in extreme poverty, teaching and ministering, including work in Calcutta Mercy Hospital. According to Vera, “Americans Mark and Huldah Buntain founded the hospital in 1977, and have devoted their lives to this service.”

Vera’s involvement with the hospital changed suddenly when she contracted a virus in Calcutta and spent 10 days as a patient there. Their trip, which was to include similar volunteer work in Liberia, was cut short when Vera’s illness forced their early return to Rochester. Natalia said when she graduates in May, her goal is “to use the knowledge gained in my studies at Alfred State to improve the lives of some of the hard-working, but impoverished people I met this summer.”

Farhan Alshammari, Emily Lestrange, Jacob Marcy, Natalia Sytch, Vera Sytch, Hannah Vuozzo, Shannon Fay, Kristen Williams, and Cassandra Ryan

Pictured from left to right are Farhan Alshammari, mechanical engineering technology, Big Rapids, MI; Emily Lestrange, veterinary technology, Gansevoort; Jacob Marcy, liberal arts and sciences: math and science, Clay; Natalia Sytch; Vera Sytch; Hannah Vuozzo, architecture, Salt Point; Shannon Fay, architecture, Schuylerville; Kristen Williams, liberal arts and sciences: humanities, Hornell; Cassandra Ryan, mechanical engineering technology, Gloversville.