May 25, 2016
Mario Salvati and His Daughter, Sarah Harman, to Graduate in the Class of 2016
In the early ’90s, Mario Salvati, 62, a recording engineer/producer with more than 40 years of experience, decided “to ease off the studio life and teach the next generations.” He will receive his Bachelor of Arts in The Arts from SUNY Empire State College as part of the Class of 2016.
Joining Salvati at graduation is his daughter, Sarah Harman, 38, a photographer who has completed her Bachelor of Science in Business, Management and Economics at SUNY Empire. She holds an Associate in Arts from Sullivan County Community College.
The two will walk the stage together at the college’s Hudson Valley region graduation, Sunday, June 12, at the PepsiCo Theater of Purchase College, 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, N.Y.
Harman, (below, right) who has two young children and four stepchildren, is focused on raising her family. Although she hasn’t worked outside the home for six years, she plans to after her youngest, Miles, starts kindergarten in the fall. “One of my goals is to work in the field of public health, particularly maternal and child health, which is why I chose the health services management concentration for my degree at SUNY Empire,” she says. “Many of the jobs that I researched in the field require, at the very least, a bachelor’s degree. I also may pursue a master’s degree in the future, possibly through the online Master of Public Health program at SUNY Albany.
“I have always wanted to complete my bachelor’s degree, but with such a large family and little ones at home, it would have been difficult, if I’d had to commute to a campus every day,” Harman says. “Once I found out that I could complete my degree through SUNY Empire 100 percent online, I was thrilled that I could finish a degree, while also being able to stay home with my children. I also wanted to continue studying within the SUNY system, since both colleges I had attended previously were SUNY schools,” she says.
As for her father, he is an instructor/student advisor at the Institute of Audio Research, a technical school that teaches audio recording technology in New York City. The school is in the process of upgrading to be a degree-granting institution, so this was part of Salvati’s impetus to complete his bachelor’s degree. “I began recording in 1975, briefly taught at IAR in 1980 for two years, decided I wasn’t ready to give up the studio life, left teaching and went back to recording until 1991,” says Salvati. “I divided my time between studio recording/production and teaching, becoming a full-time teacher in 2000.”
Salvati teaches most of the courses offered at IAR, while also managing three courses as curriculum lead. “I am responsible for curriculum content and application within the classroom,” he says. “At the moment, we are preparing to introduce an AV component, AV1-technology and AV2- practical application to the audio recording program that was written and developed by me. An exciting time, for sure.”
Unlike numerous adult learners at the college, Salvati did not have previous college experience, but he did attend RCA Institute, a technical school for electronics. He was able to have this and his work experience evaluated for prior learning credits. He was awarded 94 credits toward his degree program, greatly shortening his time to completion. Salvati credits his mentor, Renee O’Brien, and Laura Koplewitz, another professor, “for their superb guidance and assistance during the prior learning assessment process.” He studied online with occasional group studies.
Salvati, who’s been married 40 years to Laurie, a garden designer, has four children and two grandchildren. He is not even contemplating retirement. He is now enrolled in a Master of Arts in Learning and Emerging Technologies at SUNY Empire, which he said will help further his plans and aspirations.
His degree has helped “me to reexamine my classroom techniques and philosophies as they existed, and to further refine and expand to better serve my students,” he says. “I can’t say enough good things about SUNY Empire,” he adds.
Harman’s father’s recommendation proved correct. “I was lucky to have him act as a ‘pioneer,’ enrolling at SUNY Empire before I did and sharing his experiences with me,” she says. “His positive opinions of the online course structure, the courses themselves and the professors definitely led me to believe that SUNY Empire was a good choice for me as well.”