January 14, 2011 — By Amy Radik
Robert Dufort and his sister Vicki Dufort were standout athletes at Ballston Spa High School. They could have continued their athletic passion at any big name college, but they both chose FM. Why? They both agreed; it felt like a second home.
“I was recruited out of high school by Coach Chris Rogers to play soccer at FM,” says Robert. “I chose to major in business management which allowed me to take courses with Professor Laurence Zuckerman. I didn’t realize what a lasting impact these two people would have on me.”
Coach Rogers taught Robert how to excel not only on the soccer field, but off as well. “He encouraged me to attend classes every day and do all the work to the best of my ability,” says Robert. “I had the privilege of joining Phi Theta Kappa, a national honor society for community colleges. During my sophomore year, I was named co-captain of the team and earned most valuable player. My time playing for Coach Rogers directly assisted my transition from high school athlete to college athlete and allowed me to keep focus on my studies.”
Robert was also impressed with Professor Zuckerman. “He knew all of his students not just by their name, but who they were as people; something you don’t get in a four year university,” said Robert. “His knowledge in the accounting field and advice for real life situations in the business world prepared me to transfer to a four year school. I am now earning a bachelor’s degree at Cazenovia College and someday aspire to become a CPA or work in the financial sector for any large corporation thanks to the encouragement of Coach Rogers and Professor Zuckerman.”
After seeing the positive effects FM had on Robert, Vicki decided she would attend FM as well. She would continue her athletic career but was unsure of what she’d like to study so she enrolled in the General Studies program. Like her brother, Vicki also left with more than just an education, she too left inspired.
“I played women’s basketball, soccer and softball at FM,” says Vicki. “I got to know Coach Kevin Jones very well. He was not only my basketball coach and the athletic director, but was also someone I considered to be like family. He taught me to excel. Under Coach Jones, I received the All-Tournament Team Player Award, Female Athlete of the Year, and the Coaches Award two years in a row. Whether I needed help with a class or just someone to talk to, Coach Jones was always there for me. I’m very thankful for his guidance and even now that I’ve graduated, I continue to check in with him for advice and inspiration.”
Following in her brother’s footsteps, Vicki is furthering her education at Cazenovia College majoring in Early Childhood Education. “My career goals are to become an early childhood teacher and also coach softball, basketball or soccer,” says Vicki.
Both Robert and Vicki agree, “The professors and coaches at FM are great teachers and great people who prepare their students to achieve their career goals both on and off the field. If you want a college that you can really connect with not only the academics but the faculty and community that make up the campus, a place that is like a second home, FM is the college for you.”
Amy Radik is the Coordinator of Public Relations and Marketing at FM.