Tonawanda News

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May 12, 2013

Saturday's Niagara University graduation a family affair

Tonawanda News — When Aaron Sydor receives his undergraduate diploma on Saturday afternoon, his mother, Kathy, was waiting at the other side of the stage to congratulate him. Instead, she was right behind him, joining her son as a member of the Niagara University Class of 2013.

Kathy, a sociology major, and Aaron, who will receive degrees in international studies and political science.

Fortunately for them, their areas of study both fall under the umbrella of Niagara’s College of Arts and Sciences, where Kathy has served as assistant to the dean since 2008. Otherwise, the two may have graduated during separate commencement ceremonies this weekend.

The timing had to be right, too. It wasn’t a given that mother and son would fulfill their graduation requirements during the same semester. Kathy, despite the insider access that comes with her position, says that she didn’t realize she would be graduating with Aaron until about a year ago.

“I knew it would be very close, but I couldn’t say for sure if we’d both be graduating this May,” she said. “It was somewhat difficult to estimate because I only take two courses each semester, whereas Aaron’s a full-time student.”

Aaron, who also minored in history and Spanish, originally planned to move on to law school after completing his undergraduate studies. However, a few factors, including a positive experience he had studying abroad in Spain has altered his outlook, at least temporarily. His cultural experience in Spain helped improve his speaking skills and advance his interest in Latin America.

The 2009 Lewiston-Porter graduate is now considering relocating overseas — Chile is his first choice — to teach English as a second language, the topic on which is honors thesis was based.

Aaron is also passionate about international relations, commenting that when he does decide to apply to law school, international law will be his field of choice.

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