Leading By Example
José Menendez '16
International student José A. Menendez '16 has traveled more than 2,000 miles from his hometown in Venezuela for the opportunity to study in the U.S.
His journey began when he discovered an organization that helps students attend colleges abroad. SUNY Canton was a perfect choice, he said, because he could study Business Administration and play soccer, which has been his lifelong love.
“My father gave me a passion for the sport,” he said. “My mother taught me that you must work hard.”
His work ethic extends into the classroom, too. He earned a perfect 4.0 GPA in Fall 2014 and is the recipient of the Rosanna Mae Moser Endowed Scholarship and the Gilbert, Chadwick and Christy Investment Club Scholarship.
In Spring 2015, he was part of a team that was selected to compete against some of the most prestigious schools in the country in the International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition.
“José leans into any competition and is a natural spokesman for any group,” said Professor Charles R. Fenner, Ph.D., who was the competition adviser. “He settles only for first place in all his endeavors.”
Menendez also served as a role model for other students through his work as a resident assistant on campus and a member of the men’s soccer leadership team.
“José is a tremendous human being,” said SUNY Canton's Head Men's Soccer Coach Timothy M. Penrod. “He is friendly, caring and truly a genuine young man. His passion for success is infectious, which is why our coaching staff is happy to let him lead on a daily basis.”
Although he had a hectic schedule, Menendez still found time to lend a hand during the annual “Hop to Help Day,” where student-athletes help elderly and disabled community members with landscaping and trash clean up. His most rewarding experience during his time at SUNY Canton was volunteering with the Special Olympics. “It was so touching,” he said. “It was the best thing I have ever done.”
After graduation, Jose moved to Argentina and started working for Ernst & Young. He is grateful for the opportunities that the College has afforded him. “Everyone here has been so supportive, and the professors here are always willing to help you if you need it. SUNY Canton has given me everything I need to succeed.”