Alum of the Month

March 2011

March 2011
Ty Fuller

Q & A:

  • Who was your favorite Hofstra professor, and what is your fondest memory of Hofstra?
    My favorite professor at Hofstra was Dr. Charles Merguerian. He has not only been a professor to me, but a mentor and friend. One of the best memories I have of Hofstra was doing research with Dr. Merguerian. We were doing research on geologic outcrops in the Bronx. The work we did eventually led to a publication and opportunity to present our findings at a conference. Dr. Merguerian recommended that I present the research, which I was apprehensive about, because of a lack of self-confidence. He insisted that I do it, and coached me on aspects of public speaking. The talk I gave was a resounding success, and it made me realize that I had a natural talent for public speaking. I have travelled throughout the United States on public speaking engagements for my career, and I can honestly say that it has been possible, in part, because of encouragement Dr. Merguerian gave me as a student.
  • What was your first job after graduating from Hofstra, and what was the most valuable thing you learned there?
    My first job after graduating from Hofstra was for the Suffolk County Water Authority, where I still work. The most valuable lesson I learned is the value of networking. Passing a test does not automatically lead to success in this world, so it is important to be active and develop relationships that will benefit you in the future.
  • What is your field of specialty, and how did you come to work in the industry?
    Currently I work as a senior hydro-geologist. I came to work in this industry because of recommendations from my professors at Hofstra. At the time I was an undergraduate student, job prospects in hydrogeology and environmental remediation were very promising. I also recognized that both fields had enormous growth potential.
  • What at Hofstra gave you your edge?
    Hofstra gave me an edge in numerous ways. The information I learned, from geographic information systems to hydrogeology and sedimentation, gave me a competetive advantage in my career. The professors of the Geology Department also maintain a close relationship with alumni. The alumni would come back and share their real-world experiences with our classes, which prepared me for what to expect after graduation. Dr. J Bret Bennington was directly responsible for my current employment. He not only encouraged me to attend a networking dinner engagement, which eventually led to an interning opportunity, but also drove me to the interview when I did not have a car. That internship eventually led to me being hired as a full-time employee.
  • What advice would you give current Hofstra students?
    My advice for current Hofstra students would be to take advantage of any networking opportunities. Employment and career growth are not only based on what you know, but who you know and how well you relate to others.
  • In one word, how would you describe Hofstra?
  • What is the single most rewarding experience in your career thus far?
    As part of an education and outreach program, I discussed with elementary students my career and the water cycle. The students were excited and had a lot of questions. When the discussion finished, one student came up to me and said he wanted to be like me when he grew up. I never considered myself a role model, but it was rewarding to have a positive influence on someone’s life.
  • Do you have a favorite quote or saying that has kept you motivated through the years?
    The serenity prayer. It is something I say before every talk or big meeting. “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
Ty Fuller

When Ty Fuller ’00 was studying environmental resources at Hofstra, he never could have imagined the future impact he would have on millions of New Yorkers. While in high school, when Ty was asked by a teacher what he wanted to do after graduating from college, he jokingly responded that he wanted to – simultaneously – save the world and make money from saving it! He never anticipated that years later he would be working for the largest groundwater supplier in the United States. Ty is responsible for overseeing the monitoring well network and drinking water wells in Suffolk County and conducting research on groundwater quality for more than one million people.

During his time at Hofstra, Ty was active in the Geology Club and developed a passion for public speaking, which would become a valuable skill in his future career. Ty’s professors encouraged him to secure an internship with the Suffolk County Water Authority (SCWA), where he learned the skills for success in his career.

After graduating from Hofstra with a Bachelor of Science in environmental resources, Ty was hired full time at the Suffolk County Water Authority as a hydrogeologist. He has become involved in various groundwater quality research projects with the United States Geological Survey and the Suffolk County Department of Health Services, and has co-authored five geologic abstracts.

Ty is currently a senior hydrogeologist at Suffolk County Water Authority and is actively involved in groundwater education and outreach programs for the local community. He has traveled extensively throughout the United States to conduct talks on cutting-edge groundwater research projects. Ty has more than 10 years of experience as a hydrogeologist, and has turned his high school dreams of success into reality.