Published November 30, 2022
Eric Syty grew up a Bulls fan. He has fond memories of attending football and basketball games as a child with his family and friends.
“I was one of those kids standing outside of the tunnels as the players went by, asking for gloves or sweatbands,” he recalls. “At the time, it meant so much.”
While his twin brother John (BS ’11) ended up becoming a linebacker for the Bulls, Syty left the area to attend college. However, he recently gave in to the pull of his beloved hometown, accepting a job with UB’s International Student Services.
As part of UB’s True Blue video series, Syty explains how his excitement for athletics helps connect him to the students he works with — and connect them more strongly to UB.
“The majority of international students here are graduate students, so obviously they are very educationally focused. We’re trying to get them to think outside of the classroom, think outside of the research that they’re doing, and really take advantage of the whole experience,” Syty says. “Going to college, it’s not just to study. It’s to meet new people, to experience new things, join clubs and organizations — you know, to be a part of something bigger.
“That’s what athletics can offer you. Whether you’re an athlete or you’re somebody in the stands, it gives you that feeling of ‘you are a part of that family.’”
As an academic adviser, Syty strives to give international students that family feeling from their very first day.
“We are kind of that front door, the first face that they see, and we always want to put our best foot forward,” he says. As students get to know the new environment, he likes to “meet them halfway,” making a point to learn about their home culture and what they want to achieve during their time on campus and beyond.
“To be a part of that journey from the start of education to the end of education to career is just a beautiful thing,” he says.