There is a hunger for success in Cheyene Richards’ eyes as she lists her involvements, recalls past memories and gives insight into her ambitious future plans.
As a senior majoring in hospitality management with minors in both business administration and marketing, Richards hails from Brooklyn and came to Plattsburgh State in 2015. PSUC’s accredited business school, recognized by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, hospitality management program and Adirondack scenery, were more than appealing to Richards.
“Plattsburgh was the only intersection of a great program, an affordable price and a great outdoorsy location,” Richards said. “I’m a city girl, but I find so much peace up here.”
Throughout her time spent on campus, Richards has been able to make this school her own.
Richard’s involvement stretches through different areas on campus. Richards is a resident assistant for Wilson Hall and a peer-career assistant at the Career Development Center.
“Cheyene has been a joy to have in our office,” Senior Career Counselor Sally Urban said. “We promoted her to the peer-career assistant position because of her good attitude, strong communication skills and her enthusiasm, and I have seen her blossom in the time she has been with us.”
She is also the current president of the National Association of Black Accountants after holding a place on the executive board since her freshman year.
“Cheyene is a wonderful and kind person that everyone should get to know,” PSUC NABA Treasurer DeVonne Hinton said. “She always wants the best for anybody that she meets, and I love the fact that she is the president of my club.”
NABA’s motto, “Lifting as We Climb,” connects collegiate members with NABA’s professional organization. The organization’s members are professionals already making headway in their designated career fields. NABA also provides PSUC students with meetings about preparing for the future.
“We operate as a career readiness resource for students of all majors,” Richards said. “We try to help everyone think of it in a different light. That is why we like to have fun but also have serious life conversations.”
Aside from academic and involvement, Richards strives to help everyone on campus feel accepted and loved. As a PCA, Richards has worked on a project for Career Diversity Resources with other PCAs to create a database with links under different historically discrimination against categories of people.
The database uses factors such as race, background, culture, sexuality, ability and more to find various professional organizations, scholarships and career websites that cater to those specifics. Richards’s project also provides information on workplace laws to ensure that students are informed of discrimination if it happens to them.
This project is going far within New York state.
Richards’ personability, organization and drive has helped her get far with each of her roles.
“She likes to get things done and loves to put her own creative spark on projects and/or planning,” PSUC NABA Vice President Malika Vasell said. “She’s genuine, caring and tries to do her best with everything.”
Richards good-natured spirit is obvious to the people around her.
“She’s literally the sweetest person I know besides my mother,” Vasell said. “Her heart is one of a kind, and she exudes such a soothing, calming atmosphere with just being around her.”
As for the future, Richards is not phased by the postgraduate lifestyle.
“Five years from now, I want to launch my event company where we help decorate, plan and find a theme,” she said.
Richards wants to launch her marketing firm focused on services, small business branding and marketing in the future.
“In ten years, I want to own my own hotel or restaurant,” Richards said. “Maybe in Maryland or New York City… I’m not really sure yet.”
Her inspiration for these firms comes from within.
“I want to help everyone find their own brand and to figure out what they are good at individually because it took me awhile to find my own brand, but when I did it felt so good,” Richards said.
To future freshman and current undergraduates, Richards gives some advice on how to navigate college.
“Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want because there are resources and people that are here to meet your needs,” she said.
Richards encourages students to find a way to make stuff happen despite obstacles.
“Instead of complaining about what we don’t have, find a way to bring it,” Richards said. “Be fearless and stand up for what you believe in.”