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The choice to pay it forward came easily to alumnus Renan Max F. Hamoy

Renan Max F. Hamoy
Renan Max F. Hamoy
Renan Max F. Hamoy

Some decisions in life are easier than others. For Renan Max F. Hamoy, the decision to give back and “pay it forward” came easily. The choice of what to study came a little harder. In the end, learning “a little bit of everything” has proven useful for his career and has enabled him to provide opportunities for those who followed.

Hamoy arrived in Danbury from Brazil as an incoming high school freshman. He first enrolled at Danbury High School, but transferred after his first year to Henry Abbott Technical High School to pursue a technical education in Computer Aided Design. When it came time to look at colleges, Hamoy was interested in engineering and looked at the University of New Haven, but found it cost prohibitive.

Having lived in Danbury not far from the Western Connecticut State University campus, Hamoy attended WCSU’s Open House and found it had “a good vibe and it made sense since it was affordable and local.” Equally interested in film as in engineering, Hamoy enrolled as a Communication – Film Production major. After a year, he changed his major to Finance because he wanted to learn more about the business world and mathematics; ultimately, Hamoy became a Contract Major, focusing on Finance and Political Economy. He also was an active member of the Roger Sherman Debate Society, where he honed his strategic and communication skills.

Another of his interests was computing. Hamoy designed websites on his own from home. So, when a student employee position opened in the university’s Information Technology & Innovation (ITI) office assisting the WCSU Webmaster, Hamoy applied and received the job. Two years as a student worker were followed by a year as a University Assistant, and after graduating in 2012 with a B.B.A. in Finance from the Ancell School of Business, Hamoy was offered a full-time position in ITI as a Web Content Specialist.

Once he obtained full-time employment, Hamoy began contributing to university fundraising efforts via payroll deduction. “I received some scholarships, including the Macricostas Family Scholarship, the Sodexo Scholarship and a Presidential Merit Scholarship, and they helped me,” Hamoy said. “It’s a duty to share some of the blessings you have and pay it forward for other folks.”

As a WCSU employee, Hamoy took advantage of training sessions on agile methodology software development and management philosophy, so he was a prime candidate in 2019 when Synchrony Financial posted an opening for a Technical Product Manager to develop and set up a digital payments tokenization platform for the company at its corporate offices in Stamford.

“I use the skills I was taught at WCSU in my job at Synchrony now,” Hamoy said. “This position requires a technology and business mix. I made the design decision and guided the team to build the product, but we have to market it internally. What I build must be scalable and have a path and a business value that I can demonstrate.” The product delivered supports this, and supports most, if not all, Synchrony clients including common online payment platforms. Recently promoted to Technology Partnership Leader, Hamoy’s focus has shifted to engaging with other FinTechs in the industry.

His upgrade in employment also resulted in an increase in Hamoy’s contributions to the WCSU Foundation. “I was able to donate more once I got my new job. It was easier for me to afford,” he said. “So many people are in a very good position to be supportive of future students, and I hope they do so.”

As for his advice to those future students, Hamoy said, “Even if you don’t have a clear path, you need to do something with your time. It’s okay if you take just one class or attend for one semester — just get started. The education and experience college can give you is not found elsewhere. Time goes by fast and education is something that no one can take away from you.” Hamoy added, “And when you succeed, don’t forget to pay it forward.”


Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.