SUNY Fredonia seniors Julia Hopson, John Mackowiak, Amanda Nobrega and Rachel Olson traveled to Albany yesterday to be honored by the State University of New York as recipients of the 2009 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence.
The award is given to students who have demonstrated their abilities to integrate academic excellence with accomplishments in the areas of leadership, athletics, creative or performing arts, and community service. The honor was presented to each student by SUNY Vice Chancellor and Officer-In-Charge John J. O’Connor in a ceremony held at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center. Each student received a medallion which may be worn during Fredonia’s commencement ceremonies on May 16, in addition to a framed certificate.
SUNY Fredonia Chancellor’s Award winners stand proudly in acceptance of their honors on the Empire State Plaza Convention Center stage in Albany.
Pictured, from left, are Julia Hopson, Amanda Nobrega, SUNY Vice Chancellor and Officer-in-Charge John O’Connor, Rachel Olson, and John Mackowiak.
SUNY Fredonia’s students were among just 238 honored from 63 campuses across the SUNY system. Students were nominated by Fredonia faculty and reviewed by the Fredonia President’s Cabinet, which officially nominated the four finalists to the Chancellor’s Office. The mean Grade Point Average (GPA), statewide, for Chancellor Award recipients this year was 3.77; Fredonia’s four honorees hold an average GPA of 3.81.
The students were accompanied by SUNY Fredonia’s Vice President for Student Affairs, David Herman, and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Virginia Horvath.
“These four individuals have assembled truly distinguished collegiate careers while on our campus and have, without a doubt, advanced SUNY Fredonia and its surrounding communities,” Dr. Herman stated. “It was a pleasure to accompany them to Albany as they received this tremendous honor and share this experience with their families.”
“This award represents the fruition and recognition of the culture we work so hard to foster at Fredonia,” Dr. Horvath added. “We obviously want to attract students who will excel academically. However, we believe it is just as important to develop in students a sense of civic duty and well-roundedness, so that they will enrich the lives of their communities long after they leave Fredonia and continue their individual paths in life.”
SUNY Fredonia’s 2009 honorees:
Julia Hopson, a Graphic Design major with a concentration in Visual Arts and New Media from Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Julia has become the most highly decorated female track and field athlete in SUNY Fredonia’s history, becoming a four-time All American and the university’s first female national champion by winning the 20-pound weight throw event at the 2009 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships this past March. She has been awarded numerous scholarships during her career and is a graduate of Fredonia’s Leadership Development Program. She has also earned Dean’s List recognition following every semester during the last four years. Earlier this year she was one of just 20 student athletes — and the only among SUNY — to have her artwork selected for display at the NCAA National Convention in Washington, D.C., and later featured in the NCAA’s Champion magazine;
John Mackowiak, a Communication major with a concentration in Audio/Radio Production from Dunkirk, N.Y. A leader within the campus radio station (Fredonia Radio Systems) and member of the a cappella group, “Much More Chill,” John recently completed an internship with the Investigative Unit of NBC News’ Washington, D.C. Bureau, where he assisted Correspondent Lisa Myers and a team of producers in putting together investigative reports for NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams and the Today show. He has also worked as a technical producer for WBEN-AM in Buffalo, and is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society. John has served as a Resident Assistant and earned Dean’s list recognition every semester;
Amanda Nobrega, a Psychology major from Rochester, N.Y. Amanda has served as president of the Psychology Club and president of the “Fredonia State of Mind” mental health newsletter. She has participated in numerous volunteer activities which have benefitted such organizations as the Special Olympics, the Salvation Army, and the American Federation for Suicide Prevention, in addition to Hurricane Katrina victims. She is a member of the SUNY Fredonia Honors Program, three national honor societies, and the SUNY Fredonia College Choir. Amanda is also a graduate of Fredonia’s Leadership Development Program and has earned Dean’s List recognition every semester;
Rachel Olson, a Math Adolescence Education major from Jamestown, N.Y. Rachel has served as vice president of the campus chapter of the Golden Key International Honor Society, studied abroad at Kingston University in London, and is a member of multiple honors programs and societies on campus. She has served as a Resident Assistant and a Hall Council liaison, and is a graduate of Fredonia’s Leadership Development Program. Rachel has also been active in community service, supporting the seniors in residence at the Chautauqua County Home as well as participating in SUNY Fredonia’s annual Fall Sweep and Buffalo News Kids’ Day events. She has earned Dean’s List recognition every semester.
The Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence was created 12 years ago to recognize students who have best demonstrated, and been recognized for, the integration of academic excellence with accomplishments in the areas of leadership, athletics, community service, creative and performing arts or career achievement.
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