Even with a collective 3.92 GPA, the success achieved by Zhuojun (Georgie) Fu, Steven Gangloff, Keriann Ketcham and Jessica Martorana at SUNY Fredonia extends far beyond classrooms in Fenton, Jewett and Thompson Halls. By skillfully integrating academic excellence with accomplishments in leadership, campus involvement, community service, athletics and career achievement, these students have been rewarded with the 2012 Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence.
SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher recognized more than 250 students throughout the SUNY system as Chancellor's Award recipients yesterday at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center. "The students we honor today have taken full advantage of the academic and extracurricular programs that SUNY provides both in the classroom and the community," Chancellor Zimpher said.
Each recipient was given a framed certificate and medallion, which is traditionally worn at commencement.
From left: Zhuojun (Georgie) Fu, Keriann Ketcham, SUNY Fredonia Vice President for Academic Affairs Virginia Horvath, Steven Gangloff, and Jessica Martorana.
Though their areas of study are varied, each SUNY Fredonia student has been able to contribute to the campus and surrounding community in meaningful ways to positively impact others.
In May, Fu (Lu Wan High School, Shanghai, China) will graduate summa cum laude with a bachelor of science degree with dual majors in communication-public relations and computer science, and minors in leadership studies and applied mathematics. She is the first international student at SUNY Fredonia to receive this highly selective award.
Since arriving on campus in 2008, Fu has enhanced the international landscape of the campus. She helped the then-fledgling Chinese Club create its signature event, the Chinese New Year Dinner Party, and increase membership to over 120 students, up from fewer than 30. Fu also served as a student coordinator of the Lu Wan Language and Cultural Program that links SUNY Fredonia with students from her alma mater.
Her leadership roles have included president of the Golden Key International Honour Society, the campus chapter of the American Red Cross and the Chinese Club. Fu has been the recipient of seven academic awards, including Fiat Lux, Golden Key International Honour and L. Michael Dimitri scholarships, as well as the Feng Chiang and John Beck Memorial scholarships awarded by the Department of Computer and Information Science. She is also a four-time winner of the President's International Scholar Award.
Fu will also receive the prestigious Lanford Presidential Prize at Commencement, becoming SUNY Fredonia's first international student to receive that coveted honor as well.
She has also served as a teacher assistant for the departments of Communication and Computer Information Science and tutor for the College Tutoring Service. Her 80-page honor thesis on the methods of position determination for autonomous agent in the computer science field was submitted to the 14th International Conference of Humans and Computers for publication.
Gangloff (Sweet Home High School, Amherst) will graduate in May with a bachelor of science degree in biology (pre-med, with a minor in chemistry). He is one of just 160 students out of 4,000 applicants accepted into the 2012 entering class at the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
With career aspirations in medicine, Gangloff has completed internships in numerous departments at Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk; volunteered in the ambulatory surgery and emergency department at Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital in Buffalo and volunteered in skilled nursing at DeGraff Memorial Hospital in North Tonawanda. Gangloff has also been a biology tutor at the SUNY Fredonia's Learning Center.
He has received five academic awards, including the Alice M. Sam (biology), Fredonia Scholar, Foundation Academic, Alpha Lambda Delta Achievement and Faculty/Staff scholarships. Gangloff has served as president and vice president of the campus chapters of Alpha Lambda Delta, the national honor society; Beta Beta Beta, the national biological honor society; and the campus Biology Club.
Gangloff designed and helped create an entire website, Dehydrate2Store.com, to serve as a leading reference on home dehydration and storage. Its considerable success resulted in an invitation for him to join a panel of entrepreneurs at an event hosted by the SUNY Fredonia Career Development Office. He also joined Fredonia for St. Jude to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. A self-taught musician, he was a member of the Music Therapy Club, and a former member of a touring and recording band that has performed in Buffalo, Rochester and New York City.
Ketcham (Fredonia High School, Fredonia) graduated in December 2011 with a bachelor of science degree in interdisciplinary studies-international studies, Spanish.
International affairs have been an integral part of Ketcham's career at SUNY Fredonia. She served an 11-week internship in Costa Rica, where she provided research for a non-profit organization dedicated to spreading awareness of citizens' rights and promoting peace among Central American nations. She also attended a language institute and organized student field trips.
Through the Harvest Chapel Free Methodist Church in Fredonia, Ketcham was a member of a mission team that went to Honduras, where she assisted in the construction of a church and served as an interim teacher. By joining boys and men on the soccer field - the first time a female had ever played with them - Ketcham inspired several girls the next day to play alongside their brothers, uncles, fathers and friends for the first time. Ketcham played women's club soccer at SUNY Fredonia.
As a delegate at the United Nations Youth Assembly, Ketcham attended a week-long conference at the United Nations, attending keynote speeches and seminars and networking with like-minded adults from around the world.
She is a member of the international studies honor society Sigma Iota Rho, as well as the Golden Key International Honour Society, and she earned Fia Lux and Undergraduate Alumni Committee Scholarship awards.
Ketcham is a full-time patient access technician at Brooks Memorial Hospital, serving in the areas of admission and customer service, where her Spanish language skills are utilized every day. She also became a certified literacy volunteer, serving as an English language tutor with Literacy Volunteers of Chautauqua County, and a Spanish language tutor for a Chautauqua County student, who needed help to prepare for his Regents examination, through Upward Bound. Ketcham also served as a Spanish translator with Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, a United Way program that assists non-English speakers. This was one of the best experiences she ever had, and plans to return to the program in 2012.
Martorana (Penfield High School, Penfield) will graduate in May with a bachelor of science degree in elementary inclusive education, middle school extension.
Martorana has served as chapter president of Golden Key International Honour Society, vice president of special events for the Teacher Education Club, and chapter secretary of the National Society of Leadership and Success. She has been involved in the Dean's Advisory Group, functioning as a liaison between students and the dean of the College of Education.
At the College of Education Research Symposium, Martorana presented the file folder game, based on a short story, which she created for third grade students. She also participated in a phone-a-thon, sponsored by the College of Education and Student Services, to offer information to prospective students interested in careers in education.
As a tutor with the America Counts and Reading First programs, Martorana worked alongside classroom teachers to strengthen student instruction in mathematics and reading, respectively, and served as an after-school tutor at Fredonia High School, where she helped at-risk and high-need students complete homework and projects and also offered study strategies for tests, quizzes and final exams.
Martorana is a member of Kappa Delta Pi, the international education honor society, and Alpha Lambda Delta, the national honor society.