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For Immediate Release
April 19, 2013

For more information, contact
John Follaco
(585) 395-5159

Honors and Awards Ceremony Recognizes Outstanding Students

Annual event celebrates student success

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BROCKPORT, NY—The College at Brockport, State University of New York, held its annual ceremony to recognize the success and achievements of its undergraduate and graduate students on April 19. The event, which has been held for more than 25 years, recognizes outstanding students for their academic success and dedicated service to the College and community.

Brockport President John R. Halstead, PhD, presented the President’s Citation Award, the highest honor given to a graduating senior, to Alexis Schmidtke, a double major in athletic training and exercise science.

“I’m always humbled by the impressive accomplishments of our students, and Alexis provides a shining example of why I think the future of our country is in great hands,” Halstead says. “In summary, Alexis is both a difference-maker and the epitome of student success—always our highest value here at The College at Brockport.”

Schmidtke shared one of the many lessons she has learned while at Brockport.

“We must always remember to lift up others when they are down, guide them when they are lost, and never forget how fortunate we all truly are,” she said. “We are all connected at The College at Brockport, and the sense of community here is unmistakable. I never thought that I would be able to call another place home, but Brockport has certainly become the roots of my development and identity as an individual.”

This year’s top awards include:


Alexis Schmidtke, a double major in athletic training and exercise science, maintains a 3.94 GPA. Her academic honors and achievements include the Departmental Scholar Award in the Department of Kinesiology, Sport Studies and Physical Education, the Glenn S. Goldberg Scholarship and the American Kinesiology Association Award. Alexis is a member of Phi Epsilon Kappa and Alpha Chi Omicron honor societies. She has been on the President’s List and Dean’s List with Honors. She has various certifications, including the National and New York State Athletic Trainer’s Associations. Alexis is heavily involved on campus, as a tutor for various courses and a group exercise instructor. Her athletic training experience includes team assignments at The College at Brockport and the University of Rochester. She has clinical experience at the University of Rochester Medical Center and medical shadowing experience with various surgery and orthopedic centers. Alexis was a recipient of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Past Presidents Scholarship, a national award given to a student demonstrating academic and clinical excellence.


GRADUATE—Nicole Kaplan, who holds a 3.90 GPA, is a graduate student in the Master of Fine Arts program with a concentration in dance. She is a member of the Brockport Student Dance Organization and works as a graduate assistant, teaching courses such as Introduction to Dance and Beginning Modern Technique. Nicole’s choreography has been produced several times within the department as well as in the greater Rochester area. Her leadership roles on and off stage include concert coordinator and choreographer for Brockport Breaks the Chain, part of the One Billion Rising national movement against domestic violence. Nicole has received numerous awards and funding, including the Pylyshenko-Strasser Graduate Dance Award and the Monserrat Fund for Dance Award.

UNDERGRADUATE—Georgiana Perelka, who holds a 3.88 GPA, is working toward a degree in international studies and French with a minor in dance. During her time at Brockport, Georgiana has become heavily involved in the College community, joining several on-campus organizations, including BASIC (Brothers and Sisters in Christ) and the Foreign Language Club; founding and serving as president of Democracy Matters; and cofounding the Swing Dance Society. Her cocurricular activities are complemented by her long list of academic accomplishments, which include making the President’s List and becoming a member of the Alpha Chi, Beta Gamma Sigma and Pi Sigma Alpha honor societies. She also gained a wide variety of educational and professional experience by studying abroad in China and in France, where she gained fluency in French, interned at Le Théâtre Du Ruban Vert and worked on organic farms.


GRADUATE—Carmen Joseph Stagnitta earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 2009 from The College at Brockport and will earn a master’s degree in adolescence inclusive math education. He maintains a 3.85 GPA and is on the Dean’s List with Honors. Upon graduation, Carmen will be certified in Adolescence Mathematics Education (grades 7-12), Middle Childhood Mathematics (grades 5, 6) and Students with Disabilities (grades 7-12). He is a recipient of the Distinguished Professors Endowed Scholarship Award. Carmen’s research focuses on school unions and the connection between government funds and teacher performance reviews. His findings will highlight political issues in the educational system, such as teacher accountability. Along with various undergraduate field experience, Carmen’s professional experience includes working as a substitute teacher aide and student behavioral assistant for Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES.

UNDERGRADUATE—Madison Shepard, a mathematics major in the Adolescence Generalist Inclusive Education program, maintains a 3.84 GPA. She has been on the President’s List and Dean’s List with Honors. Upon completion of her degree, Madison will be certified in Adolescence Inclusive Generalist Mathematics Education (Grades 7-12) with Middle Childhood Extension to Grades 5-6 and Students with Disabilities (Grades 7-12). Her professional experience includes observation at various schools and working as a math and SAT/ACT tutor for Sarphatie Education, Inc. She also has served as a psychology tutor at Brockport and a peer mentor to incoming freshmen. Madison has won the Interdisciplinary Award in Mathematics, Betty J. Watson Scholarship, NYS Math and Science Teaching Incentive Scholarship and the Presidential Scholarship. She is a member of Kappa Delta Pi and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Madison attended the Association of Mathematics Teachers of the Rochester Area Spring Conference in 2012. As the recipient of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)’s Prospective Teacher Conference Attendance Award, she is currently on an all-expenses-paid trip to the association’s national conference in Denver.


GRADUATE—Tiffany Mitrakos, a graduate student in the adapted physical education program, maintains a 3.79 GPA. Tiffany completed her bachelor’s degree in physical education at The College at Brockport in 2010. She is certified in Physical Education (Pre-K – 12) and Adaptive Physical Education (Pre-K – 12). Tiffany is a graduate assistant for Camp Abilities, a week-long sports camp at Brockport for children with visual impairments. She is the director of J.E.E.P. (Junior Eagles Extension Program), a gymnastics program for children with autism. She works as the Brockport Swim and Gym group leader, working with undergraduate students that work with children with disabilities. Tiffany has presented at the National American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Conference and was recognized at the conference as Brockport’s Physical Education Major of the Year. Her volunteer activities include the Rochester Rookies wheelchair track-and-field team and the Games for the Physically Challenged.

UNDERGRADUATE—Meaghan Caufield, who holds a 3.98 GPA, is a double major in psychology and health science with a concentration in alcohol and substance abuse. Throughout her undergraduate career, she has been on the President’s List and Dean’s List with Honors. Meaghan’s awards and scholarships include the Dean’s Scholar-in-Residence Award, the Wegmans Scholarship and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars Award. Meaghan’s internship experiences include the Hillside Family of Agencies as a residential treatment intern and Strong Behavioral Health, working with clients with substance use issues. She has worked as a volunteer at Strong Memorial Hospital in the pediatric/video library and the neonatal intensive care unit. Meaghan plans to pursue a graduate degree in school counseling.


GRADUATE—Lindsay Scott, who maintains a 3.96 GPA, earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and applied communications from The College at Brockport and will earn a master’s degree in psychology. Her master’s thesis examines how sharing positive work events with others may contribute to family/work enrichment. Lindsay is completing a 12-credit practicum at Lifetime Assistance, Inc., assisting adults with intellectual disabilities. Her professional experience also includes the Children with Autism Recreation Program at Brockport. She is the recipient of the Distinguished Professor’s Graduate Student Research Grant, the Lifetime Foundation Award and the Sperandio Award.

UNDERGRADUATE—Bonnie Gambrel, who holds a 3.83 GPA, is a double major in mathematics and environmental science with a concentration in aquatic ecology. She is a member of the Honors Program, Alpha Chi National College Honor Society and Pi Mu Epsilon National Honorary Mathematics Society. Her honors and awards include the Math Departmental Award; Sigma Xi Undergraduate Research Award in Mathematics; and Brockport Physics, Math and Computer Science Scholarship. Bonnie currently works as a lifeguard in the athletics complex. Her research experience includes participation in the Miami University Ecology Research Experience for Undergraduates Program, a math research project, and a marine biology study abroad research project in San Salvador. Bonnie also is involved in the Brockport Gaming Association and the Brockport Math Club.


GRADUATE—Modupé Irerua, who holds a 3.87 GPA, has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Boston College. In 2012, she earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from The College at Brockport, graduating magna cum laude. She is currently completing her master’s degree in forensic accounting. Modupé is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa and Alpha Sigma Gamma honor societies as well as a student member of the National Association of Black Accountants, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists. Her professional experience includes working as a tax auditor with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, as an accounting intern with the City of Rochester Bureau of Accounting and as a mobility operations auditor at IBM Corporation.

UNDERGRADUATE—Brenten Bradley, an undergraduate student in the management track of the business administration major, holds a 3.96 GPA. He is a proud husband and father and an active-duty sergeant in the United States Marine Corps, obtaining his education through his involvement in the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program (MECEP). Upon graduation, Brenten will commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, immediately traveling to The Basic School in Quantico, VA. Upon completion, he will report to Pensacola, FL, for flight school. Brenten’s future plans include completing his MBA and using his acquired knowledge to invest in a franchise.

The College at Brockport, State University of New York
350 New Campus Drive * Brockport, New York 14420-2931
(585) 395-2754 * FAX (585) 395-2723 *

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