Press Releases

For Immediate Release
April 20, 2018

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

Honors and Awards Ceremony Recognizes Brockport’s Outstanding Students

Annual event salutes excellence among undergraduate and graduate students

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BROCKPORT, NY—The most outstanding students at The College at Brockport, State University of New York, were celebrated during the annual Honors and Awards Ceremony on April 20. The event recognizes students for their academic success at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Brockport President Heidi Macpherson presented the President’s Citation Award, the highest award given to a graduating senior, to Joshua Johannes.

"To paraphrase one of the nominating letters, this student is an individual of high integrity and typifies student excellence," Macpherson said. "Another nominating letter states, 'If you look at the list of accomplishments on this student's resume, you will see they have already achieved greatness. What their resume does not reflect is their outstanding character and wonderful personality.'"

This year’s top awards include:

School of Arts and Sciences

Undergraduate Distinguished Outstanding Achievement Award: John Benicasco has maintained a 3.85 GPA while triple-majoring in psychology, philosophy, and public health and double-minoring in chemistry and biology. He is an Honors College student, a McNair Scholar, a member of the Educational Opportunity Program, and a recipient of the Foster Care to Success Scholarship. He serves as a member of the President’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion and as a psychology tutor for the Student Learning Center and for EOP. John was named Departmental Scholar for psychology and for philosophy in 2016 and Undergraduate Student Employee of the Year in 2017 for his work as a tutor and as a computer lab assistant. He is currently working on a manuscript with Associate Professor of Psychology James Witnauer on a proposed Double Blocking Effect. John plans to pursue a dual Doctor of Pharmacy/Master of Public Health degree, focusing on public health pharmacy and sex/sexuality education.

Graduate Outstanding Achievement Award: Matthew Futia is completing the master’s degree portion of a combined BS/MS in environmental science and ecology. Holding a 3.93 GPA, he has previously been recognized with the Departmental Scholar award and with the Scholar Athlete Award for the men’s swimming and diving team, for whom he currently volunteers as assistant coach. He has been inducted into Alpha Chi, the National College Honor Society; and Chi Alpha Sigma, the National College Athlete Honor Society. His research focuses on causes of, impacts of, and treatments for vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency in Lake Ontario salmon and trout, and on the impacts of the consumption of various prey fishes on lake trout fatty acid and thiamine concentrations. He plans to earn a PhD and work in academia, so that he can continue to conduct research and help educate others.

School of Business and Management

Undergraduate Distinguished Outstanding Achievement Award: Joshua Johannes is completing a double major in accounting and finance, with a 3.85 GPA. A member of the Honors College, he coordinates its Peer Mentor program and is currently working on his senior thesis project, Managing Millennial Accountants. He serves as student assistant to the associate director in the Office of Residential Life/Learning Communities and is a member of the Dean’s Student Advisory Board, the Joint Budget and Planning Committee, the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society, and Beta Gamma Sigma, the International Business Honor Society. Joshua has received numerous scholarships, including the Roy and Helen Doody Scholarship, the Steel/Mattera Scholarship, the Rochester Kiwanis Club Scholarship, the Allen V. Upton Scholarship, the Cassidy Ball Scholarship, and a four-year scholarship from the Brockport Alumni Association. This fall, he will begin work as a full-time staff accountant at Davie Kaplan, CPAs.

Graduate Outstanding Achievement Award: Joseph Gunther is completing a Master of Public Administration with an emphasis in public management, carrying a 3.9 GPA. He previously earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Brockport. He serves as president of the College’s Student Chapter of the International City/County Management Association and as a graduate assistant in the Department of Public Administration, and he is a member of Pi Alpha Alpha, the NASPAA Honor Society for Students of Public Administration. Last spring, he worked with department faculty and City of Rochester leaders to build a Leadership Academy for Neighborhood Association leaders in the City. It was successfully pilot-tested in Rochester’s Southwest Quadrant and is now in the process of being expanded to the entire City. After graduating, Joseph aims to secure a full-time job in the field of public service.

School of Education, Health, and Human Services

Undergraduate Distinguished Outstanding Achievement Award: Shannon Miller, who holds a 3.88 GPA, is completing bachelor’s degrees in public health and communication. She has been named Departmental Scholar for Public Health two years in a row. Her extensive involvement across campus includes roles as an Admissions Ambassador and student supervisor; a Student Health Advocate for Prevention and Outreach Services; a Summer Orientation leader; a co-chair of the Golden Eagle Senior Council; and a member of the Public Health Club, Barbell Club, and Alpha Chi National College Honor Society. Earlier this month, she presented her senior thesis project, Motives for College Student Alcohol Consumption, at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research in Oklahoma. Shannon’s next steps are to pursue a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs while working at a university, aiding and mentoring students through professional development and leadership.

Graduate Outstanding Achievement Award: Allison M. Parry-Gurak is earning a Master of Science in Education, Counselor Education, with an emphasis in school counseling, in which she has earned a 3.88 GPA. She holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from Roberts Wesleyan College and an associate’s degree in business administration from Genesee Community College. Allison is a member of the Nu Chapter of Chi Sigma Iota, the International Honor Society for Professional Counselors. She serves as the legislative and policy chair for the American Counseling Association of New York and has served on planning committees for the Diversity Conference and the Out of Darkness Walk. She works for Prevention and Outreach Services in the Hazen Center for Integrated Care, with a focus on alcohol and drug prevention. Allison plans to earn a PhD and to continue working in counseling, advocacy, and education.

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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