Maria Gordon

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I am a sophomore here at Fredonia, double majoring in Communication Studies and Spanish. I am a member of the Varsity Womens Soccer team and was awarded 2013 SUNYAC All-Academic Team. I am a Fredonia Global Student Ambassador, working to help the university advance its goal of increasing acceptance and understanding of cultures around the globe. I am looking to study abroad in Chile during the remainder of my time here to improve my Spanish language skills. I have a keen interest in cultures and worldwide traveling and hope to one day become a member of the Peace Corps. I am from Stephentown NY, a very small rural town outside of Albany. I am one of 4 children and love to spend time with my family and my awesome dog. I love to read, write, and take pictures! I’m a thinker and an explorer and love people. Spending time with friends, hiking, skiing, and going to concerts are some of my main hobbies.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

― Mark Twain

Contact me at  !

SOTW PicDanielle Oakes

I am a business marketing major with a minor in communications and will be graduating early this December. I have had several executive board positions including Co-President of Alpha Lambda Delta, Treasurer of Business Club, and Business Manager of WNYF.  In addition to being an active member of Alpha Lambda Delta and Business Club,I am also a part of Enactus, Golden Key, and was recently inducted into The Alma Mater Society.  I have served as a tour guide on campus and was selected to be an Orientation Leader for the summer of 2013.  This past summer I traveled west to Los Angeles for an internship with a small marketing firm called Buzztone.  One of the most notable clients I worked with frequently was TOMS.  For the fall semester, I will be continuing her leadership growth with Enactus as a member on the Executive Team, as well as a Team Liaison for one of the projects.  I confidently state that being a member of the Honors Program has positively influenced her time at Fredonia and has played a critical role in her success.

Mary Plum

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I am a junior music therapy student with a concentration in voice from a suburb of Rochester, NY. I also have a double major in psychology and a minor in statistics. I am Leadership Development Certified and also a member of Golden Key. Besides singing and playing a variety of instruments (including the guitar and banjo!), my passion is traveling! I have had notable experiences abroad and in the US, have friends all over the world, and consider more than one place on the globe a second home. My notable summer experiences from this past summer included traveling to Spain for a few weeks as well as managing the social media platforms for the United Way of Northern Chautauqua County.

After school, I plan to move to North Carolina and work with children with Autism.

I am so excited to return as a Social Media intern this year and can’t wait to see how the Honors Program will grow. I hope that any Honors student interested contacts one of us interns to help with our growth.

Contact me at!

Welcome to the Start of a New Year!

On Tuesday, August 26, the Honors Program welcomed students to Fredonia with our First Annual Welcome-Back Mixer. Over 120 students, faculty, and staff gathered in the Japanese Garden in Reed Library to meet old and new friends, connect with mentors/mentees, and celebrate the start of a new academic year.


Welcome to all first-year students, congratulations to all the scholarship recipients, and much success to everyone for the year ahead!!


We invite you to participate on our social media platforms. We would like to know and recognize the wonderful work all Honors students are doing, so if you want to post an announcement, contribute to the Honors Blog, or simply learn more about our program, please use Facebook (Fredonia Honors Program) or Twitter (@FREDHonors).  If you’re interested in writing for the Honors blog, please contact Mary Plum, Danielle Oakes, and Maria Gordon.

End of the Year Goodbye

Dear Honors Community:

As the director of the Honors Program, I want to thank you for all of your wonderful work this past academic year. Across campus, members of the Fredonia community have spoken so highly of your work inside and outside of the classroom. From volunteer efforts during the “Days of Service” campaign to active participation in such innovative seminars like Conflicts and Crises in African History and Video Games: Their Evolution and Impact, from the residents in the Honors Honors to student mentors, you have made our program grow in profound and exciting ways. Our program’s strength is a result of your efforts, curiosity, academic excellence, and participation. Thank you.

I also want to publicly thank Laura Hart, Mary Plum, Jake Schermerhorn, and Mandi Buzard for all their assistance over the past year. Their work as interns have been invaluable in helping foster an active learning community within the Honors Program. Thank you!
This year we are saying farewell to 61 graduating seniors. Congratulations on all your success and, on behalf of the program, I wish you all the best on your next adventure. While we bestowed graduation cords to many seniors this past week, if you haven’t picked-up your graduation cords yet, please see Julie Sticek in the Office of the Dean of Visual and Performing Arts, 8th floor, Maytum. They will be available during regular business hours throughout finals week. Congratulations seniors!

In addition, congratulations are in order for the recipients for the 2014-15 honors scholarships. They are Adam Clouthier, Morgan Hartley, Alexandra Shananhan, Margaret Gilroy, Philip Landini, Jordyn Holka, Colin Mann, Antonio Regulier, Margaret Drzewiecki, Callie Patsellis, Allison Williams, and Claire Woodcock. And to all the applicants, it is truly inspiring to learn the myriad ways you demonstrate the core values of a Fredonia education, being Skilled, Creative, Connected, and Responsible.
And finally, as we close one academic year, we look ahead towards the next. For 2014-15, we are offering an exciting array of seminars, developing programs to better connect students to the local communities, and planing off-campus learning experiences as well. Enrollments continue to grow, as we are expecting an incoming class of at least 105 students. To welcome students into the program, we are planning a “meet and greet” event during the first week of the fall semester so all members of the Honors Program can get to know each other. All students in the Honors Program are invited! Information about date, time, and place will be made via email, twitter, and facebook by mid-August. I do hope you will attend. And for student mentors, you will be receiving contact information about your mentees at the end of July. We look forward to building on past successes and developing a stronger program in the years ahead.

Again, thank you for all your efforts this year. Congratulations on all your successes! Good luck with final exams and I hope you have a wonderful summer.

Dave Kinkela  

Student of the Week: Meghan Devine

Meghan is a junior communications student, double major in Audio/Radio Production and Media Management. On top of this, she also has an English minor and is the current station manager and next year’s general manager for Fredonia Radio Systems. She hosts two shMeghanows: a country show with her roommate and High Noon Friday, one of the longest running student produced shows in the nation (30 years)! Meghan is a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta, Lambda Pi Eta, and Chi Alpha Sigma honors societies for maintaining a certain GPA within the college, the communications department, and for being a student athlete. Finally, Meghan is a captain for the Varsity Track and Field team and loves being really involved on campus. She is from Clarence, NY and enjoys making cookies with her roommates in her spare time.

Student of the Week: Leah Wacienga

Leah BlogLeah is a freshman with a double major in Audio/Radio Communication and Music Business from Buffalo, New York.  Within her first semester at Fredonia, Leah was grateful to have been selected into the all-female a cappella group, The Riveters.  Being a part of this group has been an amazing experience for her and has helped her greatly with the transition from high school into college.  The Riveters has helped introduce Leah to so many people and wonderful new experiences.  Leah is currently working on several new song arrangements for the group to perform, as well as a few original pieces.  This group of girls have become her family and continue to push her to perform to the best of her ability each and every day.  Leah is looking forward to making the most of her three remaining years at Fredonia.  She will continue to work to thrive as a student, as well as keep her love for music alive.

Student of the Week: Alison Phillips

aliAlison is a senior English Adolescence Education major/ Spanish minor from Orchard Park, NY.  She is currently in her second student-teaching placement at Fredonia High School.
During her time at Fredonia, Alison has been involved in both campus and community life by serving as a three-year captain of the Women’s Tennis Team, volunteering in various capacities at the WCA Home, participating in Fredonia’s Internationalization Forum to help strengthen the college’s presence as a global community, and actively supporting the use of the Oxford comma.
Upon graduation, Alison will spend the summer coaching tennis, lifeguarding, and celebrating her last few months of freedom.  Come fall, she will attend a yet-to-be-selected graduate school where she will pursue a Masters degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

Paid Internship Opportunity!


Need Some Extra Cash next Semester?

GreatWriting.Com is offering a paid internship each semester. It’s 3 credits and pays $10 / hour for 12 weeks. The position basically involves writing articles for a blog plus two 1-hour sessions a week with the site’s owner, Randy Cronk, via Skype on how to apply what the student has learned at Fredonia to marketing writing. Another benefit is that when  the internship is finished, you should have a nice portfolio of work online that you can show future prospective employers.  Not bad, right?

The deadline for this internship is June 1, 2014


To find out more, check out:

Or email us:

Honors Alum of the Month – Emily Bird

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I graduated from SUNY Fredonia summa cum laude with a degree in communications, a concentration in public relations and a minor in leadership studies.

Since graduating, I’ve moved northeast to Rochester, NY where I work at Text100, a global communications firm that specializes in Tech PR and partners with some of the world’s biggest brands, including IBM, Xerox, BlackBerry and Lenovo. When I first arrived — just four short weeks after graduation — I started as an intern, worked my way up to an Account Coordinator and now serve as an Account Executive pitching top of the line publications, writing various communication pieces and aiding corporate executives in their online social presence.

Outside of work, I dance for the Rochester Knightingales, a professional dance team for the National Lacrosse League and the Rochester Knighthawks.

Attending SUNY Fredonia and engaging in the Honors Program was one of the best decisions that I made during my higher education. Some of my favorite memories include participating in the unique classes offered by the program — an opportunity that not every college student gets to have. My experiences enabled me to pursue my passions both inside the classroom and out and I am thankful that I am able to continue those activities today.

Student of the Week: Michael McMasters

Michael McMasters
Michael is a junior finance major.  He originally came to Fredonia as a physics major, but after leaving and serving in the army, Michael decided to switch to finance.  While in the army, he deployed to Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn, where he provided medical support to supply convoys traveling in between Iraq and Kuwait.
Upon returning to school, Michael became very active with Delta Chi.  He has held several positions with the fraternity and is currently the president.

Michael is also an active member of the Enactus team, with whom he traveled to the Enactus National Expo in Cincinnati to help Fredonia compete. The team won third place in the quarter finals, placing them in the top 60 out of over 200 schools.

In addition to Michael’s internship with Enactus, he also interns at The United Way of Northern Chautauqua County, where he is the development and promotion intern.  Michael’s job is to raise awareness and support for The United Way.  He is also currently developing a golf tournament that will take place in the late summer at Tri-County Country Club to help raise funds for The United Way.

Honors Updates: Graduating Seniors and Honors Mentors


Honors Graduating Seniors:

Graduation reception will be held in the Horizon Room (lower level of Williams Center)

on  Tuesday, May 6 from 4-6pm

Refreshments will be available


Honors Mentor Program:

Want to serve as an Honors Mentor next year?

Want to know what it is an Honors Mentor does?

Attend the organizational meeting on Wednesday, April 23 at 8pm in Jewett 101

Any questions or comments can be directed to or feel free to comment on the blog.