Students at Commencement

Buffalo State College Celebrates Commencement 2010

Buffalo State College will confer degrees on more than 1,800 undergraduate and 750 graduate students during its 138th Commencement celebration on Saturday, May 15, in the college Sports Arena. SUNY honorary degrees and Distinguished Alumnus Awards also will be presented during the two baccalaureate and one master’s hooding and C.A.S. ceremony.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates and join them in celebration on this special day by marching in the academic procession or by serving as a volunteer. Volunteers are still needed for the 2:00 and 6:00 p.m. ceremonies. More information is available online. Contact the Events Management Office at with questions.

The following graduates of the Class of 2010 will be recognized for their academic and extracurricular achievements, leadership, and service:

President’s Medal for Outstanding Undergraduate Student
SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence

Sarah FehskensSarah Fehskens earned a bachelor of arts in Spanish language and literature with a minor in sociology and a GPA of 3.83. A graduate of the All College Honors Program, she received the Outstanding First-Year Achievement Award and the Ernest S. Falbo Modern Foreign Language Prize.

Fehskens participated in a study tour of Dublin, Ireland, and studied language, culture, and literature at the University of Salamanca in Spain, where she also worked as a volunteer English teacher. She has held many leadership positions on campus, including president of the All College Honors Council, president of the Spanish Club, student member of the Buffalo State College Foundation, and representative of the Modern and Classical Languages Department to the School of Arts and Humanities Dean’s Student Council. Fehskens has also been active in several community service projects.

She will deliver the student address at the 10:00 a.m. baccalaureate ceremony.

Angela LambrixAngela Lambrix earned a bachelor of science in English education (7–12) with a cumulative GPA of 3.97. Lambrix has been on the dean’s list every semester is a member of Kappa Delta Pi, the international education honor society. She received a number of scholarships, including the Nicholas Patterson Perpetual Fund Scholarship, the Business and Professional Women of Buffalo/Amherst Scholarship, the Hazel M. Bleeker Scholarship, and the United University Professions Scholarship. She also received the Ross B. Kenzie Family Presidential Scholarship, and she was admitted to the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program.

On campus, Lambrix helped to establish a chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society, and served as its president. She also helped run the department’s student-tutor writing center. She served as managing editor of the Buffalo Art Project and the Writers’ Compass, and volunteered in the community in several capacities.

Lambrix will deliver the student address at the 2:00 p.m. baccalaureate ceremony.

SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence

Nicollette BrownNicollette Brown earned a bachelor of science in speech-language pathology and a minor in art therapy, with a cumulative 3.93 GPA.

Brown received the Anna P. Burrell Scholarship and the George Dougherty Scholarship for Health Professionals. She is also a member of the Chi Alpha Epsilon National Honor Society, and she was accepted into the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program, which prepares students for doctoral programs. She was the first Buffalo State student selected to participate in the competitive, prestigious Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine internship at New York University Langone Medical Center. She is also a member of several professional organizations.

Brown has volunteered both on campus and in the community. She mentored young children, college freshmen, and students with disabilities. As a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie County, she was named Big Sister of the Month.

Sooja LeeSooja Lee earned a bachelor of fine arts in metals/jewelry design with a cumulative GPA of 3.81. She also holds a diploma as a gemologist and jewelry designer from her native South Korea, and a certificate in advanced diamond setting from Drouhard National Jewelers’ School in Mansfield, Ohio.

She received the seventh and eighth annual Hyatt Design Award for Excellence in Metal/Jewelry Design in 2009 and 2010. Lee’s work has been included in several student design exhibitions in the Czurles-Nelson Gallery, including juried exhibitions. Her work was also selected for inclusion in the Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities Gallery.

In 2008, she was accepted to the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, an international craft school in Maine, to study torch-fired enameling. She was also selected to assist renowned artist, sculptor, and metalsmith Thomas Mann at the prestigious Smithsonian Craft Show in Washington, D.C., in 2008. She traveled to Chicago for the Sculptural Objects and Functional Art (SOFA) exhibition, and she has attended several national conferences sponsored by the Society of North American Goldsmiths, a professional association for jewelry design and metalsmithing, to which she belongs.

Lee also participated in community service and student activities, including the International Student Organization and Students Involved in the Art of Metalsmithing.

John McGowanJohn McGowan earned a bachelor of science in childhood education (grades 1–6) with a concentration in social studies and a cumulative GPA of 3.96.

McGowan served as vice president and president of the college’s Emerging Educator’s Chapter of the Association for Childhood Education International and was instrumental in developing its agenda and activities. He is a member of the college’s Student Council for Exceptional Children; Kappa Delta Pi, the international education honor society; and Phi Alpha Theta, a national history honor society. He also served in the highly selective position of student representative to the Professional Development Schools Consortium, a partnership between the School of Education and 42 participating schools.

His volunteer activities include more than 1,000 hours of work with Buffalo Public Schools students, Buffalo State College Clean-Up Day, the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics, the St. Vincent de Paul toy and art supply drive, and the Love Canal 30th anniversary demonstration. He received the Democracy and Peace Service Learning Certificate of Recognition.

Yolanda RondonYolanda Rondon earned a bachelor of arts in political science with two minors: international economics and international relations. She attained a cumulative GPA of 3.78 while participating in numerous campus leadership roles, academic enrichment activities, and volunteer and community service activities.

A graduate of the All College Honors Program, Rondon was also accepted to the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program, and her research as a McNair scholar focused on the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. She has presented research in many venues, including the New York State Political Science Association conference and the SUNY Model European Union conference simulation.

Rondon is a member of three national honor societies: Alpha Lambda Delta, Pi Sigma Alpha, and Chi Alpha Epsilon. She has completed three internships, including one with Congressman Chris Lee’s political campaign and another at the Office of the Attorney General in Washington, D.C. She also took an active role in various student organizations, including the United Students Government’s Judicial Council and the College Senate. She studied abroad in Europe, Turkey, and China. She was named European council president for the 2010 SUNY Model European Union simulation by the program’s director.

On campus, Ms. Rondon was a resident assistant, a tutor in political science and economics for students in the Educational Opportunity Program, and a mentor for the NIA program. She is president of the Kappa Pi Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc.

President’s Medal for Outstanding Graduate Student
Graduate Student Address

Rachel BergRachel Berg earned a master of science in education degree in childhood special education, with a cumulative GPA of 4.0. Berg worked at Enterprise Charter School as a member of the AmeriCorps program. She was selected for the prestigious and competitive scholarship made possible by the Joseph and Mary Jean Daly Varga, ’43, Graduate Award Fund. She is also a member of the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education.

Berg also served as vice president of the college’s Best Buddies chapter, an organization that encourages the development of friendships between individuals with and without disabilities. Her volunteer activities include service at the Upgrade Academics Summer Literacy Enrichment Camp for urban students; as a mentor and tutor for students with disabilities at Dodd Middle School in Freeport, New York; and participation in after-school activities at Enterprise Charter School.

Berg will deliver the graduate student address at the 6:00 p.m. Master's Hooding and C.A.S. ceremony.