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Commencement Profile: Ashley L. Weselak

Commencement Profile: Ashley L. Weselak

Posted: May 10, 2016

Ashley Weselak has earned a master of science in education degree in English education, attaining a 3.96 GPA while excelling in campus leadership roles and representing her school in unique international experiences.

Weselak will receive the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Graduate Student Excellence and the President’s Medal for Outstanding Graduate Student and deliver the student address during the 6:00 p.m. master’s hooding and C.A.S. ceremony at Buffalo State’s 144th Commencement, Saturday, May 14, in the Sports Arena.

Dynamic, curious, technologically conversant, and highly skilled at communicating with individuals from all personal backgrounds and professional levels, Weselak is a valued ambassador for the college and its graduate programs. In 2015, she was selected as the first student from the School of Education (and first non-theater student) to participate in the college's Anne Frank Project service trip to Rwanda. She shared drama-based education practices for teacher-trainers at the Wellspring Foundation for Education and later presented her findings about drama-based education in Rwanda to the National Association for Professional Development Schools. In prior education trips, she has visited England, Ireland, Italy, and Poland.

Weselak is socially adept and flexible in multiple situations and places. In the classroom, she continually shows initiative and intellectual risk-taking by considering all sides of an issue, but she always remains committed to student-centered learning. For this reason, she was named a lead graduate student on a research project conducted through the Woods-Beals Endowed Chair in Urban Education at Buffalo State. She managed the collection and analysis of data to study how online learning environments can help foster academic and critical literacy development for adolescents.

Outside the classroom, she served her fellow students as a senator in the Graduate Student Association and was selected as a SUNY student fellow at the 2015 SUNYCON conference. As an AmeriCorps volunteer, she worked as the head teacher of the English as a second language program and organized citizenship courses.

With a rare blend of academic training, fierce initiative, and thoughtful engagement, Weselak is adept at teaching, leading, and inspiring people. Her consistent performance and attitude make her an ideal educator.

Weselak has been named a recipient of a Fulbright U.S. Student Program Grant to teach English as a second language in Rwanda starting in the fall.
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