Daniel Frontera has earned a master of science degree in higher education and student affairs administration, attaining a 4.0 GPA while working full time as the coordinator of veterans services at Erie Community College (ECC).
Frontera will receive the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for 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 142nd Commencement, Saturday, May 17, in the Sports Arena.
A veteran who logged more than 20 years of service in the U.S. Army and New York Army National Guard, Frontera draws on his experience to provide leadership and mentoring to fellow students. He has shared his insights as a guest speaker in three courses and assisted his peers in securing high-quality internship and project experiences through his office at ECC. His classroom work is marked by its candor, compassion, and intellectual rigor.
Frontera has presented his academic work at the 2013 National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) conference, the 2013 Western New York Student Leadership Conference, and the 2013 SUNY Veterans Symposium, and will present at the 2014 NASPA Region I conference.
Outside the classroom, he uses his position as a combat veteran and advocate to advance veterans’ issues. In 2010, he founded the Western New York Iraq Afghanistan Memorial effort and secured funding for a memorial at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park to honor local soldiers. He is also the co-creator of Paws & Patriots, a program that connects shelter animals with veterans, as well as the Artists and Veterans Collaborative, a program that allows veterans to experience the healing effects of art. In addition, he serves as an advisory board member for the University at Buffalo Partnership for Excellence in Veteran Care, which is creating areas of special study and certification for graduate-level social workers and nursing students who care for veterans.
He is a trusted adviser of New York State Senator Tim Kennedy on legislation affecting student veterans, reservists, and military dependents attending SUNY schools. He also volunteers his time as a firefighter and youth soccer coach. In short, Frontera is a humble leader and lifelong learner who works tirelessly on behalf of fellow veterans and his community.