The campus community will welcome the Class of 2016 to Buffalo State at the First-Year Student Convocation, to be held at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 22, at the Sports Arena. “We want to show these new students how much they mean to us,” said to Scott Johnson, dean of University College and associate vice president of undergraduate education.
Johnson said that data show that there is no better way than college to increase one’s lifetime income. “But college is about so much more than that,” he said. “It’s tragic if students miss the other benefits of college, such as using a liberal arts education to enjoy your life.” A liberal arts education, which Buffalo State offers, introduces students to the breadth of human knowledge in addition to providing them with the skills they need to succeed professionally.
Parents are an important part of the First-Year Student Convocation. “We know that parents have huge investments—emotional as well as financial—in their children’s college educations,” said Johnson. “We want them to see how much we’re committed to their children, our students.”
President Aaron Podolefsky and Sara Garfinkle, president of United Students Government, will speak, and three awards will be given. Two go to students who, in their first year, demonstrated outstanding qualities of academic achievement and campus involvement.
Jordan Burby, a communication design major, is the recipient of the Outstanding First-Year Student Scholarly or Creative Achievement. Burby has already shown great promise in design. He has learned how to generate a series of workable design concepts at the beginning of the design process, which enables him to fine-tune his work by making painstaking adjustments that allow him to delve deeply into the nuts and bolts of design.
Catherine Guichardo, a criminal justice major, is the recipient of the Outstanding First-Year Student Contribution to Campus Life award. She became president of her residence hall early in her first semester, and went on to represent Buffalo State at the national conference of Residence Hall Associations. Besides being the founding member of Buffalo State’s chapter of Students for Education Reform and her activity with the Criminal Justice Club, she volunteers with the Volunteer and Service Learning Center, the American Red Cross, and the Richmond Summer Recreation Center for the Elderly.
The third award goes to a faculty or staff member who has provided exceptional service to first-year students. This year, Jude Jayatilleke, Academic Adviser/Counselor for EOP, is the recipient of the Outstanding Faculty/Staff Contribution to First-Year Success in recognition of his dedication to, and excellence in, mentoring first-year students.
More than 1,350 first-year students are enrolled. Half are Western New Yorkers; 25 percent are coming from metropolitan New York City; 21 percent come from other regions in New York; and four percent, half of whom are international students, come from out of state.
“We look forward to seeing them all at commencement in 2016,” said Johnson.