The President’s Medal is the highest honor the college awards to its graduating students. It recognizes excellence and distinction in scholarship, service to the college and community, and overall achievement.
Tiffany Bassett has earned a bachelor of arts degree in English with a minor in Italian, attaining a 3.92 GPA while serving as president of the Muriel A. Howard Honors Program Student Council. She worked as an academic mentor for the Educational Opportunity Program’s Academic Center for Excellence and conducted independent research on study-abroad programs, which she presented at the Student Research and Creativity Conference. In the community, she volunteered as a member of Eastern Hills Wesleyan Church’s Fusion Inside Out education program and taught Italian at Centro Culturale Italiano di Buffalo.
Alexander Cassells has earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science with a minor in economic policy analysis, attaining a 3.79 GPA while playing for the men’s soccer team and earning SUNYAC All-Academic status. He was inducted into Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society, and Chi Alpha Sigma, the national collegiate athlete honor society. As an intern with the New York State Assembly, he worked on passage of the bill to increase the state minimum wage and the proclamation of June 2016 as Men’s Cancer Awareness Month in New York State. In the community, he volunteered at Jericho Road Community Health Center’s after-school program and Buffalo State’s summer youth soccer camps.
Tiffany Gaines has earned a bachelor of arts degree in journalism with a minor in African and African American studies, attaining a 3.92 GPA while participating in the Muriel A. Howard Honors Program, the McNair Scholars Program, and the Ross B. Kenzie Family Presidential Scholarship program. She was inducted into Lambda Pi Eta, the national honor society for communication studies, and served as vice president and public relations chair of the Ink Club and as a student representative on the Student Philanthropy Council. She also served prospective students as a student ambassador for the Admissions Office and as an Orientation leader. In the community, she volunteered as a site leader for Bengals Dare to Care Day and prepared and delivered meals to senior citizens through the Bay Ridge Center for Older Adults.
David Hoerner has earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering technology, attaining a 3.96 GPA while co-founding the Baja Club and captaining the Buffalo State Baja team in an international Society of Automotive Engineers–sanctioned mini-Baja competition in California. He was elected president of the Buffalo State chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and was inducted into Epsilon Pi Tau, the international honor society for professionals in technology, and Sigma Alpha Pi, the national honor society of leadership and success. Prior to his senior year, he passed the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying’s Fundamentals of Engineering exam, which is the first step in obtaining a professional engineer’s license.
Tara Petty has earned a bachelor of science degree in social work, attaining a 4.0 GPA while participating in the Muriel A. Howard Honors Program and serving as chapter president of Phi Kappa Omega, the social work honor society. Funded by the Undergraduate Research Office, she conducted research in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and presented her findings at the Marcé Society for Perinatal Mental Health’s biennial meeting in Melbourne, Australia, and the Student Research and Creativity Conference on campus. She also completed service-learning projects in El Sauce, Leon (Nicaragua), and Buffalo. In the community, she has volunteered with the Bennett Park Montessori Community Association, Gerard Place, the Western New York Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders Task Force, Child and Family Services, and the Morlock Foundation.
Michael Swierczynski has earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry, attaining a 3.91 GPA while participating in the McNair Scholars Program. He was accepted into two summer programs—the SUNY STEM Research Passport Program and the Center for Structured Organic Particulate System’s Research Experience for Undergraduates program at Rutgers University. He received the Edward M. Schulman Award for outstanding undergraduate chemistry research as well as honors in inorganic chemistry, analytical chemistry, and polymer education from the American Chemical Society. He was inducted into Alpha Lambda Delta, a national honor society that recognizes first-year academic excellence, and Phi Lambda Upsilon, the national chemistry honor society. He served as an academic mentor for the Educational Opportunity Program as well as a member of the Chemistry Club. In the community, he volunteered at Bengals Dare to Care Day.
Margaret Weiser has earned a bachelor of science degree in speech-language pathology, attaining a 3.91 GPA while earning SUNYAC All-Academic honors as a member of the women’s soccer team. She worked as a research assistant at the Research Foundation for the State University of New York on a project to evaluate the effects of sound therapy. She served as secretary of Alpha Lambda Delta, a national honor society that recognizes first-year academic excellence, and secretary of the Buffalo State chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association. On campus, she performed more than 145 hours of community service with the Disability Services Office. In the community, she volunteered at Bengals Dare to Care Day, participated in the Bornhava fall cleanup, raised funds for the Craniofacial Center of Western New York, and coached for the Grand Island Soccer Club and the Future Stars Multi-Sport Summer Camps of Long Island.
Rebecca Johnson has earned a master of arts degree in Great Lakes ecosystem science, attaining a 3.66 GPA while completing a graduate assistantship that included maintaining the outreach program for the $2.1 million Niagara River Emerald Shiner Project and training and supervising undergraduate laboratory assistants. She conducted extensive research for her master’s thesis on fisheries and microbiology and shared her findings at the New York State Chapter of the American Fisheries Society conference and the International Association for Great Lakes Research conference. On campus, she founded the Informed Students Addressing Climate Change student club. In the community, she has volunteered with Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper as a shoreline sweep site captain and as a guest lecturer for its River Academy and Young Environmental Leaders Program.
Kaicherise McRae has earned a master of science degree in higher education and student affairs administration, attaining a 3.85 GPA while serving as the student representative on the Buffalo State College Council. She completed a master’s thesis on the effects of academic advisement on first-year residential students and shared her findings on this topic and more at Stony Brook University as well as at Buffalo State’s Graduate Student Association No Frills Conference, resident assistant training sessions, Omega Phi Chi multicultural sorority’s leadership banquet, and Fashion Student Association events. She has volunteered on campus as a student lead success associate with the COMPASS Program, a member of the Residence Hall Judicial Board, and a member of the Campus Safety Forum, and she earned the Resident Director of the Year Award from the Residence Life Office. In the community, she created the nonprofit Kristal Gupta Project, which aims to reduce factors contributing to personal crises among high school-age girls.
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