2013 Wallace Scholarship Recipients - Two Success Stories
The first edition of the 2013-2014 Educational Development Program’s Student Spotlight, is featuring two very successful students, Alexis N. Fores (Senior, Communication-Journalism, Fredonia) and Domonick A. Pitts (Junior, Interdisciplinary Studies: Exercise Science, major; Athletic Coaching, minor, Buffalo).
Alexis recalls her first time on campus heading off to classes and thinking “this is nothing like high school!” Even though she grew up in Fredonia and was familiar with the town and the college, she was feeling overwhelmed. She more or less talked herself into not doing well; and true to the idea of a self-fulfilling prophecy, she started out with really bad grades. Worrying (actually sort of freaking out), she decided to seek the advice of her lovely (her description) EDP counselor, Ms. Skemer, who worked with her along with the Learning Center, to secure tutoring. Reluctant at first, Alexis warmed up to the idea and to quote her: “It has been one of the best decisions in my life!”
She was on a roll now and started to rack up various accomplishments for her resume. She has been on the Dean’s List for four semesters; has been a work-study for various campus offices; served as treasurer for Spectrum Entertainment Board; was inducted into Chi Alpha Epsilon (XAE) 2011, was selected to be a peer advisor for EDP’s 2013 JEWEL (July EDP Workshop for Expanded Learning); was selected this past academic year as one of two recipients of the Jeffrey J. Wallace, Sr. Leadership and Excellence Endowment Scholarship; and this fall she will begin a full-time internship as a staff member for THE LEADER campus newspaper.
“I am the student and person I always wanted to be. But honestly, I wouldn’t be able to be where I am today without EDP. Not only have they pushed me in academics but they have helped me become the more confident and determined woman I am today. EDP has become more than a program to me. It has become my lifetime family and friend which I will never forget!”
Before coming to Fredonia, Domonick remembers thinking about the move away from friends and family and how his new environment would be a big change from Buffalo, NY. He had been warned by well-meaning high school teachers that college was much more challenging than high school. He really didn’t know what to expect and he was concerned and more than a bit apprehensive. However, his fears were somewhat eased by what he learned during EDP's summer orientation. “My advisor, Ms. Knapp, told me about EDP’s honor society, Chi Alpha Epsilon (XAE), and that the only way to get into the honor society was to have two consecutive semesters with a 3.0 GPA or higher. Ms. Knapp said ‘that most freshmen don’t get inducted.’ I took that as a challenge. This was the first academic goal I set in college.” Domonick achieved that goal and was inducted the following year into XAE.
He also became very involved on campus, participating in Buffalo News Kids Day, Homecoming, Fall Sweep, Little Sibs Weekend, and a particular favorite of his, Multicultural Weekend. He has held numerous working positions on campus including his current job as a supervisor in the Ticket Office, EDP study hall proctor, dorm night desk attendant, 2013 summer orientation assistant, and for the past three semesters plus this fall, a Resident Assistant in a freshman, male residence hall.
“The Educational Development Program has taught me the importance of taking chances, meeting new people and using college as the stepping stool that it is into the real world. It’s a great feeling knowing you have a support system away from home. Things like this are simply humbling, knowing where I came from and what I’ve been through. It is a precursor to a successful future.”
The Dr. Jeffrey J. Wallace Sr. Leadership and Excellence Scholarship Endowment Fund was established in fall 2008 in recognition of the contributions, dedication, and leadership of Dr. Jeffrey J. Wallace Sr. who was director of the Educational Development Program from 1972-1981. It was his vision and dedication which laid the foundation for the growth and development of the Educational Development Program currently in place at the State University of New York at Fredonia. The term “development” in the name of the program represents Dr. Wallace’s vision of the process that students go through in becoming successful and contributing citizens. The selection committee looks for candidates who demonstrate the characteristics and determination exhibited by Dr. Wallace in his quest for student success.
Criteria for the scholarship are for EDP students to have earned a minimum of 50 credit hours, continued enrollment at Fredonia of at least one semester after receiving the scholarship, must be in good academic standing (minimum 2.50 CUM GPA), and must demonstrate evidence of campus and program leadership. A 500-600 word essay is required which is to include a description of successes and challenges while at Fredonia and how EDP has been instrumental in achieving such goals. The list of eligible scholarship candidates is reviewed by the EDP staff and recommendations go to the scholarship committee consisting of Emma McFayden ‘76, Keith McFayden ‘77, Dr. Sherryl Weems ‘76, Dr. Jawaan Wallace, and Dr. Jeffrey J. Wallace ‘68. Contributions may be made to the Fredonia College Foundation, earmarked Wallace Leadership and Excellence Endowment Fund, at any time—www.fredonia.edu/foundation/. Many thanks go to those who have already made a contribution.