Fredonia trio to receive SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence

Roger Coda
Braelin Scott Elizabeth Hahn and Thomas Sheffield

Braelin Scott (far left), Elizabeth Hahn and Thomas Sheffield.

Elizabeth Hahn, Braelin Scott and Thomas Sheffield – recipients of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence at Fredonia – have excelled in academics and achieved unique accomplishments and successes in campus and community initiatives.

Ms. Hahn, of Rome, N.Y., graduated in December 2020, summa cum laude, with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Music. Ms. Scott, of Victor, will graduate in May after three years of study with a B.S. in Business Administration: Management and a Leadership Studies minor. Mr. Sheffield, of Balston Spa, will graduate in May with a B.A. in Political Science with a second major in Music.

Active in the Department of Biology, Hahn, a 2017 graduate of Rome Free Academy, co-founded the campus chapter of Partners in Health Engage, which advocates for healthcare equity around the world. She attended its National Training Institute in Washington, D.C., held fundraising workshops, wrote letters-to-the-editor and built relationships with members of Congress.

As a research assistant in Department of Biology Associate Professor Scott Ferguson’s genetics lab, Hahn studied the Gurken protein to investigate its alternate translational mechanisms and improve the understanding of cancer pathways.

Hahn worked to continue student involvement in the campus ministry program when the Fredonia Newman Center closed by rebranding the group as Catholic Student Fellowship. Hahn has served as executive assistant and site coordinator for the campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity, president of the Catholic Student Fellowship ministry and a student ambassador in the biology department. She belongs to the Health Professions Club and Beta Beta Beta biological honors society and has tutored students at the Fredonia Learning Center.

Having a love of music, Hahn studied the French horn and performed with the college Chamber Orchestra, Wind Symphony and several chamber groups.

Hahn learned about patient-centered health and support services through the Rural AHED Scholars Program and shadowed primary care physicians at the Jericho Road Community Health Center in Buffalo.

A Holmberg Foundation Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, James D. Burdick Scholarship, Double A Vineyards/Rak Family Biology Scholarship, Fredonia Scholar Award and President’s Science/Math Scholarship are among Hahn’s honors.

Hahn, a daughter of Karl Hahn and Kristin Kelly, is a medical assistant at CNY Cardiology.

Taking an accelerated path to complete her degree, Scott, a 2018 graduate of Bloomfield Middle/High School, maintained a high GPA, held leadership roles on campus, participated in community service projects and was a member of the women’s basketball team.

An integral part of Enactus, a student-run entrepreneurial business organization, Scott helped to strengthen local businesses and encouraged team members to use their talent to create positive change.

Scott has served as chief operating officer of Enactus, overseeing operational functions and day-to-day administrative decisions and leading the organization’s other divisions in developing team goals and objectives. As vice president of its Ad-Value team, Scott directed a group of students who formed a marketing agency to serve local businesses and non-profits. As project manager of its Chautauqua Love project, she co-directed an initiative for the county executive to recruit and retain young professionals.

Scott worked with students to develop and deliver a presentation on entrepreneurial community projects at the Enactus National Exposition in Kansas City.

Scott has been a member of Fredonia Rotaract Club and the Student Conduct Judicial Board, public relations officer of Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership honor society, vice president of programming for Beta Gamma Sigma and treasurer of American Society for Quality chapter.

Honors awarded to Scott, a daughter of Ian and Christine Scott, include Keeper of the Dream Scholar and the Marion Sonnenfeld Scholarship and John Richter Family Scholarship. She is also a member of the Fredonia Honors Program.

Mr. Sheffield, a 2017 graduate of Ballston Spa Central School, has acquired significant experience as a volunteer and intern for several congressional campaigns and as a research assistant at the Eurasia Center, an international relations think tank in Washington, D.C., and has also worked as a professional musician in Upstate New York and Western Pennsylvania.

At the Eurasia Center, Sheffield researched and edited reports on more than five countries and conducted research on the impact of COVID-19 on civil liberties in China.

Sheffield was a bassist with the Fredonia New Jazz Ensemble, which won a DownBeat magazine’s Student Music Award for Outstanding Performance by a College Large Jazz Ensemble – Undergraduate College division.

Leadership roles held by Sheffield include president and treasurer of Fredonia Democracy Initiative, vice president of the Fredonia Bass Society, president of the Fredonia College Democrats and secretary of the Fredonia Political Science Association.

Sheffield has been a student representative on the campus’ American Democracy Project, served as a volunteer for the Fredonia Day of Jazz, Fredonia Bass Fest and School of Music audition days and provided music, with fellow musicians, at campus events. He has also performed in professional settings with well-known musicians in Buffalo, Rochester and surrounding areas.

A member of the Fredonia Honors Program, Sheffield, a son of William and Catherine Sheffield, is the recipient of the Livingston Political Science Award, the Dowd Political Science Award and the Sid Olshein Memorial Scholarship. He will attend the Syracuse University College of Law this fall.

Created nearly 24 years ago, the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence recognizes students who have best demonstrated the successful integration of academic excellence with accomplishments in the areas of leadership, athletics, community service, creative and performing arts, campus involvement or career achievement.

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