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Rebekah Gerace with Kimberlie Burlison
Rebekah Gerace with Kimberlie Burlison

Rebekah Gerace (right) with Kimberlie Burlison.

  • June 11, 2024
  • Marketing and Communications staff

Rebekah Gerace, a sophomore double major in photography and history, is the recipient of the April 2024 Honors Student of the Month Award. 

Ms. Gerace was nominated for the honor by Kimberlie Burlison, a member of the custodial staff in Grissom Hall. As Ms. Burlison explains, “I see Rebekah frequently in her suite. She has always been polite and kind to me in every interaction. She always thanks me for the upkeep of her suite and always has a smile. She is a wonderful person and a great asset to SUNY Fred.” Burlison continues, “Rebekah shows kindness and genuine warmth to everyone I have seen her interact with. Rebekah goes out of her way to include others. I have had very positive interactions with her and she is an example for other students here in campus. She also helps peers and provides a student’s perspective to issues and situations in the dorm.” 

Gerace is Event Coordinator for Students for Fredonia, Public Relations Chair for the Video Game Orchestra in which she plays clarinet, Staff Photographer for The Leader, and President of the Grissom Hall Council. Starting in the fall, she will also be an intern for the Zweig Collection in the Reed Library Archives and Special Collections. 

Concerning her plans for the future, Gerace explains, “In the upcoming school year, I hope to organize another trip to Albany with Students for Fredonia. The trip to Albany in February is what started my involvement with Students for Fredonia, and so I hope to recreate a trip that is both productive and fun that would generate more student involvement in Students for Fredonia.” 

Looking further ahead, she noted, “I plan to graduate with my dual degree in Photography and History. I'm currently planning on either going for my master’s [degree] in Art Education or working in a museum somewhere where photography and history collide, ideally the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, NY.” 

After her first year, Gerace is appreciative of Fredonia. “I love the campus! There are so many nice spots on campus to explore. I love bringing my hammock into the woodlot or to the grass just outside of my dorm to relax and enjoy the nice weather. And there are so many squirrels!” 

Gerace is also grateful for the Fredonia community. “Thank you to every professor and every staff person and every one of my friends who has supported me so far in my journey at Fredonia. It's way easier to become the student I strive to be when I have an entire team of people cheering me on. Thank you, Kim, for not only nominating me but also looking out for me and all of the other Grissy Goblins. You helped make Grissom Hall feel like home.” 

According to Burlison, at Fredonia, Gerace embodies the Honors Program Vision Statement, which states, "The Fredonia Honors Program will be a transformative, comprehensive experience for academically motivated students from diverse backgrounds, providing access to distinctive, high-impact, interdisciplinary learning and leadership opportunities." As proof, she explains that, “Rebekah shows consideration, kindness, motivation and perseverance in all interaction I have had. She is a leader among her peers and embodies all aspects of the vision of the honors program.” 

Concerning her experience in the Honors Program, Gerace says, “I really enjoy the free ice cream socials hosted for the honors students! They're always something to look forward to.” In terms of Honors classes, she says her favorite class was Social Justice and the Written Word. “The students were all very welcoming and fun. It was a great group of people and because it was a discussion-based course we got to know each other quite well!” 

Gerace, who graduated from Cleveland Hill High School in Cheektowaga, NY, concludes by saying, “Do the thing! It's always worth it to go out and try a new club or go to an honors event and such. Even if you never go back, chances are you'll meet someone who made that one time that you tried worthwhile. I went to two meetings for a club that I'm not active in, but I met one of my good friends there!”

The Honors Student of the Month Award is a joint effort of the Honors Program and of the Office of Residence Life.