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student and faculty member with tray of cookies
student and faculty member with tray of cookies

Jonathan Kobrinsky, with Dr. Natalie Gerber, director of the Honors Program, at a grab-and-go celebration, which included “We Made It!” cookies for Honors Program students. This was Mr. Kobrinsky’s last on-campus Honors event since he will be student teaching from home in the spring semester.

  • November 30, 2020
  • Roger Coda

Jonathan Kobrinsky, a senior Music Education major from Port Washington on Long Island, has been named the Honors Student of the Month for October. Mr. Kobrinsky has made significant contributions to the Honors Program, his major and the campus.

In her nomination, Erin Mroczka, director of First Year and Transition Programs, writes that as “a Jump Start transition mentor and New Student Orientation leader for the past three years…Jonathan has welcomed and supported hundreds of new first-year and transfer students. He has also used this training in becoming a very reliable campus tour guide and college ambassador.”

Kobrinsky has provided service to his peers as the president of the Fredonia Bass Society and vice president of the Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honor Society, Ms. Mroczka added. In addition, he is the past president of the local chapter of the American String Teachers Association.

Honors Program Director Natalie Gerber added that Kobrinsky has volunteered to help Honors from the first moment he stepped into the role, saying, “Jonathan volunteered to help out at the first Orientation session I ever ran, and he hasn’t stopped volunteering to help or making valuable suggestions since. From coordinating an Honors information session during Jump Start to answering questions for other music majors seeking to do a learning contract, Jonathan is always ready to share what he knows and to use his leadership skills to help fellow students.”

Kobrinsky also has served as a learning assistant to School of Music Assistant Professor Kieran Hanlon’s MUED 286: Advanced String Bass during the fall semester. Through that experience, Kobrinsky created a series of lesson plans that he can use after graduate school when he applies for music education jobs. He has been accepted to the master’s program in Music Education at Fredonia.

After 3 1/2 years living on campus, Kobrinsky will spend spring semester student teaching in his hometown. When asked what he will miss most about campus, Kobrinsky responded that he will miss “the warm, welcoming and friendly campus environment,” especially how “all the faculty go out of their way for students and get to know them one-on-one.” (Apropos here is Kobrinsky’s shout-out to Mr. Hanlon “for being my lesson teacher/adviser for four years” and for being “a mentor to me.”)

Kobrinsky mentions that what he likes best about the Honors Program is “being with a cohort of similar students, [having] access to Honors-only events and getting to take unique courses that also count towards graduation requirements.” Some of his more intriguing Honors courses include a social science course on the science of decision making, an arts course on the Romantic antihero in music and literature and the Honors learning contract designed to complement his learning assistantship.

One goal of the Honors Program is to recognize Honors students at Fredonia who are well-rounded, excel in their academics, contribute positively to the campus and community and who uphold the three pillars of the Honors Program: Learn. Lead. Live. 

As Mroczka writes, “Jonathan has certainly sought to uphold the three pillars of the Honors Program. I have witnessed his sincere interest to learn about all things ‘Fredonia’ and impart that knowledge upon others as a way to help develop a sense of belonging on our campus.

“He is always the first to volunteer to give new students and families a personal tour. This is especially true if they are from the New York City and Long Island areas, as he has some very helpful advice for those students coming such a long distance to study here, which he knows can be a struggle.”

His commitment to the campus, selfless service, and mindful leadership make him worthy of this award.  

The Honors Student of the Month Program is a collaboration between the Honors Program and the Honors House, which is part of the Office of Residence Life. This Honors award is in addition to the already existing Student of the Month program that began in 2003.  Nominations of students who embody or intentionally support the campus in honoring diversity, enhancing wellness and promoting career readiness are especially encouraged. 

The recipient of the Honors Student of the Month will receive a gift card to the bookstore, a certificate and their name will be engraved on a plaque that will hang in the Office of Residence Life.  

The Honors House and Honors Program express appreciation to the Office of Residence Life for sponsoring this new program.