Makosiej to receive Lanford Presidential Prize

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Kayla Makosiej reading book

Kayla R. Makosiej, one of our Faces of FRED.

Kayla R. Makosiej, a senior from Long Island majoring in Early and Childhood Education, with a concentration in English, has been selected to receive the 2022 Lanford Presidential Prize from the Oscar and Esther Lanford Endowment of the Fredonia College Foundation.

The award, which recognizes a member of the graduating class who has exhibited balanced achievement and exemplifies Fredonia ideals, was generously created and endowed by the late President Emeritus Oscar E. Lanford and Mrs. Lanford. The prize will be presented to Ms. Makosiej at Commencement on May 21.


Makosiej is currently completing her student teaching in Duck Walk Montessori in Eastport. Her interest in teaching began in elementary school and she has continued to foster her love for learning and growth. Makosiej’s future classroom goal is to make a difference in the lives of her students by showing compassion, empathy, patience, and collaboration. During winter breaks since 2019, she volunteered in special education classrooms at Flowertown Elementary School in Summerville, N.C.

She has been named to the Dean’s List at SUNY Fredonia her entire college career,  the President’s Award for Excellence numerous times, and the SUNY Fredonia Honors Award in 2018. Other scholarships include the Colonel C. Ross Willson and Phyllis Willson ’39 Scholarship and the Marion Sonnenfeld Award in 2021, both established through the Fredonia College Foundation.

Makosiej has been greatly involved with the campus and community. From Fall 2019 to Fall 2021 she was a Resident Assistant in McGinnies Hall, an upper level residence hall, receiving the RA of the Month award in March 2021.She also worked with first semester RAs as their mentor, helping them to navigate their new jobs. She has held positions on multiple e-boards in student organizations during her Fredonia years including president of Grissom Hall, treasurer of the Residence Hall Association, sectionals chair of the Alpha Phi Omega community service co-ed fraternity; social chair, treasurer and president of the Resident Assistant Advisory Board, and membership chair of Kappa Delta Pi education honor society. She also organized and presented a “Tech and Connect” event for education majors at SUNY Fredonia that discussed technology resources that could be used within classrooms at different grade levels. In addition, she participated in traditional campus service activities, including Fall Sweep, Beach Clean-up, Safe Halloween, Buffalo News Kids Day and the Mini-Maker Faire.

In addition, Makosiej participated in the Campus Host program, bringing high school juniors and seniors to campus for a “day in the life” of a SUNY Fredonia student, and also hosted students during Multicultural Weekend. She has been a campus tour guide since 2018, and a College Ambassador since 2019.

Makosiej intends to continue her education at SUNY Fredonia by pursuing a  master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction in Inclusive Education.

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