Tartaro named Honors Student of the Month

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Abigail Tartaro and FOP Director Kim Mead-Colegrove

Abby Tartaro (left) and FOP Director Kim Mead-Colegrove.

Abby Tartaro, a participant in the Full Opportunity Program (FOP) and the Fredonia Honors Program, is the recipient of the February 2023 Honors Student of the Month Award.

Abby was nominated for the Honors Award by Kim Mead-Colegrove, director of FOP, who has known Abby since her first semester at Fredonia. She is from West Seneca, and a graduate of West Seneca West High School.

Ms. Mead-Colegrove noted that Abby was accepted to Fredonia through the Full Opportunity Program and, after being very successful her first year, applied to the Honors Program. Since then, Abby's academic achievement continues to be impressive. For example, in Fall 2022 Abby earned the highest GPA in the FOP cohort and has done so "all while balancing numerous student roles and activities on campus."

Abby is a Resident Assistant in Hemingway Hall, the Hall Council Liaison of Hemingway Hall, and a mentor for new resident assistants. As an RA, "she has served as a role model and leader for her residents. She provides support, a listening ear, and encouragement to a vast range of students all of whom she views equally and with respect."

At the same time, Abby is the president of Social Work Club, which she restarted; vice president of Psychology Club; and vice president of the Honors Club and Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society. She is a Psychology intern and serves as moderator of Life Club. Abby also has been selected by faculty and staff to represent the student body in key positions, including as a Student Member of the Department of Sociocultural and Justice Science’s Assistant Professor of Social Work Search Committee; a Student Member of the Psychology Department Recruitment Committee; and as one of two Academic Affairs Student Representatives.

"She [Abby] truly exemplifies what it is to be a well-rounded scholarly student...and has continued to be one of the hardest working, motivated and most dedicated students I have had the pleasure of knowing during my time at Fredonia." - FOP Director Kim Mead-Colegrove

As Mead-Colegrove noted in her nomination, "She [Abby] truly exemplifies what it is to be a well-rounded scholarly student...and has continued to be one of the hardest working, motivated and most dedicated students I have had the pleasure of knowing during my time at Fredonia." Since Abby has maintained a close relationship to the Full Opportunity Program, doing collaborative programming with it, Mead Colegrove has had plenty of opportunity to observe how "the Honors Program has helped Abby continue to develop as a leader, and has provided her with unique opportunities that challenge her in a supportive environment."

Abby herself noted how the applied learning experiences she has completed via Honors Program Learning Contracts have provided her with "knowledge specific to my future career and helped me grow both academically and personally." She  also noted that she has had the opportunity to grow by connecting with other Honors students through unique and varied events, activities and programs, adding, "I love the relationships that I've gained through the Honors Program and I'm thankful for the people who have helped me get to where I am." At the same time, Abby realizes that the environment isn't unique to Honors, saying, "I love the sense of community that Fredonia has created. Although we are a small institution, it gives us the chance to form closer relationships and cross paths with so many amazing individuals."

Abby's advice to fellow Honors students is probably not very surprising, given her  remarks. She said, "Get involved and connect with the people around you! These relationships will take you far!"

For her own future, Abby is looking forward to becoming "a counselor, where I can continue to make a positive impact on the lives of people. I have had so many amazing people help me get to where I am, so I would like to pay it forward and have the same positive influence on other people." Abby credits "Kim Mead-Colegrove and the FOP program, Jen Ruhland and the DSS [Disability Support Services] program, Chris Wagner, Thuy Karafa, and Michael Clarkson-Hendrix for helping me grow into the student and person that I am."

Mead-Colegrove affirmed Abby's desire to make a difference: "I can say without any doubt that she humbly gives of herself to better the lives of others at Fredonia." Mead-Colgrove added that "Abby is a strong supporter of diversity and inclusion and displays this in her everyday interactions with students, staff and faculty on campus."

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