Trio to receive SUNY Chancellor's Awards for Student Excellence

Roger Coda
photos of the three award recipients

SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence (from left) Caroline Schettler, Avril King and Alyson Baumann.

Alyson Baumann, Avril King and Caroline Schettler, seniors at Fredonia who excelled in the classroom and collectively have six academic majors and two minors, will receive the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence.

Ms. Baumann, of North Tonawanda, is a Communication Disorders and Sciences major and has a minor in Psychology.  Ms. King, of Naples, N.Y., will graduate with concurrent degrees and two majors –  Communication: Journalism and Communication: Public Relations – and a minor in English. Ms. Schettler, of Orchard Park, will graduate with concurrent degrees and has three majors: English, Acting and Political Science. All three students compiled GPAs over 3.8 and were among eight Fredonia students nominated for the award.

Helping people who struggle with communication skills is a career goal of Baumann, who plans to enroll in graduate school to obtain a master’s degree in Speech Pathology. While at Fredonia, she became passionate about working with children with developmental disorders, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder. Baumann is a member of the Fredonia chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association.

During her senior year, Baumann served as a research assistant, examining language use in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, in the Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences lab at Fredonia.

Baumann enrolled in the Fredonia Honors program, received the Donald Nasca Undergraduate Student Research and Creativity Award, was a recipient of the Henry C. and Ida Youngerman Scholarship and a member of the Zeta Upsilon chapter of Kappa Delta Pi (national honor society in education) and Golden Key International Honour Society.

Her leadership skills were recognized when she was named captain of the women’s swimming and diving team. During a four-year career, Baumann was a multiple SUNYAC finalist, finishing in the top 8 in two consecutive years. She placed fifth in the 1650 free and sixth in the 500 free in 2018 and fifth in the 200 free in 2019.

Baumann has drawn praise from members of the Department of Athletics and Recreation and fellow student-athletes for her leadership, sportsmanship and academic perseverance. She was also a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, a head lifeguard and a supervisor in the before/after school program at Wheelock Elementary School. Baumann also participated in the annual Point Gratiot beach cleanup.

With a love of writing, Ms. King pursued two majors in the Department of Communication and become an integral part of the Leader, where she rose through the leadership ranks of the student newspaper to become managing editor. Known as a skilled writer and copy editor, King was further recognized as an editor who leads by example. She wrote editorials that addressed tough topics, and gave stories that one more close read.

Other newspaper positions held by King included social media manager, staff writer, assistant sports editor and assistant copy editor.

During multiple internships in the Marketing and Communications department, King wrote articles for the weekly Campus Report and alumni magazine, the Statement. She took a leadership role to help other student interns create and post content onto Fredonia’s main social media platforms. King also managed student intern groups in multiple assignments and campaigns.

In her journalism capstone completed at the end of her junior year, King created a magazine that focused on the effects of invasive species in Western New York.

King is a member of Golden Key International Honour society and served as a volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America: Seneca Waterways Council, where she used her journalism skills to design postcards, pamphlets and magazines for the Rochester, N.Y., area. She was awarded the Arthur R. Maytum Scholarship for communication and academic excellence and held a seat on the President’s Cabinet, representing the Department of Athletics and Recreation.

During a four-year career on the women’s tennis team, King, a co-captain, overcame a serious knee injury to compete in her final season.

Ms. Schettler’s combination of majors is unusual, spanning the departments of English, Theater and Dance, and Political Science, but the non-traditional student achieved excellence in each one, while also being engaged in campus and community projects.

Schettler was accepted as a cohort member of the Cultural Competency Institute for the 2019-2020 academic year, served as mentor in the Transfer Mentor Training Program, where she mentored 15 students in the fall semester, and was elected as the B.F.A. Acting Student Advisory Council representative by the Department of Theatre and Dance, also in 2019-2020. Schettler was a teaching assistant for the Acting Shakespeare course in the Fall 2019 semester.

Campus involvement has led to membership in Sigma Tau Delta, Tau Sigma National Honors Society, Alpha Psi Omega and Pi Sigma Alpha. Schettler also served on the Student Advisory Council as a representative by holding weekly meetings with students, professors and department heads and providing a point of reference, buffer and communication.

Schettler was the lead makeup and hair designer and stylist for more than 12 theatrical performances with the Department of Theatre and Dance and the Performing Arts Company and also applied makeup to models in the Black Student Union’s Fashion Show in the Spring 2018 semester. She is a licensed actor combatant in three disciplines (Unarmed, Rapier and Dagger, and Single Sword) with the Society of American Fight Designers.

Two Department of English awards – the Albert Dunn Memorial Scholarship, 2018 and 2019, and Terry Mosher Writing the Natural World, 2018 – were received by Schettler.

Schettler interned at the law office of Michael Cerrie, a Fredonia alumnus and professor. Her service to the community includes participating in the Point Gratiot beach cleanup and the Care Packages for Troops with the Transfer Student Organization.

After graduation, Schettler plans to move to New York City to work in the Broadway industry as a wig artisan and apply to graduate school.

Created in 1997, 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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