Who’s Who Among Students recognizes standouts

Tyler McNeil

Creative Editor

Julie Jobin was one of 49 students who walked onstage for the Who’s Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges award ceremony of Feb. 16. Jobin, a business marketing major, received the letter in the mail coming home from her grandfather’s funeral several months ago.

“I was shocked and amazed. I was really excited for it,” said Jobin, who was nominated by Margaret Geehan, dean of the School of Health Sciences and the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences. After withdrawal from her first semester at Hudson Valley, Jobin aimed to strive harder in school and beyond.

Jobin, who intends to further her education at Siena College next year, participates in the Investment Club and has volunteered her time at St. Judes Children school, last semester. “I was never really good at math, but I’ve been kicking butt here,” she said.

She was one of 50 award-winners who, combined, represent 44 charities; five athletic programs; 11 leadership-driven committees and organizations; and campus representatives at conferences from Orlando to Washington.

Other students highlighted the event as a reward for academic and community efforts. “It’s a great honor in recognition of all of the things we do without thinking about rewards,” said Wendy Paquin Gladd, human services major and one of three non-traditional students at the event in the BTC auditorium.

“I’ve had grades that are considered up to par. I’ve done volunteer work that is considered up to par. I’ve also tutored everyone here,” said David Schwenker, engineering science student, who pointed to a group of five students that he has tutored over the last two semesters.

“I had no idea what I was expecting and I’m honored to see this amazing award,” said Azmad Din, engineering science student. Engineering sciences was the most represented program at Hudson Valley for students receiving a Who’s Who nomination. “It’s nice to be recognized for things I’ve already been doing,” said Peter Kowal, an engineering science student who works on leadership training camps over the summer.

Students are selected to the program based on qualifications such as GPA, extracurricular leadership, community involvement and future leadership potential. Those qualified to receive the award must be matriculated, have 24 credit-hours and a 3.2 average.

The median GPA for the 50 students at the event was 3.7 this year. “This is simply amazing,” said Alexander Popovics, vice president for Enrollment and Student Development.

“For the students, they commit so much to their academic achievements, to the contributions they’ve made to the college and the community. It’s all about developing skills and developing opportunities for leadership, and that’s what these students have taken advantage of and that’s why we’re proud of them,” said president Drew Matonak.

Deborah Johnson, biological sciences student, saw the event as an opportunity to showcase her talent for future employers. “I think it’s important for future applications to college, and it’s a great resume builder,” she said.

Popovics considered the event to be scheduled on a suitable date — President’s Day. “It’s fitting that this event is on President’s Day because of the work these students bring that implies leadership,” he said.

Students are selected for Who’s Who Among Students during the fall by over 1,000 schools across the nation. The official publication of Who’s Who Among Students is shipped in August.

The organization was founded by Henry Pettus Randall, Jr., in 1934.  Randall designed the organization at the University of Alabama to accommodate students with high academic achievement unable to afford college honors programs at the time, such as himself.

Since 1966, Who’s Who Among Students has been active in junior and community colleges such as Hudson Valley. In 1996, 30 years later, Hudson Valley was one of 64 SUNY colleges with students nominated for the first-ever Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, which has always had strong ties with the Who’s Who award: over the last five years,15 out of 21 student Chancellor’s Award recipients were also nominated for Who’s Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges.


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