Graduating Student Leaders Earn Top Honors

Statue outside the fountain on SUNY Brockport campus

Meet the Class of 2021 graduates who have been honored with the college’s most prestigious student awards.

On April 26, a virtual rendition of the Annual Student Leadership Awards Ceremony recognized a number of graduating seniors for their outstanding achievements at SUNY Brockport. Shay Gauthier, Lindsay Ball, Serenity Lovett, and Morgan Sherwood have received the college’s highest honors.

The Class of 2021 will continue its celebrations at in-person Grad Walks on May 17, 18, and 19 and a virtual Commencement ceremony on May 22. See details.

President’s Citation Award

The college’s highest award recognizes a graduating senior who has demonstrated outstanding scholastic merit (a GPA of at least 3.75), a strong record of co-curricular activities, significant contributions to the college and community, and evidence of professional promise.

Shay Gauthier

Gauthier holds a 3.9 GPA as a journalism and broadcasting major with a concentration in multimedia journalism and minor in political science. Beyond her studies, she served in various positions for WBSU 89.1 The Point, receiving eight national and state awards. She was also an active member of Delta College, a peer mentor (2019), Delta College Student Association vice president, a Delta Diplomat, and a singer in several campus music groups. Her hard work and dedication to her studies and co-curricular activities earned her many recognitions, including the George Rich Philanthropy Award, the William and Betty Doyle Communications Scholarship, the Michael Cravotta Media and Communications Scholarship, and the Phyllis McEwen Prize.

Shay Gauthier

Post-grad plans:

Gauthier will move to New York City to further her career as a journalist, continuing to be a voice for mental health advocacy, racial injustice, and issues surrounding the LGBTQIA+ community. She may also attend graduate school or law school.

“Earning these awards is merely the cherry on top of my college experience. Everything that I’ve done throughout my college career was with the intention of either helping others or pushing myself. I never expected to be recognized for the work I did, as I’ve always just been ‘doing Shay.’ However, to be recognized by an institution I feel strongly about is humbling. I am thankful beyond words to the Brockport community and those who saw something in me that I do not always take the time to recognize in myself.” — Shay Gauthier

Graduate Distinguished Scholar Award

This award recognizes an exceptional graduate student with a record of outstanding academic work and scholarship. To be considered for the award, a nominee must be a graduating master’s level student with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.85 and outstanding scholarship or creative activity in their field of study.

Lindsay Ball

Lindsay Ball is completing a master’s degree in adapted physical education with a 4.0 GPA. She previously completed two bachelor’s degrees in physical education teacher education and psychology with a minor in rehabilitation services. Lindsay has participated in various organizations on campus and worked as a fitness center attendant, group exercise instructor, and with membership services at Campus Recreation. A paralympic athlete and Camp Abilities coach, Lindsay competed with the Paralympic Ski Team at the 2014 Winter Paralympics. She also served as a board member, secretary, and current president of Maine Organization of Blind Athletic and Leadership Education in Augusta, ME, and was inducted into the Maine Ski Hall of Fame in 2019. Lindsay has notably worked on various research and scholarly projects based around physical education for students with visual impairments.

Lindsay Ball

Post-grad plans:

Ball will start a doctoral program at Old Dominion University in adapted physical education in the fall. Her career aspirations are to teach adapted physical education at the post-secondary level and to continue to conduct research in the areas of physical education, physical activity, and self-determination for individuals with visual impairments.

“I’m honored and humbled to receive the Graduate Distinguished Scholar Award this year. My time at Brockport has allowed me to broaden my horizons and helped me realize that I have more potential than I give myself credit for. Brockport has presented me with opportunities that have challenged me, made me step back and really think, and allowed me to thrive with the constant support and encouragement from faculty and my friends. I’m grateful to know that a part of Brockport will always be with me through the lasting relationships I have built here.” — Lindsay Ball

Marion Schrank Student Leadership Award

This award is the pinnacle of student leadership awards at SUNY Brockport that recognizes an outstanding student who demonstrates scholastic achievement, exemplary leadership, and a commitment to the college through leadership in a student organization and/or student employment. Applicants must demonstrate a record of exemplary leadership, scholastic achievement, and commitment to the college community through various modes of involvement, including campus organizations, leadership positions, peer mentorship, engaged learning, and community service. Recipients of this award exemplify integrity and civility, demonstrating a commitment to citizenship and the creation of an inclusive Brockport community.

Serenity Lovett

Lovett will graduate with a degree in organizational communication. She currently serves as an intern in the Office of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, a Resident Assistant, a peer mentor with the Academic Success Center, an admissions ambassador, an Orientation Leader, and a holder of the Green Leadership Certificate in the Leadership Development Program. Lovett is the current president of the Women of Color Empowerment Club, which she founded in 2018. The club’s mission is to unite, inspire, and empower young women across campus. In her work as club founder and president, she has found a passion for advocacy and leadership and has been able to bring awareness to many issues facing students of color.

Serenity Lovett

Post-grad plans:

Before continuing her educational journey, Lovett will work as an admissions advisor for Monroe Community College, travel, and explore her passions and interests.

“Earning this award reassured me that I not only helped Build a Better Brockport but that I am capable of building a better world. Brockport has been the turning point in my life. I have grown the most in these four years, and most of my growth came from all of the opportunities that Brockport has presented me with. I am who I am today because of everything that I have experienced here. I have learned many things during my undergraduate journey, but one that will stick with me forever is that growth is always the objective, but you cannot grow in your comfort!” — Serenity Lovett

SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence

The Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence acknowledges students who have achieved excellence. We seek nominations of students who have best demonstrated and been recognized for their integration of academic excellence with other aspects of their lives, which may include: leadership, community service, arts (creative or performing), athletics, and/or career achievement. It is the highest honor bestowed upon a student by the college.

Shay Gauthier & Morgan Sherwood

Sherwood is an Honors College student majoring in mathematics with certifications in adolescent and special education. She holds a 3.98 GPA and has been actively involved on campus as the co-coordinator of the Honors Peer Mentor Program, president of the Honors Club, Green & Gold Ambassador, a mathematics tutor, and a community volunteer. Sherwood has earned several academic awards, including the Alpha Chi Honors Society Scholarship, the Betty J. Watson Scholarship, the John and Kathleen Halstead Scholarship, and the Interdisciplinary Award in Mathematics Scholarship. She has also received a Green Leadership Certificate in the Leadership Development Program.

Morgan Sherwood

Post-grad plans:

Sherwood plans to work in higher education in either admissions or advisement and looks forward to supporting future generations of students. In the fall, she will begin working toward her master’s degree in adolescent mathematics education at Brockport.

The awards that I have won this year have allowed me to realize how many people I have met throughout my four years that have been cheering for me in the background. I have heard from professors that I haven’t talked to since my freshman or sophomore year, which is evident of the support system that I have gained through SUNY Brockport. I know that my professors and advisors are always there for me and that they genuinely care that I am successful. I have developed as a leader and as a person. I have gained confidence in my abilities as well as my viewpoints, learning how to discuss differences, and that it is something that should be done.” — Morgan Sherwood

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