Alumni at SUNY Fredonia

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Spring 2014 cover

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Published in Spring and Fall by the Office of Marketing and Communications, The Statement is mailed to alumni, parents, grad students, and friends. Articles may be reprinted without permission. Subscribe>>

Dear Alumni and Friends - A letter from President Horvath

As this issue’s cover illustrates, this is one of the most exciting and change-filled semesters in Fredonia’s history, as students, faculty, and alumni have returned to see a very different campus on several fronts.

Professional Accolades

Notes of excellence from faculty/staff at Fredonia.

Class Notes Fall 2014

We appreciate receiving your news!

Please send us Class Notes electronically at or via regular mail to the Alumni House, 286 Central Ave., Fredonia, NY 14063.

Partnering with Career Development: A chance to connect and give back


Connecting with the Career Development Office (CDO) can add value to any type of organization. Here are a few opportunities that may help you.

Fredonia launches responsive homepage

The home page at has a new look and feel, sporting a responsive design and mobile-friendly layout, driven by images and stories.

Fall 2014

The Evolution Continues,
Vol. 43, No. 1; Fall 2014

Simply ‘Fredonia’ - Campus unveils new name, visual identity

In June, the university announced a new name and visual identity. Going forward, it will be known as, “The State University of New York at Fredonia,” although in most contexts, it will be referred to simply as, “Fredonia.”

The change comes in response to growing feedback, coupled with a yearlong research effort led by faculty, staff, student and alumni representatives from across the university, which revealed a degree of inconsistency, and even some confusion, among certain target audiences.

The evolution continues!

Students returning to campus this fall will notice an immediate, unmistakable, transformational change to Fredonia’s campus.

In the southeast corner, a brand new, 92,000-square-foot, three-story structure shines in the summer sun. The new Fredonia Science Center, surrounded by a stunning courtyard and connected to Houghton Hall, now hugs the Science Quad. It will vastly improve the teaching, learning and research opportunities within the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines.

Bill Nye 'The Science Guy' to speak on campus this fall

As part of the semester-long celebration of the opening of its new Science Center, Fredonia will welcome world-renowned scientist, engineer, comedian, author and inventor Bill Nye “The Science Guy” to campus this fall. He will appear Thursday, Sept. 18, at 3:30 p.m. in King Concert Hall as the keynote speaker for the campus’ annual Convocation Series.

Knappenberger makes history at Grammys

On a frigid January morning, America learned what Chautauqua County has known for years: Kent Knappenberger, a music teacher and choral director in Westfield, N.Y., is as good as there is.

Of course, it’s no secret in Western New York that the State University of New York at Fredonia — where Knappenberger earned his undergraduate degree in 1987 — turns out outstanding music educators. But now, a Fredonian was being honored by The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation, and introduced on the “CBS This Morning” show, as the first-ever Music Educator of the Year.

Criminal Justice major lets potential, not past, define him

Most kids dream about what they want to be when they grow up, but few follow through to turn that dream into a reality. Paul Overturf, a junior Criminal Justice major, has wanted a career in law enforcement since he was in first grade. He recalls a moment of distress as a young boy when a police officer made him feel safe. From then on, Mr. Overturf vowed that he would make it his mission to help others feel the same sense of protection.

Professional Education Unit fosters high-quality educators, strong collaboration with regional P-12 schools

The College of Education–Professional Education Unit (COE-PEU) at Fredonia is continuously developing and enhancing its programs, experiences and opportunities to ensure that teacher education remains vibrant and continues to be a valuable career choice. The College of Education collaborates with Fredonia’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and College of Visual and Performing Arts as the COE-PEU to offer a variety of undergraduate and graduate educator preparation programs in Early Childhood, Childhood, Adolescence Education, Speech, Music and Education Leadership. Faculty members in the COE-PEU have demonstrated commitment to their programs, research and students.

New art gallery director arrives, Marion Fellow prepares new book

The spotlight this fall in the College of Visual and Performing Arts shines on a new art gallery director and creation of a limited edition book by the 2014 Marion Fellow.

Barbara Räcker, a director or curator of seven art galleries across the United States — including two in Western New York — becomes the visionary force, leader and overseer of the Cathy and Jesse Marion Art Gallery. She previously served as a gallery director and permanent art collection curator at Indiana State University.

Social Work majors work to improve lives — including their own

The Social Work department at Fredonia has been steadily expanding. In the fall of 2007, the entering cohort consisted of 18 students. By the fall of 2013, that number had nearly tripled, soaring to 53.

Fredonia NIH grant earned by Communication Disorders and Sciences' Castilla-Earls

Dr. Anny Castilla-Earls is an enthusiastic researcher and teacher. Her passion is driven by a deep caring for Spanish-speaking children struggling to overcome language difficulties, as well as a desire to remain connected to her Colombian heritage.

Business students earn bronze medal, best M.B.A.-level students at competition

Does Fredonia turn out business students ready to compete with the big dogs and M.B.A. candidates for Wall Street-caliber jobs?

You can count on it!

Project 22 / Theo Collins - Recent graduate helps vets deal with Post-Traumatic Stress through powerful new film

“Project 22,” a documentary that raises awareness about veterans taking their own lives and offers real hope for them and their families, is scheduled for nationwide release this fall. Though not seen on camera, Theo Collins, ’12, has played an integral part of the production as associate producer.

Josh Best honored with SUNYAC Award of Valor

If you didn’t know about the Blue Devils’ one-armed player, you’re not alone. Best preferred it that way. He never felt what he was doing was anything special. He never saw himself as a role model. That was an underestimation on his part.

Though posthumously, legendary alumnus Reimer, ’54, fittingly highlights Fredonia NYSSMA Conference

The lineup of accomplished university educators and public school teachers in Mason Hall for the New York State School Music Association’s National Association for Music Education conference in early April was impressive enough.

Fall Events and Performances

 Events and performances scheduled for the Fall of 2014 at Fredonia.

Blue Devils Fall Preview

 A preview of athletic events at Fredonia this Fall.

Blue Devils Spring Wrap-Up

 A summary of this past Spring's happenings.

Commencement 2014

Commencement brings the campus together for a day of celebration.

Spring Wrap-Up

 A quick list of events from the Spring of 2014 at Fredonia.

Homecoming '14 highlights

Homecoming 2014 marks the official opening and dedication of Fredonia’s newest building – the Science Center! To mark the very special occasion, there will be a full day of events on Friday, Oct. 17. Capping the day will be a special fireworks display at 7:15 p.m. outside of the Williams Center. A special Science Alumni Conference has been planned for Saturday, Oct. 18.

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