Honors Program

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Presidential Scholars

Matthew Bernhard

Hometown: Voorheesville, NY
High School: Voorheesville High School
Major: Biology

Q: Describe your personality

A: “I would say overall, I’m a pretty chill person who loves to have fun. I have a good sense of humor and I love to laugh. Though I appear to be laid back, I'm a very driven person and am highly motivated to achieve goals I set for myself.”

Q: Why did you choose SUNY Plattsburgh?

A: “The College has a good reputation. I also had the opportunity to play basketball and not pay for tuition. “

Q: Favorite SUNY Plattsburgh class from the fall 2017

A: “Examining Dimensions of Cool.”

Q: Name the person/people who have been most influential in your life

A: “My brother without a doubt. He always gives me advice when I need it and doesn't sugarcoat anything.”

Q: Favorite Plattsburgh experience

A: “I just arrived on campus two weeks ago, so I don't really have a favorite one yet.”

Q: How is the Honors Program positively shaping your academic experience?

A: “Everyone there is so nice and willing to help in any way they can if I need help, or just want to talk. Aside from that, there's usually some food in there and that's always fun.”

Q: What surprised you most about SUNY Plattsburgh?

A: “How cold it got so fast.”

Q: Name one item you brought with you this school year and couldn’t imagine living without

A: “Definitely my headphones, I couldn't get through the day without listening to music.”

 

Shannon Myles

Hometown: Levittown, New York

High School: MacArthur High School

Major: Biology

Q: Describe your personality

A: “I am hardworking, dedicated, easygoing, quirky, curious, and, at least I like to think, pretty funny.”

Q: Why did you choose SUNY Plattsburgh?

A: “While looking for the right college during my sophomore and junior years of high school, I was determined to play softball. So I slowly began narrowing down schools by their financial fit, academic standing, and of course the softball program. Upon reaching out to Coach Conroy and Coach Flynn, the softball coaches here at SUNY Plattsburgh, they invited me up for a visit and an overnight with the team. I had visited many colleges in the past and once I stepped on campus I knew this was the one. The liveliness, energy, and the beautiful scenery this school provided was exactly what I was looking for. I fell in love with the school as soon as I got on campus. Everyone here was extremely friendly and caring, from the softball team, to other students on campus, to staff that I had the privilege of meeting. This school was the perfect fit for me.”

Q: Favorite SUNY Plattsburgh class from the fall 2017

A: “My favorite class from the fall 2017 semester, hands down, is the class I am taking through the honors program, "Examining the Dimensions of Cool," with J.W. Wiley, Lauren Gonyea, and Aaron Schwartz. It has really been an eye-opener for me regarding social justice and diversity within America, teaching me things that most classroom settings won't even address.”

Q: Name the person/people who have been most influential in your life

A: “My parents and three sisters have been the most influential people in my life. They have always supported me and pushed me to my limits, allowing me to strive for success without worry of failing. I can't imagine my life without them always having my back and being there when I needed them. I wouldn't be where I am today without them.”

Q: Favorite Plattsburgh experience

A: “Meeting new people and making new friends has been a life changing experience for me. It has been cool getting to know people who are very similar to me as well as those who are extremely different. I have gained tons of new friends through the softball team, my dorm, classes, honors program, all who have made my experience at SUNY Plattsburgh extremely enjoyable thus far.”

Q: How is the Honors Program positively shaping your academic experience?

A: “The honors program has connected me with people from all different backgrounds, from not only different parts of New York or the U.S., but from all over the world. As different as our backgrounds may be, we all have a love for learning new things and expanding our knowledge. Also, the environment created in the honors program classes is very different from the standard classroom. It encourages participation and sparks conversations that wouldn't normally occur in a traditional classroom.”

Q: What surprised you most about SUNY Plattsburgh?

A: “There are so many different clubs and activities on campus. There really is a club or sports team for everyone and everyone has an opportunity to get involved in the campus community one way or another. Everyone is extremely welcoming and friendly, simply another reason to join a club or a team and make new friends with similar interests.”

Q: Name one item you brought with you this school year and couldn’t imagine living without

A: “My crocs. I cannot imagine coming up to school without my crocs. They are waterproof, easy to clean, comfortable, and extremely easy to put on with any outfit. Not everyone thinks they are the most stylish choice of shoe, but I have worn them every day since arriving on campus move-in day.”

 

Abigail Porto

Hometown: Rochester, NY

High School: Penfield High School

Major: History

Q: Describe your personality

A: “My interests are all over the place, from Dave Malloy musicals to Twin Peaks to the McElroys. I’m curious about the world, and I plan to travel and learn as much as I can for the rest of my life.”

Q: Why did you choose SUNY Plattsburgh?

A: “I wanted to be close to mountains, and the people here are welcoming and friendly.”

Q: Favorite SUNY Plattsburgh class from the fall 2017

A: “Salem Witch Trials”

Q: Name the person/people who have been most influential in your life

A: “My younger brother”

Q: Favorite Plattsburgh experience

A: “Reading by the pond”

Q: How is the Honors Program positively shaping your academic experience?

A: “I’m surrounded by like-minded people who keep me excited about learning.”

Q: What surprised you most about SUNY Plattsburgh?

A: “How quickly I got used to living here.”

Q: Name one item you brought with you this school year and couldn’t imagine living without

A: “All of my journals.”

 

Carley Saladino

Hometown: Farmingville, NY

High School: Sachem HS East

Major: Environmental Science

Q: Describe your personality

A: “Bubbly, outgoing, and confident”

Q: Why did you choose SUNY Plattsburgh?

A: “When I first visited Plattsburgh, I fell in love with the scenery in the area, such as the Adirondacks and Lake Champlain. Plattsburgh also has one of the best environmental science programs of the SUNY schools, which really set it apart for me when I decided that this would be my major. I also love the fact that I can go hiking or kayaking with so many different clubs on campus, which weren’t really opportunities that I had on Long Island.”

Q: Favorite SUNY Plattsburgh class from the Fall 2017

A: “Animal communications is my favorite class this semester.”

Q: Name the person/people who have been most influential in your life

A: “My two sisters, Amanda and Jordan, have had such a great impact on who I am. They’re always there for me to give me advice and help me out when I’m stressed or in a tough situation. They also give me unconditional love and support.”

Q: Favorite Plattsburgh experience

A: “Going on the CEES retreat the first weekend of school to Twin Valleys has been my favorite experience so far. We hiked on rattlesnake trail and then had a bonfire and stayed in cabins on the campground overnight. It was a great experience because we sang, made banana s’mores, and I met so many other environmental science majors who turned out to be in a lot of my classes.”

Q: How is the Honors Program positively shaping your academic experience?

A: “The Honors Program allows us to use the Honors Center to do work, hang out with other honors students, and talk to professors in the honors program. Working in the honors center is great because you’re able to bounce ideas off of others that are there, and there’s always someone to talk to if you become too stressed with your workload.”

Q: What surprised you most about SUNY Plattsburgh?

A: “The amount of clubs that are offered here is incredible. No matter what your interests are, there is either a club for you to join, or you can even start your own if you want to!”

Q: Name one item you brought with you this school year and couldn’t imagine living without

A: “I can’t imagine being in a dorm without a fan. The rooms get so hot and I probably wouldn’t be able to sleep or do work without it.”

 

Luke Riethman

Hometown: Havertown, PA.

High School: Haverford High School

Major: Expeditionary Studies

Q: Describe your personality

A: “I consider myself to be laid back, friendly, and outgoing. I’ll befriend just about anyone as long as they respect all of our fellow humans.”

Q: Why did you choose SUNY Plattsburgh?

A: “I chose SUNY Plattsburgh for its unique Expeditionary Studies program. I never knew school could be so fun!”

Q: Favorite Plattsburgh experience

A: “So far, my favorite class this semester is Intro to Rock Climbing (EXP180). I had never climbed before arriving in Plattsburgh, and it’s the most fun I’ve ever had!”

Q: Name the person/people who have been most influential in your life

A: “My older sisters Kaitlin, Megan, and Carmen. They have done so much to help successfully guide me through adolescence, as well as young adulthood, in today’s ever increasingly complicated social landscape.”

Q: Favorite Plattsburgh experience

A: “My favorite Plattsburgh experience has to be the Odyssey freshmen program. I made so many great friends, both with my peers in the program as well as the group leaders, most of who are upperclassmen and are helping to show me the ropes of college life.”

Q: How is the Honors Program positively shaping your academic experience?

A: “I love the one-on-one relationships I’m developing with the honors faculty. I know that I can go to them with any issue and they’ll have my back.”

Q: What surprised you most about SUNY Plattsburgh?

A: “I was shocked by how genuinely friendly everyone at this school is! In high school, kids were constantly putting each other down, whereas here at SUNY Plattsburgh, the students work together to lift each other up.”

Q: Name one item you brought with you this school year and couldn’t imagine living without

A: “I can’t imagine life without my coffeemaker. If it weren’t for my morning cup of joe, I doubt I would ever make it out of bed!”

Contact Information

If you would like more information about the honors program at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact

Dr. Tracie Church Guzzio, Director
Email: guzziotc@plattsburgh.edu

Sandy Boulerice, Secretary
Email: sboul002@plattsburgh.edu

Office: Hawkins Hall 121–123
Phone: (518) 564-3075
Fax: (518) 564-3071