SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence
Lydia Sigurdson has earned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology, attaining a 3.91 GPA while devoting more than 500 hours to community service.
She will receive the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence at Buffalo State’s 145th Commencement afternoon ceremony, Saturday, May 13, at 1:00 p.m. in the Sports Arena.
Sigurdson is an outstanding student who is dedicated to social justice and active citizenship. She combines strong academic ability and hard work with compassion and selflessness. Bright, motivated, and emotionally mature, she uses her strong interpersonal skills to effect positive change.
Sigurdson has demonstrated high levels of academic achievement throughout her college career, earning induction to the Psi Chi international honor society in psychology. In class, she is a consistently excellent contributor, often inspiring and elevating participation by her classmates. She achieves deep understanding and mastery in all her work. Her complex honors thesis, which investigated the effects of race and personal characteristics in a legal setting, was beyond that of most undergraduates’ capability. Her ambitious project produced notable results and was accepted for presentation at the highly competitive annual American Psychology Law Society Conference in Seattle in 2017.
Putting theory into practice, Sigurdson traveled to Washington, D.C., for two internship experiences. Her first was at Jumpstart at American University, where she provided enrichment classes for preschoolers. Her second internship was at Horton’s Kids, an education reform agency where she worked directly with the executive director to secure grants and donations for an enrichment program.
What truly sets Sigurdson apart is her commitment to the larger community. Off campus, she volunteered to redesign the Jewish Family Service waiting room project, which provides comfort to refugees and asylum seekers as they wait to speak to a social worker at the organization’s Western New York Center for Survivors of Torture. She also served as a youth counselor at Compass House, a local nonprofit organization that provides emergency shelter for runaway and homeless youth. She sees the needs of individuals as well as larger programs and responds with action to help improve the lives of others.
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