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Exemplary Student Award

From left, Aclan Okur,Jeffrey Teitelbaum, Dan Herman, Michael "Ty" Schmidt and Debra Swersky.
Five undergraduates are finalists for the annual Exemplary Student Award. The competition, coordinated by the Homecoming Committee, honors academic achievement, University involvement and knowledge of campus history. The winner will be announced during Baxter’s Radical Barbecue on Saturday, Oct. 22.

All prizes are sponsored by Cleaner’s Supply Inc. and Jose Moreira ’00, IT director for the company, will present the awards along with President Lois B. DeFleur.

Through an increased donation from Cleaner’s Supply, all five students will receive some type of award this year. The winner receives full tuition for one semester. Second place is a $500 bookstore scholarship. Third place is a $250 bookstore scholarship. Fourth place is a $125 bookstore scholarship and fifth place is a $75 bookstore scholarship.

This year’s judges are Milton Chester, Student Affairs; Burrell Montz, Academic Affairs; Moreira, alumnus; and Kimberly Lang, student. Now, meet the finalists:

DAN HERMAN Senior Dan Herman, a political science and English dual major, plans to be a high school English teacher and perhaps eventually a college professor.

He is a resident assistant in Cayuga Hall, president of the Tau Alpha Upsilon fraternity, a tutor for political science and English through the Center of Academic Excellence and a commissioner for College-in-the-Woods Co-Recreational Sports. He used to be a tour guide for the Office of Under-graduate Admissions and served as president of Mohawk Hall his freshman year as well as College-in-the-Woods his sophomore year. The Levittown native is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Golden Key International Honour Society and Pi Sigma Alpha: The National Political Science Honor Society.

Herman was also named to The National Dean’s List. Herman plans to pursue a master’s degree in English education after graduation.

ACLAN OKUR Senior Aclan Okur is a mechanical engineering major.

He has been a resident assistant for three years and twice served as an orientation adviser. He also worked last summer as a research assistant on a small directional microphone project.

Okur, who moved from Turkey to Cornwall-on-Hudson in time for his senior year of high school, is co-founder and last year was president of the Turkish Culture Association.

He was vice president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in his junior year and was co-president of the Mountainview Photography Club as a sophomore. Okur belongs to both Pi Tau Sigma and Tau Beta Pi. He received the Community Development Award from the Office of Residential Life in the spring and was named to the 2005 edition of Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities.

Okur, who enjoys reading, photography, swimming and walking in the Nature Preserve, said he hopes to work for a few years and then go back to school for an MBA.

MICHAEL “TY” SCHMIDT Senior Michael “Ty” Schmidt is a philosophy, politics and law major who’s pursuing a minor in theater.

He first attended the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York at Potsdam to study piano performance and music business. After realizing that a life in the practice room is not the route he wanted to take, he transferred to Binghamton University and started anew.

At Binghamton, the North Bellmore resident has held roles in area- and University-wide student governments, had various musical and technical responsibilities for the Theatre Department and Dickinson Community Players Theatre Group and helped cultivate the on-campus music appreciation club called REALM.

Schmidt, a resident assistant in College-in-the-Woods, will embark on a career in residential life in higher education after graduation.

DEBRA SWERSKY Junior Debra Swersky is majoring in Spanish and Italian, with plans to become an international event planner.

She’s a resident assistant and serves as regional communication coordinator of publications for the North East Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls. She has been a hall representative in Cleveland and Seneca halls as well as a press secretary for the College-in-the-Woods Council. She’s a student ambassador with the Undergraduate Admissions Office as well as the co-president or event planner in charge of public relations for Taste Buds, a culinary club. She also volunteers at the XCEL Center one day a week.

Swersky, a swimmer from Scarsdale, used to play Baxter the Bearcat. She is also a member of Circle K, Phi Eta Sigma, Phi Sigma Iota and Sigma Alpha Lambda.

Swersky, who enjoys photography, scrapbooking and running, knows how to ride a unicycle.

JEFFREY TEITELBAUM Senior Jeffrey Teitelbaum is majoring in psychology with a minor in economics.

As the eldest of five siblings, Teitelbaum is used to being in charge. He’s a third-year resident assistant in Mountainview College and is serving his second term as president of Hillel at Binghamton.

During the last three summers, Teitelbaum helped initiate, counsel and supervise a sleep-away program for children with social and emotional challenges called Breira at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires. Last summer he also planned, coordinated the construction of and acted as the resident instructor for a golf training facility at the same camp.

Teitelbaum’s most unusual achievement is scoring an albatross, three under par, at age 16 while captain of the Herricks High School golf team. He attends Binghamton with half of his siblings; his sister Stephanie is a sophomore and his brother David is a freshman.

Teitelbaum, who’s from Searingtown, would like to pursue a career in business.
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Last Updated: 10/14/08