By: Diane Stirling
(315) 443-8975

The honors-level academic achievements of 272 undergraduate students–including seven who earned cumulative 4.0 grade point averages—were recognized in a special ceremony hosted by the School of Information Studies last week.

In a first-of-its-kind event, undergrads who achieved 3.4 grade point averages or higher were feted at a reception at Goldstein Faculty Center. That group of 272—39 percent of the total number of 700 undergraduates at the iSchool—consists of 32 freshmen, 54 sophomores, 61 juniors and 125 seniors. Special recognition also was provided for seven undergraduates who have earned perfect 4.0 academic averages.

Dean Elizabeth Liddy welcomed the students, faculty, staff and parents for a reception she said was intended “to celebrate each and every one of you for some of the amazing things you’re done in a way that allows you to feel that sentiment from the School.” Saying she views her role as working to maintain the iSchool’s excellent reputation, she noted how “one measure of that is the excellent outcomes of students. I am so impressed with the number of students who have qualified to be honored this evening. You really are the representation of what we do here at the iSchool.”

iSchool Associate Professor of Practice Jeffrey Rubin, himself an SU iSchool graduate, provided a message of recognition and some recollections of his student days. He said now, people often tell him how lucky he is for the experiences he has had, the people he has met, and the successes he has achieved in his career, but he knows that to be the result of a different situation, one that the students will recognize. “It’s not luck. It’s hard work, it’s dedication, it’s passion, it’s determination; more than anything, it’s being prepared.” He told the students, “your passion, your dedication, your determination equates to hard work. Hard work builds trust; trust builds relationships; and relationships open doors; open doors lead to opportunities.”

Jeremy Rood, a junior who transferred to the iSchool as his first choice after a successful community college career, said he appreciated the formal recognition of his 4.0 average. “It’s the culmination of years of hard work, and proving to myself that I could do that hard work of making a 4.0 at Syracuse,” he said. At the iSchool, he has found that he “loves how the professors engage you, they challenge you, and they care about your success, and that’s a really big deal.”  Another transfer student, Terrance Andersen, said the School’s recognition of his 4.0 GPA is “rewarding, because you really have to work for that. It’s not just a handout, and it’s something you can carry with you forever, to look back upon and know that you did that.”

The seven undergraduates recognized for achieving 4.0 academic averages are:

  • Terrance Andersen, who transferred to SU in Fall 2013 from Onondaga Community College;
  • Erik Benjamin, a first-year student and dual iSchool and Newhouse School of Public Communications major;
  • Emily Fesnak, a double major (with public relations at the Newhouse School of Public Communications);  
  • Adrian Hatch, a first-year student at the iSchool with sophomore standing;
  • Albert Ju, a first-year iSchooler having sophomore standing;
  • Jeremy Rood, a junior transfer student coming to SU from Tompkins-Cortland Community College;
  • Eliza Weinreb, a sophomore student at SU and dual major (magazine journalism) with the Newhouse School of Public Communications.

The event was organized by senior class students Kevin Kettell, Lauren Peters, and Courtney Perdiue, 2014 class marshals.