On April 13, 2022, members of SUNY and CUNY community colleges from across the state gathered at Onondaga Community College to celebrate the 2022 Phi Theta Kappa Award winners.

President Dr. Kevin Drumm, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Penny Haynes, Vice President Dr. Carol Ross-Scott, and Professor Irene J. Byrnes, Faculty Adviser to Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, proudly honored four SUNY Broome students for their exemplary scholarship, leadership, and service. 

  • Angela Gonzalez – 2022 New Century Workforce Pathway Scholar
  • Maria Williams – Workforce Scholarship
  • John Wilcko – Transfer Scholarship
  • Andrew Zalesski – Transfer Scholarship

SUNY Broome is one of thirty SUNY community colleges that hosts a Phi Theta Kappa chapter. Phi Theta Kappa is an invitation-only, international, academic honor society. Currently, SUNY Broome has over 500 members who have met the criteria of earning minimally a 3.5 cumulative GPA.

Some students elect to treat their Phi Theta Kappa membership as purely an academic honor, while others are actively involved in the chapter’s club activities, such as participating in enriching common hour programming, the “Great Books Discussion” series, and service learning opportunities.

Angela Gonzalez – 2022 New Century Workforce Pathway Scholar

If you look at how much Angela Gonzalez accomplishes in a day, you might think that she has extra hours. Gonzalez is a single mother who lives on a working farm. In addition to her incredibly busy home life, Gonzalez is Health Studies: A.S. student and the President of SUNY Broome’s Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. Under Gonzalez’s presidency, SUNY Broome’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter has hosted five panel discussions on the topics of applying for scholarships, weird job interviews, the languages of violence, minimalism, and how nutritional choices can impact your ability to get a job. 

Gonzalez loves to work with her hands. After high school, Angela was trained by the NASCAR Technical Institute in automotive repair. She excelled as an automotive technician, but left the industry with a heavy heart in search of a professional career that was less physically demanding. 

As a health studies student, Gonzalez is tailoring her degree to have an emphasis in nutrition. Her long-term goal is to become a nutritional coach who will guide her clients on how to make  realistic and effective wellness plans based on quality nutrition and exercise. She also hopes to offer cooking classes that will explore how to prepare healthy and affordable meals that provide the nutritional balance to ensure healthy living. 

Angela Gonzalez was named a 2022 New Century Workforce Pathway Scholar. The New Century Workforce Pathway Scholarship program is sponsored by the Coca-Cola Foundation with additional support provided by Phi Theta Kappa. New Century Workforce Scholars are selected based on their academic accomplishments, leadership, activities, and how they extend their intellectual talents beyond the classroom. Over 2,200 students were nominated from more than 1,200 college campuses across the country. Only one New Century Workforce Scholar was selected from each state. Gonzalez received the highest score in the State of New York. Congratulations, Angela! 

Maria Williams – Workforce Scholarship

Maria Williams has always been inspired by her mother. After learning about her mother’s journey to self-fund her education, Maria wanted to make sure that she selected a program of study that was not only interesting academically, but also offered solid post-graduation employment opportunities. She settled on SUNY Broome’s highly competitive Radiologic Technology: A.A.S. program. 

Williams is a recent graduate of Edmeston Central School. Maria  stays connected to her alma mater by tutoring high school students in her free time. She also regularly volunteers at a weekly community  pancake breakfast that supports her local fire department. 

As a radiologic technology student, Williams balances her time between classes, labs, and clinical rotations. Her most recent rotation at Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, NY solidified her desire to work in the field of medical imaging. She plans to enter the workforce directly after graduating from SUNY Broome, but is open to furthering her education in the field of radiologic technology throughout her career. 

John Wilcko – Transfer Scholarship

John Wilcko was looking to make a transition in his career and came to SUNY Broome to study Business Information Management: A.A.S. Wilcko’s first experience as a college student was cut short when he took a break from his classes to help run his family’s cleaning business. After spending the next several years working in the custodial industry, Wilcko began exploring the idea of entering a career path that would take less of a physical toll on his body. 

Returning to college during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic came with its challenges, but through emulating his father’s work ethic, Wilkco thrived academically and professionally throughout the crazy and uncertain months of lock-down. In addition to being a student at SUNY Broome, Wilcko worked full-time at Binghamton University as a janitor and Covid Consultant. His work ensured that the students, faculty, and staff of Binghamton University had a safe, clean, and socially distant campus throughout the pandemic. 

Wilcko plans to continue his studies and has already transitioned into an administrative position. He hopes that with time, continued hard work, and additional credentials, that he will one day manage a department. 

Andrew Zalesski – Transfer Scholarship 

Andrew Zalesski came to SUNY Broome directly after graduating from Seton Catholic Central High School in the fall of 2020. He is a proud, first generation American whose family originally hails from Russia and Poland.  From an early age, partially due to the guidance and direction of his engineer father, Zalesski developed an interest and talent in design. While most kids his age were building with legos, he was building with legos and the CAD software Solid Works. While studying engineering at SUNY Broome seemed like the obvious next step for Zalesski, he opted to follow in the footsteps of another relative instead. 

Zalesski’s great grandfather was a neurologist who was credited with co-writing one of the first atlases of the human brain. Fascinated by the complexity of the human body and inspired by the work of his grandfather, Zalesski opted to study Liberal Arts and Sciences: Science: A.S., which allowed him to take all of the prerequisite courses for a future in medicine, while also allowing for some exploration into the world of engineering. 

Andrew has recently found a way to combine his academic interests thanks to a project with SUNY Broome’s Engineering Club. Zalesski and his fellow club members are in the process of designing a prosthetic arm. While the initial goal was to simply fulfill a project requirement, Zalesski has expanded the plan to hopefully partner with a prosthetic company to mass produce the arms for personal use. Zalesski hopes to transfer to further his studies in preparation for eventually going to medical school to specialize in neurology.