AU Press Releases

Double major receives Women's Excellence in Leadership Award

Julie Gordon of Teaneck, NJ is the 2009 recipient of the Women’s Excellence in Leadership Award from the Alfred University Women’s Leadership Center.

Gordon, a senior marketing and communications major, is a graduate of Queen of Peace High School and a daughter of Robert and Denise Gordon of Teaneck.

This award recognizes the achievement of one graduating female student who has demonstrated exceptional leadership while attending Alfred University, and who has made a meaningful impact on campus or in the Alfred community. Gordon will receive financial assistance with post-college expenses up to a value of $750. Terri Knopf, Alfred University class of 1988, initiated and continues to sponsor this award each year.

Gordon is recognized for her leadership accomplishments on campus through participation in student organizations and jobs held throughout her years at Alfred. Kathy Woughter, vice president for Student Affairs, noted, “Her leadership is in the area of initiative; she never sits still but is always making appointments, running between offices, getting required training, and checking her work with me.”

Gordon’s skills as editor-in-chief have helped to lead the Alfred University Kanakadea Yearbook as well as the Alfred University Student Activities Board where she is vice president. She is also a Board of Trustees Student Resource and an Alfred University Orientation Guide.

“Julie is unassuming and humble for someone with such impressive accomplishments and influence. She is extremely hard-working and presents her ideas and motivation with complete honesty,” reports Dan Napolitano, director of Student Activities.

In her application essay, Gordon recognizes, “given the chance, anyone can rise to a leadership role and discover new things about themselves.” She continues, “I love the person I’ve become and I know that Alfred has prepared me well for being a leader no matter where I may end up.” After graduation she plans on settling in the Western New York area.

Senior glass engineering science major Jennifer Ordway and Mary Geiss, a senior biology major, were the two recipients of the Honorable Mention awards of $100 each.

Ordway, of Hornell, is a member of Materials Advantage and the Society of Women Engineers. She is a resident director for the Office of Residence Life and a research engineer for the Alfred University Inamori School of Engineering.

Brenda Porter, director of Residence Life, commented, “Jennifer is no stranger to challenges and learning how to overcome the sometimes unfortunate cards we, as women, are dealt with in regard to health, love, family and career.”

Post graduation, Ordway has been offered a job in Ohio. She noted, “I have worked hard to break the female stereotype and believe that women in today’s world have every opportunity at their feet; they just need to take the next step.”

Geiss, of Baldwinsville, NY, has proved her leadership skills on campus thoroughly through health-related service programs as well working for the Office of Residence Life as a resident assistant. Geiss is certified as an American Red Cross First Responder and Lifeguard and Water Safety Instructor. She is also co-captain of the Alfred University Rescue Squad. Currently, Geiss is applying to osteopathic medical schools for graduate school plans.

Pamela Schu, Alfred University health and wellness educator, explained, “Mary accepts individual differences and chooses to associate with students from many ethnic and cultural backgrounds and lifestyles.”

This year’s selection committee was comprised of the following Women’s Leadership Center Advisory Board members; Knopf, Dr. Elizabeth Judson ’82, Jessica Gottlieb ’98, Patricia Riley ’65, Christine Kulp ’71, Dr. Sylvia Bryant, University associate vice president for individual giving.