Top honors recognizing the academic and student life achievements of members of the 2021 graduating class at Cazenovia College were presented at the College’s 196th Commencement last month.



Named as valedictorian of the class is Sydney Rowan Seay, of Parkville, Maryland, who earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree summa cum laude. She majored in Visual Communications with a focus in illustration animation.

While at Cazenovia, Seay became known for her work and creativity as an illustrator, animator, storyboard artist, writer, visual artist, and designer. She plans to pursue a career in character design, book arts, and sequential artwork.

During her time at the College Seay also earned several other awards and scholarships: the Morris Award Scholarship; Marion Fontana Metalios Scholarship; Emerson Scholarship; President Scholars Award and a Certificate of Recognition from Student Leadership. She was a member of several academic honor societies: Alpha Lamba Delta; Kappa Pi Art Honor Society; and Alpha Chi Honor Society. She also served as treasurer of the Caz Comic Alliance and Drama Club; assistant manager and glass technician for Student Made Art lab; and was an orientation leader.


Named as Salutatorian of the class is Roshawn Kershaw, of Syracuse, New York. Kershaw earned a Bachelor of Science degree, graduating summa cum laude. She majored in Human Services and had minors in psychology, sociology and disability services.

While at Cazenovia, Kershaw held membership in the academic honor societies Alpha Chi, Alpha Lamba Delta, Psi Chi, and Tau Upsilon Alpha. She also served as a head resident advisor, past president of the Human Services Club, president of the Student Government Association, and was a member of the President’s Commission on Diversity and Equity. She now plans to pursue a master’s degree in Public Administration and has received a full scholarship to attend Syracuse University to do so.


Academic Excellence Awards

The College also announced winners of Academic Excellence awards for three more academic divisions, as well as Outstanding Student awards for its Center for Adult and Continuing Education and Transfer Student programs.

Art & Design Division

Earning recognition as the 2021 Academic Excellence in the Division of Art & Design award is Shauna DeLeonardo, of Marcy, New York, who majored in Interior Design. DeLeonardo graduated magna cum laude and as a member of the Kappa Pi Art Honors Society with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Over the past year-plus, she worked with Professor Elizabeth Moore to create socially distanced space plans for every classroom on campus in response to safety protocols required for COVID-19. Her capstone project focused on the impact of the pandemic on current and future commercial office design and the productivity and well-being or workforce employees. She is currently creating original designs for a custom home that will be featured in the 2021 Syracuse Parade of Homes. DeLeonardo now plans to pursue interior design employment in the Carolinas.

Business & Management Division

The award for Academic Excellence in the Business & Management Division studies was presented to a Dean’s List honoree who completed her Bachelor of Professional Studies degree in three years and who minored in entrepreneurship.

Trisha Martin, of Lisbon, New York, is next planning to puruse a master’s program in People Analytics and Leadership. While at Cazenovia, she completed an internship with Wegman’s grocery chain in store operations and held membership in the Society of Human Resource Managers. She also was presented with the Excellence in Management: Business Management program award.

Humanities & Natural Sciences Division

Gracie Wright, of Red Creek, New York, took top honors for academic excellence in the College’s Humanities & Natural Sciences Division.

Wright graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology with a Communication Studies minor. She was a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta, Beta Beta Beta, and Lambda Pi Eta academic honor societies. She was also awarded the Harwant K. Dosanjh Award for Chemistry or Calculus and the Howe Award for Mathematics.

While at Cazenovia, Wright served as secretary for Alpha Lambda Delta, the first-year honor society; as a representative to the Student Government Association; as vice president of Active Minds; and as president of the Communication Studies Club. She also was a master student, resident advisor, and course assistant and tutor.

Social and Behavioral Sciences Division

Roshawn Kershaw, of Syracuse, New York, was presented with the top honor for academic excellence in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Division.

In addition to the division award and her naming as class salutatorian, Kershaw received several other recognitions at Commencement. They include the Outstanding Student in Sociology Award, the Outstanding Service in Human Service Award, Genung Award, Frederick Dannick Award in Sociology, and a citation for excellent service and volunteerism in Human Services.

Center for Adult & Continuing Education

Named a recipient of the top academic award for excellence in studies in the College’s Division of Adult and Continuing Education is Angela Leto, of Albany, New York. Leto graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services, attending classes at the College’s off-site bachelor’s degree program in Human Services offered at Hudson Valley Community College.

Leto earned her degree while working full-time at the New York State Education Department. She completed a senior capstone paper focused on autism spectrum disorder and the importance of using individualized interventions to support children and adults with the disorder. Leto now plans to pursue a master’s degree in social work and then seek a career working with children and families.

Outstanding Transfer Student

Studio Art major Emily Moziak, of East Syracuse, New York, was named as the College’s recipient of the Academic Excellence Award as Outstanding Transfer Student.

She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, graduating summa cum laude. While her first love is painting, Moziak excelled at several types of artistic media during her time at the school: ceramics, figure drawing, photography, and a variety of new media. She also was recognized for her capstone paper, “Conspicuous Consumption: The Impact of Status on American Consumerism.”


Student Life Awards

The College also presented five Student Life Awards to recognize graduating seniors who have demonstrated exceptional citizenship and who have made significant, positive contributions to the quality of student life on campus. Recognized were:

  • Amy Bubb, of Clay, New York, who received a bachelor’s degree in Biology cum laude. She was a member of honor societies Alpha Lambda Delta, Beta Beta Beta, Lambda Pi Eta, and earned All College Honors
  • Emily Burr, of Limestone, Maine, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology magna cum laude; was a member of Alpha Chi honor society; and received All College Honors
  • Akira Jones, of Brooklyn, New York, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice with a Psychology minor
  • Haley Taber, of North Rose, New York, who earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Studio Art
  • Tri-Jeye Villaroel, of Bronx, New York, who earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Interior Design


Alumni Award

Haley Taber also was recognized as the 2021 winner of the annual Alumni Award. The North Rose, New York resident was honored “for consistently displaying academic inquiry, campus leadership, and community service – all while conveying pride in the Cazenovia College experience.”


Nine Master’s Degree Candidates

The College also presented its first cohort of graduate-degree candidates as part of the ceremony. Nine students were recognized for nearing completion of their master’s degrees in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, which the College started in 2019. The candidates are on track to complete their degree requirements and formally graduate this August.

Gail Boone, of Cazenovia, was chosen to speak to represent the candidates. In addition to Boone, the other candidates for master’s degrees are:

  • Heather Colvin-Duncan, of Oneida, New York
  • Jennifer Cottet, of Chittenango, New York
  • Sean Patrick Fulford Decker, of New Hampton, New York
  • Bethany Huffstutler, of Earlville, New York
  • Alexandria Nicole Lake, of Vernon Center, New York
  • Lori Ann McCrohan, of Manlius, New York
  • Brianna Christine Wolf, of Marietta, New York
  • Shiloh Wood, of Cazenovia, New York