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Phi Kappa Phi Honors Six Students


Six exceptional members of SUNY Cortland’s chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, the honor society for all academic disciplines, have set high standards for future student scholars through excellence in discipline, dedication and time management.

The students, named “Scholars of the Year” by the Cortland chapter, were recognized April 26 during a special ceremony in the Corey Union Function Room.

The scholars also each received $50 and were acknowledged later that same day during SUNY Cortland’s annual Honors Convocation ceremony in the Park Center Alumni Arena.

The accolades were based on academic accomplishments as well as leadership and volunteer involvement at the College and in the community.

Founded in 1897 at the University of Maine, Phi Kappa Phi annually initiates about 30,000 new members from nearly 300 campuses in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Philippines.

Here’s a closer look at each Phi Kappa Phi scholar:

Natalie Gregory

Natalie Gregory
Natalie Gregory

A senior biology major and chemistry minor, Gregory of Unadilla, N.Y., has made sure that her grades were a point of emphasis during the last four years.

The daughter of Ken and Molly Deck, Gregory has made Dean’s List every semester and the President’s List three times. She won a President’s Scholarship in spring 2013.

This spring, she was awarded the Dr. Norman B. Reynolds Memorial Award, presented to an outstanding biology major who has a good academic record and has shown exemplary personal development.

When she isn’t spending her time with the biology club, Gregory helps other students within her major. She has served as a supplemental instruction leader for six semesters in four different science classes. Gregory also served as an Educational Opportunity Program peer tutor in Spring 2013.

Laura Brennan

A dual Spanish and criminology major, Brennan of Congers, N.Y., has managed to use her college experience as a blueprint for a career as a high school Spanish teacher.

The daughter of Andria and Keith Brennan, Brennan has attained various awards over her four years at Cortland. She is a member of Sigma Delta Pi, the national Spanish honor society. In 2013, she was awarded the Clark Center Five Continent Scholarship for her study abroad experience in Costa Rica.

Laura Brennan
Laura Brennan

Brennan also has served as the Spanish Club’s treasurer and vice president and is a member of the Phi Beta Delta international honor society.

“SUNY Cortland provided me the opportunity to study two very different majors at once,” said Brennan.

“As soon as I set foot on campus, I felt at home, like I already belonged.”

Hannah Greene

A senior childhood education and history major, Greene of Buffalo, N.Y., has dreams that exceed just being an elementary school teacher.

“Eventually I want to be a principal of a school and a superintendent of a school district,” said Greene.

The daughter of Daniel and Laura Greene, she has received many awards since arriving on the SUNY Cortland campus.

Hannah Greene
Hannah Greene

A Kappa Delta Pi international honor society in education member, Greene received the Leonard F. Ralston Award from the History Department for the junior with the highest grade point average (GPA), as well as the Walter Hanchett Award for the senior with the highest GPA.

Greene was named to the Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years.

 “I chose SUNY Cortland because I wanted to go to a school in New York that had an excellent and competitive education program,” said Greene.

Ryan O’Connell

Ryan O'Connell
Ryan O'Connell

A senior exercise science major from West Nyack, N.Y., Ryan O’Connell has made the most of his college career.

The son of Brendan and Helen O’Connell, he has attained many awards in his time at SUNY Cortland.

O’Connell has received the Sheier Family Scholarship, Arethusa Scholarship and the Emergency Medical Physicians Scholarship, to name a few.

“I chose SUNY Cortland because it was a good school with the major I was interested in for my career path at the time,” said O’Connell.

Although an exercise science major, Ryan has switched gears to focus on a career path based around his minors. Minoring in both biology and chemistry, he looks to pursue a career in research of molecular physiology.

Kyle Shea

A senior physical education major, Shea from Walkill, N.Y., has displayed his hard work and leadership skills ever since becoming a member of the campus community.

Kyle Shea
Kyle Shea

He has maintained a cumulative 3.8 GPA, made the Spring 2012 and Fall 2013 President’s List of the College’s top scholastic achievers, and the Dean’s List multiple times by maintaining at least a 3.3 GPA.

In Fall 2013, he coordinated Adopt-A-Family, serving as a liaison between the YWCA and Residence Life and Housing to provide gifts for 21 needy families in the Cortland community. Due in part to his dedication, $9,000 was raised for those families.

“Get involved in as many clubs and organizations as you can manage,” advised Shea. “The people who love their college experience the most are those who spend their time being as productive as possible.”

Brian Cook

Information for Brian Cook was unavailable.