SUNY Oswego selects 2 for Outstanding Senior Award

Published

May 7, 2018

Olivia Botting of North Syracuse, and Kayla Murphy of Amesbury, Massachusetts, have been selected as the Oswego Alumni Association’s 2018 Outstanding Senior Award recipients. They are to be recognized during the Commencement Eve Torchlight Dinner and Ceremony on May 11 in the Marano Campus Center.

Botting is the daughter of North Syracuse residents Howard (a 1989 undergraduate alumnus and 2007 master's graduate of SUNY Oswego) and Maureen Hanafin Botting (also a 1989 graduate). A geology major with a minor in Spanish, Botting graduates with a 3.48 GPA, having appeared on the Deans' List (GPA of 3.3 or higher) or President's List (GPA of 3.8 or higher) every semester throughout her college career. She has been very active in the peer ministry program at the Hall Newman Center at SUNY Oswego and has served in several roles on the executive board of the Newman Club.

She has been instrumental in organizing community service projects, including garbage pickups along the lake, meal delivery for the Salvation Army and Leave Green efforts that convert student donations into a large garage sale, and she has traveled for service trips with Habitat for Humanity to Florence, Alabama, and Omaha, Nebraska, and also to a farm in West Virginia.

“I believe we are nothing without community, and within my leadership roles I strive to build a supporting and loving community with everyone I meet,” Botting said. “I enjoy volunteering and want to continue helping others after my time at Oswego.”

Botting also is a member of the Swing Dance Club, Geology Club, Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honor Society and Sigma Delta Pi Honor Society, and she has served as a First Year Peer Advisor for the department of atmospheric and geological sciences.

In his letter of recommendation, director of campus ministry Michael Huynh said, “Olivia is a wonderful addition to our program, and we are fortunate that she has shared her many gifts with us. Her positive spirit is contagious and her positive regard to all she encounters makes all of her interactions with students as well as peers authentic and affirmative.”

Giving back

Murphy, a communication and social interaction major with a minor in global and international studies, is the daughter of Amesbury residents Mary and Charlie Murphy. She received three separate nominations for the award, and earned a 3.39 GPA while participating in a range of extracurricular and co-curricular activities.

Murphy's many activities include serving as the public relations coordinator for the Alumni Sharing Knowledge program, peer educator in the Lifestyles Center, coordinator of the Students Helping Oz Peers (SHOP) pantry, study-abroad mentor for the Office of International Education and Programs and Laker Leader with the Orientation Office. She served as a resident assistant for Oneida Hall.

She is also a member of Vega, the junior and senior women’s honor society; Lambda Pi Eta, communication honors society; and Eta Omicron Chapter of Phi Beta Delta, international scholars honor society.

During her time at Oswego, she studied abroad in Florence, Italy; Dublin, Ireland; and Kolkata/Delhi, India.

“These experiences helped me not only learn about myself and my aspirations, but also to give back to the people I was able to meet and grow close to,” she said. “If it were not for this incredible school and the faculty and friends I have met during my time here, this dream of mine would never have come true.”

Her nominators list the many contributions she has made to the campus community and applaud her for her time management skills in accomplishing so much while maintaining her academics.

Dan Roberts, associate dean of students, unequivocally supported her nomination, saying: “Few students have committed themselves so fully to their peers and to campus as Kayla Murphy. … As a campus leader, Kayla has dedicated her time to the betterment of her peers. Kayla’s leadership skill set is vast, but what sets her apart from others is the way in which she motivates others to lead. Kayla is the definition of an authentic leader.”

Another nominator, Dean of Students Jerri Howland, said: “When you think of a Laker, you should see Kayla -- one who excels in and out of the classroom, represents Oswego with pride, serves with distinction and engages with everyone she meets in a real purposeful way. She is an absolute rock star!”

- 30 -