Committed to the Community: SUNY Cobleskill Student Receives ACT Scholarship for Excellence and Student Initiative

Mackenah Simmons, a SUNY Cobleskill Animal Science bachelor’s degree student, was one of only five students within the State University of New York system who received the 2014 State University of New York Association of Council Members and College Trustees (ACT) Annual Award for Excellence and Student Initiative Scholarship. An honorary luncheon was held on Saturday, October 25, 2014, at Fort William Henry Hotel and Conference Center in Lake George, NY. Simmons was recognized for her excellence in academic performance and extraordinary commitment to the SUNY Cobleskill campus and community.

Encouraged by Brian Kaiser, SUNY Cobleskill Director of the Center for Community Engagement, to apply for the annual ACT Excellence and Student Initiative Scholarship – Simmons possesses a passion for community engagement, and takes her leadership responsibilities seriously. “Mackenah represents the kind of well-rounded, fully engaged student that we strive to create. She excels as a student, leader, volunteer, and mentor and is a real asset to the college,” remarks Brian Kaiser.

Throughout Simmons’ undergraduate career at SUNY Cobleskill, her contributions to the campus and the local community have been nothing short of exceptional. What began as simply being an active member of campus community engagement outings and activities, has swiftly blossomed into a role that encompasses outstanding leadership and dedication to community service.

“I’ve always been interested in community service, always actively seeking leadership opportunities,” describes Simmons. “When I joined the Community Service Club, here on Campus – I really enjoyed it, and I realized I was gaining great leadership experience at the same time.”

Just some of the events Simmons has actively participated in include: SUNY Cobleskill’s Boxville Event, the campus PB&Jam Slam, and programs which create cards for the elderly and homeless. Simmons, as a current SUNY Cobleskill Residential Assistant, is also heavily involved in developing RA programming which connects students in campus residential-living to community service activities.

“Mackenah is a bright student with an extraordinary commitment to SUNY Cobleskill,” said Steven M. Ackerknecht, Vice President of Student Affairs at SUNY Cobleskill. “She has been an outstanding role model for others and has enriched our campus community through her engagement in various student leadership and mentoring opportunities. She is most deserving of the Association of Council Members and College Trustees Scholarship Award.”

Alongside her scholarship money, the ACT for Excellence and Student Initiative Scholarship granted Simmons an additional fund of money to donate to a charity of her choice. Simmons chose was Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust.

Simmons will be graduating in the spring of 2015, completing the Animal Science BT program at SUNY Cobleskill, a year early. She plans to pursue a graduate degree in Agriculture Education, hoping to someday teach.