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Two St. Bonaventure University students with exceptional academic and leadership accomplishments were recognized as the Ideal Bonaventure Students for the Class of 2019.
Geoffrey Broadbent, the Ideal Bonaventure Man, and Emily Izydorczak, the Ideal Bonaventure Woman, were recognized on Saturday, May 18, during the university’s Honors Ceremony, and again Sunday during its 159th Commencement Exercises.
The Ideal Bonaventure Students exemplify the spirit of St. Bonaventure and the ideals of St. Francis through community service and academic excellence. They are selected by a committee that considers nominations from the campus community.
Broadbent, of Olean, New York, is a son of George and Suzanne Broadbent and earned bachelor’s degrees in biology and political science. Izydorczak, of Orchard Park, New York, is a daughter of David and Claudine Izydorczak. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education/special education with a certification in early childhood education and a Bachelor of Arts degree in French.
Honorable mentions were biology major Samuel Fuller of Mentor, Ohio, son of Dr. Matthew Fuller and Jeanette Fuller, and individualized major Soquania Henry of Mount Vernon, New York, daughter of Sonia P. Flanno.
Broadbent has distinguished himself on campus by becoming involved in many of the activities that St. Bonaventure has to offer: He was an Orientation leader, peer mentor, member of Model UN and an Admissions ambassador.
As one of the most sought-after tour ambassadors on campus, Broadbent has been an excellent public face for the university.
During his senior year, as the president of the Student Government Association and the SGA representative to the Faculty Senate, Broadbent often spoke up in support of motions to advance the student perspective.
“Geof earned the respect of the senators for his forthrightness, his ever-present civility and equanimity, and his maturity,” said Laura Peterson, a lecturer in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts who serves on the Senate.
Peterson also was Broadbent’s instructor for individual piano lessons for two years, where he spent untold hours in a practice room, honing the discipline it takes to master a musical instrument.
This discipline, coupled with the decision to pursue a second major, impressed Broadbent’s instructors.
“I believe that a second major, especially one in such a different field, is of great benefit to students because it gives them perspectives that they might not have gained elsewhere,” Peterson said.
“He accomplished it all with seeming ease,” said Fr. Peter Schneible, O.F.M., chair of the Department of Biology and Broadbent’s academic adviser.
Fr. Peter said Broadbent, recruited to attend St. Bonaventure as a STEM Scholar, was a model student balancing academics and extracurricular activities.
“He was an excellent student; a pleasure to work with both as his adviser and his teacher,” Fr. Peter said.
Off campus, Broadbent is a tutor for high school students and he is an active substitute teacher.
“He is a student who has not only taken what St. Bonaventure has to offer, but has also given back to the university,” Peterson said.
Following graduation, Broadbent will be attending George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
The Ideal Bonaventure Woman Emily Izydorczak, in addition to being a dual major, completed the university’s Honors Program and competed on SBU’s Division 1 cross country and track team.
In the classroom and on the track, Izydorczak demonstrates the qualities of perseverance and leadership by example.
A dean’s list student every semester, Izydorczak is a member of Phi Eta Sigma freshman honor society, Pi Delta Phi French National Honor Society, and Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education. She also spent a summer studying in the United Kingdom at Oxford University.
An Atlantic 10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll honoree, she represented Bona’s and the Atlantic 10 at the NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum in November in Washington, D.C. In cross country, she’s the team captain who led the Bonnies in every race in which she competed over the past three seasons, including at the A-10 Championships. She holds top-five times in school history in both 5K and 6K cross country distances. In track, she owns the school record in the 3,000 meters and ranks in the program’s all-time individual top-10 in the 800, 1,500 and 5,000 meters.
Described by faculty in the School of Education as exceptionally bright and mature, Izydorczak’s humbleness veils many of her dynamic qualities and accomplishments.
“She is a self-assured young woman who takes joy in being knowledgeable and skilled in her craft (teaching), who takes on and resolves the challenges given to her, and who can lead others through sound decision-making,” faculty said in their nomination of Izydorczak for the award.
Along with completing her coursework and competing as a Division I athlete, Izydorczak completed numerous field experiences that are required of education majors. For instance, she spent 50 hours working in daycare and preschool settings, completed 200 hours in two elementary classrooms, spent 25 hours in a special education classroom, and spent some 500 hours in two different classrooms for student teaching.
Socially, Izydorczak was a member of the Executive Board of St. Bonaventure’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, the Chess Club, and the Bonaventure Education Association. She also gives of herself to help others, including as a volunteer teacher’s aide in the Orchard Park Central School District, an SBU peer tutor, and as a camp counselor through the Orchard Park Recreation program.
School of Education faculty say Izydorczak’s own words from her electronic folio best define who she is and what she plans to accomplish: “My experiences and internships during my journey have developed my relationship with social justice, and the requirement for all students to be supported in their needs. I want to be a champion for students in the traditional sense of providing students with all the necessary means for success.”
Following graduation, Izydorczak plans to pursue a position as an elementary school teacher. She also hopes to coach someday.
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