St. Bonaventure cross country/track graduate Emily Izydorczak was named the Ideal Bonaventure Woman at the 2019 University Commencement ceremonies.
Izydorczak, in addition to being a dual major, completed the university's Honors Program and competed on SBU's Division I 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.
"I have been impressed with her dedications and believe in competing against herself everyday to be a better person, friend, student and athlete," St. Bonaventure cross country/track head coach Bob MacFarlane said. "She has always believed in living the life of her dreams and backed that with hard work, perseverance and belief that there is no limit to what she can achieve."
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.