Nine Farmingdale State College Community Members Honored for Contributions to Campus Life.

In celebration of Women’s History Month 2024, Farmingdale State College’s (FSC) Office of Student Activities (OSA) recently hosted its 7th annual Phenomenal Womyn Award Banquet. Held in the Campus Center Ballroom, the lunchtime event recognized members of the FSC community who have positively contributed to campus life.  

“Phenomenal Womyn is one of the Office of Student Activities’ signature events each spring,” said Lukas Miedreich, FSC director of Student Activities. “Every year it is important to highlight and amplify female empowerment and excellence. This event gives us an opportunity to showcase both faculty, staff, and students on campus who are doing great work both in the FSC community and outside.” 

This year’s award recipients included four faculty/staff members and five FSC students: 

  • MaryBeth Apriceno, Ph.D, assistant professor of psychology 
  • Debra Ciancio, CPA, Student Government Association (SGA) accountant  
  • SueAnn Orlando-Lundquist, Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) assistant director 
  • Tiffany Janieson-Ward, TRIO Program assistant director  
  • Aliyah Adnan Khan, ‘26, an applied mathematics and applied psychology major 
  • Amanda Morrison, ’24, a professional communications major 
  • Destiny Morgan, ‘25, a science, technology, and society (STS) major 
  • Olivia Butler, '24, an applied psychology major 
  • Julia Seitz, ‘24, a professional communications major and business management minor 

“Knowing that people have seen the positive changes I've made, whether directly for them or for others, fills my heart with immense happiness,” said Adnan Khan. “It's incredibly rewarding to know that my actions have made a difference. I’ve always been committed to serving and uplifting my community. I believe that by empowering those around me, we can create positive change together. Let's continue to make a difference, one step at a time.” 

“I feel beyond honored to have received a Phenomenal Womyn Award, especially beside my coworker Destiny and my senior research mentor Dr. Apriceno,” said Butler. “It feels wonderful to have my contributions recognized in front of such amazing people, and I will continue to be an active part of student life on this campus!” 

The annual award ceremony is named in tribute to FSC’s first alumna, Kathryn “Kate” Freeman, 1919, the only women in FSC’s first graduating class of 15 people. After graduating from FSC--then the New York State School of Agriculture at Farmingdale, Long Island—Freeman was recorded in a 1930 census as a landscape architect living on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, said April Earle, FSC librarian. “And we remember her today as a woman of great substance, and strong character, who made Farmingdale her home.”  

“She was an independent, strong woman, who not only successfully managed her inheritance during a period of true economic challenge, but she worked to make her own income in a time when women were not typically encouraged to be independent,” added Earle. 

During the presentation, Earle also highlighted the story of FSC’s first female African American graduate, Elizabeth “Betty” Ann Green-Mountain, ’40, a well-respected education professional who specialized in home economics and social justice issues. She was an active community servant who held multiple civic and advisory positions including a seat on the Suffolk County Board of Health. Green-Mountain was the first woman to receive FSC’s Alumna of the Year Award in 1988.   

“Betty was one who had many loves,” Earle quoted from Green-Mountain’s daughter, Andrea Perry. “Love of education, improving the welfare of all people, art, music, dancing, God, and as a steadfast romantic--love itself.”  

In her remarks at the end of the program, Apriceno shared “what it’s like to be a woman in my field,” and detailed a chauvinist “microaggression” she encountered as a graduate student as well as the personal struggles she overcame with support from the “many phenomenal women in my life.”  

“There’s a saying that behind every great man, there’s a woman,” said Apriceno. “Behind every phenomenal woman, there’s a horde of more phenomenal womyn. Strong women clear the way for us, cheer us on, push us forward when we feel like giving up. And who roll their eyes and clench their fists with us at the sexist comments and the microaggressions. The only reason I’ve achieved the things that I’ve achieved is because of the woman who stood behind me and beside me. It is an honor and a privilege to stand behind and beside my students, all of them, but especially those who have to work twice as hard to be taken seriously. So today let’s remember that we only rise by lifting each other up.” 

View photos from the 7th Annual Phenomenal Womyn Award Banquet on our Flickr Gallery