Ally Chisholm awarded Dr. Robert A. Martin Outstanding First-Year Advocate Award at Convocation

(Ben Trapanick presented the Dr. Robert A. Martin Outstanding First-Year Advocate Award. Photo by Amanda Martin.)

Faculty and staff members welcomed incoming first-year and transfer students during the New Student Convocation Ceremony on Sept. 5 in DPAC.

New Student Convocation is “an annual ceremony recognizing new first-year and transfer students who are beginning their studies this fall,” said Jeremy Spencer, dean of enrollment management, in his opening remarks.

Spencer shared unofficial fall enrollment figures – 760 first-year and 380 transfer students – before introducing President F. Javier Cevallos.

Cevallos thanked the students for choosing FSU and congratulated them on the accomplishments leading to their acceptance. He advised them to get involved and to ask questions in order to build their new support systems.

“If you do not know who to ask, ask me. Send me an email! I don’t know the answers, but I know who knows the answers,” said Cevallos.

Following Cevallos’ speech, Ben Trapanick, director of first-year programs, was introduced to present the Dr. Robert A. Martin Outstanding First-Year Advocate Award to Ally Chisholm.

Chisholm graduated from FSU in 2011 and returned as CASA’s academic success coordinator after completing her master’s degree. In CASA, she works compassionately with students of varying skill sets through tutoring and mentoring programs, said Trapanick.

“Ally loves working at FSU and with our students. … I think the students will have an outstanding advocate to help them through the challenges and to feel that they belong here,” said Trapanick.

After sharing her freshman memories, including crying on move-in day and believing she was “too cool” to attend her own convocation, Chisholm advised students to believe in themselves and to be kind.

“FSU truly is a special place full of people who want you to succeed and reach your goals,” said Chisholm.

Chisholm was nominated by Brittany Cormier of the class of 2017.

“After observing the transformative work that Ally does to help students while working with her in my position as an ASPT [Academic Success Peer Tutor] at CASA, I knew that she needed to be recognized,” said Cormier.

Kyle Rosa, SGA president, spoke after Chisholm.

“This is the place to be,” said Rosa, referring to Framingham State’s location in the MetroWest area. The campus, located between Boston and Worcester, is accessible to corporations, other academic institutions and vibrant communities for students to expand their classroom learning, he added.

Following Rosa’s address, Spencer officially concluded the ceremony by inviting those in attendance to a campus-wide cookout hosted by Dining Services in Crocker Grove.

During the cookout, many freshman students said they felt welcome at the University.

“I like that everything’s close together,” said first-year student Jess Vinscus.

First-year student Kimani Bryan-Millwood, “I like the school so far. The diversity here is really good, there’s a lot of opportunities, and I feel like I made a good choice.”

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