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Afton resident receives SUNY Canton award

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CANTON - SUNY Canton’s online programming allowed a graduating Law Enforcement Leadership student the flexibility to be with her children, work and volunteer in her community while earning her four-year degree.

Melanie H. Mueller of Afton was selected as the 2014 recipient of SUNY Canton’s Outstanding Graduate Award at the baccalaureate level. Mueller received her award at the David V. Guccione Honors Convocation and will be honored at SUNY Canton’s 106th Commencement Ceremony at 10:30 a.m. May 10, at the college’s Convocation Athletic and Recreation Center.

“Ms. Mueller has demonstrated excellent leadership skills and adaptability in her coursework,” said Paul Bowdre, an assistant professor in the Criminal Justice department who taught Mueller in several classes. “She clearly enjoys discussion with her peers and works efficiently and effectively with her classmates in online group activities.”

Mueller is a single mother of two who held a career during the majority of her online education. “I never thought I’d receive this award,” she said. “Being an online student allowed me to support and be with my children. It also allowed me to assist my community while earning a degree. I would not have had it any other way.”

In one of her previous careers, Mueller was a welder who engineered custom car adaptations for handicapped drivers. She was also a consultant for Ambit Energy.

She and her daughters were involved in fundraising efforts for Hurricane Sandy relief. She said she plans to pursue a career where she can continue to help people on a one-on-one basis.

She is a member of Alpha Phi Sigma and Phi Theta Kappa honor societies. She previously received the Canino Prize for Academic Excellence and an Academic Award for her high grade-point average within the Law Enforcement Leadership program.

Mueller lives with her two daughters, Emma and Angelina. “I couldn’t have done it without them,” she said.

The Outstanding Graduate Award is given annually to a baccalaureate and associate degree graduate. It is SUNY Canton’s top award given to recognize academic achievement, community service and campus involvement.

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