ER graduate receives RIT Scholar Award

ER graduate receives RIT Scholar Award
Posted on 03/04/2021
Alex Ziebarth

Alex Ziebarth graduated from East Rochester School District in 2018 and has continued his academic accomplishments throughout his undergraduate career at Rochester Institute of Technology. Alex, who plans to graduate one year early in May 2021, will be awarded the RIT Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar Award on March 18. 

The Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar Award celebrates the top 1% of undergraduate students who are able to maintain a high standard of academic excellence while also giving back to their community through civic or volunteer work, conducting research, or being engaged in a co-op or work in their field of study. 

“To be honest, I was a little surprised to get the Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar Award,” says Alex. “Luckily two of my professors, Dr. Banta and Dr. Fornieri, were very forthcoming about helping me get the award, and I have them to thank for actually getting it.”

Each scholar is asked to choose an instructor who has had a significant impact on his or her academic career. Alex chose to recognize ER science teacher Anne Baughman. 

Physics Fam“I
t's always great to hear about how students are doing after they graduate,” says Ms. Baughman. “Alex is someone who has always been an independent thinker, who is motivated to listen and learn about new ideas. When Alex was at ER I got to know him pretty well because he took all of the 

advanced ER science classes, so I had him along with a few other students for three years… we all learned a lot from each other during our in-depth discussions on topics of the day.” 

“I was never a big science or STEM person, but I chose Ms. B because of her ability to make something like science fun,” says Alex. “It was kind of like the room lit up when she was in it. I think she's a wonderful teacher, and I was really fortunate to have her for three years in a row.”

Alex will graduate in May with a Bachelors’ degree in Political Science. He plans to continue his academic career and earn his graduate degree locally before becoming a teacher himself! 

“I think my teachers at ER gave me the critical thinking skills necessary for college, and especially necessary for a political science program,” he says. “It was really important to me that my teachers didn't use a dogmatic approach and tried to imbue a sense of skepticism in their students, and I've been very lucky to have teachers at ER and RIT like that.”

The Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar Awards will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 18. RIT’s president and provost will acknowledge the honorees during the virtual celebration. A full list of 2020-21 scholars and honored teachers is also available online.