Bethany's Snyder Receives Award at Fall Convocation

BETHANY, W.Va. — Bethany College sophomore Allison Snyder received the Richard B. Kenney Freshman Leadership Award for the 2011-12 school year during Fall Convocation held in Commencement Hall.

The award is granted 2223allisonsnyder.jpgto a first-year student who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and character at Bethany College, who has been actively involved and who has contributed service and devotion to the College community. The student who receives the award must also achieve at least a 3.5 GPA during their first year at Bethany.
The award, which honors the late Dr. Kenney, the T.W. Phillips Professor of Old Testament Literature who taught at Bethany from 1964-86, was established by the Freshman Activities Council of 1986-87.
“The most flattering thing about winning the award was that I did nothing out of the ordinary for it; it was like I won an award just for being me,” Snyder said. “Receiving the Freshman Leadership Award is encouraging because it is just a reminder that people notice how hard you work even when you don't think they do.”

Snyder is currently pursuing a major in international economics and was on the dean’s list for both fall and spring semesters in addition to having earned an almost perfect GPA during her first year at Bethany. She was also the recipient of the Kalon Scholar Freshman Spirit Award and is the first student who joined the McCann Family Student Investment fund in her freshman year and returns this year as a veteran to the fund. Even though the learning curve has been great, Snyder has remained enthusiastic and excelled in her assignments and led many discussions during the year. 

Snyder has also demonstrated significant leadership by undertaking many positions of responsibility across Bethany’s campus and engaging in numerous activities that enhance campus life. She is currently the economics club secretary, business and accounting club secretary, co-founder/vice-president of Italian club, member of the Spanish club, and member and secretary of the McCann Family Student Investment Fund. She is also serving as a departmental scholar this semester, an honor reserved for those who excel in academics within the economics, business administration and accounting department. During her freshman year, she was also a member of the varsity volleyball team during fall semester and performed in the musical “A Funny Thing happened on the Way to the Forum” during spring semester. Snyder also worked for sports information on campus entering sports biographies and statistics as well as announcing various sporting events. This summer she worked in the office of enrollment management giving campus tours to prospective students and their families.

With all of that responsibility, it can be hard to manage it all and still keep grades up, but Snyder said she “doesn’t get upset with the small things” and tries to “take all things seriously, but not too serious.”

“I find every homework assignment, club event, or game is important, but nothing is so important that I should stress myself out, jeopardize a relationship with someone, or ruin my witness for Christ. Instead of stressing myself out throughout the week and then partying on the weekends, I try to enjoy every day, even days with challenges. I keep working hard and when the weekend comes, I try to use my spare time finding peace, either through hikes by myself or going to church, and that prepares me for another busy week,” said Snyder.

Snyder is also a trained and recognized lay leader within the Christ United Methodist Church where she has devoted a significant amount of her time serving her community. During last winter, she volunteered on Saturdays and committed a substantial amount of her free time refereeing Biddy Basketball games with Upwards Sports at Brooke Hills Free Methodist Church.

So, what advice does Snyder have for incoming freshman that might be a little overwhelmed?

“Don't join a club if you are not passionate about it. Only involve yourself in extra things that will better you as a person. If you have fun on a sports team, play the game and be a happier person. If you love to see others succeed, offer to help tutor and become more empathetic. If you want to become better in your field of study, try to find an internship. Don't join a team if it makes you miserable. Don't volunteer to help others if you will be stressed about the time you spend with them. Don't take on extra work if you don't really care about becoming more knowledgeable in your field, and above all, never complain or make excuses. If something doesn't go how you want it to, take the experience and move on. The excuse I hear the most is "I don't have time." We all have the same hours in our day, we just prioritize them differently,” said Snyder.

She is also remarkably an accomplished pianist and played at a service at Bethany Church. Her interests include piano, art, tennis, African missions and laughing.

Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.