Local News

December 10, 2013

Local student to address graduates

PLATTSBURGH — Honor student Danielle K. Johnson will give SUNY Plattsburgh’s winter commencement address on Saturday, Dec. 14.

A native of Malone, she will be among about 400 students eligible to graduate at the ceremony, set for 10 a.m. at the Plattsburgh State Field House.

SUNY Plattsburgh President John Ettling will preside, with Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs James Liszka presenting degrees.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Bagpipe Band and SUNY Plattsburgh’s Gospel Choir will perform.

In her remarks, Johnson will suggest that if you can’t think of anything to be proud of in your community, you should go ahead and make change yourself, a press release from the college said.

As a sophomore, she was one of the youngest students to help plan and implement the Shine On! program, which aims build resiliency in elementary-age girls.

The public-relations major took away much from her involvement, as well.

“The program definitely shaped me,” she said. 

She said the character traits she and other college students taught — among them zest, self-control, grit, social intelligence — are what help a person to be successful. 

“We were teaching girls to think about what’s important, not how you look.” 

Then, there was the overall message, “if you get knocked down, get back up and go for it again.”

Shine On! was one of many hands-on opportunities Johnson experienced while studying at SUNY Plattsburgh.

“In the PR department, as a whole, everything is hands on,” she said in the release. “As soon as you start taking core-specific classes, you are working with clients one on one. It’s really valuable.”

Johnson served as a public-relations intern for the City of Plattsburgh Recreation Department, worked as an office and marketing assistant for Plattsburgh’s Imaginarium Children’s Museum and participated in a viral media campaign for Hannah’s Hope, a nonprofit working toward the treatment and cure of giant axonal neuropathy.

She received many accolades, among them an academic excellence scholarship, a community service scholarship and memberships in Lambda Pi Eta and Omicron Delta Kappa honor societies.

Those who can’t attend the commencement ceremony can see it streamed live at

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