SUNY Potsdam Alumni Name Kaitlyn M. Beachner ’08 A 'Rising Star'


From left, SUNY Potsdam President Kristin Esterberg, Rising Star Award recipient Kaitlyn Beachner ’08 and Alumni Association President Jeffrey Washburn.

The SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association recently honored Kaitlyn M. Beachner '08, with the 2014 Rising Star Award, at the College's annual Reunion Weekend.

The Rising Star Award is presented to an alum who has demonstrated outstanding professional achievement in the first decade following graduation. Beachner was recognized for her outstanding accomplishments as a leader in student government and higher education.

As a student and alumna of SUNY Potsdam, Kaitlyn Beachner has demonstrated both her passion for student government and her leadership abilities.

Beachner was active as a campus leader at SUNY Potsdam. She served as a resident assistant in the Bowman and Knowles residence halls. Elected president of the Student Government Association her senior year, she also served on the SUNY Potsdam College Council, the Potsdam Auxiliary College and Educational Services Board and other campus committees. As SGA president, Beachner successfully worked with the library to extend evening hours, and with a campus constituency group to secure New York State funds for the new Performing Arts Center.

After graduating with a bachelor's degree in history and anthropology, Beachner went on to work in national sales for Paychex, Inc. in Rochester, N.Y. She was soon promoted to work in the human resources department. She then began graduate studies at Buffalo State College, focusing on higher education administration. Beachner served as a graduate assistant for Student Life and as an advisor to Greek Life, taught leadership courses and helped establish the Graduate Student Organization.

In 2011, Beachner was elected president of the SUNY Student Assembly, to represent SUNY's more than 465,000 students. As president, she also served as a voting member of both the SUNY Board of Trustees and the Board for the Higher Education Services Corporation. In 2012, SUNY honored her with a Special Service Commendation for her service as a trustee and president of the SUNY Assembly. Beachner completed her master's degree in higher education and student affairs administration in 2012, and received the President's Distinguished Service Award and the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence.

That year, Beachner joined the SUNY staff as assistant director for strategic planning, and a year later she became program manager in SUNY's newly created Office of Presidents and Leadership Initiatives. Her work includes presidential recruitment and presidential leadership. A volunteer for the SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association, Beachner returned to campus as the featured alumni speaker for the Spring 2014 Student Leader Conference.

For more information about SUNY Potsdam's Alumni Association, visit


Founded in 1816, and located on the outskirts of the beautiful Adirondack Park, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America's first 50 colleges. SUNY Potsdam currently enrolls approximately 4,300 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its handcrafted education, challenging liberal arts and sciences core, excellence in teacher training and leadership in the performing and visual arts. Empowered by a culture of creativity, the campus community recently launched Take the Lead: The Campaign for Potsdam, which aims to raise $27 million by the College's bicentennial in 2016.