St. Lawrence Announces Commencement Speakers and Honorees
In recognition of their exemplary accomplishments and steadfast commitment to St. Lawrence University and the North Country community Gina Kingsbury ’04 and Andrew Williams will be honored during this year’s commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 21. Professor Ana Estevez will address the Class of 2023.
Professor of Biology and Psychology and Co-Department Chair of Biology Ana Estevez has been selected by President Kathryn A. Morris to address the Class of 2023 at this year’s Commencement ceremony. As a first-generation college graduate, Estevez especially appreciates the important role of mentors in undergraduate success, and has been instrumental in guiding the achievements of many St. Lawrence students during her 18 years at the University.
She is a neuroscientist with research interests in ion channel physiology and neurodegeneration. Her research identifies potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of stroke and other neurodegenerative diseases.
At St. Lawrence, Estevez teaches both Introductory and Advanced Neuroscience as well as the upper-level electives Cellular Mechanisms of Memory, Current Topics in Neuroscience, and Drugs and the Brain. Her students regularly work with her on research projects. She is a member of the Health Careers and Academic Planning committees and a faculty mentor for the First-Generation Initiative. She is also a North Country Ambassador for the University, a board member of the North Country Children’s Museum, as well as a member of the Society for Neuroscience and the American Physiological Society.
Gina Kingsbury ’04
Two-time Olympic gold medalist and advocate for greater access and opportunities for female athletes, Gina Kingsbury ’04 has been selected to receive a St. Lawrence University doctorate of humane letters.
To be considered for an honorary degree, nominees must have achievement in scholarship, the arts, business, or professional life; distinguished humanitarian, altruistic, or philanthropic service; or distinctive contributions to a regional, national, or global community; and an abiding interest in a relationship with St. Lawrence University that furthers the goals and mission of the University.
Kingsbury is vice president of hockey operations for Canada women's national ice hockey team and as a St. Lawrence student, she led her teams to 96 total wins, two NCAA Frozen Four appearances, and a national championship game. As one of the most prolific scorers in St. Lawrence women’s hockey history, she was inducted into the University’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015 for her individual achievements and again in 2017 as a member of the 2000-2001 women’s hockey team. She became a Legends of Appleton honoree in 2020.
Dr. Andrew Williams, a full-time practicing physician, Chief Medical Officer for the Community Health Center of the North Country, Associate Chief Medical Officer for St. Lawrence Health, and Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, will receive the North Country Citation in recognition of his support of the North Country community and lower-income residents, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He currently serves as President of the St. Lawrence County Board of Health. His support of the community through improving access to high-quality health care for medically underserved residents played a critical role in leading the county through the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Williams recently received the Community Health Hero Award from St. Lawrence County, the Community Service Award from the Canton-Potsdam Hospital Board of Directors and was named the Dr. Gary Ogden Rural Health Practitioner of the Year.