Rockwell Hall with signage

Department Scholarships

Dr. Charles A. Messner Scholarship Fund

A $5,000 annual scholarship; half awarded at the beginning of the fall semester and half awarded at the beginning of the spring semester.

The scholarship is renewable for up to three additional years provided the recipient earns a 3.0 cumulative GPA and continues to have a declared major in a humanities program.


Gilmore and America Thomas Scholarship

This $2,000 annual scholarship is endowed by Patricia Conway and Frank Papierniak to recognize America and Gilmore Thomas, the aunt and uncle of Patricia. Mr. ad Mrs. Thomas were committed community members who understood the power of education and how it can lift you from poverty, and would do anything to help others. Mr. Thomas was also a deeply religious man and used his religious beliefs to direct his life of generosity, hard work, and commitment to others. 

Candidates for the scholarship must meet the following criteria:

  1. be enrolled in and have completed at least one semester at Buffalo State;
  2. have a declared major in one of the following: 
    • philosophy with an interest in conceptual issues in religion or
    • arts and letters with a primary concentration in philosophy or in religious studies;
  3. must submit an essay addressing how his or her studies at Buffalo State have furthered his or her interest in various conceptual issues in religion;
  4. have an overall GPA of 2.5 or higher; and
  5. have financial need as determined by the Financial Aid Office.

The scholarship is renewable to the recipient for up to three additional years provided the recipient continues to meet the above criteria.


George T. Hole Scholarship

Established in 2010, the George T. Hole Philosophy Scholarship Fund provides one $1,000 scholarship each year to a student majoring in philosophy. To be eligible, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  1. be a full-time, undergraduate student enrolled at Buffalo State
  2. have a declared major in philosophy
  3. be a sophomore or junior at the time the recipient is selected; and
  4.  have an overall GPA of 3.25 or higher.

The scholarship is renewable as long as the recipient continues to meet the above criteria.
The department chair identifies a pool of candidates each spring.  The recipient is selected by a committee composed of the department chair and the personnel committee. The recipient will be notified in the spring and will receive the scholarship the following fall semester.

Victor Balowitz Scholarship

The Victor Balowitz Scholarship fund was established to provide scholarship assistance to outstanding students majoring in philosophy. Balowitz (1931-1996) received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Columbia in 1969. He started teaching at Buffalo State in 1964 where he pursued his interests in Frege and Descartes.  In 1994 Professor Balowitz received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Scholarship Recipients

  • 2019-2020 Taylor Seymour, Philosophy 
  • 2018-2019 Taylor Seymour, Philosophy 
  • 2017-2018 Taylor Seymour, Philosophy
  • 2021-2022: Nicholas Stanford, Philosophy and Music Education 

  • 2020-2021: Nicholas Stanford, Philosophy and Music Education 

  • 2017-2019: Bianca Gonzales, Honors, Philosophy and English

  • 2015-2016: Maria Lema, Philosophy and Mathematics

  • 2014-2015: Sarah Johnson, Philosophy

  • 2013-2014: Troy Caruana, Philosophy and French

  • 2011-2013: Sarah Caputi, Honors, Philosophy and Urban Planning

  • 2021-2022: Justin Agurto, Philosophy; Nicholas Stanford, Philosophy and Music Education
  • 2019-2020: Taylor Seymour, Philosophy
  • 2017-2018: Taylor Seymour, Philosophy; Julia Hamilton, English
  • 2016-2017: Nolan Wall, Philosophy; Justin Tasker, Philosophy
  • 2013-2014: Joshua Terhaar, Philosophy and Mathematics; Leslie Edminton, Philosophy
  • 2012-2013: William Watkins, Philosophy; Casey Brescia, Philosophy
  • 2011-2012: Nadeen Bawab, Honors, Philosophy and Individualized Studies; Jason Offerman, Philosophy and German minor; Jenna Tomasello, Philosophy and Legal Studies minor
  • 2010-2011: Nathan Grammer, Philosophy; Thomas Vrabel, Philosophy and Political Science
  • 2009-2010: David Whitehead, Philosophy and English
  • 2008-2009: Darla-Jo Joyce, Philosophy; Jacob Platt, Philosophy; Yevgeny Yarmolinets, Philosophy, Psychology minor