ALBANY — State University of New York Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson presented 249 SUNY students from across the state with the 2018 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence. SUNY students, their families, campus presidents, and faculty convened in the Albany Capital Center to congratulate this year’s awardees.
One of the awardees included Fulton-Montgomery Community College student Jarisa Escalante of Brooklyn.
Escalante will graduate with a health sciences degree from FM this May. She is a first-generation college student who took part in the college’s CSTEP program. In the spring of her first year, Escalante became a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society; she is chair of the Student Senate Association; president of the Black and Latino Student Association; a member of the Res Life Club; and, serves as a residence assistant and peer tutor. Escalante plans to attend Union College in the fall to pursue a degree in biology with an aspiration of becoming a surgeon.
“I am immensely proud of these students, who have demonstrated academic excellence and dedication to enriching their campuses and communities,” said SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson. “From research publications in industry journals to volunteering in hospitals and local clinics to holding leadership roles at their institutions, I am inspired by each student we recognize today. Congratulations to all of the students receiving this year’s award.”
Johnson was joined by special guest Erin Hamlin, a four-time Olympian, 2014 Bronze Medalist, and two-time Luge World Champion. Hamlin made history at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games as the first American (male or female) to win an Olympic medal in singles luge, and was the first U.S. woman to win a medal in any luge discipline at the Olympic Games. The Olympian and world champion earned her A.A. in interdisciplinary studies online from Empire State College.
“As a proud SUNY alum, it is my honor to stand here today as we celebrate a room full of SUNY students and their pursuit of excellence in academics, athletics, and community,” said Hamlin. “Your achievements as SUNY students is just the beginning, and I have no doubt that this determination and dedication you possess will drive you to excel in all of your future endeavors.”
“I am incredibly proud of Jarisa’s accomplishments and I congratulate her on being named this year’s Chancellor’s Award recipient,” says college president Dustin Swanger.
The Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence was created in 1997 to recognize students who have best demonstrated, and have been recognized for, the integration of academic excellence with accomplishments in the areas of leadership, athletics, community service, creative and performing arts, campus involvement, or career achievement.
Each year, SUNY campus presidents establish a selection committee, which reviews the accomplishments of exemplary students. Nominees are then forwarded to the Chancellor’s Office for a second round of review. Finalists are then recommended to the Chancellor to become recipients of the award.