SUNY Poly Students Earn SUNY's Highest Honor

SUNY Poly Students Earn SUNY's Highest Honor

Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 16:25
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For Release:                 Immediate - March 26, 2015

Contact:                       Jerry Gretzinger, Vice President of Strategic Communications and Public Relations

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Two To Receive Chancellor’s Award At Albany Ceremony April 2

Utica, NY – Serving as a testament to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s commitment to providing world class academic opportunities throughout New York State, SUNY Polytechnic Institute today announced students Jenjira May Htoo of Utica and Jeffrey Reed of Broadalbin will receive this year’s Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence. This special award honors SUNY students who have best demonstrated and been recognized for their integration of academic excellence with leadership, athletics, career achievement, community service, or creative and performing arts. Htoo and Reed will be honored April 2 at a ceremony at the Empire State Convention Center in Albany recognizing Chancellor’s Award recipients from across the state.

“SUNY Poly is deeply committed to community and extremely proud of May and Jeffrey for their dedication and passion for helping others,” Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, President and CEO of SUNY Polytechnic Institute. “We congratulate them on their well-deserved selection for the Chancellor’s Award and are honored to have them as members of the SUNY Poly family. They are an example for us all.”

“May and Jeffrey truly embody the essence of SUNY Poly,” said Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Robert Geer. “They are being recognized not just for their achievements in the classrooms, but the impact they’ve made throughout the campus and the surrounding community.”

“What we learn in the classroom is one thing, but how we take that knowledge and put it to use for the good of others is truly a mark of innovation and success,” said Dr. William Durgin, SUNY Poly Provost. “These two Chancellor’s Award winners are excellent examples of the kind of students that come through the doors of SUNY Poly – intelligent, creative, dedicated and compassionate.”

Htoo, a graduate student pursuing a Master of Science degree in Information and Design Technology, helped found and is an active member of a regional student group that helps refugees begin new lives in Utica and organizes activities to promote peace and understanding between cultures. Coming from the persecuted Karen ethnic group in Burma and growing up in a Thai refugee camp, she has put her experiences to use at several campus events designed to spread awareness about refugee lives and struggles, and was invited to be a guest lecturer at Webster University to share her perspectives on war and conflict in Burma.

Reed, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering Technology in December 2014, volunteered to coordinate student mentors for a series of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) workshops for inner city, elementary school children. Reaching out beyond his Electrical Engineering focus, Reed brought other technology majors and numerous female students to the fold to act as role models. He is currently leading a 2015 team to develop a nonprofit organization to help educate the State of New York about the responsibilities of e-cycling and to establish a network to effectively recycle e-waste in NYS.

The Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence was created in 1997. Each year, campus presidents establish a selection committee, which reviews exemplary students. Nominees are then forwarded to the Chancellor’s Office and are subject to a second round of review. Finalists are then recommended to the Chancellor to become recipients of the award. Each recipient receives a framed certificate and medallion, which is traditionally worn at commencement.




SUNY Polytechnic Institute.SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) is New York’s globally recognized, high-tech educational ecosystem, formed from the merger of the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and SUNY Institute of Technology. SUNY Poly offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience and nanoengineering, as well as cutting-edge nanobioscience and nanoeconomics programs at its Albany campus, and degrees in technology, professional studies, and the arts and sciences at its Utica/Rome campus. As the world’s most advanced, university-driven research enterprise, SUNY Poly boasts more than $20 billion in high-tech investments, over 300 corporate partners, and maintains a statewide footprint. The 1.3 million-square-foot Albany NanoTech megaplex is home to more than 3,500 scientists, researchers, engineers, students, faculty, and staff, in addition to Tech Valley High School. The Utica/Rome campus offers a unique high-tech learning environment, providing academic programs in technology, including engineering, cybersecurity, computer science, and the engineering technologies; professional studies, including business, communication, and nursing; and arts and sciences, with degrees and course offerings in natural sciences, mathematics, humanities, and social sciences. Thriving athletic, recreational, and cultural programs, events, and activities complement the campus experience. SUNY Poly operates the Smart Cities Technology Innovation Center (SCiTI) at Kiernan Plaza in Albany, the Solar Energy Development Center in Halfmoon, CNSE’s Central New York Hub for Emerging Nano Industries in Syracuse, the Photovoltaic Manufacturing and Technology Development Facility in Rochester, and the Smart System Technology and Commercialization Center (STC) in Canandaigua. SUNY Poly founded and manages the Computer Chip Commercialization Center (Quad-C) on its Utica campus and also manages the $500 million New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium, with nodes in Albany and Rochester, as well as the Buffalo High-Tech Manufacturing Innovation Hub at RiverBend, Buffalo Information Technologies Innovation and Commercialization Hub, and Buffalo Medical Innovation and Commercialization Hub. For information visit and