SUNY Poly Students McKenzie Albrecht, Garrett Hassard Among 180 SUNY Students Receiving 2022 Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence
SUNY Awards 180 Students with the Highest Honor for Academic Excellence and Leadership
For Immediate Release: Wednesday, April 27, 2022
Albany, NY – State University of New York honored 180 students from 61 campuses as part of the 2022 Chancellor’s Awards for Student Excellence (CASE). CASE is the highest honor awarded to SUNY students who have best demonstrated academic excellence and leadership.
"Now more than ever, it is time to celebrate the accomplishments of our students who have helped one another get through this global pandemic and focus on getting the most out of their college education, and this year’s CASE winners are at the top of the class," said SUNY Interim Chancellor Deborah F. Stanley. "It is my great honor to celebrate the fortitude, leadership, and achievements of this year’s winners, and I applaud their hard work and desire to do more for their campuses and fellow students. I, for one, can’t wait to see what they do next."
SUNY Board Trustee Keith Landa said, “The students we recognize are the epitome of what one can accomplish with a SUNY education. These students have displayed impactful campus and community leadership, achieved academic greatness, and will graduate as the next generation of influential changemakers. Congratulations to all of the winners and thank you for your hard work throughout your careers as proud SUNY students—you truly are incredible.”
SUNY Binghamton alumna Fatima Shama, who is the keynote speaker for this year’s celebration, said, "These exemplary students represent what it means to dream bigger, work harder, and reach higher. To achieve excellence, they have had to overcome personal, financial, and educational boundaries, and persevere in the face of adversity. Today, we applaud them and see them for who they really are—the leaders of tomorrow. The changemakers. The visionaries. Congratulations."
The Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence was created in 1997. This year, CASE includes five Student Veteran Service Awards in addition to special honors for overcoming the odds, mental health, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Here are some of the statements from this year’s winners:
Paulina Jaskiewicz, SUNY Westchester Community College, said, “Winning the SUNY Chancellor Award means a great deal to me. As an international student living in the USA by myself and being a first-generation immigrant, I had a hard time adapting to a new reality, but SUNY helped me to believe in my potential and get the most out of the opportunities that came my way. I want to continue inspiring others to take action and fight for what they believe so that we can all create a better world together.”
Abdullah Hassan, Stony Brook University, said, “Winning the Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence is a culmination of my experiences in college, acknowledging the struggles and hard work that I have put in along the way. It is an honor to have that recognized at such a level, and for that, I am extremely grateful to everyone who has helped me along the way, from dedicated professors to my friends and family. After earning my degree, I plan to attend medical school to make an impact in this world as a physician. I hope to be a force of good in the world, seeking not only to improve my patients' health but to also empower them through the knowledge to understand it on their own.”
Habib Affinnih, University at Albany, said, “Whether it was through my academic tutoring, mentorship, research, clubs, or sports, I always tried to make a positive impact on those around me. Being selected as a recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence is a truly humbling and inspiring honor for me, because it indicates that the actions I've taken throughout my college career have touched my community and beyond for the better. As I begin my next chapter as a software engineer, I will be putting my computer science knowledge to use towards advancing our mission of solving problems for a safer world.”
Christopher Goonan, SUNY ESF, said, “Receiving this award is an incredible honor because it shows SUNY's commitment to veterans and military connected families. It is also humbling to know that I've made an impact on my peers and advisors to the point that they would nominate me. I plan on using my degree in natural resources management to do good in this world by protecting the people, lands, waters, and living and natural resources of the State of New York.”
Mackenzy McMorris, SUNY New Paltz, said, “SUNY New Paltz has taught me that hard work and discipline pay off in the long run; change does not happen overnight. I plan to use my degrees to do good in this world by continuing to build upon myself to be the best person I can be for my family and those around me. I will strive for success, further develop my passions, and be an inspiration for my little brothers as well. Through Business Finance and Black studies, these majors have instilled in me a solid work ethic backed by a social conscience I will use to navigate this world as a person of color and solidify my passion for helping others.”
Jadesola Temitope Olayinka, Downstate Health Sciences University, said, “It is an honor to be selected for this award. I am grateful for my mentors at SUNY Downstate for their teaching, support, and guidance all these years. It has been a privilege to learn from them, and be able to serve my home institution and the surrounding community. I plan to use my MD degree to continue to work with and advocate for marginalized communities and to provide excellent care to my future patients.”
About The State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.3 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2021, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu.