Four SUNY New Paltz students receive Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence and recognition by Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities
NEW PALTZ – Four SUNY New Paltz seniors received the 2012 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence and have been recognized by Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. Jeremy Borrelli (’12), Alexandra Danz (’12), Kristofer Pistillo (’12), and Ayanna Thomas (’12) were among 257 students from SUNY campuses throughout the state honored at a ceremony in Albany on April 4.
The Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence was created in 1997 to recognize students who have best demonstrated, and been recognized for, the integration of academic excellence with accomplishments in the areas of leadership, athletics, community service, creative and performing arts or career achievement. A selection committee, appointed by each college’s president, nominates graduating seniors who meet the criteria. Nominees are then forwarded to the Chancellor’s Office for a second round of review before final recommendations are sent to the Chancellor.
Commenting on this year’s honorees, SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher stated, “These proven leaders, athletes, artists, and civic volunteers truly represent the power of SUNY. I congratulate all of the students being recognized and thank them for the positive impact each has had on New York State, our university system and the communities we serve.”
Borelli, a anthropology major, is from Vestal, N.Y. He is the New Paltz Archeological Field School crew chief, a student research assistant, and a Leadership Academy participant. He is also the captain of the men’s varsity swimming team and holds an advanced open water SCUBA certification.
Danz is an adolescence education: earth science major from East Islip, N.Y. Her accomplishments include: serving as student activities manager for two years and as a teaching assistant for Mineralogy; participation in the Department of Geology’s summer field experience at the Grand Canyon; induction into the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society; and recognition as an Emerging Leader graduate and mentor.
Pistillo, a psychology/communications studies double major from Mahopac, N.Y., has been on the Dean’s List for seven consecutive semesters. He is the creator of DubStep into Leadership, the first student-run leadership program at SUNY New Paltz that won the regional Student Award for Leadership Training and was nominated for national recognition. He was selected Spring 2010 Club Leader of the Year for outstanding dedication and involvement in the Residence Hall Student Association and inducted into the National Residence Hall Honorary, representing the top one percent of student leaders on campus. Pistillo also served as senior orientation leader, community development assistant and student ambassador for the campus.
Thomas, from Flushing, N.Y. is majoring in political science. She is the vice president of academic and student affairs for the college’s Student Association and for the African Women’s Alliance; a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honors society; and a writing tutor for the New Paltz Tutoring Center. She has also interned for Assemblywoman Nettie Mayersohn, the corporate law firm of Kelley Drye and Warren LLP, and 1199 SEIU Benefit and Pensions Fund.
Each Chancellor’s Award recipient received a framed certificate and medallion, which is traditionally worn at commencement.
In addition, the four students were also recognized by Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. Known as one of the most highly regarded and long-standing honors programs in the nation, Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities has earned the respect of college faculties and administrations.
Selections are made each fall by individual schools. Campus nominating committees, composed of representatives from the faculty, administration and student body, nominate the upper-classmen and graduate students who are eligible for the program. The selections are made based on GPA, participation and leadership within the college and extracurricular activities, community involvement, and future leadership ability and/or potential. Colleges also may have other requirements that they take into consideration. More than 2,842 schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia confer this honor.
Located in the heart of a dynamic college town, 90 minutes from metropolitan New York City, the State University of New York at New Paltz is a highly selective college of about 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
One of the most well-regarded public colleges in the nation, New Paltz delivers an extraordinary number of majors in Business, Liberal Arts, Sciences, Engineering, Fine and Performing Arts and Education.
New Paltz embraces its culture as a community where talented and independent minded people from around the world create close personal links with real scholars and artists who love to teach.