Students Recognized For Excellence

Photo By Robin Weinstein

Five SUNY New Paltz students have been chosen to receive the Chancellor’s Awards for Student Excellence.

According to President Donald Christian’s March Faculty Report, these students “demonstrate exceptional achievement in their academic and other endeavors, and have excelled in a variety of leadership roles.”

The recipients of this year’s awards are Faith Hassell, Kimberly Lepore, Destiny Denise Saldivar, Marissa Stephani and Chelsea Stokes.

Hassell, a fourth-year industrial and organizational psychology major, said she is honored to receive this award because it gives recognition to her hard work.

“This award is not something you strive for like a GPA, an Honor Society or an honors distinction on a degree,” Hassell said.  “The Chancellor’s Award is an honor to receive because it is an award one is nominated for by an individual who wants to recognize the dedication to academics and leadership of a student. I was honored to be nominated for this award and ecstatic when I found out I would be a recipient.”

Since she is on the field hockey team, Lepore, a fourth-year psychology and business administration double-major, said she puts a lot of work into her academics and athletics, and is happy to see her efforts recognized.

“As a student-athlete on the field hockey team, I put a lot of time and effort into both my sport and academics,” Lepore said. “I try to get involved in other campus activities as well. I’ve learned how to balance my schedule to accommodate my schoolwork, sports practices, internships and other activities. Receiving the Chancellor’s Award is gratifying because it signifies that my hard work these past four years has not gone unrecognized.”

Having worked as a Resident Assistant (RA), radio station manager and a tutor, Stokes, a fourth-year English major, views this award as a “cherry on top” of everything she has accomplished and been a part of at New Paltz.

“It’s a really big honor, not many students get it. I’ve worked really hard over the past four years.  There’s a lot of people who deserve this award,” Stokes said. “A lot of people have influenced me throughout my time here and I feel like they’ve also helped me get to the point where I could even be nominated for the award.”

Saldivar, a third-year psychology major who is graduating this May, is vice president of the only Latino dance team on campus, has worked as both a peer mentor and an RA and has been involved in the Latin American Student Union.

She said receiving this award was one of her goals and she is very proud to have accomplished it.

“I set a lot of goals for myself, and I am usually the type to get really disappointed if I don’t get what I want, so going for it and getting it, it means a lot,” Saldivar said. “It shows my hard work and puts everything in perspective, so I’m thrilled.”

Christian and Vice President David Rooney will participate in the Chancellor’s Recognition Ceremony in Albany on Thursday, April 4.