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April 3, 2014

Nine local students earn SUNY's top honors

By Jessica Reynolds Staff Writer
The Daily Star

---- — Nine elite students attending local State University of New York colleges were honored at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany on Wednesday for their scholastic accomplishments and overall excellence.

Two students from SUNY Cobleskill, two students from SUNY Delhi and four students from SUNY Oneonta were presented with the 2014 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, and one SUNY Delhi student received an award from Phi Theta Kappa, a national honor society, according to a Wednesday media release.

The local students were honored alongside 291 other college students from SUNY colleges across the state. SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher congratulated the individuals and said students honored with the Chancellor’s Award and Phi Theta Kappa award “truly embody the power of SUNY.”

“As proven leaders and role models, scholar athletes, creative artists, and civic volunteers, each student is recognized not just for academic achievement, but also for the profound impact they have on college campuses and local communities across New York State,” Zimpher said. “Congratulations to all of the students being recognized today.”

Established in 1997, the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence was created 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, according to the release. Each recipient of the Chancellor’s Award receives a framed certificate and medallion, traditionally worn at commencement.

Students who received the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence include SUNY Delhi students Virginia Giles, of South Kortright; and Drew Laemmermann, of Watertown; SUNY Oneonta students Ashley Ly, of Walton; Raymond Boss, of Macedon; Kaylee Herzog, of Delmar; and Mifuyu Otsuka, of Tokyo, Japan; and SUNY Cobleskill students Earl Brady, of Columbia; and Tracee Schiebel, of Vernon.

Leiane Troescher, a student at SUNY Delhi, received the Phi Theta Kappa Award, which recognizes outstanding community college students throughout New York. As a recipient of the award, Troescher has been named a member of the 2014 All New York Community College Academic Team. 

Ly, a Delaware County native and Biochemistry major with a 3.74 grade point average, spoke to The Daily Star on her way home from the award ceremony in Albany. SUNY Oneonta President Nancy Kleniewski attended the ceremony, she said, along with two of the other award winners from SUNY Oneonta.

Ly brought along her mother, father, boyfriend and chemistry professor, Jacqueline Bennett, who nominated Ly for the award and with whom Ly conducted extensive scientific research during her years at SUNY Oneonta. Ly, 22, said it was nice to meet Chancellor Zimpher who, she said, was a “really nice lady” and gave the award winners a “pep talk,” congratulating them for their hard work. Ly said she’s grateful for her Chancellor’s Award.

“It’s recognition of all the hard work I’ve been doing for the last four years,” Ly said, “and all the effort I’ve put into my time at SUNY Oneonta.”

A senior at SUNY Oneonta, Ly has worked on several research projects as a member of SUNY Oneonta’s Building a Legacy of Outstanding New Developments and Excellence in Science organization. Last month, she presented her research at a national American Chemical Society conference in Dallas which, she said, was “huge” and a great experience. Ly said she has also worked as a teaching assistant, high school chemistry tutor, resident adviser, resident manager for the Morris Conference Center, Call Center agent and campus tour guide.

Outside of the classroom, Ly has been involved in many different musical programs at SUNY Oneonta, she said. She is first chair violinist and concert master for the college’s Chamber Orchestra and has played violin in other campus productions, including “The Fairy Queen” opera in January and “Of Thee I Sing” last spring. Ly said she plans to continue her studies at Wingate School of Pharmacy in North Carolina this fall. 

“They say getting in is the hardest part,” Ly said, of the school’s program, “so I think I’m in the home stretch.”