The Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence was created in 1997 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.
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.
“The students we honor have taken full advantage of the academic and extracurricular programs that SUNY provides both in the classroom and in the community,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “These proven leaders, athletes, artists, and civic volunteers truly represent the power of SUNY. I congratulate all of the students being recognized today and thank them for the positive impact each has had on New York State, our university system, and the communities we serve.”
Jacob M. Bleasdale | Biomedical Sciences
Jacob Bleasdale of Depew, New York, graduates with a bachelor of science in biomedical sciences with minors in pharmacology and toxicology, as well as in public health. Bleasdale is a University Honors College Scholar and has conducted research at the School of Public Health and Health Professions, the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and the Erie County Medical Center. Bleasdale has served as a teaching assistant in the Department of Biological Sciences and the University Honors College, an intern in the Intercultural and Diversity Center and a health educator with the Erie County Department of Health.
Dylan N. Burns | Architecture and Urban Planning
Dylan Burns of Buffalo, New York, graduates with a master of architecture and a master of urban planning. A Western New York Prosperity Fellow and a Presidential Scholar, Burns participated in the Fulbright Commission Summer Institute. He volunteered as house leader for Habitat for Humanity and served as an architecture studio teaching assistant and research fellow in the IDeA Center. Burns was part of UB’s GRoW Home team, which won second place in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon in 2015.
Julia Anne Cordani | Linguistics and Music Performance
Julia Cordani of Lewiston, New York, graduates with a bachelor of arts in linguistics and a bachelor of music in music performance. Cordani is a University Honors College Scholar and served the college as a teaching assistant. She has worked as a research assistant in the Department of Linguistics while studying the Seneca language, and is an avid performer for the Department of Music and in the Buffalo community. Cordani also volunteers with the music education nonprofits Buffalo String Works and Buffalo Girlchoir.
Destiny Diaz | Mathematics
Destiny Diaz of Buffalo, New York, graduates with a bachelor of science in mathematics and a minor in Spanish. Diaz is a University Honors College Scholar and an ambassador for the College of Arts and Sciences. She is a Western New York Prosperity Fellow and volunteered on an Alternative Spring Break trip to the Dominican Republic. Diaz has also completed research dedicated to increasing STEM enrollment and works at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center as a research apprentice.
Benjamin Gutsin | Business Administration
Benjamin Gutsin of Orchard Park, New York, graduates with a bachelor of science in business administration. Gutsin is both a University Honors College Scholar and a member of the School of Management Honors Program. He has been a teaching assistant for several courses, a representative to the Intercollegiate Athletics Board and a research assistant for UB’s Behavioral Medicine lab. Gutsin currently serves as the clinic manager for Cornerstone Manor, a shelter for homeless women and children.
Gunnar J. Haberl | Political Science and Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Gunnar Haberl of Elma, New York, graduates with a bachelor of arts in political science and in the legal studies concentration of the Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Program, as well as a minor in education leadership and policy for equity. Haberl is a University Honors College Scholar and president of the undergraduate Student Association. He won a fellowship through the Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress and was nominated for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship. He has worked as a legislative aide in the New York State Assembly and serves on the Iroquois School District’s Board of Education.
Shaun Nowicki | English
Shaun Nowicki of Hamburg, New York, graduates with a bachelor of arts in English and a certificate in creative writing. Nowicki, a University Honors College Scholar, has been president of the undergraduate English club, a teaching assistant and an ambassador for the English department and an editor of NAME Magazine. He has also worked as a crew member for the Department of Theatre and Dance’s production of “10 out of 12” and was co-dramaturge for the department’s production of “Julius Caesar.”
Katherine O’Donnell | Biomedical Sciences
Katherine O’Donnell of Williamsville, New York, graduates with a bachelor of science in biomedical sciences and a minor in nutrition. A University Honors College Scholar, O’Donnell is a published author, president of the Association of Pre-Medical Students and a tour guide for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. She has presented her research on nutrition and exercise at the annual conference of the American College of Sports Medicine. O’Donnell is also an artist and a teaching assistant at Buffalo String Works.
Jessie A. Pelosi | Biological Sciences and Environmental Geosciences
Jessie Pelosi of Guilford, Connecticut, graduates with a bachelor of arts in biological sciences and a bachelor of science in environmental geosciences. A University Honors College Scholar and Biological Sciences Honors Scholar, Pelosi received a UB Excellence in Research, Scholarship and Creativity Award. He helped develop a community outreach program introducing students to environmental awareness. Pelosi also leads research projects at the Buffalo Undersea Reef Research lab that are focused on evolutionary ecology and coral bleaching.
Cheryl L. Porzi | Occupational Therapy
Cheryl Porzi of Buffalo, New York, graduates with a combined bachelor and master of occupational therapy and a minor in nutrition. Porzi is a University Honors College Scholar, president of the Occupational Therapy Honor Society and vice president of her graduating class. She has held leadership positions in the Residence Hall Association, National Residence Hall Honorary, undergraduate Student Association and Faculty Student Association. She has also been a research assistant and a teaching assistant, and has submitted her first book for publication.
Julia V. Quebral | Mathematics and Physics
Julia Quebral of Williamsville, New York, graduates with a bachelor of arts in mathematics and a bachelor of science in physics. Quebral is a University Honors College Scholar and a Physics Honor Society member. She has served one year as president of the Society of Physics Students. Quebral visited Montana State University as a solar physics Research Experiences for Undergraduates student, completing a project on solar flares. She also has served as concertmaster for the UB Symphony Orchestra.
Tara N. Strade | English and Psychology
Tara Strade of Orchard Park, New York, graduates with a bachelor of arts in English and psychology with a minor in education. A University Honors College Scholar, Strade is a senior resident adviser and vice president of the UB American Sign Language Club. She has served as a teaching assistant for the Honors Colloquium, conducted social psychology research, served as a writing tutor and acted as a mentor for the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership with the Buffalo Public Schools.
Conor J. Sullivan | Business Administration
Conor Sullivan of Lancaster, New York, graduates with a bachelor of science in business administration with a minor in music performance. A University Honors College Scholar and Western New York Prosperity Fellow, Sullivan has volunteered with a dozen local community organizations. He serves as a teaching assistant for the Department of Economics and the University Honors College, as well as a Leadership House peer mentor. Sullivan is a cellist and performs regularly throughout Western New York.
Anthony R. Taboni | Mathematics and Political Science
Anthony Taboni of Tonawanda, New York, graduates with a bachelor of arts in mathematics and political science. A University Honors College Scholar, Taboni has been president of the Honors Student Council, a SUNY SA delegate, an Honors ambassador, a Faculty Student Association board member and a teaching assistant. Winner of the Robert Stern Award for Best Undergraduate Political Science Paper, Taboni worked as a research assistant, contributing to an analysis of publishing decisions made by U.S. Courts of Appeals.
Last updated: November 13, 2019 11:19 am EST