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2011 SUNY Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence

Four SUNY Plattsburgh students are among the 2011 recipients of the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, which recognizes seniors who demonstrate academic excellence integrated with leadership, community service, arts, athletics or career achievement.

“The students we honor have excelled academically and taken advantage of what SUNY has to offer outside the classroom,” SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher said. “These students are proven leaders, athletes, artists, community servants and much more.”

Photo of Alison LutzAlison Lutz, a presidential scholar and Killam Fellow, graduated summa cum laude in December 2010 with a degree in mathematics. She was on the dean’s list for seven semesters, is a member of several honor societies and is founding president of the Mathematics Honor Society. In addition, the Morrisonville native has been an active volunteer, performer and musician.“Alison Lutz is the student we all dream of having in our classes, the luminous face to whom we address our best remarks, the scholar and writer who intersects with us joyfully for a season before she passes beyond us,” wrote Dr. Ann Tracy, SUNY distinguished teaching professor of English emeritus. “Nobody is more alive than Alison, nobody more open. Further, she is remarkable for both her depth and her breadth.”

Photo of Joshua Coons
Joshua Coons, who graduated in December 2010 with a bachelor’s in anthropology, is a recipient of several awards and scholarships and was on the dean’s list for six semesters. His DNA research led to presentations at various conferences and earned him a second-place award at the Northeast Regional Sigma Xi Conference. The Ellenburg Depot native served as a teaching assistant and is a member of three national honor societies.

“Mr. Coons’ work is of such high caliber and importance that, at my urging, he will present a poster at the national meeting of American Association of Physical Anthropologists, the central organization of our profession,” wrote Dr. Mark Cohen, SUNY distinguished professor of anthropology.

Photo of Jessica BakemanJessica Bakeman, a senior presidential scholar double majoring in journalism and English, served as editor-in-chief of Cardinal Points, the award-winning, student-run newspaper. The Rochester native has received several awards and scholarships; served as a teaching and research assistant; received several competitive internships; and has been on the dean’s list for seven semesters.“In my 18 years of teaching college, I have encountered few students like Ms. Bakeman,” wrote Shawn Murphy, journalism department chair and Cardinal Points’ faculty adviser. “She is the perfect combination of traits: bright and capable, yet humble; energetic and driven, yet focused; vivacious and lively, yet calm. Quite honestly, she’s one of the best students I’ve ever worked with, and she’s also one of the most personable.”

Photo of Erica Lynn OlmsteadErica Lynn Olmstead, a presidential scholar and senior psychology major, is the former co-chair of Sexual Orientation Ubiquity League, a member of the Minor Adjustments a cappella singing group and a founding member of the North Country Lumber Jills, the local Roller Derby team. The Peru native has served as a teaching and research assistant and a psychology tutor. She was also on the dean’s list for seven semesters and presented research at a regional conference.“Erica is an extremely conscientious and thoughtful young woman whose academic abilities are matched by her motivation to succeed,” wrote Dr. William S. Tooke, professor of psychology. “She is remarkably professional and mature in her interpersonal demeanor for someone at this stage of her training.”


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