Genesee Community College is pleased to announce four students have been named 2014 recipients of the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence. They are Michelle Nagle, Yuki Sasao, Emmeline Vacanti and Kelly Wetherby were recognized recently at an awards ceremony in Albany. Each recipient received a framed certificate and a medallion, which is traditionally worn at Commencement.
The Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence was created in 1997 to recognize students who have best demonstrated the integration of academic excellence and extracurricular achievements. 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.
This year's honorees from Genesee Community College:
Michelle Nagle, 19, is a key member of the GCC women's volleyball team. She has earned honors as athlete of the week and was named the Western New York Athletic Conference Player of the Year in 2013, when she helped the Cougars capture their 18th consecutive Region III Division II title. Nagle, a native of Randolph, is studying Tourism and Hospitality and dreams of one day becoming an event planner. She's spent spring semester 2014 in Orlando, Fla., participating in the Disney College program. Michelle plans to continue her education at Niagara University. She's glad to have started at GCC. "I enjoy the small class sizes and the teachers are friendly and caring." Michelle is the daughter of Tim and Loni Nagle. She has a brother, Travis, and a sister, Jessica.
In Japanese, Yuki Sasao's full name looks like this 笹尾 侑希. The 20-year old came to GCC from Fukuokoa, Japan. She's pursuing a degree in Liberal Arts and Business Administration and plans to continue her education at a SUNY four year school, with the ultimate goal of becoming a CPA (Certified Public Accountant). Yuki plays lacrosse for GCC and earned Academic All Conference from the Western New York Athletic Conference and Exemplary Academic Achievement from the National Junior College Athletic Association. She is also a work study student, an officer in three clubs and an active member of the college's chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, for which she is the web developer. At GCC Yuki says she has found "lots of help from faculty and staff, unlimited possibilities and affordable tuition!" She is the daughter of Matsumi and Kiyotaka and has two siblings, a sister Haruki and a brother Kouki.
Emmeline Vacanti is a Teacher Education Major at GCC and hopes to one day become an elementary school teacher. She is a President's List student and an active member of Education Club, through which she has participated in many service-learning projects and professional development workshops. This semester she is participating in the Disney College Program, working at the theme park in Orlando, Florida. Emmeline loves GCC for "all of the diverse opportunities including numerous clubs and studying abroad." Upon graduation, she plans to continue her studies at Nazareth College. A native of Alexander, Emmeline graduated from Alexander Central School in 2011. Emmeline is the daughter of Michael and Peggy Vacanti and has two siblings, Eliza and Ben.
Kelly Wetherby, 20, came to GCC because of its highly regarded Fashion Merchandising program. She's studying both Fashion Merchandising and Event Planning and dreams of one day being a wedding planner. Following her studies at GCC, she plans to transfer to Buffalo State for one year and then complete her senior year at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. She's grateful for GCC professors. "They take the time to not only teach us the material but motivate us to continue learning outside of the classroom as well," she says. Kelly hails from Allegany, NY and is a 2012 graduate of Allegany-Limestone High School. She is the daughter of Dean and Deanna Wetherby.
"We salute these exemplary students," said GCC President James Sunser. "They have maximized the opportunities GCC offers and serve as an example to all students. With hard work comes success."
Recipients of Chancellor's Awards have an overall GPA of 3.8 and records of significant contributions to their campuses and communities. This year 274 students were recognized for their remarkable achievements.
"Students honored with the Chancellor's Award for Excellence truly embody the power of SUNY," said Chancellor Nancy Zimpher. "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."