Caitlin Kennedy and Ashley Kersting Presented with Prestigious Honor During Albany Event

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – SUNY Orange’s Caitlin Kennedy and Ashley Kersting were among 249 State University of New York students honored today in Albany when they received the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, the most prestigious honor bestowed upon community college students in the SUNY system.

In recognition of their outstanding academic performance, Kennedy and Kersting each received a framed certificate and medallion, which is traditionally worn at Commencement, during a luncheon in Albany.

“The students we honor today have excelled academically and taken advantage of what SUNY has to offer in and outside the classroom,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher at today’s awards ceremony. “These students are proven leaders, athletes, artists, community servants, and much more. They represent the future of our state and are perfect examples of The Power of SUNY. I congratulate all of the students receiving recognition today and thank them for the positive impact each of them has had on SUNY and the communities we serve.”

Kennedy, of Walden, completed her liberal arts degree requirements during this past Fall semester. She has been an active campus leader, having served as secretary and, later, president of the student Board of Activities. She has also been a student orientation leader and has volunteered for community fundraising efforts to include Toys for Tots and the SUNY Orange Adopt-A-Family program. She also organized a student leader retreat involving the Student Senate and the Board of Activities.

Kersting, a Monroe resident, is on track to graduate this May with a degree in criminal justice. In addition to her strong performance in the classroom, which includes three appearances on the Dean’s List, Kersting is a two-year member of the SUNY Orange women’s softball team. She also is an aviation supply specialist in the U.S. Marine Corps, where she has earned the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal and Good Conduct Medal. Kersting also volunteers her time to assist with fundraisers for several local charities.

The Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence was created 14 years ago 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 or career achievement. The average grade point average (GPA) for all recipients this year was 3.8.

Each campus establishes a selection committee, which reviews exemplary members of that college community who are graduating. 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 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence. The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States, educating more than 467,000 students in more than 7,500 degree and certificate programs on 64 campuses with more than 3 million alumni around the globe.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940