Molly McNeely and Nick Zazzi Earn SUNY Chancellor’s Award; Zazzi and Eneida Post Cited by Phi Theta Kappa

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. -- SUNY Orange’s Molly McNeely, Eneida Post and Nicholas Zazzi were among more than 300 State University of New York students honored this past Thursday in Albany as SUNY presented 243 students with the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence while 73 students received all-state academic awards from Phi Theta Kappa, the national honor society for community college students.

PHOTO: Nick ZazziZazzi (right) was a double winner Thursday, joining his fellow PTK award recipients at a luncheon where he was named to the All New York Community College Academic second team before later accepting his Chancellor’s Award, the most prestigious honor bestowed upon community college students in the SUNY system, during an afternoon celebration. McNeely was also presented with the Chancellor’s Award in the afternoon.

Post, meanwhile, was heralded at the PTK luncheon by being named first-team academic all-state by the honor society. She is the first SUNY Orange student in more than a decade to be named to the first team.

“The students we honor today have strong records of achievement as student leaders, scholar athletes, aspiring artists and community volunteers,” said SUNY Chancellor Dr. Nancy L. Zimpher. “By exhibiting excellence in class, on campus, and in their local communities, these students truly represent the power of SUNY and we honor them with great pride. Congratulations to all the students being recognized today.”

In recognition of their having been named a Chancellor’s Award winner, McNeeely and Zazzi each received a framed certificate and medallion, which is traditionally worn at Commencement.

A graduate of Newburgh Free Academy, Zazzi is a member of the College’s Honors Program, has earned mention on the Dean’s List three times and plans to graduate in May with a liberal arts degree (economics emphasis). He is a peer advisor and a Student Ambassador, working with his fellow students to make their SUNY Orange experience as impactful as possible. He is president of the College’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter and serves as a voting member of the Honors Advisory Board. He is also an Eagle Scout.

McNeely is also a member of the College’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter and a product of SUNY Orange’s Honors Program. The Middletown resident has been named to the Dean’s List three times and is on track to graduate in May with a liberal arts degree (English emphasis). She founded, and serves as president, of the student English Club, has organized voter registration drives at the College and has volunteered at a variety of cultural and social events for students and the community. Last fall, McNeely volunteered for Sean Patrick Maloney’s successful United States Congressional election campaign and during the winter break she was an intern for President Barack Obama’s Inaugural Committee.

Both McNeely and Zazzi also were selected to make presentations at the prestigious Northeast Regional Honors Council Conference this weekend in Philadelphia, Pa. Zazzi will discuss standardized testing while McNeely will address discrimination in contemporary America.

PHOTO: Eneida PostPost (left), of Middletown, arrived at SUNY Orange in 2011 after losing her job. Despite having been away from the classroom for many years, she has excelled academically. A three-time member of the Dean’s List, she is poised to earn a business administration degree this summer. She is a member of the student Business Club, serves as a Student Ambassador and is vice president of the College’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter.

The Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence was created 15 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.

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 468,000 students in more than 7,500 degree and certificate programs on 64 campuses with more than 3 million alumni around the globe.

The Phi Theta Kappa Award Ceremony recognizes outstanding community college students throughout the state. The ceremony is sponsored annually by NYCCT (New York Community College Trustees) together with the New York Community College Association of Presidents and the Faculty Council of Community Colleges.


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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940