For Immediate Release —April 23, 2009
David Irwin
Media Relations Manager
(585) 245-5516

Four Geneseo Students Receive 2009 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence

GENESEO, N.Y. – Four students from the State University of New York at Geneseo have been honored with a 2009 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence.  All are seniors.

Receiving the awards from SUNY Vice Chancellor and Officer-in-Charge John J. O’Connor are Laura Iafrati from Hilton, N.Y.;  Scott Morton from Syracuse, N.Y.;  Seth Palmer from Bainbridge, N.Y.; and Chad Salitan from Macedon, N.Y.  All four will graduate in May.

“A rigorous three-part process that begins at our campuses evaluates not only each student’s academic, artistic and athletics performance, but also their service to the community,” said O’Connor.  “It is my pleasure to congratulate this year’s recipients, their families and the campuses for their remarkable achievements.  These students are truly the best of the best at SUNY today.”

The award was created 12 years ago to recognize students who have best demonstrated, and been recognized for, the integration of academic excellence with accomplishments in leadership, athletics, community service, creative and performing arts or career achievement.  The average grade point average for all recipients this year is 3.77.

Iafrati is a four-time recipient of the Chancellor’s Scholars Athlete Award and a member of the “ESPN The Magazine” Academic All-District First Team in 2008.  She has been named to the dean’s list each semester, while serving as a teaching intern and volunteering in several community organizations, including a work trip to Mississippi to help rebuild houses after Hurricane Katrina.  A member of two honor societies, Iafrati has been inducted into the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Hall of Fame and was a member of the Eastern College Athletic Conference regional championship team in 2007 and 2008.

Morton holds four prestigious scholarships and has been named to the dean’s or president’s list each semester while maintaining active involvement in several campus, School of Business and athletic organizations.  He chairs the Student Athletic Advisory Committee.  He has made the SUNYAC All-Academic Team, Commissioner’s List and received the Chancellor’s Scholar-Athlete Award for multiple years.  He is the first Geneseo athlete to be named an “ESPN The Magazine” Academic All-American in the college division by the College Sports Information Directors of America.  He also was one of 10 finalists for the prestigious Jostens Trophy this year, which honors the nation’s most outstanding Division III basketball players of the year.

Palmer has conducted international field work in Mexico, has received multiple awards for excellence in anthropology and is a Geneseo Edgar Scholar, which entails honors courses, research opportunities and close work with honors advisers.  He has been nominated by Geneseo for a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship.  Palmer is a Geneseo Presidential Scholar and has been on the dean’s list every semester.  He is a leader for FACE AIDS as well as a volunteer with the Geneseo Migrant Worker Center. 

Salitan has held several leadership positions, including public relations director in student government, leader mentor in Geneseo’s GOLD leadership program and chairman of Geneseo’s Federal  Challenge Team.  He is president and co-founder of the campus American Red Cross chapter.  A member of five honor societies, Salitan has had several volunteer and service-learning experiences, including teaching English and helping to advance economic development programs in El Sauce, Nicaragua.