Geneseo Students Earn 2023 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence

Josephine "Jo" Lewis '23, left, and Rocio Ruiz '23 (SUNY Geneseo photo/Matt Burkhartt)

Josephine "Jo" Lewis '23, left, and Rocio Ruiz '23. (SUNY Geneseo photo/Matt Burkhartt)

Josephine "Jo" Lewis '23 and Rocio Ruiz '23 have received the 2023 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence for their academic and extracurricular successes and leadership. 

Lewis and Ruiz are among 200 students to earn the award this year. Recipients are invited to attend an event Monday, April 24, in Albany, in which SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr. will present each recipient with a medallion.

Lewis, a communication major, double minors in conflict studies and Africana studies. In her nomination, she is recognized as a student scholar-athlete and Presidential Scholar, while also being a member of the indoor and outdoor track and field teams, a student mentor, and a dynamic student leader.

As a "force" behind diversity, equity, and belonging efforts at Geneseo, the nomination says, Lewis helped develop and chairs Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee training for student-athletes and staff, among other activities. She also serves as a student mentor and has been a teaching assistant. Lewis earned the Jason and Diana Kyrwood '95 Student/Faculty Research Endowed Fellowship to explore how allyship is successfully experienced for student-athletes. She will present her research during the 2023 GREAT Day. Lewis earned the Dr. Amy Tolbert '85 Annual Scholarship in Communication for her academic and co-curricular achievements in oral, written, or visual communication. 

Ruiz is a communication major who is engaged in several initiatives, clubs, and offices on campus. She is a SUNY Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) student ambassador as well as a host and executive producer at WGSU, the campus radio station. She previously served as a public speaking teaching assistant, an EOP mentor for the Summer Scholars, a member of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, a resident assistant in the hall dedicated to diversity and inclusion, and as an intergroup dialogue facilitator for the Office of Diversity and Equity. She holds a certificate in dialogue facilitation. She is also a member of the Latinx Student Association.

Ruiz was also an intern for the Office of Admissions, where she assisted students in the college application process, led campus tours in Spanish, and was active in supporting prospective students, including those from lower-income households.


Kris Dreessen
Manager of Editorial Services
(585) 245-5516