For Immediate Release — Thursday, April 20, 2006

Contact:

Mary E. McCrank

Media Relations Officer

(585) 245-5516

mccrank@geneseo.edu

Five SUNY Geneseo students receive Chancellor's Award

GENESEO, N.Y. — Five students from the State University of New York at Geneseo have been recognized by SUNY Chancellor John R. Ryan with the Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence for being among the university's most outstanding students for 2006.

In all, 270 students from 62 SUNY campuses, with an average grade point average of 3.78 were honored. Geneseo seniors Renne M. Catalano, of Averill Park, N.Y.; Joseph C. Gianfagna, of Watertown, N.Y.; Salvatore F. Priore Jr., of Altamont, N.Y.; Taylor Foster Smith, of Penfield, N.Y.; and Daniel Welchons, of Clinton, N.Y., received the award.

In addition to grade point average, candidates for the Chancellor's Award have demonstrated significant contributions to the greater campus community. Each of the honorees has excelled both in academic achievement and in at least one of the following areas: leadership, athletics, community service, creative and performing arts, or career achievement. This year's awards were presented Monday, April 10, at a ceremony in Albany.

"Recipients of this year's awards have excelled academically and, in many cases, far exceeded even their own expectations in their pursuit of higher education and community involvement," said Chancellor Ryan. "The Chancellor's Award for Excellence is given to the best and the brightest students across the SUNY system. I am pleased to see so many recipients this year from nearly all of our campuses. I commend the campus presidents and their faculty and staff for discovering and enhancing student excellence throughout the year."

Catalano, who graduated in December with her bachelor's in psychology, was a member of the indoor and outdoor track and field and cross country teams for five seasons, serving as captain in 2005. She was named New York State Rookie of the Year in 2000, New York State Most Valuable Player in 2004 and All Area Rochester Cross Country Runner of the Year in 2004. She was an NCAA Division III Outdoor Track All-American in the 10,000 meters event, a five-time NCAA Division III Championship participant in cross country/track, two-time All-Atlantic Region Cross Country Team member, two-time New York State Collegiate Track Conference Cross Country Team member, two-time All-SUNYAC Cross Country Team member, SUNYAC Individual Cross Country Champion, inductee into SUNYAC Cross Country Hall of Fame, two-time New York State Collegiate Track Conference Indoor Track Champion in the 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters events, three-time SUNYAC Indoor Track Champion in the 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters, and New York State Collegiate Track Conference Outdoor Track Champion in the 10,000 meters. While Catalano was a team member, the indoor/outdoor track and cross country teams were the NCAA Division III National Cross Country Champions, two-time SUNYAC Cross Country Champions, ECAC Indoor Track and Field Champions, New York State Collegiate Track Conference Indoor Track and Field Champions, two-time SUNYAC Indoor Track and Field Champions, and two-time SUNYAC Outdoor Track and Field Champions. Catalano was a member of the international Golden Key Honor Society, Phi Eta Sigma national freshman honor society and the Psi Chi Psychology Honor Society. She also earned Dean's List and President's List status. She was a recipient of a Geneseo Alumni Fellows Scholarship from the Geneseo Alumni Association.

Gianfagna, a French and biology major, was a member of Phi Sigma Iota Foreign Languages Honor Society and earned Dean's List status. He was a recipient of the Jennifer Wachunas Memorial Scholarship for carrying a high GPA while demonstrating a commitment to the community and to caring for others. He played trumpet in the Geneseo Wind Ensemble and was a member of the crew club. He served as a member of Geneseo First Response and Geneseo Fire Department Protective Company, EMT-B as a certified firefighter and EMT. He was named the Greater Rochester "Big of the Year" by Livingston County's Big Brothers/Big Sisters program and was the recipient of the Robert & Donna Dewar Memorial Scholarship, which recognizes a student who demonstrates leadership through active involvement in community activities. He served as coordinator of the Geneseo Booster Externship of the Undergraduate Alumni Association and Geneseo Alumni Association. He was the recipient of the Dr. Daniel T. Mullin Memorial Scholarship and served as a residence assistant and orientation advisor for the Center for Community. He participated in the Geneseo Organization for Leadership Development and received the Order of the Arrow Vigil Honor from the Boy Scouts of America.

Priore, a biochemistry major, was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society Alpha Delta Chapter, the Gamma Sigma Epsilon Chemistry National Honor Society, the Golden Key International Honor Society, Phi Eta Sigma freshman national honor society and the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society. He also earned Dean's List and President's List status. He was a member of the Geneseo Chamber Singers, singing as a high tenor for six semesters. He participated in a U.S. concert tour, as well as a concert tour of northern Italy featuring Mozart's requiem. He served as a member of Geneseo First Response and Alpha Phi Omega, a national service fraternity, serving as president and vice president of service. He served as director of business affairs of the SUNY Geneseo Student Association and as the student member to the College Council. He was a recipient of a Geneseo Alumni Fellows Scholarship from the Geneseo Alumni Association.

Smith, a psychology major, earned Dean's List status. He was recognized for his academic excellence and commitment to the field of psychology by the psychology department and was selected to work on faculty research projects with two members of the faculty. He served as a Big Brother in Livingston County's Big Brothers/Big Sister program. He played on the college's soccer team, serving as captain for two years. He was named a SUNYAC All-Conference soccer player for four years. Under his tenure as captain, the team advanced to the Final Four in Division III soccer in 2005.

Welchons, a biochemistry major, was a recipient of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and was admitted early as an exceptional junior. He was named to the "USA Today" All-American College Team. He was a member of the indoor and outdoor track team, participating as a sprinter and hurdler for both teams during the years the teams ranked third in the SUNYAC Championships. Welchons received a research grant from the American Heart Association and Geneseo Foundation, a Summer Research Fellowship from the Masonic Medical Research Lab, and received the Achievement in Organic Chemistry Award from the American Chemical Society. He also volunteered in Strong Memorial Hospital's Urgent Care Center.

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