For Immediate Release—Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Mary E. McCrank
Media Relations Officer
(585) 245-5516

SUNY Geneseo Names Presidential Scholars
for 2007-08 Academic Year

Students from Vietnam, India, Canada earn recognition

GENESEO, N.Y.—The State University of New York at Geneseo has announced its second round of Presidential Scholars. The Presidential Scholar group comprises 15 model Geneseo students from the incoming senior class and recognizes top achievers while providing the college with student ambassadors. The students will be formally recognized at the beginning of the fall 2007 semester.

To be named a Presidential Scholar, students must hold a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.6 and demonstrate an active involvement with the community. "These are the best of the best at Geneseo," says Katherine Conway-Turner, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

The Presidential Scholars for the 2007-2008 academic year are:

Melissa Braaten of Ballston Lake, N.Y.; Jared Chester of Roslyn, N.Y.; Phuong Diem Dau of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Derek Jokic of Petersburg, Ontario, Canada; Abigail Kraai of Rochester, N.Y.; Colin Kremer of Hinsdale, N.Y.; Nathan Lauffenburger of Williamsville, N.Y.; Pamela May of Massapequa, N.Y.; Hillary McShea of Lima, N.Y.; Justine Meccio of Yorktown Heights, N.Y.; Elizabeth Peterson of Jamestown, N.Y.; Mehr Qureshi of Dansville, N.Y.; Casey Rampe of Victor, N.Y.; Arunima Ray of Kolkata, India; and Bethany Reddy of Delmar, N.Y.

In addition to the GPA and community involvement requirements, students must go through a rigorous selection process to be named a Presidential Scholar. After being nominated by faculty members, applicants are reviewed by a panel of faculty and students before they are recommended to the provost for final approval.

The Presidential Scholars are expected to contribute to the college in a number of ways, assisting President Christopher C. Dahl and Conway-Turner in fostering academic excellence on campus, serving as undergraduates who exemplify Geneseo's institutional values, participating in different admissions activities and panel discussions, and assisting the college in promoting Geneseo during development and advancement activities. 

"I am very excited to be a presidential scholar," said Jared Chester, a philosophy and communication major from Roslyn, N.Y. "I know that I will gain some great experience and have the opportunity to give back to Geneseo, which has given so much to me over the years."

"The presidential scholars program is a great goal for students to strive toward," says Chester.  "It is important for students to realize there are great role models on campus who are available to meet and work with them."

Catherine Urban, who served as a Presidential Scholar during the 2006-07 academic year, agrees.

"Being a presidential scholar has taught me how to formally interact with administrative figures," says Urban, a psychology and biology major from East Setauket, N.Y., who graduated this May. "This will benefit me in almost any career field."


Written by Joe Mignano, public relations intern in the Office of Communications and Publications.