Five new portraits will receive the honor of being awarded the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, adding their names to nearly two decades of student influence on the library wall.
Women’s basketball captain and 2016 recipient Erica Shudt was impressed by the diversity of students nominated for the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence.
“It shows people that, no matter where you come from, you can always get an education,” she said.
Chancellor’s Award recipients must be involved on and off campus while maintaining a 3.2 minimum average GPA. Along with being captain of women’s basketball team, Shudt has served as vice president of the psychology club. She is a Phi Theta Kappa member and has worked as assistant coach for the Uncle Sam Lady Hoopsters basketball team.
Student Senate treasurer Josiah Dillon’s award considered his achievement symbolic of a turning point in his education. When he was at Ballston Spa Central High School before coming to Hudson Valley, most of his grades were below average, and Dillon wasn’t focused on getting involved.
“It was just an exciting recognition that there was a turning point,” he said.
Along with student government, Dillon has balanced positions on the Alumni Foundation and as Investment Club president. Throughout the last two years, while being involved in student life, Dillon has been named to the President’s List three semesters in a row.
Since last spring, inspired by previous Senate officers receiving the award, Dillon was determined to go after nomination. Last semester, he joined the cross country team in hopes of coming closer to being nominated.
“It was on my mind and I definitely wanted it so I was happy when I got it ,” he said.
Having graduated from a class of 85 students in rural Rensselaer County with below-average grades, Erika Pelletier did not expect success in a pool of over 400,000 SUNY students. During her first semester, her confidence changed.
“When I came to Hudson Valley, people were looking at me for the answers, and it was almost a shock to me thinking ‘Oh, I do know stuff. Oh, I am smart,’” she said.
Along with maintaining her 4.0 GPA consistently each semester, Pelletier has pushed volunteer efforts on and off-campus, working with six different clubs. Before leaving campus, in November, Pelletier helped coordinate an effort to renovate a child’s room at the Saint Catherine’s Center for Children Copson House.
“Really, Hudson Valley developed me to be confident and to use leadership skills to put the [Copson House] project together,” said Pelletier.
Being the second captain of the the Cheerleading Club to receive the award in two years, Taylar Delisle believes the club’s next captain will be under pressure to make a larger impact on campus this fall.
“In my opinion, there’s a lot of pressure on her, not just with the Chancellor’s Award, but also to get the community together,” she said.
Her role in community functions expands beyond campus. She has worked with nonprofit organizations such as the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and Avery’s Angels, along with being an assistant coach for Watervliet Pop Warner.
“It’s a lot about bringing your community into where you go,” said Delisle.
Along with receiving the Chancellor’s Award, Student Senate secretary and student trustee Brody O’Connor has been placed on a national stage. O’Connor spent part of last week in Chicago, being one of 20 two-year recipients to receive recognition as one of the top community college college students across the country.
Currently, he works multiple positions across campus as Entrepreneur Club president, Investment Club vice president, Student Senate secretary and student trustee. Three of his positions are shared with other Senate officers including Dillon, which he has known since fourth grade. He has considered working alongside Dillon as a motivating factor towards reaching his goals.
“We feed off each other’s energy and motivate each other to do better,” he told the Hudsonian earlier last semester.