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SUNY Chancellor’s Award Student Profile: Matthew Leger

Leger (middle) is one of 10 UAlbany students who was honored with a 2016 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence in April.

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 12, 2016) -- University at Albany senior Matthew Leger is a highly-motivated, yet altruistic man on a mission.

A Rockefeller College student working towards an advanced BA/MPA degree in homeland security and global affairs, the Fitchburg, Mass., native was recently named a recipient of the 2016 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence.

The award is a tribute to Leger’s hard work. The Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence is the highest honor bestowed upon a student by the University. Nominations are sought for students who have best demonstrated and been recognized for their integration of academic excellence with other aspects of their lives, including leadership, campus involvement, community service, athletics or career achievement.

Both inside, and outside of the classroom, Leger has truly exemplified what it means to be a Chancellor’s Award recipient.

Since transferring to the University in 2014, he has engaged in several leadership roles. As a tutor and mentor, Leger works with students in the World of Transfer Excellence, and World of N.Y. Politics and Policy Living-Living Communities, and is an active member of the Transfer Transition Leaders program. He’s also created an Alzheimer’s fundraising awareness organization “Save the Memories Alliance,” which has drawn more than 300 members of the UAlbany community to its events.

Leger
After graduating from UAlbany, Leger is interested in becoming an intelligence officer for the United States Navy.

Currently, Leger interns full-time as a research assistant at the International Center for Terrorism Studies at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies (ICTS) in Arlington, VA. He said his most meaningful project has been compiling daily reports about security threats across the globe to inform policy makers and the public about the evolving security environment. Through the position, he has contributed to multiple academic publications about The North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) regional concerns, terrorism in North Africa, Russia’s strategic goals, and hosts several events with distinguished panel speakers in regards to these proceedings.

Through all of his accomplishments, Leger said it is his peers at Rockefeller College that continue motivating him to succeed.

“In my time at Rockefeller, I have never come across another student who didn’t want to change the world or jump into an immediate leadership role,” Leger said. “No one waits for the next opportunity either, they instead create their own and it has been an incredible honor to work next to these individuals the last few years.”

Leger said he’s planning on applying to Officer Candidate School in the United States Navy after graduating from UAlbany. He’s interested in becoming an Intelligence Officer, however, remains open about future opportunities.

“I hope to work in many aspect of government throughout my career, including the pursuit of higher office,” Leger said. “I’ve also considered pursuing a Ph.D. in the distant future.”

Award recipients were honored at a SUNY-wide ceremony at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center on Tuesday, April 5, at 2 p.m. 

Interested in learning more? Read individual profiles for each recipient.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.