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Chancellor’s Award: Mathew Boll

A passion for prevention, be it crime or fire.

Mathew Boll, who has aspirations to serve both science and community. (Photo by Mark Schmidt) 

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 13, 2017) — Many of us as children weigh our career options for our grownup lives and prominently include among them “policeman,” “scientist” and “fireman.”

None of these possibilities, however, has been eliminated from the prospects of graduating senior Mathew Boll, who can envision himself aiding the world indirectly or directly — and maybe both ways.

The winner of a 2017 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, the chemistry major with a concentration in forensics has been recognized by UAlbany for his excellence in research and academics on several occasions and is a founding member of the UAlbany Undergraduate Chemistry Club. Since 2013, he also has served his home town of Lynbrook, L.I, as a member of its fire department.

“After I graduate I plan on finding a career in either law enforcement, a forensic laboratory or perhaps as a fire marshal,” he said. “I am slightly unsure about which career path I want to explore. It may come down to opportunity and availability.”

SUNY Chancellor student award Mathew Boll

Mathew Boll receives his SUNY excellence award from Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and Interim President James Stellar. 

If it comes down to Boll’s passions, there will be a combination. “If I become a police officer, then in five to ten years I see myself as a detective,” he said. “If I become a forensic analyst, then I would expect to be going back to school for a master’s degree, so I may enhance my credibility as a scientist.

“Either way, in five to ten years I see myself continuing to live on Long Island and continuing my service with the Lynbrook Volunteer Fire Department, perhaps as a fire marshal.”

A classroom experience that Boll said definitely enhanced his career options was Assistant Professor Jan Halamek’s course in Advanced Forensic Chemistry. “Dr. Halamek’s enthusiasm for the material made class very enjoyable and he also kept the class relevant by teaching us about real-world examples relating to the lecture’s subject matter.”

Whatever field or fields are in Boll’s future, he credits UAlbany with providing him with an enhanced approach to getting things done — scientifically, cooperatively and in overall life.

“At UAlbany, I learned how to manage a large amount of work and also that hard work pays off,” he said. “Through my experiences as a student and researcher I take away what I believe to be a logical mindset. I believe my time as a student has taught me to handle situations that I encounter practically and efficiently.

“I also learned a lot about others while at UAlbany. I was lucky enough to work with several groups of undergraduate and graduate student who all come from different backgrounds. Despite our differences, we all learned to work together to accomplish our goals. I will take away the ability to cooperate and learn from others because of that inclusive group work.”

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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.