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Chancellor’s Award: Aritra Saha

Aritra Saha did plenty of nanoscale research during his UAlbany careers, and learned a lot from his internship with state Sen. Leroy Comrie. (Photo by Mark Schmidt)

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 19, 2017) — Aritra Saha of Queens is majoring in nanoscale engineering, minoring in Mathematics and Political Science, and getting a taste of government at the same time.

Saha, set to graduate in May, is one of 10 UAlbany students to win the coveted Chancellor’s Award for Excellence. He’s also a Fellow in the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, and the founder and president of the local chapter of Theta Tau, the national engineering fraternity. A student senator and a Spellman Award winner, Saha co-founded the debate team and served as assistant director in the College Democrats of New York.

His internship with state Sen. Leroy Comrie, whose district covers Saha’s Hollis neighborhood, has been an eye-opening experience.

“I literally had a front seat to policymaking in the State Senate, where I bore witness to the beauty of representative democracy, taken for granted by many,” he said. He was also honored with a resolution, introduced by Sen. Comrie, celebrating his scholastic achievements, his work ethic and his Chancellor’s Award.

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Saha receives his Chancellor's Award from SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and Interim President James Stellar. 

Saha’s internship, done for course credit, was his favorite class at UAlbany. He also relished in his nano coursework for the opportunity to delve into research on microtubule networks and proton exchange in fuel cells. “Various courses that involved research projects took me to the edge of research and development where new boundaries were getting pushed every day.” he said.

That taste of R&D has Saha ready for this next step after graduation. “I want to study at Harvard or Stanford, after which I want to have my start-up,” he said, adding that his educational goals range from the fields of artificial intelligence to law. “If possible, I want to also run for political office someday.”

Whatever path he takes, he'll bring his UAlbany experiences with him. “Both intellectuality and in terms of personality, I am not the same person today as I was on my first day at UAlbany,” Saha said. “As my time here is coming to an end, I like to think that I have grown in both of these categories as a whole person. And the new, better me will always be there with me no matter at what level of success I end up at, wherever I am.”

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