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Leadership In and Out of the Classroom

October 15, 2009

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UAlbany students Deen Yousif and Rachel Galgan

UAlbany students Deena Yousif and Rachel Galgan will take part in the National Society of Collegiate Scholars ceremony on October 17.
(Photo Mark Schmidt)

Rachel Galgan is a sophomore business administration major from Harpursville, N.Y., who came to UAlbany as a direct-admit freshman.

She studies hard, carries a 3.77 GPA, and is one of 238 University at Albany students being inducted into The National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) on Oct. 17 at 10:30 a.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom. As NSCS vice president of community service, she also demonstrates leadership beyond the classroom.

"I am dedicated to my school work and always try my hardest in class," said Galgan. "I am involved in numerous activities on campus. In most of these I hold leadership positions and help others through the process. Service is a large part of my life." Galgan is also involved in Circle K.

The new NSCS members, all high-achieving underclassmen, are in the top 20 percent of students academically at UAlbany. To be nominated, they must have a GPA higher than 3.4. Membership is by invitation only.

"NSCS is not just an honor society but an organization in which you are encouraged to get involved and make the most out of all the opportunities they offer," she said. There has been a chapter on the UAlbany campus since 2000.

Galgan is still deciding on a long-term career goal. Whatever path she chooses, "I want to make the best out of what I am dealt and to just be happy (in life)," she said.

NSCS Albany Chapter President Deena Yousif remembers how excited she was to be inducted.

"I now serve as the president of this national honor society and the event coordinator for the University at Albany Muslim Student Association," said Yousif, a 19-year-old senior and biology major from Schenectady, N.Y., who is applying to medical schools.

Being part of NSCS "has opened a lot of doors for success and outstanding leadership," said Yousif. "It made it easier for me to find ways to give back to my community through volunteer opportunities and challenged me to distinguish myself academically."

Yousif chose UAlbany because its biology program is part of a prestigious and well-supported department.

"It is the great diversity and the apparent unique sense of belonging that each student here possesses, along with the pride of being part of this dynamic young community that has inspired me to join and powerfully represent the University at Albany," said Yousif, a NYPIRG intern who also has volunteered at the Farmers' Market.

"At NSCS we recognize the amazing potential of these freshmen and sophomores," said NSCS Executive Director Stephen E. Loflin. "That's why they will have access to more undergraduate scholarship dollars from us than they would get from any other honor society nationwide."

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