UAlbany’s First EOP Student Ambassador Lauds SUNY Commitment to Student Input

Bridget Aduasare EOP Student Ambassador
Bridget Aduasare

ALBANY, N.Y. (Nov. 2, 2021) — If a beneficial experience with, extensive knowledge of, and enthusiasm for an institution are overwhelming prerequisites for being that institution’s ambassador, the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) made a wise choice in selecting junior Bridget Aduasare as UAlbany’s first EOP student ambassador.

Aduasare admitted to being “shocked” when, despite being a last minute entry, she was chosen by a committee of EOP directors and SUNY system administrators as UAlbany’s representative in a new SUNY program, Educational Opportunity Program Student Ambassadors, comprised of 21 EOP students from 20 SUNY campuses. Chancellor Malatras officially announced the inaugural class on Oct. 22.

Aduasare’s credentials for the position, however, were undeniable. An accomplished student, she can tell you much of the history of EOP at UAlbany, which began in 1968 when the campus became only the second SUNY school to create a chapter.

“The way EOP in UAlbany came to be was by far a miracle,” she said, noting that the program was originally intended as a one-year experiment and then became the bellwether in the system, transforming the lives of thousands of students from economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds who are motivated to succeed in college.

Ghana native Aduasare came to America in 2014, graduated from Marie Curie High School for Medicine, Nursing & Health Professions in the Bronx and, she said, “came straight away to UAlbany as a human biology major.”

A Solid Testimony for EOP

As an EOP admit, she quickly took advantage of the program’s many resources. “I have gotten the most amazing support any college student could ever ask for in college,” she said. “We all know college is extremely stressful, but I have been able to handle anything on my plate. Why? I have the best counselors at my beck and call devoted to student success. Not only that, I also have my fellow EOP students whom I can lean on if I just want to talk to others my age who do know the struggles of being college students.

“From the director to the staff of EOP, each and every one contributes greatly to EOP student success. This is the reason why EOP students in UAlbany exceed academically and in all other aspects.” The program’s 75 percent graduation rate for 53 years — higher than for traditional admits — attests to that success.

SUNY’s EOP ambassadors will have several hats to wear — mentors for other students, organizers of a student EOP support network for students across the SUNY system, advisors to the Chancellor on strengthening the program, and advocates to have more students seek and find opportunities through EOP.

An Advocate for EOP Student Input

Aduasare said the EOP support network is needed and will be successful. “Since I joined the EOP family I only know EOP students from UAlbany personally. By being an ambassador for EOP, I will be able to connect with the other EOP students on a more personal level by which we can all share our individual experiences and come up with great ideas on how to make EOP even better.”

Malatras also announced a comprehensive plan to build on the program, starting with opening 1,000 more spots for students beyond the 10,000 current number, expanding the newly created Pre-Medical EOP and establishing a $2 million student persistence fund to help students most at risk of dropping out due to unforeseen financial circumstances.

Aduasare said all this is strong evidence that SUNY is committed both to EOP’s expansion and to student input in that growth. “I believe the new EOP ambassadorship alone is enough reason for everyone to see that SUNY leadership actually wants to know what students expect and want from them.”

Each EOP Student Ambassador will receive stipends of $5,000 to carry out their important new role. Aduasare plans to use her stipend to invest in stocks., saving much of it for the future use “and for rainy days as well.”

Her career goal is to become a nurse practitioner. “I see myself as that in the next 15 years by the grace of God,” said Aduasare. “After college I look forward to doing research with my human biology major and not necessarily going straight into nursing, but eventually I will.”