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Chancellor’s Award: Caitlin Qingyang Briggs

Caitlin Qingyang Briggs took ample advantage of UAlbany's academic and cultural diversity and paid back the University abundantly. (Photo by Mark Schmidt)

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 28, 2017) — Expanding your worldview and seizing opportunities embodies the UAlbany career of Psychology major Caitlin Qingyang Briggs, winner of a 2017 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence.

A student leader in Residential Life, Campus Recreation, and Orientation, participant in activities ranging from Peace Action to field hockey, president of Psi Chi, the campus chapter of the national honor society in psychology, and co-president of Cornerstone Campus Ministry, Briggs was a natural recipient of a 2015 Great Dane Award for her leadership accomplishments.

She admits she aggressively looked for new responsibilities and experiences. “There are so many opportunities at UAlbany as long as you are actively looking to advance yourself, and there are lots of faculty and staff who can help you obtain your goals if you reach out,” she said.

The senior from Mohawk, N.Y., who received a grant from the University to fund her honors thesis research, has been accepted into Michigan State University’s top-ranked industrial/organizational psychology Ph.D. program. “I plan to study diversity in the workplace along with other interests,” she said.

Caitlin Qingyang Briggs

Caitlin Qingyang Briggs receives her Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence from Nancy Zimpher and Interim President James Stellar. 

“Other interests” for Briggs will no doubt remain nearly limitless. Among her favorite courses at UAlbany is one she’s currently taking as an elective: Global Perspectives on Women, through Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She calls it “fascinating and eye-opening.”

Exploring outside one’s major or minors (hers were mathematics and organizations studies), Briggs said, affords new perspectives and personal growth. “For me, taking an unrelated elective course has helped to broaden my thinking about my own field of study.”

She assesses UAlbany as a very special place to attain growth and perspective. “I have really enjoyed the presence and level of diversity, including international students,” said Briggs. “This is something I feel I would not have been exposed to at other colleges I looked at while in high school.

“I also feel that I have learned how to push myself and seek opportunities to gain research experience, work experience and other skills.”

With a solid academic and extracurricular career at UAlbany coming to a close, it’s not too surprising that Briggs said she can see herself five to ten years from now as a Ph.D.-holding faculty member, expanding the worldview of a new generation of research university students.

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