Chancellor’s Awards for Student Excellence

On Tuesday, April 10th State University of New York Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson presented 249 SUNY students from across the state with the 2018 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence. The University at Albany had 10 honorees, including four outstanding scholars from Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy: Anna Agnes, Julia Alford, Melissa Galeano, and Micheal Watts.

“These students have pulled together the pillars of the Rockefeller experience: excellence in the classroom, deep involvement in the campus and their community, a willingness to assume leadership, and a curiosity about how we live together and govern ourselves,” said Rockefeller College Dean R. Karl Rethemeyer. “We are so excited to see what these young leaders will do in the years ahead!”

The Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence was created in 1997 to recognize students who have best demonstrated, and have been recognized for, the integration of academic excellence with accomplishments in the areas of leadership, athletics, community service, creative and performing arts, campus involvement, or career achievement.

Anna Agnes, a political science major from Oakdale, N.Y., is very involved on campus and in the classroom. She currently serves as the vice president of the UAlbany pre-law chapter of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, a senator at large in the Student Association, the vice chairwoman of the Board of Finance, and the president of the College Republicans. She is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the Presidential Honors Society, and the club field hockey team.

Julia Alford is a political science student from Melville, N.Y. After attending a program as a freshman that encourages women to run for office, Julia has stepped into multiple leadership roles at UAlbany in the Student Association, AAUW, Pi Sigma Alpha, Omicron Kappa Delta, and College Democrats of New York. A strong believer in applied learning, she has spent almost every semester interning, including for members of Congress, advocacy groups, and private firms. Julia currently works for Senator Charles E. Schumer as a staff assistant.

Melissa Galeano, a political science major from Queens, N.Y., is an honors student at Rockefeller College and recently completed her thesis, which focused on the militarization of the U.S. immigration system. She has worked for the Department of Residential Life and served as a peer mentor for the Writing and Critical Inquiry Department. Melissa interned at the NYS Assembly, the Queens District Attorney’s Office, and at the Office of Barack and Michelle Obama during the Semester in Washington program.

Micheal Watts, a political science major from Brooklyn, N.Y., has flourished in the UAlbany community since transferring from Morgan State University and overcoming homelessness. He joined the Honors College, was selected to be a football walk-on, and completed hundreds of hours of community service as both a founder and leader of multiple student organizations on campus. He has dedicated himself to public service and will be enlisting in the National Guard.