Eight students receive SUNY Chancellor’s Awards

A diverse group of students and recent graduates representing Cornell’s four contract colleges has been selected to receive the 2023 State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence (CASE).

The award acknowledges outstanding achievements that demonstrate excellence in areas including academics, leadership, campus involvement, community service or the arts. A recognition ceremony for nearly 200 awardees across the SUNY system will be held April 24 at the Albany Capital Center.

Enrolled in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), College of Human Ecology (CHE), College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) and School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR), Cornell’s recipients, whose GPAs all near or exceed 4.0, are:

Yasmin Ballew ’23 (ILR) of Manteca, California, demonstrated her leadership skills through a number of roles, including as the Class of 2023 Convocation chair, president and vice president of service for Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, chief of staff to the Office of the Student Advocate, a student-run office that assists students with navigating complex structures within the university, and as the vice president for academics in the Black Ivy Pre-law Society. During the summer of 2021, Ballew participated in one of ILR’s signature community-engaged learning programs, High Road Fellowships, through which she researched best practices and policies for foster care agencies and child welfare. She has completed a certificate in Community-Engaged Leadership as a Tradition Fellow and Engaged Ambassador, and is passionate about community partnership as a means of advancing equity.

Anne Bugayong ’23 (ILR) of Naperville, Illinois, who is majoring in industrial and labor relations with minors in inequality studies and law and society, is president of the Minority ILR Student Organization and the ILR Global Affairs Club. As a leader, she fostered a close-knit group of students from underrepresented backgrounds. Bugayong strives to make resources and opportunities more accessible to students by working as a peer mentor lead for the “Introduction to ILR” course, an assistant for ILR International Programming and a student administrator for the ILR Office of Student Services. Bugayong studied the Tagalog (Filipino) language and participated in ILR’s Global Service/Engaged Learning programs, which serve communities in India, Vietnam and Zambia.

Ryan Greene ’23 (CHE), of West Nyack, New York, is majoring in fiber science with a minor in environment and sustainability. Greene is a member of the dean’s Undergraduate Advisory Council where, as a member of the Community Service Committee, he conducted multiple service projects at Cornell and in the Ithaca community. Greene was the scholarship chair and philanthropy chair of Sigma Nu fraternity, an undergraduate teaching assistant for Chemistry 2070, and a goalie on Cornell’s club lacrosse team. Additionally, Greene researches the synthesis of face mask filters from plastic bottle waste as part of the lab of Margaret Frey, the Vincent C. Woo Professor in Fiber Science and Apparel Design (CHE). His post-graduation goal is to conduct research and development to make a tangible, positive impact on the lives of others, something he experienced as a summer intern in vaccine development for Pfizer.

Elsbeth Kane (CVM), of Connecticut, was one of 15 veterinary students selected to serve as a peer mentor for incoming students and support them in their transition to professional school. In her second year, she served as president of the Veterinary One Health Association and hosted a virtual One Health symposium with more than 350 attendees. Last year, alongside a team of colleagues, she revived the college’s annual Dance Collective showcase after a pandemic hiatus. Kane’s scholarships include the John F. Cummings Memorial Award, in recognition for her outstanding academic achievement and aptitude for neuroanatomy, and the Jane Miller Prize, which is awarded to a second-year student who has done the best work in physiology.

Leah Ramsaran (CVM), of Florida, was selected in 2021 to participate in the Veterinary Research Scholarship Program at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and then presented the results of her research at the National Veterinary Scholars Symposium. As a leader and active member of two active diversity, equity and inclusion student organizations (VOICE and National Association of Black Veterinarians), Ramsaran has been engaged with faculty, staff and students to ensure that the Cornell college community is welcoming to and inclusive of minority populations. She engages regularly with prospective and accepted students about the student experience at CVM.

Naomi Schulberg ’23 (CALS), of Singapore, is majoring in Earth and atmospheric sciences and minoring in plant science. Schulberg has been an undergraduate teaching assistant in plant physiology, attended advanced graduate seminars in biogeochemistry, and has pursued multiple research opportunities as a student. Schulberg participated in Linda Rayor’s naturalist outreach class in 2021, where she presented examples of work being done by the Cornell Tree-Ring Laboratory to dozens of students and families in Tompkins County. In 2022, she participated in the Expanding Young Horizons Program, where she introduced STEM opportunities to girls from around the upstate New York region.

Jordan Tralins ’23 (CHE), of St. Petersburg, Florida, is majoring in human biology, health, and society and minoring in inequality studies and human development. Tralins is a researcher, teaching assistant, trail running instructor and student ambassador for the College of Human Ecology. She is a member of Kappa Omicron Nu, the college’s Human Sciences Honor Society. Tralins has worked as an academic research assistant at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute since 2018. Nationally, Tralins is the founder of the COVID Campus Coalition, a social media campaign that educated populations about COVID vaccines. She also manages the American Lung Association’s national TikTok account as the group’s social media intern. Tralins aspires to use her education to become an academic physician who prioritizes health equity and population health.

Amanda Wilson ’23 (CALS), of Kokomo, Indiana, is majoring in plant sciences. In 2020, Wilson co-wrote a winning Hatch Grant Supplement to investigate fungal ethanol tolerance; in 2021 she won a Rawlings Presidential Research Scholarship; and in 2022 won the Dextra Undergrad Research Endowment for her honors research. She is co-author on two scientific articles in preparation. She volunteered in 2021-23 as a peer mentor for Cornell Plant Sciences students, and in 2020-21 served as a Summer Science Program mentor for a high school student through career planning and college applications. She is the current president of Hortus Forum, an undergraduate student group dedicated to horticulture. As a member of Alpha Zeta professional agricultural fraternity Amanda has devoted over 40 hours to philanthropy, and assisted with putting on Cornell's AgDay in 2021 and 2022.

Aaron Goldweber is communications director in the Office of the Vice Provost for Engagement and Land-Grant Affairs.

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Rebecca Valli