Recognition Matters @ GCC
Written by Alex Feig on May 1, 2019
On April 24, 2019 more than 200 students from the State University of New York network gathered in Albany to receive SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Academic Excellence and Leadership. Surrounded by family, friends and their school’s campus presidents, senior staff and prestigious faculty, these outstanding students were recognized by Dr. Kristina M. Johnson, SUNY’s Chancellor.
“Today’s award recipients emerged from their campuses this year as the top scholars, athletes, performers, and achievers, as well as a tremendous source of inspiration,” said Chancellor Johnson. “The students being recognized today made the choice to be leaders on their campuses, prioritize their studies, and serve their communities. Congratulations to this year’s awardees, and I applaud you for pursuing excellence in all that you do.”
Genesee Community College’s Vice President of Student and Enrollment Services, Dr. Shelitha Williams accompanied student award recipients Natsumi Sasabe of Tokyo, Japan and Luis Huerta, of Inuyama, Aichi, Japan, to Albany to receive their awards.
“Being able to attend the award ceremony was a powerful experience for both students and staff,” said Dr. Williams. “The nervous excitement filled the room and the pride on everyone’s face was infectious. All year round we see our students working hard and to see that effort praised by SUNY is meaningful to the College and to the students.”
Natsumi, a Theater Arts student, has performed in six different theatre productions during her time at GCC. She was most recently cast as the lead character in “The Lamp is the Moon,” a Children’s Theater Production. Natsumi has been involved in student government, and is a resident assistant at College Village. She also finds time to be in GCC’s Multi-Cultural Communications Club, a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the Honor Society for community colleges, and she has participated in GCC’s Honors program this spring.
Luis Valencia Huerta, a Business Administration student, is a multilingual student-tutor in accounting, and through his translation skills, has helped dozens of students better understand this field. Luis is the vice president of Phi Theta Kappa and co-president of the GCC Multi-Cultural Communications Club. He volunteers in the local community church delivering Friday fish fries to those who are home-bound, and with Foodlink assembling bags of food for those in need.
Natsumi and Luis worked hard to earn their places in GCC’s Recognition Matters series which highlights the accomplishments of the College’s faculty, staff and students.
A complete list of all 210 SUNY students who were honored by Chancellor Johnson is available online. 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.