Each year, SUNY Cobleskill honors the leadership qualities and accomplishments of standout students through its Excellence in Student Leadership Awards. Twenty-nine students received recognitions at an awards ceremony on April 6, including two recipients of the inaugural Perseverance Award. The awards are governed by the Office of Student Development, and winners are selected by an interdepartmental committee of faculty and staff.
“The challenges of the last couple of years have shown us the meaning and importance of leadership through adversity and how fortunate we are to have so many shining examples on our campus,” said Anne Hopkins Gross, vice president for Student Development. “The difficulty our selection committee had in choosing winners in each category speaks to the quality of our entire student body. Their resilience is a privilege to witness, and we are excited to see them carry on their leadership roles in their endeavors after graduation.”
Student Leader of the Year Award
This award recognizes the student who represents the highest level of student leadership. This student makes extraordinary contributions to the College, mentors future leaders, leads a range of campus activities, and demonstrates exceptional service to others and within the community. The breadth and depth of the student’s actions have significant College-wide impact.
2022 Recipient: Lillian Cowburn
The breadth and depth of this Lillian Cowburn’s actions have had a significant impact campus-wide. She has proven herself in not being afraid to get involved and get her hands dirty, and is well-received and respected on campus by students, faculty, and staff alike. Particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, Lillian was one of the most active participants in our “Pizza with the Presidents” events and student forums. Not only did she attend, but she clearly articulated student concerns to the College President and Student Government President regularly. Her incredible four-year journey at SUNY Cobleskill saw her as a senior resident assistant, campus engagement leader, secretary of two clubs, CASE tutor, COVID testing representative, and lifeguard. She has also taken an active role in Alternative Spring Break and the Alumni Association, while contributing to the creation of the Unity Center.
Distinguished Student Leadership Award
This award recognizes students with distinguished service or achievement that significantly benefits the student body or the college as a whole. These students exhibit a pattern of exemplary service over their years at SUNY Cobleskill and exceed the normal duties of any positions they may hold. Award categories include Cultural Competence, Community Engagement and Service, Health, Safety and Wellness, Athletics, Peer Education, Programming, Student Governance, and Student Organization involvement.
2022 Recipient: Daija Duncan
Daija has a passion for student involvement and is always eager to share her excitement with her peers. As a senior resident assistant, a campus engagement leader, president of the Campus Engagement Board, representative of SUNY Cobleskill at the SUNY SAIL Leadership Academy, member of the It’s On Us Chapter, Baking and Pastry Arts Club, and a proud sister of Sigma Alpha, Daija strives to see other students become successful and enhance student life. Daija’s voice and involvement have made a difference and helped to establish her as a role model for all of our students.
2022 Recipient: Jeremy Jenoure
Jeremy Jenoure is the epitome of what it means to be a “servant leader,” one who leads not for recognition but for the improvement of his community and the betterment of his peers. In shaping his leadership approach, Jeremy voluntarily attended numerous women’s basketball practices, absorbing the different leadership styles and ideas by observing team captains and coaches. After graduating with a Bachelor’s in Science this spring, Jeremy plans to take the lessons and memories from SUNY Cobleskill and carry them on with him to the U.S. Marine Corps.
Emerging Student Leader Award
This award recognizes emerging student leaders who assume active and sustained leadership roles in campus organizations or initiatives that enrich student life and the campus community. These students set themselves apart from other students and aspire to be successful in all they do.
2022 Recipient: Sapna Chhabra
As an Admission Ambassador, Sapna uses her communications and leadership skills to connect with, support, and encourage her peers and prospective students alike. She is involved with several student organizations on campus, performs community service through Key Club, and assists children with special needs as they participate in sporting events.
2022 Recipient: Andrew McConnelee
Andrew is an Honors student and treasurer of the College’s Woodsmen Club. In his spare time, he is building a community garden at the Cobleskill Sunshine Fair property, where he will be sharing his knowledge and teaching young 4H members how to grow their own food. These are just a few examples of how Andrew proves that he is an “emerging” leader in the agricultural field and the SUNY Cobleskill community.
Agent of Change Award
This award recognizes a student who has shown dedication in promoting and facilitating the positive efforts of diversity and inclusion at SUNY Cobleskill. The award recipient demonstrates a passion for improving the community toward a better understanding of how we are all connected while also appreciating and valuing differences.
2022 Recipient: Micheal Lee-Edwards
As the first African-American Student Government Association President, Michael-Lee Edwards has been one of the foremost agents of change on the SUNY Cobleskill campus in recent years. He has contributed to efforts in the creation of the campus’ Unity Center and developed programs geared toward diversity education. In his various roles, including senior resident advisor, Micheal has earned the trust of students, the respect of the faculty and staff, and carries the integrity of what it means to be a leader in our community.
This award recognizes students who have experienced paramount challenges in pursuit of their academic goals and success at SUNY Cobleskill. Through their presence on campus and relentless efforts, these students embraced the idea of never giving up. Despite adversity, these award recipients demonstrate consistent courage, resilience, and perseverance to not only achieve their own goals but inspire the campus community.
2022 Recipient: Jordan Finch
Jordan Finch’s first year with our women’s basketball team was unexpectedly cut short due to a medical diagnosis that ultimately found her needing treatment in intensive care. After her treatment, she re-joined the team but was medically unable to finish the season, one in which she had already earned two “Fighting Tiger of the Week” recognitions and a “Rookie of the Week” nomination, and was on pace to be a statistics leader in nearly every category. Through all of this, Jordan did not miss a single class or practice. She was an inspirational voice from the sideline at every game and overcame adversity to grow as a person, teammate, and campus community member. Not taking an easy path, she became a team captain, a resident assistant, and an Honors Student-Athlete.
2022 Recipient: Jesse Ferri
In his pursuits to strengthen inclusivity and advocacy on campus, Jesse Ferri serves as a Resident Assistant, a Campus Engagement Leader, and a member of the Student Government Association. Despite encountering numerous hardships and obstacles in both his personal and student life, Jesse continued to aid and inspire our campus with grace, positivity, and perseverance, whether it was assisting with the Resident Assistant Banquet, welcoming incoming students at orientation, or being the sole student to meet with members of the College’s Accreditation team. Jesse has continued to flourish from the first day he stepped foot on campus, along the way, becoming a true example of a student “servant leader.”
Excellence in Student Leadership Award
This award recognizes students who demonstrate the positive attributes of student leadership. They meaningfully contribute to the enrichment of student life and the campus community, and maintain sustained involvement in campus life through activities, clubs, organizations, service, athletics, and/or program development.
Kevon Barrett | Kelsey Bowers | Bradley Britt | Britney Clark | Trinae Colley | Annie Comtois | Ashley Covert | Alexandra Delvecchio | Jesse Ferri | Jordan Finch | Hannah-Rose Foote | Samantha Grant | Micheal Lee-Edwards | Jessie Magno | Kaitlyn Marcinko | Eric Mariano | Tylysa Martinez | Kelley Miller | Rachel Olver | Allyson Reilly | Dylan Stauffer | Jasmine Stuart