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Kevon Barrett Receives Norman R. McConney, Jr. Award for Student Excellence

Senior Kevon Barrett is one of just 52 students in SUNY’s Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) to be honored with a 2024 Norman R. McConney, Jr. Award for Student Excellence. The award, celebrating its fifth class of awardees, recognizes outstanding EOP students for their academic merit and perseverance.

The honor is named in memory of Norman R. McConney, Jr. (1946–2016), a graduate of the University at Albany and former assistant dean for special programs at SUNY. McConney, alongside former Assembly Deputy Speaker Arthur O. Eve, helped create the EOP as a statewide program.

“Kevon has served as a role model for his fellow EOP members, with his commitment to his studies and participation in campus life always remaining an inspiration to those around him,” said Jennifer Golden, Director of the Educational Opportunity Program and the Center for Academic Success and Excellence at SUNY Cobleskill. “His induction into the Chi Alpha Epsilon Honor Society shows his dedication to academics and campus leadership, and receiving the Norman R. McConney, Jr. Award for Student Excellence further proves Kevon’s qualities and the significant impact of the Educational Opportunity Program on student success.”

“We are proud of Kevon’s achievements, and his pursuit of excellence both in and out of the classroom affirms that the possibilities are limitless in college,” said Derwin Bennett, Chief Diversity Officer at SUNY Cobleskill. “Kevon’s college journey demonstrated the variety of opportunities that students can experience during their college career and that there are no limits to what is achievable. On behalf of the college, its EOP Family, and the Chi Alpha Epsilon National Academic Honor Society, we extend our heartfelt congratulations to Kevon for his outstanding achievements.”

Since its inception in 1967, the EOP has provided access, academic support, and supplemental financial assistance to students from disadvantaged backgrounds, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college. In its 56-year history, the EOP has served more than 85,000 students and evolved into one of the country’s most successful college access programs.


About Norman R. McConney, Jr.
SUNY recognizes Educational Opportunity Program students for their academic achievements in honor of Norman R. McConney, Jr. due to his legacy of public service, which encompassed several statewide initiatives to benefit underrepresented New Yorkers, including programs to prepare minority high school students for careers in the sciences and medicine and scholarships for students underrepresented in the licensed professions. Mr. McConney is also credited with helping found the Black and Puerto Rican Legislative Caucus, which later became the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus.



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