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Tompkins Cortland Students Honored by SUNY Chancellor

April 12, 2018

Two Tompkins Cortland Community College students have been recognized with the Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence by the State University of New York. Jonathan Hatala and Kaitlin Tagliaferri were among the 249 students honored by SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson at a reception in Albany this week.

“I am immensely proud of these students, who have demonstrated academic excellence and dedication to enriching their campuses and communities,” said Chancellor Johnson. “From research publications in industry journals to volunteering in hospitals and local clinics to holding leadership roles at their institutions, I am inspired by each student we recognize today. Congratulations to all of the students receiving this year’s award.”

SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson, award-winner Jonathan Hatala, and Tompkins Cortland Dean of Student Life John Bradac
SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson, award-winner Jonathan Hatala, and Tompkins Cortland Dean of Student Life John Bradac

Hatala, a native of Cortland, is a nontraditional student who returned to college to pursue a degree in environmental studies. He has a 4.0 GPA while being involved in campus organizations like Phi Theta Kappa and STAND, a student club that conducted a money and supplies drive for hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico. Hatala also serves as a Peer Career Coach and is a teaching assistant for the College’s study abroad trip to Colombia.

SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson, award-winner Kaitlin Tagliaferri, and Tompkins Cortland Dean of Student Life John Bradac
SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson, award-winner Kaitlin Tagliaferri, and Tompkins Cortland Dean of Student Life John Bradac

Tagliaferri, a resident of Binghamton, has excelled both in and out of the classroom. Her extensive campus involvement has included roles as a resident assistant, vice president with the campus chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success, and treasurer for Phi Theta Kappa. Tagliaferri is also a Student Talent Showcase winner, is a member of the Student Government Association, and has been on the Dean’s List every semester.

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

Each year, SUNY campus presidents establish a selection committee, which reviews exemplary students. Nominees are then forwarded to the Chancellor’s Office and are subject to a second round of review before finalists are recommended to the Chancellor to become recipients of the award. Each recipient receives a framed certificate and medallion, which is traditionally worn at commencement.

Chancellor Johnson was joined at the ceremony by special guest Erin Hamlin, a four-time Olympian, 2014 Bronze Medalist, and two-time Luge World Champion. Hamlin made history at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games as the first American (male or female) to win an Olympic medal in singles luge, and was the first U.S. woman to win a medal in any luge discipline at the Olympic Games. The Olympian and world champion earned her A.A. in interdisciplinary studies online from Empire State College.

“As a proud SUNY alum, it is my honor to stand here today as we celebrate a room full of SUNY students and their pursuit of excellence in academics, athletics, and community,” said Hamlin. “Your achievements as SUNY students is just the beginning, and I have no doubt that this determination and dedication you possess will drive you to excel in all of your future endeavors.”

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