Paul Smith's College student honored with local award

Related Media

PAUL SMITHS, N.Y. (06/09/2017) A Paul Smith's College student is the proud recipient of the first-ever Rick Morse Award, named for a longtime environmental advocate who died last year.

Tyler Dezago, a senior majoring in Ecological Restoration, was honored with the award and a $500 check May 25 during the Annual Conference on the Adirondacks.

"Tyler is a great student who shares Rick's passion for the environment, music and activities in the Adirondacks," said Daniel Fitts, executive director of the Adirondack Research Consortium, which manages the award fund. "We wanted to start out by giving this brand-new award to a Paul Smith's College student since it is the college of the Adirondacks."

Morse worked for 32 years at the New York State Assembly, where he coauthored superfund legislation designed to fund the cleanup of sites contaminated with hazardous substances and pollutants. Later, he worked as a senior policy advisor at Ecology and Environment, a global environmental consulting firm, which started the fund in his honor. The institution raised $5,000 and then matched it to create the annual award fund.

Through the fund, $500 awards will continue to be given annually to students who study at a college or university in the Adirondack region and share Morse's passion for environmental policy, music or outdoor activities in the Adirondacks.

Dezago, of Rhinebeck, N.Y., will graduate from Paul Smith's College a semester early next December. He plans to stay in the Adirondacks and work as a guitar-building apprentice in Malone, N.Y. the following spring.

About Paul Smith's College

At Paul Smith's College, it's about the experience. We are the only four-year institution of higher education in the Adirondacks. Our programs - in fields including hospitality, culinary arts, forestry, natural resources, entrepreneurship and the sciences - draw on industries and resources available in our own backyard while preparing students for successful careers anywhere. For more information, visit