DELHI, NY (04/02/2016)(readMedia)-- Two SUNY Delhi students have been named 2016 recipients of the Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence.
Rachelle Cassatt, a Restaurant and Food Service Management major from Buffalo, and Samantha Travis, a Carpentry and Building major from Cortland, are among an elite group of students to be honored by the State University of New York on April 5 at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany.
"Samantha and Rachelle are among SUNY Delhi's best and brightest," said President Candace S. Vancko. "I am tremendously proud of them and very pleased to be able to recognize their accomplishments. Their academic excellence and commitment to serving the SUNY Delhi community and beyond will make them exceptional leaders in the future."
"This award is our way of saying 'thank you' to stand-out SUNY students whose achievements reflect their own impressive hard work as well as the support of their families and friends, and SUNY's world-class faculty and staff," said Chancellor Zimpher. "The 248 students we honor with this year's award have excelled academically, become role models on campus, and established themselves as leaders in the community. Congratulations to all of the students receiving the 2016 Chancellor's Award for Excellence."
For her exemplary service and leadership, Rachelle Cassatt was honored with a Student Life Leadership Award in Spring 2015. She has held a number of leadership positions on campus, including Student Senate Treasurer; Delhi College Interfaith Council Vice President; Residence Hall Association Senator; Student Programming Board Senator; Senator and Secretary of Delhi's student chapter of the Association of Travel Executives; Vice President, Secretary and President of Delhi's student chapter of the International Food Service Executives Association; and Greek Council Representative and Rush Coordinator of the co-ed fraternity Zeta Phi Omega.
Rachelle has earned two scholarships related to her major. She was awarded The Worthy Goal Scholarship from the International Food Service Executive Association, which is awarded to deserving students enrolled or accepted as full-time students in a food service related major at a two or four year college/university, and the SUNY Delhi Hospitality Management Department Scholarship, which is awarded to deserving hospitality students who show strong leadership and academic qualities. She has also earned Dean's List honors for five semesters.
Rachelle has contributed greatly to the vitality of the Delhi campus through her many roles educating peers. She has served as a Sustainability Advocate for the Office of Residence Life, engaging her fellow students in activities that promote greener ways of living. As a Resident Assistant, Rachelle helps her fellow students academically, socially and professionally. She was promoted to Senior Resident Assistant, taking on added responsibilities of overseeing other resident assistants. As an RA, she earned Best Overall Programmer in Fall 2013. Rachelle was also selected as a peer educator for SUNY Delhi's Counseling and Health Services, a role where she led creative workshops and other efforts geared to educating students about health and wellness.
Rachelle has completed over 150 hours of community service while a student at SUNY Delhi. As part of her volunteer hours, she donated 12 inches of her hair to the Wigs for Kids program and participated in SUNY Delhi's 2013 Alternative Spring Break, assisting with Hurricane Sandy relief.
Rachelle took her hospitality studies to the next level when she was selected to serve in the College Internship Program at Disney World in Orlando, FL in Spring 2014. She was also selected as a Hospitality Management Department Student of the Month as a student who embodies the spirit of the discipline.
Rachelle has participated in campus activities in other ways. She serves as a student representative on the SUNY Delhi Conduct Council hearing student judicial cases. Rachelle also participated in the 2015 SUNY Student Assembly Conference as a member of Delhi's Student Senate Executive Committee.
As an outstanding high school graduate, Samantha Travis was selected for one of SUNY Delhi's most prestigious honors, the Presidential Scholarship, upon enrollment. This program is designed to recognize, reward and inspire high-achieving students. Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or above to remain in the Presidential Scholarship Program. As a Presidential Scholar, Samantha participated in honors classes, studying topics that ranged from Travel and Leisure in American History to American Environmental History to Scandal in the British Empire. She made the Dean's List for the Fall 2014, Spring 2015 and Fall 2015 semesters.
Samantha earned the Student Life Emerging Leader Award in May 2015 for her demonstrated potential to be an outstanding leader on campus. Her leadership includes serving as a Resident Assistant for the Department of Residence Life and as the secretary for Delhi's student chapter of the National Association of Home Builders. She also coordinates the club's community service activities. As a student tutor, she helped ensure the success of 10 students in two freshman carpentry classes in Fall 2014.
Since January 2015, Samantha has promoted the viability of greener campus living as one of Delhi's Sustainability Advocates. In 2015, she served as a member of the college's Snow Shoveling Team, assisting the Facilities Department during inclement weather. Samantha currently assists the Athletic Department as a Lifeguard/Water Exercise Coach. In Fall 2014, Samantha volunteered her skilled expertise to help construct a home for a local family in need through Habitat for Humanity. Samantha's narrative essay was selected for publication in the 2015 Agate, SUNY Delhi's literary magazine.
Samantha also commits her time as a member of the college's swimming team. She earned Honorable Mention for All-American Scholar Athlete in May 2015, also qualifying for nationals. Samantha has also participated on soccer and volleyball intramural teams since Fall 2014.
Samantha was selected as one of three members of SUNY Delhi's freshman carpentry class to compete in SKILLS USA, earning sixth place in this national competition. She was also selected as a member of the scout team for the National Association of Home Builders Residential Construction Management Competition held during the weeklong International Builders Show in Las Vegas. There she reviewed procedures for a competing team.
President Vancko and Vice President for Student Life Barbara Jones will accompany Rachelle and Samantha to the awards ceremony in Albany on April 5.