Two SUNY Potsdam Students Honored with Chancellor's Awards

2018 Chancellor's Awards for Student Excellence Presented to SUNY Potsdam Students Katie Agar '18 and Torie Keeton '18

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Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson presents Katie Agar ’18 with the 2018 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, alongside SUNY Potsdam Chief Diversity Officer Bernadette Tiapo.

POTSDAM, NY (04/17/2018) (readMedia)-- Two outstanding SUNY Potsdam students were recently among those honored with the 2018 Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence. Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson presented the awards to 249 students in a ceremony at the Albany Capitol Center last week.

"I am immensely proud of these students, who have demonstrated academic excellence and dedication to enriching their campuses and communities," said SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. 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."

The SUNY Potsdam recipients included Katie Agar '18 and Torie Keeton '18.

Katie Agar is a senior sociology and speech communication major from Saugerties, N.Y. A Presidential Scholar, she is currently completing a project analyzing the school-to-prison pipeline in the U.S., centering on causes, impacts and best practices for disrupting the cycle. As an active member of the campus community, Agar serves as a peer tutor and a teaching assistant, and is a member of the Bias Incident Response Team. Agar has aided in the facilitation of many campus events and presentations to further the College's goals for diversity, equity and inclusion. She is also a volunteer with Albany's Center for Law and Justice.

Torie Keeton is a senior community health major from Waterford, N.Y., who just completed her coursework in December 2017 with a 4.0 grade point average, and has begun work as an advocacy and research advisor for The Kennedy Forum in Washington, D.C. Keeton is the president of Eta Sigma Gamma, SUNY Potsdam's chapter of the national professional honorary society in health education, and led campaigns to establish a tobacco-free policy on campus. Her career aspiration is to contribute to the creation of a comprehensive and coordination psychiatric system that more effectively covers, prevents, identifies and treats behavioral health disorders through evidence-based means. As an undergraduate, she completed internships with The Kennedy Forum; Brown and Weiraub, PLLC; Mental Health America of New York State, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness in New York State.

The Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence was created in 1997 to honor students who excel academically and show involvement in leadership roles, athletics, community service, creative and performing arts, campus involvement or career achievement.

Each year, 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. Finalists are then recommended to the Chancellor to become recipients of the award. Each recipient receives a framed certificate and medallion, which is traditionally worn at Commencement.

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America's first 50 colleges -- and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 3,600 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit