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Chancellor's Awards for Student Excellence

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, campus presidents establish a selection committee, which reviews exemplary members of their college communities who are graduating. 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 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence.  Each recipient receives a framed certificate and medallion, which is traditionally worn at commencement. 

SUNY annually honors approximately 300 students from all 64 campuses throughout the State University of New York for their student achievements. Recipients of this award annually exhibit a Grade Point Average of over 3.7 and impressive records of significant contributions to their campuses and communities. Each recipient receives a framed certificate and medallion, which is traditionally worn at commencement.

2017 Recipients of the Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence

  • Ashley Attianese
    Old Bridge, NJ
    Fashion Business Management
    Ashley served as president and was a founding member of Runway27, one of FIT’s largest student organizations. She spearheaded four successful student-run fashion shows on campus. Her leadership skills helped make each event true interdisciplinary initiatives, involving students from all majors. She rounded out her experience by studying abroad in Florence. After completing a successful internship last summer with Macy’s Merchandising Group, she was offered early acceptance into their prestigious Executive Training Program upon graduation.
  • Sonne Bajwa
    New York, NY
    Fashion Business Management
    Sonne is a firm believer in leading the change he wants to see. He serves as the president of the National Retail Federation Student Association. In addition, he is the digital brand manager for the Style Shop, a Leadership Ambassador, and also a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. His commitment to leading a positive change in his community goes beyond FIT, being an active volunteer at an animal shelter and various events around the city.
  • Vanessa Bennish
    Salisbury, MD
    Vanessa is a member of the Presidential Scholars, FIT’s honors program, and she is the recipient of a Gordon Park’s Foundation Scholarship (in partnership with Macy’s). She competed in volleyball where she was recognized with numerous NJCAA awards. Vanessa juggled part-time employment as a caregiver for an individual with special needs and launched her own photography business while at FIT. PROMO Magazine has offered her a Creative Director position she will begin upon graduation.
  • Gabriella Manduca
    Staten Island, NY
    International Trade and Marketing for the Fashion Industries
    Gabriella is FIT’s first youth delegate to the United Nations. She is a peer writing consultant in the FIT Writing Studio, a certified swim coach for Special Olympics, and a Presidential Scholar in FIT’s Honors Program. She studied in Florence with the Jerome L. Greene Scholarship and is a recipient of international trade scholarships. While completing her senior thesis concerning counterfeit fashion, she is applying to law school to study intellectual property for the fashion industry.
  • Shannon McIver
    Wantagh, NY
    Fashion Business Management
    Shannon is a member of the Presidential Scholars, the honors program at FIT. She received the SUNY Chancellor’s Scholar Athlete Award and joined the athletic staff as a student assistant coach. Shannon serves as an orientation leader and head planner of the FIT Style Shop. She has interned and worked in various apparel companies and studied abroad in Florence, Italy. Shannon is an active member of the Merchandising Society, FIT’s oldest and largest club.
  • Bruno Meira
    Flushing, NY
    International Trade and Marketing for the Fashion Industries
    Bruno is a Presidential Scholar in FIT’s honors program and the recipient of a number of competitive academic scholarships. He has also studied and interned abroad in France. Bruno was admitted to FIT through the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP). He founded the FIT Models and Stylists Association, in which he developed a creative network of noted alumni, industry leaders, and over 1,000 students. He has learned three languages and traveled six continents to understand fashion worldwide.

View the Awards Ceremony Program (.pdf)

Past Recipients