Chancellor's Student Awards

Chancellor’s Award 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. 

Last year SUNY honored 135 students from 63 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.

2021 Recipient

Sonja Feaster
Coppell,TX
Textile Surface Design
Sonja is an extraordinary artist, leader, and academic. She maintains a 3.98 GPA while representing Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) as a Presidential Scholar, track captain, and National Student-Athlete councilmember. She contributed to the Massachusettes Institute of Technology and FIT Functional Fabrics Workshop, and completed five distinguished internships. Sonja received numerous awards for her design ingenuity and leadership.

» View the 2021 Chancellor’s Award Program (pdf).

Past Recipients

Meredith Barnaby
Plattsburgh, NY
Advertising & Marketing Communications
Meredith Barnaby is a student leader who is passionate about sustainability and building partnerships. She is an Excelsior and Presidential Scholar, member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, recipient of the competitive Jerome Greene scholarship, Resident Assistant, and Fourth Floor Fashion campus ambassador who maintains a 3.95 GPA. After studying abroad and completing three internships, she’s dedicated herself to event planning for charitable organizations. Her event repertoire includes FIT Gala and World of Children Awards.

Andrea Billings
East Orange, NJ
Production Management: Fashion and Related Industries
Andrea Billings is a persevering and dedicated student who contributes greatly to her campus community. As a full-time student, Andrea has balanced four leadership roles including: Orientation Leader, Residential Life Community Assistant, and Gospel Choir President. She studied abroad in Paris and has interned with Kate Spade and the FIT/Infor Design Lab. Andrea is a Black Retail Action Group Scholar and recipient of Club President of the Year Award for ‘18-’19.

Alin Intravisit
Bangkok, Thailand
Fashion Business Management
Alin has left no stone unturned during her time at FIT. Academically, she is a member of the Presidential Scholars Program and pursued four minors. A passionate business student, she was the President of the National Retail Federation Student Association and won four business case competitions, all while building solid professional experiences with five internships in three different industries. She has been highly involved on campus, serving as a Cultural Fellow and an Orientation Leader.

Daniella Koller
Mamaroneck, NY
Fashion Design
Having previously studied biology, Daniella is passionate about design’s intersection with science, innovation, and sustainability. Her work on EcoLastane for the BioDesign Challenge, contributions to AFFOA coded design, and pursuit of knitted textiles have further cultivated these passions. In addition to receiving numerous awards and maintaining a 4.0 GPA, she has represented FIT through studying in England and India, presenting at NYCxDesign, volunteering at FabScrap, and serving on the Residence Hall Conduct Appeal Board.

Michele Sparrow
Pearl River, NY
Textile Development & Marketing
Michele has used the power of positivity to make the most of her time at FIT. As a first-generation college student, she has pursued a degree in Textile Development and Marketing and has attained three minors with a focus on the importance of sustainability within the fashion industry. She is the leader of FIT Hives, a Senior RA, Team Manager for the FIT Women’s and Men’s Tennis teams and serves on FIT’s Student Government Association. View the 2020 Chancellor’s Award Program (.pdf)

» View the 2020 SUNY Chancellor's Award Program (.pdf)

Samantha Berger
Fashion Design
New York, NY
Samantha is a dedicated student who brings her positive attitude to everything she does. She is passionate about children’s clothing and has made a difference for kids by creating a fashion camp for middle schoolers, as well as designing hospital gowns for pediatric cancer patients. At FIT, Samantha has been a part of the Presidential Scholars Program, studied abroad in Italy, and been the women’s soccer goalie, all while completing six internships and two minors.

Kiana Brooks
Fashion Business Management
Atlanta, GA
Kiana Brooks is a member of the Presidential Scholars Program at FIT and is Vice President of the Black Retail Action Group. She has pursued two specializations, two minors, and numerous prestigious internships, all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Kiana was captain of the FIT Tennis Team and is a two-time national champion. Her love for languages pushed her to add both Spanish and Italian to her language repertoire.

Zainab Koli
Fashion Business Management
Flushing, NY
Zainab is a leader who sees needs in her communities and challenges herself to start creating. She is the Co-Founder/Director of NY MSA Showdown, founder of Muslim Student Union at FIT, and leader of FIT’s Student Walkout in response to the Muslim Ban. Her academic accomplishments include the Departmental Award in FBM, Dean’s List, 3 minors, study abroad scholarship, and Presidential Scholars. Zainab also served as a Peer Writing Consultant and various fashion industry positions.

Joanna Mingo
Fashion Business Management
Islip Terrace, NY
Joanna has taken full advantage of her time at FIT. While being a full-time student, Joanna has served as Director of Programming and as Vice President of the FIT Student Government Association, been an Orientation Leader, and an RA. Additionally, she has attained three minors in addition to her product development specialization, and she has completed five internships at prestigious companies such as Marc Jacobs and Givenchy. Joanna has received a full-time job offer with her dream company, Macy’s, for after graduation.

Kathleen O’Brien
Advertising and Digital Design
Stony Brook, NY
Kathleen’s hustle, responsibility, and dedication have helped her excel inside and out of the classroom at FIT. She’s been a leader on campus through her role as a Senior Resident Assistant, a member of FIT’s Student Government Association, and as President of the Advertising Design club. She will be graduating with a BFA in Advertising and Digital Design along with 3 minors.

Veronica Apsan
Park Ridge, NJ
Fashion Design
Veronica is a very engaged student and is committed to making a positive impact through fashion. She mentors youth and inspires them to exceed expectations in personal growth, leadership, business, and the arts. Her work has been in collaboration with Culture for One Foster Care Program, Make-A-Wish America, United Federation of Teachers, and Children of United Nations Foundation. She launched a fashion media start-up, www.fashiontv.nyc, and competed in the BioDesign challenge and other contests.

Arpi Dayian
Dallas, TX
Interior Design
In addition to being on the Dean’s List every semester while studying Interior Design at FIT, Arpi is the Public Relations Officer for the Interior Design Club, a volunteer for the National Cancer Society, and a two-year Team Captain for the volleyball team. Arpi is also a member of the winning team for the NFLxFIT Visual Design Competition, whose products will be sold in the NFL Shop and Target.

Gina Gargiulo
Bay Shore, NY
Advertising & Marketing Communications
Gina served as the President and Editor In Chief of Blush, one of FIT’s student-run magazines. She coordinated a successful fundraiser in 2017, winning the FIT Student Government Association’s Best Fundraiser Award. While doing so, she collected beauty items for Dress for Success and volunteered for the non-profit organization. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa and has interned at four media and fashion-related companies.

Nermeen Ileiwat
Clifton, NJ
Advertising & Marketing Communications
Nermeen is a first-generation Syrian & Palestinian Muslim American. She belongs to FIT’s Honors Program and Phi Theta Kappa. Her accomplishments include multiple academic scholarships and a semester spent studying in Rome. Upon graduation, she will have six minors in addition to her Advertising & Marketing major. She was able to accomplish this while working two part-time jobs, completing various internships as an Editorial intern, and writing for the FIT student newspaper.

Joanna Del Priore
Staten Island, NY
Fashion Business Management
Joanna has been recognized for many leadership initiatives and internship experiences. She is the founder and president of IN.dustry Club, a new, interdisciplinary organization for professional development. She serves as Secretary for the Production Management Club, and has held management roles in the Merchandising Society. Joanna completed seven internships while balancing school and a retail position. She has earned academic honors and mentors students.

William Rossi
Lindenhurst, NY
International Trade and Marketing for the Fashion Industries
William is a highly involved student, serving in multiple leadership roles, hosting events, and maintaining rigorous academics — for which they were awarded several scholarships. They have served as Director of Sustainability for student government and fostered student-led initiatives that drive sustainability efforts at FIT and beyond. William aims to become an influential leader of the global fashion industry, helping to mold a sustainable future. Their maxim challenges all to “be good and do good.” 

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
Photography
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.

Christina Castonguay
Mt. Laurel, NJ
Fashion Business Management

Christina was valedictorian of her class when she completed her associate degree at FIT. She is a Presidential Scholar and has served as treasurer of the Merchandising Society, FIT’s largest and oldest club. After a successful internship at Kleinfeld Bridal, she was hired as an assistant to one of their top designers and she continues to thrive there.

Veronique Ehamo
Freeport, NY
International Trade and Marketing

Veronique is a global learner who has contributed to campuses on three continents and is a Soroptimist International of NY scholarship recipient. She has studied abroad in London and Shanghai. Since 2008 she has volunteered for a project in the Democratic Republic of Congo that has built 118 primary and secondary schools. Veronique interns with the High Commissioner of Human Rights Office at the U.N.

Lisbeth Jimenez
Bogota, NJ
Interior Design

Lisbeth is an outstanding example of one who has integrated her studies with civic engagement. She helped lead the Interior Design Relief Project that helped families in Long Beach, NY, after Superstorm Sandy, updated spaces in a women’s shelter, and built a school from plastic bottles in Guatemala, among other projects. She participated in internships and graduated summa cum laude.

Eleonora Mazzetti
Houston, TX
Fashion Business Management

Eleonora is a member of the FIT honors program (Presidential Scholars). She was selected to represent FIT at the 2016 World Retail Congress in Dubai, where she and her team will compete with students from around the world. She serves as a resident assistant and student ambassador coordinator. Eleonora has been secretary and president of the Merchandising Society, FIT’s oldest and largest club.

Kim Nguyen
Houston, TX
Fashion Design

Kim is the first FIT student to receive a full scholarship from Michael Kors to pursue her bachelor of fine arts degree in fashion design. She is currently studying in Milan and has studied in Florence while completing her associate degree. She has interned and worked in various fashion companies. Kim established Colturra, her own label, through which she has sold garments online, organized a fashion show, and received media coverage.

Christopher Wallace
Brooklyn, NY
Production Management – Fashion and Related Industries

Christopher Wallace is a Baker Scholar who revitalized the Theatre Ensemble and served as president of the FIT Student Association. He is a member of the SUNY Student Assembly, where he is deputy director of communications, digital strategist. He has contributed to a number of strategic planning committees at FIT, all while succeeding at internships and in his courses.

Micaela Burke
Phoenix, NY
Advertising and Marketing Communications Micaela served as the chair of the campus- wide Student Affairs Committee and the vice president of the FIT Student Association for Residential Life. As a resident assistant, she served as the president of the Residence Hall Community  Council.

Matar Cohen
New York, NY Advertising Design
Matar won a Best Advertising Campaign award by Spotify and received a full-page article about her artistic achievements at a leading newspaper. She won Best App Concept Award by the Media Design Club and published an article on a leading advertising agency’s website.

Estefania Garcia-Correa
New York, NY
International Trade and Marketing
As president of the Latin American Student Association, Estefania organized the Latin American Musical Celebration, which was supported by a grant from the FIT Diversity Council. She was also the international London and Paris fashion week correspondent for The Source magazine.

Emilee Koss
Clarence Center, NY Textile/Surface Design
Emilee re-instated the Textile and Surface Design Club, served as its president for the past two years. She won the Textile/Surface Design Adobe Illustrator class competition, and her designs will be printed and sold in The City Quilter’s Shop.

Elizabeth Pulos
Brooklyn, NY
International Trade and Marketing
Elizabeth was awarded three International Trade and Marketing Scholarships. She served as president of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Club, and she co-authored the Open SUNY Textbook Good Corporation, Bad Corporation: CSR in the Global Economy.

Wen Zhao
Hurstville, NSW, Australia
Textile Development and Marketing
Wen served as president of the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists at FIT. She won  the 2015 YMA Geoffrey Beene Scholarship Competition. She served as a member of the 2013 Future Retail Challenge Student Competition at the World Retail Congress in Paris. 

Monike Bartley-Williams, from Thornton Heath, Surrey in the United Kingdom, is graduating from FIT in May with a BS degree in Production Management in Fashion Related Industries. A FIT Production Management Club VP, Ms. Bartley-Williams maintains a GPA of 3.5. Some of Ms. Bartley-Williams many co-curricular achievements include serving as a Senior Resident Assistant and also as Manager of Films for the FIT Student Association.

Jaime Duncan, from Massapequa, NY, is graduating from FIT in May with a BS degree in Fashion Merchandising Management. Ms. Duncan maintains a GPA of 3.83 and was the recipient of the Barnes and Noble “Pursue Your Passion” Grant for organizing a volunteer mural painting project at the American Hospital of Paris in June-July 2012. Some of Ms. Duncan’s many co-curricular achievements include winning the Retail Futures Challenge at the World Retail Congress held in Paris in October 2013 and participating in the London Internship Program in May-June 2013.

Hyuna (Helen) Na, from Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, is graduating from FIT in May with a BFA degree in Packaging Design. Co-President of the Packaging Design Club, Ms. Na maintains a GPA of 3.78. Some of Ms. Na’s many co-curricular achievements include serving as Treasurer of the FIT Student Association Executive Board and as a FIT Resident Assistant.

Elizabeth Halberstadt, from Indianapolis, IN, is graduating from FIT in May with a BFA degree in Fabric Styling. Having also completed three minors at FIT in English, Film Studies, and Art History, Ms. Halberstadt maintains a GPA of 3.69 and was the recipient of the Barnes and Noble’s “Pursue Your Passion” Grant for teaching English in Crete. Some of Ms. Halberstadt’s many co-curricular achievements include contributing writing and research reports to Stylesight, a trend forecasting agency.

Fernanda DeSouza, from Bethpage, NY, is graduating from FIT in May with a BS degree in Advertising and Marketing Communications. Editor-in-Chief of W27, FIT’s student-run newspaper, Ms. DeSouza maintains a GPA of 3.71. Some of Ms. DeSouza’s many co-curricular achievements include serving as captain of FIT’s women’s tennis team, and authoring a 100-page novella along with three 20-page short stories during a semester-long independent study.

Zara Khalid, from Scarsdale, NY, is graduating from FIT in May with a BS degree in Advertising and Marketing Communications. A Baker and NYS Diversity Scholarship recipient, Ms. Khalid maintains a GPA of 3.46. Some of Ms. Khalid’s many co-curricular achievements include serving as a Student Ambassador and Resident Assistant at FIT, along with co-founding and serving as Editor-at-Large for Student’s Blog Magazine (Pakistan).

Sanya Khanna, from Natick, MA, graduated from FIT in December 2013 with a BS degree in Advertising and Marketing Communications. Having served as the first Vice President of FIT’s Technology Student Association, Ms. Khanna maintained a GPA of 3.89. Some of Ms. Khanna’s many co-curricular achievements have included regular volunteer work at New York KEEN (Kids Enjoy Exercise Now) and serving as Co-Founder, President, and Treasurer of FIT’s Multicultural Association of South Asians Living in America Club.

  • Augusta Falletta
  • Brittany Harris
  • Nicole Lorden
  • Julia Sinelnikova
  • Anubhuti Swarup
  • Madeline Thompson
  • Darrin Amellio
  • Johanna Brozinsky
  • Cassandra Holden
  • Teneka King
  • Ou Ma
  • Yecca Zeng
  • Jusil Carroll 
  • Lily Chen 
  • Catherine Garrison 
  • Amanda Shay 
  • Julia Sinelnikova
  • Heather Viggiani 
  • Melanie Guardino
  • Abigail Kong
  • Elizabeth Krieg
  • Lindsay Rodabaugh
  • Zadrian Smith
  • Sara Cortese
  • Noel Falene Krauss
  • Elizabeth Wade Lotts
  • Inga Poslitur
  • Julie Saldinger
  • Lisa Yost

Chancellor's Scholar Athlete Awards

The Scholar Athlete Award recognizes a combination of academic excellence and outstanding athletic achievement at the Division I, Division III, and NJCAA levels.

Scholar athletes are selected by System Administration in consultation with the campus athletic directors at each level of play.  The Division I Athletic Directors nominate candidates from the four institutions competing in Division I; the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) and athletic directors from the independent institutions nominate student athletes participating in Division III programs; Region 3 and Region 15 of the NJCAA nominate student athletes from two-year schools.

2017-2018
Leah King, Women's Swimming & Diving

2016-2017
Nicole Druzhinsky, Women’s Tennis
Myles Gala, Men’s Swimming & Diving

2014 - 2015
Shannon McIver, Women's Half Marathon
Emily Mance, Women's Swimming and Diving
Nicole Ruzhinsky, Women's Tennis 

2013 - 2014
Lindsey Schroth, Women's Cross Country
Maria Paolillo, Women's Half Marathon
Emily Mance, Women's Swimming and Diving
Robyn Arteaga, Women's Tennis

2012 - 2013
Shachar Keizman, Men's Swimming and Diving
Megan Houff, Volleyball
Kelsey Oglesby, Women's Cross Country
Jacquelyn Kicksee, Women's Swimming and Diving

2011 - 2012
Alyssa Bernstein, Women's Tennis
Taylor Heinselman, Women's Half Marathon
Shachar Keizman, Men's Swimming
Jacqueline Kicksee, Women's Swimming

2010 - 2011
Annelese Trezza, Women's Half Marathon
Michelle Welles, Women's Swimming & Diving