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Nursing Student Receives SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence


STONY BROOK, NY, April 8, 2024 – Nicole Jellen, a Stony Brook University School of Nursing student, has been named a 2024 recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence (CASE). This award is the highest honor that can bestowed upon a student by the University. A student leader, peer educator, and active volunteer, Jellen will receive this honor at a ceremony in Albany on April 11. This May she will graduate with a Bachelor of Science Degree from the School of Nursing.

According to the SUNY Chancellor’s office, the award “honors SUNY students who have successfully integrated SUNY excellence into many different aspects of their lives, including academics, leadership, campus involvement, community service, or creative and performing arts.” The award also celebrates students’ abilities to lead, give back, and be role models for fellow students.

Growing up on Long Island in Port Jefferson Station, Jellen was intrigued by nursing as a young girl as she saw her mother, Jessica Jellen, work as a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurse and make a huge difference in the lives of babies, and their families. Jellen decided early on to pursue nursing as a career.

She was nominated for the CASE award by four leading Nursing faculty. Jellen has flourished as a nursing student at Stony Brook in all areas of academics and service.

Nicole Jellen with her nursing mentor, Lani Blanco
Credit: Jeanne Neville

Jellen maintained academic excellence all four years and achieved a 3.94 GPA. She was elected President of the Pre-Nursing Society in 2023, where she served as a mentor and teacher to students. She is also a pathophysiology and pharmacology tutor to fellow students.

Additionally, Jellen is a certified nursing assistant, March of Dimes volunteer, a volunteer educator about domestic violence, and a member of and part of the social media committee for Sigma Kappa Gamma, an academic honor society in Nursing.

Jellen is setting the bar high for her future too. She aspires to be an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurse after graduation, specifically in the Cardiothoracic ICU, and hopes to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.

“My mother inspired me to take on the path of nursing, and as a nurse I hope to make my patients’ darkest days a little brighter,” says Jellen. “The Stony Brook School of Nursing experience has transformed me in the best way possible. The faculty, my classmates, and coworkers continue to remind me just how fulfilling nursing as a field truly is.”

Professor Lani Blanco, MA, RN, Jellen’s School of Nursing mentor, and one of the faculty who nominated her, describes Jellen as a student who has not only stood out in her academics and passion for nursing but also for her outstanding community service and compassion – all great qualities for a future nurse.

“Her achievements have made such a lasting impact to aspiring and current nursing students, the School of Nursing, the University, and to the communities we serve,” says Blanco. “The world needs nurses now more than ever, and I look forward to the wonderful and significant impact she will make in the field of nursing.”

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  • We couldn’t be any prouder of you. It’s been an amazing journey.
    We a so impressed with all your accomplishments.

    Your future is very bright!

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