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13 SBU Students Honored with SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence

CASE Awards - Sarah Gunaseker
Case students 24 1
SUNY Chancellor John B. King Jr. addresses the ceremony honoring the 2024 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence (CASE) winners in Albany. Photo by Valerie Caviness/SUNY

Thirteen Stony Brook University students were honored by the State University of New York (SUNY) with the 2024 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence (CASE) — the highest honor awarded to SUNY students who have best demonstrated academic excellence and leadership. The awards ceremony was held April 11 in Albany, NY.

The Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence was created in 1997 and acknowledges students who have received recognition for distinguished achievements. This year, 193 students from 62 campuses received this award.

Nominations are sought for students who have best demonstrated the integration of SUNY excellence within many aspects of their lives, including academics, leadership, diversity, equity, inclusion and justice, campus involvement, community service, research and development, and the arts.

“There is a place at SUNY for every New Yorker, and each year we come together to herald and celebrate the achievements of a diverse group of some of SUNY’s most accomplished students,” said SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr. “This year’s winners include first-generation students, researchers, a single mother and grandmother, a cancer survivor, international students hailing from over 16 nations, athletes, and a student who worked with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center — among so many more with inspiring stories of excellence in the classroom and beyond. It is my honor to celebrate the achievements of the nearly 200 CASE awardees as they inspire others and illustrate what is possible with a SUNY education.”

This year’s awardees represent each sector of SUNY including:

  • 47 students from the four university centers
  • 21 from other research and doctoral granting institutions
  • 36 from comprehensive colleges
  • 16 from technology-focused colleges
  • 73 from community colleges

Congratulations to the Stony Brook CASE 2024 winners:

Andrew Bae
Applied Mathematics and Statistics
Albany, NY
Andrew is an applied mathematics and statistics major in the honors college with a minor in computer science. He has a passion for research, was featured as a URECA Researcher of the Month and was nationally recognized as a Goldwater Scholar. Bae has published a first-author workshop paper with Susu Xu and has received the URECA Summer Award and the Tau Beta Pi Scholarship. He interned at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Summer 2023. Bae is on the executive board of the Korean Student Association. He will be pursuing his PhD starting in Fall 2024.

Joseph Bisiani
Miller Place, NY
Joseph Bisiani is a physics major in the Honors College who is minoring in chemistry and is currently applying to medical school. Bisiani serves in the Undergraduate Student Government as the vice
president of university affairs and has worked as a resident assistant for the last two and a half years. He conducts research in the Department of Anesthesiology at Stony Brook University Hospital and was recently published as a primary author. He is very active in his campus community and enjoys exploring interests that combine his love for medicine and physics.

Sofia Chambers
Political Science
Irvine, CA
Sofia is a dedicated student-athlete majoring in political science and completing minors in both English and writing and rhetoric. She is a four-year member and senior captain of the Division 1 Stony Brook softball team and has participated in numerous team-sponsored community engagement activities. She is also an active leader on campus, having served on three e-boards (Benedict Hall Council, C-TARA Hall Council and the National Residence Hall Honorary). Chambers is a Phi Beta Kappa scholar, an America East and Colonial Athletics Association Commissioner’s Honor Roll recipient, and a seven-time Dean’s List student.

Sarah Gunasekera
Biology/Applied Mathematics and Statistics
Mount Sinai, NY
Sarah Gunasekera is a double major in biology and applied mathematics and statistics in the Honors College. She is a recipient of the nationally recognized Barry Goldwater Scholarship and plans to pursue a PhD in doctoral studies. She is deeply involved in undergraduate research, participates in the on-campus club tennis team both as president and a competitive team member, and engages in teaching assistant opportunities in several undergraduate courses. In future training opportunities, she hopes to explore novel research questions, participate in academic communities and develop as a scientist.

Sarah Hassan
Applied Mathematics and Statistics/Economics
Old Westbury, NY
Sarah Hassan is a member of Phi Beta Kappa who graduated summa cum laude in December 2023 with a double major in applied mathematics and statistics and economics. She served as a teaching assistant for five courses and as a member of the Dean’s Council. She also conducted research with Elinor Schoenfeld related to healthy aging, clinical research as an academic associate in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Stony Brook University Hospital, and economics research. Hassan plans to draw upon her varied experiences at Stony Brook to become a dedicated physician.

Nicole Jellen
Port Jefferson Station, NY
Nicole Jellen is a nursing major with aspirations to become a certified registered nurse anesthetist. She was the hand-selected nursing intern for Stony Brook’s cardiothoracic ICU, where she hopes to practice upon graduation. She is the president of the Stony Brook Pre-Nursing Society, where she serves as a mentor and teacher for students applying to the program. Jellen is also a pathophysiology and pharmacology tutor, certified nursing assistant, volunteer educator for bystander intervention, March of Dimes volunteer, Sigma Theta Tau media committee member, and member of the Stony Brook University Student Nurses’ Association.

Rachel Leong
Electrical Engineering
Brooklyn, NY
Rachel Leong is an aspiring electrical engineer in the Honors College majoring in electrical engineering, specializing in power and energy systems. She has interned at a non-profit organization, a power
transmissions company and an electrical contracting company. She loves planning events and projects to encourage involvement in electrical, computer and software engineering. She is president of the Stony Brook University Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers student branch and lead peer mentor for the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Additionally, Leong is a member of Tau Beta Pi and was an event coordinator for the Society of Women Engineers Stony Brook.

Devin Lobosco
Biochemistry/Women’s and Gender Studies
Bayside, NY
Devin Lobosco is a senior double majoring in women’s and gender studies and biochemistry. They aspire to work as an emergency medicine physician while simultaneously advocating for greater inclusivity in healthcare policy and practice. Lobosco currently serves as president of the Undergraduate Student Government, volunteers as a training officer and EMT at Port Jefferson Emergency Medical Services, and does psychiatry research with patients at a Stony Brook clinic.

Christopher Moore
Biomedical Engineering
South Setauket, NY
Christopher Moore is a biomedical engineering major and aspiring physician-scientist in the Honors College. Mentored by Wei Lin and Ulas Sunar, Moore enjoys doing research and was recognized as a URECA Researcher of the Month. He was also honored as one of six trustee scholars at the annual Stars of Stony Brook Gala. Moore contributes to Ete Chan’s Vertically Integrated Project team, serves as president of the Model United Nations club, is a volunteer EMT, director of SBUHacks, and vice president of Alpha Eta Mu Beta.

Gursimran Padda
Globalization Studies/Sociology
Queens, NY
Gursimran is a first-generation college student double majoring in globalization studies and sociology with a passion for community advocacy. Despite being a commuter, he has gone out of his way to be involved with the larger campus community. He has hosted fundraisers and social events for Stony Brook’s UNICEF and Peace Action clubs, worked as a research assistant focusing on migration policy, been an Undergraduate College fellow, and served as a teaching assistant for three semesters. Outside of academics, he has worked with local nonprofits in his community to build advocacy capacity and knowledge within the AAPI community.

Christina Reed
Sustainability Studies/Economics
Freeport, NY
Christina Reed (she/her) double majors in sustainability studies and economics with a minor in Africana studies. Her passion for sustainability and environmental justice is evident in her community involvement on and off campus. Through serving as sustainability coordinator of the environmental club, leading advocacy workshops focusing on the plastics crisis, working as a hydroponic team member for Stony Brook’s freight farm, and forming hydroponic gardening programs for children and teens at the Levittown Public Library, Reed continues to promote climate action and education. In addition, she is a runner and completed the 2023 NYC Marathon while fundraising for a youth-based running charity.

Nikhil Vohra
Syosset, NY
Nikhil Vohra is an Honors College student majoring in physics and linguistics. He is passionate about the advancement of accessibility for those with disabilities and the pursuit of knowledge in his fields of study. His proudest accomplishments include working with a team of faculty and students to create tactile spectrograms to improve accessibility for blind and visually impaired students of phonetics and conducting computational research as part of an REU nanophysics program in Washington, D.C., to simulate the properties of quantum dots. Vohra looks forward to continuing such work in the future.

Kevin Wang
New York, NY
Kevin Wang is a first-generation college student pursuing a degree in chemistry. He is passionate about computational research and conducts research on unentangled polymer nanocomposites in the Aponte-Rivera Lab. He spent a summer participating in a computational biochemistry research program sponsored by the NSF. Wang has been on the Dean’s list every semester and served as a teaching assistant for a biology laboratory course. Additionally, he is a chief on the Stony Brook Campus Community Emergency Response Team and a member of the American Chemical Society.

View a photo gallery of Stony Brook winners with Chancellor King and Stony Brook Assistant Chief Diversity Officer Usama Shaikh:

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