Stony Brook University senior Saaima Nanabawa was named to the inaugural class of Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) Student Ambassadors, one of 21 current EOP students from 20 State University of New York (SUNY) campuses.
EOP Student Ambassadors will mentor their fellow students, create a student support network of EOP students across the SUNY system, advise the SUNY chancellor on strengthening the program, and help inspire more students to seek opportunities through EOP.
A psychology major who is interested in pursuing a nursing degree, Nanabawa was nominated for EOP ambassador by her counselor, Jenille Johnson, and endorsed by Stony Brook’s EOP/AIM director, Pamela Matzner.
“Saaima is a student who truly represents what EOP is all about and will serve in the role as EOP Student Ambassador well,” Matzner said. “She came to Stony Brook and immediately took advantage of all the resources and support both EOP and SBU had to offer. The EOP team and her peers are extremely proud that Saaima was chosen for this important role within SUNY, and will no doubt represent us well.”
SUNY chancellor Jim Malatras made the announcement on October 22 at the EOP Directors Conference, which focused on economic eligibility, student engagement, recruitment practices, and strategic priorities.
“For decades, the Educational Opportunity Program at SUNY has changed the lives of countless students from across every corner of the state, and we must continue to build upon that legacy of access, opportunity, and success for the next generation of students,” said Malatras. “Our 21 new EOP Student Ambassadors will help us do just that by bringing their voices to the table and guiding SUNY leadership on ways to further increase access to SUNY, strengthen the support EOP students need on campuses to succeed, and continue to increase retention and graduation rates.”
Each SUNY EOP director was asked to nominate students. A committee comprised of EOP directors and SUNY system administrators selected student ambassadors based on their demonstrated leadership, potential as a peer mentor, and commitment to the program. Ambassadors are EOP students in good academic standing who are enrolled full-time for the Fall 2021 semester. EOP Student Ambassadors will receive stipends of $5,000 to carry out this important new role, totaling $105,000 for the year.