April 8, 2013
Three Fulton-Montgomery Community College students were recently honored by SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany. Sarah Puffer of Broadalbin was honored with the Phi Theta Kappa All-New York Academic Award; Santa Pumpura of Riga, Latvia received both the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence and the Phi Theta Kappa All-New York Academic Award; and Aaron White of Broadalbin was honored with the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence.
Pumpura, a Business Administration major, is founder and president for FM’s Hands for Animals Club; she is Business Student Association Secretary; and Student Government Association Treasurer. She served on the Academic Grievance Committee, Appeals Committee, and Budget Committee. Her goal is to work in investment banking, receive a doctorate degree, and teach finance.
Puffer is a Nursing major at FM. She plans to become an acute care nurse practitioner and continue her education through the Master’s degree in Nursing. Puffer was the Chapter president for PTK, Student Government Association Secretary, FM Foundation Board Student Trustee, and Peer Tutor, among others. She also served on the graduation speaker election committee and the academic integrity committee. She was a nominee for the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence (2013).
White is president of FM’s Student Government Association. He was a recipient of the Advanced Technological Education Award for Excellence from the National Science Foundation and is a volunteer firefighter with the Broadalbin-Kennyetto Fire Association. White will continue his education at either SUNY IT or RIT to pursue an Electrical Engineering degree.
The Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence was created in 1997 to recognize students who have best demonstrated, and have been recognized for, the integration of academic excellence with accomplishments in the areas of leadership, athletics, community service, creative and performing arts, campus involvement, or career achievement.
Each year, campus presidents establish a selection committee, which reviews exemplary students. 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 award. Each recipient receives a framed certificate and medallion, which is traditionally worn at commencement.
The Phi Theta Kappa Award Ceremony recognizes outstanding community college students throughout the state. The ceremony is sponsored annually by New York Community College Trustees, the New York Community College Association of Presidents, and the Faculty Council of Community Colleges.
Phi Theta Kappa is an honor society that recognizes and encourages scholarship among two-year college students. In addition to academic achievement, recipients of the award are also evaluated on their leadership and community service involvement, and are named members of the All New York Community College Academic Team.
“These three students challenged themselves academically every day. I am very proud of their achievements and congratulate them on such extraordinary accomplishments,” says FM president Dr. Dustin Swanger.