Press Releases

Three Purchase Students Receive Chancellor Awards for Student Excellence

Date Released: 4/9/2009

Three students from Purchase College were awarded Chancellor's Awards for Student Excellence from the State University of New York, at ceremonies at Albany, NY.  The students were Jennifer Bakalar, Westmoreland, NH; Antonio Commisso, Flushing, NY; and Jessica Sugerman, Hillsdale, NJ.

They were among 238 students honored by the Chancellor's Office from SUNY campuses throughout New York State. 

John J. O'Connor, SUNY Vice Chancellor and Officer-In-Charge officiated and was joined by Purchase officials John Delate, Associate Dean of Student Affairs, and Professor Carol Bankerd.  The parents of the students also attended the ceremony.

The Chancellor's Awards for Student Excellence were created 12 years ago to recognize students who have demonstrated the integration of academic excellence with accomplishments in areas of leadership, athletics, community service, creative and performing arts or career achievement.

Each recipient received a medallion, which is traditionally worn at commencement, and a framed certificate.

Jennifer Bakalar of Westmoreland, NH, a visual arts major, was recognized as a modern renaissance woman with talent in dance, music, theater, and visual arts. Her paintings have been exhibited at Governor Paterson’s mansion and in President Schwarz’s conference room at Purchase College.  She has been named to the Dean’s List five times.  She has served on the Neuberger Museum Programming Committee, worked on an Autism Speaks Fundraiser, and organized exhibitions for the Purchase Wide Open Arts Festival and the Downtown Cabaret, a Purchase College program in New York City.

Antonio Commisso of Flushing NY, a political science major, is credited with transforming the Student Government into a highly efficient organization during his terms as Chair of the Senate, Interim President, Coordinator of Finance, and Resident Senator.  He is a teaching assistant and peer advisor who has been on the Dean’s List for five semesters.  He was the recipient of a President’s Award for Excellence, the Longman Publisher’s Writing Award, and the Fay and Kenneth Gang Scholarship.

Jessica Sugerman of Hillsdale NJ, a visual arts major, is a talented artist whose paintings and drawings have been featured on the covers of literary publications as well as in campus buildings. As President of the Arts Club she has promoted collaboration and implemented a number of campus programs at the Neuberger Museum that involved students from the arts and the liberal arts.  She has been a peer advisor for freshmen, a teaching assistant for painting students, and participated in Midnight Run, a program that delivers food and supplies to Manhattan’s homeless and hungry. She also designed costumes and participated in a performance at Downtown Cabaret, a Purchase College Program in New York City.