Published April 26, 2023
Fifteen UB students have been named recipients of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, the highest honor SUNY bestows upon its students.
The award was created in 1997 and is given annually to recognize high-achieving SUNY students who also excel in such areas as leadership, community service, campus involvement or the arts.
Each year, selection committees from each SUNY campus consider nominees, who are then recommended to the chancellor’s office.
This year’s winners have been invited to the awards ceremony scheduled for April 24 in Albany.
The recipients of the 2023 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence:
Annabella Bogart of Amherst is a College of Arts and Sciences Ambassador from the Department of Psychology, an Alternative Break team leader, a freedom of assembly support team ambassador, Phi Alpha Delta professional chair and researcher with the Prosecution Project, among many other activities on and off campus. She graduates with a bachelor’s degree in law and psychology and a minor in philosophy, politics and economics.
Kylie Kobrin Brosnan
Kylie Kobrin Brosnan of Floral Park is a University Honors College Scholar. She has served as vice president of advocates for the Girls’ Education Club, the College of Arts and Sciences’ Ambassador from the Department of Communication and a teaching assistant. An AmeriCorps ABLE summer alumna, she now works as an after-school counselor at the local Jewish Community Center. She graduates with a Bachelor of Arts in communication.
Ariel Clarke is a University Advanced Honors College Scholar and a Discover Law Undergraduate Scholar. She has held an array of leadership positions at UB, including as a diversity advocate; UB Student Association student affairs director; president, vice president and events coordinator of UB P.U.L.S.E. (Powerful United Ladies Striving to Elevate); and secretary, as well as events coordinator, for the Pre-Law NBLSA (National Black Law Students Association). Clarke has also served as chair of the SUNY Student Assembly’s DEI Committee and a SUNY SA student delegate. She graduates as a double major with a Bachelor of Arts in criminology and political science.
Nicole Guzman of Yonkers is a recipient of a Grace W. Capen Academic Award, was selected as the Sociology & Criminology Student Spotlight and is a current member of Psi Chi. She has been a resident adviser, psychology and first-generation peer mentor, and secretary for the Undergraduate Psychology Association. Guzman also worked at the Alcohol Research Lab. She graduates with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and criminology.
Alexis Harrell of Albany plans to attend graduate school in the United
Kingdom after receiving the prestigious Marshall Scholarship. Harrell was selected as a Humanity in Action Fellow, where she researched human rights violations in Warsaw, Poland, in June 2022. As a Presidential and McNair Scholar, she created curricula to help 600 first-year computing students understand racial bias within policing algorithms. Harrell also served as president and research director of UB’s Society and Computing Club. She graduates with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and sociology.
Will Johnson of Byron, a University Honors College Scholar, has conducted research on biosensors and microfluidics for medical applications in the Sensors and MicroActuators Learning Lab. He has held three mentorship and teaching roles in the Department of Electrical Engineering and has interned on the analog design team for L3Harris Technologies, helping to design hardware for space imaging systems. He graduates with a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering and a minor in computer science.
Hannah Krull of Buffalo has worked in the library field for three years and will enroll in UB’s MS in Information and Library Science program to advance her career in the information professions. She is a College of Arts and Sciences Ambassador from the Department of Sociology, an Honors peer mentor and a recipient of the UB LGBTQ FSA Pride Scholarship. She has been an avid volunteer in Buffalo and in her hometown of Cuba, N.Y. She graduates with a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and global gender and sexuality studies.
An international student from South Korea, Haeni Lee is a University Honors College Scholar. She has been a senator in the Residence Hall Association, a teaching assistant and research assistant, and has interned with several laboratories and a company. She has worked in UB’s medicinal chemistry program, contributing to work on helping pregnant women quit smoking and studying maternal substance use related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lee graduates with a Bachelor of Science in biomedical sciences, with a public health minor.
Jordana Mazer of Rockland County is a Presidential Scholar within the University Honors College. She has taken part in multiple research opportunities, including working as an undergraduate researcher contributing to the advancement of chemical recycling. Mazer also has taught elementary school students at a local synagogue during her entire career at UB. She graduates with a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering and a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics.
Richard Pasternack of Alden is a recipient of UB’s Excellence in General and Organic Chemistry Award and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Pasternack works as a research aide studying bicarbonate transport and is a medical assistant for an endocrinology practice. He volunteers at the Pediatric Urgent Care of WNY and is a board member for the Alden Community Scholarship Foundation. He graduates with a Bachelor of Science in biomedical sciences.
Sarah Sauer of Buffalo is an University Honors College Scholar and ambassador. She is a teaching assistant, a member of the Women’s Empowerment and Leadership Club, and a guest speaker for the School of Management’s Center for Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness. Sauer has also worked as a BLASER for UB’s Blackstone LaunchPad, developing and executing pitch competitions while recruiting students to Buffalo’s community of entrepreneurs. She graduates with a Bachelor of Science in business administration with concentrations in financial analysis and international business.
Jyla Serfino of Rochester is a University Honors College Scholar and a Presidential Scholar. She is a statistics teaching assistant and has written an honors thesis about redlining in Buffalo. Serfino is president of the Society and Computing Club, an organization in the School of Engineering. She works as an executive assistant in the Office of Admissions, and volunteers at a local nonprofit. Serfino graduates with bachelor’s degrees in psychology and political science, with a minor in history.
Annika Smith of Hamburg is a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters and an alumna of Americorps Vista and AmeriCorps ABLE. She is currently spending the academic year abroad in Lyon, France. Smith has presented her research on German politics at the Midwest Political Science Conference and pursues research on masking practices in Cote D'Ivoire. She graduates with a Bachelor of Arts in global affairs and French.
Meghan Sullivan of Rochester is a University Honors College Scholar and a 2022 recipient of a Goldwater Scholarship. She has served as a tutor, a peer notetaker, a teaching assistant, a student ambassador and founder/president of the UB ChemClub, the UB student chapter of the American Chemical Society. She has conducted research in the lab of chemistry professor Timothy Cook for three years, contributing to multiple projects and publications. She graduates with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry.
Connor Whitney of Cuba, N.Y., is a University Honors College Scholar. He has been an Honors ambassador and AmeriCorps volunteer, as well as a teaching assistant. He is also a member of the selective History Department honors program. Whitney received the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award for volunteering more than 300 hours in summer 2022. He graduates with a Bachelor of Arts in history and political science.