Biochemistry Students Earn Top College Honors
Hunter Czajkowski and Matthew Too receive the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence.
The Annual Honors and Awards Ceremony (April 22) and Student Leadership Awards Ceremony (April 25) recognized a number of graduating seniors for their outstanding achievements at SUNY Brockport. Matthew Too, Zachary Scott Ayers, Tanajah (Tee) Malachi, Hunter Czajkowski, and Rhonda-Lee Forbes received the college’s highest honors.
The Class of 2022 will continue its celebrations at in-person commencement ceremonies including Graduate Commencement on Thursday, May 12 at 5 pm and Undergraduate Commencement on Friday, May 13 at 9 am (School of Arts & Sciences) and 2 pm (School of Business & Management and School of Education, Health & Human Services).
President’s Citation Award
The college’s highest award recognizes a graduating senior who has demonstrated outstanding scholastic merit (a GPA of at least 3.75), a strong record of co-curricular activities, significant contributions to the college and community, and evidence of professional promise.
Matthew Too is completing a double major in Biochemistry and Mathematics with a concentration in statistics, and a double minor in Psychology and Pre-Professional Health, with a 4.0 GPA. A member of the Honors College, he received his Honors in Chemistry after completion of his Honor’s Thesis through the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He has received numerous scholarships, including the Charles W. Baden, Tae Kwon Do, Elizabeth More Bretton, and Edmund and Tina Hundt scholarships. He was also awarded the NYS Scholarship for Academic Excellence in 2018. His awards include the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, Honors Scholar Award, American Institute of Chemists’ 2022 Baccalaureate Student Award, Eastern Analytical Symposium Student Research Award (2021), 2021 Analytical Chemistry Award, and the 2018-2019 ACS Organic Chemistry Award. He was awarded the Morris Fellowship for Summer Research in Chemistry to conduct research in Darmstadt, Germany for six weeks during the summer of 2019.
Too has tutored at the college for the entirety of his undergraduate career and worked as an EOP Peer Tutor for Math, as an ASC math tutor for 15 different math courses, and as an ASC Organic Chemistry I and II tutor. He also has volunteered both on and off-campus, including service as a volunteer tutor for a high school student in pre-calculus and AP Chemistry, helping with COVID-19 pool testing, and volunteering at Crossroads House Hospice Care.
Too is applying to medical schools and hopes to get accepted into either an MD or an MD-Ph.D. program. His career goal is to become a physician/researcher and specialize in diagnostic radiology.
Graduate Distinguished Scholar Award
This award recognizes an exceptional graduate student with a record of outstanding academic work and scholarship. To be considered for the award, a nominee must be a graduating master’s level student with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.85 and outstanding scholarship or creative activity in their field of study.
ZACHARY SCOTT AYERS
Zachary Scott Ayers is completing his Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology (with research emphasis), with a 3.94 GPA. During the 2021-22 academic year he was the Lab Coordinator for Dr. Jan Gillespie’s Positive Psychology Lab. He is a member of the Brockport Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa and the National Leadership Honor Society, and has been a guest Lecturer in Psychology 424 (Positive Psychology) and Psychology 482 (Community Psychology) at SUNY Brockport. His Master’s Thesis was on applying the best possible self-exercise to reduce COVID-19 related stress and anxiety.
Ayers presented at the McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy 2021 Conference and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (Division 9 of the American Psychological Association) 2021 Virtual Conference. He will be specializing in Adult Behavior Disorders and working with Dr. Matthew W. Gallagher in his Houston Anxiety Resilience and Treatment Lab. He received a Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, Business, from the University of Rochester in 2017.
Ayers career goal is to become a clinical psychologist. He has accepted an offer to attend the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at the University of Houston beginning in fall 2022.
Marion Schrank Student Leadership Award
This award is the pinnacle of student leadership awards at SUNY Brockport that recognizes an outstanding student who demonstrates scholastic achievement, exemplary leadership, and a commitment to the college through leadership in a student organization and/or student employment. Applicants must demonstrate a record of exemplary leadership, scholastic achievement, and commitment to the college community through various modes of involvement, including campus organizations, leadership positions, peer mentorship, engaged learning, and community service. Recipients of this award exemplify integrity and civility, demonstrating a commitment to citizenship and the creation of an inclusive Brockport community.
TANAJAH (TEE) MALACHI
Tee Malachi is completing a Bachelor of Science in Social Work with a 3.78 GPA. As a student leader on campus, she has held many positions that represent her commitment to inclusivity on campus and underrepresented individuals on and off-campus including Brockport Village Hall Volunteer, Student Health Advocate, Advocacy External Coordinator with Brockport Student Government, and Youth Advocate for the NYS Office of Children and Family Services.
Malachi has earned a handful of certificates and licenses during her time at Brockport including the Gold and Green Leadership Certificates, CPR and First Aid, and Phi Alpha Honor Society. She has also participated in and led training including Creating Inclusive Spaces, Working with International Students, Responding to Mental Health Situations, and Consider Accessibility and Ableism in Your Community.
Malachi plans to attend graduate school at Binghamton University where she will earn a dual degree in Social Work and Public Administration. Her career goal is to be part of the United Nations where she can impact policy and government standards.
SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence
The Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence acknowledges students who have achieved excellence. We seek nominations of students who have best demonstrated and been recognized for their integration of academic excellence with other aspects of their lives, which may include: leadership, community service, arts (creative or performing), athletics, and/or career achievement. It is the highest honor bestowed upon a student by the college.
HUNTER CZAJKOWSKI, RHONDA-LEE FORBES & MATTHEW TOO
Hunter Czajkowski is completing a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry with a 4.0 GPA. She is also a member of the Honors College, the President of the Rotaract Club, Treasurer of the Pre-Professional Health Club, and a member of the gymnastics/track team. Her hard work and determination resulted in her being on the President’s List (Fall 2019-Fall 2020) and on the Dean’s list with Honors (Fall 2020 and Spring 2021). She has worked as a research assistant with an Orthopedic surgeon at a local hospital for over four years.
Using her leadership and athletic skills, Czajkowski coordinated the Junior Eagles Extension Program, offering disabled individuals an opportunity to participate in a gymnastic program that improves their strength and coordination. She also took the initiative to reestablish the Rotaract Club. Through her efforts, they have hosted blood drives, canned food drives to benefit local food banks, reading at the local children’s center, and a pen pal program for residents at a local nursing home.
Czajkowski plans to pursue a Master of Science in Community Health Education. She aspires to attend medical school and become an orthopedic surgeon that works with military veterans.
Rhonda-Lee Forbes is completing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a 3.7 GPA and has been on the Dean’s List every semester she has been at Brockport. She is involved in the Brockport Women in Technology Club, Brockport Student Government as a Student Court Justice, and Lead Student Desktop Technician of the IT Service Desk. She has earned the Vishal Anand Memorial Scholarship and the Community in Mathematics, Computing Sciences, and Physics Scholars Scholarship.
Forbes is passionate about implementing technology to make the world a better place through quantum computing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. She has been involved in two major projects in the field of Computer Networks. She presented at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research in 2021 and 2022 and was part of the 2021 Summer Undergraduate Research Program.
Forbes accepted a position at the San Francisco branch of Odoo as a Technical Support Specialist. She hopes to attend graduate school within the next year for Project Management.
Author: Anthony Arnone
Posted: May 01, 2022