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Student Athletes Are Recognized for Excellent Performance In The Game and In The Classroom



A member of the College at Brockport womens gymnastics team smiles at the end of her vault routine.

College athletics is a big deal across America. Big and small schools spanning Division I to III and all the junior circuits bring students and communities together to cheer for these student athletes and watch talent that gets better and better every year. SUNY brings this type of talent all throughout New York State with more than 85 NCAA Division I, 290 NCAA Division III, and 385 NJCAA athletic teams, as well as hundreds of non-competitive athletic clubs.

But one thing we can’t forget about student athletics is the term student. These great athletes are also working toward a college degree that will open doors to many careers beyond athletics once they graduate. And when teams are made up of athletes that are top competitors on the field and in the classroom, we see the best of student athletics.

This year, a number of SUNY teams have reached new heights, earning recognition from Chancellor Johnson and the SUNY Board of Trustees for their achievements both in the classroom and in the game. Six SUNY sports teams won national collegiate championships last year, and along with that they each excelled in the classroom with outstanding grade point averages. The following teams were recognized for their accomplishments:

  • SUNY Brockport Women’s Gymnastics Team– The SUNY Brockport women’s gymnastics team won the 2019 National Collegiate Gymnastics Association national championship in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Brockport Senior Candis Kowalik earned the title of NCGA All-Around National Champion, with a score of 38.400. This is the first time that a team from the East Region has won a National Championship hosted in the West Region.
  • Herkimer Community College Men’s Basketball Team- The men’s basketball team at Herkimer Community College won the 2019 NJCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament in Rochester, Minnesota; the first time a Region III team has won the men’s basketball championship since 1993. Sophomore Derrick Felder was named Tournament MVP for his performance over the course of the tournament. Felder scored 23 points, and had seven rebounds, and three assists in the championship game.
  • Onondoga Community College Men’s Lacrosse TeamThe Ondondoga Community College men’s lacrosse team won the 2019 NJCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship in Batavia, NY, for the third consecutive year. Onondoga sophomore Frank Delia was named the tournament’s top defensive player, finishing with 19 saves in the national title game.
  • SUNY Plattsburgh Women’s Hockey Team– The women’s hockey team at SUNY Plattsburgh won the NCAA National Championship this year, for the seventh time. Senior forward Courtney Moriarty was named tournament MVP, and was joined by Kassi Abbott, Annie Katonka, and Hannah Kiraly on the All-Tournament Team for their stellar performance.
  • SUNY New Paltz Men’s Volleyball Team– The SUNY New Paltz men’s volleyball team won the 2019 NCAA Division III Men’s Volleyball Championship in Union, New Jersey. On the team, a few members stood out in the championship game- Aaron Carrk, who finished with 19 kills, Matthew Grace, who tallied 53 assists, and Robert Nolan, who had 12 digs.
  • Suffolk County Community College Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Team– The women’s outdoor track and field team at Suffolk County Community College won the 2019 NJCAA Division III Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Championship in Utica, NY.

The students on these teams have excelled athletically, winning national championships and enhancing their campus communities. But they have all excelled academically too, reinforcing the term student athlete. Beyond athletic excellence, students on these teams earned an average GPA of 3.61, significantly higher than the average GPA for students at four-year colleges in the United States, which is a 3.15.

Congratulations to all our SUNY student athletes.

Written by Taryn Rackmyer

Taryn Rackmyer is a recent graduate of Mohawk Valley Community College, now attending the University at Albany for Public Policy. Taryn is a student assistant for SUNY’s Government Relations & Marketing Department.

October 1, 2019

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Mascot Madness Champion, Hugo the Hawk, Speaks on His Victory and Getting Back to Work




SUNY Mascot Madness winner - Hugo Hawk from New PaltzThe first ever SUNY Mascot Madness came to a close yesterday with over 300,000 votes cast over the entire competition.  In a race that was too close to call initially, Hugo the Hawk from New Paltz was declared the winner of the first SUNY Mascot Madness over Wolfie the Seawolf from Stony Brook.  In a race to the finish, he met the library dean, cleaned the campus, and hung out with many students on campus.

We were able to catch up with Hugo and get his thoughts on the final round of the competition.

What responsibilities do you carry as SUNY Mascot Madness 2013 Champion?  What’s next for you?

As the SUNY Mascot Madness 2013 Champion, it is my duty to represent all that this title stands for. I will continue being the best mascot I can possibly be and keep getting better at it each day.

What will you do with all of your free time once SUNY Mascot Madness 2013 is complete?

With this free time I will get back to the basics. I will work on my cheers and dances and keep myself in tip-top shape for all the teams I root for. I will work hard to earn my place in next year’s tournament and make sure I do my best to defend my crown.


And we look forward to next year’s competition with you Hugo!

Hugo Hawk with Mascot Madness championship trophy

Emily Schwartz

Written by Emily Schwartz

Emily Schwartz is the Coordinator of Open SUNY Communication and Projects.

April 5, 2013

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Bobby Hurley Named University at Buffalo Men’s Basketball Head Coach




Bobby Hurley has been named the 12th head men's basketball coach at the University at Buffalo.

Bobby Hurley has been named the 12th head men’s basketball coach at the University at Buffalo.

Bobby Hurley, one of the most iconic figures in college basketball history, has been named the 12th head men’s basketball coach at the University at Buffalo.

He joins UB from the University of Rhode Island, where he has been serving as associate head coach. He was hired as an assistant coach at Wagner College in 2010, and spent two seasons with the Seahawks, playing a critical role in rebuilding the men’s basketball team. He helped lead Wagner to a 25-6 record during the 2011-12 season – its best record in school history – before joining Rhode Island.

A first-team All-American in 1993, Hurley is best remembered for being the point guard at Duke. Hurley helped lead the Blue Devils to three Final Four appearances and consecutive national championships in 1991 and 1992. Hurley still holds the NCAA record for career assists with 1,076.

Following his outstanding career at Duke, Hurley was selected by the Sacramento Kings with the seventh pick in the 1993 NBA Draft. He went on to play five years in the NBA with the Kings and Vancouver Grizzlies.

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SUNY Oneonta Senior Sets Off on 4,200-Mile Cross-Country Bike Adventure




Jayme Haynes biking in Central Bridge on her cross country adventure

Jami Haynes sets off from her home in Central Bridge, NY, on Tuesday, May 28.

SUNY Oneonta senior Jami Haynes set off on a 4,200-mile, cross-country bike adventure today with the goal of raising awareness about the Harvest of Hope Foundation, an organization that provides emergency assistance to migrant workers and their families. Haynes, 21, accompanied by her boyfriend and sister, left early Tuesday morning from her home in Central Bridge, N.Y.

An avid runner and hiker, Haynes got the idea for the “Miles for Migrants” bike tour after Harvest of Hope founder and President Phil Kellerman visited one of her education classes, taught by Madeline Berry, this past semester. Her 20-year-old sister, Jena, signed on for the adventure, and then her boyfriend, Caleb Grippin, 23, joined the team.

Jena Haynes, Caleb Grippin, Jami Haynes with bikes

SUNY Oneonta student Jami Haynes (right) with her sister, Jena, and boyfriend, Caleb Grippin.

“I wasn’t very familiar with what a migrant farm worker was and how they contributed to American society, and I was especially touched as a future educator by the support that Harvest of Hope gives to these families and the scholarships that the foundation provides,” Haynes said.

The class did a service-learning project to benefit Harvest of Hope, and Haynes kept the momentum going. She and her sister organized a spaghetti supper, several bake sales and a raffle, as well as giving presentations about Harvest of Hope on campus and in the community. “Spreading awareness of the foundation and how it helps migrant farm workers has been extremely rewarding,” Haynes said. “The community definitely knows a lot more about the contributions of migrant workers because of this project.”

Haynes hopes to continue raising awareness by meeting with media outlets during her journey. The trio plans to ride about 60 to 80 miles per day, camping and staying with friends and family members en route to San Francisco. They have been training for the trip for about three months, logging several hundred miles of short and long rides.

The Harvest of Hope Foundation was established in 1997, when Kellerman worked at ESCORT, a migrant education resource center based at SUNY Oneonta. In addition to its affiliation with ESCORT, SUNY Oneonta has operated a College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) since 2001. Created in 1972, CAMP is a federally-funded scholarship program that helps students from migrant and seasonal farm-working families pursue higher education.

ESCORT senior programmer analyst Bob Thomas, a friend of Kellerman’s, loaned Haynes and her crew three touring bikes and trailers. Thomas, who completed a cross-country bicycling trip himself back in 1976, was on hand for the send-off Tuesday, offering last-minute tips and advice.

An elementary education major with a concentration in social studies, Haynes will share experiences from her trip this fall as a student teacher at Cobleskill Elementary School.

She will also chronicle her adventures throughout the 11-week journey on the blog:


SUNY Oneonta

May 28, 2013

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