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SUNY Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence Presented

April 24, 2019

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – Recent SUNY Orange graduates Kevin Corvino and Harrie Mule’, along with current student David O’Keefe (at right in photo with Dr. Kristine Young), were announced as recipients of the 2019 State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence during an awards ceremony Wednesday afternoon in Albany.

The ceremony was hosted by SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson and featured a special message to the students from retiring SUNY Board of Trustees Chairman H. Carl McCall. In all, 210 students from across the SUNY system—from four-year and community college campuses—were recognized.

“Today’s award recipients emerged from their campuses this year as the top scholars, athletes, performers, and achievers, as well as a tremendous source of inspiration,” Johnson said. “The students being recognized today made the choice to be leaders on their campuses, prioritize their studies, and serve their communities. Congratulations to this year’s awardees, and I applaud you for pursuing excellence in all that you do.”

Mule’ was cited twice on Wednesday, having also been recognized as a member of the USA Today Phi Theta Kappa All-New York Academic Team First Team.

Harrie Mule'A certified life coach who resides in Newburgh, Mule’ (right) completed her liberal arts degree requirements this past December and is presently pursuing her bachelor’s degree at SUNY New Paltz. At SUNY Orange, she was a peer advisor, vice president of the Phi Theta Kappa chapter and completed the College’s “I am a Leader” series.

She received a total of seven scholarships during her time at SUNY Orange, and her creative writings have been published in College and community publications, while she has also performed her poetry in a variety of settings in the Hudson Valley. She is also active as a community volunteer.

Corvino, of Newburgh, completed dual degrees in December, earning a liberal arts degree alongside a nursing degree. He worked on campus as a peer tutor while also holding down a part-time paramedic’s position, and he was selected to give the keynote address at the December pinning ceremony for the graduates of the Newburgh campus nursing program.

Corvino has planned and executed a number of humanitarian aid initiatives within the United States as well as trips abroad to assist those less fortunate residents of other countries. He organized several trips to Brooklyn and Queens to aid in cleanup efforts following Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and he organized a two-week trip to Mexico City in 2014 and a three-week trip to Peru in 2015. He collaborated with Global Crossroad to organize a three-week trip to Costa Rica in 2018.

O’Keefe, of Washingtonville, will graduate from SUNY Orange this May with a new media degree. He is a member of the College’s Honors Program, as well as the local chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, and has received the President’s Scholarship for Outstanding Academic Achievement. He is an audio and technology engineer for the College’s Cultural Affairs program, having worked more than 40 events during the 2018-19 academic year.

A musician, singer and audio technician, O’Keefe actively works, volunteers and performs throughout the Hudson Valley. He has served as an audio engineer for the Lap 4 Life Desmoid Tumor Walk in Newburgh, as well as the Orange County High School Arts Council music festival at the Galleria Mall in Middletown, and the “On the Lawn” concern series in Sugar Loaf.

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, SUNY campus presidents establish a selection committee, which reviews the accomplishments of exemplary students. Nominees are then forwarded to the Chancellor’s Office for a second round of review. Finalists are then recommended to the Chancellor to become recipients of the award.

A complete listing of student recipients is available online.