For Immediate Release — April 5, 2005


Mary E. McCrank

Media Relations Officer

(585) 245-5516


GENESEO, N.Y. — SUNY Chancellor Robert L. King has recognized the university’s most outstanding students for 2005 with the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, and four Geneseo students have earned the honor.

In all, 264 students from 60 SUNY campuses, with an average grade point average of 3.75, were honored. Geneseo seniors Nicole Barzee of Baldwinsville, N.Y.; Felisa Brown of Tonawanda, N.Y.; Eric Rathfelder of Chester, N.Y.; and Erin Walsh of Kenmore, N.Y., received the award.

In addition to grade point average, candidates for the Chancellor’s Award must have demonstrated significant contributions to the greater campus community. Each of the honorees has excelled both in academic achievement and in at least one of the following areas: leadership, athletics, community service, creative and performing arts, or career achievement. This year’s awards were presented Monday, March 28, at a ceremony at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany.

"The recipients of this year’s Chancellor’s Award are not only some of the brightest and hardest working students in SUNY, but have made major contributions to their communities," said Chancellor Robert L. King. "They represent the enduring commitment the university has made to attracting and nurturing a diverse, intelligent student body. The commitment our students make every day to themselves and their community is an inspiring achievement. They are our future, and that future is bright."

Barzee was a member of the international Golden Key Honor Society, Phi Eta Sigma national freshman honor society, Epsilon Tau Chapter of the Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society and the Dean’s List. She also was a member of the women’s varsity indoor and outdoor track and field team, serving as captain in the 2003-04 season. She holds the college record for indoor and outdoor shot-put and was the 2003 SUNYAC champion for indoor shot-put and 2004 champion for indoor shot-put and weight throw. She also volunteered at Teresa House, a local hospice. She carried a 3.74 GPA while majoring in childhood and special education.

Brown was a member of Psi Chi Psychology Honor Society, Alpha Kappa Delta Honor Society, Dean’s List and an active volunteer. She also was the 2005 National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Minority Undergraduate Fellow at Geneseo. A member of the women’s varsity basketball team, Brown was the team’s MVP in 2004 and captain in the 2004-05 season. Brown was on the SUNYAC All-Tournament Team in 2004 and the SUNYAC All-Academic Team three times. She was a member of the SUNYAC Commissioner’s List three times and the Geneseo Student Athletic Advisory Committee. She was the team’s leading scorer in 2004 and 2005 and one of the college’s top scorers of all time. A member of a Royal Knights Social Service Organization, Brown carried a 3.37 GPA while majoring in psychology.

Rathfelder was a member of the Sigma Pi Sigma Honor Society, supervisor of Public Safety Aids and a resident assistant. He was a member of Sigma Phi Sigma, the international Golden Key Honor Society and Dean’s List. He was named the 2004 Resident Assistant of the Year. He was a public safety aide and served on the Council of SUNY Campus Police Chiefs. He received the 2004 Nowak-Smith Dedicated Service Award and the 2004 Platt J. Harris Police Chief’s Scholarship. Under his leadership, Geneseo First Response, which provides emergency medical services to the campus, has doubled its membership and expanded services. Through his efforts as captain, Geneseo First Response was integrated with the county’s 911 system. He carried a 3.51 GPA while majoring in physics with a certificate in secondary education.

Walsh was a member of the women’s varsity swim team, the international Golden Key Honor Society, Phi Eta Sigma freshmen honor society, the Dean’s List and the Psi Chi Psychology Honor Society, She was named to the SUNYAC All-Academic Team three times and Commissioner’s List twice. She was awarded the Chancellor’s Scholar-Athlete Award in recognition of attaining the highest GPA for a swim team member and recognized as an All-SUNYAC Performer. She also was named a 2004 NCAA Academic All-American. Walsh is a six-time SUNYAC Individual Champion, winning the 500-yard freestyle and 1650-yard freestyle in 2002, 2003 and 2004. She also is a two-time SUNYAC Relay Champion, winning the 800-yard freestyle relay in 2002 and 2003. The swim team won SUNYAC championships in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Walsh also served on the Geneseo Student Athletic Advisory Committee and participated in the college’s Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation volunteer projects. She carried a 3.82 GPA while majoring in psychology.

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