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52nd Annual EOP Honors Convocation Recognizes Stellar Students

52nd Annual EOP Honors Convocation Recognizes Stellar Students

Posted: May 3, 2019

Buffalo State’s Arthur O. Eve Educational Opportunity Program will celebrate the exemplary academic performance of its students during its 52nd annual EOP Honors Convocation on Thursday, May 9, at 3:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center at Rockwell Hall. 

This year’s theme, “We the People: Believe, Inspire, Achieve,” highlights EOP’s commitment to inclusiveness and working toward the intellectual growth of all students, noted Yanick Jenkins, EOP director.

A variety of activities and programs promote academic success for EOP students, including academic mentoring and advising; freshman academy; transfer academy; first-year peer mentoring; sophomore success; and the Chi Alpha Epsilon Honor Society.

During the honors convocation, Buffalo State will recognize 262 EOP students who have earned a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) or higher for the spring or fall semester in 2018. Jude Jayatilleke, senior academic adviser for EOP who coordinates the convocation, said the ceremony provides a way to recognize students who have overcome many obstacles, not only to earn a diploma but also to thrive academically and in extracurricular campus activities.

“Every year we celebrate these exceptional students, but it seems to hold even greater significance now as students are facing more challenges,” Jenkins said. “EOP students come with different obstacles and issues than they’ve had in the past. Some are working full time so that they can send money home to help their families. Some are coming here with no support systems in place outside of the college. Nonetheless, they are thriving at Buffalo State and moving their lives in a positive direction.”

Senior Zhanna Reed is receiving special recognition. An arts and letters major with a concentration in dance, music, and theater, Reed is a recipient of the 2019 SUNY Chancellor’s Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a student. While maintaining a 3.65 GPA, Reed tackled a heavy courseload and performed with multiple campus ensembles including Buffalo State’s Chamber Choir, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, West African Drum Ensemble, and Dance Theater Company. She also landed a starring role in the campus production last fall of the Color Purple.

In addition, two 2005 EOP alumnae will receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award: Crystal Rodriguez, assistant professor in the Social Sciences Department at Bronx Community College, and Cassandra St. Vil, CEO of Amateka College Preparatory Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.

After graduating from Buffalo State, Rodriguez earned a doctorate from CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and St. Vil earned three master’s degrees, including one from Harvard University, and a doctorate from Howard University. 

“Both Crystal and Cassandra were active and well liked during their time at Buffalo State,” Jenkins said. “They have gone on to do such tremendous things. We couldn’t be prouder.”

The campus community is invited to participate in the honors convocation, which is followed by a reception. For more information, contact the EOP office at (716) 878-4225. 

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Jerod T. Dahlgren
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(716) 878-4201

Laurie A. Kaiser
Assistant Director, Communications
(716) 878-3520

Michael T. Canfield
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(716) 878-3517

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(716) 878-4237

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