On April 10, 2018, at the Empire State Convention Center in Albany, two international Genesee Community College students were awarded the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence by Dr. Kristina M. Johnson, the Chancellor of State University of New York. Glenn Holmes of Ireland and Benjamin Martis of Curaçao received the prestigious award for outstanding academic performance, demonstrated leadership and commitment to their communities. Holmes and Martis were two of only 249 students to receive this recognition this year state-wide.
“To be selected from among the more than 600,000 students pursuing their higher education degrees at SUNY, those nominated for the Chancellor’s Award have not only demonstrated that they excel academically, but that they are champions outside of the classroom – actively involved in improving both campus life and their communities. These students have proven to be exceptional leaders, athletes, volunteers and visionaries. Their achievements reflect hard work and dedication, along with the support of their family and friends, and the faculty and staff at SUNY. We are extremely proud of them all,” Chancellor Johnson stated in her address to the honorees.
Glenn Holmes, a 20 year-old Sports Management major was born in Ireland, traveled to the United States to attend Genesee Community College. In three semesters, Holmes has earned a 3.88 GPA and was appointed to the President’s list twice, the Dean’s List once and was inducted as a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Holmes also co-captained GCC men’s soccer team to their first-ever National Championship Title. Holmes was selected as a First Team All American three times as a NJCAA First Team Player, a USC First Team Player and a USC First Team Scholar. With his Associate Degree in Sports Management from GCC, Holmes plans to transfer to Thomas Jefferson University in Pittsburgh on an athletic scholarship. In addition, this summer he will be playing for the Rochester Lancers. Through all of his success, Holmes cites his mother was his biggest inspiration.
A native of Willemstad on the Caribbean island nation of Curaçao, Benjamin Martis is a dual major at GCC, enrolled in both Theater Arts and Theater Technology. Since beginning his education at Genesee Community College, Martis has excelled academically and has been very active in many aspects of campus life. He is a member of GCC’s Forum Players Theatre Company, an orientation leader, resident assistant at College Village, student government representative and also the student representative on GCC’s Board of Trustees. Martis participated in the College’s 50th Anniversary Celebration of Theatre in several scenes, including Peter Pan's “Hook’s Waltz” and “Off to the Races” in The Mystery of Edwin Drood. He plans to graduate from GCC this spring and continue on to Fredonia State College.
“We commend these two hardworking students,” Dr. James M. Sunser, president of GCC said. “This past two years, both Ben and Glenn have become an integral part of the GCC family and it has been a pleasure having them on our campus.”
Every year since its creation in 1997, campus presidents establish a selection committee which reviews nominations of exemplary students. After the presidential review, the nominees are then forwarded to the Chancellor’s Office and are subject to another round of review. Finalists are then recommended to the Chancellor to become recipients of the award. During the awards ceremony, each recipient receives a framed certificate and a medallion to be worn at commencement for every degree they ever earn.
The featured speaker at this year’s ceremony in Albany was four-time Olympian, two-time World Champion, and 2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist, Erin Hamlin. Hamlin, who is also a SUNY Empire State College Alumna, inspired the honorees, remarking that their achievements were just the beginning of their success.
A complete listing of the 2018 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence winners is available online at http://system.suny.edu/media/suny/content-assets/documents/university-life/awards/CASE-Program-2018.pdf.
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A photograph of Benjamin Martis receiving the SUNY Chancellor’s Award is available at:
A photograph of Glenn Holmes receiving the SUNY Chancellor’s Award is available at: