Lockport woman selected for SUNY Chancellor's Award

Jennifer Darlak. (Contributed image)

POTSDAM — Jennifer Darlak of Lockport is among those recently honored with the 2021 Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence.

Darlak is a member of the class of 2021 at SUNY Potsdam. She is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in history and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing, with both general and advanced honors, all with a 3.98 grade point average. In recognition of her accomplishments, she has been inducted into three honor societies, including Phi Alpha Theta (history), Sigma Tau Delta (English/literature), and Phi Kappa Phi (all disciplines).

For her first two years at SUNY Potsdam, Darlak was a member of the Potsdam Bears softball team, and she was listed as a National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-America Scholar Athlete and named to the SUNYAC Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll, while taking part in a number of community service projects with her teammates.

For the past three years, Darlak has been a member of the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Council, worked as an assistant in the Dean's Office for the School of Education and Professional Studies, served as a TRiO peer tutor and completed an editorial internship with Blueline literary magazine. In addition, she has earned numerous awards and scholarships, including being named a Departmental Scholar in History and receiving the Maurice Kenny Creative Writing Award and Israel Kaplan Essay Award.

Darlak received funding to complete an independent Presidential Scholars intensive history research project. Through her advanced history coursework, she was able to travel to Washington, D.C., to learn from professional archivists on museum and archive tours in preparation for the spring 2019 exhibit, "Sewn in Protest: Chilean Arpilleras from the 1970s and '80s." Darlak worked to index interviews and write museum labels for the exhibit and was later selected for the student team for the Bridging Cultures Mural project, working to research human rights history in Latin America and helping to paint the mural itself.

After graduation, Darlak is planning on pursuing her master's degree and Ph.D. in history.

The Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence was created in 1997 to honor students who excel academically and show involvement in leadership roles, athletics, community service, creative and performing arts, campus involvement, or career achievement. Each year, campus presidents establish a selection committee, which reviews exemplary students. Nominees are then forwarded to the Chancellor's Office and are subject to a second round of review. Finalists are then recommended to the Chancellor to become recipients of the award.

Each recipient receives a framed certificate and medallion, which is traditionally worn at Commencement.

Chancellor Jim Malatras presented the awards in a virtual ceremony.

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