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Three Students Receive Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence

MORRISVILLE, N.Y.—Three Morrisville State College students have received one of SUNY’s most prestigious awards.

They were recently honored in Albany with the 2006 SUNY-wide Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence based on their outstanding academic achievement and service and leadership on-campus and in their community.

All three students will graduate on May 20 during the college’s commencement ceremony which will be held at 1 p.m. on Drake Field.

Receiving awards were:
• Holly Balla, of Norwich, N.Y., a liberal arts and sciences - social science major
• Michael Godfrey, of Morrisville, N.Y., a business administration major
• Frank Vair, of Chittenango, N.Y., a liberal arts and sciences - social science major

Balla is active on Morrisville State College’s Norwich campus where she served as vice president for the Student Government Organization (SGO). She excelled academically being named to Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society, the Dean’s List, and is the recipient of a Writer’s Club Award. She was a Norwich Campus peer tutor, a peer mentor for the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program, and works as a classroom volunteer with Head Start and Early Head Start through Opportunities for Chenango.

Balla is the daughter of Tracy Coombes, of Scranton, Pa., and Martin Beach, of Bainbridge, N.Y.

Godfrey is active in the college’s Student Government Organization (SGO), serving as the director of budgets. He also served as president/group leader of the Morrisville State College chapter of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE); secretary, treasurer and SGO representative for the Commuter Student Organization (CSO); vice-president of Sigma Alpha Lambda, the Society of Success and Leadership chapter at Morrisville State College; and an editor on the yearbook staff.

In addition to his volunteer service, Godfrey excelled academically and was named to Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society; Kappa Beta Delta, the business honor society; and the Dean’s List. Additionally, he received several scholarships including the Morrisville State College Foundation Scholarship, Jill Yorton Award, Taze R. Huntley Scholarship, IBM ThinkPad Scholarship and the Key Bank Award. He was one of only 400 recipients to receive the nationwide Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, Inc. scholarship based on academic achievement and community service. The Coca-Cola Scholars program is one of the most recognized and respected corporate-sponsored scholarships in America.

A 2004 graduate of Morrisville-Eaton Central School, Godfrey was also involved in many organizations and activities throughout high school, including the National Honor Society, yearbook staff, ski club, marching band and jazz band. He was also involved in The AIDS Walk for Life, bottle drives, blood mobiles, various club and school fundraisers and Students Against Drunk Driving (S.A.D.D.)

Godfrey is the son of JoAnn and James L. Godfrey, of Morrisville, N.Y.

Vair served as vice president of Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society, vice president of the campus Commuter Student Organization (CSO), and as a student representative on the Student Affairs Committee of Faculty Congress. He was named to the Dean’s and President’s lists and received a Tutor of the Month Award for his work at the college’s Academic Support Center. He is also active in his community, volunteering for the Cazenovia Public Library and for ARISE, Inc., where he teaches skiing and horsemanship to children with disabilities.

He is the son of Laura Little, of Chittenango, N.Y., and Frank Vair, of Liverpool, N.Y.

Morrisville State College offers 12 bachelor degrees and a wide variety of associate degrees and options. Considered to be one of the most technologically advanced colleges in the nation for its ThinkPad University program and wireless technology initiative, the college recently became the first in the nation to comprehensively replace landlines in residence halls with individual cellular phones. Morrisville State College was also chosen as one of the top five colleges in the nation for campus activities by Campus Activities magazine. The Morrisville State College Norwich Campus offers programs in business, technologies, liberal arts/education transfer, and nursing to Chenango County area residents and employers.