MCC students receive Chancellor’s Awards for excellence


Two Monroe Community College students are among 135 students to receive the 2021 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, the highest honor bestowed upon students by SUNY.

Jaelah Bundy, of Rochester, is a fine arts major and member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society. She maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout three semesters, and was an art studio monitor and resident assistant for two semesters. She held clothing drives and was on the leadership board of a community arts organization.

Jaelah Bundy.

Auven “Benny” Martinez III, of Rochester, is a criminal justice major pursuing a career in politics in hopes of playing a role in reforming the criminal justice system. He aspires to lead Rochester as mayor. He started his leadership at MCC as a peer leader, and was vice president of membership for Phi Theta Kappa and the Downtown Campus student government president. He holds the position of student trustee.

Auven “Benny” Martinez III.

The award recognizes students who best demonstrated and were recognized for their integration of academic excellence with accomplishments in the areas of leadership, athletics, civic engagement, creative and performing arts, campus involvement and/or career achievement. This year added diversity, equity and inclusion; military service; perseverance; and special service in relation to COVID-19.

“Our students have sacrificed so much over the last 13 months,” Chancellor Jim Malatras said. “Now more than ever, it is imperative that we mark the milestones and celebrate the brilliance, vision, resilience and community stewardship of SUNY’s best and brightest. 

“It is my great honor to present the Chancellor’s Awards for Student Excellence to these truly incredible students. Undeterred by the challenges of a once-in-a-generation health crisis, they have all overcome significant odds to pursue their academic passions, become campus and community leaders, help and inspire others, and foster a better world for us all.”