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Photo of student Hannah Daignault looking straight ahead, smilingCongratulations to Hannah Daignault, who earned her degree in Nutrition and was recently selected as a recipient of the prestigious 2020 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence. The awards recognize students who have best demonstrated the integration of academic excellence with other aspects of their lives, which may include leadership, campus involvement, athletics, career achievement, community service, or creative, and performing arts.

This fall, Hannah plans to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree following a pre-med track. She then intends to attend medical school to become a surgeon. It was while interning with a local veterinarian and observing the work of a surgeon that Hannah decided that she wanted to pursue a career in surgery. “I am in awe of the discipline and technical skill it takes to become a surgeon,” Hannah said. “There is an artistry to it that I don’t think many people realize. I can’t imagine a more fitting career that balances my desire to help others and passion for medicine.”

While at the College, Hannah has been involved in an ongoing research project that examines bacteria associated with cystic fibrosis. The project has been guided by Dr. Syeda Muniam, Professor in the Division of Math, Science, Technology and Health. Hannah was recognized for her achievements in science when she was chosen to attend the highly competitive International Scholar Laureate Program (ISLP) Delegation on Medicine and Science in Sydney, Australia, that was scheduled to take place this summer before it was postponed due to the pandemic.

This year, Hannah served as the College’s Student Trustee, elected by members of the student body. After being elected, she shared how she welcomed the opportunity to serve her classmates as the only student member of the Board of Trustees. “I love the idea of bettering the communication between the administration and the students,” she said. “I look forward to advocating for the student body.”

A graduate of Burnt Hills–Ballston Lake High School, Hannah has served as a Tutor, Member and President of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Senior Senator with the Student Government Association, Member of Curriculum Committee, and Chair of the Student Government Association Judicial Committee. She has also been a participant in the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP). In addition to her involvement on campus, Hannah volunteers with various animal rescues throughout the Capital Region. This earned her the Volunteer of the Year Award from the Whiskers Animal Benevolent League in 2017.

“SUNY’s Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence winners are the champions of their campuses, each showing a tireless devotion to their academics and extracurricular pursuits, as well as their care for their fellow students as mentors and leaders,” said Dr. Kristina M. Johnson, SUNY Chancellor. “They are inspiring, and I have high expectations for how they will contribute to our society as we rebound from this current pandemic that separates us today.”