The State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College announced Friday that two student cadets, Julia Paxton of Sebastopol, California, and Brandon Baranyar of Fairfield, Connecticut, have been selected as recipients of the 2014 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence.
Paxton and Baranyar both are members of the College’s Regiment of Cadets, and both are scheduled to graduate from SUNY Maritime next week.
In a ceremony held at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center last month, SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher honored the more than 300 college students from campuses throughout the state, presenting 274 SUNY students with the 2014 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, and 68 awards from Phi Theta Kappa, a national honor society.
Julia Paxton is a Marine Environmental Science major – Deck License, with a current grade point average of 3.83. She is a seven-time recipient of the Admiral’s List for academic excellence. Paxton was the Chief Navigator aboard the training ship TS Empire State VI during the 2013 Summer Sea Term, as chosen by the Captain, Chief Mate and Senior Watch Officer. In that capacity, Paxton served as the top cadet in the Regiment of Cadets, responsible for assisting the Captain in all tasks and responsibilities. During summer 2012, Paxton interned with the Military Sealift Command as a Cadet Observer aboard a fleet oiler, learning the duties of an officer. Paxton has passed the grueling seven-module United States Coast Guard Deck License Exam, which allows her to operate ships of any size tonnage.
Paxton was the starting Helmsman/co-Captain and lone female to skipper a team on Maritime’s Dinghy Sailing Team (2010-14); served as a student assistant and volunteer for Maritime’s Admission Office (2010-12); was a squad leader in the Regiment of Cadets (2011-12); served as a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee; and was a Deck Training Instructor (spring 2013).
Brandon Baranyar is a Marine Transportation major – Deck License, carrying a current grade point average of 3.8. He is a six-time recipient of the Admiral’s List for academic excellence. Baranyar is the recipient of the Connecticut Maritime Association Scholarship for academic achievement, the Connecticut Women’s Seaman’s Friend Association Scholarship, and the (Maritime College) Faculty Student Association Summer Scholarship (2013). Baranyar was chosen as a Top Three Deck Cadet for the 2013 Summer Sea Term aboard the training ship TS Empire State VI by the Captain and members of the Regiment.
As a Top Deck Cadet, Baranyar served as the face of the Regiment of Cadets, and interfaced with the ship leadership, academic programs, and crew members. Baranyar served as Battalion Commander/Resident Assistant during the 2013-14 academic year, in which he was the top regimental student for one of Maritime’s dormitories. He served as Section Chief/Squad Leader and IDO for the 2011 and 2012 summer terms.
Baranyar served an internship with Alaska Tanker Company (spring 2013) aboard a tanker vessel, working on the bridge and working as a deckhand, earning his PIC endorsement. During the 2013-14 academic year, Baranyar served an internship with Reinauer Transportation, a tug and barge company located on Staten Island. He also has been a Learning Center Tutor (2013-14); an Admissions Ambassador (2011-12); and a percussionist with the Maritime College Band.
The Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence was created in 1997 to recognize students who have best demonstrated, and have been recognized for, the integration of academic excellence with accomplishments in the areas of leadership, 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 reviews. 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.