April 16, 2021
Three sophomores at Niagara County Community College have received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence. Miranda Fiore, Allyson (Ally) Knuutila-Clark, and Arianna (Ari) Morales have been recognized for their outstanding achievements in academics, campus involvement, and community service.
The trio of strong women share many attributes. All three are Liberal Arts: Humanities and Social Science majors and they are active members in numerous clubs, including NCCC’s Student Government Association (SGA). Miranda is the student event coordinator, Allyson is vice president, and Arianna is president of the SGA. In addition to planning and attending student events, they have played a vital role in representing NCCC’s student body to faculty, staff, and the SUNY system.
Miranda also serves as a student ambassador, an orientation leader, and has attended NCCC’s alternative spring break twice. This journey is for students who want to give back on their spring break, often times traveling hundreds of miles to complete community service projects. Miranda shares, “NCCC was the smart place to start for me because I met so many amazing people who wanted to help and support me and my journey. I also switched my major a few times and it led me to find what I wanted to do in a cost-effective, caring, and growing environment.”
Ally holds multiple leadership roles at NCCC. She is a member of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, co-founder and co-president of the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), is involved with the Campus Activity Board, and is the manager for the NCCC wrestling team. Ally is an exemplary student, earning top grades in her courses. She states, “My proudest accomplishment as an NCCC student was obtaining a 3.58 GPA the semester we were sent home because of the pandemic.”
Ari is a first-generation college student who credits her NCCC family, specifically, the Office of Student Life, for encouraging her to follow her dreams. Arianna is co-founder and co-president of the NSLS and she is the SUNY Student Assembly Community College Caucus chairwoman. Arianna is passionate about mental health awareness and equity in our education system.
Julia Pitman, Vice President of Student Services shared, “Ally, Ari, and Miranda are strong campus leaders here at NCCC. They are extremely invested in our campus community and represent the students well both locally and with the SUNY Student Association. I’m very proud that the three were chosen by SUNY to be honored as Students of Excellence. This is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a student within the SUNY system and all three are very deserving.”
Miranda, Allyson, and Arianna were recognized for their award on April 14 during a virtual SUNY ceremony. Their next big accomplishments will include successfully completing their final exams and earning their degrees this May.