Syracuse University Magazine

Chancellor's Message

Distinctively Syracuse

This is a historic time for Syracuse University. Our faculty, staff, and supporters are working diligently to chart our future course and determine how we can give students the best education possible. One of our priorities in this effort is to assure students have an outstanding and multifaceted experience, in the classroom, in the lab, in the community, and in clubs and service organizations. This experience is absolutely critical to the evolution of a distinctively Syracuse graduate. 

Many of our students are already stellar examples of these endeavors. They are pursuing scholarship and projects that expand their academic and social horizons and improve their communities. I want to share with you just a few recent examples of the amazing things our students have done this past year.


In her four years at Syracuse, senior Leslie Walters combined two dramatically different passions—medical science and communication—into a degree path. With a dual major in biology and broadcast and digital journalism, and a minor in Spanish, Leslie plans to pursue a career in health communications. Her goal is to help patients better understand the science behind their treatments. Milanoi Koiyiet is pursuing graduate work in international human rights and comparative disability law at the College of Law. She recently presented before the UN Commission on the Status of Women. After graduating in May with an LL.M. degree, Milanoi will be returning to Kenya, her home country, to continue her work focused on women’s and disability rights. 


Students in the Falk College-based Sport Management Club recently raised nearly $60,000 through its 10th annual Charity Sports Auction to benefit Make-A-Wish of Central New York. Over the past decade, the club’s members have raised more than $250,000 for local charities, while gaining professional experience organizing this vast event held annually at the Carrier Dome during halftime of a basketball game. Maxwell graduate students Timi Komonibo and Alexis Morris, along with Newhouse alumna Nieves Alvarez G’14, launched a clothing-swap nonprofit, called Style Lottery. The venture, which works to empower young women from low-income communities, was a winner in the University’s inaugural Fast Forward Syracuse student idea competition last year. This year, the group was presented with a 2015 Orange Circle Award, which recognizes University community members who do extraordinary things. 


Natalie Rebeyev, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been named a Gates Cambridge Scholar. One of just 40 students in America to earn this distinction, Natalie plans to pursue a Ph.D. degree in medical science at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research. Three senior student-athletes—Komal Safdar of the tennis team, and Cameron Lynch and Sam Rodgers of the football team—recently won post-graduate scholarship awards from the ACC in recognition of their success in the classroom and on the field. Finally, earlier this year, Newhouse junior Verónica Ortiz-Calderón won the Horizon Award at the Sundance Film Festival for her film Y Ya No Te Gustas (And You Don’t Like Yourself Anymore). The award, which drew hundreds of nominations, earned Verónica a major scholarship and a trip to Sundance. 

These are just a few examples of students who are making the most of their Syracuse education. They do us all proud.


Kent Syverud

Chancellor and President