Two SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) students, Wakeley Banker and Jae Fish, are recipients of this year’s Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence. Established in 1997, the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence recognizes students for “outstanding achievements that have demonstrated the integration of SUNY excellence within many aspects of their lives in areas such as academics, leadership, campus involvement, community service, or the arts.” It is the highest honor bestowed upon a student by the University.

Banker is a senior student-athlete who will graduate with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in mathematics in May. In his time at SUNY Poly, he has been a captain of the men’s soccer team, a teacher’s assistant, and conducted undergraduate research. His topics of interest include computational modeling, machine learning, and heat transfer. Banker hopes to one day hold a research position in one of those fields. In the coming months, he will begin working for Lockheed Martin RMS in Syracuse as a systems engineer and plans to pursue further education in engineering.


Fish is working toward his Bachelor’s in Sociology with a minor in Criminal Justice. From previous positions as the student government director of advocacy and chief of staff to his reelection as president this past spring, Fish has worked toward student advocacy and the betterment of campus life. He has also been an orientation advisor and a student ambassador working with new students and currently serves as the Doctoral Granting Institutes’ undergraduate representative for the SUNY Student Assembly, expanding SUNY Poly’s student representation to a state level. In the future, he hopes to work with the New York State government, writing and researching policy.


A selection committee established by each SUNY campus, with the concurrence of the campus president, reviews the accomplishments of top-performing candidates. Nominees are forwarded to the Chancellor’s Office for a second round of review, and finalists are recommended to the Chancellor to become recipients of the award. Recipients of this prestigious award from across the SUNY System are attending an awards ceremony at the Albany Capital Center on April 24, 2023.

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