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CCC Student wins SUNY Award for Student Excellence


A Cayuga Community College student has received The Norman R. McConney Jr Award for Student Excellence.

Maimuna Abdi was one of 52 SUNY students recognized at an awards ceremony earlier this month in Troy.

“Each day at Cayuga, Maimuna rose to the challenges that face college students in the classroom and in their lives away from campus,” said Cayuga EOP Director Debra Joseph-McEwen. “She strives for academic excellence in each class, and as a result she is now a recipient of the 2024 Norman R. McConney Jr. Award. I’m proud of everything she’s accomplished at Cayuga, and am confident she will continue to do amazing work in the years ahead.”

Abdi is enrolled in CCC’s Liberal Arts and Sciences: Math and Science Program. She plans to transfer to St Joseph’s College of Nursing for the Summer 2024 term to pursue a career as either a pediatric or labor and delivery nurse.

“Since I’ve started at Cayuga, I’ve worked hard and done well in my classes, but I was still very surprised and honored to receive this award,” said Abdi. “Ms. Joseph-McEwen and EOP have been an unbelievable help since I started at Cayuga, and she has always believed in me. I would not have won this award without her.”

Now in its 5th year, the award honors Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) students for their persistence in facing personal challenges to achieve academic success. It is named after Norman R. McConnery Jr. A SUNY Albany graduate and former assistant dean for special programs at SUNY, he was a leading voice for creating the EOP program.

EOP is available at 54 SUNY colleges. It provides support for students who are financially and academically disadvantaged, providing services like academic counseling and tuition assistance.

This is the second year CCC has had an EOP program.

“At Cayuga, I found that the faculty were always willing to work with me, to go over topics a second time and to help me if I was struggling. I’m very appreciative of everything they’ve done for me, and the extra time they were willing to spend to help me succeed,” said Abdi.

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