Priscilla Ortega, a senior Politics, Economics and Law student at SUNY Old Westbury, is the 2019 recipient of the Act for Excellence and Student Initiative Scholarship, a $1,000 award presented to just seven SUNY students this year by the Association of Council Members and College Trustees of the State University of New York.
To be eligible for the award, a student must be pursuing an undergraduate degree, have earned a grade point average of 3.6 or higher, and demonstrate how they have identified a need on campus or in the community and worked to provide a service or solution for that need.
A resident of East Hampton, N.Y., Ortega has been a champion on campus working on issues impacting Hispanic students and educating the campus about Latin American society. She has served as president of the student club Alianza Latina, for which she helped organize last spring a two-day symposium on “Central America in Crisis.” She also was a founder of the Undocumented Student Alliance, which assists students with DACA status as well as those who arrived after 2008 and are now not able to access the program because of changes at the federal level.
“Priscila embodies the college’s historic social justice mission to ‘build a more just and sustainable world,’” wrote College President Calvin O. Butts, III, in a letter supporting Ortega’s scholarship application. “Her leadership and scholarly activism on the campus has contributed to intercultural understanding within our campus community.”
The Association of Council Members and College Trustees of the State University of New York is comprised of all College Council members and College Trustees from SUNY campuses across the state as well as the officers of SUNY institutions and the officers and principal staff members of SUNY Central Administration. The organization serves as a representative organization for Council members and College Trustees seeking to promote the study of the responsibilities and duties of Councils and Council members while advocating for quality public higher education.
Photo Caption: SUNY Old Westbury College Council Member Melissa Archbold (left) presents the 2019 Act for Excellence and Student Initiative Scholarship award to Priscilla Ortega.