MIDDLETOWN – The State University of New York presented SUNY Orange student Cristofer Cardoza with the Norman R. McConney Jr. Award for EOP Student Excellence during a reception and ceremony in Albany, N.Y. on April 17.
Cardoza, of Newburgh, is an English education student at SUNY Orange who ultimately plans to transfer to a four-year institution to pursue a career as a teacher at the middle school or high school level.
The McConney Award recognizes outstanding SUNY Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) students who are on track to graduate this academic year and who have exhibited academic success, courage, perseverance, and leadership qualities throughout their collegiate academic journey. To be eligible for the award, students had to be nominated by an administrator at their institution. One awardee was then selected from the SUNY colleges and universities that offer EOP programs.
Cardoza is an engaged student who works full-time at a local retailor, and is passionate about reading, cooking, hiking, and giving back to those he can. He grew up with a single mom and twin brother, and is a first-generation graduate from his family. Cardoza attributes his success to a very special third-grade mentor, Kristy Anderson of Newburgh, for guiding him and supporting him, and helping him get to where he is today.
SUNY Orange’s EOP program is funded through a SUNY grant. It provides access, academic support and financial aid counseling to low-income and academically underprepared students. Students in the program receive comprehensive wraparound services throughout the academic year, including: specialized advising; career assessment and planning; and financial literacy. Students also have access to a student success coach and a financial aid liaison.
SUNY Orange offers 40 degree and certificate programs housed within seven academic communities: Arts and Media; Business; Culture, Society and the Mind; Education and Human Services; Health Sciences and Wellness; Justice and Community Engagement; and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).