Two Herkimer College Students Awarded the SUNY Chancellor’s Scholar Athlete Award


HERKIMER, NY – Two Herkimer College student-athletes received the 2017 SUNY Chancellor’s Scholar Athlete Award recognizing a combination of outstanding academic excellence and superior athletic achievement. They were among only 77 recipients from the 64 SUNY campuses statewide to receive the award this year.

            "It takes a tremendous amount of dedication and hard work to achieve such a high level of academic and athletic success,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Congratulations to all of the students receiving this year’s SUNY scholar athlete award, as well as the faculty, coaches, and staff across SUNY who support and inspire them to be the best."

            Justin Harley, from Central Islip, NY, is a senior Business Administration major who has consistently achieved academic honors. As a freshman on the basketball team, Harley was selected team captain and served as captain for two years. He helped lead his team this year to a third place finish in the nation. He was named to the 2017 first team all Mountain Valley Conferenceand 2017 second team All-Region III and received Herkimer College’s Pop Walsh Award. Harley is also a recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence. He plans to transfer to Graceland University on a full scholarship.

           Freshman Chyanna Bernier, from Ilion, NY, is a Criminal Justice major and has consistently achieved academic honors. Named Herkimer College’s Female Athlete of the Year, Bernier is a three-sport athlete on the cross country, swimming and diving, and track and field teams. She is a standout runner, and helped her cross country team win the program’s first ever Region III and Mountain Valley Conference titles and was named 2016 Runner of the Year, Northeast Region. Bernier also recently won three Track and Field individual national championships in the 10K run, 5K run and 3000m steeplechase events. In addition to placing first in the 10K, she set a new school record with a time of 39:40.95.

“Chyanna and Justin are the ideal student-athletes. They are hard workers, they never complain and they lead by example in the classroom, on campus and on the playing fields,” said Athletic Director Donald Dutcher. “They are respected by their teammates, coaches and competitors in the highest magnitude and they are two of the best student athletes to walk through the doors of Herkimer College.” 

            To be considered for this award, student-athletes had to be nominated by their athletic directors. Their academic credentials and athletic accomplishments were then reviewed by a panel of athletic directors from across the SUNY system and members of the SUNY Provost’s Office.

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