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Graduate Studies student wins SUNY Chancellor's Award

Alana Belkevich, of Mahopac, N.Y., who will earn her PhD at Upstate Medical University Commencement May 7, has been honored with the 2023 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence in recognition of her academic excellence and leadership. She received the award from the chancellor during ceremonies April 24.

While at Upstate, she served in various leadership roles including class president of the College of Graduate Studies. She has been productive academically by co-authoring several papers, teaching as an adjunct professor for Upstate’s College of Health Professions, and mentoring many undergraduate and graduate students. She is involved in the local community by volunteering as an emergency medical technician and plans to pursue a career in academia.

“I am honored to receive this recognition from SUNY,” Belkevich said. “My time at Upstate was the best I ever could have imagined. My lab has been wonderful and I have received so much support from everyone here.”

Belkevich is studying RNA polymerase, an enzyme that copies a DNA sequence into an RNA sequence. Defects in the enzyme cause several different diseases in humans. Her work has been in the lab of Professor Bruce Knutson, PhD.

But her exposure to scienced happened as child. “Science has always been my interest since I was little, as I recall doing scientific experiments with my mom,” Belkevich said.

She earned her undergraduate degree from St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y., and then ventured to Upstate, where she thrived in her studies.

“I think Upstate has given me the best foundation for continuing my career in research and teaching,” she said. “I am so grateful for all the opportunities Upstate has offered me.”

Caption: Alana Belkevich, center, with SUNY Chancellor John B. King, left, and Upstate President Dr. Mantosh Dewan during the SUNY Chancellor's Award celebration.