Ivan Gomez Receives Norman R. McConney Jr. Award for EOP Student Excellence

May 8, 2023

Ivan Gomez headshot

Business Administration student Ivan Gomez of Valatie is the Hudson Valley Community College recipient of the 2023 Norman R. McConney Jr. Award for Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) Student Excellence. He was recognized for his academic achievements, along with 45 other SUNY students, at a ceremony held on April 17 in Albany.

SUNY Educational Opportunity Programs provide access, academic support and financial aid to students who show promise for succeeding in college. The Award for EOP Student Excellence recognizes the academic and personal achievements of outstanding EOP students from colleges and universities across the SUNY system.

Gomez is graduating this spring with a Business Administration degree and he will continue his education at SUNY Polytechnic in the fall. After completing college, he hopes to open a business of his own. A first-generation college student, he said his parents, who emigrated from Mexico, worked very hard and instilled the importance of education in both him and his brother and sisters.

Hudson Valley EOP Academic Counselor Michelle Cavaleri nominated Gomez for the award. “Ivan is one of the most resilient and inspiring students I have met,” she said. “He is academically exceptional and eager to get involved in the campus community. Ivan is one of the hardest working students I have seen – in both his academic and personal life. He doesn’t let anything get in his way.”

A two-year member of the Vikings men’s soccer team, Gomez also has served as a peer mentor for the EOP program and has been president of the EOP Club and a member of several other student clubs.

“EOP has given me a sense of home and belonging on campus,” he said, “Being here and being a part of EOP has given me the courage to try different things and come out of my shell a little.”

The SUNY Award for EOP Student Excellence is awarded in memory of Norman R. McConney Jr., who, along with former NYS Assembly Deputy Speaker Arthur O. Eve, helped to establish the Educational Opportunity Program in 1967.

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