Cayuga Student Receives SUNY Chancellor’s Award of Excellence

A Cayuga Community College student with an exceptional record of excellence in the classroom and engagement and leadership in the campus community has received the prestigious Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence (CASE).

Cayuga’s Laurel Elliott is one of 193 students from SUNY institutions to receive the award in the 2022-23 academic year, which is the highest accolade bestowed on SUNY students. The award honors students who balance academic success with other aspects of college life, including campus involvement, athletics, career achievement, leadership responsibilities and community service.

Cayuga President Dr. Brian Durant applauded Elliott for her academic excellence, enthusiastic campus involvement and her determination to continue her education.

“Laurel demonstrates the best characteristics of students at Cayuga. She’s tireless in her academic efforts and in pursuing her chosen career path, and she’s taken on new challenges and leadership positions with several student organizations,” said Dr. Durant. “I’m proud of everything she has accomplished at Cayuga, and I congratulate her on earning the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence.”

Elliott is a graduating student in Cayuga’s Class of 2023, and is earning her Associate of Applied Science in Media Arts: Audio Production. She said she was honored to receive the CASE, which her sister, Hannah, earned in 2022 while attending SUNY Broome.

“To be one of the few students selected across SUNY to receive this award is a very big honor, and one that I am appreciative of after working hard on my degree over the past two years. I’m grateful to the faculty and instructors who worked with me and helped me succeed and reach this point,” she said.

Elliott attended Central Baptist Christian Academy and earned her Test Assessment Secondary Completion (TASC) in 2020. She enrolled at Cayuga in the fall of 2021 and was immediately successful, earning recognition on the President’s List for having at least a 3.8 GPA each semester.

Elliott enrolled at Cayuga after learning of the success of the College’s media programs, and was particularly interested in earning a degree in audio production. She’s enjoyed working directly with the program’s faculty and instructors, and has capitalized on opportunities to work on music recordings, including working as the primary audio engineer on the next release through Cayuga Records.

“I’ve helped with audio engineering before at my church, so that’s what drew my interest. I’ve had a chance to do live-sound at the College, which I enjoy, and I’m still working on other aspects of the recording process,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity to work on an actual music release and gain that experience.”

Elliott was inducted into Cayuga’s Phi Theta Kappa academic honors society in 2022, and is the Student Senate representative for Cayuga Records and the Radio and Television Guild. She was also a cast member in two productions by Cayuga’s student theatre group, Harlequin Productions, “Radio Ridiculous” and “A Five Pack of Frivolity.”

She’s planning on transferring to a four-year institution to continue studying audio production after earning her degree from Cayuga.

For more information about the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, visit