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ESF Student Jordan Jessamy Receives New SUNY Graduate Research Empowering and Accelerating Talent (GREAT) Award


The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), the most distinguished institution in the nation that focuses on the study of the environment, is proud to announce that graduate student Jordan Jessamy was among 28 students to receive the SUNY Graduate Research Empowering and Accelerating Talent (GREAT) award. Jessamy will receive $5,000 in flexible funds for research expenses, professional development, and supplemental stipend support. The 28 recipients have all won national recognition for their research from prestigious graduate fellowship programs sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health.

"We are excited for Jordan's recognition. His work - which explores the intersection of urban forestry and environmental justice - will impact how cities can be improved for all people. This award will help Jordan continue his important research to improve our world and we're grateful to SUNY for providing this opportunity," said ESF President Joanie Mahoney.

A student in the College's graduate program in environmental science (GPES), Jessamy's project links the structure, composition, and function of urban trees in Syracuse to the vast disparity in opportunity and wealth among neighborhoods. He is working with the city of Syracuse and the U.S. Forest Service to develop recommendations for greening the city in a way that is more equitable in its distribution of ecosystem services.

Jessamy earned his bachelor of science degree from ESF in 2020. He previously received the prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program grant to support his graduate research project, "Feedbacks Between Socioeconomic Status and Urban Forest Structure and Function."

SUNY's award recipients were announced today by Interim SUNY Chancellor Deborah Stanley. The students are conducting research on topics such as using historical data to predict sea level rise, using mathematical techniques to deter terrorist attacks, discovering the environmental benefits of urban forests in historically marginalized communities, and uncovering mechanisms of human health and disease across the lifespan.

This year's awardees epitomize the diversity and ingenuity of SUNY students. One-quarter of them were the first in their families to attend college, one-quarter identify with groups who are ethnically or racially underrepresented in science and academia, and nearly 40 percent are women. Fully half are from New York, and 10 earned their undergraduate degrees at a SUNY comprehensive or R1 university center. The awardees are enrolled in doctoral programs at SUNY's four university centers and at SUNY ESF. Eight are affiliated with Stony Brook University's Medical Science Training Program (MSTP).

For more information about SUNY GREAT, please visit www.suny.edu/sunygreat/.


The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) is dedicated to the study of the environment, developing renewable technologies, and building a sustainable and resilient future through design, policy and management of the environment and natural resources. Members of the College community share a passion for protecting the health of the planet and a deep commitment to the rigorous application of science to improve the way humans interact with the world. The College offers academic programs ranging from the associate of applied science to the Doctor of Philosophy. ESF students live, study and do research on the main campus in Syracuse, N.Y., and on 25,000 acres of field stations in a variety of ecosystems across the state.

About The State University of New York

The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY's 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the state's only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.3 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2021, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu.