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Professor Stearns community outreach honored

Susan Stearns, Ph.D., SUNY associate professor of cell biology, is being honored with a scholarship in her name to recognize her leadership in fostering university outreach efforts for Upstate Medical University students. The idea for a scholarship came from recent graduates and colleagues.

The Susan B. Stearns, Ph.D., Scholarship for Community Engagement will be awarded annually to a College of Medicine student who exemplifies Stearns's community spirit.

Stearns founded Upstate's Office of Community Outreach and Global Health Education in 2008 to create a coordinated space for students to form initiatives, create projects and find opportunities to engage with the community. That same year and largely through her efforts, Upstate was named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll to recognize the university for its community services activities, such as the blanket drive to benefit area refugees and city school science fair undertaken by its students.

"The scholarship will recognize one student annually who demonstrates Dr. Stearns' dedication to community advocacy and engagement," said Vincent Kuss, the College of Medicine Alumni Foundation's executive director. "Dr. Stearns has involved Upstate students in numerous volunteer initiatives that have enhanced their academic experience at Upstate as well as the quality of life for Central New Yorkers. This scholarship recognizes her for her dedication and commitment to the students and to the people of Central New York."

Stearns makes her home in Syracuse.

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