Karah Munnings Honored with EOP Norman McConney Award

Stony Brook University psychology major Karah Munnings was one of 52 students in SUNY’s Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) who were honored April 18 with the Norman R. McConney, Jr. Award for Student Excellence. The award, now celebrating its fifth class of honorees, recognizes outstanding EOP students for their academic merit and perseverance.

Eop munnings
Karah Munnings with SUNY Chancellor John B. King Jr.

The honor is named in memory of Norman R. McConney, Jr. (1946–2016), a graduate of the University at Albany and former assistant dean for special programs at SUNY. McConney, alongside former Assembly Deputy Speaker Arthur O. Eve, helped create the EOP as a statewide program. McConney is also credited with helping found the Black and Puerto Rican Legislative Caucus, which later became the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus. 

“Today, we celebrate the resilience and success of our SUNY EOP students. A student who is the granddaughter of an undocumented immigrant who struggled academically in high school, but today excels with a 3.7 GPA. A student who made it on the dean’s list while helping raise and provide for their siblings. Students who give back to their community to help younger kids have a better life,” said SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr. “Each student we celebrate today has shown strength time and time again in pursuit of an education that will open the doors of opportunity and upward mobility.”

State Assembly Speaker and Stony Brook alumnus Carl Heastie ’90 said, “Congratulations to all the students honored today for their hard work and exceptional accomplishments. The EOP program is essential to many students seeking higher education as a step toward a brighter future. As Speaker, I’ve fought to ensure our opportunity programs have the tools and funding they need to continue to make higher education accessible to all students on their path toward success. I’m honored to celebrate the students here today and look forward to celebrating many more in the years ahead.”

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