Academic excellence and a range of involvement have earned recent graduate Kari Henry of Brooklyn the Oswego Alumni Association’s 2020 Outstanding Senior Award.

A meteorology major with a minor in astronomy, Henry has been included on the Deans' and President’s lists nearly every semester at SUNY Oswego. She maintained an average of 3.5 while remaining actively involved in campus activities, research initiatives and community service projects.

A committee selected Henry from a highly competitive pool of 27 nominees for the award.

During her time at Oswego, Henry has been recognized many times for her strong leadership and academic efforts. She has received the Maroney Family Newman Center Scholarship, Sigma Xi Quest Award and Edward Austin Sheldon Award. She has twice participated in Summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates, conducting research at both Cornell University and also at the Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia. In addition to these many achievements she was actively involved in and on the executive board of multiple student organizations, including Newman Club, Astronomy Club and the Writers’ Open Forum, as well as a member of the Meteorology Club.

“Her presence and leadership have been an invaluable asset to our campus community and beyond,” said Michael Huynh, the director of campus ministry who nominated Kari for the award. “She is the first one in her family to graduate from college. Kari encompasses as a student and individual what I believe is the best of what SUNY Oswego has to offer the world!”

Henry worked several jobs, including as an office assistant in the atmospheric and geological sciences department, a server and dishwasher with Auxiliary Services, and as a private tutor, while juggling her academic and extracurricular activities.

“Coming to Oswego has given me the opportunity to experience things I don’t get to experience when I’m back at home,” Henry said. “I got the experience of watching beautiful sunsets by the lake. I got to experience lake-effect snow and see waterspouts. I saw nebulae, galaxies and planets through telescopes. I went on amazing retreats with the Newman Center, where I went on hikes and was able to be one with nature. These experiences reminded me that I was where I needed to be.”

She said she is grateful to the many friends -- including students, staff and faculty -- that she’s made during her Oswego journey, and she’s honored to have been selected to receive the Outstanding Senior Award.

She is serving the 2020-21 academic year with City Year, an organization that provides emotional and academic support to students in city schools.

“I will be mentoring and tutoring grade school students in my hometown of Brooklyn,” she said. “I want to do this because I want to give back to my community. I want these kids to know that they have so much potential and the world needs them. After that year, I plan on heading off to graduate school to earn a Ph.D. in planetary science.”

The Outstanding Senior Award was established by the 2005 Senior Class Planning Committee and is funded by 2002 alumna Alice Massimi Crouch. The Outstanding Senior Award recognizes a graduating senior who has been highly involved on campus while maintaining academic excellence.