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Presidential Scholars Program

Through the Presidential Scholars Program, motivated & talented SUNY Potsdam students are given the opportunity to create their own independent project and to more fully develop their interests and intellect.

The Presidential Scholar's Program provides recognition and additional financial resources to students who have achieved academic excellence and who demonstrate a commitment to their own academic progress.

Students selected for the program are required to draft an educational plan and complete a project that will lead to fulfillment of their academic goals. Presidential Scholars are supported in the design and implementation of their project by individual faculty mentors. For more information about the eligibility and requirements, see Admissions Criteria & Expectations.

Students who wish to explore possibilities beyond the limits of traditional classroom experiences are strongly encouraged to apply to the Program. To learn about what Presidential Scholars are doing now and what they've done in the past, see Current projects. Eligible students are notified annually in late summer preceding the fall application period.

Information Sessions:

  • September 7, 2023 at 5 p.m.
  • September 8, 2023 at 5 p.m.

Sessions will be held in the Honors Lounge in the Lougheed Learning Commons.

Application Deadline:

October 20, 2023 by 4 p.m.


schedule an appointment

Dr. Thomas Baker
Lougheed Learning Commons, Suite 107
(315) 267-2507

Funding for the Presidential Scholars Program comes from gifts to the Potsdam College Foundation from alumni, friends, faculty and businesses who support higher education at SUNY Potsdam and believe in self-directed learning.

The Presidential Scholars Program is especially appreciative and grateful for the generosity of Mildred Eveline Post and Bill Farley in support of funding student scholars and program activities.  


Fabric of Learning

Weaving together academic research and applied learning experiences, Emily Bailey ’24 and Annabelle Kahle ’26 have been immersing themselves in unique hands-on research projects through the Presidential Scholars Program—examining the history of homespun garment manufacturing and using historical tools to create costumes that their ancestors would have worn.

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Musically Driven

As she pulls the microphone close and hits record, Tatiana Merced ’24 captures audio for her “Musically Driven” podcast series—part of a multi-year presidential scholars project to examine how people of color have shaped the fabric of music history.

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Helping Those in Need

Always encouraged by her mother to help those in need, Kristy Coyle ’22 harnessed those values while pursuing a degree in community health at SUNY Potsdam. During her senior year, she received funding through the Presidential Scholars Program to completed a research project focused on food insecurity, which culminated with her organizing a food insecurity and nutrition education conference at the College.

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Discovering her Path

Marie Amell ’21 excelled as an art student during her four years at SUNY Potsdam. An honors student at the College, she was accepted into the prestigious Presidential Scholars Program where she conducted research on animation techniques and then created a film that she presented to faculty and staff at the end of her senior year.

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Kadiatou Balde '19

As part of her Presidential Scholars project, Kadiatou studied historical and contemporary women in Islam from primary sources, including the Quran and hadiths, as well as modern books all written by women.

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