SUNY Chancellor Malatras Announces Recipients of 2021 University Police Awards

November 16, 2021

Officers Honored for Demonstrating Heroism in Saving Lives and Professional Commitment to Public Safety

Photos From Today’s Ceremony Available Here

Albany, NY
– State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras today announced the recipients of the 2021 University Police Awards, who were recognized by the SUNY Police Chiefs Association in a ceremony in Saratoga Springs today. The annual awards honor lieutenants, officers, and staff who played a key role in life-saving events in the past year, as well as others on the New York University Police force for their outstanding professional service.

"I want to congratulate this year’s University Police Award recipients who time and time again, and without hesitation, work to keep our students and our entire campus communities safe," said SUNY Chancellor Malatras. "These awards recognize our officer’s extraordinary acts of heroism, selfless service, courage under pressure and above all, their unwavering commitment to our campuses. It is with immense pride and profound appreciation that we thank the winners for their service to SUNY."

SUNY Board Trustee Robert J. Duffy said, "When families send their children off to college for the first time, they entrust the safety of their loved ones to SUNY. New York State University Police work tirelessly to safeguard not just the students across our 64 campuses, but also the faculty, staff, and guests of our educational institutions. These brave officers wake up every morning not knowing what situation will come their way, and they do so willingly, at times putting their lives at risk to protect others. We thank them for their dedication, bravery, and fortitude and we couldn’t be more proud to call them our own."

University Police Commissioner Mary Ritayik said, "This awards ceremony has always been a highlight for the University Police each year. It is a time to come together to acknowledge those members that have gone above and beyond their duties. In a time where society is currently focused on law enforcement, praise and appreciation for the jobs our officers do, now more than ever, is extremely important for them. It is imperative that we continue to honor our officers and acknowledge them for the risks they take to help others in need, the lives that they’ve saved, and their efforts and contributions that they make to their departments in order to ensure that the New York State University Police remains a professional leader in law enforcement. Our men and women of the New York State University Police are some of the finest officers in law enforcement today."

PBANYS President and University Police Officers Director Ryan Law said, "The entire membership of the PBA of New York State extends our warmest thanks and congratulations to the 67 officers and staff from 11 State University of New York campuses that were recognized at this year’s SUNY Chiefs Association Awards Ceremony. Honorees were recognized in three categories that highlight the professionalism and ethos of the nearly 1,200 members of the PBA – Heroism, Life Saving and Professional Service. Our students, faculty, staff, and visitors remain safe and able to partake in all of the offerings of New York’s public higher educational institutions because these dedicated women and men protect our campuses and serve these vital communities."

The Life Saving Awards recognize University Police who helped saved lives during the past year. These awards went to:

  • University at Albany: Lieutenant Kevin Krosky, Police Officer Alex Jobson
  • Farmingdale State College: Police Officer Elizabeth Malenovsky, Police Officer Matthew Fitzharris, Police Officer Joseph Tucker, Police Officer Andrew Sousa, Police Officer Stephen Beckwith
  • SUNY New Paltz: Lieutenant William Shaw, Police Officer Joseph Haubrich, Police Officer Lilah Bunce, Police Officer Antonio Stenta
  • Stony Brook University: Police Officer Edward Dowd, Police Officer Michelle Mori, Police Officer Richard Sotomayer
  • Upstate Medical University: Police Officer Dylan Lyons

The Heroism Awards recognize university police for acts of exceptional bravery performed at very high risk to their own lives with full awareness of the danger involved. This year’s honor was awarded to:

  • University at Buffalo: Police Officer Catherine Guzman, Police Officer Jay Lawrence

The following university police received the Professional Service Award, which recognizes members for acts that greatly enhance the operation of the respective university police departments:

  • University at Albany: Police Officer Adam Pasnik
  • SUNY Brockport: Lieutenant Dennis Price, Lieutenant Michael Johnson, Police Officer Dennis Schultz
  • University at Buffalo: Police Officer Michael Virchau, Police Officer Florence Brown, Police Officer Gregory Fowler, UPCSS Alaina Reid
  • Buffalo State College: Chief Peter Carey, Assistant Chief Amy Pedlow, Lieutenant William Ginnick, Lieutenant Daniel Harris, Investigator Steven Cahoon, Investigator Renee Polniak, Police Officer Robert Fletcher, Police Officer Jesse Gang, Police Officer Anthony Olszewski, Police Officer R. John Wood, Dispatcher Morgan Liberty, Staff Assistant Darlene DiCesare
  • SUNY Cortland: Lieutenant Francis Cullen, Parking Operations and Security Services Director Eamon O'Shea
  • SUNY Morrisville: Lieutenant James McCartney, Police Officer Stephen Leuthauser, Police Officer Tyler Morgan, Police Officer Cody Welch, Police Officer Luke Learned, Lieutenant Philip Netzband, Police Officer Nicole Wright
  • SUNY New Paltz: Lieutenant John Ritayik, Police Officer Antonio Stenta, Police Officer Lilah Bunce, Police Officer Tyler Pece, Police Officer Justin Larchevesque
  • SUNY Oswego: T/Sergeant Richard Sherwood
  • SUNY Plattsburgh: Lieutenant Darren Barcomb
  • SUNY Purchase: Lieutenant Roberto Caban, Lieutenant Timothy Ludden, Police Officer Fred Vanzillotta, Police Officer Adrienne Jordan, Police Officer Kevin Racioppa, Police Officer Sean McKenna, UPCSS II Mercedes Andujar, UPCSS Bruce Butler
  • Stony Brook University: Lieutenant Zachary Lee, Investigator Stephen Kiefer
  • Upstate Medical University: Lieutenant John Stefanko, Police Officer Brian Patterson, Lieutenant Michael Jorgensen, Police Officer David Woodward

As part of the award ceremony, two SUNY students received the following scholarships:

  • Platt/Malcolm Harris Scholarship: Rosielynn Marasigan – SUNY Purchase
  • Dr. McBride Student Achievement Award: Avery Gravelle – SUNY Potsdam


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 amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-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

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