Last month, the State University of New York announced the recipients of the inaugural Norman R. McConney, Jr. Award for Student Excellence. Derek Anthony, Advertising and Marketing Communications ’20, was one of 42 students selected for this honor from SUNY’s 64 campuses.
Anthony was surprised when he heard the news. “I was taken aback because I don’t feel like I’m the best,” he said.
The award recognizes SUNY Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) students who have overcome significant socioeconomic obstacles to reach their educational and personal goals. After a nomination from Taur Orange, director of FIT’s EOP, Anthony attended an evening ceremony at the SUNY Global Center in Manhattan and received a certificate from SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson.
Anthony currently serves as vice president of the FIT Student Activities Board (SAB), FIT’s student-led event and programming organization. The position offered him an opportunity to highlight the diversity of FIT’s student population while supporting club members and officers. He has initiated a program, Music Mondays, to showcase a range of musical genres and provides a promotional opportunity for the SAB.
A creative since childhood, Anthony has performed in the New York region for over 12 years as a poet and rapper under the stage name D.A. The Future and participates in the music collective The Earwaxx Sessions. Despite his busy schedule, Anthony’s priorities are his studies and his role on the SAB.
“I’m trying to build my network, be on the scene: working with people, engaging, and making sure I get the most out of my FIT experience,” Anthony said.
He said that the EOP office has been his “lifeline” since attending FIT. “I just feel like, in the EOP office, I bring all this energy and it’s accepted, it’s congratulated, and it’s encouraged.”
For more information about FIT’s EOP, visit fitnyc.edu/eop or contact the office at (212) 217-4170.