College of Medicine Students Jadesola Olayinka and Alfonso Caetta Acknowledged for Outstanding Achievement in Leadership and Academic Excellence.
Two SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University students have been named recipients of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, the highest honor bestowed upon students by the University System. Jadesola (Jadé) Olayinka and Alfonso Caetta, students in SUNY Downstate’s College of Medicine, are 2 of 180 students across 61 campuses being recognized for outstanding achievements and for demonstrating the integration of SUNY excellence within academics, leadership, campus involvement, community service, or the arts.
Ms. Olayinka will receive a special honor in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for addressing skin cancer prognosis disparity and improving physician awareness and recognition of dermatologic conditions in people of color. A child of Nigerian immigrants, Ms. Olayinka is a fourth-year medical student committed to the improvement of health disparities in marginalized communities, with a particular focus on advocacy for skin care in patients of color. She is a standout among student leaders consistently demonstrating the highest standards of professionalism, academic excellence, outstanding leadership qualities built on respect and teamwork, exemplary interpersonal and interprofessional skills, tireless commitment to social justice, compassion, optimism, and mission focus. Ms. Olayinka recently matched into dermatology at New York University (NYU).
Mr. Caetta is a first-generation American and college graduate, and a member of SUNY Downstate’s Class of 2022. He is a leader, currently serving as President of the Greater Medical Student Council and is a voting member of the SUNY Council of Downstate Health Sciences University. He also volunteers with and served on the executive council at the Anne Kastor Brooklyn Free Clinic. Through the medical educator pathway, Mr. Caetta frequently teaches underclassmen, including during head and neck anatomy laboratory. His research spans subjects including adenotonsillectomy, fungal sinusitis, adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, and medical education.
“We are proud to see our students succeed and earn recognition for their tremendous accomplishments,” said SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University President Wayne J. Riley, M.D. “Alfonso and Jadé have taken on immense leadership roles throughout their education at Downstate, and I anticipate many more accolades for them as leaders in the professional medical community.”
“Now more than ever, it is time to celebrate the accomplishments of our students who have helped one another get through this global pandemic and focus on getting the most out of their college education, and this year’s CASE winners are at the top of the class,” said SUNY Interim Chancellor Deborah F. Stanley. “It is my great honor to celebrate the fortitude, leadership, and achievements of this year’s winners, and I applaud their hard work and desire to do more for their campuses and fellow students. I, for one, can’t wait to see what they do next.”
Recipients received their awards from Interim Chancellor Deborah F. Stanley on April 26th at the Hall of Springs in Saratoga Springs. For more information,