Alfred University News

Alfred University announces Marlin Miller Outstanding Senior Award recipients for 2021

Holly Passetti (left) and Aanu Adeloye
Holly Passetti (left) and Aanu Adeloye

Alfred University students Holly Passetti and Aanu Adeloye have been selected to receive the 2021 Marlin Miller Outstanding Senior Award. The pair were chosen from among 23 exceptional nominees for the prestigious award.


ALFRED, NY — Alfred University students Holly Passetti and Aanu Adeloye have been selected to receive the 2021 Marlin Miller Outstanding Senior Award. The pair were chosen from among 23 exceptional nominees for the prestigious award.

“Aanu and Holly are great selections for our 2021 Marlin Miller Outstanding Seniors, out of a highly competitive group of candidates,” commented Dr. Kimberly Guyer, vice president of Student Affairs. “In addition to a stellar and impressive academic record, which is evident in their grade point averages and in their plans to pursue a Ph.D. immediately following graduation, both students have been extremely involved at Alfred University, having given their time, talents, and positive attitudes to contribute their part to the AU community. They will continue to do us proud as they make the transition to Alfred University alumni, and we look forward to seeing what their futures hold.”

Winners of the Marlin Miller Outstanding Senior Award are chosen based on scholarship, extracurricular achievement, personal character and conduct, and nominations by faculty, students, staff, or alumni. The award was established to honor Alfred University alumnus Marlin Miller ’54, H ’89, H ’19 one of Alfred University’s most generous supporters. Miller has been a member of Alfred University’s Board of Trustees since 1972 and is a former Board chair.

Holly Passetti, from Nichols, NY, is a chemistry and biology major (minors in mathematics and biomaterials engineering) who has a cumulative GPA of 4.00. She has been named to the Dean’s List and Empire 8 President’s List (recognizing academic excellence) and is an American Chemical Society (ACS) Outstanding Senior award recipient for 2021.

A graduate of Tioga Central High School, she is the daughter of Michael and Sue Passetti. After graduation from Alfred University, she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in biochemistry, microbiology, and molecular biology from Pennsylvania State University. 

“Winning this award is a huge honor to me,” Passetti commented. “Alfred University has had such a positive impact on my life and I'm glad I could have a positive impact on it.”

Passetti has been involved in a variety of clubs and organizations during her time at Alfred University, including the Biology Club (treasurer, 2019-20), Chemistry Club, Pre-Health Club (vice president, 2020-21), Health Career Club, and Peer Review Board. A member of the women’s soccer and track and field teams, she has served on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (social media chair, 2019-20; president 2020-21). She was a peer mentor on the soccer team (2018-19) and has been captain of the track and field team since 2019.

She has served as Organic Chemistry Tutor, General Chemistry Lab Teaching Assistant, Biological Foundations Learning Assistant, Organic Chemistry Teaching Assistant, Chemistry Lab Technician’s Assistant, and Research Assistant for Dr. David Marsh, assistant professor of chemistry.

Passetti is in Alfred University’s Honors Program. Among her academic accolades are memberships in several honor societies, including Phi Kappa Phi, Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Beta Kappa, and Chi Alpha Sigma.

In nominating her for the Marlin Miller Award, Andrew Eklund, professor of chemistry, called Passetti “the brightest student in my 20 years at Alfred University.”

“She is a leader both in terms of academics and athletics,” Eklund said. “She is of impeccable character and is a beam of sunshine and optimism in every task she takes on.”

“Holly is one of the best teaching assistants that I’ve seen in my 24 years at Alfred,” added Garrett McGowan, professor of chemistry, in his nomination of Passetti for the award. “Our students are fortunate to have her work with them.”

Angie Taylor, track and field coach at Alfred University, cited Passetti’s “extraordinary commitment to the University community” in nominating her for the award.

“Driven by the phrase ‘aspire to inspire,’ Holly has spent her collegiate career as a dual-sport athlete and consistent academic achiever, and avid learner, and dedicated leader,” Taylor commented. “She has made a difference at Alfred University, exemplified the mission of the University, and has positively impacted the track and field and cross country programs with her outstanding leadership.”

Aanu Adeloye, from Ile Ife, Osun, Nigeria, double-majors in mechanical engineering and physics, with a minor in mathematics. He has a 3.99 GPA and has been named to the University’s Dean’s List each semester her has been at Alfred University.

The son of Dr. Adewale Adeloye and Omosalewa Adeloye, Adeloye is a graduate of God's Image Secondary School, Ile Ife. This fall, he will enroll at the University of Texas-Austin to pursue a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering.

“Winning this award has been both a humbling and elating experience for me,” Adeloye said.

Adeloye’s leadership roles on campus include serving as vice president of Alfred University’s chapter of Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and as a member of the International Students Engagement Team.

He has served as a Supplemental Instruction (SI) Leader, Peer Tutor for the Math Lab, Herrick Library desk assistant. Physics Lab Assistant, desk assistant for the Division of Student Affairs, Teaching Assistant (for Circuit Theory, Dynamics, and Kinematics and Dynamics; and Machine Design), Fluid Mechanics Research Student in the Physics Department, and Student Researcher in the University’s Materials and Modeling Lab.

In the summer of 2020, Adeloye interned for Response Care (RCare) Inc. in collaboration with Alfred University for testing and calibration of radio frequency equipment for nursing homes. He also worked on a project to organize the Openhym Book Collection at Herrick Library in 2019.

Adeloye is a member of the Tau Beta Pi (New York Sigma Chapter) and Phi Kappa Phi (Alfred University Chapter) honor societies. He is also in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers at Alfred University and the University’s Design-Build-Fly Team.

In nominating Adeloye for the award, Georgina Beristain-Kendall, visiting assistant professor of physics, called him “a dedicated student with an excellent record of work and thoughtfulness.”

Adeloye “is one of the humblest persons I have ever known,” Beristain-Kendall said. “In addition to his outstanding record as a student, I believe his attitude and character are a daily inspiration to everyone around him. I believe he will go on to make a large impact in whatever community is fortunate enough to have him.”

Guyer, who nominated Adeloye for the award, became acquainted with him when she began working at Alfred University in 2019. At the time, Adeloye was a student worker in the Division of Student Affairs.

“He is an impressive student and an even more impressive human being. He is always kind, respectful, caring and happy; he is always smiling,” Guyer commented. “Although I will miss him, I can’t wait to see what he does after AU, because I have no doubt he is off to do great things.”

Guyer called Adeloye a “role model for his peers.” She noted that Adeloye, as an international student, has often had to remain on campus during breaks, and has helped fellow students in like situations. “He has advocated for other students who had to make similar and unexpected requests to remain on campus, especially during COVID. He has the highest moral character and lives by that moral compass.”