Trenton Van Epps is First Architecture Student to Receive SUNY Chancellor’s Award

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher (left) presents Trenton Van Epps (Architecture BS '14) with his award.

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher (left) presents Trenton Van Epps (Architecture BS '14) with his award.

By Madelyn McClellan

Published June 9, 2014

Trenton Van Epps (Architecture BS ‘14) was recently awarded the 2014 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence in recognition of his exemplary academic record and his active involvement and leadership in the community and campus life.

Such an award is a proud moment for the School of Architecture and Planning - Van Epps is the first student from the school to receive this award. 

Academically, Trenton was recognized throughout his undergraduate education, receiving multiple design excellence awards and achieving a position on the Dean’s List each semester of his academic career. He was the 2013 president of UB’s Senenmut Chapter of the Alpha Rho Chi architecture fraternity, which hosted the professional fraternity’s annual Leadership Conference in Buffalo last fall. He also participated in the Architecture + Education program, which introduces young children in Buffalo’s public schools to architecture and design. In 2013, he organized an exhibition on the School of Architecture and Planning's study abroad program. Van Epps' engagement with the community and campus has spanned many organizations, including the Buffalo Riverkeepers, UB Campus Living and Buffalo Reuse.

Beth Tauke, associate professor of architecture and associate dean of academic affairs, nominated Van Epps for the award. “Trenton sets standards of excellence for our students. He is able to inspire his peers/colleagues by enthusiastically participating in all of life’s experiences, especially those that contribute to his goal of serving his community through the discipline of architecture.”

Van Epps was among a prestigious group of students throughout the entire 64-campus SUNY system to receive this award. The award honors SUNY students who have best demonstrated an integration of academic excellence with other aspects of their lives, including leadership, campus involvement, athletics, career achievement, community service or creative and performing arts. The nominees are reviewed by a selection committee, established by campus presidents, and are then forwarded to the Chancellor’s Office for a second round of review. 

Van Epps is currently providing design support to the GRoW House project, UB's submission to the international Solar Decathlon competition. After this summer, he intends to travel to South or Central America to develop his interests in time-based architecture and examine social housing of the region. His long-term plans are to pursue a professional architectural degree with an emphasis on urban design and community-based design.