Academics, HEOP

Tyler Simmons ’21, a philosophy major from Harlem, is this year’s recipient of the Lonnstrom Higher Education Opportunity Program Excellence Award

The annual award was established by Douglas Lonnstrom ’66, Ph.D., a Siena professor of quantitative business analysis, and his wife, Cris, to support HEOP students in pursuing their careers and goals after graduation. This award may be put toward transportation, moving, living expenses, tuition and book costs.

HEOP Director Yasmin Fisher ’10 said Simmons will soon serve as head counselor of HEOP’s summer program, helping a new cohort of incoming Siena freshmen make their transition to college life.  This fall, he will attend the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs at the University of Albany to earn a master's degree in criminal justice. That will be the next stepping stone toward his ultimate career goal of becoming a lawyer. 

“I am extremely blessed to receive this award from Dr. and Mrs. Lonnstrom and the HEOP program,” said Simmons. “This award will assist me in relocating to Albany and will provide me with some financial security as a new college graduate.” 

While at Siena, Simmons participated in multiple leadership roles for the HEOP program and the Siena community: peer tutor, peer mentor, tour guide, and peer counselor. 

“These roles allowed me to connect with my fellow HEOP students and staff to meet their needs."

He was also part of the Black Student Union, intramural basketball, the Urban Scholar STEM program, and the Summer Legal Fellows Program with Albany Law. 

“I was able to train in legal research and focus on police oversight and police reform with the Albany Law program, which was an excellent leadership opportunity. I worked with the Albany Police Department, state legislators, and local government officials on this project, which allowed me to diversify my skills, study from those around me, and build connections that will continue to grow after Siena.”