Outstanding students honored, celebrated at annual awards ceremony

April 25, 2023

Aerial view of the Mount Carmel Campus quad and library

Members of the university community came together Monday evening to celebrate and recognize outstanding students throughout the university at the Undergraduate Awards Ceremony.

The Student Government Involvement Award

Kaitlin Gorman has extensively served as a member of the Student Government Association and played a pivotal role in the growth and continuous success of this organization. Beginning her journey as a Class Vice President, she rose through the ranks and assumed various leadership roles, in which she enacted a variety of positive changes to the student experience. Additionally, her leadership is constantly recognized by both new and returning members alike for the wisdom, guidance, support, and mentorship she provides continuously motivating and inspiring others. Furthermore, her dedication to this organization is unrivaled and remains unwavering, even through the most turbulent of times, displaying that she is a true champion of the student body.

The Eubie Blake Humanitarian Award

Déjà Banner has exemplified a level of selflessness and perseverance throughout her time here at Quinnipiac. She consistently puts everyone over herself and focuses on improving the greater QU community and its cultural intelligence. She has also held various leadership positions on campus and has always shown a positive outlook on any situation. She is a phenomenal president of her organization, and she continuously strives to promote justice, equity, and inclusion for all students on campus.

The Edwin A. Steck Award

Kate Reilly truly embodies the spirit of good sportsmanship and athletic excellence. Her unwavering commitment to her Division One athletics team is matched only by her remarkable leadership and dedication to the Quinnipiac community. Whether on the ice or off, she exudes a contagious energy that motivates those around her to strive for greatness. Her extraordinary talent and work ethic make her an undeniable asset to her team, while her unwavering sportsmanship and respectful demeanor serve as a shining example of what it means to be a true Bobcat. Not only does she excel on the ice, but she also makes it a priority to engage with fans and young aspiring athletes, always going the extra mile to ensure everyone feels included and appreciated. She is truly deserving of this award for her outstanding athletic ability and her embodiment of the Quinnipiac spirit.

The Outstanding Faculty Award

Dr. Linda Fisher has consistently demonstrated exceptional professionalism, an unwavering dedication to scholarly pursuits, and a deep concern for the academic and personal success of her students. She is renowned for going above and beyond, offering ample opportunities for her students to succeed both inside and outside of the classroom. She is known for being readily available to provide extra help, host review sessions, and offer personalized guidance and mentorship. Her commitment to creating a positive and inclusive classroom environment has left a lasting impact on countless students, inspiring many to declare majors and pursue scholarly pursuits. Notably, she has broken barriers by being the only female faculty member in her department, serving as a role model and inspiration to all. It is without a doubt that she exemplifies the best qualities of education, making her a truly deserving recipient of this award.

The Outstanding Staff Award

Keith Wylie has made an immeasurable impact on the daily lives of students at the University. His unwavering commitment to student well-being, exceptional work ethic, and genuine care and concern for each student set him apart. Even during a fast-paced and often stressful environment, he consistently maintains a positive and welcoming demeanor, going above and beyond to ensure that students feel supported and valued. His dedication to ensuring that students with allergies can safely navigate the dining hall is just one example of the incredible lengths to which he will go to make the University experience as enjoyable and stress-free as possible for all. Students often speak of him as a confidant, a friend, and a beacon of positivity and kindness. It is without a doubt that he has made an unforgettable contribution to the quality of student life at the University.

The Outstanding First-Year Award

Autumn White has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to personal and community growth during her first year at Quinnipiac University. Through her participation in multiple co-curricular experiences, including serving as an event coordinator for a student group, volunteering at a blood drive, and becoming an up-and-coming RA and yoga instructor on campus, she has made a measurable impact on the Quinnipiac and surrounding communities. Her dedication and hard work serve as an inspiration to her peers and exemplify what it means to be a true leader and engaged member of the university community. We are thrilled to present this award to such an outstanding member of the Quinnipiac community.

The Emerging Leader Award

Kaitlyn Sternhardt has already established herself as a dedicated and passionate leader on campus. Through her involvement in various clubs and organizations, including serving as a first-year class senator in SGA, a member of NAMI and the psychology club, and a yoga instructor, she has shown a strong track record of leadership and a commitment to making a positive impact at Quinnipiac University. She has demonstrated exceptional communication skills and a willingness to help her peers and has made significant contributions to the university community, such as creating a child and adolescent studies minor and virtual counseling appointments. We are proud to recognize her as an emerging leader at Quinnipiac University.

The Outstanding Sophomore Award

Alexander Bayer has demonstrated a deep commitment to making a measurable impact on campus and in the community. Through his involvement in a variety of activities, including leadership roles in the Quinnipiac Student Nurses Association, photography for Quinnipiac Marketing and Communications, and serving as a director of operations for QU EMS, he has shown an impressive ability to balance his academic and extracurricular pursuits. Beyond his impressive achievements, he is known for his kind, humble, and determined disposition, which has earned him the respect and admiration of his peers and advisors alike. We are honored to present this award to a truly deserving student who is already making a difference in the world.

The Albert H. Jente Memorial Prize

Sarah Almeida has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to academic excellence, earning a remarkable 4.0 GPA while also participating in several extracurricular activities. Her leadership skills are exceptional, as evidenced by her roles in various student organizations, including serving as a student government senator and marketing director for her club. Additionally, she has shown an impressive dedication to community service and engagement through her work with the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, benefiting not only our campus but also the wider local community. She truly embodies the values and spirit of the Albert H. Jente Memorial Prize and is a deserving recipient of this prestigious award.

The Outstanding Junior Award

Hannah Jack has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills, academic excellence, and a passion for community service. She has worked tirelessly to achieve personal and professional goals through her engagement in co-curricular experiences and has shown an unwavering commitment to her academic pursuits, earning Dean's List recognition every semester since her first year. In addition to her academic achievements, she is actively involved in various student organizations on campus, including serving on the executive board of the American Sign Language Club, acting as music director for The Legends A Capella club, and mentoring high school students through the Quinnipiac University Advancing Diversity and Science (QUADS) program. Her dedication to community service is further evidenced by her involvement with The Big Event volunteer committee and her role as a Resident Assistant, supporting sophomore residents in navigating roommate conflicts and developing a sense of belonging on campus. She is known for her integrity, strong character, and ability to work well with others. Overall, her leadership, academic excellence, and dedication to community service make her a deserving recipient of the Outstanding Junior Award.

The Multicultural Student Leader of the Year Award

Hallye Boughner has shown a clear commitment to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community at QU. She has taken on several leadership roles throughout student organizations, has led multiple multicultural-focused programs as an RA, and has developed successful programs in areas such as Black History Month Teach-In and the Student of Color Leadership Retreat. Currently, she serves in several leadership positions, including as an Office Assistant and Community Outreach Chair. She is also involved in public relations committees and leading efforts as an executive producer for a magazine. Her dedication to social media marketing campaigns for DCGE and the University is also noteworthy.

The International Student Leader of the Year Award

Hephzibah Rajan has been an enthusiastic, inclusive, and approachable leader since she first arrived at Quinnipiac. She has been a vocal and motivated advocate for international student support and has amplified the voices of international student experiences on campus. As President of the International Students Association, she has led the organization and the greater community to be more welcoming and inclusive. She fosters an environment where individuals are celebrated for who they are and what they bring to Quinnipiac. She participated in a student panel at International Student Orientation and helped new Bobcats understand student life, how to get involved, how to navigate getting involved, adjusting to a new culture, and making the most of their experience at QU. As a Resident Assistant, Vice President of the Grand Challenge Scholars Program, and Web Director for Q30 Television, she has displayed creativity, leadership qualities, and raised awareness about international student issues and experiences to the broader Quinnipiac community. She is a dedicated and caring leader that has made significant advances in enhancing international student life during her time at Quinnipiac.

The Global Citizen of the Year Award

As a history major and French minor in the MAT program, Erika Yaverski has taken advantage of any and all opportunities to expand her worldview, with a specific emphasis on decolonial pedagogies and bilingual education. As a sophomore, she elected to enroll in ED 250: Diversity, Dispositions, and Multiculturalism, which had a travel component to San Lucas, Guatemala. It was during this experience that she began to reflect on her role and responsibility as a future educator. During the pandemic, when place-based programming was paused, she took the initiative to design an independent study to complete her French minor where she interned (virtually) for six months at a development NGO based in Cameroon. She researched grant and funding opportunities for the organization. She has since committed herself to learning Spanish as she is currently interning at a bilingual elementary school and is seeking more authentic ways to connect and engage with the students she works with. As part of that language learning process, she recently traveled to Nicaragua to take an intensive language immersion course with QU partner, Alianza Americana. She truly embodies the principles of critical global citizenship and cultural humility and is deserving of this honor and recognition.

The Emmanuel Laboy Social Justice Advocate Award

As a Biochemistry major with minors in Psychology and Global Public Health, Sean Doyle has demonstrated consistent contributions to the leadership of Quinnipiac’s campus. He is the Co-President of the Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA) and has been very dedicated to raising awareness as well as advancing equity and justice, particularly for the LGBTQIA+ community. He has worked with his board to lead various initiatives and bring LGBTQ+ culture to Quinnipiac including coordination of drag bingo and dinners, education around consent and sexual identity, and several meaningful collaborations with other organizations to raise visibility. In the Fall 2022 semester, he helped bring back the Queer at QU panel which highlights the experiences of LGBTQIA+ faculty and staff. In addition to his role with GSA, he has also served this year as a Resident Assistant, Student Ambassador for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, student rep for the Academic Integrity Board, Peer Catalyst for the Learning Commons and leadership positions with the Italian Cultural Society and the University Honors Program.

The Fraternity Member of the Year and Sorority Member of the Year Awards

Alexander Tamigi for his leadership in Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, the Interfraternity Council, and his dedication to advocating for students and important causes.

Emily Funk for her leadership in Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, the Panhellenic community, and her positive impact on our entire fraternity and sorority community.

The Fraternity and Sorority of the Year Awards

Pi Kappa Phi fraternity for their drive for success, consistent achievements, and commitment to the greater fraternity and sorority community.

Chi Omega sorority for their consistency in overall chapter excellence, commitment to values, and dedication to furthering the fraternity and sorority community at Quinnipiac.

The Orientation Leader of the Year

Kayla Bedford has exemplified what it means to be an exceptional leader. Throughout all orientation sessions and the Welcome Weekend Program, she consistently went above and beyond to ensure that new students felt welcomed and comfortable in their new community. Her passion for Quinnipiac and her role as an Orientation Leader was infectious, as she maintained a positive attitude even during the longest and most challenging days. Her ability to connect with others and create a sense of belonging was truly remarkable. Not only did she excel in her official duties as an Orientation Leader, but she also contributed to the overall spirit and enthusiasm of the orientation program. Her commitment to helping new students acclimate to the QU community was unwavering, and she served as a role model to her fellow OLs. She truly embodied the values of the Orientation Leader program, and the impact she had on the incoming class will be felt for years to come.

The Health & Wellness Leader of the Year Award

It is with great pleasure that we present the Health & Wellness Leader of the Year Award to Ellen Bissel. As a member of the fitness instructor team, she brings her passion for dance and movement to the Balletone program and inspire those around her to live well in body, mind, and soul. She also serves on the QTHON Management Team, NAMI e-board, and actively participates in the honors program and event planning committee for the biology 3+1 program. Her commitment to promoting a balanced and positive way of life for herself and her peers is truly remarkable. She is a beacon of positivity and a true team player, always ready to lend a helping hand to her peers and supervisors in any way possible. Her contributions to our community have not gone unnoticed; we are grateful for all that she has given and are confident that she will continue to be an exceptional health and wellness leader and role model throughout her time here.

The Club Sports Leader of the Year Award

Alex Wanatick is a shining example of all the attributes you could ask for in a leader of a Club Sports team, good sportsmanship, excellent communication, sound decision-making, and an impeccable role model for other club sports student-athletes. As his nominator said, “He has helped his team grow both on and off the field. He has been a joy to work with and his commitment to the success of his team shows in the passion he has for personal and athletic growth”. Not only has his leadership and passion for Club Sports been demonstrated throughout the year, but also his gratitude for resources made available to him and his team. He is always among the first to thank the Athletic Training and professional staff for their support and it is apparent he values the opportunity to play club sports at QU in his work-ethic and attitude. All this and more has earned him the distinction of Club Sports Leader of the Year.

The Recreation Member of the Year Award

Asrar Hamed has consistently embodied the values of good sportsmanship, positivity, and creating a welcoming atmosphere while working out, earning the admiration of her fellow gym-goers and staff alike. As her nominator noted, "Every time I see her in the gym she always says hello to the person at the front desk... she is a positive and friendly face that consistently follows the rules and does her part to make the RecWell center stay clean, safe, and enjoyable." In addition to her friendly and respectful demeanor, she is known for her consideration of others, always using machines for a respectful length of time and cleaning them after use. Her commitment to creating a positive and enjoyable experience for all at the RecWell Center has earned her this well-deserved recognition as the Recreation Member of the Year.

The Kindness and Generosity of Spirit Award

Our next award is a special recognition given to Kripa Patel who has demonstrated remarkable kindness and generosity of spirit towards a fellow student, making a direct and positive impact on their experience at Quinnipiac University. As noted in her nomination, she has shown outstanding leadership qualities through her involvement in various student organizations on campus, including serving as an orientation leader and president of a cultural society, where she made sure everyone felt welcomed and included. In addition to her community involvement, she also finds time to participate in intramural sports and volunteer for public health initiatives. Her dedication to helping others and her unwavering kindness toward her peers have made a lasting impression on those around her. We are proud to honor her with the Kindness and Generosity of Spirit Award.

The Outstanding Community Service Awards

For our first award, Ashley Mudd has a heart for service that inspires those around her. Her dedication to making a difference in the lives of others is unmatched, and her passion for volunteering is evident in all that she does. Whether it's through serving as the Service Vice President for her organization or volunteering in her free time, she is constantly seeking ways to make a positive impact on the local community and beyond. Her commitment to volunteerism is truly commendable, and her efforts have made a measurable impact on the lives of those she serves. She works tirelessly, balancing academics and extracurricular activities with her passion for community service, and always maintains a positive attitude and a desire to help others. She is an excellent example of the kind of selflessness and dedication to service that embodies the Outstanding Sophomore Community Service Award.

For the second award, Laura Martins has made a significant impact on the community through her volunteer service. She has been actively involved in Community Action Project, dedicating her time to on-campus blood drives, Project Angel Tree, and various off-campus service opportunities. Her work at local nursing homes, The Diaper Bank of Connecticut, and our annual Helping Hands Day have not gone unnoticed. Her commitment to improving the lives of others is truly inspiring, and she embodies the spirit of community service at Quinnipiac. She is well deserving of the Outstanding Senior Community Service Award.

The Interfaith Religious Leadership Award

Maya Le Rossignol truly embodies what it means to be a leader in the spiritual and religious community at Quinnipiac. Her dedication to programs such as CompACTION, the Center for Religion Leadership Speakers series, Campus Rugby Crew, Q-Thon, and the Big Event has been nothing short of remarkable. But it's not just the programs she leads that make her stand out; it's the way she cares for and looks after the students involved in these programs that sets them apart. Whether it's connecting students with resources or simply lending a listening ear, she consistently goes above and beyond for the betterment of the Quinnipiac community. Her quiet and considerate leadership style, combined with her unwavering dedication to the spiritual and moral welfare of her peers, makes her a true inspiration to all who know her.

The Resident Assistant of the Year Award

We are proud to recognize Michael Cunningham as being what it means to be an exceptional Resident Assistant. He is consistently advocating for his staff, residents, and the betterment of the QU community. He always exceeds our expectations, especially at times when our first-year students were encouraged to learn about the importance of their voice/presence by being active citizens, staying engaged in the community, and holding their peers accountable. Whether it be representing Residential Life through his two years within the LLC experience, being a welcoming face to students and families during the move-in process, or facilitating RA training, he has always made sure to create impactful memories that will last our QU students for a lifetime. One of his peers has described him as “An outstanding RA” and “an amazing role model.” This nominator said “I have been lucky to have him on my staff in mentoring me and showing me what I should be as a mentor to other first-year RAs. He goes above and beyond for his staff, residents, and his university.” He has always represented Residential Life in a positive light and is constantly looking to enhance to resident experience, even as he completes his last year to ensure the future of QU continues to thrive. We are thankful to have had him over the last three years and will miss his smiling face at duty check-in, in the halls, on-campus, and in our res life offices.

The Cardinal Joseph Bernardin Distinguished Impact Award

John DeFrancisco truly embodies the essence of what it means to be a devout Catholic, a leader, and a servant to others. Throughout his time at Quinnipiac, he has been an outstanding example of dedication to spiritual, religious, and moral values, consistently attending Mass and participating in interfaith programs to foster a more inclusive community. As a captain of the QU Club Rugby team and an EMT on campus, he has demonstrated exceptional leadership and service to his peers, always going above and beyond to lend a helping hand. His unwavering commitment to social justice and compassion for others has truly made a lasting impact on the Catholic community at Quinnipiac and beyond. We are proud to present this year's Cardinal Joseph Bernardin Distinguished Impact Award to a truly remarkable individual.

The H. Pearce Family Community Leadership Award

Kevin Surace has been an active member of the Quinnipiac Community, participating in various community service organizations, including Habitat for Humanity and Community Action Project (CAP). He has taken on leadership roles, serving as a president and co-director, respectively, and has been instrumental in driving the success of these organizations. Through his work with Habitat for Humanity, he has encouraged other students to participate in affordable housing construction and educated the community about the organization's mission. He has also volunteered with numerous organizations, supporting underserved populations throughout the Greater New Haven area. One of his significant contributions is the annual organization and participation in Helping Hands Day, a community service event through CAP, where students provide assistance to the Hamden community. He has truly demonstrated a passion for community service and has made a positive impact on the community through his leadership, dedication, and hard work.

The Outstanding Senior Awards

The following awards are presented by Student Affairs; each school will present their own awards at Commencement:

Paul Cappuzzo has been chosen for the outstanding senior award for the College of Arts and Sciences because of his significant and positive impact on the Quinnipiac community through his sustained engagement in various student organizations, programs, and causes on campus. Nominators noted he has set and achieved multiple personal and professional goals while developing strong collaboration skills, leaving a lasting impression on his peers, faculty, and the community. His involvement in his Greek organization, work as a Peer Catalyst, and dedication to the Orientation program exemplify his commitment to improving the QU community. In addition, his work with his political student organization has been outstanding, bringing multiple high-profile speakers to campus over the past few years, going above and beyond what many other groups have achieved. Overall, his hard work, dedication, and service make them a truly deserving recipient of this award.

Kush Patel has been chosen as the recipient of our next outstanding senior award for the School of Business as he has demonstrated exceptional dedication and commitment to various aspects of student life at Quinnipiac University. Through his sustained engagement in multiple student organizations and programs on campus, he has positively impacted the University community in numerous ways. His exceptional leadership and problem-solving skills have contributed significantly to the success of the orientation program, where he has served as an intern and provided valuable guidance to incoming first-year students. Additionally, his contributions as a campus leader in MSLC and SAS have been instrumental in enhancing the academic and personal growth of his peers. Overall, his achievements in both academic and extracurricular pursuits, coupled with his commitment to community service, make him an outstanding senior and a deserving recipient of this award.

Melina Khan has been chosen as this year's winner of our next outstanding senior award for the School of Communications as she has been an exceptional and reliable leader of her student media organization. Throughout this year, she was one of our go-to media leaders who advocated for additional resources and vocalized when support was needed. She worked collaboratively with other media leadership to secure post-season funding through multiple proposals and conversations with The Office of Student Engagement, Student Affairs, and University Leadership. Her dedication and passion for Communications have been evident in her work through student media, and her leadership has not gone unnoticed by members of her organization, who have praised her for her ability to lead an organization with such professionalism and care. She has been a mentor in her numerous roles on campus, and we can’t wait to see what she accomplishes within their chosen field.

Hephzibah Rajan has been chosen as the recipient of this next outstanding senior award for the School of Computing and Engineering as she has demonstrated exceptional academic and professional achievements during her time at Quinnipiac University. Her hard work and dedication to her field were recognized when she was named Engineering Intern of the Year, a prestigious honor awarded nationwide. In addition to her outstanding academic record, she has also been heavily involved in various student organizations on campus, including Q30 and the International Student Association, and has served as a Residential Advisor for three years. She has also been a mentor for underrepresented and international students through several mentorship programs established by the university. Her leadership skills and dedication to helping others have made a lasting impact on the campus community, particularly for international students who have benefited from her tireless efforts to represent their interests and help them navigate life in a foreign country. Despite her many accomplishments, she remains humble and kind, always taking the time to greet and inquire about the well-being of those around her. Her compassion and commitment to others make her a shining example of what it means to be an outstanding senior at Quinnipiac University.

Nicole Horn is the recipient of our next outstanding senior award for the School of Health Sciences as she has made a significant impact on Quinnipiac University and the greater Hamden community. Through her sustained engagement in various extracurricular activities and programs on campus, she has demonstrated her dedication to personal and professional growth. Her exceptional leadership skills have been evident in her roles as the President of her sorority and Best Buddies, as well as her involvement in QThon, the Big Event, and Circle of Sisterhood. Her inclusive leadership style has been an inspiration to her peers, as she has prioritized the success of those around her and demonstrated a willingness to share her experiences and knowledge. She has transformed the Best Buddies "Spread the Word" event after shifting gears during the pandemic, welcoming her best buddies to campus once again to celebrate. Her excellence in collaboration skills and positive impact on the University and surrounding communities make her an exceptional selection for this award.

Cara Hess is the next recipient of our outstanding senior award in the School of Nursing as she has truly exemplified the qualities of being engaged and achieving multiple goals on campus. Throughout her time at Quinnipiac, she has shown unwavering dedication and exceptional leadership skills in her involvement with the Quinnipiac Student Nurses Association, holding vital positions on the Executive Board, including class representative, treasurer, and president, and spearheading all QSNA programs in a professional, organized, and generous manner. Her efforts have led to the success of many major club activities, including coordinating monthly e-board and general meetings, participating in community service events, and planning for nursing student attendance at the NSNA spring convention in Nashville. Furthermore, she has not only excelled within the Quinnipiac community but also beyond; she has been a Clinical Communications Freelance Editor for MJH Life Sciences in New Jersey and was selected to be a student nurse intern on a medical/surgical floor at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. Her determination and hard work have made her an outstanding and compassionate nurse professional.

The Outstanding Student Affairs Leadership Award

Over the past two years, Ari Hyman has demonstrated outstanding performance in various leadership roles across campus while taking on numerous involvements. She has consistently exhibited strong leadership abilities, an incredible work ethic, and a spirit of service and social justice that exemplifies an incredible commitment to her community. Most notably, this spring she has worked tirelessly with her peers to develop a program with local schools in New Haven, which will allow high school students to visit Quinnipiac’s campus and learn more about higher education. Her dedication and ability to work with upper-level administrators to achieve this goal was truly impressive. As a highly involved student leader on campus, she balanced her time and efforts between rigorous coursework, various organizations, student government, and a variety of other opportunities outside the classroom. Recently, due to her incredible accomplishments and academic performance, she was admitted to the master’s in public policy program at George Washington University, pursuing her passion for leadership and serving others by continuing her education at this prestigious institution.

The Philip Troup Achievement Prize

I am honored to present the recipient of the 2023 Philip Troup Achievement Prize to Kaitlin Gorman who has truly made a difference during her time at Quinnipiac University. She has shown exceptional leadership and dedication during her time at Quinnipiac. As the leader of her class and a member of various organizations including her sorority and multiple honor societies, she has demonstrated her ability to lead with compassion, determination, and an unwavering commitment to her peers. Her efforts have not gone unnoticed, and the positive impact she has had on the Quinnipiac community is immeasurable; one of her most notable accomplishments was her advocacy for the School of Nursing to launch a Certified Nursing Assistant program at Quinnipiac. Her persistence and determination to achieve this goal have paid off, as the university received a grant to create and implement the program. This achievement speaks to her leadership skills and ability to advocate for the betterment of her fellow students, as well as the long-lasting impact she has had on our entire institution. In addition to her work with the School of Nursing, she has also been involved in the Student Government Association for her entire time at QU in a variety of leadership roles. Her character is always caring, kind, and willing to help anyone at the drop of a hat. She is an incredible leader who has left a lasting impact on Quinnipiac, and we have no doubt that she will continue to make a difference in the world beyond our campus. She is a true embodiment of the spirit of the Philip Troup Achievement Prize, and it is my pleasure to present her with this well-deserved award.

The Member of the Year Award

It is my honor to present the Member of the Year award to Matthew Michaud, a truly remarkable individual who has dedicated himself to the growth and stability of the many organizations he is a part of. He has been a key member of the Campus Rugby Crew executive board and has demonstrated an unwavering dedication to his organization's mission. He has been instrumental in revitalizing community service efforts and organizing events that have had a positive impact on our campus and the local community. He is a natural leader who has inspired peers with his dedication, creativity, and passion for the organization's three pillars: philanthropy, leadership development, and community building. He has been a driving force behind some of CRC’s most successful events, and his ability to see the nuances of situations while offering great advice has earned him the respect and trust of his peers, who look up to him as a mentor and leader. Despite a demanding nursing curriculum and other extracurricular obligations, he has been able to consistently demonstrate his commitment to his organization's success.

The Unsung Hero Award

We are proud to present the 2023 Unsung Hero Award to two remarkable student leaders, Joseph Coverly and Savitri George, who have had an incredible impact on the Quinnipiac community and had a perfect tie with their scores for this year’s award. Their unwavering dedication and innovation have transformed On the Rocks Pub and Grill into a dynamic and welcoming student-run business. These two students have displayed a passion for excellence, a commitment to community, and a willingness to help in any capacity necessary. They overcame numerous obstacles and complexities in developing menus, managing talent, budgeting, profit and loss performance, marketing, and programming while collaborating with Chartwells. Through their hard work, they have successfully hired, supervised, and developed 19 student employees, creating real-world, hands-on learning experiences. Their leadership and commitment to excellence have made an indelible impact on our program, organizations, and the Bobcat community. They have created a vibrant, exciting campus destination that has enhanced the student experience while exemplifying the spirit of the Unsung Hero Award, demonstrating selflessness, dedication, and a commitment to excellence. Their efforts have had a profound impact on the Quinnipiac community, and we are proud to recognize their outstanding contributions.

The Advisor of the Year Award

Donna Diaz has been an integral part of the success of her organization for the past decade. As an advisor, she has demonstrated a strong commitment to providing guidance and support to her members, helping them to navigate the challenges of leadership and personal growth. She has been a passionate advocate for her students, always willing to lend a listening ear and offer advice on how to overcome obstacles. Her dedication has inspired members to take risks and step outside of their comfort zones, fostering an environment of growth and development within the organization. Despite transitioning to part-time faculty, she has remained steadfast in her commitment to advising because of her unwavering passion for supporting the students in this group. Over the years, she has been instrumental in the success of many events and initiatives, helping the organization/group achieve its goals, mission, and objectives. Her contributions have impacted hundreds of students and group members, leaving a legacy of support and mentorship. It is clear that her dedication and commitment to advising have made a true impact on the organization/group, and she is truly deserving of the Advisor of the Year award.

The Mentor of the Year Award

Dr. Shawna Reed is deserving of the Mentor of the Year award due to her dedication to helping students and advisees reach their goals. Last year, she mentored several individuals in applying for summer research programs and all were successfully admitted to prestigious programs at ivy league institutions. In addition, she helped a student work through their difficult and publishable thesis projects, which led to that student being hired as a research technician at a translational clinical lab. She values a healthy balance between research and clinical experience and is committed to supporting her students' individual interests and passions. She has also provided significant support to a former student in terms of fellowships and progress, serving as both a professional reference and confidant. Her mentoring style is humble and non-judgmental, with a focus on supporting and believing in her students, and she is always available to meet, often outside of regular office hours. The students she has worked with have praised her as a “rockstar mentor” who is “relatable, fun, and extremely informative.” They credit her with opening up multiple opportunities for growth as a researcher and a person and say they would not be where they are today without her. Overall, she has played an important role in supporting, encouraging, and promoting a positive environment for students at her institution, and is a worthy recipient of the Mentor of the Year award.

The Community Service Event of the Year Award

It is with great enthusiasm that we present the 2023 Outstanding Community Service Event award to the Kappa Delta sorority which has made a tremendous impact on the lives of local youth. This event series, which supported a local Girl Scouts Troop, aimed to build a lasting relationship with the organization while providing opportunities for badge-earning and cookie sales. Kappa Delta went above and beyond to assist the troop, hosting a variety of events that provided valuable learning experiences for the girl scouts. Throughout the year, members of Kappa Delta volunteered over 500 hours of community service, with the majority of their efforts going towards supporting the Girl Scout events. Their dedication and hard work have not only helped to empower the girls of Troop 60529, but also serve as a model for the rest of the Quinnipiac community. We commend their selfless efforts to make a difference in the lives of others and are proud to recognize their outstanding contributions with this award.

The Event of the Year Award

Gender Sexuality Alliance is the recipient of this year's Event of the Year award
as it hosted the "Drag Dinner and Show" event which was truly exceptional, exceeding the standards set forth by the selection criteria and showcasing creativity, careful planning, and inclusivity, providing a memorable and meaningful experience for all attendees. Specifically, the Gender Sexuality Alliance provided an outstanding example that brought the campus together to celebrate the rich cultural tradition of the LGBTQIA+ community. The event was a success on many levels, including its ability to educate and entertain attendees about the history and significance of drag culture, receiving an overwhelmingly positive response from students. Many expressed how important it was to see drag queens on campus, and how the event created a safe and supportive space for LGBTQIA+ students. With over 200 students in attendance, it is clear that this event was a resounding success in building a strong sense of community on campus, all while embodying the essence of inclusivity, and promoting acceptance and belonging among all attendees. This was a well-planned and creatively advertised program that fully embodied the spirit of the Event of the Year award.

The Judith Frank Student Organization of the Year

As the recipient of the Judith Frank Student Organization of the Year award, Student Artists League exemplifies the very essence of student leadership, innovation, and commitment to the community. Student Artists League has quickly made a name for itself on campus, having been established relatively recently. They have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to their mission and have proven themselves to be an invaluable asset to the co-curricular experience of undergraduate students at Quinnipiac University. Their impressive lineup of programs, workshops, and presentations has not only been impactful but also reflective of their strong sense of purpose on campus. From their successful leadership conference to their engaging showcase and competition, and their thought-provoking panel discussion and on-campus speakers, Student Artists League has demonstrated an impressive level of dedication to furthering co-curricular learning and engagement at Quinnipiac. The members of the Student Artists League have truly embraced their roles as leaders, inspiring their peers to develop their own leadership potential and sponsoring outstanding events that have enriched the lives of students on campus. Student Artists League's efforts have also extended beyond the boundaries of the university, making a positive impact on the community at large. Overall, the Student Artists League's exceptional passion and drive, coupled with their innovative and effective programming, make them a truly deserving recipient of the Judith Frank Student Organization of the Year award.

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