2012 Honors Awards Dinner

05-15-12 - Students, faculty, and staff recognized for their outstanding scholarship and notable contributions to the Wells community.

honors awards dinner

Wells College recently awarded the Academic and Student Life awards at the 2012 Wells College Annual Awards Dinner. Prizes are given out each year to students, faculty and staff that show exceptional work, commitment, or leadership in a specific area, or those that demonstrate skill or specialization within their field. The following honors were granted:


Honors Awards:


Prizes in the Arts

Helen Gertrude Dean ’25 Prize for Dramatic Expression – Claudia Nolan '12
Established in 1925 by Helen Gertrude Dean '25 and awarded to that member of the senior class who has exhibited the best efforts in dramatics, represented by characterization and expression.

Margaret Schwartz Music Prize – Marie Angus ’12 

Awarded to a member of the graduating class for outstanding performance work in music.  Established and endowed by Margaret Schwartz.

Carol Stull Prize for Dance Performance – Megan Claxton ’12
Established in 2004 in honor of Carol Stull andawarded to a graduating senior who has excelled in dance performance, both in technical accomplishment and expressive range.

Kate Clugston Class of 1914 Prize in Theatre – Alexi Montgomery ’13
Awarded annually to a member of the senior class who, apart from onstage performance, has made an outstanding contribution to Wells theatre, either by one striking achievement or through continuous dedication. Kate Clugston '14 was a playwright, poet, and English teacher who established the department of Public Relations at Wells, serving as its director from 1944-1947. 

The Prize in Excellence for the Book Arts – Alex Schloop ’12
Established in 2006 by the faculty and staff of the Book Arts Center, the prize is awarded to the graduating senior who has completed the Minor in the Book Arts; has developed outstanding skills in at least one area of the Book Arts; and has shown creativity and aesthetic sensitivity, as well as excellent craftsmanship in the projects for each class.


Prizes in the Humanities

Edwin B. Morgan Prize – Emma Martin ’13
Awarded to the student who has acquired the greatest knowledge of the Spanish language in at least two years of college work in Spanish.

Fleissner German Prize – Danielle Crabtree ’12
Established in 1962 by the Alumnae Association in honor of Else M. Fleissner, professor of German, 1927-69. Awarded to the student who has acquired the greatest knowledge of the German language and literature in at least two years of College work in German.

Rose Hill ’98 Prize in Creative Nonfiction – Rita Feinstein ’12 Honorable Mention: Judith Lavelle ’14
Established in 2009 in memory of Rose Hill '98.  Awarded to the student whose creative nonfiction best reflects Rose Hill’s honesty and artistry.   Judged this year by faculty in English.

M. Helena Zachos Prize – Judith Lavelle ’14 
Awarded to the student who has submitted the best short story during the year; in honor of M. Helena Zachos, honorary member of the class of 1875. Judged this year by faculty in English

Class of 1905 Prize in Poetry – Rita Feinstein ’12
Awarded for the best poem or poems written by an undergraduate during the year. Judged this year by faculty in English.

Catherine B. DePau Prize (Academy of American Poets) –Rita Feinstein ’12 Honorable Mention: Danielle Cregan ’12
Awarded for the best poem or group of poems submitted by a student. 

This year's Outside Judge for the Prize is Jay Rogoff.

Julia Taylor Martin Prize in American History – Phillip Anderson ’13 
Awarded to the student who, during the college year, has submitted a superior essay within the field of American History.

The History/Political Science Prize – Kevin Wilson ’12
Awarded to that student of high standing in history or political science who has shown the greatest ability to use her/his training in promoting the intellectual and social life of the College, as well as the greatest promise of usefulness in the future.


Prizes in the Social Sciences

Ariel Lawson ’08 Memorial Prize – Emily Mulkerne ’12   
Awarded to a student in good academic standing who has been an active servant in the governance of Wells College and in student life. First preference will be given to a female student.  Hir dedication to the College must be expressed with the purpose of maintaining and perpetuating the Wells "Sisterhood." This must be a student who fights no-holds barred for what ze believes is right even in the face of opposition, while maintaining a commitment to building the Wells and Aurora communities. Ze should also be committed toward solving larger issues of economic and social justice. 

Thomas Knuth International Studies Prize – Samantha Nielsen ’12
Awarded to the member of the graduating class who has demonstrated both academic excellence in the area of international studies, and commitment to the improvement of international understanding.

Wall Street Journal Award – Megan Claxton ’12
Awarded each year for excellence in work in economics and the Corporate Affiliates Investment Fund.

Jean S. Davis Prize – Ana Diaz ’12
Awarded to the member of the graduating class, majoring in either economics or sociology, who has shown both the fine understanding of facts, and the social implication of the subject involved, so characteristic of Miss Davis.

Carter A. Woods Prize – Kelsey Brunasso ’12
Established in 1972 by Patricia Woods Reed ’54 and Barbara Woods Hillman ’58 in honor of the retirement of their father, Carter A. Woods, Professor of Sociology, 1931-72. Awarded to the student graduating with a major in sociology and anthropology, whose actions most typify the ideals and scholarship of Dr. Woods in his 41 years at Wells.

Margaret Schwartz Psychology Prize – Stephanie Goodwin ’12
Awarded to the member of the graduating class who has demonstrated consistent excellence in her/his work in psychology.

Dorothy Allison Razor’s Edge Prize in Women’s Studies – Sami Sheehan ’12
Awarded annually to a graduating Women’s Studies major or minor who has demonstrated a commitment to and understanding of the political, social, intellectual, and transformative goals of Women’s Studies and/or feminism.

William Liberi ’05 Memorial Prize for TLGBQ Activism & Scholarship – Paul Montoya ’12 and Sami Sheehan ’12
The William Nicholas Liberi '05 Prize for TLGBQ Activism and Scholarship is awarded annually to a current student in good academic standing who has demonstrated a commitment to transgender and queer issues, especially through hir services as an ally to the Transgender, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Questioning and Allies (TLGBQA) community via activism, visibility, literary, or artistic endeavors.


Prizes in the Natural and Mathematical Sciences: 

Eleanor C. McMullen Biology Prize – Lou Di Salvo ’12
Awarded to a graduating senior for exceptional performance in biology in honor of Eleanor C. McMullen, professor of biology 1935-61.

Ruth M. Dunlap Prize in Chemistry –Justin Nasca ’12
Awarded to the student who, at the end of her/his senior year has established the best record in her/his class in chemistry courses.

Nancy Ann Reed Chemistry Prize – Chelsea Czechowski ’12
Awarded to a member of the graduating class for excellence in chemistry.

The CRC Press Freshman Chemistry Achievement Award – Melena Hagstrom ’15
Recognition for outstanding achievement by a freshman in the introductory chemistry courses.

Wells Women in Science Prize – Hannah Sterling ’12
Awarded to the member of the graduating class who has done outstanding work in at least two of the sciences, and who has demonstrated an interest in and an ability for a career in graduate work and research, and/or teaching, together with a commitment to the advancement of women in science.

Cayuga Basin Prize in Environmental Studies – Alissa Kent ’12
Awarded to a member of the graduating class with an outstanding academic record in Environmental Studies, who has engaged in significant professional activities during her/his undergraduate years, and who shows promise for future professional development in the field.


General Prizes:


Koch Student Library Prizes: General – Stephanie Goodwin ’12, Special Interest – Doug Whaley ’12
Established in 1937 by the Chicago Wells Club, and endowed in 1943 by Ruth Chamberlain Koch '07. Awarded to the seniors who have the best, not the largest, collections of books. Prizes for General Collection and Special Interest Collection. Each collection will be judged on its value as a practical working library in relation to the major interest of the owner; as a nucleus for a permanent personal library; as indication of discriminating judgment in collecting books, and of growing interest in books through the College years. Rare editions and fine bindings are of secondary importance in this contest.

Anne J. Russ Prize for Social Responsibility – Richaela Primus ’12
This prize is awarded to the member of the Wells College community who in the course of the year has made the most significant social, political, or ethical contribution, especially involving matters of human diversity and inclusiveness.



Marianne Quattrocchi Endowed Scholarship Award – Pamela Badian-Pessot ’14
The Marianne Quattrocchi Award is awarded annually to the Junior or Senior who exhibits all of the following characteristics: 1. Scholastic Excellence, 2. Service to the Wells Community, and 3. Appreciation of Athletic Competition.  These are the characteristics reflecting the style, enthusiasm, warmth and Wells spirit epitomized by Marianne Quattrocchi. 

Faculty Awards:


Excellence in Advising Award 2012 – Professor of Biology Candace Collmer

Academic advising is a vitally important responsibility of the faculty at Wells College, and we are pleased to be able to recognize the outstanding contributions of our faculty through the College’s Excellence in Academic Advising Award. The purpose of this award is to recognize the fundamental importance of academic advising to the students of Wells College as they choose their courses and major field and plan activities to support their academic and career goals. Students nominated faculty members for this prestigious award, and a committee convened by the Dean and comprised of former advising award recipients, students, the Dean of Academic Advising, and alumnae/i, chose this year’s recipient by unanimous decree.

Excellence in Teaching Award 2012 – Associate Professor of Political Science Susan Tabrizi
Excellence in teaching is most highly valued at Wells College, and we are pleased to recognize the outstanding contributions of our faculty through the award of the College's Excellence in Teaching medal. The intention of this award is to recognize the fundamental importance of the quality of teaching to the mission of Wells College and to support faculty in their pursuit of excellence in teaching. The selection of the recipient is always a difficult one since Wells College has an outstanding faculty notable for its dedication to teaching. A committee convened by the Dean and comprised of former teaching award recipients, students, and alumnae/i chose this year’s recipient by unanimous decree.


Collegiate Cabinet Awards:


Outstanding Multicultural Program – Main Building Fashion Show
In recognition of promoting greater multicultural understanding and appreciation at Wells College.

Shelby Harris Outstanding Quiet Influence Award – Lucia Munoz ’12
Recognizes a student leader who serves as a quiet influence on campus.  The nominee need not have served in an executive office, but through continuous commitment and interaction with students and organizations across campus, has made a significant difference.  Dr. Shelby Harris was a psychology professor at Wells from 1961-1991.  Dr. Harris was a principled man who tried to make a difference in the world while never failing to act with kindness and caring in his personal life.  He touched many lives with the generosity of his spirit and the warmth of his heart, but he did so quietly with no expectation of recognition or reward.

Community Education and Social Activism Award – Emily Mulkerne ’12
Goes to a student or organization whose spirit advances the Wells College mission to “educate students to think critically, reason wisely and act humanely as they cultivate meaningful lives” and has, through their programs and activities during the academic year, educated the Wells Community regarding issues of social justice and activism.

Student Leader of the Year – Sami Sheehan ’12
This award honors a member of the student body who has demonstrated strong character and an active engagement with his or her peers. This individual has made a profound and positive impact on the community through his or her actions.

Program of the Year – Drag Show 
In recognition of a program on the Wells College campus that had outstanding attendance and exceptional student satisfaction.

Best New Club – Sugar High baking club
This award honors a club introduced in the current school year that has worked efficiently to bring the student body around a common interest and has most successfully fulfilled its mission.

Most Organized Committee – Constitutional Review Committee
This award honors a Collegiate committee who has most efficiently fulfilled its Constitutional obligations and has best facilitated open communication within the campus community.

Student Life Award – Assistant Director of Financial Aid Laura Burns
This award is given to the faculty or staff member who best supports students and goes above and beyond to advocate on their behalf. 


Dean of Students Office Awards:


Dean of Students Legacy Award – Alex Schloop ’12 
Honors a student who has worked to create policies, processes and programs that will leave an enduring mark on the Wells campus.  This award recognizes the importance of developing systems and traditions that will benefit students in the future and the significance of leaving a legacy.

Outstanding Student Organization Advisor – Assistant Professor of Chemistry Lauren O’Neil
In recognition of contributions to the success and support of a student organization at Wells College.

Most Improved Student Organization – Women's Resource Center Library
In recognition of its efforts in improving the organization through significant advancement towards its goals.

Outstanding Student Organization – SAGA
In recognition of its success and support of student development, leadership, and campus involvement.

Outstanding Volunteer Service – Red Cross Club
In recognition of service to the local, national or global communities.




For more information, contact the Wells College communications office, communications@wells.edu.