Honors Awards Dinner 2017

May 10, 2017
Students, faculty, and staff gathered to announce the Collegiate Cabinet Awards, Dean of Students Office Awards, and Academic Honors Awards.
student receiving award from professor

Wells College recently awarded the Academic and Student Life awards at the 2017 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 and Humanities

Helen Gertrude Dean ’25 Prize for Dramatic Expression – Reuben Bryan ’17
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 – Kim Brighon, Jr. ’17
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 – Audrey Woolever ’17
Established in 2004 in honor of Carol Stull and awarded to a graduating senior who has excelled in dance performance, both in technical accomplishment and expressive range.

Theatre/Dance Prize for Choreography – Audrey Woolever ’17
Awarded to that senior who has distinguished her/himself in the creative, teaching, and performing facets of choreography.

Kate Clugston Class of 1914 Prize in Theatre – Macy Smolsky ’17
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. 

Edwin B. Morgan Prize – Mya Padilla ’19
Awarded to the student who has acquired the greatest knowledge of the Spanish language in at least two years of college work in Spanish.

H. T. Lowe-Porter Translation Prize – Cinthia Rodriguez ’17
Awarded in honor of Helen Tracy Porter for an accomplished translation of a substantial work of literary merit from a foreign language into English.

M. Helena Zachos Prize – Alexandra Devon ’18
Awarded to the student who has submitted the best English prose written during the year. 

Class of 1905 Prize in Poetry – Macy Smolsky ’17
Established in 1930. Awarded for the best poem or poems written by an under-graduate during the year.

Catherine B. DePau Prize (Academy of American Poets) – Macy Smolsky ’17, Honorable Mention: Jane Fillion ’18
Established at Wells in 1983 by the Academy of American Poets in honor of Catherine Boyer DePau '24. Awarded for the best poem or group of poems submitted by a student.

Helen & Peter Docherty Prize in Religious Studies – Raea Benjamin ’17
Awarded to a member of the graduating class who has shown the greatest proficiency in Religious Studies.

Julia Taylor Martin Prize in American History – Raymond Benson ’19
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 – Ryan Kangas ’17
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.

Rose Hill ’98 Prize in Creative Nonfiction – Alexandra Castiglione ’18
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.

The Prize for Excellence in the Book Arts – Elizabeth Ingham ’17
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 Social Sciences

Thomas Knuth International Studies Prize – Jessica Burbank ’17
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 – Sarah Halstead ’18
Awarded each year for excellence in work in economics and the Corporate Affiliates Investment Fund.

Jean S. Davis Prize – Tyler Lewis ’17
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, professor of economics, 1928-57.

Carter A. Woods Prize – Leslie Green ’17
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 – Alyssa Broome ’17, Kelly Reppert ’17
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 – Guadalupe Vidal ’17
Awarded annually to a graduating Women’s and Gender 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.

Prizes in the Natural and Mathematical Sciences

Eleanor C. McMullen Biology Prize – Maia Baskerville ’17
Awarded to a graduating senior for exceptional performance in biology in honor of Eleanor C. McMullen, professor of biology 1935-61.

Ruth M. Dunlap Class of ’11 Prize in Chemistry – Alex Milliken ’17
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 Class of ’50 Chemistry Prize – Natalie Jay ’17
Established in 1951 by the Class of 1950 and friends in honor of Nancy Reed ‘50. Awarded to a member of the graduating class for excellence in Chemistry.

Wells Women in Science Prize – Meredith Kadjeski ’17
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 Watershed Prize in Environmental Studies – Anastasia Toumpas ’17
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.

The CRC Press Freshman Chemistry Achievement Award – Miranda Mingen  ’20
Recognition for outstanding achievement by a freshman in the introductory chemistry courses.

General Prizes

Koch Student Library Prizes: General – Domenica Wilson ’17; Special Interest – Leslie Green ’17
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.

Ariel Lawson ’08 Memorial Prize – Alyssa Broome ’17
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. 

William Liberi ’05 Memorial Prize for TLGBQ Activism & Scholarship – Chandler Smith ’18
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.

Anne J. Russ Prize for Social Responsibility – Associate Professor of Women's Studies Lisa Hall
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.

Faculty Awards

Excellence in Advising Award – Assistant Professor of Chemistry Lindsay Burwell
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 – Assistant Professor of Chemistry Lindsay Burwell
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

Community Education and Social Activism Award – Dana Winston-Day ’17
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.

Shelby Harris Outstanding Quiet Influence Award – Maia Baskerville ’17
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.

Outstanding Multicultural Program – Querencia
In recognition of promoting greater multicultural understanding and appreciation at Wells College.

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

Best New Club – Cultural Fusion
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.

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

Student Leader of the Year – Katherine Mouradian ’17
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.

Student Life Award – Assistant Professor of Chemistry Lindsay Burwell; Honorable Mentions Professor of Biology and Environmental Science Jackie Schnurr & Assistant Professor of English Dan Rosenberg
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 – Erin Vallely ’17
Honors a student or students who has/have 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 – Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies Vic Muñoz
In recognition of contributions to the success and support of a student organization at Wells College.

Most Improved Student Organization – Publications Board
In recognition of its efforts in improving the organization through significant advancement towards its goals.

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

Outstanding Volunteer Service – Associate Professor of Political Science Susan Tabrizi
In recognition of service to the local, national or global communities.

Express Cup – Bently Gordan ’19, Domenica Wilson ’17
In recognition of service to the local, national or global communities.

Congratulations to our award winners! You've each done so much to make Wells a better place through your time and efforts—our community wouldn't be what it is without the talent, expertise, and cooperation of all!

Our mission is for every student to think critically, reason wisely and act humanely as they cultivate meaningful lives. On our beautiful lakeside campus, students gain the knowledge, skills and experience to create their own unique path.

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