Honors Awards Dinner 2018

May 3, 2018
Special awards in a broad range of categories recognized the expertise, dedication, and generous spirit of our community.
photos of honors awards dinner program and floral table centerpiece

Wells College recently awarded the Academic and Student Life awards at the 2018 Honors 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 – Kateri Pelton ’18
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 – Carley Legg ’18
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 – Kassandra Rivera ’18
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 – Mariah Thurston ’18
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 – Rosalina Maassen ’18
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 – Samantha Jones ’18
Awarded to the student who has acquired the greatest knowledge of the Spanish language in at least two years of college work in Spanish.

M. Helena Zachos Prize – Savannah Olsen ’21
Awarded to the student who has submitted the best English prose written during the year. 

Class of 1905 Prize in Poetry – Greg Miraglia ’18
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) – Abigail Rundle ’19; Honorable Mention: Antonio Oliveri ’19
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.

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 – Annabelle Lee ’18
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.

Chronicle Prize – Alexandra Castiglione 18

Prizes in the Social Sciences

Thomas Knuth International Studies Prize – Mariah Thurston ’18
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 – Aala Al-Hashimi ’19
Awarded each year for excellence in work in economics and the Corporate Affiliates Investment Fund.

Jean S. Davis Prize – Mauricio Macias Chavez ’18
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 – Samantha Hall ’18
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.

Dorothy Allison Razor’s Edge Prize in Women’s Studies – Hannah Taggart ’18
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.

Ida B. Wells-Barnett Prize in Criminal Justice – Courtney Brindisi ’18
Established in 2018.  Awarded to that member of the graduating class who has demonstrated a deep understanding of the criminal justice system and a commitment to the pursuit of justice for all peoples.

Sustainability Prize – Jonathan Mills ’18
The Sustainability Prize is awarded to a graduating senior majoring in Sustainability. The prize is given to the student who has demonstrated consistent excellence in the knowledge and skills necessary to understand the multifaceted origins and solutions to environmental problems.

Excellence in Teacher Education Award – Olyvia Brazier ’18
This award is given to a student who has a passion for teaching. The recipient understands the complex decision-making skills teachers use every day and has shown the ability to apply them during student teaching.  This student has internalized the tenets of inclusive education and equity pedagogy and has demonstrated their commitment to providing rich educational experiences for all students in line with the Wells College mission.

Outstanding Business Major Award – Scott Litvin ’18

Susan W. & Pike Sullivan Entrepreneur Award – Eliza Schwab ’18

Prizes in the Natural and Mathematical Sciences

Eleanor C. McMullen Biology Prize – Morgan Weigel ’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 – Aaliyah Grandy ’18
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 – Kaitlyn Wells ’18
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 – Nicole Sales ’18
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 – Shania Dauphinais ’18
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 – Aaron Connolly ’21
Recognition for outstanding achievement by a freshman in the introductory chemistry courses.

Wood Prize in Physics & Its Application – Eric Hartman ’18
Established in 2004 in memory of Wells Seminarians Cornelia Louis Wood Conger 1873 and her sister Mary Della Wood Dey 1873. Awarded to the member of the graduating class who has shown outstanding interest and ability in physics or its application to closely related disciplines, particularly engineering.

General Prizes

Koch Student Library Prizes: General – Lexi Castiglione ’18; Special Interest – Racheal Scott ’18
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 – Samantha Hall ’18
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 – Chandler Smith ’18
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 English Dan Rosenberg
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 – Associate Professor of Women's Studies Lisa Hall
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 – Chandler Smith ’18
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 – Shannon McMann ’19
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 – The Barbershop Chronicles & Umoja
In recognition of promoting greater multicultural understanding and appreciation at Wells College.

Most Organized Committee – Let’s Eat!
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 – Blend
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 – Erotic Ball, SAGA and Secs Collective
In recognition of a program on the Wells College campus that had outstanding attendance and exceptional student satisfaction.

Student Leader of the Year – Samantha Hall ’18
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 – Associate Professor of Women's Studies Lisa Hall, Director of the Career Center Linda Galbato
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 – Stacey Eddy ’18
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 – Director of Campus Life for Diversity and Inclusion Latesha Fussell
In recognition of contributions to the success and support of a student organization at Wells College.

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

Outstanding Student Organization – Umoja; Honorable Mentions: Bell Ringers, Red Cross Club
In recognition of its success and support of student development, leadership, and campus involvement.

Outstanding Volunteer Service – Wells FORCES
In recognition of service to the local, national or global communities.

Express Cup – Jahasia Cooper ’19, Amanda Kuzar ’18
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!

The Wells Express athletics program had their own awards night and banquet on April 30, during which the community recognized members of the senior class and outstanding student-athletes from each program.

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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