Wells College recently awarded the academic and student life awards at the 2019 Honors Awards Dinner, held May 1 in the dining hall. Prizes are given out each year to students, faculty and staff who show exceptional work, commitment and/or leadership in a specific area, or those who demonstrate skill or specialization within their field.
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.
Helen Gertrude Dean '25 Prize for Dramatic Expression – Eamonn Moneypenney Hall '19
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 – Colton Robbins '19
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 – Eamonn Moneypenney Hall '19
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 – Bellina Mushala '19
Awarded to that senior who has distinguished herself/himself in the creative, teaching and performing facets of choreography.
Edwin B. Morgan Prize – Rosalety Galea '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.
M. Helena Zachos Prize – Robyn Fordyce '19
Awarded to the student who has submitted the best English prose written during the year.
Class of 1905 Prize in Poetry – Cooper Arnink-Lader '19
Established in 1930. Awarded for the best poem or poems written by an undergraduate during the year.
Catherine B. DePau Prize (Academy of American Poets) – Savanna Olsen '21; 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 – Amy Laird '20
Awarded to the student who, during the academic year, has submitted a superior essay within the field of American history.
History/Political Science Prize – John Tolley '19
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 – Katelynn Commisso '20
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 – Kate Casler '20
JJ Lankes Book Arts Award – Courtney Cloutier '19
This award is presented to an outstanding graduating student; preference is given to those majoring or minoring in the book arts, but any Wells student who has taken at least one book arts class is eligible. The award is named in honor of Wells faculty member JJ Lankes (1932-1939) who is credited with reviving the art of the woodcut in America in the 1930s. There is no application for this award but is presented based on a consensus of faculty observation of the cumulative work of the student.
Prize for Excellence in Book Arts – Christopher Price '19
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.
Kathryn Walker '64 Prize in Acting – Alexandria "Ally" Collins '20
Established in 2018 by G. Alan Clugston, professor emeritus of English, to provide support to a member of the Wells College student body of any class ranking who, in the preceding year, has "done the best job of acting" in a play on campus or in an off-campus play in which a committee member is involved.
Thomas Knuth International Studies Prize – Emma Ramsey '19
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 – Josh Undari '20
Awarded each year for excellence in work in economics and the Corporate Affiliates Investment Fund.
Jean S. Davis Prize – Aala Al-Hashimi '19
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 from 1928 to 1957.
Carter A. Woods Prize – Taylor Joy '19 and Darielis Rivas '19
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 from 1931 to 1972. 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 – Darcy McElligott '19
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.
Sustainability Prize – Curtis Davis '19
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 – Danielle Schwoebel '19
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 – Anna Shcherenkov '19 and Nate Pieper '19
Susan W. & Pike Sullivan Entrepreneur Award – Trysten McLaughlin '19 and Nate Pieper '19
Established in 2018, this prize is awarded to the member of the graduating class who has demonstrated a deep interest and understanding of entrepreneurship and/or social entrepreneurship.
Excellence in Psychology Award – Barbara Hebbard '19
Margaret Schwartz Psychology Prize – Jhorleny Familia de la Cruz '19 and Danielle MacDougall '19
Awarded to that member of the graduating class who has demonstrated consistent excellence in her work in psychology. Established and endowed by Margaret Schwartz.
Eleanor C. McMullen Biology Prize – Liam Kaylor '19
Awarded to a graduating senior for exceptional performance in biology in honor of Eleanor C. McMullen, professor of biology from 1935 to 1961.
Ruth M. Dunlap Class of '11 Prize in Chemistry – Bellina Mushala '19
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 – Emily Baker '19
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 – Bellina Mushala '19
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 – Cameron Davis '19
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 – Alexis Huff '22 and Ella Read '22
Recognition for outstanding achievement by a freshman in the introductory chemistry courses.
Distinguished Health Science Student Award – Tayler Nichols '19
Presented annually to an outstanding senior in health sciences on the basis of scholarship, service and notable experiential learning accomplishments.
Early-Career Health Science Student Award – Kara Reynolds '20
Awarded to a health science major who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to the health sciences through service to the community, experiential learning and academic excellence. This award is open to all health sciences students but priority for consideration will be given to a first-, second- or third-year student.
Koch Student Library Prize: General – Robyn Fordyce '19 and Amanda Anderson '19
Koch Student Library Prize: Special Interest – Robyn Fordyce '19 and Raymond Benson '19
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 an 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 – Darielis Rivas '19
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 Nicholas Liberi '05 Memorial Prize for TLGBQ Activism and Scholarship – Annie Vargas '20
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 – Brandon Jackson '19
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.
Excellence in Advising Award – Rebecca Myers, Visiting Instructor in English
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 of the College and comprised of former advising award recipients, students, staff and alumnae/i, chose this year's recipient by unanimous decree.
Excellence in Teaching Award – Laura McClusky, Professor of Sociology and Anthropology
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 of the College and comprised of former teaching award recipients, students and alumnae/i chose this year's recipient by unanimous decree.
Community Education and Social Activism Award – Brandon Jackson '19
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 – Raymond Benson '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. Shelby Harris was a psychology professor at Wells from 1961 to 1991. Professor 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 – Black Expo
In recognition of promoting greater multicultural understanding and appreciation at Wells College.
Most Organized Committee – Traditions 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.
Best New Club – HerCampus
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 – Minute to Win It by Bentley Gordon '19
In recognition of a program on the Wells College campus that had outstanding attendance and exceptional student satisfaction.
Student Leader of the Year – Bentley Gordon '19
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 – Angela Guzman, Residence Hall Director
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 Legacy Award – Bentley Gordon '19
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 – Hailey Uribe, Director of Student Activities and Leadership
In recognition of contributions to the success and support of a student organization at Wells College.
Most Improved Student Organization – Japanese Club
In recognition of its efforts in improving the organization through significant advancement towards its goals.
Outstanding Student Organization – Prodigy and HerCampus
In recognition of its success and support of student development, leadership and campus involvement.
Outstanding Volunteer Service – Chris Marcellus '19 and André Johnson '19
In recognition of service to the local, national or global communities.
Express Cup – Kara Reynolds '20 and Bellina Mushala '19
In recognition of service to the local, national or global communities.