Wells College recently awarded the academic and student life awards at the 2022 Honors Awards Dinner, held May 4 in the dining hall—the first time the College has been able to celebrate the recipients in person since the pandemic began.
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.
Carol Stull Prize for Dance Performance – Caroline Gates-Lupton ’22
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.
M. Helena Zachos Prize for Best Short Story – Syd Abad ’22
Awarded to the student who has submitted the best English prose written during the year.
Class of 1905 Prize in Poetry – Earl Thomasson ’25
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) – BrierMae Ossont ’23; Honorable Mention: Jude Nash ’23
Established at Wells in 1983 by the Academy of American Poets in honor of Catherine Boyer DePau, class of 1924. Awarded for the best poem or group of poems submitted by a student.
Julia Taylor Martin Prize in American History – Parker Sheldon ’22
Awarded to the student who, during the academic year, has submitted a superior essay within the field of American history.
History/Political Science Prize – Parker Sheldon ’22
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 – BrierMae Ossont ’23
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 – Gray Bulla ’22
Established in 1906, this prize is awarded to the student who has been the most valuable contributor to the Chronicle magazine throughout the year. Classroom work in English is also considered.
JJ Lankes Book Arts Award – Jess Boeheim ’22
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.
Jean Scobie Davis Prize – Sweekriti Subba ’22
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 – Chelsey Jewett ’22
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.
Ida B. Wells–Barnett Prize in Criminal Justice – Cory Hodge ’22
Established in 2018 and 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 – James Stover ’22
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 – Parker Sheldon ’22
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 – James DeLuna ’22, Hayley Martin ’22,and Kayleigh McCormick ’22
Given to one or more business students who have demonstrated high academic achievement, leadership and outstanding performance in their business classes.
Susan W. and Pike Sullivan Entrepreneur Award – James DeLuna ’22
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.
Margaret Schwartz Psychology Prize – Emma Colton-Heins ’22
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 – Ella Read ’22
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 – Ana Mendez ’22
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 – Callia Ortega ’22
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 – Nikki Michaud ’22
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 – Nicole D’Aurizio ’22
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.
CRC Press Freshman Chemistry Achievement Award – Daniel Adelman ’25
Recognition for outstanding achievement by a freshman in the introductory chemistry courses.
Distinguished Health Sciences Student Award – Alexis Huff ’22, Callia Ortega ’22, and Anthony Westmiller ’22
Presented annually to an outstanding senior in health sciences on the basis of scholarship, service and notable experiential learning accomplishments.
Early-Career Health Sciences Student Award – Daisha Cook ’24 and Morgan Gingras ’24
Awarded to a health sciences 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.
CSTEP Graduating Senior Award – Kathy Aparicio ’22
Established in 2022, this award recognizes a graduating student who has exceeded expectations and demonstrated a strong commitment to the mission of Wells College’s Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP).
Senior Pre-Vet and Animal Health Award – Tori Miller ’22
Established in 2022, this award is presented annually to an outstanding senior based on animal-based research, service and notable experiential learning accomplishments.
Ariel Lawson '08 Memorial Prize – Chelsey Jewett ’22
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 – Gray Bulla ’22 and Ian Smith ’23
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.
Wells College Excellence in Academic Advising Award – Tara Kohn, Assistant Professor of Art History
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.
Wells College Excellence in Teaching Award – Phillip Guingona, Assistant Professor of History
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.
To be elected into Phi Beta Kappa is a singular accomplishment: only about 10% of the nation’s institutions of higher learning have earned the distinction of a Phi Beta Kappa chapter and only about 10% of the graduates of these institutions are invited to join, which makes the invitation process one of the most selective in the nation. Seniors who are inducted must have one of the top GPAs in the graduating class, and demonstrate a breadth of academic interest, intellectual integrity, and tolerance for other views.
The Phi Beta Kappa inductees from the class of 2022 are:
Emma Colton-Heins ’22
Alexis Huff ’22
Hayley Martin ’22
Callia Ortega ’22
Ella Read ’22
Parker Sheldon ’22
Abigail Smith ’22
Community Education and Social Activism Award – Cornerstone
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 – Chastity Andino ’24
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 – C.L.E. (Cultura, Lucha, Experiencia)
In recognition of promoting greater multicultural understanding and appreciation at Wells College.
Most Organized Committee – Prodigy
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 – Cornerstone
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 – C.L.E. Pie-Throwing Fundraiser
In recognition of a program on the Wells College campus that had outstanding attendance and exceptional student satisfaction.
Student Leader of the Year – Anthony Westmiller ’22
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 – Lindsay Burwell, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Health Sciences
This award is given to the faculty or staff member who best supports students and goes above and beyond to advocate on their behalf.
Outstanding Student Organization Advisor – Jack Bjorkander ’16, Coordinator of Residence Life and Service Learning
In recognition of contributions to the success and support of a student organization at Wells College.
Most Improved Student Organization – Japanese Culture Club
In recognition of its efforts in improving the organization through significant advancement towards its goals.
Outstanding Student Organization – C.L.E. (Cultura, Lucha, Experiencia)
In recognition of its success and support of student development, leadership and campus involvement.
Outstanding Volunteer Service – Campus Greens
In recognition of service to the local, national or global communities.
Express Cup – Jude Nash ’23
Given to a student who embodies all that Wells has to offer with a spirit that shines through their involvement on campus.
Dean of Students Legacy Award – Chelsey Jewett ’22
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.
Diversity Award for Leadership – Chastity Andino ’24
Presented to a student who exemplifies leadership through campus and community involvement. The recipient of this award has helped a community envision the future, identify paths to success, and carried out a vision — all while exhibiting integrity and collaboration as well as intellectual, emotional and social growth.
Diversity Award for Service – Gray Bulla ’22
Presented to a graduating senior who has made significant contribution to their community through their time, actions, talents and dedication. This student has served as a role model for compassion and service, has strived to make Wells College a better place, and demonstrated a strong passion for helping others in their community.
Elsie Torres Beacon Award – Gray Bulla ’22
Presented to a graduating senior who best exemplifies the spirit of giving and inclusion that Elsie Torres showed to students during her 51 years at Wells College. She always worked towards bettering the lives of students and creating a community here at Wells. Elsie was a friend, mentor, surrogate mother and a shoulder to cry on for generations of students. She was generous and compassionate to others, and it is that generous spirit of giving and the readiness to go beyond that embodies the Elsie Torres Beacon Award.