College of Arts and Sciences Celebrates Student Excellence

Graduate celebrates with crowd at commencement
Written by Karen L. Bystrom
June 11, 2019

The College of Arts and Sciences is proud  to invite faculty, staff, graduating seniors and their families to celebrate at the College of Arts and Sciences Graduating Student Reception and Awards Ceremony on Friday, June 14, from 2:30 to 4:30 in Pigott Auditorium.

This event formally recognizes undergraduate student achievement and is one of the high points of the academic year. This ceremony and reception convey a sense of intellectual excitement and promise of future success to our entire graduating class.

Hickey Award: Kennedy Dresh

The award honors the memory of Dr. Richard P. Hickey, professor of English, a beloved and respected teacher at Seattle University from 1947 until his death in 1968.

Leadership and Professional Engagement Award: Katherine Cole

The College of Arts & Sciences Leadership & Professional Engagement Award recognizes the graduating student in the College of Arts and Sciences Graduate Programs who has demonstrated exceptional leadership abilities and professional engagement. The recipient is an innovative forward thinker, making new roads in their chosen field. Their professional development efforts contribute to the vibrant educational experience in their graduate program.

LeRoux Leadership Award: Anab Nur

The LeRoux Leadership Award recognizes the graduating student(s) who has demonstrated exceptional leadership abilities, shown academic excellence, and performed significant service to the College. The recipients personify in character and in action the qualities of a liberal education, which constitute the "spirit" of our College. Selection is made by a faculty panel. The award honors the memory of Fr. William L Roux, S.J. who served as Dean of the College.

Social Justice and Community Engagement Award: Tykera Williams 

The College of Arts & Sciences Social Justice and Community Engagement Award recognizes the graduating student in the College of Arts and Sciences Graduate Programs who has demonstrated a deep commitment to social justice and community engagement. The recipient has gone above and beyond in their service to others, carrying with them the founding principles of a Jesuit education, making choices as a leader for a just and humane world.

Wallace Loh Academic Excellence Award: Kabrianna Tamura

The Wallace Loh Academic Excellence Award is given to the outstanding graduating student in the College of Arts and Sciences Graduate Programs. Selection is based upon exceptional graduate work in the classroom. Qualification evidenced by paper/article submission, conference presentations, fellowship or scholarship awards, and interdisciplinary scholarship work. The award honors the impact that Dr. Wallace Loh had upon graduate programs in the College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Loh served as Dean of the college from 1999-2008. Under his leadership, four Arts and Sciences graduate programs were created.

Department Awards Recognized at the Ceremony

Department award recipients are called to the stage to receive a graduation medal presented to them by a faculty member from their department. A photo and short bio of each of the department award student recipients will be featured in the Award Ceremony Program.

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

The Anthropology Award:  Caleigh O'Donnell and Tessa Scoble

This award recognizes the graduating student with the highest GPA in the major.

Fr. Joseph-Francois Lafitau, S.J. Society:  Leah Siff

This undergraduate honor society recognizes achievement in anthropology by students in Jesuit institutions of higher learning. Ranked among the founders of the discipline, Fr, Lafitau was an early practitioner of the comparative method known for sensitive ethnological fieldwork and language acquisition. Members of the Lafitau Society shall exemplify both scholarship and service in their anthropological work in the context of a liberal arts tradition of Jesuit education.

Fr. Eugene Buechel, S.J. Award: Mikayla Medbery

This award recognizes an undergraduate Anthropology student in a Jesuit institution of higher learning who has achieved the highest standards in both scholastic achievement and service to others. Father Buechel represents lifelong dedication to both scholarship and service. The award bearing his name is given to the individual who exemplifies outstanding and persistent scientific curiosity along with willingness to engage and serve others.

Peronteau Award:  Connor Crinion and Vic Vong

The Sociology major’s Peronteau Award is named in honor of Fr. Howard Peronteau, S.J., Seattle University pioneer and founder of the sociology major. This award is presented to the graduating student with the highest GPA in the major.

Segundo Montes Mozo, S.J. (1933 - 1989) Service Award: Jasmine Waland

As director of the Human Rights Institute, Segundo Mozo traveled abroad where he presented the results of his study of Salvadoran refugees and human rights. One of six Jesuit martyrs in El Salvador, he is described as compassionate and a true reconciler, devoting his life to others. The Mozo Service Award recognizes the graduating student in Sociology who has demonstrated outstanding service.

Art and Art History Department

Buhr Award:

Art History: Flora Fattahi

Digital Design: Ghazaleh Vakili and Maya Wormwood

Interdisciplinary Art: Bailee Hiatt

Photography: Aunna Moriarty

Visual Art: Emily Wert

The Art and Art History Department's Buhr Award is named in honor of Mr. Anthony Buhr, who died serving his country in World War II. This award is presented to the graduating student with the highest GPA in the department.

Asian Studies Department

Al Mann Award: Jamie Ding

The Asian Studies Program’s Al Mann Award is named in honor of the late professor Albert Mann, an Asian Historian. This award is presented to the graduating student with the highest GPA in the major.

Communication Department

Talevich Award: Kendly Puhan, Andrew Reid, and Haley Witt

The Communication Department’s Talevich Award is named in honor of Dr. John Talevich, long-time distinguished professor of journalism. This award is presented to the graduating students with the highest GPA in their major.

Criminal Justice Department

Kelliher Award:  Nicollette Rindero, Courney Baker, Emily Stefhon, and Emily Levin

The Criminal Justice Department’s Kelliher Award is named in honor of Department founder Fr. Michael Kelliher, S.J. This award is presented to the graduating student(s) with the highest GPA in the major.

Eugene Corr Criminal Justice Service and Ethics Award: Sophie Jensen

The Eugene Corr Criminal Justice Service and Ethics Award honors a graduating senior in the Criminal Justice Department who has made significant service and ethics contributions to the criminal justice system. The award recipients are graduating seniors who have engaged in extraordinary service activities (e.g., volunteer work, research assistance, guest presentations, etc) that help improve the criminal justice system in ways that increase the potential for ethical conduct in the criminal justice profession.

English Department

McDonald Award:

English: Amanda Fawcett, Andy Havens, and Margaret Roberts

Film Studies: Brandon Bassler, Amy Williams, and Barbara Hoffman

The English Department’s McDonald Award is named in honor of former chair and distinguished professor Fr. Alex McDonald, S.J. This award is presented to the graduating student with the highest GPA in the major.

Environmental Studies Program 

Hazel Wolf Award:  Kennedy Dresh

The Environmental Studies Department’s Hazel Wolf Award is named in honor of ecologist Hazel Wolf. This award is presented to the graduating student with the highest GPA in the major.

History Department

Donovan Award:  Chirstopher Potter

The History Department’s Donovan Award is named in honor of the late Fr. Joseph Donovan, S.J., long-time distinguished professor of history. This award is presented to the graduating student with the highest GPA in the major.

International Studies Program

Noel Brown Award:  Tiffany Carpenter

The International Studies Department’s Noel Brown Award is named in honor of Noel J. Brown, graduate of Seattle University and Yale University and retired director of the United Nations Environment Program. This award is presented to the graduating student with the highest GPA in the major.

Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies Program

Newman Award:  Elizabeth Larimer and Kayla Sager-Riley

The Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies Major’s Newman Award is named in honor of John Henry Cardinal Newman, whose vision of university education championed the interdisciplinary nature of this major. This award is presented to the graduating student with the highest GPA in the major.

Kinesiology Department

Speck Award:  Nicole Pulse

The Sport & Exercise Science Major's Speck Award is named in honor of Sarah M. Speck, M.D., who hosts the exercise science lab in her medical practice. This award is presented to the graduating student with the highest GPA in the major.

Matteo Ricci Institute

Award for Excellence in Humanities:  Harrison Feain

The Matteo Ricci Institute's Award for Excellence in Humanities is awarded to the graduating student with the highest GPA in the major.

Service and Leadership Award:  Emi Wheeless

The Matteo Ricci Institute's Service and Leadership Award recognizes a graduating studentwho has demonstrated outstanding leadership abilities in service to the institute. 

Military Science Department

Brady Award: Sierra Lowe

The Military Science Department's Brady Award is named in honor of Major General Patrick H. Brady, a 1959 graduate of the Army ROTC program, Medal of Honor recipient, and emeritus member of the Seattle University Board of Regents. The award recipient is a graduating senior who has earned the highest GPA in the military science program.

Department of Modern Languages and Cultures 

Michels Award:

Spanish: Tira McGavin and Corbin Puhan

French: Michael Clymer, Austin Nelson, and Alexis Torres

The Foreign Language Department’s Michels award is named in honor of the Michels Family, supportive friends and benefactors of the Department. This award is presented to the graduating student with the highest GPA in the major.

Performing Arts and Arts Leadership

Buhr Award:

Arts Leadership: Margaret Thompson

Interdisciplinary Art with an emphasis in Music: Josie McDonell

Theater: Brennan Bunn and David Cumpston

The Art and Art History Department's Buhr Award is named in honor of Mr. Anthony Buhr, who died serving his country in World War II. This award is presented to the graduating student with the highest GPA in the department.

Philosophy Department

Reichmann Award: Margaret Roberts

The Philosophy Department’s Reichmann Award is named in honor of Fr. James Reichmann, S.J., distinguished emeritus professor of Philosophy. This award is presented to the graduating student with the highest GPA in the major.

Political Science Department

Dr. Jewel Prestage Award: Caroline Guess and Harneet Kaur

The Political Science Department’s award is named in honor of Dr. Jewel Prestage. This award is presented to the graduating student(s) with the highest GPA in the major.

Psychology Department

Gaffney Award: Courtney Baker, Isabella McFarland Flores, and Nicollette Rindero

The Psychology Department’s Gaffney Award is named in honor of the late Fr. Louis Gaffney, S.J., distinguished professor of psychology and former president of Seattle University. This award is presented to the graduating student with the highest GPA in the major.

Dr. Thomas Cunningham Award: Kali McCollister and Jane Rohr

Public Affairs Program 

Wilson Award: Connor Crinion and Kathleen Hannick

The Public Affairs Major’s Wilson Award is named in honor of Woodrow Wilson, university scholar, administrator, and U.S. president. This award is presented to the graduating student with the highest GPA in the major.

Social Work Department

Dr. Madeline Lovell Academic Excellence Award: Dani Rae Bohbot and Erica Stewart 

The Dr. Madeline Lovell Academic Excellence Award is bestowed on the graduating senior with the highest cumulative GPA. Dr. Lovell Associate Professor, Emeritus was truly inspirational as a scholar-educator.  She was a faculty member in the Department of Anthropology, Sociology, and Social Work for 21 years (1992-2013) and founder of the BSW Program.

Taylene Watson, MSW Social Justice Award: Sebastian Sanchez

The Taylene Watson, MSW Social Justice Award is bestowed on the graduating senior who demonstrates a steadfast commitment to advancing social justice through leadership while at Seattle University. Ms. Watson, MSW has been recognized locally and nationally for her leadership in advancing the social work profession and issues of social justice while in her role as Director of Social Work at VA Puget Sound Healthcare System and as Executive Director of National Association of Social Work- Washington Chapter. She has been a founding member BSW’s Community Advisory Committee and long supporter of the program.

Theology and Religious Studies Department

LaCugna Award:  Claire Lucas and Sr. Paskazia Nakitende

The Theology and Religious Studies Department’s Lacugna Award is named in honor of the late Dr. Catherine LaCugna, noted theologian and Seattle University alumna. This award is presented to the graduating student with the highest GPA in the major.

Women and Gender Studies Program

Susan L. Secker Award: Hannah Lang and Tessa Scoble

The Women and Gender Studies Program's Susan L. Secker Award is named in honor of Dr. Susan Secker, distinguished professor, former chair of Theology and Religious Studies, former Associate Dean, and the first woman to be named Provost of Seattle University. This award is presented to the graduating student with the highest GPA in the major.

Departmental Honors Recipients

Majoring with departmental honors offers an opportunity for motivated and capable students to engage in extensive interaction with faculty and complete challenging directed study projects and research in their major.  

Departmental Honors recipients are asked to stand in acknowledgement of their fine achievements during the Awards Ceremony.  Student names and project titles are featured in the Awards Ceremony Program.

  • Departmental Honors in Art and Art History: Laura Affolter, Madeleine Currer, Mariah Ribeiro, and Emily Wert
  • Departmental Honors in Creative Writing/English: Sena Crow, Tara de Bortnowsky, Kennedy Dresh, Amanda Fawcett, Amy Gulley, and Tira McGavin
  • Departmental Honors in History:  Jessica Cable
  • Departmental Honors in Interdisciplinary Arts with Music Specialization: Twila Joselyn McDonell
  • Departmental Honors in International Studies: Kasha Bradford-Adams, Shayan Chishti, Tiffany Carpenter, Melissa Cuevas, Michaela Hodgson, Emi Montenegro, Austin Nelson, Nora Ridgeway, Hillary Sturgeon, Sophie Taylor, and Ruth Yohannes
  • Departmental Honors in Philosophy: Margaret Roberts
  • Departmental Honors in Political Science: Caroline Guess, Wendall Tseng, Patrick McGarry Jr., and Adrienne Hohensee
  • Departmental Honors in Sociology:  Evelyn Chow, Connor Crinion, Taylor Jenkins, Molly Mattingly, Tessa Scoble, and Jasmine Waland
  • Departmental Honors in Theatre: Brennan Bunn, David Cumpston, and Nicholas Parsons
  • Departmental Honors in Theology and Religious Studies: Claire Lucas
  • Departmental Honors in Women and Gender Studies: Hannah Lang, Ames Zocchi

Arts and Sciences Student Executive Council

Student Executive Council (SEC) is a group of students representing each of the College of Arts and Sciences’ majors who act as an advisory board to the Dean. These students work together act as the students’ voices in regards to making policy and implementing change within the college. 

The graduating seniors serving on the Arts & Sciences’ Student Executive Council are asked to stand in acknowledgement of their service at the Awards Ceremony. Students names and roles appear in the Award Ceremony Program.

Graduating Seniors: 

  • Nayeli Cervantes
  • Summer Diegel
  • Jessica Dirks
  • Yilan Gao
  • Margaret Girardin
  • Sara Gregoire
  • Sophie Jensen
  • Christina Johnson
  • Sydney Leung-Thomas
  • Madison Mele
  • Emi Montenegro
  • Mary Jane Perdiguerra
  • Kendyl Puhan
  • Margaret Roberts
  • Leah Siff
  • Wendall Tseng
  • Jamie Vo

Scholastic Competition

As an organization of student representatives in the College of Arts & Sciences, Student Executive Council is committed to the pursuit of academic excellence and freedom in an educational environment that values the unique contribution of each student. The purpose of the Scholastic Competition is to provide undergraduate students an opportunity to showcase their work, develop their writing and voice, and receive acknowledgement for their original, quality scholarship. Winners of the Scholastic competition are chosen by a panel of three professors and two students.  At the Ceremony, Scholastic Competition winners are presented with their awards. Student names and project titles are featured in the Awards Ceremony Program.

Humanities: Isabeau J Belisle Dempsey
Social Sciences: Claire Gunther and Anni Christensen
Visual Arts: Danny Tayara

Teacher, Advisor, and Staff Member of the Year

Student success is largely dependent upon the resources available to students, the lessons taught inside and outside the classroom, and the guidance provided by faculty, advisors, and staff members. Recognizing this, the Student Executive Council invites their peers to nominate a Teacher, Advisor, and Staff member who goes above and beyond their job description to serve students. Students were able to nominate a Teacher, Advisor, or Staff member who made a significant impact on their journey at Seattle University. The winners of the Teacher, Advisor, and Staff of the Year Awards will be recognized at the Awards Ceremony Program. 

Teacher of the Year: Nova Robinson
Advisor of the Year: John Nettles
Staff of the Year: Lilly Newell