BEST OF THE BEST: CAS Students Awards Night caps academic year

Submitted by Carolyn Arnold, Associate Director, Marketing & Communications on June 26, 2014

The academic achievements of more than 50 students at the College of Arts and Sciences were on display in April when faculty, administrators, and students and their families celebrated award-winners from each department and interdisciplinary program.

The April 28 celebration has become a time-honored tradition where the College applauds students for their dedication to their studies and share with the attendees some of the interesting research projects and papers.

Awards are given out in the humanities; natural sciences and mathematics; interdisciplinary studies; modern languages and literatures; social and behavior sciences; and visual and performing arts.

For all of the pictures, visit our Flickr page.

 

dolloff 042814_CAS_Awards_19 copyTHE LIEUTENANT WILLIAM KOSCHER AWARD IN ARTS 

Victoria Dolloff majored in studio art in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts and also completed a minor in anthropology. Dolloff combined her passion for sculpture and the environment by focusing some of her artwork on the recycling of found objects. Studio Art professor Jo Yarrington said she has been impressed with Dolloff’s “drive, talent, intelligence and focus” and noted she has a deeply rich and open mind. Dolloff has been accepted as one of 40 students out of 700 international applicants to the Hunter MFA Program, one of the best programs in the country. 

naples 042814_CAS_Awards_21 copyTHE COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES AWARD IN SCIENCES  

Lisa Naples is a mathematics major and an education minor.  She completed her Honors research project under the direction of Dr. Mark Demers on  “Markov Chains” as important models in probability theory. The Chair of the Mathematics Department, Dr. Joan Weiss, said, “All in all, Lisa is a superb example of a successful Fairfield University student – high academic achievement combined with significant engagement in helping others.” Lisa is currently is weighing offers of graduate assistantships for next year at Ph.D. programs at New Hampshire, Syracuse and Nebraska.

AWARD FOR DISTINGUISHED WORK IN THE HUMANITIES

Megan Kuzniewski received the CAS award for distinguished work in the Humanities for her essay, “Ousting the Petrarchan Lady:  The Irony of Desire in the Taming of the Shrew.” The committee that reviewed the submissions said, “They were impressed by the clarity and originality of Megan’s argument and by her use of textual evidence. Arguing against the orthodox interpretation of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew as an endorsement of that wifely submission so often praised by contemporary moralists, Megan’s essay uncovers Shakespeare’s hidden praise for the outspoken, witty Kate and criticism of the ostensibly submissive Bianca.”

AWARD FOR DISTINGUISHED WORK IN THE SOCIAL AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES

Klevisa Kovaci received the top social an d behavior sciences award for her paper “Democracy in Albania: Shortcomings of Civil Society in Democratization due to the Communist Regime’s Legacy.” In it, Kovaci undertook a thoughtful examination of the difficulties faced by her home country of Albania as it attempts to transition to a modern democracy within a social and political context that remains deeply influenced by the communist legacy in eastern Europe. Faculty who selected the winner said, “Klevisa clearly articulated the novelty and importance of the questions she was asking, expertly setting her specific study within the larger context of post-Soviet democratization in Eastern Europe and synthesizing salient questions from a variety of sources to cast light on the Albanian context in particular.”

AWARD FOR DISTINGUISHED WORK IN VISUAL AND EXPRESSIVE ARTS 

Crystal Rodriguez, winner of the top award in visual and expressive arts, brought “something genuinely new and innovative to our attention,” said faculty on the visual and expressive committee. “Her project, Pintando el Futuro sin Limitaciones (Painting the Future without Limits) is a work of art in another sense.  In this project, Crystal developed – and executed – a summer art program for local youth in San Jose de Las Matas in the Dominican Republic.”  Drawing from her majors in international studies and studio art, Rodriguez developed for her students an eight-week long program that, in her words, “introduces timely issues while finding ways to creatively understand those subjects through artistic exploration,” and such issues ranged from the environment to poverty to abuse.

AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING SENIOR BIOCHEMISTRY ACHIEVEMENT

Bayan Abunar, who also received the Award for Distinguished Work in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics, was presented the top honor for biochemistry. Abunar worked with Dr. Amanda Harper-Leatherman, studying the electrochemistry and spectroscopy of cytochrome c associated with gold nanoparticles. After graduation, Abunar will serve as Assistant Director of BASE summer science camps, and then will begin an AmeriCorps position at the Connecticut Area Health Education Center. She plans on applying to medical schools for Fall 2015 matriculation.

AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE AND ACHIEVEMENT IN PHYSICS

Kevin Greener is the recipient of the physics award. Dr. Angela Biselli, chair of the Department of Physics, said, “I had the pleasure to teach Kevin in two courses and it is the intellectual curiosity of students like him that make the job as a professor such a rewarding experience.” Greener performed research with Dr. Min Xu on cancer detection using non invasive scattering of light and was an analytic intern at Marsh. Following graduation, Greener will take time to apply to graduate school for physics programs.

THE ROBERT E. BOLGER AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN MATHEMATICS

Nillia Ekoue was one of the two students who received the graduate student award for excellence in mathematics. She has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Orleans, in France. Dr. Janet Striuli, who presented the award, said “Nillia is a great student and her curiosity is inspirational for every teacher and for every student who comes to the Mathematics Center, where she currently works as a Graduate Assistant. Her warm personality, her care for knowledge and for others, makes her a wonderful fit in our Jesuit community.”

 

Department awards:

CLASSICAL STUDIES AWARD
The Classical Studies Award is given to a graduating senior for outstanding work in Classical Studies.
Presented to Luke Record, accompanied by Prof. Ryan Drake

 

MARIANN S. REGAN AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN ENGLISH
This award is given to the student who demonstrates high scholarly achievement through G.P.A. and all-around performance and leadership in the English Department.
Presented to Angela Quental, accompanied by Prof. Elizabeth Petrino

 

MFA IN CREATIVE WRITING ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
This award is based on the quality of the writing a student produces while in the MFA Creative Writing Program.
Presented to Devon Bohm, accompanied by Prof. Michael White

 

THE CLIO AWARD IN HISTORY
The Clio Award is given to a senior History major, for outstanding achievement in History.
Presented to Lauren A. Liseth, accompanied by Prof. Yohuru Williams

 

THE CARL J. LEVANTINO AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE STUDY OF PHILOSOPHY
This award is given in memory of Mr. Levantino (`77) by his parents and his many friends. It is given annually to the senior Philosophy major who attains the highest grade point average in his or her Philosophy courses.
Presented to Luke Record, accompanied by Prof. Joy Gordon

 

THE MARY IRENE GALLAGHER THEOLOGY MEDAL
Given to a graduating senior for the quality of work in Religious Studies and Theology, the Mary Irene Gallagher medal is the oldest award given by the University.
Presented to Emily Bower, accompanied by Prof. Paul Lakeland

 

THE LEO F. O’CONNOR AWARD FOR AMERICAN STUDIES
The award, named after the long-time Director of the program, is given to an outstanding American Studies major or minor in recognition of their academic achievement.
Presented to Michael Greubel, accompanied by Prof. Peter Bayers

 

ASIAN STUDIES AWARD
This award is presented to an Asian Studies Major or Minor who has a strong GPA and who is able to write a comprehensive, scholarly final paper either in the Capstone seminar or in an independent study with an Asian Studies Faculty member.
Presented to Arturo Jaras Watts, accompanied by Prof. Jiwei Xiao

 

ELLA BAKER AWARD IN BLACK STUDIES
This award is given to the minor whose research scholarship and service embodies the call for Black Studies to be descriptive, prescriptive and corrective in addressing issues of concern to people of color in the United States and abroad.
|Presented to Jessica Mendes, accompanied by Prof. Yohuru Williams

 

INTERNATIONAL STUDIES AWARD FOR ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE
The International Studies Award is given to the International Studies major in the College of Arts and Sciences with the highest grade point average.
Presented to Klevisa Kovaci, accompanied by Prof. Dina Franceschi

 

IRISH STUDIES ESSAY PRIZE
The award is given to an outstanding Irish Studies student in recognition of academic achievement.
Presented to Iliana Figueroa, accompanied by Prof. Nels Pearson

 

CONGREGATION B’NAI ISRAEL ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AWARD IN JUDAIC STUDIES
An annual award, given through the generosity of Congregation B’nai Israel in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to recognize outstanding undergraduate work in Judaic Studies.
Presented to Kayla Kuzniewski, accompanied by Prof. Gavriel D. Rosenfeld

 

LATIN AMERICAN & CARRIBEAN STUDIES AWARD
This award is given to the top students in the program who make outstanding contributions to the promotion and knowledge of the region, through academic work, on-site experiences, and/or field research.
Presented to Eric Salgado, accompanied by Prof. Dina Franceschi

 

EDIE CASSIDY PEACE & JUSTICE STUDIES AWARD
This award honors minors in the Peace & Justice Studies Program for exhibiting an academic and lived commitment to innovative action in the world to advance peace and justice, particularly through education and community-building.
Presented to Astrid Quinones, accompanied by Prof. Margo Ramlal-Nankoe

 

AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN PROFESSIONAL STUDIES This award recognizes the graduating BPS major who demonstrates excellence in academic achievement. The recipient exhibits initiative, creativity, and personal reflection in the exploration of Fairfield’s broad-based core curriculum, and in the thoughtful design of a major and a senior research project that supports individual growth and professional goals.
Presented to Valerie Vincent, accompanied by Prof. Maggie Wills

 

RUSSIAN, EASTERN EUROPEAN AND CENTRAL ASIAN STUDIES AWARD
For outstanding performance in the field of Russian and East European Studies
Presented to Nancy O’Connor, accompanied by Prof. David McFadden

 

AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN WOMEN, GENDER AND SEXUALITY STUDIES
This award is given yearly to a graduating senior in the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies minor who has
excelled in academic and service work.
Presented to Rachel Lang, accompanied by Prof. Emily Orlando

 

DEPT MODERN LANGUAGES & LITERATURES AWARD IN CHINESE
The Department of Modern Languages & Literatures Award in Chinese is given every year to an outstanding student in Chinese.
Presented to Arturo Jaras Watts, accompanied by Prof. Jiwei Xiao

 

CROTEAU FRENCH PRIZE
This award in French is given to a senior who has demonstrated excellence in the study of French language and literature.
Presented to Klevisa Kovaci, accompanied by Prof. Joel Goldfield

 

GERMAN CONSULATE AWARD
This award comes from Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany. It is given every year to an outstanding student in German.
Presented to Ryan Daly and Samantha Hart, accompanied by Prof. Eileen Wilkinson

 

ITALIAN CONSULATE AWARD
This award is given every year to a student who has done outstanding work in Italian.
Presented to Alaina Famigletti, accompanied by Prof. Sara Diaz

 

MODERN LANGUAGES AND LITERATURES AWARD IN RUSSIAN
The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures Award in Russian is given to a student who has demonstrated excellence in the elementary level of the language.
Presented to Abigayel Phillips, accompanied by Prof. Elena Syssoeva

 

AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING WORK IN SPANISH
This departmental award is given every year to a senior Spanish major who has done excellent work.
Presented to Delicia Alarcon, accompanied by Prof. Michelle Farrell

 

BIOLOGY DEPARTMENT AWARD FOR ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE
This award is given to a senior Biology major who has exhibited academic excellence in Biology and distinguished overall academic achievement.
Presented to Katherine Martin accompanied by Prof. Ashley Byun

 

AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING SENIOR BIOCHEMISTRY ACHIEVEMENT
Sponsored by the Western Connecticut Section of the American Chemical Society, this award is given to a student who demonstrates exceptional academic achievement in biochermistry.
Presented to Bayan H. Abunar, accompanied by Prof. L. Kraig Steffen

 

AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING SENIOR CHEMISTRY ACHIEVEMENT
Sponsored by the Western Connecticut Section of the American Chemical Society, this award is given to a student who demonstrates exceptional academic achievement in chemistry.
Presented to Erin N. Sullivan, accompanied by Prof. John Miecznikowski

 

AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN COMPUTER SCIENCE
This award is given to the Senior Computer Science major(s) who have shown outstanding scholarly achievement both in the major and overall.
Presented to Alexander Vivenzio and Lauren Bruchansky, accompanied by Prof. Joseph Dennin

 

AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN MATHEMATICS
This award is given to the Senior Mathematics major(s) who have shown outstanding scholarly achievement.
Presented to Lauren Bruchansky and Lisa Naples, accompanied by Prof. Joseph Dennin

 

THE ROBERT E. BOLGER AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN MATHEMATICS
This award is given to the graduating student or students within the MS Degree Program in Mathematics who have been judged by the faculty to have combined the strongest mathematical talent as exhibited by their performance in their courses combined with the most interest in mathematics.
Presented to Nillia Ekoue and Richard Naumann, accompanied by Prof. Janet Striuli

 

AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE AND ACHIEVEMENT IN PHYSICS
This award recognizes academic performance in Physics in both the classroom and the laboratory, including undergraduate research projects.
Presented to Kevin Greener, accompanied by Prof. Angela Biselli

 

ALPHA EPSILON DELTA PRE-HEALTH PROFESSIONS HONOR SOCIETY AWARD
This award is presented to the Pre-Health Professions student for distinguished academic achievement.
Presented to Bayan Abunar, accompanied by Prof. Geoffrey Church

 

OUTSTANDING STUDENT IN ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES
This award is given annually to a graduating student in Environmental Studies in recognition of outstanding academic achievement and exemplary contributions to sustainability efforts on campus.
Presented to Alexandra Fylypovych, accompanied by Prof. David Downie

 

AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN COMMUNICATION
Each year, the faculty of the Department of Communication presents this award to the graduating senior who has earned a stellar academic record while majoring in Communication.
Presented to Kaitlyn Banaszynski, accompanied by Prof. David Gudelunas

 

PROFESSOR JAMES J. KEENAN AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT BY A COMMUNICATION GRADUATE STUDENT
The award is named after Prof. James J. Keenan, a leader in graduate communication education at Fairfield
University for over 40 years. It is given annually to a graduate student in Communication who shows excellence in academic achievement, outstanding personal growth through the scholastic experience, and exceptional commitment to our field. Also, the recipient should possess a spirit of good humor and collegiality, as exemplified by Prof. Keenan.
Presented to Michelle Lesko, accompanied by Prof. Qin Zhang

 

REVEREND WILLIAM HOHMANN, S.J. AWARD IN ECONOMICS
The award is given by the Faculty of the Economics Department to the senior who best represents the ideals of the Fr. Hohmann, the founder and first chairman of the department.
Presented to Arturo Jaras Watts, accompanied by Prof. Kathryn Nantz

 

THE JOHN ORMAN AWARD FOR POLITICAL ACTIVISM
This award, in memory of the late Politics Prof. John Orman, is given annually to a graduating Politics Major who excels academically and exhibits a commitment to political activism
Presented to Klevisa Kovaci, accompanied by Prof. Lucrecia Garcia Iommi

 

THE REVEREND THOMAS A. MCGRATH, S.J. PSYCHOLOGY AWARD
The Psychology Department, supported by the contribution of a small number of generous benefactors, has established a permanent endowment which funds an annual prize in Psychology. The award is named to honor Father Thomas A. McGrath, S.J. who exercised a significant influence in the development of the Psychology Department at Fairfield University during the past quarter century. The criteria: superior undergraduate academic achievement, both in Psychology and in the broader areas of undergraduate education, and potential for further work in Psychology.
Presented to Samantha Krivensky and Emily Peters, accompanied by Prof. Judy Primavera

 

HARRY FISHMAN AWARD IN SOCIOLOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY
The award is given to the Sociology and Anthropology Major who has the highest academic achievement.
Presented to Elizabeth Broderick, accompanied by Prof. Kurt Schlichting

 

MARY LOUISE LARRABEE AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN ART HISTORY
This award is given to the graduating senior who has demonstrated excellence in the study of Art History.
Presented to Julie Takvorian, accompanied by Prof. Katherine Schwab

 

MARY LOUISE LARRABEE AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM, TELEVISION AND MEDIA ARTS
This award is given to a Fairfield undergraduate who demonstrates leadership, creativity, and technique in film, television, and media arts.
Presented to Angelika Zbikowski accompanied by Prof. Mark Scalese, S.J.

 

MARY LOUISE LARRABEE AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN STUDIO ART
This award recognizes distinguished achievement in the creation of Studio Art.
Presented to Victoria Dolloff, accompanied by Prof. Suzanne Chamlin

 

MARY LOUISE LARRABEE AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN THEATRE ARTS
This award recognizes distinguished achievement in all aspects of theatre scholarship, artistry, management and administration.
Presented to Ashley Ruggiero, accompanied by Prof. Lynne Porter

 

GLADYS BROOKS SCHOLARSHIP
This award recognizes academic achievement, leadership potential, interpersonal skills, extracurricular involvement, and intellectual curiosity of a student in Asian Studies.
Awarded to Maura Cullum and Elizabeth Parks

AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY DIVISION OF INORGANIC CHEMISTRY UNDERGRADUATE AWARD IN INORGANIC CHEMISTRY
Awarded to Kilee A. Bayne

 

AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY DIVISION OF POLYMERIC CHEMISTRY AND POLYMERIC MATERIALS AWARD FOR ACHIEVEMENT IN ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
Awarded to Christopher A. Van Akin and Nicholas A. Bernier

 

FRESHMAN CHEMISTRY ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
This award is sponsored by the CRC Press and is given for outstanding performance by a Freshman Chemistry Major.
Awarded to Samantha R. Schrecke

 

UNDERGRADUATE AWARD IN ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY
Awarded to Margaret Siu

AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING SERVICE IN COMMUNICATION
Awarded to Hannah Patridge

 

JOAN G. WALTERS AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN ECONOMICS
Awarded to Ricardo Espaillat

STUDENT RESEARCH AWARD IN ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES
The Student Research award is given annually to a junior or senior enrolled in the Environmental Studies Program for outstanding research achievements in environment and sustainability issues.
Awarded to Ian Tesmond and Kirsten Yerger

 

ELOQUENTIA PERFECTA AWARD FOR CORE WRITING
The First-year Core Writing Award is awarded to the first year Fairfield student who submits the best piece written in a first year English core course.
Awarded to Alyssa Raines and Dana Aigotti.
Honorable Mentions:  Catherine Herbert, Ania Perrin, David Vilanova

 

NICHOLAS M. RINALDI AWARD FOR FICTION
The English Department Nicholas Rinaldi fiction award is given to the student whose work best represents the craft and vision that Dr. Rinaldi exemplified both in his own work and in his teaching.
Awarded to Lindsay Maurer

 

ARTHUR R. RIEL, JR. JOURNALISM AWARD
The Arthur Riel Journalism Prize is awarded to the Fairfield student who writes the best print or multimedia story or package, on or off campus, during the current school year.
Awarded to Alexandra Fylypovych

 

BARBARA CHRISTIAN PRIZE FOR LITERARY CRITICISM IN AMERICAN LITERATURE
The Barbara Christian Award for Literary Criticism in American Literature is given to a student whose essay in literary criticism in American literature is marked by original insight, eloquence, and outstanding use of critical sources.
Awarded to Angela Quental

 

GAYATRI SPIVAK AWARD FOR LITERARY CRITICISM IN BRITISH LITERATURE
The Gayatri Spivak Award for Literary Criticism in British Literature is given to a student whose essay in literary criticism in British literature is marked by original insight, eloquence, and outstanding use of critical sources.
Awarded to Jennifer Le and Megan Kuzniewski

 

ANNIE DILLARD AWARD FOR CREATIVE NON-FICTION ESSAY
The Annie Dillard Award is given to the best undergraduate creative non-fiction essay, one that reflects stylistic, creative, and intellectual sophistication of the highest caliber.
Awarded to Charlotte Pecquex

 

GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS AWARD FOR POETRY
The Gerard Manley Hopkins Award is given for the best portfolio of poetry submitted to the English Department during a given year.
Awarded to Charlotte Pecquex

THE KENNETH G. PHELAN MEMORIAL BOOK AWARD
The Phelan Memorial Book Award is given to a History major or minor, for excellence in the study of History.
Awarded to Kevin J. Greener

 

THE REV. JAMES M. MURPHY, S.J., AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE STUDY OF BRITISH HISTORY
Awarded to the outstanding History major or minor in any area of British History.
Awarded to Victoria G. Ready

 

WALTER J. PETRY, JR. PRIZE
Given to the graduating senior history major or minor who shows outstanding promise for a career in teaching history in the secondary schools. Given by the History faculty in honor of our distinguished colleague, Walter J. Petry, Jr.
Awarded to Kelley A. Zrenda

 

ARTHUR F. DERSHOWITZ AWARD IN MATHEMATICS
This prize is given to students who have shown evidence of mathematical curiosity and scholarship beyond classroom performance and who show promise of being life-long learners.
Awarded to Lauren Bruchansky, Lisa Napales, Arianna Savant, and Samantha Sherman

 

DEPARTMENT OF MODERN LANGUEAGES AND LITERATURES PRIZE IN FRENCH Awarded to Suzanne E. Lawlor

 

REV. VICTOR F. LEEBER, S.J. SCHOLARSHIP IN SPANISH
This scholarship honors Rev. Victor F. Leeber, S.J. for his many years of devoted service (teacher of Spanish, department chair, etc.) to Fairfield.  It is given every year to an outstanding major in Spanish.
Awarded to Jaime Kader

 

FRANK F. BUKVIC MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP IN GERMAN
Professor Bukvic taught German at Fairfield for many years. This scholarship was established by his family in his memory.  It is given each year to an outstanding major or minor in German.
Awarded to Melissa Ambrosini and Angela Bida

 

PAUL SCOLARO MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP IN GERMAN
Paul Scolaro was a German major at Fairfield in the 1970s. He passed away before he completed his studies. This scholarship was established by his family in his memory.  It is given each year to an outstanding student in German.
Awarded to Alexander LaCroce

 

PASSARELLI-GUINTA AWARD FOR ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE IN POLITICS
Awarded to Danielle Levangie

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