Celebrating Excellence: The 2017 Drew College of Liberal Arts Awards
66 awards are bestowed to 92 students.
April 2017 – Pride permeated Drew University’s Concert Hall, as the school bestowed its annual awards for outstanding academic achievement.
More than 90 students were recognized for their accomplishments in 17 disciplines, including economics, physics, English, theatre, political science and art. As they stood on stage, professors spoke from the heart about what distinguished the honorees and what they planned to do next. The faculty sounded as impressed as the parents, relatives and friends in the audience.
Speaking at the onset, College of Liberal Arts Dean Chris Taylor said, “I can’t tell you how proud I am of all of you and all of what you’ve accomplished. Moreover, I know that your achievement that we’re celebrating tonight are only a foretaste of the great things to come that you will accomplish in the future.” Later in the ceremony, Taylor further noted how “blessed we are to come to work every day at Drew because of the amazing students we work with.” Well said.
Here’s the the full list of awards and honorees.
Art Department Prizes for Excellence in Art – Christiana Hemmings, Leslie Tsukayama, Adam Tenorio
Three annual awards for distinguished work in art selected by the Art Department.
Stanley Prescott Hooper Memorial Prize – Art: Nathanael Tazewell, Art History: Alexa Zbieranowski
Endowed in 1989 by the estate of Stanley Hooper C’85, family and friends. Awarded to graduating seniors with promise and integrity in art.
Baldwin Family Grant – Leah Nadel, Cristina Riccio, Pearl Sutter
Established to encourage the highest caliber of work through independent and international study.
Winifred B. Baldwin Fellowship – Emma Barakat
Endowed by Inez Nelbach in memory of Winifred B. Baldwin, wife of former trustee Donald Baldwin. Awarded to one or more Baldwin Honors Scholars with excellent academic records at Drew who show great promise of continued distinction in graduate or professional school.
Slipper-McClintock Prize – Saif Yasin
Endowed in 1977 by family, friends, and colleagues to honor two of the original architects of the Trustee/Drew Scholar program, James A. McClintock T’30 and Louise Slipper. Awarded annually to the graduating senior who has made outstanding contributions to academic and campus life.
Dean Paolo Cucchi Student Research Fund – Haviland Atha-Simonton, Uma Kantheti, Matthew Ludak
Endowed in 2012 by friends and colleagues of Dean Paolo Cucchi in honor of his long career at Drew and to sustain his legacy of supporting student research, international experiences and academic excellence during his 24 years as dean of the college.
Anna-Lisa Barofsky Prize in Biology – Tyler Dorrity
Endowed by family and friends in memory of Anna-Lisa Barofsky C’62. Awarded to a junior or senior majoring in biology or psychobiology who presented the best research paper at a scholarly biology conference.
Novartis Awards in the Sciences – Neuroscience: Robert Candia, Biology: Justyna Pupek
Given to Drew’s most promising seniors graduating with degrees in neuroscience and biology. The students chosen to receive these awards are those who not only display exceptional talent in the classroom and research lab, but also demonstrate exceptional promise as future scientists, researchers, doctors, health care professionals and educators.
Peter R. Jennings Prize – Illianna Anise
Endowed by Dr. and Mrs. Robert Zuck to honor a former student, Peter R. Jennings C’53. Awarded for high promise in botany, particularly for work in plant improvement.
Center for Global Education
Grace Weggeland Prize – Shaylyn MacKinnon
Established in 2002 by Robert Layne Weggeland C’61, P’84, Monique Weggeland Flynn C’84, and family and friends, in memory of Dr. Grace K. Weggeland C’58, G’67, P’84. Awarded to a student, active in campus life, who will have achieved at least junior standing by the beginning of the next academic year and has arranged to participate in an off-campus program in that year.
Irene Weyer Memorial Prize – Heather Pollak, Juliana Kong
Endowed in 2002 by Donald and Arlene Roden P’92 and Frederick S. Roden C’92 in memory of Irene Weyer. To be awarded to a student of promise enrolled in the teacher certification program who is pursuing travel related to her/his degree.
Center on Religion, Culture & Conflict
Edward D. Zinbarg Prize – Shayna Miller
Established in 1999 by Barbara Zinbarg to honor her husband upon the completion of his doctor of letters degree at Drew. Awarded annually to a student in any of the university’s schools who has creatively linked Jewish studies and the study of other religious traditions.
American Institute of Chemists Award – Chemistry: Katherine Marak, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: Jessica Shannon
Sponsored by the American Institute of Chemists. Awarded annually to outstanding senior chemistry majors.
James Lyman McFadden Award – Jed-Joan Edziah
Endowed in 1982 by Ms. Dorothy Bruegger in honor of her husband, James Lyman McFadden, founder and president of Gow-Mac Instrument Company in Madison. Awarded for outstanding work in chemistry.
Novartis Awards in the Sciences – Biochemistry: Jal Trivedi, Chemistry: Saif Yasin
Given to Drew’s most promising seniors graduating with degrees in biochemistry and biology. The students chosen to receive these awards are those who not only display exceptional talent in the classroom and research lab, but also demonstrate exceptional promise as future scientists, researchers, doctors, health care professionals and educators.
Thomas D. Sayles Jr. Student Award for Outstanding Service to Community – Leah Nadel, Kendra Polk
Awarded annually to a third-year undergraduate student who, like the award’s namesake, has demonstrated an exceptional commitment and unselfish dedication to the Drew family and the larger community through exemplary volunteer service.
LGBTQ Student Activist Prize – Alissa Glaeser
Established in 2011 to honor a sophomore or junior student who has shown exceptional service to the LGBTQ community at Drew. Such an award will help give back to those who have made a commitment to LGBTQ diversity on campus.
Novartis Awards in the Sciences – Computer Science: Emily Evans, Mathematics: Rayyan Sayeed
Given to Drew’s most promising seniors graduating with degrees in computer science and mathematics. The students chosen to receive these awards are those who not only display exceptional talent in the classroom and research lab, but also demonstrate exceptional promise as future scientists, researchers, doctors, health care professionals and educators.
Steve A. Lemanski Prize – Brian Calingo
Endowed in 2006 by Steve A. Lemanski C’89. Awarded to students excelling in applied mathematics, with preference given to students intending to pursue a career related to the field of actuarial science.
Class of 1983 Senior Gift Award – Hayat Abdelal, Jared Sutton
Endowed by the Senior Gift Fund of the Class of 1983. Awarded to one or more outstanding juniors with proven dedication to the improvement of student life.
Hardin Prize – Hannah Kohn, Nancy Moemen, Keiran Wilson
Endowed by Winifred Baldwin and Inez Nelbach in honor of Paul Hardin, former president of the university. Awarded to one or more graduating seniors whose active and productive participation in the academic and community life of the college best exemplifies the ideals and accomplishments of former President Hardin.
Class of 1985 Senior Gift Award – Kara Bradley, Danielle Dorvil
Endowed by the Senior Gift Fund of the Class of 1985. Awarded to college students with strong academic promise and a strong vision for a more just community.
Business Prize – Courtney Trzasko
Awarded to the graduating senior who has demonstrated the best overall performance in the business major.
Jerome Cranmer Prize in Economic History – Michael Brown
Established in memory of H. Jerome Cranmer C’47, former professor of economics. Awarded to the highest-performing student in the history of economic thought or economic history.
Economics Department Prize – Richa Patel
Awarded to the graduating senior who has demonstrated the best overall performance in the economics major.
Economics and Business Department Service Prize – Jonathan Rodrigues, Jillian Griffith
Awarded to the graduating senior who, in addition to displaying academic excellence, has made significant service contributions to the department and Drew University.
Donald J. Fariello Memorial Prize – Jena Angeliadis
Awarded on the basis of both outstanding accomplishment and future promise to an economics major who plans a career in the legal profession.
Educational Opportunity Scholars
Delores V. Collins Memorial Award – Keiran Wilson
Given by Gregory Pogue in memory of his mother, Delores V. Collins, who died in 1978. Awarded to the Educational Opportunity Scholar student who achieves the highest grade point average each semester.
Academy of American Poets Prize – Philipe Abiyouness
Endowed in 2006 by Susan Barba. Recognizes an outstanding poetry collection by the winner of an open competition.
John G. Berg Jr. Memorial Prize – Victoria Ruhle
Endowed in 1985 by Mr. Robert Callander as a gift to his wife, honoring her father, John Berg Jr. Awarded annually for excellence in English to an outstanding English major.
Bessie Stak Schiffman Award for Excellence in Women’s Studies – Marianna D’Aries, Hannah Kohn, Keiran Wilson
Granted to a senior who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in academic work in women’s studies as well as in campus or community activism. This award honors Bessie Stak Schiffman, grandmother of Drew Professor Ann Saltzman, 1994 recipient of the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching. Saltzman, along with family and friends, established the award to recognize Schiffman’s dedication to her community. As a young woman, Schiffman learned Hebrew and became the prayer reader for the women of her synagogue, enabling them to participate in activities otherwise restricted to men.
Robert Chapman Poetry Prize – Michelle Taliento
The Chapman Prize celebrates the rich legacy of Robert Chapman, a distinguished teacher, linguist, lexicographer, medievalist and poet who taught at Drew from 1966 to 1986, by honoring extraordinary undergraduate achievement and promise in the poetry of a rising Drew senior.
Christopher Goin Memorial Prize in Writing – Alef Davis
Endowed in 1989 by New Jersey Bell colleagues and family in memory of Chris Goin C’78. Awarded to one or more seniors winning a manuscript contest sponsored by the English Department. The manuscript must merit distinction for its substance, style and imagination.
Ralph R. and Ruth K. Johnson Shakespeare Prize – Alef Davis
Endowed in 1998 by the family, friends, colleagues, and former students of this beloved professor emeritus of speech and dramatics and his wife. This award celebrates their lifelong veneration of Shakespeare’s work and is awarded annually to an undergraduate or graduate student demonstrating appreciation for and outstanding achievement in the study of Shakespeare’s plays.
Burke Prize in Language and Literature – Alexander Slotkin
Endowed by Inez Nelbach in 1990 in honor of James B. Burke, trustee emeritus of the university. Awarded annually to a graduating senior who has majored with distinction in language or literature and who has also demonstrated a high level of competence in classical studies.
Shilpa Raval Prize in Women’s Studies and Humanities – Alexa Young
Established by her family and friends in memory of Shilpa Raval C’91 (1969–2004), the prize is awarded annually to a junior or senior whose interdisciplinary work, like Shilpa’s lively and innovative scholarship on gender and sexuality in the ancient world, connects women’s studies with study in an area of humanities, languages or literature.
Shilpa Raval Memorial Prize in Classics – Alexis Ruark
Established by her family and friends in loving memory of Shilpa Raval C’91, PhD 1998 from Brown, assistant professor of classics at Yale University and a brilliant scholar (1969– 2004). Awarded annually to a student who has pursued classical studies with distinction, enthusiasm and scholarly promise.
Leavell-Oberg Fellowships in History – Emma Gillespie, Nicholas Iacobuzio, Minna Nizam
Established in 2007 by alumni, friends and colleagues of J. Perry Leavell, William Kenan Professor of History and Chair of the History Department, in honor of his four decades of service to Drew and its students as well as the mutual commitment of Dr. Leavell and Dr. Barbara B. Olberg to the field of history. The fund supports up to three research fellowships or academic internships for history majors, usually during the summer after their third year of study.
Leavell-Olberg Prize in History – Heather Pollak
Established in 1998 by Professor J. Perry Leavell, who taught at Drew for more than 40 years, and his wife, Professor Barbara B. Oberg, who has taught at Yale and at Princeton universities, in recognition of their mutual love of history, with support from family, friends and former students. Awarded to a graduating senior for outstanding achievement in history.
Walter F. and Alice Gorham Foundation, Inc. Prize in Jewish Studies – Hannah Kohn
Awarded to graduating seniors who, in the course of their years at Drew, have best exemplified the Jewish values of integrating excellence in Jewish study with exemplary service to campus and community.
Irene and Simon Raicer Prize for SHOAH Eduation – Janelle Barnes
Established in 1995 by Howard and Abbie Raicer Halperin, Jerome and Hildred Raicer Nozick G’94 and Barry and Naomi Raicer Schimmer in honor of their parents. For a graduating senior who has achieved excellence in Holocaust education.
Annual Award in Music – Research: Steven Correia, Research and Vocal Performance: Rachel Rubin, Vocal Performance: Catherine Doyle, Suzanne Sawyer
Established by the Music Department. Awarded to outstanding seniors who have made a significant contribution to music at Drew.
James J. Higgins Memorial Prize – Diana Oladetimi
Established in 2006 by family, friends and colleagues to honor James. J. Higgins Esq., former counsel to Drew University. Awarded to a senior who will be attending an accredited law school following graduation from Drew and who has demonstrated academic merit in his or her major field of study.
Novartis Awards in the Sciences – Physics: Ashley Bloodgood
Given to Drew’s most promising senior graduating with a degree in physics. The student chosen to receive this award not only displays exceptional talent in the classroom and research lab, but also demonstrates exceptional promise as a future scientist, researcher, doctor, health care professional and educator.
Arnold S. Boxer Memorial Prize in Physics – Zoe Hughes
Endowed by colleagues and friends in memory of Arnold S. Boxer, former part-time Drew professor. Awarded for dedication, diligence and distinction in the study of physics.
Marshall C. Harrington Prize in Physics and Astronomy – Michael Clancy
Endowed in 1990 by friends and former students to honor Drew’s first professor of physics, Marshall C. Harrington. Awarded to a junior or senior for completion of an outstanding independent study or research project in physics or astronomy.
John F. Ollom Prize in Physics – Jesse Murray
Established by friends, family and colleagues in 1989 to recognize Ollom’s retirement from the Physics Department. Awarded to a prospective physics major for promising performance in physics courses to date.
Ewing Award for Leadership and Public Service and Ewing Distinguished Political Science Major Award
– Leadership and Public Service: Marley Crank, Performance and Comprehension: Kathleen Annarelli, Nancy Moemen
One award is given to a graduating political science major who has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills and a deep commitment to community engagement and public service. Another award goes to graduating political science majors who have demonstrated both exemplary performance in their coursework in the department and exceptional comprehension of the discipline. Created with the support of Drew’s John H. Ewing Center for Public Affairs, a nonpartisan organization designed to enhance students’ appreciation of public service and their understanding of public affairs. The center is named for former New Jersey State Senator John H. Ewing, who throughout his distinguished career made education his highest priority.
Robert Fisher Oxnam Prize – Matt Gianitsos, Rachel Tavani
Endowed by Dean Inez Nelbach and Louise Slipper in memory of Robert F. Oxnam, former president of the university. Awarded annually to graduating seniors majoring in political science who have shown both outstanding ability in that field and a thorough competence in at least one foreign language.
Allen Ware Rodes Memorial Prize – Mateo Maduro
Endowed in 1986 by Dr. and Mrs. Robert Rodes in memory of their son, Allen. Dr. Rodes is a professor emeritus of political science at Drew. Given annually to the graduating senior who has demonstrated the most significant academic improvement during his or her college career.
Janet T. Siler Memorial Prize – Laila Hanandeh, Jared Sutton
Endowed in 1993 by friends, in memory of Janet T. Siler G’89. Awarded for excellence in the research and writing of a paper on the United Nations Semester and for overall academic accomplishment to a student whose character exemplifies the international spirit of the United Nations.
James A. McClintock Award for Excellence in Psychology – Science of Psychology: Emily Kubin, Principles and Ideals of Psychology: Keiran Wilson
Endowed by friends and colleagues in honor of James A. McClintock T’30, dean emeritus of the college and professor emeritus of psychology. Awarded to graduating seniors, one for academic excellence in psychology and potential contribution to the science of psychology and the second for excellence in exemplifying and promoting the principles and ideals of psychology.
Psi Chi Research Award – Samantha Lacey, Jonathan Teters
In recognition of academic excellence in psychology and outstanding contribution to the science of psychology.
Tracey J. Shors Neuroscience Prize – Pearl Sutter
Endowed in 1999 by John F. Brinster C’43 and Doris A. Brinster. Awarded to an outstanding Drew student for collaborative, multidisciplinary research in the neurosciences.
Research Institute for Scientists Emeriti
Dr. George deStevens Award for RISE Research – Matthew Owen
Established by Mrs. Ruby deStevens in loving memory of her late husband, a leading research chemist and the founder and first director of the Charles A. Dana Research Institute for Scientists Emeriti (RISE). This award annually provides generous support to students engaged in cutting-edge research projects under the tutelage of RISE fellows.
Sidney Udenfriend Prize – Erin Connors, Diana Lourenco
Established in 2000 by family and friends in memory of Sidney Udenfriend, second director of the Charles A. Dana Research Institute for Scientists Emeriti (RISE). Awarded annually to one or more students majoring in science who demonstrate exceptional promise for fundamental or applied research.
Elbridge and Edna Smith Prize – Devin Turpin
Endowed in 2008 by Elbridge M. Smith C’35 and Edna W. Smith. Awarded to students of outstanding achievement, majoring or intending to major in sociology or French, who have not yet begun their senior year.
James O’Kane Award – Victoria Emm, Alexis Martino
Established in 2005 to honor Professor of Sociology James M. O’Kane’s long and devoted service to Drew University. Awarded to a sociology major of good character who has done outstanding work in the discipline.
Jane Brown and Albert Norton Wettstein Prize – Taylor Tracy
Endowed in 2004 by J. Edward Jarvis in memory of Albert Norton Wettstein C’58 and in honor of Mr. Wettstein’s friend, Jane Brown C’62. Awarded to the graduating senior with the highest grade point average who has completed the requirements for a double major.
Norman Guy Prize in Speech – First: Bongiwe Bongwe, Second: Kassel Franco Garibay, Third: Emmanuel Lopez
Endowed by Ralph Porzio C’38, trustee emeritus of the university, in memory of the college’s first professor of public speaking, Norman Guy. Awarded for distinction in public speaking.
Rumi Prize in Choreography – Micaela Reininga
Established in 2000 by a friend of Drew dance and theatre arts. Awarded annually to a student for excellence in choreography.
Albert Norton Wettstein Memorial Prize – Philipe Abiyouness, Haley Pilkington
Endowed in 1999 by friends, family and classmates in memory of this member of the College Class of 1958 and the Theological School Class of 1961. Awarded annually to an actor and an actress for outstanding achievement in a Drew theatrical production.
President’s Award in Theatre Arts – Emma Barakat
Established in 1992 by the Theatre Arts Department, and endowed in 2005 by Drew President Thomas H. Kean. Awarded to a graduating senior who has made outstanding contributions to the theatre arts at Drew in a variety of disciplines.
Robert Fisher Oxnam Ensemble Studion Theatre Award in Playwriting – Christian Bradley, Kathleen Keane
Endowed in 1992 by Mr. and Mrs. Harry Jaecker, in honor of Mrs. Jaecker’s late husband, Robert Fisher Oxnam, former President of the University. Awarded for excellence in playwriting.
Chauncey Lester and Elsie Stewart Benedict Memorial Prize – Annie Belkin, Alison, O’Brien
Established by Stewart H. Benedict C’44. Awarded annually for the best play, script or drama written by an undergraduate student of the College of Liberal Arts at Drew.
Transfer & Continuing Education
Pinnacle Honor Society Award – Michelle Amparbin, Hanka Gojacic, Nathan Williams
The Pinnacle Honor Society recognizes the achievements of graduating adult and nontraditional students. The criteria for membership includes a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, involvement in campus and community service, demonstrated leadership, persistence, high ethical standards and future promise.