The University of San Diego’s annual Honors Convocation took place Tuesday in Shiley Theatre. Students from undergraduate programs in College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business Administration and the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, were feted with individual department awards, new inductees into national honor societies were announced and several received special university recognition.
One student earning special mention was Brooke Einspanier, a senior International Relations major and double minor in business administration and Spanish. She’s a member of the Honors Program and this year, she was president of the Honors Student Board.
She was the recipient of the Anne Catherine Swanke Award, given to a deserving Honors Program student. Einspanier, who came to USD four years ago from Philadelphia specifically because of the Honors Program, has flourished.
“I haven’t regretted it for a second,” she said. “Being in International Relations has been great. I’ve had exceptional professors who’ve helped me look at the world in a different way. It’s very interdisciplinary, too.”
Taking on the presidency of the Honors Board presented her with an additional motivation. She wanted to incorporate a philanthropy component she felt had been missing.
“I’ve been interested in this since sophomore year. I looked at different charities and wanted to be sure that it should be students helping students,” she said. “It was a long process, but I just wanted to be sure that any money raised would go to the actual cause.”
Through support and suggestions from other board members, Einspanier’s vision became reality when two were selected: San Diego’s Southern Sudanese Community Center where many USD students have tutored children and offered support to the center since it opened in 1995; and funding the one-year cost of education for students in Mbarara, Uganda, a city USD is tied to through the Holy Innocents Children’s Hospital and a connection to Montfort Missionaries.
Einspanier, took on the added role of directing this philanthropy project, helping put together a multi-team trivia tournament, raffle and dinner fundraiser last month with proceeds going to support both causes. She said it was successful for an inaugural event and hopes the philanthropy component in the Honors Program continues to grow.
More outstanding students recognized at Tuesday’s Honors Convocation included:
Student Employee of the Year: Mou Riiny.
Chet Pagni Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service: Anjuli Wright.
St. Catherine Medal: Mackenzie Maurer.
Academic Achievement (4.0 GPA)
Seniors: William Griffin and Alexa Tierney.
Juniors: Elizabeth Reed and Kira Riley.
Sophomores: Christopher Anderson, Connor Anderson, James Bennett, Teryn Bouche, Craig Klein, Tawni Paradise, David Peters, Sarah Potter-Smith, Ian Rodgers, Janet Chao, Connor Lind, Ashley Monson and Morgan Re.
Freshmen: Caitlin Cajka, Jonathan Fuller, Jennifer Gee Laura Gruninger, Rachel Haggard, Meline Matevosian, Brian Maurer, Christopher Melvin and Shane Sherman.
Student Affairs Awards
Dr. Thomas J. Cosgrove Award for Outstanding Service in Student Government: Kelsey Chase and Diana Rodriguez-Agiss.
Outstanding Service in Official University Sponsored Activity: Spenser Leverett and Fred Myrtle.
Outstanding Contribution to the Entire Campus through Involvement: Melissa Lucas and Dan Martin.
Outstanding Contribution to Multicultural Awareness and Understanding: Joseph Rocha and Delia Tepozan.
Outstanding Contribution to Residential Life: Kayla Witt.
University Ministry Student Servant Leader Awards: Nina Baumgardner, Nicole DeFelice, Jonathan Fein Proaño and Nicole Kathol.
Community Service Learning Scholars: Mercedes Kasmer, Marisa Miller, Kendra Osburn, Hayley Roberts, Nicole Russo, Michaela Sandy, Lovel Tokic, Chelsea Towler and Kaitlin Wright.
College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Awards: Father Ron Pachence, PhD, department chair and a professor in Theology and Religious Studies, is the recipient of the Patrick F. Drinan Award for Distinguished Service. Communication Studies Professor Leeva Chung, PhD, who has been a faculty member at USD since 1998, earned the Davies Award for Teaching Excellence. Chung is also an affiliated faculty member for the Ethnic Studies and Gender Studies departments.
— Inside USD staff