Class of 2016: Honors Convocation, Diversity Banquet

The 2015-16 academic year is winding down at the University of San Diego. Commencement for the Class of 2016 undergraduate, graduate and law students is a few weeks away. The past few days on campus have been part of something that's sweeping the campus — end-of-year gatherings and award ceremonies.

Earlier this week, two particular annual celebratory events took place. One was the Honors Convocation, which celebrated outstanding undergraduate student achievement within the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, School of Leadership and Education Sciences as well as campus organizations in Shiley Theatre on May 3. The next night, the United Front Multicultural Center held its 11th annual Diversity Banquet and presented its C.L.A.S.S. Awards in the Hahn University Center Forums.

Both events were attended by first-year USD President James Harris, who congratulated all honorees at the convocation and, as the keynote speaker for the Diversity Banquet, offered a personal reflection, the need for the USD community to come together as one and offered his thoughts about what it takes to be an agent of change.

Honors Convocation, Diversity Banquet

C.L.A.S.S. Award Winners

Students honored at the UFMC Diversity Banquet were: Lavanya Sridharan, L. Reuben Mitchell Award for Campus-Wide Impact; Meimei Nakahara and Marina Mantos, co-winners of the Dr. Evelyn Kirkley Award for Leadership; Gabriella Russo and Husani Whitlock, co-winners of the Dr. Joseph Colombo Award for Academics; Madeline Kasik and Crystal Knight, co-winners of the Dr. Judy Rauner Award for Social Justice; Mariela Brambila, Dr. Judith Liu Award for Service; and Elizabeth Stenger and Crystal Ibarra, co-winners of the United Front Multicultural Center Award for Inspiration.

Nearly 60 students who attended the diversity banquet received a UFMC stole they will wear with their graduation gown.

Honors Convocation

The Honors Convocation provided graduating students with special gifts, recognition from national honor society organizations and for academic and campus engagement successes. A number of special academic department and university honors for students and USD faculty members were announced. Among them were:

Students: Hannah Shapiro and Shannon Trujillo, Department of Biology's Manes Award for Excellence in Student Research; Elizabeth Stenger, Department of History's Engstrand Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence; Arianna Bellizzi, Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies' Irving Parker Award for Excellence in Theatre; Nicholas Bihr, Department of Ethnic Studies' Christopher Wilson Community Service Award; Elizabeth Creech, Jeffrey Hallock, Madeline Kasik and Elizabeth LeFavour, Department of Political Science and International Relations' Ernest N. Morin Award in International Relations; Macauley Berg, Department of Philosophy's Carlin Book Prize; Jenna Morris, Women's and Gender Studies Program's Linda A.M. Perry Award; Amanda Hernandez, Student Employee of the Year Award; Frances Casey, Elizabeth Creech, Emerald Dohleman, Keanu Gututala, Alec Hartman and Kevin Karn, University Ministry Student Servant Leader Awards; Katie Coutermarsh and Lena Figueroa, Dr. Thomas Cosgrove Award for Outstanding Service in Student Government; Angela Hessenius and Kevin Karn, Outstanding Service in Official University-Sponsored Activity; Juliana Mascari and Morgan Offenheiser, Outstanding Contribution to the Entire Campus through Involvement; Lavanya Sridharan, Outstanding Contribution to Multicultural Awareness and Understanding; Dante Enriquez and Karen Clark, Outstanding Contribution to Residential Life; Elizabeth Creech, Chet Pagni Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service; Tanya Ibrahim, The St. Catherine Medal; Alexandra Hafer, Madeline Kasik and Lily Werthan, Fulbright Scholarship; Anastasia Gromova and Ken Lee, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship; Mina Krenz, Anne Catherine Swanke Award; Marta Stojanovic, College of Arts and Sciences Valedictorian; and Blake Sherman, School of Business Valedictorian.

Faculty: Rae Anderson (Physics) and Rachel Blaser (Psychological Sciences), Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentors; Fred Robinson (English), Patrick F. Drinan Award for Distinguished Service; and Roger Pace (Communication Studies), Davies Award for Teaching Excellence.