End-of-Year Awards: Undergraduate Honors Convocation; Graduate Business Student Recognition

Honors Convocation 2020The 2020 Undergraduate Honors Convocation was presented as an online program with the names of top student award winners in each school, department and for student activity awards.

The University of San Diego's 2019-20 academic year has had several outstanding student scholars across various schools, departments and organizations. While awards being handed out in May would normally be done at end-of-year celebrations on campus, the COVID-19 pandemic has moved all such ceremonies to virtual presentations or recognition on social media platforms.

One event, the Honors Convocation, is a major celebration typically held at the start of May for graduating students and is typically the kickoff to all others that follow. While there was not an in-person event this year, USD does have a vibrant Honors Convocation program with the names of all student award recipients.

Below are the categories with a breakdown of statistics for students receiving awards from the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering and the undergraduate minor programs within the School of Leadership and Education Sciences. 

Honors Convocation

Academic Achievement: This award goes to students who've recorded a 4.0 GPA in their class as determined by a set number of units completed. There were 22 first-year students, 23 second-year students (30+ units completed), 13 third-year students (60+ units) and 12 senior class students (90+ units). The current semester is not figured into this total.

Honors Program: There are 45 students in the USD Honors Program who are graduating seniors from the Class of 2020. Of this number, 35 are majors from the College of Arts and Sciences, seven from the USD School of Business and three from the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering.

Anne Catherine Swanke Award (Honors Program): Annually, a graduating student who has made exceptional contributions to USD and to the Honors Program is recognized with this award. Swanke worked with faculty to make the Honors Program the enriching experience it is today. Swanke graduated posthumously in 1985. The 2020 Swanke Award winner is Kayla N. Weston, a political science major and biomedical ethics minor.

Departmental Awards: Students in the College of Arts and Sciences, USD School of Business and Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering who petitioned to graduate and who maintained a 3.5 GPA or higher in their major, provided they've completed 12 units at USD prior to Feb. 1 of their graduating year, are eligible for this recognition. There were 329 students in the College of Arts and Sciences, 253 in the School of Business and 62 in the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering who each received this special recognition.

International/National Honor Societies New Inductees: There are 198 graduating undergraduate students being inducted into international and nationally recognized honor society organizations. These organizations are Phi Beta Kappa (most prestigious undergraduate honors organization and considers just the top 10 percent of the graduating class) 35; Kappa Gamma Pi (National Catholic Graduate Honor Society) 10; Mortar Board (scholarship, leadership and service) 31; Beta Alpha Psi (International Honor Society for Financial Information Students and Professionals) 34; Beta Gamma Sigma (Business Honor Society) 16; Chi Sigma Iota (International Counseling Honor Society) 40; Gamma Kappa Alpha (Italian Honor Society) 3; Lambda Alpha Gamma (National Honor Society for Anthropology) 1; Lambda Pi Eta (Communication Honor Society) 14; Omicron Delta Epsilon (International Honor Society for Economics) 9; and Theta Alpha Kappa (National Honor Society for Theology and Religious Studies) 5.

Special Campus Awards: Four USD schools — College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering and, for student standouts in undergraduate minor programs within the School of Leadership and Education Sciences — presented awards in each of their departments' majors for academics, research, and, in some cases, leadership, service and scholarship.

View all student names from the categories above in the Honors Convocation program.

University Special Awards: These are recognition for students who succeed by way of extracurricular activities beyond the classroom in University Ministry or Student Affairs. The USD Student Employee of the Year Award is also noted here.

USD Student Employee of the Year: Tyler Arden, School of Business, worked for The Brink Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

University Ministry Servant-Leader Awards: Patrick Bonner, David Hunt, Christina Kozlovsky, Nena McGrade, Maribel Orozco, Ally Ramona, Danica Silan and Tomy Vettukallel.

Student Affairs 

Dr. Thomas J. Cosgrove Award for Outstanding Service in Student Government: Elisse Etcheverry and George Saunderson.

Outstanding Service in Official University-Sponsored Activities: Annabel Gong and Nikta Shahbaz.

Outstanding Contribution to the Entire Campus through Involvement: Gaby Azcarate and Antonio Lorenzo Zamora.

Outstanding Contribution to Multicultural Awareness and Understanding: Jesse Magana and Maya Matabwa.

Outstanding Contribution to Residential Life: Samuel Kassman and Charlotte Lee.

Chet Pagni Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service: Kaya Agustin.

St. Catherine Medal: Amy Inkrott

National Scholarship Awards: National awards this year are both Fulbright Award recipients. One student is in the Class of 2020, Riley Dean, a Liberal Studies major with a concentration in Spanish. She will be fulfilling her scholarship in Spain. Another Fulbright honoree is Samantha Deddah, actually a Class of 2018 USD graduate. Deddah, who earned her degree in history with minors in German and international relations, will fulfill her scholarship in Austria.

For a complete list of all student honorees, please view the 2020 Honors Convocation program.

School of Business Graduate Student Awards

The Graduate Student Business Awards were handed out earlier this month with a formal celebration of the honorees anticipated in October. For more information on each of the winners listed below, visit the recipients' webpage.

Graduate Student of the Year: Amanda Young Greenwald '20, MBA.

Finalists: Jill Planeta '20, MBA, Ian Lonsdale '20, MBA, Jason Blasius '21, MBA, Shane Isdaner '20, MSRE, Rakesh Nankani '21, MBA.

Graduate Student Ambassador of the Year: Leona Snell '20, MBA

Finalists: Shane Isdaner '20, MSRE, Humberto Arechiga '21, MSRE, Bria d'Amours '21, MBA.

Graduate Student Entrepreneur of the Year: George Laning '20, MSRE

Finalists: Bria d'Amours '21, MBA, Carl-Olivier Dumesle '21, MBA, Noah Oliver '20, MBA.

Graduate USD Community Engagement: Julie Mai '21, MBA.

Finalist: Leona Snell '20, MBA.

Diversity, Equity, Belonging and Inclusion Engagement Award: Julia Rhee '21, MBA.

Finalists: Barbara Rudd '21, MBA, Layla Khademi '21, MSRE, Nicole Delgado '20, MBA.

Alumni of the Year: Gaurav Verma '16, MBA.

Finalists: Maria Bastian Thompson '03, IMBA, Scott Handley '12, MSGL, Eric Grobe '11, IMBA, Michael Sieman '08, MSRE.


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