2020 Undergraduate Awards

The Faculty Student Affairs committee is delighted to release this website of the 2020 Undergraduate Student Awards!   Although we were unable to gather in person this year, the Bison Spirit remains strong. We congratulate all the award winners and the hard work all of our students, faculty, and staff have done to make these accomplishments possible. Together we rise to the challenges we face and boldly charge on to new heights as we connect with one another, discover new horizons, and influence our world to be the best we can make it.

More description on these awards can be found here.

Special thanks to:

Dr. Kari Hansen for website coding assistance
Tiffanee Barnes for administrative assistance
Dr. Kirk VanGilder, Faculty Student Affairs committee, chair
Lizzy Martinez, Faculty Student Affairs committee
Dr. Cara Miller, Faculty Student Affairs committee
Dr. Martreece Watson, Faculty Student Affairs committee
Gregory Bland, Faculty Student Affairs committee
Logan Waldo, Faculty Student Affairs committee

  • Alumni and Donor Scholarship Awards
  • University Awards
  • Academic Department Awards
  • Program and Unit Awards

Alumni and Donor Scholarship Awards

Rotary District 7620

Rotary District 7620 Scholarship
John Fechter IV
Preston Kelly
Darryl Chance
Jessica Monroe
Caroline De La Cruz
Jamari Porter
Joseph Ferraroni
Brooke Bonheyo
Ayla Hooper
Cheyenne Atkins-Grant
Rory Lewis
John Taylor
Leslie Castillo
Terrence Chisley Jr

Presented by:  Tom McCarthy, Co-Chair Rotary Scholarship Endowmenta

Hello! My name is Tom McCarthy [name sign]. I'm a member of the Rotary organization, [name sign] the organization.

Rotary was established in 1905 and has since grown continuously into the global organization it is today. Several years ago, Rotarians in the Washington, D.C. and Maryland area collectively decided to donate funds to Gallaudet in order to establish an endowment. The endowment supports scholarships for students who need money to pursue and continue their educations at Gallaudet. To all of you recipients of scholarships from Rotary's endowment, I say congratulations!

It is our hope that in the future after your graduate, you look back and remember the way Rotary helped you. What better way is there to thank Rotary for this help than to turn around and help other people? Because Rotary was here to help you, we hope you pay it forward. We hope you persevere in your studies and work hard toward your graduation.

To learn more about Rotary, visit Rotary.org.

National Organization of Phi Kappa Zeta Sorority

Phi Kappa Zeta Sorority Scholarship Award
Sharon Castillo
Karla Mendez-Guerrero 
[video forthcoming]
Presented by: Jennifer Little

Sharon, a student-athlete along with her academic achievements, believes in giving back to her communities in Gallaudet and outside of Gallaudet through student organizations. In her current role as LSU president, they fundraised to support different countries that were impacted by natural disasters. She also serves on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) as a representative for the Women Soccer team. 
This scholarship award is to recognize Sharon's achievements and to support her to continue her education so she can work with our future generation of deaf children in public schools.
Karla has a passion for representing her student body, she has become involved in Student Body Government with the goal of bringing students' ideas to improve student experience.  She also interned with a political movement, Poor People's Campaign, focusing on the impact of poverty, and marketing this organization.
In addition to her political passion, she has a passion for literacy. She has been writing poems since a young age. 
With this scholarship award, it is to recognize Karla's academic achievements and passions and to support her in continuing her passions. 

Catherine Bronson Higgins Award
Ariel Senics [video forthcoming]
Presented by: Jennifer Little

This award is to recognize Ariel's academic achievements as a student athlete at Gallaudet. In addition to that, she uses her time participating in Student-Athlete Advisory Committee with focus of spreading awareness on mental health and her commitment to volunteering her time with different organizations outside of Gallaudet. 

Frances Norton Runde Scholarship
Grace Kelleher [video forthcoming]
Presented by: Jennifer Little

Grace has contributed to Gallaudet and its community in her role as Peer Mentor supporting new signers as she herself was a new signer in her freshman year. She will graduate with double majors and intend to continue her education majoring in International Development Masters of Arts Program with the goal of becoming Foreign Service Specialist. 
This scholarship award is to Grace to recognize her academic achievements and to support her in continuing her education in graduate school.

University Awards

Ernest G. '24 & Fern L. '27 Langenberg Memorial Scholarship Award


The Ernest G. '24 and Fern L. '27 Langenberg Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in 2008 by Dr. Donald N. Langenberg a physicist, professor, and former Chancellor of the University System of Maryland. Ernest and Fern Langenberg, both graduates of Gallaudet University, were Dr. Langenberg's parents.

The purpose of the Langenberg Memorial Scholarship is to provide an award to outstanding undergraduate students who demonstrate success both in and outside the classroom. Langenberg scholars should hold a cumulative GPA of 2.8 or above, as well as demonstrated success in one or more of the following areas: athletics, arts, leadership in student organizations, or involvement in community programs, civic programs and causes.

Ernest G. '24 & Fern L. '27 Langenberg Memorial Scholarship Award
Angela Rogers
Presented by: Dr. Genie Gertz, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

Angela W. Rogers – Senior – Government/International Studies • Asian Pacific Islander Association: Member and Student Advisor • Career Center: Assistant Sr. Peer Career Advisor • Phi Kappa Zeta Sorority: Member

Ernest G. '24 & Fern L. '27 Langenberg Memorial Scholarship Award
Anjel Perez
Presented by: Dr. Genie Gertz, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

Anjel J. Perez – Sophomore – International Studies • Latinx Student Union: Vice President • Off the Grid Missions • Public Service Announcer • National Society of Leadership Success

Ernest G. '24 & Fern L. '27 Langenberg Memorial Scholarship Award
Chanai Brewster
Presented by: Dr. Genie Gertz, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

Chanai J. Brewster – Senior – Social Work • Honor Society for Social Work – Mu Pi and a 3.80 GPA • Team leader for Commuter Programs • Involvement in community services (Out-of-Darkness – suicide awareness, lobbying for the Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act)

Ernest G. '24 & Fern L. '27 Langenberg Memorial Scholarship Award
Rebecca "Victoria" Sosaya
Presented by: Dr. Genie Gertz, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

Rebecca “Victoria” Sosaya – Senior – Deaf Studies • Buff and Blue: wrote articles, assisted the Editor in Chief t • Out of the Darkness: Volunteer • Hillel: Member • National Society of Leadership and Success: Community service volunteer • English Language Institute Student Organization: Member • Latinx Student Union: Member

Ernest G. '24 & Fern L. '27 Langenberg Memorial Scholarship Award
Tana Fletcher
Presented by: Dr. Genie Gertz, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

Tana D. Fletcher – Junior - Psychology • Black Student Union: Vice President • Goals within BSU is to better support the POC students on campus that have a hard time feeling like they belong. • Always emphasizing the importance of education -- sharing the challenges that the BSU members had to face in order to break down barriers and the different struggles they had to face.

Ernest G. '24 & Fern L. '27 Langenberg Memorial Scholarship Award
Tayla Newman
Presented by: Dr. Genie Gertz, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

Tayla S. Newman – Senior – ASL & English • Class 2019: President • Phi Kappa Zeta: Vice President • Honors Program: Member and soon to be a graduate • Academic Bowl League: Co-founder

Academic Department Awards



Department of Art, Communication Studies, and Theatre

Joseph L. Mattivi Award with a specialization in "Dedicated Service to the Art & Media Design Program”
Carlos Guerra
Presented by:   Dr. Max Kazemzadeh, Professor/ACT Chairperson

The Joseph L. Mattivi Award goes to an Art & Media Design Major who has gone above and beyond the creative and technical requirements of the program, and have proven to be leaders in their field. Students were selected by the collective Art & Media Design Program faculty. While meeting all of the criteria for this award, each student is acknowledged for a specialization where they have exceeded most. The Joseph L. Mattivi Award with a specialization in "Dedicated Service to the Art & Media Design Program” goes to Carlos Guerra. This award specialization goes to the student who has served the Art & Media Design Program in many ways, whether assisting with the hanging of exhibitions, managing the many studios/labs in the Washburn Arts Building, or offering extra assistance with faculty initiatives. This student has converted the service to the program into a learning opportunity as well as a venue to be able to serve fellow students, staff and faculty.

Joseph L. Mattivi Award with a specialization in "Solutions-Oriented Team Player Award”
Cress Fisher
Presented by:   Dr. Max Kazemzadeh, Professor/ACT Chairperson

The Joseph L. Mattivi Award goes to an Art & Media Design Major who has gone above and beyond the creative and technical requirements of the program, and have proven to be leaders in their field. Students were selected by the collective Art & Media Design Program faculty. While meeting all of the criteria for this award, each student is acknowledged for a specialization where they have exceeded most. The Joseph L. Mattivi Award with a specialization in "Solutions-Oriented Team Player Award” goes to Cress Fisher. This award specialization goes to the student who has remained optimistic when faced with academic challenges throughout their time within the Art & Media Design Program. They have maintained a solutions-oriented outlook, tirelessly engaged in the creative process, and working to help others who might need it with technical challenges.

Joseph L. Mattivi Award with a specialization in "Creativity & Innovation Award"
Melissa Estes

Presented by:   Dr. Max Kazemzadeh, Professor/ACT Chairperson

The Joseph L. Mattivi Award goes to an Art & Media Design Major who has gone above and beyond the creative and technical requirements of the program, and have proven to be leaders in their field. Students were selected by the collective Art & Media Design Program faculty. While meeting all of the criteria for this award, each student is acknowledged for a specialization where they have exceeded most. The Joseph L. Mattivi Award with a specialization in "Creativity & Innovation Award" goes to Melissa Estes. This award goes to the student who has continued to push the creative boundaries with each assignment and task posed and has consistently found innovative solutions to these challenges. This student has also courageously explored a range of media both tactile and technological to the point where they have inspired others to set higher goals for themselves.

Joseph L. Mattivi Award with a specialization in "Self-Starter & Leadership Award"
Melissa Rogers

Presented by:   Dr. Max Kazemzadeh, Professor/ACT Chairperson

The Joseph L. Mattivi Award goes to an Art & Media Design Major who has gone above and beyond the creative and technical requirements of the program, and have proven to be leaders in their field. Students were selected by the collective Art & Media Design Program faculty. While meeting all of the criteria for this award, each student is acknowledged for a specialization where they have exceeded most. The Joseph L. Mattivi Award with a specialization in "Self-Starter & Leadership Award" goes to Melissa Rogers. This specialization goes to the student who has represented a self-starter attitude throughout their education, conducting independent research and extra work where necessary to continually improve the quality of their project outcomes. This student has also exhibited leadership with the dedication to learning the material and making these creative processes their own, and then helping others achieve similar successes through their influence

Alice M. Teegarden Public Presentations Competition
1st Place -  Renate Rose - "Pink Tax"

2nd Place - Joseph Antonio - "Visual World, Our Oyster!"

3rd Place - Danielle Smith - "You Are Not Alone"
Presented by: Communications Studies Program

Recognizes excellence in Public Presenting. 
Communications Studies major or minor
Completed/currently taking COM 290: Public Presentations
Have a minimum GPA of 2.75
Currently enrolled as a student in good standing, as determined by the institution's policies.

Lambda Pi Eta National Communication Honor Society
Michael Slane
Danielle Jo Smith
Brittney Stuckert
Presented by: Communications Studies Program

Completed 60 semester credit hours
Have a minimum overall cumulative GPA of 3.0
Completed 12 semester credit hours in Communication Studies
Have a minimum GPA of 3.25 for all Communication Studies courses
Currently be enrolled as a student in good standing, as determined by the institution's policies

Congratulations on your outstanding academic achievements! We are proud of your hard work and all that you have accomplished. Both the Lambda Pi Eta and the Iota Nu Chapter are honored to welcome you as a member.

Grand Prize Winner - Bruce Hlibok Playwriting Competition
Anna Rose Wood-Jacobowitz

Presented by:  Ethan Sinnott, MFA, Professor of Theatre Arts; Program Director, Theatre and Dance (ACT)

Hello! My name is Ethan Sinnott, program director for Gallaudet University’s Theatre and Dance unit. It is with excitement that I present this award: this annual competition is made possible by the gracious contributions of the Hlibok family in honor of their son and brother, #deaftalent, well-known Deaf actor, director, and playwright, Bruce Hlibok. The goal of this competition is to encourage and support the creation of original plays for the stage by aspiring Deaf and hard-of-hearing writers. This year’s Grand Prize Winner is senior Theatre Arts major, Anna Rose Wood-Jacobowitz for her play, "Deafenstein." Congratulations!

Ear Ball Award

Shelby Norris


Annemarie Timling

Hello! My name is Sue Gill-Doleac. I am the director of the Gallaudet Dance Company. I hope everyone is safe and healthy.
I will be presenting five awards today.
First award is the Ear Ball Award for excellence in dance. It is awarded to a Gallaudet Dance Company member based upon the following criteria:

1) Loyalty to Gallaudet Dance Company
2) Performance ability
3) Number of shows the student has participated in
4) Have a strong interest in music
5) Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better

This award will be given to two new members of the company. Both are in the honors program and a valuable member of the dance company.
Who?  Shelby Norris and AnneMarie Timling
Congratulations!

Next award is called the Liberace Award for excellent in dance, music and theatre.
This award will be given to two outstanding students who are extremely talented in dance or theatre.
Who?  Lexine Brooks and Vicki Duncan
Congratulations!

Last award --- the Psi Iota Xi dance award.
This award will be given to the best, talented dancer and has contributed a lot to the Gallaudet Dance Company.
Who? Harmony Baniaga
Congratulations to all of you!

Liberace Award for excellence in dance, music, and theatre

Lexine Brooks

Vicki Duncan

Hello! My name is Sue Gill-Doleac. I am the director of the Gallaudet Dance Company. I hope everyone is safe and healthy.
I will be presenting five awards today.
First award is the Ear Ball Award for excellence in dance. It is awarded to a Gallaudet Dance Company member based upon the following criteria:

1) Loyalty to Gallaudet Dance Company
2) Performance ability
3) Number of shows the student has participated in
4) Have a strong interest in music
5) Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better

This award will be given to two new members of the company. Both are in the honors program and a valuable member of the dance company.
Who?  Shelby Norris and AnneMarie Timling
Congratulations!

Next award is called the Liberace Award for excellent in dance, music and theatre.
This award will be given to two outstanding students who are extremely talented in dance or theatre.
Who?  Lexine Brooks and Vicki Duncan
Congratulations!

Last award --- the Psi Iota Xi dance award.
This award will be given to the best, talented dancer and has contributed a lot to the Gallaudet Dance Company.
Who? Harmony Baniaga
Congratulations to all of you!

Psi Iota Xi Dance Award

Harmony Baniaga

Hello! My name is Sue Gill-Doleac. I am the director of the Gallaudet Dance Company. I hope everyone is safe and healthy.
I will be presenting five awards today.
First award is the Ear Ball Award for excellence in dance. It is awarded to a Gallaudet Dance Company member based upon the following criteria:

1) Loyalty to Gallaudet Dance Company
2) Performance ability
3) Number of shows the student has participated in
4) Have a strong interest in music
5) Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better

This award will be given to two new members of the company. Both are in the honors program and a valuable member of the dance company.
Who?  Shelby Norris and AnneMarie Timling
Congratulations!

Next award is called the Liberace Award for excellent in dance, music and theatre.
This award will be given to two outstanding students who are extremely talented in dance or theatre.
Who?  Lexine Brooks and Vicki Duncan
Congratulations!

Last award --- the Psi Iota Xi dance award.
This award will be given to the best, talented dancer and has contributed a lot to the Gallaudet Dance Company.
Who? Harmony Baniaga
Congratulations to all of you!

Department of ASL and Deaf Studies

Marie J. Philip Award
Allyson Paduano
Presented by:  Dr. Gene Mirus, Faculty/Major Advisor & Tawny Holmes Hlibok, Esq, Faculty & ASL & Deaf Studies Undergraduate Programs Coordinator

Gene Mirus: Hello all, every year, the Deaf Studies program gives out an award named the Marie J. Philip Award. To receive this award, the student must have a GPA of 3.0 or above, and be an undergraduate Deaf Studies major that shows leadership potential and contributes to the activities of the Department. With those four criteria in mind, faculty carefully screened students and agreed that we should recognize Allyson Paduano. We know she will do well in her career and we wish her the best of luck.

Photo shows Allyson presenting in front of a slide with assorted De’VIA art works and some excerpts of ASL poetry and ASL literature.   Text on the screen: “Allyson Paduano, Cultural Aspects of Language Deprivation, DST 595: Language Deprivation Seminar”.

Tawny Holmes Hlibok: Yes, one example of how we were impressed with Allyson. She really worked hard to gather student interest, complete paperwork to establish a new student organization that grew from our traditional activity “Bring Your Own Lunch”. The new student organization is named the Yerker Andersson Club, “YAC” for short. That student organization is for our ASL and Deaf Studies majors and minors but all students are welcome. By doing that, Allyson left a legacy. Thank you, Allyson, for your leadership and participation in classes, which always was thoughtful, motivated, and supportive to other classmates. We will be missing you here at Gallaudet.

Photos of students and faculty gathered in the open area lobby of the Department of ASL and Deaf Studies, Allyson presents to the group, posing with photos and printed banner

Text: “First Gathering, Yerker Andersson Club”

Dandelion animation movie with the text of “Department of ASL and Deaf Studies”

George W. Veditz Award
Manju Canuel

Presented by:  Wanda Riddle, Faculty/Major Advisor & Tawny Holmes Hlibok, Faculty & ASL and Deaf Studies Undergraduate Programs Coordinator

Wanda Riddle: Hello everyone! We the BA-ASL Program are thrilled to make this announcement. We tend to give this award every year. What is this award? It is the George W. Veditz award (shows Veditz’s name sign), which is typically awarded to a senior majoring in ASL with a good GPA plus active participation in departmental activities. After discussing, we decided to pick Manju Canuel (shows name sign).

Photo of Manju Canuel, with the text “ASL Major and Jumpstart Intern, Manju Canuel”.

Wanda Riddle: We truly are thrilled to give this award to Manju because she has done so much and contributed so much to our ASL program. For example, she has volunteered her times at Open House and helped coordinated the previous Bring Your Own Lunch program (lunchtime social) for one year, including bringing in guest presenters with my support. She also was actively participating in research, did an internship, did well in classes. She was very ambitious in classes, often showing her deep curiosity by asking questions and being engaged in her classwork. She really wowed us.

Photos show Manju volunteering at a booth (and receiving a certificate of appreciation) with her classmates and other volunteers at the ASL Day event at the Kendall Demonstration Elementary School in the spring of 2019. Text: “Volunteer, ASL Day at KDES”.

Tawny Holmes Hlibok: Yes, it’s for sure that we can say that Manju as a critical thinker. She really takes the time to think, takes assignments seriously, and always tries to see from varying perspectives.   We really appreciated her presence, discussion, participation, and volunteering. It was really great to have her in our department the past few years. We wish her the best of luck as she advances her career success. Congratulations, Manju!

Photo shows Manju presenting in front of a slide with her classmate, with a graphic of a brain, colorful text boxes, and several drawings. Text on the screen: The Critical Language Learning Period and Language Deprivation, DST 595 Presentation with Breannah Medina”.

Wanda Riddle: Wow, she really deserved this award. We are thrilled to give it to her. We can see how she grew from when she entered our program. She was shy and unsure of herself, but now is extremely confident in sharing her thoughts. My heart is touched. I’m thrilled to know that she has been accepted at Boston University as a graduate student in Deaf Education this fall. That is incredible to her success! Again, we are thrilled for her. Congratulations, Manju! (Makes a warm and heartfelt gesture) Thank you.

Dandelion animation movie with the text of “Department of ASL and Deaf Studies”

Department of Business

Dr. Frank B. Sullivan Excellent in Business Award
Patricia Schmidt

Presented by: Dr. Qi Wang, Chair of Department of Business Student Award Committee

Hi, I am Dr. Qi Wang from Department of Business. Today, representing my department Chair, Professor Emilia Chukwuma, the department faculty, and the Student Award Committee, I am here to present Dr. Frank B. Sullivan “Excellence in Business” Award to the most outstanding graduating senior with all-around excellence. This year, the award goes to Patricia Schmidt who is expected to graduate in May from the University Honors’ Program with a BS in Accounting, GPA of 3.98, a graduate program admission from the University of Texas at Austin, and a summer internship offer at Earnest & Young. What an accomplished student leader! Congratulations, Patricia! We are very proud of your achievement!

The Joe Mattivi Scholarship Award
Sean O’Callaghan
Guy Trexler
Daniella Reyna
Eliza Craddock

Presented by: Dr. Qi Wang, Chair of Department of Business Student Award Committee

Hi, I am Dr. Qi Wang from Department of Business. Today, representing the department Chair, Professor Emilia Chukwuma, the faculty, and the Student Award Committee, I am here to present the Joe Mattivi Scholarship Award for students who meet the following criteria: 1) are in their junior year; 2) have a GPA above 3.0; and 3) have a financial need.. This year, the award recipients are: Sean O’Callaghan, Guy Trexler, Daniella Reyna, and Eliza Craddock. Congratulations! We wish these students a continued success in their studies at Gallaudet University!

The Professional Development Award
Michael Haynes Video embe
Presented by: Dr. Qi Wang, Chair of Department of Business Student Award Committee

Hi, I am Dr. Qi Wang from Department of Business. Today, representing the department Chair, Professor Emilia Chukwuma, the faculty, and the Student Award Committee, I am here to present the Professional Development Award for the student has demonstrated the most improvement academically in the academic year. This year, the award goes to Michael Haynes. Congratulations, Michael, we wish you continued success in your studies at Gallaudet University!

Department of Business Academic Excellence Award
Lyndsey Cox - Accounting

Angie Bedoya - Business Administration

Nabeela Schollenberger - Risk Management and Insurance
Presented by: Dr. Qi Wang, Chair of Department of Business Student Award Committee

Hi, I am Dr. Qi Wang from Department of Business. Today, representing the department Chair, Professor Emilia Chukwuma, the faculty, and the Student Award Committee, I am here to present the Department of Business Academic Excellence Award for outstanding graduating seniors with the highest GPA in each program. This year, the award recipients are: Lyndsey Cox of the Accounting Program, Angie Bedoya of the Business Administration Program, and Nabeela Schollenberger of the Risk Management and Insurance. Congratulations! We wish these students a great success in their future careers!

The Alvan Nevel Memorial Foundation Award
Theodore Miller
Presented by: Dr. Qi Wang, Chair of Department of Business Student Award Committee

Hi, I am Dr. Qi Wang from Department of Business. Today, representing the department Chair, Professor Emilia Chukwuma, the faculty, and the Student Award Committee, I am here to present the Alvan Nevel Memorial Foundation Award for the student has achieved the most outstanding Internship Experience. This year, the award goes to Theodore Miller. Congratulations, Theodore, we wish you a great success in your future career!

Department of Education

Undergraduate Education Award

Hannah Neild

Aaliyah Cheatham

Presented by:  Dr. Thangi Appanah, BA Program Director

I'm Thangi Appanah, BA Program Director, Department of Education. The Department of Education presents the Undergraduate Education Award to an undergraduate student who demonstrates outstanding performance in both their coursework and student teaching. This year the faculty nominated two students for this award. They are Hannah Neild and Aaliyah Cheatham. Congratulations!! Your award will be mailed to you. Thank you.

Metamorphosis Award
Morgan Anderson
Presented by:  Dr. Thangi Appanah, BA Program Director

I'm Thangi Appanah, BA Program Director, Department of Education. The Department of Education presents the Metamorphosis Award. This award is presented to a student who demonstrates an extraordinary transformation throughout undergraduate studies in the Education major. This year, faculty nominated Morgan Anderson for this award. Congratulations!! Your award will be mailed to you. Thank you!

Department of English

Rakow Creative Writing Awards


Maxwell Graham-Putter

Jaclyn Gleicher
Jack Kalil

[Video Forthcoming]
Presented by:

MacDougall Creative Writing Awards


1st Place: Payne Yance
2nd Place: Devin Goldstein

[Video Forthcoming]
Presented by: 

Department of Government & Public Affairs

Outstanding Senior Government Student
Parker Holt
Presented by:   Dr. David Penna

Hello! I am the chair of the Department of Government & Public Affairs, David Penna. Today I am here to recognize the outstanding senior government student. It is my pleasure to present this award to Parker Holt. Congratulations Parker. In your time here at Gallaudet we have enjoyed working with you and watching your development as a government major. Thank you!

Peace Corps Prep Certificate
Grace Kelleher
Presented by:   Dr. David Penna

Hello. I am Dr. David Penna from the Government and Public Affairs Department. I am also the coordinator of the Peace Corps Prep Program. This program is a nationwide program that follows curriculum requirements developed by the US Peace Corps headquarter. More than 70 different universities in the country follow this program. At the end of the completed program students receive a certificate from the Peace Corps. This year we have one student who has completed the requirements for the program. I am happy to give the certificate to Grace Kelleher. Congratulations Grace!

Pre-Law Writing Award
Jaemi Hagen
Presented by:   Dr. David Penna

Hello. I am Dr. David Penna from the Government and Public Affairs Department. Today I am here to award the prize for the best law related writing. Every year we have an open competition for the best paper written related to law – it can be about any legal topic. This year, the winner is a graduate student in the MSW program—Masters of Social Work. The winner is Jaemi Hagen The paper is about the state juvenile justice system in Illinois. The paper advocates for reform in this system to make it more fair. Congratulations Jaemi—great job!

Department of History, Philosophy, Religion, and Sociology

Outstanding Graduating History Senior
Outstanding History Major

Brianna DiGiovanni - Outstanding Graduating History Senior

Claire Lucas - Outstanding History Major

Presented by: Dr.  Brian Greenwald

My name is Brian Greenwald, Professor of History from the HPRS Department, History program. We know that recognizing our student's accomplishments are an important part of academic life at Gallaudet. Covid 19 has impacted our work this semester but we believe it is more important than ever to recognize the outstanding work of our students with your peers, faculty, and administrators. The History Program from the HPRS Department is pleased to recognize two outstanding history majors. It is the unanimous opinion of the History faculty to award --as Most Outstanding Graduating Senior: Brianna DiGiovanni and Most Outstanding History Major: Claire Lucas Congratulations! Please accept this certificate and monetary award in recognition of your excellent work as a History major. Once again, congratulations!

James E. Haynes Award for Excellence in the Study of Philosophy
Justin Rutledge

Presented by:  Dr. Barbara Stock and Eleu

Hi! The Philosophy program from the Department of History, Philosophy, Religion, and Sociology is excited to offer this award -- the James E. Haynes Award for Excellence in the Study of Philosophy. Dr. Haynes was the first Deaf person to earn a PhD in Philosophy. This award recognizes students who show the following three characteristics: (1) intellectual curiosity -- fascination with philosophical questions, continuously questioning; (2) strong logical/analytic skills, in order to problem solve and find answers to questions; (3) motivation to engage in debate in the classroom and outside of the classroom. My assistant couldn't wait to announce the winner: Justin Rutledge! And here's my assistant -- Eleu says, "Congratulations!" [meow]

Interfaith Leadership Award

Victoria Sosaya

Presented by: Dr. Kirk VanGilder

The Interfaith Leadership Award is given to a student, who through their time at Gallaudet, the qualities and capabilities to increase appreciative knowledge, inform people, connect people, and create partnerships. This builds a better Gallaudet community by bringing together people of different religious, spiritual, and non-religious backgrounds. This year's recipient began in their first year voluntarily attending interfaith events, not as required class activities. They continued to involve themselves with interfaith action both on and off campus. In their senior year, they intentionally sought out an internship with the Interfaith Council of Washington, DC and took the Interfaith leadership course to learn the theory, research, and ideas behind effective leadership and excellence. This year's recipient is Victoria Sosaya! Congratulations on your achievement and graduation. You will continue to shine brightly!
[photo credit: Sui Cer]

Sociology Award
Kevin Fitzpatrick

Presented by:  Prof. Julie Fennell

My name is Julie Fennell, and I'm a Sociology professor here at Gallaudet. It's my pleasure to present the program's annual award to Kevin Fitzpatrick. He worked with Everett Polzin (who graduated in December) on an excellent research project about the challenges and complications Deaf people face interacting with the police. Together, the two students interviewed police officers and interpreters about working with Deaf people. I look forward to seeing Kevin's future work with the criminal justice system.

Department of Interpretation and Translation

Marie Jean Philip Award
and
Blaise Wafo Ndestatsin Award

Marie Jean Philip Awardees:

Emma Fitzhugh
Meagan Johnson
Elisha Watson
Brianna McCormack

Blaise Wafo Ndestatsin Awardee:

Raquel Taz Espinoza-Ortega

Presented by: Dr Steven Collins, BAI coordinator Hello, this is Dr. Steven D. Collins, faculty member of the Department of Interpretation and Translation. Behalf of our department faculty members are thrilled to present two awards to our senior students.  Marie Jean Philip Award

The Marie Jean Philip Award is awarded to an exemplary senior graduating with a bachelor of arts in interpretation who demonstrates excellence in academics and interpreting.  Recipients are:
1) Emma Fitzhugh
2) Meagan Johnson
3) Elisha Watson
4) Brianna McCormack

The Blaise Wafo Ndestatsin Award:The Blaise Wafo Ndetatsin Award is awarded to a senior. Graduating with a bachelor of arts in interpretation who made outstanding contributions to a Deaf community on or off the university campus.

Recipients of the Blaise Wafo Ndetatsin Award.1) Raquel Taz Espinoza-Ortega



Department of Linguistics

Linguistics Outstanding Student Award

Tayla Newman

Shentara Cobb

Presented by:  Dr. Deanna Gagne, Dr. Risa Shaw, Dr. Miako Villanueva, Dr. Julie Hochgesang, Dr. Deborah Chen Pichler

We are really excited to announce the nominees for our Linguistics Outstanding Student Award! The Linguistics department wants to recognize the students nominated for the Outstanding Student Award. The competition was tough as we have many hard working, highly achieving graduating students. All our students have put in a lot of work showing their passion to the field of Linguistics. This year we have two nominees. First, we’d like to nominate Tayla Newman. Congratulations Tayla, from all of us! Tayla has performed superbly across her Linguistics courses, showing support for her classmates and involvement in research projects such as the ASL Signbank during her LIN 480 course. Her work has truly impressed our faculty. Second, we would like to nominate Shentara Cobb. Congratulations, Shentara, from all of us! Shentara embodies the passion and involvement we hope to see from burgeoning linguists. Her dedication to constantly improving her work was noted by our faculty and truly shows how she dove right in to thinking about tough linguistics related questions. Shentara often encourages others to come and see what Linguistics is about, showing her involvement not only academically but in our various departmental events. Congratulations to both of you, we look forward to seeing you and your contributions to our community and our field grow. We hope to see you again soon! Congratulations!

Department of Physical Education and Recreation

Dorothy Hamberg Memorial Leadership

Jomar Figueroa

Presented by:  Dr. Carol Riddick, Vanessa Arp, Ryan Barlongo, Michael Breechen, Dr. Curtis Clemens, Sarah Burton-Doleac, YooJung Rhee and Keith Sanfacon

Hi, my name is Vanessa Arp (sign name), and I am an instructor with the Physical Education and Recreation Department (PER). On behalf of our PER department, it was a challenge for us to select only one student. We wish we could award all the juniors and seniors who worked hard within and outside of the PER Department. Our PER department is pleased to announce the award of the Dorothy Hamberg Memorial Leadership Award to Jomar Figueroa. Let me share this man who has demonstrated overall outstanding characteristics and leadership skills. Jomar shared his greatest passion, collaboration, investment, and made a lot of contributions to the Gallaudet community. Jomar has a vibrant personality and is highly respectful towards a wide variety of essential people. Jomar demonstrated his ability to lead multiple tasks within and outside the department. Jomar has a bright future ahead of him and will make a significant contribution to the deaf community. Our PER Department is proud of you for your outstanding leadership skills. Congratulations, Jomar!

Department of Psychology

Outstanding Psychology Major Award

Channalee Phelan

Isabelle Troup

Presented by:  Dr Daniel Koo, Psychology UG Program Director

The Department of Psychology UG program is thrilled to announce our 2020 Outstanding Psychology Major Award. This award recognizes two students for their exemplary scholarship, outstanding professional growth, and promise for making significant contributions to the field of psychology. Their names are Channalee Phelan and Isabelle Troup. Congratulations!

Department of Science, Technology and Mathematics

Charles R. Ely Award

Aashni Kamra

Casey Peck

Jenny Mendis

Presented by:  Dr. Daniel J. Lundberg, Professor. Director, Biology Program and Chemistry & Physics Program

Hi everyone, I’m Dr. Daniel Lundberg, program director for both the Biology Program and the Chemistry & Physics Program, the science programs at Gallaudet University. Every year, we give a cash award to the student(s) who show the most proficiency in the sciences, from one to several students every year. The Charles R. Ely Award is named in honor of Dr. Charles Ely, class of 1892, who was also a member of the Gallaudet faculty and college vice president. His family established the award in 1939 from 17 shares of Potomac Electric Power Company. The income from that fund is given as a scholarship to the student(s) who show the most proficiency in the sciences. This year, faculty in both programs looked at the GPAs and work ethic of our majors. We all agreed that 3 students were most deserving of the award – each student will get a $2,156 award: Aashni Kamra (biology major), Casey Peck (biology major), and Jenny Mendis (chemistry major). Again, congratulations! Keep up your great work; we all are proud of you.

Most Outstanding General Chemistry Student
Andrew Makarewicz
Presented by:  Dr. Daniel J. Lundberg, Professor. Director, Biology Program and Chemistry & Physics Program

Hi everyone, I’m Dr. Daniel Lundberg. On behalf of the Chemistry & Physics program, we are proud to announce the most outstanding General Chemistry student award. That award is given to a student who is enrolled in the general chemistry lecture/lab courses for both the fall/spring semesters. These classes are considered the gateway course for the chemistry major and for students in the science field. That student shows the best effort in academic work and a good attitude, supportive of his/her classmates, like a true scientist. The student is…… Andrew Makarewicz. Congratulations! He is a biology major and chemistry minor. What will you be getting, Andrew? You will get a nice certificate and what is considered the “Chemistry Bible” – the Handbook of Chemistry & Physics. We all hope you will put this to good use in your future endeavors. Again, congratulations!

Gallaudet Information Technology Program Award by Google

Emelia Beldon

Presented by: R aja KushalnagarAssociate Professor and Director, Information Technology Program

Congratulations, Emelia Beldon! This is Raja Kushalnagar, Director of Information Technology Program. I am delighted to give you the 2020 Gallaudet Information Technology Program Award. This award was funded by the Information Technology Program, a unit of the Department of Science, Technology and Mathematics and Google’s exploring Computer Science Research Award.

Leon Auerbach Freshman Mathematics Award
Elijah Solomon
Presented by: Dr.  James Nickerson

I am James Nickerson, Gallaudet Class of 1980. I am the Director of the Mathematics Program in the Department of Science, Technology, and Mathematics. I am here to present the Leon Auerbach Freshman Mathematics Award. This award has been given annually for over forty years to the outstanding freshman mathematics student. This year's winner is Elijah Solomon.

Extraordinary Public Health Student Award
Zachary Davenport

Presented by: Prof.  Abbi Simons

On behalf of the public health program, we would like to present the Extraordinary Public Health Student Award to Zachary Davenport. Zachary has demonstrated exceptional dedication in upholding public health values through his work with Peer Health Advocates, enriching his experience via multiple internships and volunteer opportunities, and working consistently hard to succeed academically. We are proud of all of your hard work! Congratulations!

Academic Excellence in Public Health Award
Aashni Kamra
Presented by: Prof.  Abbi Simons

On behalf of the public health program, we would like to present the Academic Excellence in Public Health Award to Aashni Kamra. In addition to Aashni's successful internship and work endeavors, she has consistently maintained excellence in her academic studies as a Honors student frequently making the Dean's list and earning a Provost's excellence award. Her outstanding honors capstone project on Investigating Birth Outcomes Among Deaf Mothers: Hospital vs. Home Births. We are proud of all of your hard work! Congratulations!

Public Health Student Advocacy Award
Tiffany Anderson
Presented by: Prof.  Abbi Simons

On behalf of the public health program, we would like to present the Public Health Student Advocacy Award to Tiffany Anderson. Tiffany has exemplified advocacy in the public health arena by her work with a program to positively influence sexual health by providing students effective skills and tools to feel comfortable with their bodies, confident in their knowledge, and empowered in their decision-making abilities. She also worked with school aged kids on sexual health curriculum. Keep up with your advocacy skills, we are proud of you! Congratulations!

Department of Social Work

Social Work Professional Development Award

Rachel Ebner

Connor Kolovitz

Presented by: Dr. Lynda Myers

It is now awards day, congratulations for all who have made it here! I'm Lynda Myers, Department of Social Work, to present the Social Work Department Professional Development Award. Awarded to the senior social work major who demonstrates exceptional professional growth during the major as measured by; degree of personal identification, growth, and maturity in performance in Social Work courses and internship.
Awarded to two students this year who kept moving and found a way through...they crawled, they walked, and ran, till they flew!
The 2020 award winners are Rachel Ebner and Connor Kolovitz. 
Rachel Ebner interned at DC Safe. She's fun spirited with a positive attitude - the cheerleader of the class! Rachel is currently training two new staff members at her internship. That is a huge compliment that her field supervisor trusts her completely with the training.
Connor interned at a LGBTQ youth home. Congratulations Connor on your professional development award. I am so happy for you. I am so grateful to have had you be a member of the Wanda Alston family this year and we are all looking for great things from you! - Quinn Gee-Edwards. Connor Kolovitz is highly motivated, committed, and always looks out for his classmates-- such a caring supporter! Connor helped his team write a grant proposal which gave them $20,000 to provide clinical interventions.
Congratulations to all of out social work seniors. We celebrate your dedication and hard work! You are all rock stars!

Rising Social Work Star Award
Sally Sauve
Issac Harris
Presented by:  Dr. Pucci

Rising Social Work Star Award is awarded to the senior social work major who consistently demonstrates outstanding performance in class, field, and the program. This student also illustrates a commitment to excellence and a drive to be a life-long learner who is an asset to the field of social work and the value of social justice. Now, who will receive the award? We have decided to give the award to two students. First, the award goes to…. Sally Sauve. We will tell you who the second recipient later. Sally, your professors want to say few words about you. Dr. Takayama said: “.. a role model!” Dr. Myers said: “...a dedicated scholar who has taken on many community leadership roles such as MuPi social coordination.” And I have a few words about you: “…a sweet-spirited student with a positive attitude!”
Now, who is the second recipient? Issac Harris. Dr. Takayama said: “…such a gentleman and lifelong learner!” Dr. Myers said: “…has a playful personality and is very supportive of other students.” I have a few words to share: “…a thriving and committed student with a good heart.” Congratulations, Issac and Sally!

The Dorothy Polakoff Award

Chanai Brewster

Presented by:  Dr. Kota Takayama, BSW Program Director

Hello everyone! My name is Dr. Kota Takayama and I am the BSW program director. The Dorothy Polakoff Award is given to the social work senior with the highest academic achievement as measured by GPA in social work courses and performance in social work internship. Professor. Dorothy Polakoff was the founder of the Department of Social Work. The Dorothy Polokoff Award is presented to……….. Chanai Brewster! Here is what BSW faculty have to say about Chanai. Dr. Lynda Myers says that a cheerful mature and supportive member of the SWK learning community. Dr. Concetta Pucci says that a great innovator to think out of the box! Chanai came up with this idea to create an advocacy video to all high school students and administrators about the Cogswell-Macy Act which shows that she is very creative with approaches! Proud of you! And congratulations!

Program and Unit Awards

Division of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Multicultural Student Academic Excellence
Jamal Garner
Jesse Mendez
Presented by:  'Bunmi Aina, Director, Division of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Greetings. On behalf of everyone in the Division of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, I am pleased to present our two nominees of for the Multicultural Student Academic Excellence Award, Jamal Garner and Jesse Mendez. Jamal Garner is a rising senior in Business and Risk Management and Insurance. I have seen him grow from a high school stripling attending the Discover Your Future (DYF) summer camp, to a standout student-athlete, a star student, and a student leader. Jesse Mendez is a graduate student in Counseling with a fine, empathetic mind, integrity, dedication to his studies and to bettering this community at large. Both Jamal and Jesse have sedulously applied their keen awareness of the importance of advancing equity and inclusion at our diverse university. I thank you.

Schuchman Deaf Documentary Center

Schuchman Award for Student Excellence
Brianna DiGiovanni
Presented by:  Brian H. Greenwald, PhD

On behalf of the Schuchman Center, we are pleased to offer the inaugural Schuchman Award for Student Excellence. This award recognizes a student committed to documenting stories in film, photo, or new media formats. The recipient consistently demonstrates exemplary documentation and ethical collaboration. This year's awardee has done outstanding work on a project documenting the stories of Deaf New Yorkers. Conducting filmed interviews, completing lengthy ASL to English translations and accuracy checks, creating timelines, and researching archival and family collections are among her many accomplishments. For demonstrating outstanding care and attention to documentation, we are pleased to present this award to Brianna DiGiovanni!

General Studies Program

Kathryn "Kitty" Baldridge Award for Excellence In Teaching General Studies
Dr. Jane Nickerson
Presented by: Dr. Paige Franklin,  Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Education

Good day! I am here to award The Kathryn "Kitty" Baldridge Award for Excellence in Teaching General Studies. Below are the criteria for the award. 1. Demonstrate interdisciplinary approach to teaching 2. Employ active learning strategies 3. Emphasize the Student Learning Outcomes 4. Comply with assessment—end-of-semester student performance assessment, student perception assessment (4th week and end-of-semester student evaluations), and peer observations 5. Currently, be teaching GSR or have taught GSR in the recent past. The award goes to Dr. Jane Nickerson, Professor of English. Dr. Nickerson has been involved in the GSR program since its inception in 2007. Her support began when she was department chair and lasted throughout the years. In recent years, she coordinated GSR 210 and GSR 300. She taught different GSR courses, and is known for her GSR 300 course: Preserving our Past for the Future: Creating Films for Deaf StoryCorps, which was featured on Gallaudet Facebook page in 2017. It has been one of most popular courses. One of her former students explained why it was one of her favorite courses. Her GSR 300 always fills quickly. Dr. Nickerson is respected and liked by her students and colleagues. She has always been committed to the GSR program through high quality work related to her coordinator duties. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Jane Nickerson on the award. The speaker is Dr. Paige Franklin, Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Education. She has the temporary overview responsibility of the General Studies Requirements (GSR).

Gallaudet Technology Services & Teaching and Learning with Technology Committee

Excellence in Teaching and Learning with Technology Award
Todd Bonheyo, Department of Science, Technology, and Math
Presented by:  Jacquelyn Lally & George Ketcham

I'm George Ketcham, this is my sign name. I nominate who, Todd Bonheyo. Why have I nominated him? He is one of the best teachers I've seen. I have a seven year college career and he is one of the top teachers I have ever seen. He is a top teacher because he takes the time to explain technology at the beginning of the semester with an "everything you need to know" page with links to homework assignments and everything right there. This makes it easy to keep track of your progress. When the pandemic hit, he made a video that would explain the lessons. He also led a 15 minute meeting every Friday to check in and see how you were doing. He has a heart for students and a system that is easy to predict. I nominate him for the Excellence in Teaching and Learning with Technology Award.


Office of Student Success

JumpStart Program Outstanding Student Service Award

Riley Schultz

Presented by:  Ashley Pabon, Student Success Coach

The JumpStart: ASL Program is an interactive summer program for incoming students who are emerging signers and new to the Deaf Community. This award recognizes a student paraprofessional staff within Student Success who has shown dedication and commitment to the JumpStart: ASL program and contributed their time, energy, and talents to further the growth of Emerging Signers and JumpStart students. The award goes to Riley Schultz. Riley has been working for the JumpStart: ASL Program from 2018 to present, progressively moving up in her leadership roles. Riley is very committed to her work and believes in supporting emerging signers as they learn ASL and become members of Gallaudet and the Deaf community. JumpStart students often come to Riley for support throughout the academic year. She started as a Peer Counselor in 2018, was promoted to Senior Peer Counselor in 2019 and will be working with JumpStart again this summer as the JumpStart Graduate Assistant. She is well liked by her peers. We are fortunate to have her working with us and look forward to her leadership this summer as the Graduate Assistant.

Outstanding Student Service Award

Grace Kelleher
Presented by:  Ashley Pabon, Student Success Coach

This award recognizes a student staff who has made outstanding contributions to the Office of Student Success. The student staff has committed their time, energy, and talents to further the growth and development of undergraduate students in various programs of JumpStart, New Student Orientation, and Peer Mentorship. The award goes to Grace Kelleher. Gracie has worked in various roles in the Office of Student Success since 2017. Gracie worked as a peer mentor for two full academic years from Fall 2017 to Spring 2019. She served as the Orientation Team Leader for the Family Orientation Program and New Student Orientation. In Fall 2019, she was promoted to Senior Peer Mentor. Gracie first arrived at Gallaudet as a new signer in the JumpStart ASL program and she has grown into an amazing individual with strong leadership abilities and a quick sassy wit. She is deeply committed to her job and believes in paying it forward - ensuring new students and their families have the same quality experience as she and her family did when she first arrived at Gallaudet.

Orientation Programs Outstanding Student Service Award

Pablo Gonazlez Jr

Presented by:  Lorenzo Lewis, Student Success Coach

This award recognizes a student staff who has made outstanding contributions to the Office of Student Success. The student staff has committed their time, energy, and talents to further the growth and development of undergraduate students in Orientation programs. The award goes to Pablo Gonazlez Jr. He started his career in Student Success in 2017 as a Peer Mentor and has served as the Orientation Team Leader for both the Summer of 2018 and 2019. He implemented many new fun ideas for the Orientation Programs and deserves to be recognized for his hard work and amazing ability to take naps in the oddest places. His quick laugh and engaging personality are the perfect combination for welcoming all new and transfer students and making sure that they have a smooth transition from home to college life. He is well-liked by his peers, new students, and transfer students. We are excited to have him working with us for this summer for the Family Orientation Program. Thank you Pablo.

Student Success Outstanding Student Service Award

Marilee Williams
Presented by:  Uriel Torres, Student Success Coordinator

This award recognizes a student staff who has made outstanding contributions to the Office of Student Success. The student staff has committed their time, energy, and talents to further the growth and development of undergraduate students in various programs of JumpStart, New Student Orientation, and Peer Mentorship. The award goes to Mel Williams. Mel has worked for the Office of Student Success since 2017 and has really come a long way since that first week of training. We are fortunate to have Mel working with us. Mel started as a peer mentor in 2017, was promoted to Peer Coach in 2018, and in 2019 served as the Student Success media specialist. In addition to these roles, Mel has also worked for the JumpStart Program and New Student Orientation. We benefitted from Mel’s art talent - she designed an amazing logo for NSO 2019. During Mel’s first year, Mel always checked in with her first-year students and would stop by at Benson Hall to talk with her students and offer study groups. Mel went the extra mile to support her students, her peer mentors, and fellow peer coaches to check. We’ve have enjoyed seeing Mel’s talents and skills emerge and grow during her time with us. Thank you for everything you’ve done for our students, Mel!


Note: any late submitted awards will be added to this site by June 1, 2020