George Williams College

GWC congratulates 2020-2021 student honors and awards recipients

GWC congratulates 2020-2021 student honors and awards recipients

GWC students were recently recognized for their achievements in academics, leadership, and campus involvement during an honors reception in April. While we were able to present awards to the students in person, we were unable to gather as a community to celebrate. Therefore, we are sharing the list of 2020–2021 honorees and award recipients for proper recognition. Congratulations to all!

ACADEMIC AWARDS

Dean’s List

The Dean’s List for the fall 2020 semester recognizes students who have earned a 3.6 GPA or higher. Students recognized with high honors have earned a perfect 4.0.

Dean’s List with HIGH HONORS (4.0 GPA)
Alyssa Balfanz
Eliza Barragan
Danielle Bonngard
Alivia Bradford
Brian Chatfield
Leo Clark
Miranda Coombs
Clarissa Dodillet
Sarah Drafall
Kevin Eggert
Anais Friedrich
Courtnie Gabala
Fatima Gomez
Katherine Graham
Demi Grant
Yatzary Huerta
Ashley Kaddatz
Hadlie Kelly
Tamra Kubly
Hanna Major
Margrethe Marie Makasiar
Ashley Martin
Cherie Meinen
Melissa Murphy
Mary Nash
Gianna Nelson
Rosemary Nelson
Sabrina Opiela
Alexis Perez
Katelyn Perryman
Teagen Petersen
Allivia Pierangeli
Natasha Rees
Colin Ritchie
Jacqueline Rodarte
Lauren Scalise
Brittany Smith
George Somerville
Dylan Straube
Regan Thurow
Courtney Timm
Jessica Urewicz
Amy VanDerway
Sarah Vazquez
Molly Viktora
Hailey Vyskocil
Janessa Walker
Annalise Warren
Zena Wells

Dean’s List (3.6 GPA and above)
Jazmyn Bottcher
Elizabeth Bunge
Angeline Doman
Alejandro Esparza
Rachel Fuller
Abigail Gomez
McKayla Greaney
Olivia Hesterly
Breanna Huston
Amanda Jaeger
Sunnie Johnson
Dalila LeBeau
Jenna Malandrino
Emily McCulloh
Malary Morse
Fabiola Ortiz
Jessica Ortiz
Alyssa Sanders
Abigail Sprigler
Hannah Starr
Christina Tellez
Klaudia Williams

Gold Ivy Leaf Award

The Gold Ivy Leaf Award represents superior scholarship for those students who have completed a minimum of 90 semester hours at Aurora University and are graduating with at least Magna Cum Laude honors (3.75 to 3.89).

Recipients
Kevin Eggert
Meg Makasiar
Lauren Scalise
Hailey Vyskocil

SCHOOL OF NURSING AWARDS

Sharon Beverly Award

Each year, one student from the School of Nursing is awarded the Sharon Beverly Award. This award is presented in cooperation with the Delta Phi Alpha Sorority to a senior nursing major who most exemplifies spirit, determination, and leadership. Beverly was a nursing major who persisted toward her degree despite the hardship of a full leg amputation due to bone cancer. Tragically, Beverly died before achieving her goal, but left us all with the lingering spirit of who she was and what she achieved.

This year’s recipient of the Sharon Beverly Award lost his wife and is raising their daughter with the help of his parents as he pursues his career in nursing. He wishes to become a hospice nurse to help others during difficult times. The School of Nursing presents the Sharon Beverly Award for the 2020–2021 academic year to Andrew Larkin.

Gertrude Banaszak Award

This Gewrtrude Banaszak Award is presented to a student who is completing the baccalaureate degree. Banaszak was the director of the Copley Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, the forerunner to Aurora University’s School of Nursing. The award recognizes commitment to the nursing profession and excellence in the pursuit of higher education.

This year’s recipient of the Gertrude Banaszak Award is an excellent student and has an exceptional attitude toward learning as well as understanding the 'art' of nursing. She serves on the School of Nursing Curriculum Committee and provides valuable insight into curriculum decisions from a perspective of excellence in higher education. Her dedication to the nursing profession is evident in both her commitment to committee involvement and providing excellent patient care. The School of Nursing presents the Gertrude Banaszak Award for the 2020–2021 academic year to Courtnie Gabala.

Clinical Excellence Award

Clinical excellence in the School of Nursing is defined by understanding of the role of the professional nurse and by demonstrating cultural competence, interprofessional collaboration, and leadership in the care of the clients. This award is presented to one student on the AU campus and one student on the GWC campus who most exemplifies the values of the nursing program: altruism, autonomy, human dignity, integrity, and social justice.

Dylan Straube is a very strong student in the clinical setting and in the classroom. He exhibits a high level of leadership with peers and in interactions in the clinical setting. Dylan demonstrates a high level of clinical competence and knowledge with every patient interaction. He has received many positive remarks from his clinical agency in regard to his competence and willingness to assist with any patient interaction.

Dylan challenges himself every clinical day. He finds opportunities to practice his skills as well as seeks out opportunities to advance his knowledge. Dylan has completed many difficult skills in the clinical setting with confidence, professionalism, and positive patient interactions. He has consistently gone above and beyond in his clinical practice. When he is presented with a test or rare diagnosis in which he is unfamiliar, Dylan will take it upon himself to learn everything he can about it and then goes on to teach both his fellow classmates and his instructor. With medical advancements changing so often in the clinical setting, there were many instances where Dylan educated peers in post conference. Another example of how Dylan goes above and beyond in regards to his clinical practice was when he taught himself to read 12-lead ECGs. The students are not required to know how to interpret a 12-lead ECG, only to understand the basics of reading cardiac rhythms. Dylan researched how to interpret this test, gained knowledge from professionals, and practiced by looking at multiple ECG examples. Dylan is a strong clinical student in every aspect.

Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society

The mission of the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), is advancing world health and celebrating nursing excellence in scholarship, leadership, and service. STTI membership is by invitation to baccalaureate and graduate nursing students who demonstrate excellence in scholarship and to nurse leaders exhibiting exceptional achievements in nursing.

Inductees
Sarah Drafall
Courtnie Gabala
Megan Laing
Whitney Morgan
Rachel Schuldt
Dylan Straube
Regan Thurow
Amy VanDerway
Natalie Wiess
Emma Wotring

SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK AWARDS

Outstanding Social Work Student Award

The Outstanding Social Work Student Award is awarded to a GWC graduating senior who has consistently demonstrated the core values and practice behaviors put forth by both the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics and the Council on Social Work Education. The core values of social work include service, social justice, respecting the dignity and self-worth of others, recognition of the importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence.

The social work faculty is proud to present the Outstanding Social Work Student Award to Melissa Murphy. Melissa demonstrates the qualities of a social worker in her classwork and internship, and as a valued member of the GWC community. Through her creativity, initiative, and ideas, Melissa provides leadership in the social work program. Through her participation in the Social Work Club, her strong support of the success and connectedness of her cohort, and by bringing in many inspirational guest speakers from the community into her classes, Melissa creates energy and enthusiasm for the profession of social work on campus and in the broader community.

Phi Alpha Honor Society

The Phi Alpha Honor Society is a national social work honor society that recognizes academic excellence among undergraduate students. We have chosen to call this society Phi Alpha which means “love of humanity,” and we have adopted the colors blue and gold. These GWC students have been selected by the Zeta Epsilon Chapter to become members of the National Social Work Honor Society because they have demonstrated an interest in the profession of social work; they have attained academic excellence not only in social work education, but also in all other academic areas; and we believe they are dedicated to the idea of service to humanity. They have also demonstrated a commitment to the standards, ethics, and goals of the social work profession.

Inductees
Danielle Bonngard
Brian Chatfield
Anais Friedrich
Hadlie Kelly
Cherie Meinen
Melissa Murphy

PSYCHOLOGY PROGRAM AWARDS

Psi Chi Honor Society

Psi Chi is an international honor society whose purpose is to encourage, stimulate, and maintain excellence in scholarship of individual members in all fields, particularly in psychology, and to advance the science of psychology. Requirements for membership include being a psychology major or minor; having completed at least three semesters or equivalent of full-time college coursework; having completed at least 9 semester credit hours or equivalent of psychology courses; having a minimum 3.0 GPA average for psychology courses; and having earned a cumulative GPA that is in the top 35% of their class compared to their classmates across Aurora University.

Inductees
Sabrina Opiela
Katie Perryman
George Somerville
Parker Wilson

STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND INVOLVEMENT

George Williams College Faculty Award

The George Williams College Faculty Award recognizes an outstanding graduating senior for embodiment of ideals true to Sir George Williams and his worldwide mission. Recipients demonstrate the GWC ideals of community service, service to George Williams College, authentic learning, regard for the whole person, and service through diverse and global ties.

There is no question that this year’s recipient embodies the ideals of Sir George Williams. This student always went above and beyond to serve the GWC community in all their needs. There is probably not a student, staff, or faculty member that was not helped by this individual or touched in some way by their personality. This student went beyond his duty and gave up his time to support all. He has always been involved in many activities and clubs and willing to share their knowledge and expertise without questions. This student has also maintained a 4.0 cumulative GPA in his time at GWC. He would even make us smile with the signs of his crafty work from little paper boats to snowmen scattered throughout campus. The recipient of the 2020–2021 George Williams College Faculty award is Kevin Eggert.

Student Employment Acknowledgement

The following students have participated in student employment on campus throughout the academic year and have contributed greatly to the day-to-day functioning and overall success of GWC.

Eliza Barragan
Alivia Bradford
Gisela De la Torre
Kevin Eggert
Angel Erhardt
Leo Esquivel
Katie Graham
Demi Grant
Olivia Hesterly
Shamya Hood
Mason Kauppila
Maira Leep
Meg Makasiar
Tatiyana McCottrell
Rosemary Nelson
Tempelle Newman
Teagen Petersen
Connor Prekwas
Myah Vlahogenis
Annalise Warren
Mariah White
Parker Wilson

Student Leadership Challenge

This year, students had the opportunity to complete an intensive six-week leadership experience nationally known as the Leadership Challenge. This challenge has been researched and completed nationally for more than 30 years. Over the course of six weeks, our students practiced five exemplary practices of leadership: Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, and Encourage the Heart. The following students completed all six weeks of the challenge and truly embody the five exemplary practices of leadership.

Participants
Eliza Barragan
Alivia Bradford
Elizabeth Bunge
Shayla Carey
Gisela De la Torre
Leo Esquivel
Katie Graham
McKayla Greaney
Kaitlyn Habbley
Shamya Hood
Tamra Kubly
Meg Makasiar
Valerie Maradiaga
Mary Nash
Gianna Nelson
Rosemary Nelson
Alyssa Reske
Rigel Salas
Lauren Scalise
Hannah Starr
Hailey Taft
Sarah Vazquez
Myah Vlahogenis
Janessa Walker
Alex Zavaleta

Program of the Year

Each year, student clubs and organizations host a variety of programs for the benefit of students, faculty, and staff. GWC students have the opportunity to vote on their favorite.

Nominated Programs
Self-Care Fair — Psychology Club
Haunted Hall — Residence Hall Association
Community Cleanup — GWC Gives Back
Canned Food Drive for Lake Geneva — Student Nurses Association
Harvest Day — Responsible Solutions and Spiritual Advisory Council
Merry Thanksgiving — Residence Hall Association and Spiritual Advisory Council
St. Valentine’s Day — Spiritual Advisory Council
Student vs. Staff Volleyball Game — Intramurals 

Recipient of Program of the Year
Haunted Hall — Residence Hall Association

Emerging Leader of the Year Award

The Emerging Student Leader Award is given to a student who has shown exemplary leadership qualities through student organizations, service, and advancement of the mission of GWC. The student reflects ongoing and exceptional growth in personal and professional development with great leadership potential.

Nominees
Alivia Bradford
Shamya Hood
Meg Makasiar
Emily McCulloh
Gianna Nelson
Heather Ream
Alyssa Reske
Hannah Starr
Hailey Taft
Janessa Walker
Parker Wilson

Recipient
Shamya Hood

Student of the Year Award

The Student of the Year Award is presented to a GWC student who has inspired the growth and development of others. The recipient has demonstrated initiative by seeking ways to challenge the present and enrich the future of his/her organization or the community at large. This student has made a meaningful contribution to the students, university, and surrounding communities through responsible leadership.

Nominees
Alivia Bradford
Shamya Hood
Rosemary Nelson
Connor Prekwas
Colin Ritchie
Lauren Scalise
Sarah Vazquez
Annalise Warren

Recipient
Sarah Vazquez

Carpe Diem Award

Carpe diem is Latin for “seize the day.” This award recognizes a student who in “seizing the day” has made a remarkable contribution to GWC. Students who are nominated for this award have a “sense of presence” on campus. These students are ones who walk through the residence halls, the dining room, into the classroom, or show up at an event and bring the best of “the moment” to the experience. They have the ability to be present with others and to find what is best about GWC. All of these nominees represent a sense of carpe diem and in doing so, make GWC a more wonderful place to be for others.

Nominees
Alivia Bradford
Kevin Eggert
Leo Esquivel
Mason Kauppila
Gianna Nelson
Connor Prekwas
Brittany Smith
Sarah Vazquez
Janessa Walker

Recipient
Connor Prekwas

GWC Hero Award

The GWC Hero Award recognizes a student (or students) for their volunteer service to the campus and/or the community in ways that contribute to the society at large. This award was started several years ago to honor the work our students are doing in their home communities as well as some of the simple, yet heroic, moments we see on campus. What they have in common is these heroes never make a big deal of what they have done, they just do it, because that’s what heroes do. They make the world a better place for all. We are blessed to have these heroes in our midst.

Nominees
Alivia Bradford
Brian Chatfield
Kevin Eggert
Leo Esquivel
Tempelle Newman
Connor Prekwas
Hailey Vyskocil

Recipients
Brian Chatfield
Kevin Eggert

Spirit of GWC Award

The Spirit of GWC Award embodies the ethos of former undergraduate student Travis Allen. During his time as a GWC student, Travis shared his gentle and welcoming spirit with others, lived by a strong conservation ethic, and demonstrated a desire to learn and grow through his studies. The recipient of the Spirit of GWC Award is a GWC student who meets the following criteria, which represents some of the best traits that Travis showed us on a daily basis:

  • Deep respect for nature and the natural beauty of the GWC environment.
  • Ability to cross social boundaries and connect with different student groups and be welcoming to all individuals.
  • Strong commitment to learning and growing through scholarly pursuits.
  • Ability to view obstacles as opportunities to overcome.

Nominees
Alivia Bradford
Anna Featherstone
Kevin Eggert
Shamya Hood
Connor Prekwas
Sarah Vazquez

Recipient
Anna Featherstone