Academic excellence celebrated at 2023 Academic Achievement Awards

May 2, 2023
By: Rebecca Cross

More than 60 hard-working Worcester State students received recognition at the annual Academic Achievement Awards on April 20.

“I’ve attended many of these ceremonies over the years, and I am always humbled and inspired by the achievements of our students, often in the face of adversity,” said Board of Trustees Chair David Tuttle. “These are the highest honors that Worcester State University bestows upon students, and you deserve it! Congratulations!”

“This ceremony speaks like no other one to the quality of a Worcester State University education—and to the quality of our students,” said President Barry M. Maloney. “As for our generous donors, whose awards bear their names, we know that just one small scholarship can make the difference between a student persisting toward graduation in four years, or not.”

Professor of Mathematics Dr. Hy Ginsberg and Assistant Professor of English Dr. Riley McGuire received the George I. Alden Excellence in Teaching Award, which publicly acknowledges Worcester State University professors who have made a difference in students’ lives through their teaching excellence.

The new Cruz-Audet LGBTQ+ Academic Excellence Award, established this year by Dr. Sarah Strout, assistant vice president for assessment and planning, was presented to communications major Griffin Weber ’23. The award, named for Leopoldo Negrón Cruz and Gloria Audet, former Worcester State University students and long-time LGBTQ+ activists, is given to a student who identifies as LGBTQ+ who has an excellent academic record.

The Ella M. Whitney award, given for participation in school activities and scholarship as well as social aptitude, personality, loyalty, and other leadership qualities, was awarded to Caitlin Kincaid, a senior majoring in sociology with minors in psychology and political science. The Ellen J. Meyers Memorial Academic Merit Award went to Margaret April, a sophomore majoring in sociology.

This year, the Lt. Col. James F. Sheehan ’55, USMC Ret., Academic Excellence Awards, given to the highest achieving full-time student (or students, in the case of a tie) in each grade, were presented to five students:

  • Andja Kola, a sophomore double majoring in psychology and liberal studies.
  • Liam Walsh, a sophomore double majoring in criminal justice and psychology
  • Juliana Kallio, a junior double majoring in elementary education and math for elementary education
  • Amanda Lo, a senior majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry and psychology
  • Rida Amroze, a senior majoring in chemistry with a minor in forensic science

A sixth recipient, first-year Emma LaPoint, a biology major, was unable to attend the ceremony.

The Worcester State Foundation serves students by increasing awareness of the university’s excellence among business leaders, alumni, and the Worcester community. Last year, the Foundation provided nearly $1 million in academic awards, scholarships, and research grants to hundreds of students. Kevin Campbell ’73, vice chair of the Foundation Board, thanked the donors who made that support possible. “These generous gifts support the university’s mission,” he said, “and provide highly deserving students, like all of you, with resources that help you succeed on campus and in years beyond.”

Visit the website for a complete list of award winners and their backgrounds.

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