Academic Achievement Award Winners

Student Excellence Recognized at Academic Achievement Awards

May 3, 2019
By: Guest Contributor

The accomplishments of Worcester State University students were celebrated at the 2019 Academic Achievement Awards on Thursday, April 25, at Mechanics Hall. Academic Major Awards were given to students with the highest G.P.A. in their major. Other special awards, including the Lt. Col. James F. Sheehan ‘55, USMC Ret. Academic Achievement Awards, were also presented.

“No other ceremony speaks to the quality of Worcester State University’s learning experience as this one does,” President Barry M. Maloney said. “It showcases the achievements of our hard-working, motivated, intelligent students and indicates the role our faculty have played in guiding these students to success.”

The Ella M. Whitney Award was awarded to Katelyn Surprenant, an occupational therapy major, athlete, and leader in student organizations. Whitney was an 1891 graduate of the Worcester Normal School (WSU’s predecessor). This award is given to a student who exemplifies her abundance of positive qualities, including participation in school activities.

The John F. Eager Continuing Education Excellence Award, which goes to the undergraduate student in WSU’s evening program with the highest G.P.A., when to Abigail DuBois, a non-traditional student majoring in psychology.

Full-time WSU students who have achieved the best G.P.A. in their class are presented with the Lt. Col. James F. Sheehan ‘55, USMC Ret., Excellence Awards, named after the most generous benefactor in Worcester State history. In total, six Sheehan Awards were handed out this year to hard-working and well-deserving students.

President Maloney said the Sheehan awardees represented the Worcester State students well.

“Those stories reflect a wide range of academic and career interests,” he said. “There is a common thread to them: It is that our flexible curriculum enables students to pursue not only their career goals, but also their passions–when those things are separate, and also when they are the same.”

The First-Year Sheehan Awards went to Elise Stone, studying biology on the pre-health track, and Jonathan VanderSea, a business administration major.

The Sophomore Sheehan Awards went to Meghan Foley, double majoring in education and English, and Kaitlyn Olmstead, double majoring in math and elementary education.

The Junior Sheehan Award went to Jaymi-Lyn Souza, a history major and student senate chair.

The Senior Sheehan Award went to Amy Ngoc Nguyen, a psychology major. This is her second year receiving a Sheehan Award.

The entire list of all awards given:
Ella M. Whitney Award: Katelyn Surprenant

John F. Eager Continuing Education Excellence Award: Abigail DuBois

Liberal Studies

Robert H. Kyle Award for Excellence in Liberal Studies: Alana Ranney

Women’s Studies

Women’s Studies Concentration Award: Erica Gilman

Academic Major Award Recipients



Business Administration and Economics

Worcester State Foundation Academic Major Awards

Business Administration: Meghan St. Jean

Economics: Andrew Borus

Academic Recognition Awards

Wall Street Journal Outstanding Achievement in Economics: Brent Filgerleski, Tyler Stratton ’12,  and Jessica Tea ’12

Academic Achievement Award:  Jazmynne Hickman


Worcester State Foundation Academic Major Award

Communication: Eleni Tzikas

Academic Recognition Awards

Community Service Award: Julie O’Melia

Department Leadership Award: Nicholas Coelho

Criminal Justice

Vanessa Anne Dunn Academic Major Award: Corey Covino

Academic Recognition Awards

Central Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association Spirit of Service Award:  Sofia Alberini

Dr. Stephen A. Morreale Public Service in Criminal Justice Award: Austin Chapski


Worcester State Foundation Academic Major Award

English:  Thomas Gleason

History and Political Science

Worcester State Foundation Academic Major Award

History and Political Science: Nicole O’Connell

Academic Recognition Award

Professor Cheng & Christina Yuan Award for History: Jaymi-Lyn Souza


Worcester State Foundation Philosophy as a Minor Award: Abigail Stone

Daniel C. Shartin Emerging Philosopher Award:  Timothy Jarvis


Beth Axelson Academic Major Award: Amy Ngoc Nguyen

Academic Recognition Award

Dr. Lawrence A. Averill Award in Psychology: Brandon Meece


Worcester State Foundation Academic Major Award

Sociology: Molly Ware

Academic Recognition Awards

Bob Goss Service Award: Erica Gilman

W.E.B. Du Bois Award for Community-Based Research: Colin Houle

Urban Studies

Schwartz Charitable Foundation Academic Major Award: Samantha E. Fonseca

Academic Recognition Awards

Julia Mack Award for Intergenerational Leadership: Samantha E. Fonseca

Vincent E. “Jake” Powers Award: Keyla M. Vargas

Visual and Performing Arts

Malcolm Gordon Memorial Academic Major Award: Josue Ramirez

Academic Recognition Awards

Mary Cosgrove Dolphin Art Award:  Bailey Boutiette

Anne Marie Shea Award for Excellence in Theater: Krystal Barrera

World Languages

Worcester State Foundation Academic Major Award

Spanish: Lindsey Tarbox

Academic Recognition Award

Dr. Dorothy A. Escribano Award: Michelle Rivas



The Dr. Anthony Thurston Academic Major Award: Redi Metali

Academic Recognition Awards

Dr. Marlin B. Kreider Biology Award: Jacqueline Kamins

Dr. Maureen and Edward Shamgochian Award in Biology: Molica Pen


Worcester State Foundation Academic Major Award

Biotechnology: Michaila Parent


Worcester State Foundation Academic Major Award

Chemistry: Christopher Jackson

Academic Recognition Awards

Student Leadership Award in Chemistry: Samer Hammoodi

Dr. Maureen and Edward Shamgochian Award in Chemistry: Kim Anh Vu

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Worcester State Foundation Academic Major Award

Communication Sciences and Disorders: Melissa Higginson

Academic Recognition Awards

WSU Chapter of the National Student

Speech-Language-Hearing Association Award: Rachel Green

Honorable John J. Binienda Sr. CSD Award: Elise Lemieux

Computer Science

Worcester State Foundation Academic Major Award

Computer Science: Kathleen Law

Earth, Environment, and Physics

Worcester State Foundation Academic Major Awards

Environmental Science: Andrew Etheridge

Geography: John Blombach

Academic Recognition Award

Earl B. Shaw Award for Geography:  Brianna Germain

Worcester State Foundation Academic Major Awards

Early Childhood Education: Monica Greenlaw

Elementary Education: Madison Marceau

Middle and Secondary Education: Gabriela Hastings

Academic Recognition Awards

Madeline A. Wilmarth Award: Samantha Sealey

Ruth Cohen Blumsack Award: Sarah Kasof

Helen Shaughnessy Award: Dakota Hinerth

Lillian C. ’65 and George H. Albro ’65 Award in Education: Emma Gosselin

Health Sciences

Worcester State Foundation Academic Major Awards

Health Education: Catherine Wielock

Public Health: Anthony Messina

Academic Recognition Award

Community Service: Jimmy Dwobeng


Worcester State Foundation Academic Major Awards

Mathematics: Michael Rose

Mathematics for Elementary Education: Jamie Jurgiel

Richard Bisk Mathematics Teaching Award: Katelyn Salsgiver


Worcester State Foundation Academic Major Award

Nursing: Micayla Noonan

Academic Recognition Awards

Clinical Excellence in the Art and Science of Nursing Award: Abigail Sniegocki

Florence Nightingale Award: Marikate Matys

Dr. Lillian R. Goodman Award: Lixia Zhang

Dr. Jean A. and Michael F. Campaniello Award: Diane Forgitz

Ann “Annie” Dolan Award for Compassion: Colleen Walsh

Occupational Therapy

Robert and Aviva Freelander Academic Major Award: Heather Nadeau


The Lt. Col. James F. Sheehan ’55, USMC Ret. Academic Excellence Award Recipients

First-Year Achievement Awards:  Elise Stone, Jonathan VanderSea

Sophomore Achievement Awards: Meghan Foley, Kaitlyn Olmstead

Junior Achievement Award: Jaymi-Lyn Souza

Senior Achievement Award: Amy Ngoc Nguyen

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