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Relive: Honors Convocation 2019

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Relive: Honors Convocation 2019

D'Youville celebrated the achievements of its best and brightest students during the 60th annual Honors Convocation on Wednesday, March 6. Johnny Qiu ‘19, president of the Student Government Association, served as Master of Ceremonies for the event; Dr. Efrain Talamantes offered advice to those in attendance as the guest speaker; and Samantha Cohen ‘19 addressed her peers as the featured student speaker. 

Johnny Qiu addresses the audience at Honors ConvocationJohnny Qiu serves as the Master of Ceremonies.

View the full photo album on our Flickr page.

Talamantes, the medical director at the AltaMed Institute for Health Equity, sited the importance of education and how students can use it to help those in need and take better care of people in their communities. “College can truly be one of the most challenging periods in your life. It gives you a chance to see what you’re capable of. I know many of you here are confident in what you can accomplish, but it really gives you the proof.” 

Dr. Efrain Talamantes at D'Youville Honors Convocation.Dr. Efrain Talamantes addresses the audience.

Talamantes also urged the students to build relationships with others. “You have to be open-minded and willing to work in a team to succeed. Learn from all the people you come across and try to fully understand them,” he said. “Ask questions, be curious. Not for the sake of knowing but to understand how you can use that information to help. It’s about us doing better for everyone because we can.” 

In her speech, Cohen spoke about the passion that she and her fellow students share towards their chosen career fields. “Those sleepless nights, 16 hours days, and all the days we’ve powered through are because we love what we do, and we want to do it well. And I hope that when we are researching that drug, managing that business, educating the public, or helping that patient in the hospital, that we never lose that passion that brought us to D’Youville in the first place.” 

Samantha Cohen delivers her speech.Samantha Cohen delivers her speech.

Followed by the speakers was the awarding of the departmental awards and four other featured awards. 

  • The D’Youville Medal seeks to recognize a student who is both outstanding in academic performance as well as service to others — the hallmark of St. Marguerite D’Youville, for whom the award is named.  The 2019 recipient is Jonvier Whittington.  

Jonvier Whittington receives the D'Youville Medal.Jonvier Whittington receives the D'Youville Medal.

  • The Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart Medal seeks to recognize a graduate student who is both outstanding in academic performance as well as service to others, reflecting the mission of the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart. The 2019 recipient is Christine Seibert.  

Christine Seibert receives the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart Medal.Christine Seibert receives the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart Medal.

  • The St. Catherine of Alexandria Medal is sponsored by Kappa Gamma Pi and is awarded to a third-year student with high academic standing; outstanding service to the college, fellow students, and the community; and who shows promise for future such achievements. The 2019 recipient is Francis Smith.  

Francis Smith receives the St. Catherine of Alexandria MedalFrancis Smith receives the St. Catherine of Alexandria Medal.

  • The Lee Conroy Higgins Award, presented by the Alumni Association and named for the late Mrs. Carl Higgins, a former director of alumni relations, is given annually to a student who has outstanding concern for fellow students and is supportive of and involved in campus activities. The 2019 recipient is Eric Nowak. 

Eric Nowak receives the Lee Conroy Higgins award.Eric Nowak receives the Lee Conroy Higgins award.

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The full list of the departmental awards is below. 

School of Arts, Sciences and Education

Business Department 

  • Business Undergraduate Student Award – Jacinta Daniels 
  • Business Graduate Student Award – Brittany Palmeri 

Chemistry Department 

  • Chemistry Departmental Award – Connor Gould 
  • Chemistry Research Departmental Award – Timeka Snead 

Liberal Arts Department 

  • Liberal Arts:  Psychology Award – Chance MacDowell 
  • Liberal Arts Sociology Award – Matthew Wild 
  • Liberal Arts – The Riverrun Fellowship – Mariana Maniscalco 
  • Liberal Arts Foreign Language Award – Cailey Burrows 
  • Liberal Arts History Award – Nicholas Kurtsworth 
  • Liberal Arts Humanities Award – Francis Smith 
  • Liberal Arts Writing Award – Jason Sapp 
  • The Career Discovery Award – Jumale Jumale 

Biology, Mathematics and Anatomy Departments 

  • Biology Award – Cailey Burrows 
  • Mathematics Award – Jamie Royer 
  • Biology Research Award – Hannah Lamont 
  • Anatomy MS Award – Jena Abati 
  • Anatomy MS Award – Mark Maraschiello 

School of Health Professions 

Chiropractic Department 

  • Chiropractic – Exceptional Service to the Chiropractic Department and Students Award - Emily Choate  
  • Chiropractic – Exceptional Service to the Chiropractic Department and Students Award - Michael Haight 

Dietetics Department 

  • Dietetics Department Award – Ashley Robbins 

Exercise Sports Studies Department 

  • Exercise Sports Studies –Academic Excellence Award - Dena Iadanza 

Health Services Administration Department 

  • Health Analytics Academic Excellence Award – Sarah Caputi 
  • Public Health Academic Excellence Award – Analeeza Leggett 
  • Health Administration Doctoral Award – Debbilynn Murray 
  • Health Services Administration Academic Award – Louis Reynolds 
  • Health Services Management Academic Award – Gina Marino 

Occupational Therapy Department 

  • OT – BS/MS Academic Excellence Award - Elizabeth Baker 
  • OT – MS Academic Excellence Award – Eliza Ong 
  • OT Professional Promise Award – Cortlynn Cartonia 
  • OT Program Director’s Award – Adrianna Brown 

Physical Therapy Department 

  • Physical Therapy – Academic Excellence Award – Veronica Brugmann 
  • Physical Therapy – PT Service/Leadership Award – Akashdeep Kaur-Brar 

Physician Assistant Department 

  • Physician Assistant – Outstanding Non- Traditional Award– Alexis Manz 
  • Physician Assistant – Outstanding Traditional Award – Abby Clulow 

School of Nursing 


School of Pharmacy 


Marketing & Communications Department