2021 Senior Academic Awards

Each year, Eckerd celebrates the individual academic achievements of graduating seniors through the Senior Academic Awards. The recipients have been selected by their faculty, as well as by the College’s president and other campus leaders. Please join us in honoring our graduating seniors’ academic accomplishments.

President’s Award for Outstanding Leadership and Service

Will Shedden

The President’s Award for Outstanding Leadership and Service is given to a graduating senior who has made an outstanding contribution to the quality of life at Eckerd College by serving as a leader and role model to the campus community.

Awarded by: The President of Eckerd College

More about Will's award

This year’s recipient, from St. Petersburg, Florida, is majoring in Political Science with minors in Chinese, International Relations, and Economics. He has been elected to Pi Beta Kappa and to Omicron Delta Kappa. He served as Campus Fellow for the Campus Election Engagement Project and a legislative intern for Environment Florida. In 2019 he was the co-coordinator of the Plastics Campaign and in 2018 he was the co-coordinator of the New Voters Project where he and other students successfully registered over 600 students. His volunteer experience includes serving as a student innovator in the Office of Service-Learning and helping with the 2017 Kriseman Campaign for Mayor of St. Petersburg. In 2018, he was appointed Parliamentarian for the Eckerd College Organization of Students (ECOS) and elected Vice President of Financial Affairs in 2019. During Spring Semester 2020, he was elected ECOS President of the Eckerd College Organization of Students for 2020-2021 where he has served with distinction.

The 2021 President’s Leadership and Service Award recipient is William Shedden.

Senior Scholar Athlete of the Year Awards

Laila Forstmane

The Senior Scholar Athlete of the Year Awards are given to the female and male senior student-athletes who maintained the highest level of academic achievement.

Awarded by: Intercollegiate Athletics Department

More about Laila's award

The female recipient of the Senior Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award is Laila Forstmane. Laila, from Carnikava, has an impressive cumulative GPA while majoring in Communication and Political Science at Eckerd College. Laila is a four-year member of the Women’s Golf team, appearing in 73 rounds over her career. Laila has posted 11 top-25 finishes in her career. She holds the program record for a single round at 69. She also holds the top two spots in single season stroke average. She is a three-time recipient of the Southern States Conference (SSC) Spring Commissioners Honor Roll and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Senior Scholar Athlete of the Year Awards

Collin Bakken

The Senior Scholar Athlete of the Year Awards are given to the female and male senior student-athletes who maintained the highest level of academic achievement.

Awarded by: Intercollegiate Athletics Department

More about Collin's award

The male recipient of the Senior Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award is Collin Bakken. Collin, from Waterford, Connecticut, has an impressive cumulative GPA while majoring in Applied Mathematics at Eckerd College. Collin is a two-year member of the Baseball team. He made 10 appearances out of the bullpen last season, with a 4.32 ERA over 16.2 innings. He is a recipient of the Southern States Conference (SSC) Spring Commissioner’s Honor Roll. Collin’s leadership throughout his career as a Triton assisted in the development of a very competitive Baseball program.

ASPEC Shepherd-Williams International Relations and Global Affairs Award

Ronan O’Donoghue

The Academy of Senior Professionals at Eckerd College (ASPEC) Shepherd-Williams Internationals Relations and Global Affairs (IRGA) Award is given to honor a senior majoring in IRGA who has demonstrated academic excellence and, in the opinion of the IRGA faculty, is most likely to contribute to global understanding in his/her future career.

Awarded By: The ASPEC International Relations and Global Affairs Interest Group

More about Ronan's award

It is a great honor to announce that Ronan O’Donoghue is the recipient of the 2021 ASPEC Shepherd-Williams Award for excellence in the field of International Relations and Global Affairs. Ronan’s interest in the greater world around her and the responsibilities of global citizenship inspired an excellent four years of scholarship in which she was the epitome of what we search for in a student. From her first year, she was not only an exemplary student, she also possessed a curiosity about the nature of education itself. A defining memory is having Ronan visit office hours to discuss different pedagogical approaches she witnessed in the classroom and that inquisitiveness will serve her well in her future career. The culmination of Ronan’s academic excellence is reflected in her selection as a Ford Scholar, and in her election to both Pi Sigma Alpha, the national honor society for political science, and Phi Beta Kappa, the national honor society for the liberal arts.

For IRGA, we prepare students for a lifetime engagement with the global community with an emphasis on foreign language. Ronan chose to study Arabic and her excellence in understanding this language resulted in her selection as an Eckerd’s Arabic tutor. She also spent a semester abroad in Morocco, where she conducted her Ford Scholar research about how authoritarian regimes use media in today’s world. Her project required the identification of Arabic media sources and engaging in nuanced translation of complex political phenomena. Even with a pandemic, she was not only able to complete her project, but was also selected to present her findings at the annual meeting of Pi Sigma Alpha.

In her four years at Eckerd, Ronan has never shied away from a challenge and has always succeeded because of her hard work. Her interdisciplinary approach to understanding the world resulted in a double major of IRGA and Communication, with minors in MENA studies and Arabic. With these skills, she will fight for justice in our world as she pursues a career in international law and we at Eckerd are lucky to have played a role in her life’s journey.

ASPEC Mason Daly Poetry Award

Haley Papa

The Academy of Senior Professionals at Eckerd College (ASPEC) Mason Daly Poetry Award is given to honor one senior student in the creative writing major whose work demonstrates high aesthetic achievement and poetic excellence.

Awarded by: The ASPEC Poetry Interest Group

More about Haley's award

The Academic of Senior Professionals at Eckerd College (ASPEC) Poetry Interest Group received an unusually fine selection of poems submitted for the Mason Daly Award this year, which is given to a graduating senior for excellence in the writing of poetry. The 2021 Mason Daly Poetry Award goes to a young poet whose mastery of the elements of poetry and ability to evoke emotion is more than promising – Haley Papa.

Murphy-Rackow Award

Claire Bomer

The Murphy-Rackow Award is given to a senior in Political Science whose dedication to their field of study and well-roundedness in their personal life is demonstrated in both outstanding curricular and co-curricular achievements.

Awarded by: The Behavioral Sciences Collegium (Political Science)

More about Claire's award

This year’s Murphy-Rackow Awardee is Claire Bomer. Claire is majoring in Political Science with a minor in Journalism. Last year, she was selected for Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society. While her main interest centers on the subfield of American Politics, Claire has broadened her coursework to include the Middle East, East Asia, and globalization, among many others. She participated in Winter Term trips to Washington, DC to learn about Congress and the United Nations and to see international politics in action. In this sense, she has demonstrated dedication to mastering the field as a whole.

Claire is a skilled writer, a gift that she uses both in and out of the classroom. She takes her writing seriously and truly enjoys the process of research. Courses are not just merely a means to an end for Claire—she cares about what she is learning. In addition, she has been a dedicated member of The Current staff, serving as managing editor her senior year. Claire has applied what she has learned in the political science major to her work at The Current, marrying her major and minor fields in an impressive way. All in all, Claire is a mature, caring, engaging, and excellent student. We are confident that she will enthusiastically pursue a career in this field, and we eagerly await her contributions.

Psychology Award for Excellence

Madison Gumprecht

The Psychology Award for Excellence is given to an outstanding student who deserves recognition for achievement and potential in the field of Psychology, and who showed leadership, energy, creativity, innovation, and commitment to the discipline.

Awarded By: The Behavioral Sciences Collegium (Psychology)

More about Madison's award

The psychology faculty is pleased to present the 2021 Psychology Award for Excellence to Madison Gumprecht. Maddy quickly distinguished herself as an outstanding psychology student with her enthusiasm for just about everything psychology-related. From this bright beginning, Maddy has continued to achieve academically at the top of her classes, including earning a high mark on the psychology comprehensive exam. She also chose to complete the rigorous Bachelor of Science psychology degree and did so well in her courses that she was invited to be a peer statistics tutor in her junior year. In addition to her academic prowess, Maddy is also a pleasure to work with. Her curiosity, joy, and excitement about the material she’s learning make for enjoyable mentor meetings and positive interactions with peers and faculty. Her maturity and clear communication make her a popular tutor, and these qualities also prompted the faculty to ask Maddy to serve as a student interviewer for two separate faculty searches. In that capacity, her feedback and observations were both detailed and on-point, and the process benefitted immensely from her involvement. Overall, Maddy is a stellar psychology student and we are thrilled to be able to recognize her hard work and achievements with this award. Maddy’s positive influence in the Psychology discipline will continue to bear fruit for years to come.

Sociology Award for Excellence

Catlin Harper

The Sociology Award for Excellence is presented to a graduating senior for achieving outstanding academic work in the field of Sociology.

Awarded By: The Behavioral Sciences Collegium (Sociology)

More about Catlin's award

The 2021 recipient of the Sociology Award for Excellence is Catlin “Cat” Harper. Cat is extremely intelligent and very diligent. Her work displays enormous involvement, and it is always superior to that of the other students. She is poised and articulate during oral presentations, and her skills at written communication are superb. She is currently working as an editorial assistant for the peer-reviewed journal Comparative Research in Anthropology and Sociology. Her quantitative skills are equally impressive.

In the course Qualitative Methods, her research paper was based on the collection of original data via in-depth interviews. This research project concerned the experience of reverse culture shock among students who have studied abroad. Her analysis was excellent, and this paper was insightful as well as gracefully written. Cat became interested in this topic after spending the spring semester of 2019 as an exchange student in Malta.

Cat’s knowledge is broad as well as deep. She is completing double majors in Sociology and Classical Studies. Her GPA is extremely impressive, and she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa as well as Eckerd’s chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta, the sociology honor society. For Eckerd’s comprehensive exam in sociology, we use a Major Field Test (MFT) constructed by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) in Princeton, New Jersey. During this academic year, the test was taken by 8,457 students nationwide, and Cat scored above most of them.

It is a joy to work with Cat. She is respectful and friendly in her relations with others. Her class participation is thoughtful and constructive. She completes her assignments on time and without supervision. She is mature beyond her years, but she is creative as well as vivacious, and she has a great sense of humor.

The faculty in Sociology congratulate Cat Harper for her outstanding academic work.

Excellence in Environmental Studies Award

Angelina Kossoff

The Excellence in Environmental Studies Award is given to an Environmental Studies senior for outstanding and well-rounded environmental studies scholarship at Eckerd as well as work in the field and in the community.

Awarded By: The Behavioral Sciences Collegium (Environmental Studies)

More about Angelina's award

Angelina Kossoff is an Environmental Studies major with minors in Sustainability and Management with an impressive GPA and is a student-athlete on the tennis team. She has consistently performed at the top of her classes in a wide variety of subjects and is a dedicated student. In addition to her exceptional academic performance, Angelina has been actively involved in the Environmental Studies discipline and the campus community. She has served as the Sustainability Intern for the Office of Sustainability, and in this role was part of the Environmental Affairs Committee, ran collegewide student surveys, and organized campus sustainability events. Angelina has also served as the undergraduate intern for the Reduce Single Use Plastics Grant. As a part of this NOAA funded grant she has collected and analyzed data, organized grant activities and run the social media campaign.

Excellence in Environmental Studies Award

Allyson Sharbo

The Excellence in Environmental Studies Award is given to an Environmental Studies senior for outstanding and well-rounded environmental studies scholarship at Eckerd as well as work in the field and in the community.

Awarded By: The Behavioral Sciences Collegium (Environmental Studies)

More about Allyson's award

Allyson Sharbo is an Environmental Studies and Biology double major with an impressive GPA and is being inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. Ally served as one of our Environmental Studies TAs in the incredibly difficult 2020-21 academic year and excelled at it. Ally earned our complete trust and respect with her careful eye, thoughtful questions, and consistently helpful presence. She was always willing to go the extra mile for us, whether that involved grading quizzes, helping solve technical issues, or running to scan book chapters at the last minute! Moreover, Ally brings a positive, can-do attitude to everything she does and is a joy to work with. Outside of Eckerd Ally has volunteered and interned with numerous wildlife rescue and rehabilitation organizations and is currently an intern at the Skyway Fishing Pier State Park educating the public about safer fishing practices.

The Management Faculty’s Award for Superior Academic Performance

Nick Reinauer

The Management Faculty’s Award for Superior Academic Performance is given to a Management or Business Administration senior for sustained outstanding academic achievement.

Awarded By: The Behavioral Sciences Collegium (Management)

More about Nick's award

I have been Nick Reinauer’s mentor since 2018. He has taken three full semester courses with me and I have served as faculty sponsor for an independent study. Simply put, Nick is one of the best students I have had the pleasure to work with during my 17 years at Eckerd.

Nick majored in Business Administration and minored in Economics and Marketing. His GPA is impressive, and he is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He also applied his outstanding quantitative and analytic skills in an independent study where he participated in the operation of his family’s ski school business in Germany. Nick’s commendable academic accomplishments came while he was a defender on, and Captain of, the College’s soccer team.

Professor Thomas Ashman

The Management Faculty’s Award for Superior Academic Performance

Cassidy Tibbetts

The Management Faculty’s Award for Superior Academic Performance is given to a Management or Business Administration senior for sustained outstanding academic achievement.

Awarded By: The Behavioral Sciences Collegium (Management)

More about Cassidy's award

I have been the mentor for Cassidy Tibbetts for 3 ½ years. During that time, I saw her every semester for mentoring and planning but did not have her in class until this semester. When she came to pick up her code, she was organized and had thought ahead several semesters. Cassidy is a double major in Chemistry and Management with a Math minor—three entirely different disciplines with a myriad of requirements. She has demonstrated perfection in her Management courses undertaken to this point and has an impressive overall GPA. Cassidy is always prepared for class; homework is always done. She will ask the hard questions. She has been accepted to Texas A&M for a Ph.D. program in Chemistry. I have tremendous faith in her abilities to handle herself in any situation in an exceptional manner. She is a credit to Eckerd College.

Professor Thomas Ashman

Economics Award for Excellence

Madeleine Essner

The Economics Award for Excellence is given in recognition of a graduating senior’s outstanding academic achievement in the field of economics.

Awarded By: The Behavioral Sciences Collegium (Economics)

More about Madeleine's award

The economics faculty would like to recognize Madeleine “Maddy” Essner as this year’s recipient of the Economics Award for Excellence. We are most impressed with Maddy’s dedication and performance in her study of economics and proud to present her with this honor. Maddy is a graduating senior with a double major in Economics and Psychology. She has been inducted into Omicron Delta Epsilon, the International Economics Honor Society; and she is the recipient of the Tom & Signe Oberhofer Endowed Scholarship in Economics 2020-2021 for her outstanding academic achievements and commitment to the discipline. Maddy’s passion for learning is an inspiration to her peers and she has developed into a highly-engaged and motivated scholar. Her performance in upper-level economics courses has demonstrated a mastery and engagement with both the theoretical and applied sides of economics. Maddy has been a devoted and beloved tutor for both our intermediate microeconomic theory course and statistical regression analysis in intermediate macroeconomics. For her senior comprehensive project, Maddy performed a cross-country regression analysis to study the determinants of human development. From her detailed data collection and econometric analysis, Maddy found that a government’s health expenditure, as well as a country’s education rates, are important determinants of human development. Her findings and policy implications stressed the importance of moving beyond gross domestic product as the sole measurement of economic health. She is passionate about economic and social policymaking that incorporates the psychology and well-being of individuals. We are thrilled for Maddy’s next chapter: she has been awarded a graduate fellowship and begins her Master’s Degree in Economics at Claremont Graduate University this fall.

Animal Studies Distinguished Student Award

Kaitlyn Willgohs

The Animal Studies Distinguished Student Award is given to a graduating senior in recognition of their achievement and potential in the field of Animal Studies, and for their leadership, innovation, and commitment to the discipline.

Awarded By: The Behavioral Sciences Collegium (Animal Studies)

More about Kaitlyn's award

There is no one more deserving of the first ever Animal Studies Distinguished Student Award than Kaitlyn (Katie) Willgohs.  Katie has been integral to the launching of the Animal Studies major.  As the Animal Studies student assistant, she met with prospective majors, created a helpful mentoring worksheet, and designed Animal Studies-related websites.  She has also been a very active researcher through the Animal Studies Research Collaborative, where she served as lab manager for the Eckerd College Comparative Psychology Lab and research associate for the Frick Animal Behavior Lab. She has presented her research at a number of international conferences and was recently recognized as a Pipeline Scholar by the Society for Behavioral Neuroscience and Comparative Psychology.  Katie has also been a leader on campus, more broadly, through her positions as Lead Mentor, Student Representative for the Presidential search, and photographer for Eckerd Athletics.  She is a leader, a catalyst for positive change, and a source of support to other students and professors, and somehow she is able to maintain a sweet and humble demeanor. Eventually, Katie would like to obtain her Ph.D. in an animal studies-related field and become a professor.  We look forward to seeing all the great things she accomplishes.

Franz Boas Award for Excellence in Anthropology

Prithvi Rajesh

The Franz Boas Award for Excellence in Anthropology is given to the senior whose exceptional work as a student suggests a continued commitment to Anthropology and to distinguishing oneself in the field both academically and professionally.

Awarded By:  The Comparative Cultures Collegium (Anthropology)

More about Prithvi's award

Prithvi Rajesh, who will graduate with a double major in Anthropology and Environmental Studies, distinguished himself at Eckerd as a member of the Honors Program. He completed a minor in Sustainability, including a summer research internship on waste management in Bangalore, India. Additionally, he wrote and produced several instructional videos for the College’s Office of International Student Services. Since 2018, Prithvi has served as the campus Garden Coordinator where he collaborated with faculty to provide learning opportunities for the Science of Gardening course, as well as three other courses. In spring 2021 he was inducted into both Phi Beta Kappa and Lambda Alpha, the national collegiate honor society in anthropology.

In light of these achievements, and in anticipation of a bright future in anthropology, the Anthropology discipline is pleased to present the Boas Award to Prithvi Rajesh.

Ken Keeton Award for Cross-Cultural Engagement

Madison Gumprecht

The Ken Keeton Award for Cross-Cultural Engagement is given to a senior who embodies the College’s commitment to intercultural understanding and respect for human diversity in a global society with open-mindedness that has been enhanced through academic excellence, international study, and participation in initiatives that build bridges across cultures. The award honors Ken Keeton, professor of German and founding faculty member of the College, who, as a poet and humanist, inspired students and colleagues to further international understanding in language, literature, and culture.

Awarded By: The Comparative Cultures Collegium

More about Madison's award

It is our distinct pleasure to give Madison Gumprecht the Ken Keeton Award for Cross-Cultural Engagement. Madison is a double major in French and Psychology with a minor in Human Development. Madison embodies the College’s commitment to intercultural understanding and global citizenship in a profound way. She is an outstanding student and has shown unparalleled dedication to our French program. She is part of Phi Beta Kappa and the French National Honor Society, Pi Delta Phi. As a student of French/Francophone Studies, she chose to further her education abroad in Martinique in Winter Term 2019. This experience left her with a deep love of francophone culture and the French language. In fact, her experience in Martinique still informs her academic performance in her Francophone World class today, as she regularly speaks about Martiniquan history, her rich experience on the island, and her contact with both French and Creole. Her devotion to the diverse francophone world and its cultures has been clear in her leadership positions as one of our French tutors and as the French Club President this year. She has also participated in two independent studies: one on Olympe de Gouges and the French Revolution (Spring 2020) and another Elementary School French Teaching Practicum (Fall 2021). Her senior French comprehensive exams expand on her work on women in the French Revolution, with a special emphasis on feminism, antislavery, and visual representations of revolutionary women.  In the French Teaching Practicum, Madison took the lead in lesson planning, parent-student outreach, and teaching in a local public elementary school. In the future, she is considering an M.A. in the Teaching of French, graduate studies in second language acquisition during adolescence, or doing a year abroad with the Teaching Assistantship Program in France (TAPIF).  We are thrilled to give this honor to Madison, who epitomizes the globally minded citizen.

International Business Award for Outstanding Scholarship

Emanuel Epstein

The International Business Award for Outstanding Scholarship is given to the student who demonstrated high academic ability in International Business coursework.

Awarded By: The Comparative Cultures Collegium (International Business)

More about Emanuel's award

Emanuel Epstein is the recipient of the International Business Award for Outstanding Scholarship for 2021. Manny is a young man of poise, promise and determination.  Even in his first year the IB professors agreed that he was a well-grounded person and predicted he would be a star student. And of course, he did not disappoint us. He leaves Eckerd with majors in International Business and Economics plus minors in Finance and Japanese, with a nearly perfect grade point average.  In recognition of his academic accomplishments, Manny was recently inducted into the prestigious academic honor society of Phi Beta Kappa.  He has also held various positions in Delta Sigma Pi. As a student of Japanese culture and language, he travelled to Japan to deepen his understanding of the Japanese society. In true international business tradition at Eckerd College, he has also mastered other languages, namely French and Hebrew.

As he leaves Eckerd College, the international business faculty wish Emanuel Epstein the very best as he pursues his future endeavors, be they in academia or industry. Please join us in congratulating Manny for a well- deserved International Business Award for Outstanding Scholarship.

Spanish Award for Excellence

Adriana Asef-Sargent

The Spanish Award for Excellence is given to a student whose outstanding performance in the study of language, literature, and arts of the Spanish-speaking world has been enhanced by international study, induction into the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, and participation in activities that demonstrate an appreciation and respect for the diversity of Hispanic cultures.

Awarded By:  The Comparative Cultures Collegium (Spanish)

More about Adriana's award

The recipient of this year’s award is Adriana Asef-Sargent, a double major in Spanish and Anthropology.  Adriana’s progress with the Spanish language, literature and culture has been remarkable, considering she began our program at the Elementary level of study and became one of our more popular Spanish tutors.  During her years at Eckerd Adriana has participated in study abroad twice. She participated in our Language Intensive Winter Term program in Ecuador and spent her spring 2020 semester in Argentina.  Beyond her work as a Spanish tutor, Adriana has been very active within our Spanish program by participating in recruiting efforts other discipline-sponsored events. Adriana’s commitment to the Spanish language and cultures will be recognized this year during her induction in our Spanish honor society Sigma Delta Pi.  The Spanish discipline will miss our student greatly but we know she will remain connected to Eckerd in the future.

French Award for Excellence

Madison Gumprecht

The French Award for Excellence in French is given to the student whose outstanding coursework in French and Francophone language, literature, and culture has been complemented by study abroad and a demonstrated appreciation for the Francophone world.

Awarded By: The Comparative Cultures Collegium (French)

More about Madison's award

It is our honor to name Madison Gumprecht as a deserving recipient of the French Award for Excellence. Madison is a French and Psychology double major with a minor in Human Development, and is a member of both Phi Beta Kappa and Pi Delta Phi, the National French Honor Society. She is an exceptional student of French that has distinguished herself through her passion for the French language and francophone cultures. Madison is a true global citizen, and shows a keen interest in literature, culture, and history of the francophone world. Madison has studied abroad in Martinique with Prof. Scheu and this left a lasting impression on her; so much so that she continues to share her knowledge and experience in Martinique in her coursework and at the many extracurricular events she leads. It was clear during the trip that she bonded closely with her host family and cherished the small things she learned about Martinican culture from the nights and weekends she spent going to restaurants, listening to music, and traveling around the island with them. She is an excellent French tutor for the French discipline this academic year and has enthusiastically and warmly supported countless students. She is President of the French Club and has planned many exciting events, despite the pandemic, effortlessly pivoting her events to be offered online to make them accessible to the Eckerd community. In the fall of 2020, Madison participated in an independent study, the Elementary School French Teaching Practicum, and was a beloved French teacher at a local public elementary school. In Madison’s senior comprehensive exam, she conducts a close study on two female key players in the French Revolution and their antislavery and feminist contributions. It has been a true delight to watch Madison’s growing love of French/Francophone culture during her time at Eckerd. Madison is already teaching literacy skills at a local YMCA in St. Pete in their YReads! Program and she was recently promoted to be the Program Director. In the future, she is considering an M.A. in the Teaching of French, graduate studies in second language acquisition during adolescence, or doing a year abroad with the Teaching Assistantship Program in France (TAPIF). Her devotion to French, her critical thinking skills, and her passion for the francophone world position her as a most worthy recipient for this award. The French discipline wishes Madison meilleurs vœux in all her future endeavors!

It is our honor to name Madison Gumprecht as a deserving recipient of the French Award for Excellence. Madison is a French and Psychology double major with a minor in Human Development, and is a member of both Phi Beta Kappa and Pi Delta Phi, the National French Honor Society. She is an exceptional student of French that has distinguished herself through her passion for the French language and francophone cultures. Madison is a true global citizen, and shows a keen interest in literature, culture, and history of the francophone world. Madison has studied abroad in Martinique with Prof. Scheu and this left a lasting impression on her; so much so that she continues to share her knowledge and experience in Martinique in her coursework and at the many extracurricular events she leads. It was clear during the trip that she bonded closely with her host family and cherished the small things she learned about Martinican culture from the nights and weekends she spent going to restaurants, listening to music, and traveling around the island with them. She is an excellent French tutor for the French discipline this academic year and has enthusiastically and warmly supported countless students. She is President of the French Club and has planned many exciting events, despite the pandemic, effortlessly pivoting her events to be offered online to make them accessible to the Eckerd community. In the fall of 2020, Madison participated in an independent study, the Elementary School French Teaching Practicum, and was a beloved French teacher at a local public elementary school. In Madison’s senior comprehensive exam, she conducts a close study on two female key players in the French Revolution and their antislavery and feminist contributions. It has been a true delight to watch Madison’s growing love of French/Francophone culture during her time at Eckerd. Madison is already teaching literacy skills at a local YMCA in St. Pete in their YReads! Program and she was recently promoted to be the Program Director. In the future, she is considering an M.A. in the Teaching of French, graduate studies in second language acquisition during adolescence, or doing a year abroad with the Teaching Assistantship Program in France (TAPIF). Her devotion to French, her critical thinking skills, and her passion for the francophone world position her as a most worthy recipient for this award. The French discipline wishes Madison meilleurs vœux in all her future endeavors!

French Award for Excellence

Bostony Braoudakis

The French Award for Excellence in French is given to the student whose outstanding coursework in French and Francophone language, literature, and culture has been complemented by study abroad and a demonstrated appreciation for the Francophone world.

Awarded By: The Comparative Cultures Collegium (French)

More about Bostony's award

It is our pleasure to present the French award for excellence to Bostony Braoudakis. Bostony is a member of both Phi Beta Kappa and Pi Delta Phi, the National French Honor Society. Bostony is a French and Marine Science double major who has stood out in our French classes for her strong command of both oral and written French, her nuanced critical analysis, and her clear passion for French and francophone languages and cultures. Bostony has studied abroad twice during Winter Term at Eckerd, traveling first to the French island department of Martinique in the Caribbean and then to the city of Montpellier in the South of France. In each instance, Bostony engaged deeply with the culture around her, from exploring the role of the Catholic Church in Martinican history in her final paper in Martinique to taking in every cultural tidbit in a notebook that she carried with her in Montpellier. Bostony has brought her love for French language and francophone cultures to the campus at large through her dedicated involvement as secretary of the French Club through the 2020-21 academic year. She is also creatively combining her love for francophone cultures with her love for marine science in her senior comprehensive examination project, which studies the achievements of marine scientists in French overseas departments and analyzes the ethics of their interactions with local cultures both during and after colonization. Bostony plans to attend graduate school in Marine Science at the University of South Florida, and we hope that in the future she will have the opportunity to conduct research on marine life in French overseas departments.

Chinese Award for Excellence

Rebecca Regis

The Chinese Award for Excellence is given to the student whose outstanding coursework in Chinese has been enhanced by participation in activities that demonstrate an appreciation for the Chinese culture and have a positive impact on the Chinese program.

Awarded By: The Comparative Cultures Collegium (Chinese)

More about Rebecca's award

We are proud to present this year’s Chinese Award for Excellence to Rebecca Regis, an International Studies major. During her career at Eckerd College, Becca continued to develop her integrated Mandarin skills through Intermediate and Advanced Chinese courses while taking many East Asian Studies courses in history, politics, literature, and film. In high school, Becca had studied abroad in Xi’an, China. Last year, despite the pandemic, she went abroad again to further her study of Chinese language and culture. After coming back to the College, Becca shared her Mandarin learning with other students by being a great Chinese language tutor. What is also commendable is her support for our Chinese Culture Club as its leader. In fostering her passion for working with kids, Becca is pursuing a teaching position at an elementary school for next year and getting a certificate to teach English abroad in the future. Kudos and best wishes to Becca!

Japanese Award for Excellence

Branwen Armstrong

The Japanese Award for Excellence is given to a student who has exhibited outstanding performance in the study of Japanese language and culture, who has been inducted into the Japanese National Honor Society – College Chapter, and whose contributions to Japan-related activities have been exceptional.

Awarded By: The Comparative Cultures Collegium (Japanese)

More about Branwen's award

Most deserving of the Japanese Award for Excellence, Branwen Armstrong is finishing her academic career at Eckerd in the highest level of Japanese language courses that we offer. And, she stands out as the most skilled student in the class.  Branwen’s performance has been exceptional not only in this class, but also in every Japanese class that she has taken at Eckerd.  In recognition of her academic accomplishments, Branwen is being inducted into the Japanese National Honor Society and Phi Beta Kappa.  Yet, it is not only Branwen’s academic record that is outstanding.  She has also contributed greatly to the Japanese program by working as a language tutor, helping at events for the Japan Culture Club, and by establishing the Cosplay Club at the College.  As president of that club, Branwen organized a variety of events on campus and clearly demonstrated her leadership skills and, moreover, her creativity.  In addition to her proficiency in Japanese, Branwen is a skilled writer, who has produced some of the best translations that we have seen at Eckerd.  We congratulate Branwen on all of her accomplishments to date and look forward to seeing what awaits her in the future.  Omedetoo gozaimasu!

J. Thomas West Outstanding Student in Human Development Award

Emily Campbell

The J. Thomas West Outstanding Student in Human Development Award is given to the student who showed outstanding promise as a professional in the field of human development and commitment to humanistic values through academic achievement and contributions to the community.

Awarded By: The Creative Arts Collegium (Human Development)

More about Emily's award

We are proud to present the J. Thomas West Outstanding Student in Human Development Award to Emily M. Campbell. Emily is a Human Development major who shows unwavering commitment to the field of mental health counseling. Emily is a deeply self-aware, empathetic, and bright individual with the skills and experiences to back up her natural abilities. Emily understands that she can only learn so much in a classroom setting and values applying theory and course content to her outside experiences. During her practicum courses, Emily demonstrated counseling skills that are on par with graduate students and early career professionals. She challenged herself to grow personally and professionally, while also supporting her fellow peers in their own growth as future counselors. Emily completed her 150-hour internship at First Presbyterian Day School, teaching mindfulness techniques in the four- and five-year old classroom, worked as a Youth Development Professional at the Boys and Girls Club, served as a Reading Aid at YMCA Reads!, and many other teaching, mentoring, and leadership positions. Anyone who knows Emily can attest to the fact that she recognizes the amount of preparation and dedication that goes into working in the field of mental health counseling with and on behalf of youth and families. She strongly advocates for individuals with mental illness and the stigma they face. Emily received many graduate school acceptance letters this spring and will continue her career this fall 2021 in the highly selective Master’s degree program in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling in the Department of Child and Family Studies at the University of South Florida in Tampa. She will focus on marriage and family therapy. We are confident that Emily will be an invaluable advocate for her clients and support them as they thrive under her care.

Sarah K. Dean Internship Award

Raina Martin

The Sarah K. Dean Internship Award is given to the student who showed outstanding accomplishment through paraprofessional work in the area of counseling and other areas of human helping.

Awarded By: The Creative Arts Collegium (Human Development)

More about Raina's award

Raina Martin is a double major in Human Development and Spanish with a minor in Latin American Studies, 2021 Phi Beta Kappa inductee, resident advisor who is deeply committed to academic excellence and improving the quality of life for underrepresented populations. Raina is the first Human Development intern to complete a 150-hour internship at Empath Health’s Suncoast PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) program, nationally known to prevent unnecessary use of hospital and nursing home care. In her role, Raina worked in the field closely with her supervisor, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, to provide case management and care team advocacy for older adults facing substance abuse, mental illness, traumas (homelessness, abuse), physical health needs (chronic, late-stage illnesses), and imminent death. Although this work can be emotionally taxing at times, Raina has found that supporting people at the end of their lives is endlessly rewarding. Her supervisor reports that Raina has a natural rapport with clients, holds exceedingly high ethical standards, and displays patience with the inevitable challenges of working in the field of end-of-life care. In choosing Raina for this award, the Human Development faculty were impressed with her enthusiasm to take on an internship out of her comfort zone, her positive attitude despite working with clients facing the most difficult of circumstances, and the personal growth that has resulted from her openness to these experiences. Through this outstanding work, Raina’s commitment to work in the helping professions with and on behalf of older adults was solidified. We believe that Raina will go on to use her confidence, humility, and empathy to impact many lives and we cannot wait to see what her future holds.

April Allen Buck Award

Bree Walton

The April Allen Buck Award is given in honor of Prof. April Allen Buck, who made a profound impact on the Eckerd College community through her courage, positive attitude, creative teaching and innovative research, and is presented to a senior with the potential to make a tremendous impact on the world.

Awarded By: The Creative Arts Collegium (Human Development)

More about Bree's award

Bree Walton is a Human Development and Sociology double major with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies who engages in his academic pursuits, field work, service, and leadership endeavors with thoughtfulness, creativity, and innovation. No matter the task at hand, Bree breaks the mold by taking an original approach to solve highly theoretical questions or create new systems of educating the public. He has conducted research in the areas of racial relations at Primarily White Institutions including microaggressions, silencing racial identity, and the intersection of race and gender in the Human Development discipline, the sociological study of gender, sexuality, and aging in the Sociology discipline, and using creative methods to examine Japanese Internment Camps in the U.S. resulting in an educational graphic novel for the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, DC in his role as Youth Civic Engagement Research Assistant. On our campus, he serves as Student Coordinator at the Center for Spiritual Life, Program Manager for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and Student Telecounselor for Eckerd College Admissions. He is completing his 150-hour internship at Family Blooms International Center for Adoption and Surrogacy where he is working to match potential adoptive parents with children; his supervisor reports that he has been an invaluable asset and has brought joy during a stressful time at their agency due to the pandemic. In fall 2021 Bree will continue his career in the Master of Social Work program at the highly selective NYU Silver School of Social Work. Bree clearly is committed to the field of social justice and there is no doubt he will make a tremendous contribution in the world as a clinical social worker.

April Allen Buck Award

Alicen Nico

The April Allen Buck Award is given in honor of Prof. April Allen Buck, who made a profound impact on the Eckerd College community through her courage, positive attitude, creative teaching and innovative research, and is presented to a senior with the potential to make a tremendous impact on the world.

Awarded By: The Creative Arts Collegium (Human Development)

More about Alicen's award

Alicen Nico is a Human Development and Women’s and Gender Studies double major with a minor in Sociology who consistently displays courage and a positive attitude in her academic pursuits, research, international justice work, and internship endeavors. She has served as a research assistant studying the sociological aspects of gender, sexuality, and aging, serves as a Peer Communication Consultant at the Rahall Communication Center, and was a Peer Mentor. In her own original research as a Ford Scholar Alicen examined therapeutic treatments and interventions for sex offenders. Her interests have taken her abroad many times, to Nicaragua, for example, where she studied the intersection of permaculture and gender while volunteering with nonprofit organizations to promote health, education, and income generating programs. Then, in 2019, she studied abroad in Cambodia volunteering with children at risk for sex and labor trafficking and meeting with anti-trafficking groups, sparking a passion for international justice work. Alicen’s work in the local St. Petersburg community has also been impressive. During her senior year she engaged in a 150-hour internship with Metro Inclusive Health providing invaluable services during the pandemic, such as leading virtual support groups for LGBTQ+ youth. It cannot go without mention that Alicen’s positive attitude and high academic abilities sets her apart in her Human Development classes. She is able to lead discussions of difficult content with grace and candor, and encourages her classmates to do the same. Alicen is passionate about the plight of marginalized people and communities and will no doubt make a tremendous impact on the world.

Carlson-Mathews Award

Emma Mead

The Carlson-Mathews Award honors a Creative Arts student or faculty member who embodies the values upon which the College was founded: academic mastery, strength of conviction in the exercise of the right and duty of personal judgment, personal sacrifice in the cause of peaceful ideas, and deep concern for others.  The award is named for Jim Carlson and Richard Mathews, two former Eckerd faculty members who resigned in protest against the establishment of a military presence on campus.

Awarded By: The Creative Arts Collegium

More about Emma's award

Eckerd’s Creative Arts faculty have selected senior Emma Mead as a fitting recipient of this award.  Emma has been an extraordinary student across the board, most notably, in her music, human development, and communication courses.  She has also served the Eckerd and broader community in ways that far exceed the usual parameters of these roles:  as peer mentor to Prof. Tonia Krueger’s first-year students and continuing academic coach at the Center for Academic Excellence; as Prof. Kristina Wenzel’s research associate in family communication, presenting her work at the Eckerd College Research Symposium; as an intern with the Women’s Resource Center of Manatee County; as Prof. Tamar Shovali’s TA in Research Methods in Human Development; as President of the First-Gen. Club; as an innovative summer camp counselor; as a loyal, 4-year member of Eckerd’s instrumental ensembles; as an ardent advocate for human and civil rights, and much more.

Emma is a first-generation college student, and during her time at Eckerd has developed an aspiration to earn a doctorate and become a college professor.  Emma always remembers and honors her roots as she advocates for diverse communities, helping individuals navigate their way through tensions of culture, values, and identity.  In short, she embodies all that the Carlson Matthews Award represents and is sure to fulfill its promises.

Spirit of the Creative Arts Collegium Award

Hannah Hockman

The Spirit of the Creative Arts Collegium Award is given to the student who showed unusual talent and productivity, and acted as a stimulus, example, and creative leader within the discipline, the collegium, and the College community.

Awarded By: The Creative Arts Collegium

More about Hannah's award

Hannah has been a leader and advocate for the arts since she arrived at Eckerd College. In addition to performing and working behind the scenes in several theatre productions, she has served as an ambassador for the Theatre discipline at the Florida Thespian Conference. Her most outstanding accomplishment was directing a main stage production of Heathers The Musical, which began rehearsals during spring of 2020 (until the pandemic shut the show down), and finally was produced outdoors, masked, and socially distanced to great acclaim in fall of 2020. Hannah met every obstacle on that production with the attitude that the show must, and will, go on.

Farris and Victoria Rahall Award for Excellence in Communication Studies

Laila Forstmane

The Farris and Victoria Rahall Award for Excellence in Communication Studies is given to the Communication major who demonstrated outstanding communication skills and academic achievement.

Awarded By: The Creative Arts Collegium (Communications)

More about Laila's award

The Communication faculty at Eckerd College proudly recognizes Laila Forstmane as the 2021 recipient of the Farris and Victoria Rahall Award for Excellence in Communication Studies.  The Award is conferred upon the Communication senior who demonstrated outstanding communication skills and academic achievement. In her four years at Eckerd College Laila has stood out in a class of exceptionally strong Communication students.  Her academic record, her extraordinary communication skills, and her dedication to helping thousands of Eckerd College students improve their oral communication skills as a Communication Consultant at the Rahall Communication Resource Center are testaments to her outstanding work in Communication studies.  Laila’s professionalism, keen wit, and remarkable organizational skills have been invaluable to the work of the Rahall Center and to the morale of its staff.  The same qualities have made her an outstanding student, a benefit to her peers, and a joy to have in classes.  Congratulations, Laila.

Award for Excellence in Literature

Genesis Drew

The Award for Literature is given to a senior who showed interest, excellence, and promise in the field of Literature and has done outstanding work as a student in the discipline.

Awarded By: The Letters Collegium (Literature)

More about Genesis's award

Genesis has long distinguished herself as an exceptionally high-performing academic achiever; in her years at Eckerd, she has been the recipient of numerous prestigious scholarships and awards at Eckerd, including the Phi Beta Kappa Peter Pav First Year honor society, the Cade Nabers Memorial scholarship in Literature, the Jack Eckerd Endowed Scholarship, the Albert H. Brunner Endowed Scholarship, and the Steinbrenner Annual Scholarship. She has also been a Ford Apprentice Scholar, a library work scholar, and a writing center tutor. Incredible as it might seem, Genesis’s long list of honors still do not do her justice. Her accolades cannot adequately convey the boundless curiosity, creativity, and boldness–indeed, fearlessness–with which she addresses herself to literary texts. I have personally seen her tackle some of the most difficult pieces of American literature–books such as W.C. Williams’s Paterson or James Merrill’s The Changing Light at Sandover, volumes that inspire even veteran literary scholars to set the book down, breathe a weary sigh, and contemplate an alternative future for themselves growing pumpkins or baking croissants–with both the rigor of a professional scholar and the ferocity that only a set of fresh and incisive eyes can bring to a text. I recently left a comment on a paper she produced on Eliot and Pound that little more could be said of her writing beyond the fact that it was nearly perfect, words that I have never used in the past to describe a piece of student writing. The same could be said of Genesis herself; I, and the other faculty in the Literature department, have never seen a student quite like her before, and I doubt that we ever will again.

Award for Excellence in Religious Studies

Caroline Kothari

The Award for Excellence in Religious Studies is given to a graduating senior majoring in Religious Studies who has demonstrated academic excellence in the discipline.

Awarded by: The Letters Collegium (Religious Studies)

More about Caroline's award

Caroline Kothari is a firewalker, quite literally. Perhaps her interest in Religious Studies had its origins in the experience of walking barefoot over hot coals. What are the historical origins of firewalking? Can it be called a transformative practice? How does the practice of firewalking engender (or how is it engendered by) communities, authority structures, ethical systems, worldviews? These are all good Religious Studies questions.

Caroline’s engagement with Religious Studies at Eckerd extended far beyond the major requirements. In her coursework, she explored an impressively broad range of topics, including American religious diversity, socially engaged forms of Buddhism, ecotheology, and sexual violence in biblical literature. Along the way, Caroline developed a special interest in how foodways, ideas of race and gender, and sexuality intersect with religion. Her capstone project, on twentieth-century Christian physical culture and dieting practices, centers these concerns.

Caroline occasionally quotes her father as saying “Kotharis are not quitters.” Caroline is the very opposite of a quitter. She has distinguished herself in our discipline by her diligence, professionalism, and consistency . . . and also by her curiosity and desire to learn. Our fond wishes and every confidence go with her for her next endeavor. Stay in touch, Caroline!

Award for Excellence in History

Ally Coughlan

The Award for Excellence in History is given to a senior who showed interest, excellence, and promise in the field of History and has done outstanding work as a student in the discipline.

Awarded By: The Letters Collegium (History)

More about Ally's award

Ally Coughlan is majoring in History with a minor in Marine Science. She was recently inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. She has earned an impressive overall GPA and received a four-year Tluszcz Undergraduate Fellowship. Ally is a member of Phi Alpha Theta, the History Honor Society. She presented a research paper at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in 2019 and in 2021. She also delivered a paper at the Eckerd Undergraduate Research Symposium in April 2021. Her papers were on Women in the Civil War, and Japanese-Latin Americans in American Internment Camps. She received a high mark on her History Comprehensive Examination.

Award for Excellence in History

Amanda Gates

The Award for Excellence in History is given to a senior who showed interest, excellence, and promise in the field of History and has done outstanding work as a student in the discipline.

Awarded By: The Letters Collegium (History)

More about Amanda's award

Amanda Gates is majoring in History with minors in Anthropology and in Environmental Studies. She has earned an impressive GPA. Amanda is a member of Phi Alpha Theta, the History Honor Society. She delivered a paper at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in February 2019. She was awarded a four-year Tluszcz Undergraduate Research Fellowship.

Award for Excellence in East Asian Studies

Rachel Halepeska

The Award for East Asian Studies is given to a senior who has showed academic excellence and creative engagement in the field of East Asian Studies, and has done outstanding work that demonstrates the potential for significant professional achievement in the discipline.

Awarded By: The Letters Collegium (East Asian Studies)

More about Rachel's award

The 2021 Award for Excellence in East Asian Studies goes to Rachel Halepeska, who is completing a double major in East Asian Studies and Computer Science. She capped her East Asian Studies program with independent research on the development of the ideologies of the traditions of bushido and pacifism in Japan.

Award for Excellence in American Studies

Michael Rabinowitz

The Award for American Studies is given to a student who demonstrated excellence in the discipline through exceptional work in the classroom.  This work, it is hoped and anticipated, promises a prominent future both academically and professionally in the field of American Studies.

Awarded By: The Letters Collegium (American Studies)

More about Michael's award

Michael Rabinowitz is a major in American Studies and received an extremely high mark on his Comprehensive exam. He was inducted into the History Honor Society, Phi Alpha Theta. After graduation he plans to attend law school.

Award for Excellence in Film Studies

Diana Blecher

The Award for Excellence in Film Studies is given to a senior who showed interest, excellence, and promise in the field of film studies and has done outstanding work as a student in the discipline.

Awarded By: The Letters Collegium (Film Studies)

More about Diana's award

Diana Blecher is an avid filmmaker and scholar who has embraced the breadth of the film studies offerings at Eckerd, always partnering her keen eye and ear for the aspects of films made by others with her own voice. Her work includes translating her studies in the genre of the musical into a remake of a song from Mulan, an ideological analysis of Jordan Peele’s US, and a senior essay that considered the genre and ideological implications of the musical The Greatest Showman. As a filmmaker, while showing a particular interest in crafting visually stunning thrillers, Diana has also made short documentaries that have sensitively and artistically contemplated contemporary issues, as well as experimental film projects. Her memorable narrative film Solitude & Paranoia, about a young girl’s quest to find her family and her home in the aftermath of an apocalyptic pandemic, showed as part of the 2020 Eckerd College Film and Video festival and revealed the promise of a visually-driven emerging filmmaker. Diana has invested her time and knowledge in the Film Studies discipline while working as a digital arts tutor, helping to facilitate equipment, software access, and tutorials for students and faculty.  For these reasons, the discipline of Film Studies recognizes Diana Blecher as the 2021 co-recipient of the Letters Collegium Award for Excellence in Film Studies.

Award for Excellence in Film Studies

Zachary Brown

The Award for Excellence in Film Studies is given to a senior who showed interest, excellence, and promise in the field of film studies and has done outstanding work as a student in the discipline.

Awarded By: The Letters Collegium (Film Studies)

More about Diana's award

Zach Brown is a double major in Film Studies and Creative Writing who showed promise from his analysis of Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver in his first film studies course at Eckerd through his most recent work in exploring realism in romantic relationships in Richard Linklater’s Before Trilogy. Zach’s enthusiastic engagement with the analytical side of film studies has also translated into a fearless pursuit of film production. Zach’s senior project, Under Control, is grounded in a calculated cinematic vision, and is the direct result of thinking critically about how visual and aural aesthetics can elevate narrative. He is one to embrace new cinematic technologies and techniques and recognizes the importance of collaboration in filmmaking, proving him an adept producer. Zach’s understanding and appreciation of the analytical and practical tenets of filmmaking, and his ability to unify these concepts, exemplifies the core objectives of the Film Studies discipline. For these reasons, the discipline of Film Studies recognizes Zach Brown as the 2021 co-recipient of the Letters Collegium Award for Excellence in Film Studies.

Letters Collegium Outstanding Scholarship and Service Award

Koen Varley

The Letters Collegium Outstanding Scholarship award is given to the student who was a leader in the collegium, very active in the College and the community, offered enthusiasm and showed promise in the field.

Awarded By: The Letters Collegium

More about Koen's award

Koen Varley is graduating from Eckerd College with a double major in Film Studies and Philosophy. He participated in one of the first-year Mellon seminars for students of the humanities. He has excelled in both of his majors, and has also completed six semesters of French. He presented papers twice at the Humanities Symposium — once on Spinoza and Deep Ecology, and once on Hegelian themes in Ingmar Bergman’s film Person — and would have presented at a third one if we hadn’t cancelled it due to covid-19. He will be inducted into Phi Beta Kappa this year. Koen served for two years as a work scholar in the Letters Collegium and has been a student programmer for the International Cinema Series. He has been an invaluable member of the library’s student staff and received the Larry and Carol Hardesty Outstanding Library Student Worker Award in spring 2020. Koen Varley has been an ambassador for the humanities and the library across campus, from casual student conversation to Explore Eckerd events and with ASPEC. For all of these reasons, we recognize Koen’s sustained excellence in service and scholarship in, as well as his dedication to, the humanities and humanistic inquiry.

Award for Excellence in Women’s and Gender Studies

Linnea Goodwin

Alicen Nico

Natalie Turiczek

Liat Paradise

The Award for Women’s and Gender Studies is given to the student who has demonstrated excellence in the discipline through exceptional work in the classroom. This work, it is hoped and anticipated, promises a prominent future both academically and professionally in the field of Women’s and Gender Studies.

Awarded By: The Letters Collegium (Women’s & Gender Studies and the Women’s Resource Center)

More about Linnea's award

Linnea Goodwin is a major in Women’s and Gender Studies and in Political Science. She received a high mark on her Women’s and Gender Studies Comprehensive Examination. She has a minor in History and earned an impressive overall GPA. She is president of the Eckerd College Planned Parenthood Generation Action and is a student activist in the Florida Public Interest Research Group, Captain of the Sirens Rugby Team and Captain of the Riptides Dance Team.

More about Alicen's award

Alicen Nico is a major in Women’s and Gender Studies and also in Human Development. She has earned an impeccable GPA overall. She was selected as a Ford Apprentice Scholar, and she co-taught a Gender and Society Sociology course. She earned a high mark on her Women’s and Gender Comprehensive Examination.

More about Natalie's award

Natalie Turczek is a major in Women’s and Gender Studies and in Political Science. She has minors in Anthropology and in International Relations. She received the highest mark on her Women’s and Gender Studies Comprehensive Exam. This is the only year in the history of the major during the past 28 years that three outstanding seniors have achieved such an honor in one year. Natalie has served as a Resident Advisor. She plans to attend graduate school after graduation.

More about Liat's award

Liat Paradise is majoring in Women’s and Gender Studies, with a minor in Philosophy. She was recently inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. She wrote a Senior Thesis in Women’s and Gender Studies that received a high mark. She is an accomplished musician and composer and has played concerts internationally on her flute. She is also an entrepreneur. She earned an impressive cumulative GPA.

Margaret Rigg Center Outstanding Service Award in Gender Justice

Shelby Scott

The Margaret Rigg Center Outstanding Service Award in Gender Justice is given to the student who has dedicated time and energy to promote awareness of women’s issues both on and off campus through the Women’s Resource Center, various events on campus, working with local abuse clinics and shelter, or showed an overall devotion to gender justice.

Awarded By: The Letters Collegium (Women’s & Gender Studies) and the Women’s Resource Center Committee

More about Shelby's award

I am honored to present this award to Shelby Scott whose enthusiasm for and commitment to gender justice connects her activism with her academic scholarship. I first met Shelby in her initial semester at Eckerd College, in a course called Gender, Science, and Mind. Together we considered the relevance of new work in the philosophy of biology, psychology, and neuroscience for theories of gender. Over the course of the next four years, Shelby became a champion of gender justice on Eckerd’s campus. As an activist, Shelby organized her peers and pushed for conversation with administrators about Title IX reforms. Later, as part of the Title IX faculty-student committee to investigate Title IX protocols at Eckerd, Shelby worked diligently to achieve solutions that protect students. As a Ford Scholar, Shelby studied gender inequities in academic philosophy, and investigated ways in which women have been overlooked in narratives about the history of philosophy. I know Shelby will continue to advocate for gender equity across contexts, and to inspire those around her to seek change in the face of injustice. I am proud to have been Shelby’s mentor and teacher, and I wish her the very best in her next adventures.

Professor Louise Daoust

American Institute of Chemistry Foundation Award

Lauren McDonald

The American Institute of Chemistry Foundation Award is given to an outstanding student who studied chemistry and had a very active leadership role in the chemistry department, with both faculty and students, both on-campus and off-campus, through research, projects and volunteer work related to the field of chemistry.

Awarded By: The Natural Sciences Collegium (Chemistry)

More about Lauren's award

Lauren McDonald personifies the spirit of this AIC award. She is an excellent student, and is graduating as a member of our Honors Program with an ACS certified degree in Chemistry. She has worked for Dr. Greg Felton’s research lab, and has already published her work in the chemical literature. She also works to train his new students as a leader in the lab. Lauren is the President of our Student Affiliates Chapter of the American Chemical Society, and under her leadership for the last two years, we have seen the Chapter hold more events, increase its outreach into our St. Pete community, and win National Commendation from the ACS. Lauren was selected to participate in an ACS Leadership Institute in early 2020 where she increased her network and her marketable skills. She has worked as a chemistry tutor, a fantastic laboratory Teaching Assistant, and as an NAS student senator. Lauren will be pursuing a doctoral degree in chemistry at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst next year, and is certain to make a broad and positive impact on her graduate program.

American Institute of Chemistry Foundation Award

Ella Vicedomine

The American Institute of Chemistry Foundation Award is given to an outstanding student who studied chemistry and had a very active leadership role in the chemistry department, with both faculty and students, both on-campus and off-campus, through research, projects and volunteer work related to the field of chemistry.

Awarded By: The Natural Sciences Collegium (Chemistry)

More about Ella's award

Ella Vicedomine is one of our top students in the Chemistry and Biochemistry discipline, earning a Biochemistry Degree, certified by the American Chemical Society. Because of her excellent grades and proficiency in Italian, Ella will be inducted into Phi Beta Kappa this year. Ella has also been a Ford Apprentice Scholar. She has done her Ford project with Dr. Bonner, working on developing a new undergraduate organic chemistry laboratory experiment on synthesizing a biodegradable polymer. She has also done synthetic organic chemistry research with Dr. David Grove on the synthesis of a potential chemotherapeutic drug molecule. Her proficiency on the NMR spectrometer has made her a very capable laboratory Teaching Assistant, regularly helping students acquire their laboratory data, even outside of set laboratory times. Ella is also a Chemistry Tutor and has been a valuable resource in helping Dr. Benjamin Chemel transition the NAS Tutoring Program to an online format this past academic year. Ella is currently interviewing for jobs in environmental chemistry before looking in to graduate schools in the future. We all look forward to keeping track of her many future successes over the years to come.

Ferguson Award

Dana Borge

The Ferguson Award is given to an outstanding student who studied chemistry and had a very active leadership role in the chemistry department, with both faculty and students, both on-campus and off-campus, through research, projects and volunteer work related to the field of chemistry.

Awarded By: The Natural Sciences Collegium (Chemistry)

More about Dana's award

This year’s recipient is Dana Borge, who will earn a Chemistry Degree, with High Honors, certified by the American Chemical Society. Dana has worked as a General Chemistry Laboratory Teaching Assistant and a Chemistry Tutor. Significantly, he has been doing chemistry research with Dr. Chris Schnabel for several years, yielding results that will be published in the literature this summer. He is one of the most responsible and thorough researchers the discipline has had in many years. According to Dr. Schnabel, the research Dana has done over the past two years was on the level of a second-year graduate student, synthesizing several novel coordination complexes and writing his own manuscripts. He has also helped to develop a new undergraduate General Chemistry laboratory, troubleshooting the procedure to optimize results and streamline the process. He worked efficiently and was enthusiastic about the entire project. Dana will be working before applying to graduate school next year. With all high marks on his college transcript, Dana is truly an exceptional student, and an even better human being.

Natural Sciences Collegium Scholarship and Service Award

Cody Miner

Annalise Kendrick

Nadine Wong

Mlana Lore

Joshua Frommeyer

Celina Ceballos

Jennifer Necker

The Natural Sciences Collegium Scholarship and Service Award is given to the student majoring in science who received more than two-thirds of the faculty vote for outstanding academic work in the classroom as well as showing initiative and promise for future work in the field of science.

Awarded By: The Natural Sciences Collegium

More about Cody's award

It is my sincere pleasure to nominate Cody Miner for the NAS Scholarship and Service Award.

Quick facts:

  •       Impressive GPA
  •       Biology Major-Molecular Track, Marine Science Minor and Chemistry Minor
  •       Ford Scholar
  •       Harvard/Massachusetts General Hospital Intern
  •       Research student in the Krediet Lab
  •       Biology Tutor
  •       Honors Program student
  •       NAS Senate Member

Cody Miner exudes academic excellence and intellectual curiosity from every pore of his being.  As a sophomore, he was allowed to take a 400-level Developmental Biology course. In this rigorous course, students are required to construct an NIH format grant proposal. Not only did Cody’s work reveal a higher level of sophisticated understanding and critical analysis, his work was superior to the seniors in the course. In addition to his proficiency in biology, Cody has demonstrated his excellence in Chemistry, with a high mark earned in Biochemistry 2. He continues his excellence in Marine Science, earning his continual string of top grades in courses such as Marine Invertebrate Biology, Marine Invertebrate Paleontology and Chemical and Physical Oceanography.

He has served the Biology discipline and NAS Collegium as a Biology Tutor and NAS senate member.

In the fall, Cody will begin his Ph.D. program at the University of Florida, where he is excited to study and perform research in Marine Invertebrate development.

Please join me in honoring him with this well-deserved award.

Professor Denise Flaherty

More about Annalise's award

It is an honor to nominate Annalise Kendrick for the Natural Sciences Collegium Scholarship and Service Award. Annalise is a triple major in Mathematics, Economics and Psychology with an extremely impressive cumulative GPA. Her scholarship is extensive and impressive. She is a Ford Scholar, Peter Pav Scholar, member of Phi Beta Kappa, and a nominee for the George Meese Writing Excellence Award (winners announced in May 2021). She has done research in economics (with Sophie Tripp), psychology (with Miranda Goodman-Wilson), mathematics (with Nazarré Merchant), and linguistics (with Merchant and also with Kathryn Schuler at the University of Pennsylvania in a summer REU), and is a published fiction writer. She is writing a senior thesis in mathematics with Merchant that will result in a publishable research article.

Her publications and presentations include:

  • Kendrick, Annalise. 2020. The Sculpture With Which I Conversed. The Eckerd Review. Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, FL.
  • Kendrick, A. 2021 (expected). Analyzing Contrast Utilization in the Stress and Length Paka System. Mathematics Senior Thesis. Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, FL.
  • Kendrick, Annalise and Kathryn Schuler. 2021. Adults do not regularize unpredictable language variation, even when learning from an unreliable speaker. 95th Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America. San Francisco. Linguistic Society of America.

After doing a summer research program at the University of Pennsylvania with Schuler, Annalise was subsequently hired as a research assistant in Schuler’s lab, and continues to work there. She has been a research assistant on my grant for the last two years.

Her service to the College and community has been significant. Below is a list of her contributions.

  • Volunteer Teacher’s Assistant, Melrose Elementary- Saint Petersburg, FL. 2019
  • Vice President of Financial Affairs for ECOS. 2020-present
  • Parliamentarian for ECOS. 2019-2020
  • Served on Academic Honor Council, Eckerd College. 2018-present
  • Served on Financial Affairs Committee, ECOS. 2018-2019
  • Served on Campus Planning Committee, Eckerd College. 2019-2020
  • Coordinator for Eckerd’s Emerging Leaders. 2018-2019
  • Served on Cabinet of ECOS. 2018-2019
  • Co-Captain and Club Head for Eckerd Cheerleading. 2018-2019

More about Nadine's award

Nadine is a Physics major (dual-degree Engineering student) with an impressive overall GPA. She was recently tapped for Phi Beta Kappa. She is currently working on her degree in Mechanical Engineering at Columbia University. She has worked on research with Joe Larkin (sophomore year) and Eduardo Fernandez (summer between her sophomore and junior year) and was accepted to an REU program at Columbia University for the summer after her junior year, which has been COVID-delayed to summer 2021. She presented her work with Professor Fernandez at the 61st Annual meeting of the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Nadine has done tremendous service for the Physics discipline, NAS and the College as a whole. Even though she is currently “at” Columbia, she was willing to continue tutoring remotely for Math and Physics—covering a serious need last fall. Last year, she served as a grader for physics as well (continuing to do this remotely last spring which was a tremendous help). In the summer after her first year, she worked with Anne Cox on developing upper-level labs for courses (which she hadn’t yet taken): doing a good deal of independent work troubleshooting and writing up the materials.
Nadine is active in issues around Women in Physics, attending the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics and then serving on the 2020 Local Organizing Committee for the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics–Florida region. She worked on the website for the conference and the design of marketing materials. Prior to starting at Columbia this past fall, she was an officer of the MakerSpace and was particularly focused on events that promoted coding. She wanted to help provide spaces for students to see beyond messages they may have heard discouraging them from “hard”-science.
Beyond NAS, Nadine served as a Resident Advisor (2019-20), Peer Mentor (2018-19), and member of the Orchestra and a Chamber group (the three years while at Eckerd—she is a cellist).

More about Mlana's award

Mlana Lore

It is a pleasure to nominate Mlana Lore, senior Biology major with a minor in Chemistry, for the NAS Scholarship and Service Award. Academically, she is exceptional: impeccable GPA, Ford Scholar, 2020 Goldwater Scholar, 2021 NSF GRPF Honorable Mention, and the recipient of the first annual Carlos Barbas II Research Fellowship Award. She has done a summer internship in a neurology lab at Mass Gen in addition to research with me since her sophomore year. This work will culminate in her senior thesis, which has been presented at the National Collegiate Research Conference (poster) with two additional presentations at the national meeting of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (poster) and the Southeast Regional Yeast Meeting (oral). After a very successful graduate school search, she has decided to pursue her Ph.D. in biomedical sciences at the University of Colorado–Denver.

Mlana’s service to NAS has also been significant. She has been a member of the NAS senate for the last two years, a teaching assistant for genetics and cell biology labs since January 2019, and a tutor for organic chemistry, biochemistry, cell biology, ecology and evolution, and genetics over the past two years. Finally, she is the current president of the TriBeta biology honorary society.

More about Joshua's award

Joshua Frommeyer is a Biochemistry major, attaining the ACS certified degree in Biochemistry. He has an impressive GPA and missed out on induction into Phi Beta Kappa only because the pandemic prevented him from satisfying the language requirement because the immersion classes were canceled. He attended the internship at the Center for Genomic Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital during the summer of 2019. He was also chosen an Eckerd College applicant for the Goldwater Scholarship.

In terms of service to NAS and Eckerd College, Josh has a variety of activities that indicate his commitment and dedication to improving our Collegium. Josh is an NAS Student Senator and regularly attends our Collegial meetings, in person or remotely. Josh has worked as a chemistry tutor for two years. In his first year, he helped me organize and prepare the practice worksheets that were used at tutoring. This current year he worked closely with Ben Chemel when campus first closed to help figure out the best way to transition tutoring to an online format. He has continued to offer feedback and has helped to troubleshoot some of the technological difficulties that have come up. Josh has also worked as a chemistry laboratory teaching assistant. When he was my TA, he was well prepared for each lab, helped enforce safety protocols with the students, and was able to answer most of the students’ questions immediately, without my input. He was also a very meticulous grader, and held the students accountable to doing good work, both at the bench and in their notebooks.

Notably, Josh gives back to the broader community as an officer in our Eckerd College Student Affiliates Chapter of the American Chemical Society. Our chapter has been active in our campus community, but we previously received feedback from the national society that we needed to increase our outreach efforts in local school communities. In our county, visiting a local school during school hours requires a background check. Josh already had a check done for another school service project, so he volunteered to go to two elementary schools during National Chemistry Week to speak to groups of students on the theme of Marvelous Metals. He contacted the schools, made scheduling arrangements with teachers and administrators, ordered supplies, and planned a short presentation with demonstrations. It was really impressive to see him establish relationships with local teachers and schools, truly improving our impact in the local communities here in St. Petersburg. This past year, along with a few other students, Josh filmed demo videos to send to the schools while they were closed for the pandemic. Because of these efforts, our chapter was recognized with a Commendable Award, putting us in the top 100 chapters in the country!

Josh certainly meets and exceeds the scholastic and service requirements for this award, and I hope we can recognize his contributions to our collegium.

More about Celina's award

Academics:

  • Marine Science major, Biology track, impressive GPA
  • Chemistry, Journalism, and Spanish minors
  • Barry Goldwater Scholar
  • Marine Science Freshman Research Program Scholarship
  • Marine Science Freshman Academic Achievement Award
  • Nominee for Writing Excellence Award
  • Journalist of the Year (2 years; The Current)
  • Fulbright Research Award to Honduras

Research:

  • Senior thesis (on gopher tortoise ecology with Jeff Goessling)
  • Gopher tortoise conservation research (Eckerd)
  • Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory (NSF REU researcher)
  • Eckerd College (wetlands research, 2 years)
  • The Wetlands Institute, NJ (diamondback terrapin research)

Presentations at major meetings:
Poster (first author), Ocean Sciences Meeting (San Diego)

Science Service:

  • NAS tutor (virtual) for organic chemistry and all marine science courses
  • Wetlands research intern (mentored, trained, supervised new students)
  • NAS Senate
  • Science Editor, The Current
  • NOAA Science Festival, St. Petersburg

More about Jennifer's award

Academics:

  • Marine Science major, Chemistry track, impressive GPA
  • Barry Goldwater Scholar
  • NOAA Hollings Scholar
  • Marine Science Freshman Research Program Scholarship
  • Marine Science Freshman Academic Achievement Award
  • Nominee for Writing Excellence Award

Research:

  • Senior thesis (based on Hollings scholarship research)
  • Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (Hollings scholarship research)
  • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (Summer Student Fellow)
  • University of Delaware College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (NSF REU researcher)
  • Eckerd College (microplastics research)

Presentations at major meetings:
Ocean Sciences meeting, San Diego, CA (poster; first author)

Service:

  • Chemistry tutor
  • Microplastic research intern (mentored, trained, supervised new students)

Future plans:

  • Participation in hydrothermal vent cruise in Pacific for fall 2021 (by invitation)
  • Ph.D. program, University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography (deferred until fall 2022)

Marine Science Academic Excellence Award

Celina Ceballos

Evan Coit

Jennifer Necker

Sofia McNally

The Marine Science Academic Excellence Award is given to a student graduating with a degree in Marine Science for his/her outstanding academic achievements in the Marine Science major.

Awarded By: The Natural Sciences Collegium (Marine Science)

More about Celina's award

Celina Ceballos is a Marine Science major (Biology track), with minors in Chemistry, Journalism, and Spanish. She has an impressive GPA. In addition to winning a Barry Goldwater scholarship, the nation’s most prestigious scholarship for undergraduate science, engineering, and mathematics majors, she was also awarded a Marine Science Freshman Research Program Scholarship and the Marine Science Freshman Academic Achievement Award, was a nominee for the College’s Writing Excellence Award, and was selected for Phi Beta Kappa. Celina has been the Science Editor for Eckerd’s newspaper, The Current, for two years, and won Journalist of the Year honors for both of those years.

While at Eckerd, Celina has been involved in a significant amount of research, including two years working on a project examining the ecological functioning of restored wetlands in Tampa Bay and a summer performing research on the physiological responses of corals to temperature changes at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory; and she is completing a senior thesis on the foraging and movement ecology of gopher tortoises in St. Petersburg’s Boyd Hill Nature Preserve. Following graduation, Celina will travel to Honduras to conduct research on hawksbill sea turtle ecology and migration as a Fulbright Scholar, which will also be the beginning of her thesis research as a graduate student at Loma Linda University.

Celina has served the Marine Science discipline as a tutor, and as a peer mentor for students working in the wetlands research program.

More about Evan's award

The Marine Science faculty are delighted to recognize Evan Gray Coit for the Senior Award for Academic Excellence in Marine Science. Evan has completed a Marine Science major in the Biology track, as well as a minor in Chemistry. He exudes academic excellence and intellectual curiosity. He demonstrated his strong academic awareness as early as his first year as a First-Year Research Associate in Marine Science working with Professor Jeannine Lessmann. He continued his research prowess as a NOAA Hollings Scholar and studied genetic taxonomy of zooplankton communities. He also briefly worked with Professors Goessling and Krediet to pilot an investigation of gut microbiome communities in juvenile gopher tortoises. While at Eckerd, Evan has served the Marine Science Discipline and the NAS Collegium as a Marine Science Tutor and a member of the NAS Senate. Evan was also an Assistant Resident Coordinator (ARC) on campus. He will be inducted into the Zeta Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa later this spring. After graduation, Evan will join the team of San Juan Outfitters in Washington State for the summer, leading multi-day kayaking, hiking, and cycling trips while imparting his vast marine knowledge along the way. Evan will also be finishing up a manuscript for publication based on his NOAA Hollings research and applying to Ph.D. programs focused in evolutionary genetics.

More about Jennifer's award

Jennifer “Jenn” Necker is a Marine Science major in the Chemistry track. She was awarded a Marine Science Freshman Research Program Scholarship, the Marine Science Freshman Academic Achievement Award, and was a nominee for the College’s Writing Excellence Award. She served as a chemistry tutor and worked with the microplastics research group at Eckerd, wherein she mentored, trained, and supervised new students. Jenn was selected for Phi Beta Kappa based on her impressive GPA and the language skills she developed during a semester abroad in Germany.

In addition to winning a Barry Goldwater Scholarship, the nation’s most prestigious scholarship for undergraduate science, engineering and mathematics majors, she also received a NOAA Hollings Scholarship. Jenn completed a senior thesis based on her Hollings work, conducting research on the potential for using radium as a tracer for Saharan dust deposition in the Atlantic Ocean. She also conducted research through summer programs at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment.

Following graduation, Jenn will participate in a research cruise in the Pacific Ocean to study hydrothermal vents. In the fall of 2022, she will attend the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography to pursue a doctoral degree.

More about Sofia's award

Sofia McNally has been a standout in Marine Science in class, research, and service. Her excellent academic performance has kept her on the Dean’s List and garnered her the rare honor to be inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, the national academic honor society. Sofia was awarded the merit-based Ford Apprentice Scholarship and the Galbraith-Wardman Fellowship to complete professional research at Eckerd College as well as in Bermuda, with the Ford opportunity culminating in her successful completion of an invitation-only senior research thesis. Sofia has been able to give several oral and poster presentations of her research experiences, with an upcoming professional presentation this summer at the Ecological Society of America’s national conference. Further, she has been a trusted teaching assistant for Chemistry and Biological Oceanography, and an elected representative for her dorm in the Eckerd College Organization of Students as well as for the Natural Sciences Faculty Senate.

Meacham Mathematics Memorial (M3) Award

Debanhi Reyes

The Meacham Mathematical Memorial (M3) Award is given to an outstanding student for achievement in mathematical studies at Eckerd College. The award is given by the Meacham family in memory of founding faculty member Robert Meacham and alumnus Robert C. Meacham, Jr.

Awarded By: The Natural Sciences Collegium (Mathematics Department)

More about Debanhi's award

Debanhi Jimenez Reyes is a Mathematics and Marine Science double major from Nuevo Leon, Mexico, who will graduate with an impressive GPA.

Debanhi has been extensively involved in research projects over the last four years while at Eckerd. With Professor Greg Brooks she investigated the ongoing effects of the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill. This ongoing project is based on ten years of the oil spill to see if the sediment has transported down slope from the spill. She also worked with Professor Brooks on annual to decadal sedimentation patterns off of the northwest coast of Cuba covering the past 100 years.

Deb has been quite active at Eckerd. She has been the treasurer of the Women’s Rugby club, she has worked as a Resident Advisor (RA) for three years, she is part of the running club, and has been one of our most sought after math tutors.

In the classroom Deb is outstanding. She has wonderful communication skills and is a terrific teammate. Her enthusiasm for learning and the thoughtful questions she poses in class regularly provide motivation for her classmates and professors. She likes helping other students, showing admirable empathy to those students that struggle.

In the fall she will be pursuing a graduate degree at the University of Helsinki studying seismology.

Meacham Mathematics Memorial (M3) Award

Annalise Kendrick

The Meacham Mathematical Memorial (M3) Award is given to an outstanding student for achievement in mathematical studies at Eckerd College. The award is given by the Meacham family in memory of founding faculty member Robert Meacham and alumnus Robert C. Meacham, Jr.

Awarded By: The Natural Sciences Collegium (Mathematics Department)

More about Annalise's award

Annalise Kendrick is a triple major in Mathematics, Economics, and Psychology from Littleton, Colorado, who has maintained an extremely impressive GPA.

Annalise is a Ford Scholar, Peter Pav Scholar, and member of Phi Beta Kappa. She has done research in economics (with Professor Sophie Tripp), psychology (with Professor Miranda Goodman-Wilson), mathematics (with Professor Nazarré Merchant), and linguistics (with Merchant and also with Professor Kathryn Schuler at the University of Pennsylvania in a summer REU), and is a published fiction writer. She is writing a senior thesis in mathematics and has presented her research on language variation at the 95th Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America.

Her service to the College and community has been significant. Annalise has served as the VP of Financial Affairs and Parliamentarian of for ECOS, along with serving on ECOS’s cabinet. She has served on the Academic Honor Council, the Campus Planning Committee, as Coordinator for Eckerd’s Emerging Leaders, as the Co-Captain for Eckerd Cheerleading, and as a volunteer teacher’s assistant at Melrose Elementary School.

Annalise is a pleasure to have in the classroom, serving as a model student always ready with an insightful question and who regularly serves as an impromptu tutor to help students with difficult material.

In the fall she will be pursuing a graduate degree at the University of California, San Diego studying Economics.

Edmund L. Gallizzi Award for Excellence in Computer Science

Rachel Halepeska

The Edward Gallizzi Award for Excellence in Computer Science is given to a student who demonstrates outstanding achievement both inside and outside the classroom, and is a role model for success in the discipline of Computer Science.

Awarded By: The Natural Sciences Collegium (Computer Science)

More about Rachel's award

It is a great pleasure to announce that the Eckerd College Computer Science discipline has decided that Rachel Halepeska will be the 2021 winner of the Edmund L. Gallizzi Award for Excellence in Computer Science.

Rachel has been consistently strong and motivated from the start. She has been a computer science tutor and lab assistant for multiple years. As a rising junior, through NSSRP, Rachel implemented new features for an iPhone app and developed a complete Android app, start to finish. The app served as a prototype for part of a successful NOAA grant proposal to change behaviors to reduce single-use plastic consumption. Her work style was independent and impressively efficient. Rachel also conducted research on features to identify Alaskan Brown Bears from their profiles for the DARWIN software project during her senior year. The quality of her work in a variety of classes has been consistently outstanding, which is also reflected in her impeccable GPA.

Rachel has also been kind and helpful in the classroom to other students.  In group projects she would often take the lead and make all of the members in her group stronger.  Students who see her as a tutor praise her patience and ability to describe difficult concepts in terms that are easy to understand.

In conclusion, Rachel has earned this award through hard work in the area of computer science, both inside and outside of the classroom.  Congratulations!

The Harry W. Ellis Award for Outstanding Achievement in Physics

Austin Howard

The Harry W. Ellis Award for Outstanding Achievement in Physics is given in recognition of a graduating senior’s outstanding academic achievement in the field of physics.

Awarded By: The Natural Sciences Collegium (Physics)

More about Austin's award

Austin is a major in both Physics and Mathematics.

Austin has managed to take every course in the Physics discipline. He had a number of incoming credits when he began at Eckerd and so was able to enroll in upper-level courses in his first year. Not only did he complete all of the Physics courses by the end of his junior year, but he also performed exceptionally well in all of his Physics and Mathematics courses. In addition to being an excellent student, he also served the Physics and Mathematics disciplines as an evening tutor.

Austin joined the lab of David Mertens at the end of his sophomore year. Along with two upperclassmen he worked on designing and building the experimental apparatus of the lab with the aim of studying synchronization. Work on calibrating the system culminated in a planned talk during his junior year at the American Physical Society’s 2020 March Meeting. Unfortunately, the conference was cancelled due to COVID.

In the following summer and during his senior year, Austin took on two new research projects in preparation for a joint thesis in both Mathematics and Physics. For his Mathematics thesis he studied the mathematical underpinnings and practical limitations of the Hilbert Transform, a common signal processing technique used in analyzing data from synchronization experiments. For his Physics thesis he studied the application of synchronization to solving optimization problems, so-called Ising Machine problems, and a topic new to the lab.

Austin will continue his academic studies in the fall as a graduate student of Physics at Georgetown University.

The Harry W. Ellis Award for Outstanding Achievement in Physics

Nadine Wong

The Harry W. Ellis Award for Outstanding Achievement in Physics is given in recognition of a graduating senior’s outstanding academic achievement in the field of physics.

Awarded By: The Natural Sciences Collegium (Physics)

More about Nadine's award

Nadine Wong is a Physics major (dual-degree Engineering student). Her academic success at the College has made her a nominee for Phi Beta Kappa. She is currently working on her degree in Mechanical Engineering at Columbia University.

She worked on research with Joe Larkin (sophomore year) and Eduardo Fernandez (summer between her sophomore and junior years) and was accepted to an REU program at Columbia University for the summer after her junior year, which has been COVID-delayed to this summer (2021).
She has done tremendous service for the Physics discipline, NAS and the College as a whole. Even though she is currently “at” Columbia, she was willing to continue tutoring remotely for Math and Physics—covering a serious need last fall. Last year, she served as a grader for Physics as well (continuing to do this remotely last spring, which was a tremendous help). In the summer after her first year, she worked with Anne Cox on developing upper-level labs for courses (which she hadn’t yet taken): doing a good deal of independent work troubleshooting and writing up the materials.

Nadine is active in issues around Women in Physics, attending the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (January 2019) and then serving on the 2020 Local Organizing Committee for the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics–Florida region. She worked on the website for the conference and the design of marketing materials. Prior to starting at Columbia this past fall, she was an officer of the MakerSpace and was particularly focused on events that promoted coding. She wanted to help provide spaces for students to see beyond messages they may have heard discouraging them from “hard”-science.

Beyond NAS, Nadine also served as a Resident Advisor (2019-20), Peer Mentor (2018-19), and member of the Orchestra and a Chamber group (the three years while at Eckerd; she is a cellist).

Senior Award for Academic Excellence in Biology

Mlana Lore

Cody Miner

Katherine Sklaver

The Senior Award for academic Excellence in Biology is presented to the student majoring in Biology who has achieved outstanding academic work in the classroom as well as showing initiative and promise for future scholarship in the field.

Awarded By: The Natural Sciences Collegium (Biology)

More about Mlana's award

The Biology faculty are honored to recognize Mlana Lore for the Senior Award for Academic Excellence in Biology. Mlana is a Biology major on the Molecular track with a minor in Chemistry. She is academically exceptional, as is evidenced in her credentials as a Ford Scholar, 2020 Goldwater Scholar, 2021 NSF GRPF Honorable Mention, and the recipient of the first annual Carlos Barbas II Research Fellowship Award.  She has done significant thesis research in the Young-Erdos Laboratory at Eckerd as well as a summer internship at Harvard University/Massachusetts General Hospital in the Center for Genomic Medicine. Her thesis work at Eckerd has been presented at the National Collegiate Research Conference with two additional presentations scheduled for the national meeting of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Southeast Regional Yeast Meeting. Her service to Eckerd has been substantial as: a teaching assistant for genetics and cell biology labs, a tutor for multiple biology and chemistry courses, and the current president of Eckerd’s chapter of the Tri-Beta Biology Honors Society. After a very successful graduate school search, she has chosen to pursue her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at the University of Colorado Denver.

More about Cody's award

The Biology faculty are delighted to recognize, Mr. Cody Scott Miner, for the Senior Award for Academic Excellence in Biology. Cody has completed a Biology major in the Molecular Track, as well as minors in Marine Science and Chemistry. Cody exudes academic excellence and intellectual curiosity. He demonstrated his strong academic acumen as early as his sophomore year, by constructing an NIH format grant proposal for one of his courses that revealed a high level of sophisticated understanding and critical analysis. He continued his research prowess in the Krediet Lab at Eckerd and in the laboratories at Harvard University/Massachusetts General Hospital in the Center for Genomic Medicine. While at Eckerd, Cody has served the Biology Discipline and NAS Collegium as a Biology Tutor and NAS senate member. He is a member of the Ford Scholar Program, the Honors Program, Eckerd’s Chapters of the Tri-Beta Biology Honor Society and Phi Beta Kappa. In the fall, Cody will begin his Ph.D. program at the University of Florida in their Zoology Department, where he is excited to study and perform research in Marine Invertebrate development.

More about Katherine's award

The Biology faculty are delighted to recognize Katherine Sklaver for the Senior Award for Academic Excellence in Biology. Katherine has gone above and beyond meeting our graduation requirements while completing a double major in Biology and Communication. Moreover, her extraordinary energy and enthusiasm for science was evident by her involvement throughout the natural sciences at Eckerd College. She carried out research as a Ford Scholar in chemistry and also as a research assistant on several projects in our biology discipline. Katherine served as the founding President to our chapter of the National Biological Honors Society, TriBeta. During her senior year, she served as president of the student-lead Science Outreach Club. In addition to spearheading numerous student activities on campus, she co-hosted three very large educational events focused on the COVID-19 vaccine this last spring. Katherine also took her passion for science communication out into the St. Petersburg community as an instructor at Mad Science and through several internship positions over the years. Lastly, Katherine was recently nominated to the nation’s most prestigious national honors society, Phi Beta Kappa. Following graduation, she will spend the summer working as a botany field technician in Alaska for the National Ecological Observation Network (NEON).

Senior Award for Outstanding Service in Biology

Kaitlyn Cole

The Senior Award for Outstanding Service in Biology is presented to the student majoring in Biology who has demonstrated a tireless commitment to service and support of the discipline.

Awarded By: The Natural Sciences Collegium (Biology)

More about Kaitlyn's award

With a remarkable ability to support her fellow students and progress the discipline as a whole Kaitlyn (Kait) Cole is a clear choice for the 2021 Senior Award for Outstanding Service in Biology. In addition to her academic prowess, Kait has sought out numerous opportunities to facilitate the education of Biology majors and other Eckerd students. As a Teaching Assistant for Human Physiology, Kait provided in depth feedback to students on written activities and suggestions to the overall course to help students learn most efficiently. Her efforts in the classroom were magnified by her position as an academic subject peer coach for the Center for Academic Excellence. In this role, Kait worked with students on fine tuning and developing successful study strategies in the sciences, especially in the biology, chemistry, and Biological and Geological Oceanography courses. She was exceptionally skilled at helping students understand the difference between studying and doing homework and how to use their time effectively to get the most out of their studying. She also developed several handouts on how to create good study guides, how to create effective flashcards, and how to study effectively in biology classes. It was her seamless integration of these two endeavors that she has had the greatest impact. This award also reflects Kait’s selflessness and consideration of others as she progressed through her own undergraduate education. For example, when pursing a study abroad trip for college approval, Kait actively reached out to her peers to include their needs in the decision-making process. Kait also contributed and participated in organizing CPS events on effective study strategies, time management and organization, as well as planning for finals. Kait’s work and dedication to the discipline has been outstanding in every respect. She will be greatly missed but future students will continue to benefit from her efforts through her handouts and training tips she has developed. For her tireless efforts to see success in herself and those around her, we are pleased to present Kaitlyn Cole with this award for outstanding service to the discipline.

Sarah K. Dean Women in Leadership Award

Kaitlyn Willgohs

The Sarah K. Dean Women in Leadership Award was established in honor of Professor Emerita of Human Development Sarah K. Dean, former Dean of Women, Dean of Students, and Vice President for Student Affairs. In tribute to Sarah Dean’s educational vision and empowering presence, this award honors a female student who has demonstrated outstanding leadership on campus as well as a deep commitment to learning within and beyond the classroom.

Awarded By:  Vice President for Student Life / Dean of Students

More about Kaitlyn's award

This year’s recipient—from Tewksbury, Massachusetts—is graduating with a double major in Psychology and Animal Studies and has been elected to Phi Beta Kappa and to Omicron Delta Kappa. She has served as a Peer Mentor, a Lead Mentor, and a Senior Mentor. She is a Ford Scholar, a student assistant for Animal Studies, and a photographer for Triton Athletics. Her volunteer service and internship experiences include serving on the Presidential Search Committee, working as a lab manager and research assistant for the Animal Studies Research Collaborative, and serving as the research intern for the Africa Department at Zoo Tampa.

Please join me in congratulating this year’s recipient of the Sarah K. Dean Women in Leadership Award, Kaitlyn Willgohs.

Mark W. Smith Award

Elio Garcia

The Mark W. Smith Award was established by two Eckerd graduates who were influenced by Dean Smith’s beliefs that students should be encouraged to give to the community of which they are a part. Reflecting this philosophy, the Mark W. Smith Award honors a student who has given outstanding service to the campus community and who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership and initiative in the effort to enhance campus life.

Awarded By:  Vice President for Student Life / Dean of Students

More about Elio's award

This year’s recipient, from Palmetto, Florida, is majoring in Human Development with a minor in Interdisciplinary Arts. He has been a Resident Advisor for two years and worked as an assistant in the Office of Campus Activities, where he planned and implemented several events on campus that encouraged a more inclusive environment for all students. His volunteer service includes helping children with life-threatening illnesses create memories at Give Kids the World. During his sophomore year, he volunteered for the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Florida and assisted with their homeless and hunger campaign. For the last two years, he has served as the President of Latinos Unidos and hosted a radio show through the campus station, WECX. During his senior year, he was named a member of the Diversity Action Council

The 2021 Mark W. Smith Award recipient is Elio Garcia.