College of Education and Health Professions Honors Students at 2024 Awards Banquet

The College of Education and Health Professions presented awards to its first-ranked senior scholars at the annual banquet. These students earned a 4.0 GPA in all their coursework.
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The College of Education and Health Professions presented awards to its first-ranked senior scholars at the annual banquet. These students earned a 4.0 GPA in all their coursework.

The College of Education and Health Professions held its annual student awards ceremony on April 15, recognizing more than 100 outstanding students.

Aside from commencement, this event is the college's largest celebration of student achievement.

Dean Kate Mamiseishvili said interacting with students is always the highlight of her day. "Students, you give meaning to everything we do," she told the crowd at the beginning of the banquet. "When we advance impactful research, engage in outreach and partnerships, recruit the most talented faculty and staff, we do all that to provide you with transformative educational experiences, expose you to cutting-edge research and new discoveries, and develop caring connections with you. You give us purpose."

Mamiseishvili said she's proud of each student for choosing careers in education and healthcare and applauded their decision to be part of the "college of caring professions."

"We teach, we heal, we train, we inspire, and we help people reach their full potential," she said. "What we do builds the foundation for prosperity, success and well-being."

Hotz Awards

The Henry G. and Stella Hotz Awards are presented to exemplary junior and sophomore students each year. These awards were established in honor of Henry Hotz, a U of A faculty member for 24 years and dean of the college for 11 years, and his wife, Stella, the first woman to obtain the rank of full professor at the U of A. The Hotz Award recipients are determined by grade point average and academic accomplishments.

This year's Henry G. and Stella Hotz Award for outstanding sophomore was presented to Anna Matusiak, a student in the college's Eleanor Mann School of Nursing. The Henry G. and Stella Hotz Award for outstanding junior was given to Taylor Porter, also a nursing student.

Presidential Scholar Award

Each college at the U of A names one undergraduate student as their presidential scholar every year. The Presidential Scholar Award was presented to Tsion Selassie, a junior exercise science major with a minor in biology.

The Presidential Scholar program was established in 1980 in recognition of James Martin's investiture as president of the U of A. Presidential scholars are selected based on academic achievement.

First-Ranked Senior Scholars

Matt Ganio, associate dean of academic and student affairs, announced the college's first-ranked and senior scholars. Since 1942, special recognition has been given to students with the highest grade point averages in the college. First-ranked senior scholars have completed all their studies at the U of A and have a 4.0 GPA in all their coursework.

The 17 first-ranked senior scholars are Catherine Anderson, Madeleine Daniels, Kristen Fish, Zoe Lawless, Claire Lindley, Elizabeth Long, Alyssa Maisto, Allison Reichel, Susana Rodriguez Gongora, Crystal Schaefer, Ryan Sellner, Jessica Seymore, Grace Shibley, Rachel Sweningson, Mufazzela Tabassum, Graham Turner and Leslie Williams.

Senior Scholars

Senior Scholars have a 4.0 GPA but have taken at least one course at another college or university. These 18 outstanding students are Robert Bolner, Abigail Caldarera, Margaret Ethington, Ava Fendler, Brooke Friedman, Mary Gilliam, Marisa Kuhn, Madison Leighr, Jada Mack, Lindsey McLemore, Claire Metcalf, Kaitlyn Parker, Brittany Pittman, Ellie Polyak, Emerson Schinkel, Macey Schmitz, Marie Seykora and Josslyn Stringer.

Honors Research Symposium Winners

Winners from the college's 13th annual Honors Research Symposium were also recognized.

Meredith Diefenbach, an exercise science major, won the Best Research Project Award for her poster presentation, "Comparing Intensity Levels of Playground Physical Activities."

Kaitlyn Parker, a public health major, earned the Best Literature Review Project Award for her presentation titled "An Assessment of the Current State of Cancer Cachexia Clinical Trials."

Madison Simms, an exercise science major, won the Best Practice-Based Project Award. Her poster presentation focused on a "Review of Vestibular Therapy on Concussions."

Departmental Awards

The College of Education and Health Professions has six academic departments and 18 research and service units. The college's 183 full-time faculty members are internationally known for their scholarly work and research. For fall 2023, enrollment was 6,199 students.

The college honored outstanding students in each academic department at the banquet.

Communication Disorders and Occupational Therapy: Cole Burton, Madelyn Lawrence and Kendra Wilichowski.

Counseling, Leadership and Research Methods: Jaimie Aguirre, Anna Amos, Andrew Buffenbarger, Noelle Chesser, Ethan Harris, Elizabeth Humphrey, Jamie Loftin, Ashtyn McCain, Antoinette Mims, Blythe Mullins, Margie Pemu and Curtiss Smith.

Curriculum and Instruction: Madeleine Adkins, Teresa Blake, Robert Bolner, Connor Brawley, Leah Cheek, Alex Dowell, Anahi Francis, Samantha Fitzsimmons, Leticia De La Garza, Ashlyn Ham, Bailey Hamilton, Elise Hampton, Lydia Hendricks, Shannon Holland, Erin House, Cole Jensen, Madison Maddox, Dalia Manjarrez, Hannah Mhoon, Kali Minor, Amyrossita Mota, Nahomi Gonzalez Pineda, Lesley Ramirez, Ashley Taroni, Jennifer Wallis and Jennifer Ward.

Education Reform: Alison Heape Johnson and Sarah Morris.

Eleanor Mann School of Nursing: Susanne Early, Allison Evans, Kristen Fish, Klara Hutchinson, Jessica Laveroni, Kelli Marta, Allison Reichel and Sandy Stephens.

Health, Human Performance and Recreation: Madison Ceola, Stephanie Cotariu, Megan Jones, Paul Kimbrough, Carrington King, Margo Leavitt, Oluwatoyin Olatunde, Christie Paglione, Kaitlyn Parker, Kathleen McPartland, Jeb Willborg and Diane Zashin.

Mamiseisvhili ended the evening with a quote from Maya Angelou: "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

She left students with this parting thought: "I hope we made you feel extra special today, and you take this feeling with you as you embark on your life and career journeys and proudly represent the college of caring professions."


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