by Janah Valenzuela
Outstanding students, their parents and University of La Verne faculty packed Founders Auditorium Saturday for the annual academic awards ceremony.
The event honors top students from each department or program for academic achievement throughout the school year.
And while the awards focus on academic excellence in the specific disciplines, the ceremony had the feeling of a celebration of these top students for their overall accomplishments and contribution to the community in and outside of the classroom.
Some faculty presenters gushed in their short speeches honoring the students, often thanking them for mutual lessons learned.
In addition to awards in the various subjects and disciplines, Bailey Smith, director of the Learning Enhancement Center, honored Payam Parchamazad as Tutor of the Year, and Andrea Labinger, professor of Spanish, honored Anahit Shiroyan and Julia Marr for their accomplishments.
New at the ceremony this year was an award from the recently established Speech Communication Department.
Department Chairwoman Jeanne Flora gave the award to Speech Communication Major Audrey Butcher, who will be the first major to graduate from the department.
Flora said Butcher has been a great mentor and advocate to other majors and minors in the fledgling department.
Butcher “maintained a strong GPA and always offered quality contributions to class discussions,” Flora said.
Flora said she remembers how excited Butcher was when the new major became available.
“Audrey came to my office and said, ‘I’ve been waiting for a major like this at La Verne,'” Flora said.
“It’s satisfying to know that we’re meeting the needs and desires of students with similar interests as Audrey,” she said.
Such expressions of mutual appreciation summed up the tone of the ceremony, where some faculty and students exchanged hugs. Some students introduced parents to their favorite instructors, and even a few tears of joy and pride were shed.
Undoubtedly heightening the sentiment and feelings of a job well done, the nearly three-hour event was hosted by John Gingrich, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, who is stepping down after 16 years in the position.
Academic Award Recipients 2003
Accounting: Cejay Jelmer, Jennifer Lafkas, Jasmine Robinson, Kevin Burns
Anthropology: Gerlaine Kiamco, Rick Lopez
Art History: Amy Wolf, Lianna Capasso
Athletic Training: Adriana Ramirez, Kira Au
Behavioral Science: Amber Clayton, Emily Hofer
Biology: Danny Ramirez, Amanda Holthouse
Broadcasting: Vania Joseph, Nathan Baca
Business Administration: Derrick DeBruyne, Jasmine Robinson, Patricia Duke, Cassandra Cassaro
Chemistry: Gregory Andonian, Megan Moffit
Child Development: Katherine Pearson, Amanda Honeyman
Communications: Amanda Stutevoss, Agustin Avalos
Computer Science: Nguyen Phu Son, Patrick Brady
Computer Science/ Computer Engineering: Brian Santos, Anna Maestrado
Criminology: Mila Hustion-Warren, Raquel Delgado
Design Art: Gloria Arellano
E-Commerce: Amber Leffall, John Barnes
Economics: Megan Crawford, Christopher Jones
English: John Attwood, Melissa Daniels
English as a Second Language: Misa Kitagawa
Environmental Sciences (Biology): Adam (Joseph) Wacherpfennig, Jennifer Brady
Environmental Sciences (Management): Stephanie Adams, Benjamin Stevens
Environmental Sciences (Natural History): Thomas Hatch, Jarred Shell
French: Dorothy Enriquez, Silvia Hurtado
History: Russel Levine, Victoria Lopez
International Business and Language: Silvia Hurtado, Joshua Horwitz
Journalism: Jaclyn Roco, Alexis Lahr
Legal Studies: Anahit Shiroyan, Lusine Vartanova
Liberal Studies: Erika Rodriguez, Dawn Gliniak
Marketing: Julia Marr, Brandon Johnson
Mathematics: Wanda Groppi
Movement and Sports Science: Adriana Ramirez, Robert Leark
Music: Dayita Datta, J. Michael O’Neal
Organizational Management: Tanis Nelson, Sharon Acosta
Photography: Lianna Capasso, Jennifer Contreras
Physics: Jared Landaker
Political Science: Charles Campell, Reza Sabahi
Psychology: Kimberly Rademaker, Karla Flamenco
Public Administration: Crystal Marks
Religion: Noelle Andel
Social Science: Elizabeth Ramos, Erik Mullen
Sociology: Susan Campana, Rayshell Chambers
Speech Communication: Audrey Butcher
Studio Art: Jessica Lord, Mabel Martinez
Theatre Arts: David Rojas, Rebecca Campana
Carol Fetty Award: Jessica Lord
Honors Program: Anahit Shiroyan, Julia Marr
Tutor of the Year: Payam Parchamazad