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College of Arts and Sciences Student Awards

The College of Arts and Sciences at Saint Louis University recognizes the scholastic and creative achievements of our outstanding students.

CAS Graduate Award Guidelines

CAS Distinguished Thesis Award Guidelines

The Distinguished Thesis Award honors exceptional scholarship, research and writing by thesis master’s students in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The winner of the CAS Distinguished Thesis Award will receive an honorarium of $700. Up to two honorable mentions will be awarded, with honoraria of $150.

Criteria and Eligibility

All thesis master’s students may apply for initial consideration by the committee. (Only one student from each thesis master’s degree-granting unit in the College of Arts and Sciences may be a finalist.) Students whose degrees were conferred in 2023 are eligible for the 2024 award.

Application Process

Submit applications by completing and sending the application form. Applications must be submitted to by 5 p.m. on January 31, 2024.

  1. An application includes:
    1. Name
    2. SLU ID
    3. Degree-granting department or program
    4. Date of degree conferral
    5. Current email address
    6. Current mailing address
    7. Title of thesis
    8. A thesis summary of no more than 10 double-spaced pages (12-point, Times New Roman font or similar). Must be included as a PDF in the form.
    9. A chapter-length writing sample from the thesis. Must be included as a PDF in the form.
    10. The applicant's CV (no more than two pages) Must be included as a PDF in the form.
  2. A thesis summary of no more than 10 double-spaced pages (12-point, Times New Roman font or similar). The summary must be written by the nominee for an audience of non-specialists.
  3. A chapter-length writing sample from the thesis.
  4. The nominee’s CV (no more than two pages).

Selection Process

A multidisciplinary committee will meet twice. First, the committee will examine the applications in order to create a list of finalists, with no more than one finalist being chosen from any master’s degree-granting program.

The committee will then ask each finalist's department/advisor to provide a letter that supports the selection of the thesis and explains how it constitutes a significant contribution to the discipline. The committee will then examine the entire application and select winners based on the significance of their contribution to their disciplines.

The committee will consider both content and method, assessing the importance of the study, originality of the work, the caliber of the scholarship, publication potential, and the quality of the writing, among other measures of excellence.

CAS Distinguished Dissertation Award Guidelines

The Distinguished Dissertation Award honors exceptional scholarship, research and writing by doctoral students in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The winner of the CAS Distinguished Dissertation Award will receive an honorarium of $700. Up to two honorable mentions will be awarded, with honoraria of $150.

Criteria and Eligibility

All CAS doctoral students whose degrees were conferred in 2023 are eligible to apply for initial consideration by the committee for the 2024 award. (Only one student from each doctoral program in the College of Arts and Sciences may be a finalist.)

Application Process

Submit applications by completing and sending the application form. Applications must be submitted to by 5 p.m. on January 31, 2024.

  1. An application includes:
    1. Name
    2. SLU ID
    3. Degree-granting department or program
    4. Date of degree conferral
    5. Current email address
    6. Current mailing address
    7. Title of dissertation
  2. A dissertation summary of no more than 10 double-spaced pages (12-point, Times New Roman font or similar). The summary must be written by the applicant for an audience of non-specialists. Must be included as a PDF in the form.
  3. A chapter-length writing sample from the dissertation. Must be included as a PDF in the form.
  4. The applicant’s CV (no more than two pages). Must be included as a PDF in the form.

Selection Process

A multidisciplinary committee will meet twice. First, the committee will examine the applications in order to create a list of finalists, with no more than one finalist chosen from any doctoral degree-granting program. The departments/advisors of the finalists will then be asked to provide a letter that supports the selection of the dissertation and explains how it constitutes a significant contribution to the discipline. The committee will then examine the entire application and select award winners based on the significance of their contribution to their disciplines. The committee will consider both content and method, assessing the importance of the study, originality of the work, the caliber of the scholarship, publication potential, and the quality of the writing, among other measures of excellence.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Undergraduate Champion Award

The College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate DEI Champion Award recognizes a graduating senior in the college who has made significant contributions to advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in areas including but not limited to race and ethnicity, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, language, culture, national origins, religious commitments, age, disability status, political perspectives within the university and/or in the broader community. Categories include, but are not limited to, advocacy, activism, community engagement, and/or research.

The CAS DEI Committee must receive nominations by Jan. 29. A candidate must have 90 or more undergraduate hours by that time. Winners receive an honorarium.

James D. Collins/Outstanding Senior Awards

Each April, the SLU College of Arts and Sciences recognizes outstanding seniors. Faculty members nominate students in their disciplines. Each department chooses one student, a graduating major in their program, to receive the award annually using its own criteria and procedures.

The office of the dean must receive nominations by February 21. A candidate must have 90 or more undergraduate hours by that time. Winners receive an engraved college medallion.

Pre-Commencement Awards

The College of Arts and Sciences recognizes graduating students who are members of honorary societies and who receive special departmental awards at our pre-commencement ceremony each May. We are proud of our graduates’ participation in a wide variety of activities and recognize their success not only in the classroom but on campus, in the community and in the world.

2023 Undergraduate Collins Award Winners

African American Studies – Ulaa Kuziez
 

African American Studies – Ulaa Kuziez

Ulaa Kuziez is a student journalist and creative. Born in Damascus, Syria and raised in St. Louis, she proudly embraces her homeland's culture. As a student of African American studies, she also strives to live by the tradition of 'love, study, and struggle'. She believes in the power of storytelling as a way challenge injustice and tell humanizing stories. Ulaa is interested in covering immigrant communities and hopes to be an international news reporter in the near future.

American Studies – Jessie Headley
 

American Studies – Jessie Headley

I am a double major in History and American Studies with a minor in Women's and Gender Studies. While at SLU, I have interned at the Saint Louis Art Museum for the past two years and volunteered as a tutor for Firm Foundations for the past three years. I have been deeply involved in SLU's history honor society, Phi Alpha Theta, currently serving as their president and admin of their Instagram page. I have also been a Core Undergraduate Fellow and have closely worked on the University's new core curriculum for the past three years. I plan to take a "growth" year after graduating before heading into a grad school program for museum education but I have a summer internship lined up for this summer as the intern in the Rosenthal Education Center at the Cincinnati Art Museum in my hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Biology – Jade Eschenbrenner
 

Biology – Jade Eschenbrenner

Jade Eschenbrenner has made significant contributions to the Saint Louis University community through both academic achievements and leadership roles. With a major in Biology focusing on ecology, evolution, and conservation, alongside a minor in Chinese, Jade has demonstrated a commitment to interdisciplinary learning. As an active member of the SLU Honors program, Jade has engaged in rigorous coursework and research endeavors, including projects related to Forest Park and individual research pursuits. Her dedication to academic excellence is complemented by leadership roles such as serving on the Executive Board for the Residence Hall Association, where Jade worked to enhance the residential experience for their peers. Looking forward, Jade is eager to pursue her passion for veterinary medicine at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University.

Catholic Studies – Madalyn Thompson

 

Catholic Studies – Madalyn Thompson

Mady is a Dean's List student, engaged in and out of the classroom at SLU. In addition to receiving her double-major in Theological Studies and Catholic Studies, Mady has spent two years serving as the General Student Intern at the Catholic Studies Center. In addition to that, Mady is a member of the Marian Sodality of Our Lady of the Assumption, re-established at SLU this year. She has spent three years leading a Bible Study through the Well, a ministry of the Catholic Studies Center. Outside of SLU, she has served in numerous ministries at her home parish and in Life Teen, a global Catholic youth ministry organization. Following graduation, she will continue her work with Life Teen, serving as a Full-Time Missionary

Communication – Gabrielle Chiodo
 

Communication – Gabrielle Chiodo

Gabrielle has spent her time at SLU studying Political Science and Communication with minors in Women's and Gender Study and Political Journalism. She is focused on trauma-informed public service, especially in the American legal system. On campus, she has been involved in the University News as the current editor-in-chief and in a variety of other clubs including the Presidential Scholar Society, Active Minds, OneWorld, and Psi Theta honor society. Off-campus, she has had the privilege of working at Iowa's Polk County Attorney's Office and the International Institute of St. Louis to serve different communities. After graduation, she will be moving to Washington D.C. as an immigration intern for the Center for Law and Social Policy, a national, nonpartisan, anti-poverty nonprofit advancing policy solutions to improve the lives of people with low incomes. After the summer, Gabrielle plans to spend lots of time with her dog, Otis, during her gap year while studying for the LSAT and beginning the law school application process

English –Alessandra Rubi
 


English – Alessandra Rubi

Alessandra is currently completing three concentrations within the English program: Research Intensive English, Creative Writing, and Writing, Rhetoric, and Technology. As a student editorial assistant for the College of Arts and Science, she composed press releases and student success stories for the department. In 2022, she was awarded the A.J. Montesi Award Winner for Creative Work for her play titled “The View From Mount Fuji,” which was later published in the 12th edition of Dr. Allen Brizee’s Read, Reason, Write: An Argument Text and Reader. Alessandra became a member of Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honors Society, and was accepted to present her fictional work titled “Sunlight” at the Sigma Tau Delta 2023 Convention. She received the Spaulding Grant for English Enrichment to support her journey. For nearly three years, Alessandra has served as an undergraduate writing consultant for University Writing Services. Additionally, she contributes her talents to the St. Louis Literary Awards Association as a researcher for their Craft Talk and Campus Read programs, where she has engaged with writers like Neil Gaiman and Ian Frazier. After graduating, she plans to further her education at St. Louis University as a part of the MA English program.

Fine and Performing Arts – Janeia Feliciano
 

Fine and Performing Arts – Janeia Feliciano

+Completed research papers on a variety of subjects within the art historical world (from Italian wax models, French theatre programs to Caribbean carnivals)

+Presenter at the St. Louis-Madrid Undergraduate Art History Symposium in April 2023

+Will eventually get my Master's Degree in Museum Studies or Library Sciences and hope to get employment in historical interpretation or archives management

*Dr. Bukky Gbadegesin introduced Janeia and may be able to provide more information! -SL

Forensic Science – Nicole Orphan
Kaitlyn Schantz holds her medal at the Collins Award ceremony.
 

Forensic Science – Nicole Orphan

During my time at SLU, I have been incredibly grateful to have had the chance to participate in a large number of academic and extracurricular opportunities. My forensic science major and computer science minor have allowed me to explore my interests in a wide range of engaging courses. Outside of traditional coursework, I completed a digital forensics internship with the U.S. Probation Office for the Eastern District of Missouri and a cybersecurity internship with the City of Colorado Springs, conducted fingerprint research, and served as the teaching assistant for our new fingerprints course. SLU has also given me many extracurricular opportunities. I have volunteered with Campus Kitchen for all four years of my time at SLU, and, for the past year, have also serving on the leadership team for meal deliveries to two locations in the surrounding community. I have also volunteered with Billiken Bounty for the past three years, where I have kept the pantry open and organized for any students in need. Finally, I have served on the executive board of Chemistry Club for three years in various positions, including as secretary, safety chair, and president. After graduation, I will be looking to put my education to use by seeking a full-time position in the field of drug chemistry or digital forensics.

Health Care Ethics – Rita Svetanics
 

Health Care Ethics – Rita Svetanics

Rita Svetanics, from Bemus Point, NY, is a Bioethics and Health Studies major with a minor in Public Health at SLU. She is an active member of the collegiate a cappella scene and currently serves as the president of Beyond All Reason, SLU's only all-female group. This year, she and her music director led Beyond All Reason to a second-place win at the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella Quarterfinals competition, which is the highest placement the group has achieved in many years! When she was not singing with her group mates, Rita loved spending her free time reading and people-watching in the green space on campus. While Rita is still discerning the direction of her professional goals after graduation, she has become particularly interested in pursuing social work, especially pertaining to adolescents experiencing eating disorders.

History - Trevlan MacGregor
 

History – Trevlan MacGregor

Trevlan MacGregor is a senior triple majoring in History, Anthropology, and Chinese Studies. His scholarship has emphasized Asian Studies as seen through his Anthropology capstone on Filipino American college students and his History and Chinese Studies research focused on the experiences of Chinese Americans. In the summer of 2023, Trevlan studied Mandarin abroad at Ming Chuang University in Taiwan. He is an active member of SLU's Filipino Student Association and Model United Nations. After graduation, Trevlan hopes to become a social studies teacher.

Languages, Literatures, and Cultures - Amy Dobrzycki
 

Languages, Literatures, and Cultures – Amy Dobrzycki

Throughout my journey at SLU, I have pursued majors in both Public Health and French, which ignited my passion for global health equity and cultural understanding. Each semester of study, I had the honor of being named to the Dean's List and expect to graduate Summa Cum Laude. Alongside my academic pursuits, I had the opportunity to explore various departments within the university, serving as a Resident Advisor, contributing to the COVID-19 response team, and supporting the department of Campus Recreation and Wellness as an administrative assistant. Outside of the classroom, I dedicated my time to several student organizations, acting as the treasurer for Pi Delta Phi, the French National Honors Society, as well as the Public Health Club, Policy Pod for Criminal Justice, and Special Olympics. Following graduation, I will continue on in SLU's accelerated Master of Public Health program with a concentration in Epidemiology, and will be working as the Graduate Assistant for Wellness during the upcoming academic year.

Mathematics and Statistics - Evan Richmond

 

Mathematics and Statistics – Evan Richmond

I will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science in computer science, a Bachelor of Science in data science, and a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics with a concentration in statistics. During my time at SLU, I have been a software developer for SLU's space systems research lab, a software developer for Open Source with SLU, a member of the SLU Mathematics and computer science club, a teaching assistant and tutor for computer science, and most recently a research associate in the math and statistics department participating in undergraduate NIH funded research on change point detection algorithms. I have been awarded a mathematics and statistics award by the department of mathematics and statistics, and I was also inducted into Alpha Sigma Nu, the national Jesuit honors society. After graduation, I am searching for a full time position as a software developer or data scientist/engineer, and I plan to eventually return to academia to obtain a masters degree in software development and a PHD in Mathematics alongside teaching certifications to eventually become a high school mathematics and or computer science teacher.

Neuroscience - Hallie Youker
 

Neuroscience – Hallie Youker

During my time at SLU, I have served as a resident advisor for three years and a teaching assistant for the introduction to neuroscience course for two semesters, worked as a general chemistry preparatory assistant, presented my research at six conferences, and have received awards for my research and leadership. After graduation, I will be beginning the journey of earning a PhD in neuroscience at WashU this Fall, with hopes of continuing my career in academia as a principal investigator and professor of neuroscience.

Philosophy - Gavin Sajben
 

Philosophy – Gavin Sajben

Hello! My name is Gavin Sajben and I'm a senior Philosophy major. I am a transfer student from STLCC, and there I was an honors student, a member of Phi Theta Kappa, and president of the philosophy club. When I transferred to SLU, I joined the philosophy club and Phi Sigma Tau, the premier undergraduate philosophy honors society. In addition to my studies in the philosophy department, I took on leading roles as VP of Commuter Student Association, and as sergeant-at-arms and section conference chair of Alpha Phi Omega, an undergraduate co-ed service fraternity. I joined the SLU undergraduate mock trial team for my senior year, and was on the Dean's list for the college of arts and sciences for all 4 semesters that I have attended SLU. I plan to work as a paralegal after graduating for a few years, then attend law school.

Political Science - Gabrielle Chiodo
 

Political Science - Gabrielle Chiodo

Gabrielle has spent her time at SLU studying Political Science and Communication with minors in Women's and Gender Study and Political Journalism. She is focused on trauma-informed public service, especially in the American legal system. On campus, she has been involved in the University News as the current editor-in-chief and in a variety of other clubs including the Presidential Scholar Society, Active Minds, OneWorld, and Psi Theta honor society. Off-campus, she has had the privilege of working at Iowa's Polk County Attorney's Office and the International Institute of St. Louis to serve different communities. After graduation, she will be moving to Washington D.C. as an immigration intern for the Center for Law and Social Policy, a national, nonpartisan, anti-poverty nonprofit advancing policy solutions to improve the lives of people with low incomes. After the summer, Gabrielle plans to spend lots of time with her dog, Otis, during her gap year while studying for the LSAT and beginning the law school application process.

Psychology - Lauren Weber

 

Lauren Weber, Psychology

Throughout my time at SLU, I have been an intern at the SLU Center for Counseling and Family therapy as well as an intern at the Independence Center, a local non-profit for those experiencing severe and persistent mental illness. My academic interests while at SLU have been African American Psychology, Relationship Psychology, and Abnormal Psychology. After my graduation this winter, I have acquired a job as a victim’s advocate for the St. Louis County Prosecutor’s office, where I work with victims of kidnapping and domestic violence. I plan on attending graduate school in the fall of 2025, to receive my masters in clinical mental health counseling and hopefully down the line will start my own counseling practice!

Sociology and Anthropology - Laurine Shoki

 

Sociology and Anthropology – Laurine Shoki

Laurine Shoki is a senior majoring in Biology and Sociology at Saint Louis University. She has been involved in much of what SLU has to offer: she was a first year leader in Oriflamme, a starboard side rower on the crew team, a childcare volunteer at LifeWise STL, a teaching assistant for biochemistry and molecular biology, a lifeguard at the Simon recreation center, a diabetes researcher in the department of biology, the president of the African Students Association, and the recipient of the Leadership and Service Awards' Social Action Award as well as the Spirit of the Billiken. She is from Jefferson City, MO, with familial roots in the East African country of Tanzania. Her studies and cultural background as an African American drive her passion for public health and dismantling health disparities. After graduation, she will matriculate to Saint Louis University School of Medicine to become a physician.

Theological Studies - Margaret Cotner
 

Margaret Cotner, Theological Studies

Margaret Cotner is a senior graduating in Theological Studies and History with participation in the Honors Program. During her time at SLU, she has enjoyed being in the pep band and concert band on trumpet, writing 2 independent research papers, working in Campus Ministry as a sacristan and undergraduate intern, and doing advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community in religious spaces. She hopes to pursue a PhD in Theological Ethics and will be one step closer next Fall when she starts the MTS program at SLU.

Women’s and Gender Studies – Sonny Alvarado
 

Sonny Alvarado, Women’s and Gender Studies

Hello! I’m Sonny Alvarado, a Women’s and Gender Studies major with a political science minor on the pre law track. I've been on the Dean's Honor List since my freshman year at Saint Louis University and actively involved in volunteering on and off campus. On campus, I'm a member of Rainbow Alliance and Alpha Phi Omega and have volunteered at several places including Operation Food Search, The Little Bit Foundation, and currently The Women’s Safe House. Throughout my time at SLU, I have worked for the school through my work study roles including 2 years with the Women's and Gender Studies department and currently in the Philosophy Department. After graduating, I will be attending the University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School in the fall. If there is any additional information you’d like from me, you can reach me at malvarado@slu.edu and if you’d like to change the wording of the description at all, please feel free to!

2023 Graduate Awards

Honorable Mention - Distinguished Dissertation Award - Haley Cobb

 

Haley Cobb, Psychology – Honorable Mention for the 2024 Distinguished Dissertation Award

Distinguished Dissertation Award Winner - Mary Maxfield
Mary Maxfield holds a certificate.
 

Mary Maxfield, American Studies – winner of the 2023 Distinguished Dissertation Award