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School of Education Recognizes Outstanding Students During Ceremony


During the May 2021 School of Education pre-commencement ceremony, six students were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the School. 

Graduate and undergraduate students are honored through several student awards.

Gilsinan Award

Ella Dotson

Each year, the School of Education selects an undergraduate student who best exemplifies the vision and mission of the School to receive the Gilsinan Award. This award was named in honor of Dr. James F. Gilsinan, the first Dean of our School. This year, the School selected two students to receive the award: Ella Dotson and Elise Palmquist.

Dotson’s nominators stated that they were inspired by her work of honoring her classmates’ contributions and supporting purposeful, open, and genuine conversations. She has shown that “SLU students do indeed have the power to make change in society.”

Palmquist’s nominator shared that her teaching is “educating, guiding, and transforming individuals and communities.” She carries out the mission of Saint Louis University wherever she goes.

Hangartner Award

The Hangartner Award is awarded to a student who demonstrates a higher presence and leadership in education. This award is presented to an undergraduate student who exemplifies scholarship, leadership, and service. This year’s Hangartner Award was presented to two students: Colleen Hannegan and Gwen Cataldo.

One of Hannegan’s nominators wrote that she is a “humble, genuine, caring individual who will spread her love of math and her love of God’s word to young people in a joyful, successful manner, wherever she goes in her future.”

Cataldo’s nominator emphasized Gwen’s positive attitude, ambition, and willingness to help her peers. She will make a difference in the lives of her students, peers, and colleagues.

Colleen Hannegan

Colleen Hannegan

Gwendolyn Cataldo

Gwendolyn Cataldo

J.J. O’Brien Award

The School has also selected two graduate students whose actions exemplify the ideals set forth in the mission of the School of Education. These two students were the recipients of the J.J. O’Brien Award. Both Sherdia Benguche and Regina Galassi were given this award for their outstanding work.

Benguche’s nominator wrote that she “cares for her students and their families even when she is miles away. She will be a leader when she returns to Belize and will transform a whole school with her knowledge she has gained from Saint Louis University.”

One of Galassi’s nominators stated that, like J.J. O’Brien, she is a “quiet leader” and a “synthesizer.” She is always ready to step up when needed and is able to capture the core of important concepts and apply them to situations by proposing solutions characterized by the essential principles of collaborative leadership.

Sherdia Benguche

Sherdia Benguche

Regina Galassi

Regina Galassi

Congratulations to these outstanding School of Education students!