Honoring Excellence: The Pre-commencement Awards Ceremony

On the Eve of the Commencement Ceremony, SLU-Madrid Director and Academic Dean Dr. Paul Vita holds a reception for students, faculty and staff to honor outstanding achievement.

"The students recognized here today," Vita explained to the audience at this year's event, "are the ones that make our teaching a pleasure and a challenge. They make teaching a pleasure because they are the ones who have excelled, who have submitted the best essays in their class, who have received perfect scores on exams, who have shared our zeal for our subject and passion for research."

The ceremony opened by recognizing the students who earned distinction for their cumulative GPA in May 2018:

cum laude (3.5 or higher)
   Sofya Gevorkyan
   Elena Miller
   Izabel Trizlova

magna cum laude (3.7 or higher)
   Aleksandar Antic
   Ryan McWay
   María Paula Ángel

The Manresa Award for Academic Writing in English went to Laura Moyneur, for her essay, "The Identities of the Patriarchs: An Analysis of the Hykos in Ancient Egypt" and Laura Moyneur and Nikolai Legaspi for "Permaculture: The Way to Sustainability in the Amazon Rainforest"; the Loyola Award for Creative Writing in English, to Austen Miller for his work, "Sin of the Mothers"; and the Concurso de Escritura Creativa Ignacio de Loyola, to Saúl López, for his work, "Brevedad."

Departmental awards included the Communication Program's recognition of its "top graduate"—this year, Jennyfer Zuili.  Art History recognized María Paula Ángel and International Relations recognized Sofya Gevorkian and Izabel Trizlova for "Academic Excellence," as well as Izabel Trizlova for "Contributions to the Life of the Program." The "Business Excellence Award" went to Aleksandar Antic and Madalyn Loustalot. The Spanish Department awarded the "Premio a la Excelencia Académica en Español" to Elena Miller and the "Premio a la Contribución al departamento de Español" to Vera Abreu. Juan Maldonado was honored with the "Academic Excellence Award in Math and Computer Science," Marino Aldaz for "Academic Excellence in Engineering" and Mary Conley for "Academic Excellence in Health Sciences."

Izabel Trizlova was invited to join the Alpha Sigma Nu National Honor Society, one of the highest honors given on a Jesuit campus for the demonstration of a commitment to the ideals of Jesuit education.

Paula Otero was among the eighteen students across the two campuses who received this year's "Spirit of the Billiken" Award in recognition of excellence in academics, leadership, community service, commitment to the University, and dedication to living the mission after graduation.

In addition to these academic and leadership awards, students, faculty and staff were also honored for outstanding contributions to Student Life and Admissions. The Student Government Association (SGA) recognized outstanding faculty and staff:

Stunt Government Association Awards
Staff Recognition Awards: Beatriz de Zaldívar, Elena Petreanu, and Carlos Villar
Faculty Recognition Awards: Simona Rentea, Ph.D., Laurie Mazzuca, Ph.D., and Gonzalo Moreno, Ph.D.

Department of Student Life
   Servant Leadership Award: Nick Edmundson
   Social Justice Award: S.A.U.C.E.
   Faculty Commitment to Experiential Learning: Mónica Pérez-Bedmar
   Faculty Commitment to Service Learning: Melanie Mitchell
   Outstanding Faculty Advisor: Simona Rentea, Ph.D.
   Most Constant in its Activities Organization Award: Film Club
   Outstanding Staff Advisor Award: Patrice Burns
   New Student Leader Award: Gonzalo Rodríguez-Vila and Khadidja Djebairia

Office of Admissions
   Student Service Award: Izabel Trizlova

The Ceremony closed as SLU-Madrid's SGA President Marta Blázquez took the stage and swore in future SGA Executive officers:
   Michael Atieh, President
   Veronica Rose Chancy, Vice-President
   Angelo Pillas, Communications Officer
   Michaela Marie White, Events Manager
   María Beatrice López Soliven, Treasurer

Congratulations to all winners and nominees-and to all graduates and their families!

May 16, 2018
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