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SLU-Madrid Honors Excellence at the Pre-commencement Awards Ceremony

by Katie Gortz
New members of the Student Government Association take their oath of office.

Student Government Association president Marta Blázquez swore in next year's elected executive officers. 

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 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.

The students recognized here today are the ones that make our teaching a pleasure and a challenge."

Dr. Paul Vita

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:

Student 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!