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Honors and Awards ceremony celebrates student achievement

The St. Catherine University community gathered Tuesday, May 6 to celebrate students’ academic and leadership achievements, including top-ten graduating seniors, inductees into the 24 active academic honor societies and the recipients of scholarships and departmental honors.

In addition, the Honors and Awards ceremony presents six All-University Awards that acknowledge student leadership, outstanding loyalty and service, and contributions to the St. Kate’s mission.

2013–2014 All-University Leadership Awards

In its second year, the Michael J. Baynes Reflective Life Award is given to a student in the Associate Degree program who, through leadership roles, service to peers and community, and adherence to high personal and academic standards meets Michael’s daily challenge to himself and others to “Bring Good!” This year’s recipient is Ashley Brown ’16, who is completing a degree in nursing. Brown serves as a receptionist on the Minneapolis campus, and is often the first face to greet visitors.

“When her sister was recently involved in a tragic accident, it was Ashley’s compassion, patience — and in no small measure — her St. Catherine nursing education and training that helped her family nurse her sister back to health,” said Anne Weyandt ’83, dean of adult and applied education.

The Mary Alice Muellerleile Student Leadership Award was presented to Bri Byram ’16, who is pursuing a double major in communication and women’s studies. Named in honor of the first director of the Evening/Weekend/Online (EWO), the Muellerleile Award is presented to an EWO program student who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and service to her peers and to the University, and who has been an advocate of the strengths and development of women of all ages. Byram serves on the EWO Student Advisory Board, is heavily involved in "Catherine’s Monologues" and was recently inducted into Lambda Pi Eta, the national honor society for speech communication.

Byram is also working on a long-term research project with Raphael Cervantes, associate professor and chair of communication studies, who says of this research “This has the potential to shape the way communication curriculum is written in the future, and to help women of all ages develop their communication skills.”

This year’s Thomas More Award recipients include Raven Baker ’14, Cristina de la Cruz ’14, Katrina Groshens ’14, Melissa Hebrank ’14, Kristal Jameson ’14, Tori Kee ’14, Heather Kolnick ’14, Chia Lor ’14, Nicollette Mosbeck ’14, Nhi Phan ’14, Lorena Ramirez ’14, Rita Richardson ’14, Maria Rojas Montenegro ’14, Ashley Schindele ’14, Hilary Stein ’14 and Rachel Thompson ’14. The Thomas More Award is presented to students who have demonstrated outstanding loyalty and service, as well as integrity and campus spirit.

Among their ranks, this year’s Thomas More recipients include top-ten graduating seniors, and members of Kappa Gamma Pi and Phi Beta Kappa.

The Helen B. Lammer Award in Honor of Mother Antonia McHugh was presented to Katie Maniates ’14, a double major in biology and public health. The award was established by the St. Catherine chapter of the Association of University Professors, and endowed by family and friends of Helen B. Lemmer, to recognize a student who intends to pursue a career in teaching at the college or university level, and who exemplifies the ideals of Mother Antonia, St. Kate’s first president. The award was first presented in 1973, the centennial year of Mother Antonia’s birth.

“Katie’s passion is genetic analysis, and she’s been the TA for Professor Debbie Wygal’s class since her second year at St. Kate’s,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Colleen Hegranes. Maniates will attend Marquette University in the fall as a Ph.D. candidate.

The Dean of Students Award was presented to Aye San ’14 for her outstanding contributions to the University’s mission throughout her St. Kate’s career, including serving as a student orientation leader, LEAD team member, peer money mentor, student body president and co-chair of the diversity committee. San will be graduating this spring with a major in international business and economics.

An international student known for her quiet presence and preference of working “behind the scenes” San has a unique leadership style unlike many of her peers. As one nominator wrote, “she may be the quietest person, but she has the loudest mind in the room.”

Mary E. McCahill Memorial Award

Long recognized as the University’s most prestigious award, the Mary E. McCahill Memorial Award is presented to a senior who has consistently demonstrated outstanding leadership, academic excellence, loyalty and service to the University throughout her years here. This year’s award was presented to Anna Hayes ’14.

“Anna is a scholar — no doubt about that — and a very involved and contributing member of the St. Kate’s community,” said University President Andrea Lee, IHM, when describing Hayes during the ceremony.

Graduating with a double major in food and nutrition science and Spanish, Hayes appeared on the Dean’s list for seven consecutive semesters and boasts a 4.0 grade point average. She is one of three valedictorians at this spring’s commencement — along with Devon Arndt ’14 and Kristina Poss ’14.

Hayes’ long list of accomplishments and honors most recently include the Antonian Scholars Senior Honors Project award and induction into both Phi Beta Kappa and Kappa Gamma Pi (the national Catholic college honor society for leadership and service). She was a Mayo Innovation Scholar during the 2012–13 academic year.

Among her extensive list of campus activities, Hayes served as the St. Catherine University Catholic Club president, contributed for three years as copy editor and columnist for The Wheel student newspaper, and served as a science, statistics and physics tutor in the O’Neill Center and the Mathematics and Physics department.

When asked to describe her involvement at St. Catherine, Hayes said “Words cannot adequately describe the enriching, truly inspiring experiences I have had at St. Kate’s. After graduating this May, I hope to continue utilizing the skills I have learned during the past four years and live out a key motto of our community — to lead and influence.”

Next fall, Hayes is attending Purdue University where she will pursue a Ph.D. in food science.

Related content:

St. Kate's Phi Beta Chapter inducts 16 new members

Delta Mu welcomes 28 new members

English honors and awards ceremony

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May 8, 2014 by Sharon Rolenc

See also: Catholic Identity, Education, Healthcare, Leadership, Liberal Arts, Students