Awards Honor RWU Students' Incredible Achievements This Year

On May 2, students, faculty and staff gathered in-person to celebrate outstanding student contributions and leadership, with families and friends attending virtually

By Anna Cohen
Students pose with awards

BRISTOL, R.I. – Faculty, staff, and students gathered on May 2 for the annual Student Achievement Awards, which honored undergraduate students for their academic and community work. Families and friends were invited to attend the ceremony virtually. 

"In our Division of Student Life Learning Model, we believe that as a result of their experience at RWU, students will meaningfully contribute to thriving and diverse communities," said Vice President of Student Life John King as he opened the ceremony. "We identify four learning goals to achieve this educational priority: Self Awareness, Healthy Relationships, Cultural Humility, and Community Engagement. Today, we will celebrate shining examples of students fulfilling these learning outcomes."

The Awards recognized 54 students and one professor for their efforts and dedication. 

RWU President Ioannis had encouraging words for the award recipients, recognizing how their outstanding achievements took place during a global pandemic, and praising their perseverance.

"The past three semesters have been so difficult and challenging due to COVID, however you and your peers have persevered, adapted, and continued to grow personally while contributing to our campus in inspirational ways that we witness today," he said. 

2021 Student Achievement Awards

The Student Tour Guide of the Year Award and Student Admissions Assistant of the Year Award recognize and commend students who best reflect the mission and philosophy of the Office of Admission.

Admission Tour Guide of the Year
Joy Manguso
Anthony Soares
Daniel Cano

Student Admissions Assistant of the Year
Hailey Langlois
Kyle Sheehan

 The Roger Williams University Sustainability Award recognizes a student who made great strides promoting sustainable practices within our campus community.

Sustainability Award
Gabby Deschenes ’21

The  Charles J. Kelley Award  recognizes a student for for outstanding work in health promotion to the RWU community.

Kelly Health Service Award
Jake Amendola ’21

Title IX Violence Prevention & Sexual Assault Awareness Recognition Award honors students who have worked closely with the Title IX office over the past year.

Title IX Violence Prevention & Sexual Assault Awareness Recognition Award
Elsa Schloemer ’21
Grace Amato ’21

The Club and Organization Members of the Year awards were created to recognize the efforts of Club and Organization members who continuously went above and beyond their duties.

Outstanding Club Member of the Year
Maisara Kapadwala ’22

Outstanding Organization Member of the Year
Nikki Czarnowski ’21

The James R. Russo award is given annually by the Department of Athletics to senior student-athletes who have the highest grade point averages. 

James Russo Award for Athletic Academic Excellence
Jillian Houle ’21
Brenden Whitten ’21

Class Awards honor students of each class year who live out the mission of the University and their love of the community through service to the University. 

Class Engagement Awards Class of 2021
Nicholas Polinsky ’21
Erika Schlageter ’21
Thomas Wallace ’21
Domenica Caico ’21
Brandon Fink ’21

Class Engagement Awards Class of 2022
Samuel Avila
Maddie Jarvis
Christian Thomas

Class Engagement Awards Class of 2023
Jeraldyn Ramirez
Sophia Speliopoulos
Jordan St. Onge

Class Engagement Awards Class of 2024
Amanda Plasse
Marina Sprague
Ryan Wargo

The Intercultural Center Values and Service Award honors students who have demonstrated sustained commitment to the values of the Intercultural Center initiatives through their engagement and service. 

Intercultural Center Values & Service Award
Judith Suffrard ’21
Phillip Ramey ’21

The Resident Assistant of the Year Award is given to an outstanding staff member who goes above and beyond their responsibilities.

Resident Assistant of the Year
Samuel Avila
Nicholas Polinsky ’21

The Spirit of Resiliency Award recognizes a student who has demonstrated perseverance in the face of obstacles and used these experiences to encourage and enrich the lives of others in the RWU community.

Spirit of Resiliency Award
Yichun Sun ’21

The Peer Mentor of the Year Award recognizes an outstanding Peer Mentor who demonstrated commitment, reliability, professionalism, and enthusiasm throughout the year.

Peer Mentor of the Year
Thomas Wallace ’21

The International Student Leadership Award was created to recognize a student for their dedication and commitment to campus internationalization and international engagement.

International Student Leadership Award
Akane Yamada ’21

The Melissa Carrasquillo Award for Intercultural Citizenship is awarded to a graduating senior who demonstrated exceptional commitment to social justice and inclusion. 

Melissa Carrasquillo Award for Intercultural Citizenship
Carmen Mei ’21
Emily Craig ’21
Theresa Cerullo ’21

For the past several years, the Student Senate gives just over $10,000 in scholarships to our students. 

The Student Senate has established the Activism Scholarship with the desire to assist students excelling in academics and are meaningfully engaged in co-curricular activities.

Student Senate Activism Scholarships
Sophia Speliopoulos $2,000
Lauren McAlister $1,0000
Alyah Achabi  $1,0000
Andrea Arriaga Cota $750

The Student Senate has established the Academic Achievement Scholarship with the desire to assist students who are intensely engaged in academics at Roger Williams University.

Student Senate Academic Achievement Scholarships
Viannely Francisco $2,000
Jordan St. Onge $1,000
Ashley Whittier $1,000
Amanda Plasse $750

The Dr. Mark Gould Award for Commitment to Student Learning is sponsored by the Roger Williams University Student Senate. This award was renamed to commemorate the late Dr. Mark Gould and recognizes faculty members who are excellent educators.

Dr. Mark Gould Commitment to Student Learning Award
John McQuilkin, J.D.

The Dr. J. Harold G. Way Scholarship Award was established in memory of Dr. Harold Way, former University faculty member from 1969-1974. This award is based upon a student's strong academic standing and their contribution to the University community.

Dr. J. Harold G. Way Scholarship Award
Melissa Calvo Vides

The Lt. Charles A. Henderson, USN '99 Spirit Award includes a monetary award in memory of Lt. Charles A. Henderson III USN '99. It is awarded to a graduating senior with graduate school aspirations who best and most consistently demonstrates the embodiment of a true scholar.

Lt. Charles A. Henderson Scholarship for Outstanding Tutor in Writing
Jillian Stevens ’21

Lt. Charles A. Henderson Scholarship for Outstanding Tutor in Math
Elizabeth Hennen ’21

Lt. Charles A. Henderson Scholarship for Outstanding Tutor in Science
Richard Cabeceiras ’21

Lt. Charles A. Henderson Spirit Scholarship
Xiaoyan Lang ’21

Karen R. Haskell Senior Leadership Award is named for former Dean of Students, Dr. Karen Haskell, who fully embraced sustained student leadership and engagement in the campus community. 

Karen R. Haskell Senior Leadership Award
Lea Peterson ’21
Rees Harold ’21
Sabrina Sousa ’21
Alexus Moniz ’21

The President’s Core Values Medallion recognizes graduating seniors who best exemplify the core values of the institution. 

Presidential Core Medallion, School of Architecture, Art, and Historic Preservation
Shanon DeFranza ’21
Xiaoyan Lang ’21

Presidential Core Medallion, University College
Matthew Mendes ’21

Presidential Core Medallion, School of Engineering, Computing, and Construction Management
Elizabeth Hennen ’21
Kyle Rector ’21

Presidential Core Medallion Feinstein School of Social and Natural Sciences
Richard Cabeceiras ’21
Lea Peterson ’21
Carmen Mei ’21

Presidential Core Medallion Feinstein School of Humanities, Arts, and Education
Alexis Dubovick ’21
Kyla Yates ’21

Presidential Core Medallion Mario J. Gabelli School of Business
Benjamin Manning ’21
Alexus Moniz ’21
Judith Suffrard ’21

Presidential Core Medallion School of Justice Studies
Jillian Houle ’21
Nicholas Polinsky ’21