Honors Convocation Recognizes Students’ Academic Excellence

Apr 23, 2019

Assumption recognized 75 students with awards for academic excellence during the 35th Annual Honors Convocation on April 15. Awards ranged from departmental honors to special recognitions, to Assumption’s highest honor, Augustine Scholarships.

“The annual Honors Convocation is an opportunity for Assumption to recognize those students who have demonstrated academic excellence through an impassioned commitment to learning,” said Louise Carroll Keeley, Ph.D., provost and academic vice president. “This ceremony allows faculty to celebrate the most meritorious students in each of their primary programs of study. To receive a departmental award or one of the special awards is a significant achievement for any undergraduate student and we are proud to honor them for their accomplishments.”

Each year, Assumption invites a distinguished alumnus to address the honorees on the value of a liberal arts education. This year’s keynote speaker was Suzanne Besnia, J.D., ’79, a civically engaged attorney, who has worked since 1984 for Riezman Berger, a legal firm in St. Louis. While an undergraduate at Assumption, Besnia focused on politics early, but immediately found an interest in the arts, studying musicology, studio art, drama, and art history. Being liberally educated is something she said “absolutely, without a doubt, has literally shaped my life in every aspect.” 

Besnia shared that a liberal arts education expands one’s wealth of knowledge and opens our eyes to the world; gives students to non-technical subjects demands a different level of thinking and provides the tools needed to look inward and to know ourselves; and develops a self-knowledge that helps lead us to moral happiness through giving back to society. 

“Self-knowledge is essential for us to be thoughtful and deliberate people in the decisions we make to bring about our own moral happiness. Moral happiness considers not only our own happiness but the happiness of society and we give back to society,” she said. “Those with self-knowledge ethically and morally deliberate the decisions to work for the good of society. These are the people we want as neighbors, coworkers, leaders, and friends. They are not threatened by new ideas and are capable of evaluating and understanding a different point of view … The ability to engage in civil discourse on subjects essential to our society is developed here at Assumption and I hope you will all continue to hone that skill.”


The Augustine Scholarship is awarded to rising junior and senior students, who—through their academic achievement, leadership, community service and good character—best embody the Assumption mission. Students nominated for this prestigious academic distinction have demonstrated initiative and leadership in academic and co-curricular endeavors, and are of demonstrably good character. Grade point average alone is not evidence of initiative and leadership, even in the academic arena. The following is a list of this year’s Augustine Scholars:

Thomas Angell ’20, Broad Brook, CT 

William Armstrong ’20, Granville

Margaret Brennan ’20, Randolph, NJ

Timothy Cody ’20, Manchester, NH

Gertrude Cox ’20, South Wellfleet

Jennifer Doherty ’21, Milton 

Katherine Golden ’20, Millis

Anne Guadalupi ’21, Augusta, ME

Grace Gustinis ’20, Monroe, CT

Rose Horell ’20, Monroe, CT

Emma Lang ’20, Marshfield

Maeve McDonald ’21, Quincy

Elizabeth Paquette ’20, Durham, NH

Alicia Polak ’20, Lowell

Jenna Smith ’20, Milford

Corey Soper ’20, Escondido, CA

Catherine Waclawik ’20, Blackstone

Hannah White ’20, Tamuning, Guam



The Donec Formetur Christus Presidential Award for embodying the spirit of Assumption, announced by President Francesco C. Cesareo, Ph.D., recognizes a junior or senior whose life embodies the ideals of an Assumptionist education. The recipient understands the relationship between the intellectual and spiritual life, espouses the values of the Gospel in his or her life, and gives witness to the spirit of the Catholic intellectual tradition. 

This year, the Presidential Award was given to Corey Soper ’20, of Escondido, CA. During the ceremony, Corey also received the departmental award for theology and an Augustine Scholarship.   



The following is a list of this year’s Departmental Award recipients:

Samuel Abusamra ’19, Worcester; Computer Science

Sara Amato ’19, North Attleboro; Mathematics

Hannah Avard ’19, Manchester, NH; Criminology

Thomas Barringer ’19, St. Louis, MO; Biology 

Colleen Barry ’19, Southborough; Secondary Education

Adrienne Bertothy ’19, Wolcott, CT; Chemistry

Luke Boyle ’19, Branford, CT; Environmental Science

Elizabeth Browne ’19, Newtown, CT; Classics with a Concentration in Latin

Jordan Burt ’19, Easthampton; Economics

Christian Copeley ’19, Concord, NH; Liturgical Music 

Lauren Crockett ’19, Cherry Valley; English Literature, Philosophy 

Julia Demkowicz ’19, Worcester; Human Services and Rehabilitation Studies with a Concentration in Communication Sciences and Disorders

Marny Fappiano ’19, Watertown, CT; History

Paul Fuller ’19, South Walpole; Marketing

Jennifer Futtner ’19, South Windsor, CT; French 

Jose Garcia ’19, Los Angeles, CA; Latin American Studies

Colleen Glidden ’19, Shutesbury; Art History

Keriden Harrington ’19, Seekonk; International Business 

Caroline James ’20, Webster; Data Analytics

Adrianna Karalis ’19, Ashland; Classics with a Concentration in Greek

Jessica La Comfora ’19, Worcester; Actuarial Science 

Kelsey Mattar ’19, Braintree; Organizational Communication

Alysha McGovern ’19, Marlboro; Psychology, Biology with a Concentration in Neuroscience and Behavior

Dana Mendes ’20, Merrimack, NH; Studio Art 

Anh Thy Nguyen ’19, Boston; Political Science

Thao Nguyen ’19, Worcester; Biotechnology and Molecular Biology

Kylie O’Rourke ’19, Spencer; Women’s Studies 

Courtney Park ’19, Dracut; Human Services and Rehabilitation Studies 

Alessandra Petrozza ’19, North Andover; Graphic Design 

Daniella Pitruzzello ’19, Cromwell, CT; Sociology

Ambar Rosas Sanchez ’19, Carolina, PR; English with a Concentration in Writing and Mass Communications

Alex Roy ’19, Northborough; Accounting 

Emma Salachi ’19, Mansfield; Global Studies, Italian 

Zachary Sneeringer ’19, Lowell; Music 

Corey Soper ’20, Escondido, CA; Theology 

Amanda Voellings ’19, Grafton; Management  

Renee Zahigian ’19, Winchester; Elementary Education, Spanish 



The Ray Marion Award: Sara Amato ’19, North Attleboro; Lauren Crockett ’19, Cherry Valley; and Jessica La Comfora ’19, Worcester.

The Omer & Larette Boivin Scholarship in French or Foreign Languages: David Altman ’21, Bristol, RI

The Dr. Eugene W. Byrnes Scholarship in the Natural Sciences: Heather Bates ’20, Marlborough

The Special Award in Public History: Jonathan Bisceglia ’19, West Boylston 

The Leo and Madeleine Remillard Scholarship for the Study of French: Sofia Boncaldo ’21, Holbrook 

The Community Service Learning Award:  David Cifarelli ’19, North Haven, CT

The Paul Ziegler Award in European History: Shannon Holleran ’19, South Easton  

The David L. Christianson Award for the Study of Foreign Languages: Madeleine Iassogna ’20, Marietta, GA

The Chester Thompson Scholarship in the Natural Sciences: Aleeza Isaac ’20, Shrewsbury 

The History Department’s Ray Marion Special Award in World History: Zachary Karpowich ’19, Trumbull, CT

The Prof. James McCarthy Scholarship for the Study of Economics or Global Studies: Samuel Kelly ’19, Enfield, CT

The Mary Whiton Calkins Award in Psychology: Hannah Krueger ’19, Meredith, NH

The Shirley Thompson Scholarship in the Visual Arts: Katheryn Kruzick ’20, South Windsor, CT

The Ken Moynihan Special Award in American History: Kaylen McClarey ’19, Marshfield

The William James Award in Psychology: Alexandra Orlandi ’19, Hudson 

The Colleen Ritzer Memorial Award: Sheila Orlando ’20, Westborough  

The Joseph E. Sheerin Merit Prize in the Study of Classical Languages and Literatures: Jakob Pohlman ’22, Worcester 

The Cynthia Courtney and Adelard F. Landry Scholarship in French Studies: Lauren Robichaud ’20, Holden 

The George E. and Sarah Denomme Scholarship: Colin Ryan ’21, Clinton 

The Luca Pacioli Accounting Achievement Award: Matthew Sabacinski ’19, Webster 

The Award in Medieval and Early Modern Studies: Megan Watts ’19, Fairfield, CT

The Special Award in Biology: Cameron Young ’19, Windsor, CT