Although everyone is a winner in Mercyhurst’s book, some have more than a few pages reserved in their honor. Among them are the university’s top commencement award winners, starting with biology major Rhona Boyle of Dublin, Ireland, who is this year’s Carpe Diem Award recipient.
By virtue of the honor, Boyle will deliver the student address at commencement exercises for traditional-age graduates, which takes place Sunday, May 19, at 2 p.m. in the Bayfront Convention Center. The Carpe Diem Award is presented to the outstanding senior who has made the most positive impact on the life of the Mercyhurst community and who best exemplifies the university motto, "Carpe Diem" - "Seize the Opportunity."
Other senior award winners include Kaleigh Hubert, who will receive both the Bishop's Award for Academic Excellence and the Mother Borgia Egan Honors Award; Andrea Lisowki, the Sister Carolyn Herrmann Service Award; and Richard Molloy, the Frank Barry Leadership Award. Alumni Recognition Awards will be presented to Paige Thomas, Jorn van der Veer, Spencer Vuksic and Sister Wilhelmena Kade Brown.
In addition, seniors chosen to receive the President's Award for Excellence by Mercyhurst's academic schools are: Brittany Peterson, Hafenmaier School of Education and Behavioral Sciences; Eileen McDonnell and Chelsea Schermerhorn, School of Arts and Humanities; Frederick (Brian) Lombardo, School of Social Sciences; Nathan Anderson, Walker School of Business and Communication; and Hannah Opalko, Zurn School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Also, this year's Sister Angelica Cummings Senior Art Award winner is Maura Hunter.
On Saturday, May 18, the university will honor graduates of its adult and graduate programs during 2 p.m. commencement exercises in the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center on the Erie campus.
Adult students chosen to receive the top awards for nontraditional undergraduate students are Teresa Still, who will receive the Catherine McAuley Adult Student Award; while Matthew Yaw will receive the President's Award for Adult Excellence.
Each of Mercyhurst's master's degree programs has selected an outstanding graduate to receive the Sister Eustace Taylor Graduate Student Award during adult and graduate student commencement ceremonies.
Winners include Colin Hurley, Organizational Leadership; Lisandra Maisonet-Montanez, Applied Intelligence; Charlene Lichtinger, Special Education; Alicia Grosso, Anthropology; Joseph Spusta, Administration of Justice; Meghan Britton, Secondary Education: Pedagogy and Practice; and Alexandra Carney-Knisely, Exercise Science.
In addition, Brian Polito is the 2013 recipient of the Dr. Barrett C. Walker Graduate Student Leadership Award.
PHOTO: OL faculty Gil Jacobs and Missy Breckenridge with Brian Polito.