Mansfield University honors students at annual Academic Honors Reception

Eight students standing with awards in front of a Mansfield University step and repeat
Outstanding Senior Award nominees at the Academic Honors Reception

MANSFIELD, Pa. – Mansfield University honored students during its annual Academic Honors Reception on Wednesday, April 6 at Straughn Auditorium. 

The reception included recognition of the Mansfield University Ali-Zaidi Award nominee, the Outstanding Senior Award nominees from each academic department, and academic department honors.

Ali-Zaidi Award

Created in 2000, the Syed R. Ali-Zaidi Award for Academic Excellence is conferred upon a graduating senior from one of the State System universities. This award was founded by Dr. Syed R. Ali-Zaidi, a charter member of the Board of Governors. 
Candidates for the award are recommended by their university president at the conclusion of a campus application and selection process that is open to all graduating seniors. Multiple selection criteria included outstanding academic scholarship, including prizes, honors, and honorary societies; participation in extra/co-curricular activities; and a two-page essay by the nominee addressing how the university has prepared him or her for the next career step.

The 2021-22 Mansfield University nominee for the Ali-Zaidi Award is Shae Marx, a cell & molecular biology major from Stroudsburg, Pa.

Outstanding Senior Nominees

Seniors whose activities and accomplishments have brought recognition to themselves and to the University may be nominated for the Outstanding Senior Award. The Award is presented annually at commencement, and the recipient is chosen by members of a faculty-student award selection committee who review nominations from the various departments. To be nominated, the student must be a graduating senior of the current academic year, have at least a 3.0 grade point average, and have shown exemplary leadership and service to Mansfield University and the surrounding region.

This year’s Outstanding Senior Award nominees are: 

Claire Ames 
Art, Communication, English, and World Languages 
Communication: Sports Information 

Aaron Butters 
Business Administration, Mathematics, Computer Science, and Information Systems  
Applied Mathematics 

Sarah Craig 
History, Education, Political Science, Philosophy, Sociology 
Early Childhood Elementary Education & Special Education 

Hannah Gilliland 
History, Education, Political Science, Philosophy, Sociology 
Secondary Education: Earth & Space Science 

Sarah Hart 
Business Administration, Mathematics, Computer Science, and Information Systems 
Business Administration, General 

Elizabeth Long 
Art, Communication, English, and World Languages 
Graphic Design 

Shae Marx 
Natural Sciences 
Biology: Cell & Molecular 

Jessica Nistad 
Music Education & Vocal Performance 

Lacey O’Donnell 
Behavioral and Social Sciences  
Social Work 

Zena Parkhurst 
Art, Communication, English, and World Languages 
English: Literary & Cultural Analysis Concentration 

Natalie Piganelli 
Behavioral and Social Sciences  
Psychology: Forensic 

Courtney Russell 
History, Education, Political Science, Philosophy, Sociology 
Secondary Education: Social Studies/History 

Academic Department Honors

The following students were recognized by their respective academic departments for their outstanding achievement during the academic year.

Lucia Briar 
Kristina Zenga 
Amanda Rutledge 
Elisabeth Harding 

Sadie Beers 
Graham Wooden 
Isaac Ilgen 
Shae Marx

Idris Ali 
Seth Anderson 
Hannah Caccia 
Sarah Hart 

Caitlin Irwin 
Micah Yoder 

Justin Gerber 
Karissa English 
Tanner Demchak 
Claire Ames 

Criminal Justice  
Natalie Blackstone 
Imari VanDyke 
Joshua Colon 
Dylan Garner  

Alyssa Messmer 
Gabrielle Orcutt 
Kaitlyn Orcutt 
Kevin Long 

Geosciences/Safety Management 
Samuel Rozanski 
Isaac Walker 
Emma Stone 

Gaetana Argot 
Nathan Metzger 
Stephanie Moir 
Samantha Shemeluk 

Health Sciences  
Hannah Route 
Tiphanie Stocks 
Grace Foltz 
Lauren Watson 
Savanna Snyder 
Hailey Weidenhammer 

Jared Espiritu 
Alyssa Messmer 
Hayne Webster 
Kaitlyn Orcutt 

Math & CIS 
Chad Coleman 
Kiersten Gerbes 
David Guerra 
Sara Strong 

Kyla Kemper 
Jared Vamvakias 
Patrick Murphy 
Jessica Nistad 

Cara Doherty 
Megan Gordish 
Kaitlyn Orcutt 
Daniel Moco 

Social Work 
Cassidy McCain 
Brandon Schrader 
Akiah Lovett 
Cara Griffith 

Kayla Thompson 
Warren Kendal 
Burdette Passmore 

Lucas Sherwood 
Chad Coleman 
Elizabeth Coates 
Tamsyn (Tammy) Valashinas-O’Donnell