LaToya Battle-Brown congratulations Carr Scholar Samanthika Devalaraju
Toggle caption Photo by Fred Stucker

Awards Dinner Celebrates Student Achievements

On May 2, surrounded by their families and the faculty and staff that have served as mentors in their years at Rutgers University-Newark, 58 exceptional students were honored at the annual Faculty of Arts & Sciences-Newark Student Awards dinner. 

Each year, the Office of Academic Services (OAS) works together with the Office of the Dean and the academic departments across the Newark College of Arts & Sciences to present awards to a select group of students, mostly seniors, for going above and beyond in their chosen areas of study. The awards are a combination of scholarships, monetary awards and plaques or certificates. 

Sofia Pinto-Figueroa, Dean of Academic Services, looks forward to the event each year. "It’s an opportunity where we really are able to celebrate and honor our students. It’s a very exciting time to come together as a community with family, friends, faculty, staff and students all celebrating this amazing accomplishment that they’ve worked very hard to attain, which is their degree, and while doing so they’re being honored for their excellence in their field or in their specific area." She adds, "Many of the awardees have overcome great obstacles to be here, many of them are first-generation, and first in their families to go to college. To do that and then know that many of them are going on to graduate programs, medical school, law school, or accelerated masters programs, it’s just amazing."

Several of the students shared their journey in the video below. 

 

The full list of awards and recipients are as follows:

 

FACULTY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES – NEWARK DEAN’S AWARD
Given annually by the Dean of Faculty of Arts and Sciences–Newark to one or more outstanding seniors for academic excellence. Recipients: Chaden Noureddine, Joseph O. Youssef

 

THE RICHARD C. ROBEY MEMORIAL AWARD
Given annually to a graduating senior for excellence in an area of study that reflects the scholarly interests of Richard C. Robey, former Dean of the College and Professor of American Studies. Recipient: Michael T. Augusta Jr.

 

CARR ACADEMIC SCHOLARS
Named for James Dickson Carr, the first African-American graduate of Rutgers University. He was a Phi Beta Kappa inductee in 1891. He graduated from Columbia Law School in 1896 and became a member of the New York Bar Association. He was later appointed Assistant District Attorney of New York County. The scholarship is awarded to deserving incoming first-year and transfer students who demonstrate academic promise and who score well on the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) or American College Test (ACT). Recipients: Ahmed Abdelhamid, Samanthika S. Devalaraju, Caroline U. Ezekwesili

 

THE CHARLES PINE AWARD
Given annually to a Newark College of Arts and Sciences graduating senior in recognition of outstanding academic achievement in the areas of mathematics and science. Recipient: Alan Tsai

 

THE JOHN FAULSTICH NCAS ALUMNI AWARD
Given annually to an outstanding senior who has demonstrated excellence in academics, extracurricular activities, and community service. Recipient: Chaden Noureddine

 

Academic Foundations Center

COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD
Given to a graduating Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) student who has contributed significantly to both campus and community activities. Recipient: Nadine H. Ahmed

 

African American and African Studies

CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE
The Certificate of Excellence recognizes high-achieving students in the field of African American & African Studies who have distinguished themselves in service to the field and to the community. Recipient: Donovan Odelugo

 

WENDELL A. JEAN-PIERRE AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
Named in honor of Dr. Wendell A. Jean-Pierre, former Chairperson of the Department of African American and African Studies and a scholar on the Negritude poets: Cesaire, Senghor and Damas. Given annually to the senior who best exemplifies the department's mission to combine scholastic excellence with service to the field and to the community. Recipient: Keturah Maingrette

 

Arts, Culture and Media

CREATIVE ACHIEVEMENT IN FINE ARTS
Presented for outstanding accomplishment in development of a personal vision, creativity and excellence in the Arts. Recipient: Athena J. Barkley

 

CREATIVE ACHIEVEMENT IN GRAPHIC DESIGN
Presented for outstanding accomplishment in graphic design, reflecting creativity and dedication Recipients: Dalia Abdalla,Shawn F. Collins,William J. Gilligan, Yosmany Michaca Vivar

 

JOURNALISM EXCELLENCE AWARD
Given to a student who has shown enterprise and excellence in the field of Journalism. Recipient: Emina Lukarcanin

 

THEATRE EXCELLENCE AWARD
Given to a graduating student majoring in theatre who has contributed most to the Theatre Program over his or her years in the college. Recipient: Michelle Cairo

 

Biological Sciences

BESSIE DOLGAN MEMORIAL AWARD
This award, honoring the late Bessie Dolgan, a medical technologist, is presented annually to a pre-medical student who has been accepted for admission to a medical school. Recipient: Chaden Noureddine

 

BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN RESEARCH
Presented annually to a graduating senior who conducted outstanding undergraduate research with a department faculty member and/or demonstrates outstanding potential to pursue a graduate career in biological sciences. Recipient: Amany Y. Emam

 

BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN SCHOLARSHIP
Presented annually to a graduating senior who has excelled in scholarship while pursuing the BA/BS Biology degree. Recipient: Maciej C. Jeziorek

 

BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AWARD HEALTH PROFESSIONS CAREER AWARD
Presented annually to a graduating senior who excelled studying Biology and will pursue a career in the health professions. Recipient: Adam T. Weiner

 

Chemistry

CHARLES SABAT AWARD
Given annually by the Chemistry department to an outstanding student in Inorganic Chemistry. Recipient: Ivan H. Cruz

 

GENERAL CHEMISTRY TEACHING AWARD
Given to an outstanding teaching assistant in the General Chemistry Laboratory. Recipient: Marina G. Salib

 

HAROLD A. FALES MEMORIAL AWARD
Presented to a student demonstrating excellence in Physical Chemistry. Recipient: Devon K. Nwosu

 

Earth & Environmental Sciences

HERBERT P. WOODWARD MEMORIAL AWARD
Established in memory of Dr. Woodward, who served as a professor of Geology for 37 years and as dean of the college for 20 years. This award recognizes outstanding seniors in Earth & Environmental Sciences. Recipients: Dayana A. Arrue, Shannon M. Gillmann

 

Economics

FEDERAL RESERVE CHALLENGE AWARD
Presented to a graduating senior who has been an outstanding member of the Economics Department's College Fed Challenge team. Recipient: Daniel P. DeMatos

 

MORRIS H. BECK STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Named in honor of former Economics Professor Morris H. Beck and given to an undergraduate economics major who has most demonstrated scholastic excellence. Recipient: Mussab Ali

 

WALL STREET JOURNAL AWARD
Presented to a senior majoring in Economics who, in the opinion of the members of the Economics department, shows promise of distinction in economics. Recipient: Nicolette D. Cseuscsik

 

English

LOUIS R. ZOCCA AWARD
Established in 1976 by friends and associates of Dr. Louis R. Zocca, Professor Emeritus of English, who served for thirty years; this award is presented to the outstanding senior for excellence in the study of literature. Recipient: Vanya Jain

 

MADISON C. BATES AWARD
Colleagues, former students and members of the family of the late Madison C. Bates, Professor of English at the college, established a fund that provides an annual award to a senior student majoring in English, who at the middle of their senior year, has attained the highest scholastic average in the department. Recipient: Grace G. Prial

 

History

THE DAVID ROBERT FRIEDLANDER MEMORIAL AWARD
Established in memory of David Robert Friedlander, a graduate of the Newark College of Arts and Sciences, and awarded annually to an outstanding senior graduating from the college and majoring in History or Pre-Law. Recipient: Rafael A. Osorio

 

EDWARD H. ZABRISKIE MEMORIAL AWARD
Established in memory of Professor Edward H. Zabriskie. It is awarded annually to the student who consistently attains the highest grades in his or her history courses. Recipient: Sarah A. Elgalad

 

SYDNEY ZEBEL AWARD
Established in memory of Dr. Sydney Zebel, a Professor of British History, and awarded annually to the students who consistently attain the highest grades in his or her history courses. Recipient: Tawana Smith

 

JOHN C. SMOCK AWARD
Offered by the Program in Ancient and Medieval Civilizations, awarding the most outstanding students in ancient studies. Established by Rutgers Trustee Arthur Maybarn, it honors the memory of Reverend Smock who inspired generations of Greek language students with his love of ancient studies. Recipients: Ty J. Catello, Nabeil F. Javed

 

Mathematics and Computer Science

COMPUTER SCIENCE AWARD
Presented to the most outstanding undergraduate student in Computer Science. Recipient: Michael G. Anderson

 

INGRIDA SOLDATOVA AWARD FOR WOMEN IN MATH
This award recognizes excellence among female undergraduate students who are majoring in Mathematics. Recipient: Roxanne B. Casio

 

SAMUEL GREITZER AWARD
Presented to the most outstanding undergraduate student in Mathematics. Recipient: Monica D. Matos

 

Philosophy

CHARLES I. BIEDERMAN AWARD
Granted to a graduating Philosophy major who has demonstrated academic excellence in the discipline. Recipient: Nuhu Osman Attah

 

Physics

BETTY SKUSE THOMPSON PRIZE
Given to students who have shown an outstanding record of achievement in the study of undergraduate Physics at Rutgers University-Newark; made in memory of Betty Skuse Thompson, a graduate of the Department of Physics and a dedicated teacher of Physics, by her husband, George Thompson. Recipients: Ahmed K. Abdalla, Joshua H. Thompson, Bakhtawar Zafar

 

Political Science

BENJAMIN M. WEISSMAN MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP
Awarded to a Political Science major entering their senior year. It is based entirely on merit, mainly grades in Political Science and social science subjects. This award honors our late colleague and is supported in large part by the Weissman family. Recipient: Leila M. Sarmiento

 

BENJAMIN M. WEISSMAN WRITING AWARD
Awarded to a graduating Political Science major who is judged to have written the best essay on politics. Recipients: Cindy V. Guaman, Raul Guevarez

 

HEINZ SEELBACH AWARD
Presented to the graduating student with the highest grade point average in Political Science. Recipient: Leila M. Sarmiento

 

RITA J. IMMERMAN AWARD
Given annually to a Political Science major who is a candidate for degree and who has been accepted into a graduate or professional program. The award was established by Mr. John Crowley, a University College-Newark graduate, in appreciation of the contributions Dr. Immerman and the college made to his personal advancement. Recipient: William Toner

 

Psychology

THE JOEL GIRGUS MEMORIAL AWARD
In honor of the memory of the late Dr. Joel Girgus, awarded to the graduating seniors in Psychology with the highest cumulative grade-point averages. Recipients: Shaznaan S. Bhimani, Sayda L. Cano Monzon

 

THE LILLIAN ROBBINS MEMORIAL AWARD
In honor of the memory of the late Lillian Robbins, awarded to the graduating seniors with overall excellence and achievement in Psychology. Recipients: Caroline A. Roberts,Weronika Skoczylas

 

THE LOURDES CASAL MEMORIAL AWARD
Awarded in honor of the memory of the late Dr. Lourdes Casal to the graduating seniors selected by the faculty who best combines intellectual excellence with social commitment. Recipients: Melvin A. Crespo, Joseph R. Prado

 

Social Work

ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE AND LEADERSHIP
Awarded for overall academic excellence and demonstrated leadership abilities. Recipient: Abigail D. Oquea

 

ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE IN SOCIAL WORK
Awarded for overall academic achievement and excellence in the study of Social Work. Recipient: Valerie R. Check

 

THE DEAN JAMES PLUMMER AWARD
Presented to a University College-Newark Social Work major, with a strong academic record, whose activities positively enhance campus and/or community life. Recipient: Takiyak Epps

 

EXCELLENCE IN FIELD PRACTICE AWARD
Given for high achievement, commitment, and professionalism in the field practicum. Recipients: Sandra E. Rey, Gordon G. Springer

 

Sociology and Anthropology

JAY RUMNEY MEMORIAL AWARD
Given as a memorial to Jay Rumney, a former Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University-Newark. This annual book prize is given to the Sociology student, who in the opinion of the senior members of the department, has made the best record in the field of Sociology Recipient: Jung Eun Yoo

 

JOANNIE L. HUBERMAN MEMORIAL AWARD
Given to a senior Anthropology major who demonstrates commitment to anthropology, academic excellence, original insight, and concern for humanistic values. Recipient: Yoeu Ri Arenas

 

Spanish and Portuguese Studies

ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE IN PORTUGUESE AND LUSOPHONE WORLD STUDIES
Awarded to the graduating seniors who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement in the study of Portuguese, Brazilian and Lusophone African literature, culture, history and language. Recipients: Henrique A. Fernandes, Edgar A. Freitas

 

ISRAEL S. STAMM MEMORIAL PRIZE FUND
Recognizes two seniors who have majored in one or more modern or classical language and have distinguished themselves by their own knowledge of that language and by their understanding and appreciation of its literature. Recipients: Sara M. Acevedo, Amanda N. Glover

 

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN SPANISH AND HISPANIC CIVILIZATION
Recognizes outstanding academic achievement, superior contribution, and commitment to the Spanish language, culture, and civilization. Recipient: Rafael A. Osorio

 

Urban Education

OUTSTANDING URBAN TEACHER CANDIDATE SECONDARY EDUCATION
Given to recognize outstanding scholarship and application in the classroom. The recipient of this award has demonstrated a deep commitment to professionalism, creativity, collaboration, reflection, scholarship, and high standards for themselves and their future students. Recipients: Giuseppe P. Pollicino, Gabrielle N. Tenn

 

Women’s and Gender Studies

BETH NIEMI AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN WOMEN’S AND GENDER STUDIES
Given to a graduating senior who has completed a major or minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. Beth Niemi was a faculty member in the Economics department at Rutgers University–Newark who studied feminist issues in economics. Her work as a labor economist included studying salary differentials between men and women in the same profession, and the economics of combining work and family life. She proposed and taught the course “Women and the Economy” that is still offered by the Economics department. She provided leadership to the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. Recipient: Brianna E. Hector

 

THE DEAN JAMES CREDLE AWARD
Given to a Rutgers University–Newark student who has demonstrated leadership through scholarship and activism by improving the scholarly, political, and personal lives of LGBTQ students at Rutgers University–Newark and in the broader community. Named to honor James Credle, a Rutgers University–Newark alumnus, who for decades served as director of the Office of Veterans Affairs and subsequently as the Assistant Dean of Student Activities. Credle’s lifetime of work has built community understanding to alleviate abusive bias and discrimination against the LGBTQ community. Recipient: Andrew S. Moreira

 

Office of Academic Services Awards

DEAN OF ACADEMIC SERVICES AWARD
Presented to a graduating senior for outstanding leadership and service. Recipient: David C. Clermont

 

DEAN NORMAN C. MILLER AWARD
Honoring the founding Dean of University College-Newark, Norman C. Miller, and presented to a University College-Newark student who has completed the largest number of credits at Rutgers and has the highest grade point average. Recipient: Amanda Scheuer

 

YOLANDE RUBIANES MEMORIAL AWARD
Awarded to the graduating senior who, in overcoming adversity, has achieved distinction as a student. Recipient: Althea Cummings

 

CASSIE EDWARD MILLER AWARD
Given to a graduating senior (preferably University College-Newark and non-traditional student) in recognition of outstanding academic achievement, community service, and contribution made to multicultural understanding on campus. Recipient: Mariella Andrade

 

DEAN INGE GAMBE SCHOLARSHIP
Established to honor students enrolled in the Newark College of Arts and Sciences with junior class standing who have demonstrated a record of academic success, service to the college community, and outstanding personal character. Recipient: Christine B. Garcia

 

TAU SIGMA NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY
Recognizes and promotes the academic excellence of transfer students enrolled in the Newark College of Arts and Sciences and University College-Newark with a grade point average of 3.500 or higher. This award is presented to a graduating senior in recognition of their outstanding academic achievement at the University. Recipient: Sandra Riano Fernandez