Students, Faculty, Staff and Family gather at First Presbyterian Church on April 24, 2023 for Honors Convocation.

2023 Honors Convocation Recognizes Student Accomplishments

Created: April 26, 2023  |  Last Updated: August 28, 2023  |  Category:   |  Tagged: , ,

Washington & Jefferson College hosted its 2023 Honors Convocation Monday, April 24, at First Presbyterian Church.

At the annual event, friends and family of honored students joined faculty and staff in celebrating a variety of accomplishments recognized by department or program awards.

Departmental book prizes are a tradition of W&J.

Academic departments annually recognize the intellectual curiosity and scholarly accomplishments of the best advanced-level students in their programs. This year 23 book prizes were presented to 32 students.

View the full video of the Honors Convocation 2023 ceremony.

Below is the complete list of honors and awards.

Scholar in Art was awarded to Katarina Krise and Harley Smith.
Scholar in Biochemistry was awarded to Whitney Domic.
The Edwin Scott Linton Prize in Biology was awarded to Lekhya Kollu and Nagendra Dhanikonda.
The Benjamin Franklin Prize was awarded to Zachary Bowser.
The Jesse W. Lazear Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Dylan Mayanja and Breanna Miller.
Scholar in Communication Arts was awarded to Riley Anderson, Katarina Krise, Lauren Phillips, and Alec Schambach.
The CIS Award for Independent Learning was awarded to Antonia Meier.
Scholar in Conflict and Resolution Studies was awarded to Zivya Sutton.
The Walter Hudson Baker Prize in Economics was awarded to Kaden Divito.
Scholar in Education was awarded to Faith Martin.
The William Holmes McGuffey Prize in English was awarded to Sabrina Myers and Soleil Simpson.
The John Livingston Lowes Prize in English was awarded to Paul Collier.
The Henry Willson Temple Prize in History was awarded to Anastasia Giampa and Kayla Williams.
The J. Adolph Schmitz Prize in Language was awarded to Holly Troesch.
The Clyde Shepherd Atchison Prize was awarded to Garrett Franco.
Scholar in Music was awarded to Nicholas Gamble.
The Edward Moffat Weyer Prize in Philosophy was awarded to Jasmine Dey.
Robert Lloyd Mitchell Prize in Ancient Greek Philosophy was awarded to Nathan Millison.
The George Winchester Prize in Physics was awarded to Gannon Ziviello.
The James Clyde McGregor Prize in Political Science was awarded to Sabrina Myers.
The James Gillespie Blaine Prize in Political Science was awarded to Jillian Curtis.
Scholar in Psychology was awarded to Bethany Mulderig and Whitney Domico.
Scholar in Sociology was awarded to Julianna Ohr.


The College also has a series of awards that have been established by endowments from donors, which recognize students based on achievement, hard work, passion, and dedication.

Thirty-nine awards were presented recognizing more than 50 students from across campus.

Dr. Emory A. Rittenhouse II Prize in Biology is given annually to a senior Biology or Biochemistry major who best exemplify the qualities of academic excellence, research engagement, and service to the department, college, and/or profession. The 2023 recipient is Rachel Karman.

The Michael P. Rettger Memorial Academic Award goes to a promising sophomore or junior majoring in accounting who desires to begin his/her career with a public accounting firm. Established in memory of Michael P. Rettger ’01 by his friends and co-workers at Ernst & Young LLP in Pittsburgh, the award honors Mike Rettger, a bright young businessman who died from a sudden illness in 2003. This year’s recipient is Sean Disbrow.

The Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants Award is given by the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The recipient is selected by the accounting faculty on the basis of accomplishment and professional promise. The 2023 award was presented to Trevor Dean.

The K. Wayne Robison Prize is a merit-based award given to a junior accounting major with a 3.25 GPA or higher, who holds a leadership position, is involved in an extracurricular activity and communicates well. K. Wayne Robison was a Professor in the Department of Business teaching Accounting, Auditing and Tax for 40 years at Washington & Jefferson College. While at the College, K. Wayne influenced many careers of our successful alumni. Such an alumna has created this scholarship prize in dedication of the commitment of Professor Robison to the profession of accounting and to his students. This prize was awarded to Madison Miller.

The Adlai E. Michaels Prize is awarded to the outstanding sophomore chemistry majors in honor of Dr. Adlai E. Michaels, professor of Chemistry at W&J from 1959 to 1983. This year’s recipients are Seth Nicolette and Hailey Packard.

The Nicholas C. and Josephine C. Tucci Memorial Prize in Chemistry is awarded to a junior chemistry major who demonstrates outstanding achievement. The 2023 prize was awarded to Gia Monte.

The Daniel Latchney Prize in Chemistry and Biochemistry is presented annually to an outstanding junior or senior chemistry or biochemistry major who is registered in the Pre-Health Program. The student must exhibit distinguished academic achievement and good character. This prize was created in memory of this member of the Class of 1978 by his wife, Lisa ’78, and his daughters, Jessica and Sarah. Ryyan Miah was presented the prize.

The Samuel Jones Prize in Chemistry and Physics alternates yearly between the departments of Chemistry and Physics. The Chemistry Department is awarding the prize this year. It is awarded to a member of the junior or senior class who writes the best essay on specific topics or attains the highest score on a departmental examination. This year’s award was presented to Ryyan Miah.

CIS Award for Interdisciplinary Computing is awarded to a student who completed interdisciplinary work in the field of computing. The 2023 recipient is Sean Adamski.

David and Kristin Steinberg Scholarship in Computing and Information Studies was established in 2005 by David and Kristin Steinberg to provide scholarship aid to a student, as chosen by the Chair of the CIS Department in conjunction with department faculty. This scholarship aid is awarded with preference given to a sophomore or junior student who has completed four CIS courses by the end of the semester in which application for the scholarship is made. This prize was awarded to Ryan Morley.

The Jennifer Lynn Oliver Prize in Theatre is given in memory of Jennifer Lynn Oliver, Class of 2000, a gifted actress and scholar. Established by an endowment from Ms. Oliver’s mother and stepfather, Page and Ray Bruno, other family and friends, this prize is awarded to the graduating senior theatre major achieving the highest cumulative grade point average during his/her tenure at the College. The prize for 2023 was awarded to Lauren Phillips.

The Dudley R. Johnson Prize in Theatre Arts was established by friends and colleagues of Dudley R. Johnson, Dean of students at W&J from 1951 to 1967. It is awarded annually to a graduating senior who, during their years at the College, has made significant contributions to the theatre arts. Lauren Phillips received the prize.

The Communication Arts ‘Winter Tales’ Prize for Top Script. Every year the Department of Communication Arts grants an award for the Best Student Written Play, written for Winter Tales, the College’s annual ten-minute play festival. The award is given to the student artists who have constructed the most effective drama or comedy. The prize was presented to Lauren Phillips and Steven Watts.

The Dr. Frederick H. Wilson Memorial Academic Prize in Economics is awarded annually to an upperclass student who has demonstrated achievement and promise in economics. Shayla VanHorn is this year’s recipient.

The Maurice Cleveland Waltersdorf Prize in Economics is funded by friends and former students of Maurice C. Waltersdorf. This prize is awarded annually to a senior economics major who attained the highest average in all work done in economics in the Department of Economics. Linh Khuat received the 2023 prize.

The William G. and Belle M. Marshall Prize in Economics is awarded to a student demonstrating achievement and promise in economics. This year’s recipient is Justin Johns.

The James W. Hanna Prize in Education was established in 1996 by Dr. Hanna’s sister, Ms. Linda Hanna Weaver, and by students, colleagues, and friends. The prize is awarded annually to outstanding education students to encourage the successful completion of teacher certification. Preference in selection is given initially to graduates of Washington High School. The 2023 recipients are Nina Alvarez and Kasey Scears.

The William M. and Saundra Stout Endowed Prize Fund in Education provides a prize fund to students who are rising Juniors or Seniors and who are either majoring in Child Development and Education or who have been admitted to the Teacher Certification Program. The donors express a preference in selection to graduates of Washington, Fayette, or Greene County High Schools in Pennsylvania who have achieved a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.0 or higher. Jadyn Hartner and McKenna Gallagher are the 2023 recipients.

The Emily Auld Memorial Prize in English was established by Frank L. Auld ’35 in memory of his wife, Emily, a former senior English teacher at Trinity High School. It is awarded annually to a student majoring in English who has achieved a high level of performance and demonstrates great promise for the future. The prize was presented to Denver Leslie.

The Gilbert Award in Old English Literature offers an award for the best essay on Old English language and literature. The 2023 recipient was Andrew Rosario.

Environmental Studies Prize recipients must have at least a 3.4 cumulative GPA, be in good standing with the College, and must have, through a combination of coursework, course-related projects, extracurricular activities, and independent research projects, demonstrated excellence in their chosen pursuit of Environmental Studies. Jordan Bernard and Stephanie Shugerman received the prize.

The Maria Leonard Senior Book Award is given by the freshman honorary society, Alpha Lambda Delta. The award is presented to the graduating ALD senior members with the highest GPA. The 2023 recipients are Whitney Domico and Zivya Sutton.

The Alfred H. Sweet Prize in History is funded by students, friends, and colleagues of Dr. Alfred Henry Sweet. This prize is awarded annually to students who have done the most competent piece of research in the field of history. The 2023 prize was presented to Ian Anderson and Rebecca Hoffman.

The Walter S. Sanderlin Prize in History was established by Robert A. Johnson, Esq. ’66, to honor Dr. Walter S. Sanderlin, who served as a member and chairman of the history department at W&J from 1946 to 1985. The prize is a monetary award given to senior history majors with cumulative averages among the top 10 percent of history majors and among the top 10 percent of the senior class, who have been accepted into graduate school in any discipline of the humanities or social sciences. Anastasia Giampa and Meghan Heinzeroth received the 2023 prize.

Gordon E. Swartz History Fellowship will be used to provide funding for a student, chosen by the History Department, who is a declared history major of high academic standing. The recipient will use the funds during the summer between his / her junior and senior year to do scholarly, independent research or to take an internship that will lead to an independent study during the senior year. The expected outcome of the research and independent study will be a project suitable for honors and one that educates the college community via a public forum / presentation. The 2023 recipient is Anna Stroup.

Scholar in International Studies is awarded to graduating senior international studies majors, who have achieved a 3.5 GPA or higher in the major, demonstrated fluency in a foreign language beyond the intermediate level and a good understanding of other culture(s). Recipients are Aden Dressler and Veena Rings.

The Richard S. Pett Academic Travel Award was established in memory of Richard S. Pett by his wife, Lynne, and his daughters, Melissa and Lauren. The Academic Travel Award goes to deserving juniors or seniors majoring in a foreign language who desire to study abroad. Sydney Hoover, Jillian Kratz, Hailey Lusk and Carolyn Mueller were awarded the 2023 Richard S. Pett Academic Travel Award.

The A. Richard Oliver Prize in French was established by students, family and colleagues of Dr. Oliver, professor of French, from 1947 until his death in 1976. It is awarded to outstanding students in French. The 2023 prize was presented to Jacob Black and Paige Mihalik.

Dr. Delia Lagar and George Jaques Böhm Endowed Prize has been established via gifts from friends and family in memory of Dr. Delia and George Böhm to assist students who are majoring or minoring in Spanish with studying abroad in Latin America during the summer. Both natives of Argentina with an enthusiastic love for the humanities, Dr. Delia Lagar Böhm was one of the first women professors at Washington & Jefferson College specializing in Spanish Literature. The recipient for 2023 is Ashley Navarro.

The Dr. Mariano Garcia ’39 Award in Mathematics was established in 2005 by an endowment from Dr. Mariano Garcia ’39. The annual award is given to one or more students to celebrate academic excellence in the study of mathematics. Garrett Franco, Zachary Gardner, Hannah Luttringer, and Claire Sauerland each received this year’s award.

Theodore M. Slabey Prize in Mathematics Education is given to outstanding students in mathematics education with a preference given to students either in primary education with a focus major/minor study in mathematics or secondary education. Kasey Scears is the 2023 prize recipient.

The Patterson, Atchison, Shaub, Dorwart, and Thomas Mathematics Award was established by former students in memory of these W&J mathematics professors. The award is intended to encourage students to pursue projects in which they investigate the application of mathematics to a problem in one of the sciences, business, economics, industry, government, or other discipline. The 2023 award was presented to Zachary Gardner, Linh Khuat, and Gauravpreet Singh.

Barbara Ransohoff Burnett Prize in Music was established in 1991 by former College President Howard J. Burnett in memory of his wife. This prize recognizes an outstanding student in music, whose participation either in performing ensembles or classroom studies demonstrates high achievement, active interest, and strong commitment to the standards of excellence set by the Department of Music. The award is given in honor of Mrs. Burnett, a devoted member of the College and community, who nurtured support for the fine and performing arts. Luke Geister was awarded the prize.

The Nicholas C. and Josephine C. Tucci Memorial Prize in Music was established by Josephine C. Tucci in memory of her late husband, Nicholas C. Tucci, community leader and friend of the College. This prize is awarded annually to deserving students for the study of music during JayTerm. Both Josiah Hudock and Aiden Mendez received the prize.

The Josephine Markley Prize in Physics is awarded to the student in an introductory physics course receiving the highest score on a departmental examination. The prize was presented to Vaishnavi Peyyety and Riley Runyon.

The Mr. Thomas V. Fritz Memorial Prize was established by the Fritz Family Charitable Fund. This endowed prize fund has been created to annually offset the cost of internships at or related travel opportunities to prominent organizations, corporations or government entities as determined by the chair of the Political Science Department. Elizabeth Conlon, Grant Cullen, and Jesulayomi Dawodu received the prize this year.

The will of Josiah Ringland of Washington, Pennsylvania, bequeathed a sum to the College for the purpose of establishing a prize in the social sciences, The Matthew Brown Ringland Prize in the Social Sciences. Income from this sum is awarded annually by the faculty to students who do the most outstanding work in commerce, trade, finance, statesmanship, and international law. Ian Anderson, Nickolas Bartel, and Kyleigh Jester all received a prize this year.

The Richard R. Martin Prize in Psychology was established by faculty members who worked closely with Dr. Martin in appreciation of his leadership as chair of the Psychology department. It is given to an outstanding student majoring in Psychology. This year’s prize was presented to Julia Hurwitz.

The Robert Harbison Bible Prize was established by the will of Robert Harbison of Beaver County, Pennsylvania. This prize is awarded to the members of the senior class with the highest scores on an examination on the Old and New Testaments. Paul Collier and Catherine McQuitty are the 2023 recipients.


W&J’s leadership and service awards recognize students for outstanding service and leadership.

Ten leadership awards were presented to 14 different students.

The Paul L. Reardon Award is awarded annually to junior athletes who demonstrate academic, athletic, and leadership qualities. Cassandra Carr and Justin Johns are this year’s recipients.

The Maurice Cleveland Waltersdorf Award for Innovative Leadership was established by a challenge grant by his son, John M. Waltersdorf ‘46, and support from former students. The award is given to students who best exemplify academic excellence and promise as leaders in our free enterprise society. The 2023 award was presented to Tyler Horvat and Logan Marko.

The Irene Kennedy Williams Endowed Prize was established by Susan A. Cohen ’84 and Douglas Williams in memory of their mother, Irene Kennedy Williams, who grew up with her five siblings in a segregated Franklin, Ohio. Focused on family, community, and the value of education, all six children graduated from high school and went on not only to college, but to earn advanced degrees. Irene Kennedy Williams lived her values and passed them along to her children and their spouses. Neil Pandit was the 2023 prize recipient.

The W. Edward Sell Distinguished Service Award was established for W. Edward Sell ’45, a distinguished graduate of W&J and the Yale Law School. Upon graduation from Yale, Dr. Sell joined the US Steel Corporation as an attorney. He later became a professor and Dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Dean Sell’s career in both the private and public sector was supplemented by his devotion to his alma mater and his community. Fallon Goodlin is the recipient of the 2023 award.

The Coblentz-Silliman Leadership Prize is derived jointly from an endowment by Mr. and Mrs. George W. Coblentz in memory of their son, and from a similar fund provided by the Board of Christian Education of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. It is presented annually to a student who has been a leader in College activities and who has exerted a distinct Christian influence on classmates. Connor Helm in this year’s prize recipient.

The David K. Scarborough Leadership Award is presented to a junior class member as selected by the president of the College. A tuition prize and plaque recognize the recipient’s service to the College community, individual leadership, and academic achievement. David K. Scarborough served from 1956 to 1992 as basketball coach and then administrator, retiring as vice president and dean of student affairs. This fund is provided by alumni and associates of Dr. Scarborough to honor his leadership by example, devotion to development of the whole student, and dedication to Washington & Jefferson College. Cassandra Carr was presented the 2023 award.

The Donald W. Ebbert Award is given in memory of Donald Ward Ebbert ’28 to students completing their junior year, whose effort and determination to achieve in academics, athletics, or other school activities has gained the respect, admiration, and friendship of students and faculty alike. Kendle Haught and Samuel Stewart received this year’s award.

Legacy of Leadership Award is given by the Vice President and Dean of Student Life. The honoree’s name is engraved on a plaque and announced at this Honors Convocation to recognize a graduating student who has made remarkable and substantial contributions to campus and community life, demonstrated true service to others, embraced challenges and taken risks to learn and grow, and modeled both school pride and personal humility all this accomplished while achieving academic success. Julia Hurwitz is the 2023 Legacy of Leadership Award recipient.

Michael Pratt Endowed Scholarship Award was established with a gift from A. Michael Pratt ’81. This gift will provide scholarship support to rising sophomore, junior or senior students with demonstrated commitment and involvement in activities that promote racial justice. TraceyLynn Kariuki and Severin Nguaboh were each recognized with the 2023 award.

The Frank Family Prize for Leadership in the Communication Arts is awarded to the Communication Arts majors who have exhibited leadership in the Department and in the co-curricular activities associated with it. This year’s prize was presented to Grace DePaul and Emily Beitler.


In addition to the individual awards, the Phi Beta Kappa inductees were recognized.

Those individuals included Riley Anderson, Ryan J. Bannon, Eli M. Collavo, Paul K. Collier, Nagendra A. Dhanikonda, Whitney E. Domico, Aden M. Dressler, Linh Hoang Tu Khuat, Lekhya Kollu, Katarina M. Krise, Isabella Manzari, Ryyan M. Miah, Sabrina E. Myers, Lauren N. Phillips, Veena K. Rings, Soleil G. Simpson, Zivya A. Sutton, Michael A. Toland, Holly L. Troesch, Jessica K. Wensus, and Hanna D. Yutzy.