Rockhurst’s annual Festival of Student Achievement recognized 2018-19 achievements


Graphic created by Kori Hines on CANVA

On Friday, April 12, 2019, Rockhurst’s annual Festival of Student Achievement ceremony began in Arrupe Auditorium.

The event opened with awards and ceremonies, honoring students, staff and faculty who have achieved academic and leadership success. Followed by oral presentations and poster sessions featuring student research in Arrupe’s lobby. The Greenlease Gallery held the last event, displaying student artwork, poetry and monologues, and musical performances by Rockhurst’s student choir.

Keynote speaker Abby Seipel shared about their experiences at Rockhurst. Her speech grabbed the attention of the audience and brought encouragement to the crowd as Seipel spoke of her time at Rockhurst, obstacles she faced and overcame, and how she is preparing for her future.

“I was really motivated by the keynote speaker, Abby Seipel, because I have always looked up to her,” said sophomore Jermal Perkins.

Student Activities Board President Nicole DeMarco and Student Senate President Claire Webster also spoke during the event.

Nominated by her fellow students, Webster won “Hawk of the Year,” which is awarded to a senior who has been a pillar to the Rockhurst community and exemplifies leadership in the Jesuit tradition. Rockhurst legacy and senior Sarah Hummel won “Outstanding Student Leader” for her spirited involvement with freshman orientation, Student Ambassadors and Greek Life.

Student organization RAKERS, represented by juniors Grainne Blanchette and Susan Redieck, won the “Rising Star” award for their mission to share acts of kindness on campus. Organization Voices for Justice won the award for “Outstanding Support for Diversity”.

Other notably achievements included: sophomore Brandt Callahan and junior Mia Schnieders for “Living the Mission Emerging Student Leader” awards, seniors Kellie Ecklund and Dalton Goser for “Living the Mission Advanced Student Leader” awards, Dr. Maureen Walsh of the Theology department as Faculty of the Year and Gianna Carleo of Campus Ministry for Staff of the Year.

Recognition was also offered to student achievement in specific academic fields, including nursing, biology, physics, communication and speaking.

Among others, Senior Brandon Hernandez won the “Charles M. Kovich Dramatist Award,” Abigail Breyer and Veronica Clay for the “Father Aloysius Breen, S.J. English Award,” Andrew Burnside as “American Association of Teachers of French Outstanding Senior in French,” Eden Fitzgibbons for the “Barbara Wynne Outstanding Biology Student Award,” Kori Hines for “Scrivener Medal,” Madeline Cosgrove for “William V. Longmoor Award” in nursing.

This ceremony was a time of gathering for the Rockhurst community, students, family and friends. FOSA brought light to students who have given attention to their crafts and enlightened the Rockhurst community.

“FOSA has the ability to benefit students because it could inspire other students to take a greater initiative to continue to make Rockhurst University a place where one can seek further self-development, and grow in a community with others,” said Perkins.

Interested in joining the Sentinel staff? Contact our Editor, Kori Hines, at [email protected] to see how you can get involved.