Student Recognition Awards Acknowledge Outstanding Efforts
Each year, divisions and departments across campus recognize outstanding student efforts (and one staff member this year) with the Student Recognition Awards. Recipients either are nominated or apply for consideration for these competitive awards.
As in other years, the recipients’ efforts and energy have made significant impacts on campus life. From students who give outstanding job performances or show leadership qualities to the student groups that influence and assist the broader community, the Student Recognition Awards show the depth and breadth of commitment at the university.
The in-person awards event wasn’t possible this year due to the COVID-19 crisis, but the university is proud to share the accomplishments you’ll find here.
Christine Kobza, associate director of student activities, Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council advisor
The Advisor of the Year award recognizes a faculty or staff member who works tirelessly to represent all the division’s core values of advocacy, citizenship, empowerment, inclusion, respect, and support. Kobza’s nomination reflects those qualities. One person sent this remark, “Christine’s ability to be a positive figure can oftentimes make a president or council executive’s day. While being a leader for some of the largest organizations on campus is a great opportunity and extremely rewarding, the position is also exhausting, challenging—and individuals face a lot of criticism. Christine is always there to be supportive and share her uplifting advice.”
Colleges Against Cancer Student Group
Colleges Against Cancer runs WPI’s Relay for Life event every year. The group has shown commitment to growing their organization, retaining current members, and holding well-planned and well-run programs that benefit the WPI and the larger Worcester community.
Mbolle Akume ’20, chemical engineering
As this year’s Emerging Leader of the Year, Akume is active in varied student groups and works to bring that energy and focus to her work of making the WPI community better. She is also the recipient of the Coghlin Award, which recognizes a student who has made great contributions to WPI and the greater Worcester community through community service activities and efforts.
Bids for Kids—Phi Sigma Sigma
This year, two student organizations received the Program of the Year Award. Phi Sigma Sigma and the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council were recognized for their excellence in executing programs that reflected the core values of advocacy, citizenship, empowerment, inclusion, respect, and support.
Justin Amevor ’20, computer science
Amevor’s dedication to his job as a Gordon Library Student Supervisor earned him the Student Employee of the Year Award. His nominations reflected a level of community spirit, kindness, and knowledge. One nomination said this, “In many senses he is the face of the library due to the level of professionalism he provides."
Outstanding Women: Gertrude R. Rugg
Cindy Trac ’23, computer science
As a first-year student, Trac jumped into her WPI career with a dedication to the WPI community and to her computer science major.
Ellen Knott Award
Jordan Wynn ’22, biochemistry
Wynn earned this award for sophomore year women who show outstanding dedication and work in their engineering- and science-based career path and to the wider WPI community.
Bonnie Blanche Schoonover Award
Khadijah Ibrahim ’21, electrical & computer engineering
As a junior, Ibrahim’s efforts as an electrical & computer engineering major earned her accolades for her high-quality work and her devotion to the university community.
Casey Willis ’22, mechanical engineering
This award is given to a student who demonstrates excellent academic success and who is also highly involved in campus activities. Willis fits the bill as a work-study student, a volunteer for college-sponsored activities, and a participant in recognized extracurricular activities.
Ryan Eastwood ’20, computer science, PLA of the Year (photo not available)
Nazanin Beigi ’21, biology/biotechnology, PLA, Honorable Mention (photo not available)
Kyra Bresnahan ’20, computer science, PLA, Honorable Mention (pictured above)
WPI’s Peer Learning Assistants have a significant responsibility as they help fellow students understand and master challenging academic concepts. Eastwood is recognized as this year’s PLA of the year. Beigi and Bresnahan both received honorable mentions for their PLA work.
Starr is recognized for his leadership efforts with the Student Support Network and for his commitment to strengthening WPI’s caring community network. His nomination showed the depth of his commitment and included this comment: “His enthusiasm and passion for creating a caring community led to him to organize the Recognizing and Responding to Students in Distress for Greek Life program. He partnered with the SDCC to create a program open to all Greek Life members to provide training on how students can look out for one another and help friends access resources to get the support they may need.”
Mbolle Akume ’20, chemical engineering
Timothy Esworthy ’20, mechanical engineering
Amber Foote ’20, chemical engineering
Meredith Forcier ’20, BS biomedical engineering/international and global studies; MS management
Kristy Giacoman Favela ’20, industrial engineering and economic science
Katherine Gomes ’20, chemical engineering and professional writing
Katherine Handy ’20, biomedical engineering
Faria Kader ’20, mechanical engineering
Marissa Pereira ’20, BS/MS biomedical engineering
Emily Wilson ’20, BS/MS management engineering
Students who receive the Crimson & Gray awards represent the university’s core values through their leadership activities and their personal commitment to continually improving the quality of life for all WPI students. Their work encompasses the values of advocacy, citizenship, empowerment, inclusion, respect, and support so essential to the WPI community.
Noah McQueen, chemical engineering, TA of the Year (photo not available)
Marissa Bennett, computer science, TA Honorable Mention (pictured above)
Kaoutar Diouri, civil & environmental engineering, TA Honorable Mention (pictured below)
The graduate teaching assistants at WPI are tasked with helping peers and undergraduates advance their education by improving their understanding of varied academic work and processes. This year, McQueen received the TA of the Year Award. Bennett and Diouri were recognized with honorable mentions.