2012 Academic Awards Honorees

Becker College students excel at different points in their college career and in different ways.  The Academic Awards Ceremony provides the opportunity to recognize and reward academic excellence, social responsibility, and creative expression in our students.

Recipients of the 2012 Academic Achievement Award were selected by a committee of faculty and staff.  These scholarship awards are funded solely by contributions from faculty and staff.  The Aspiring Scholar Award recipients have been selected by faculty in their departments and represent underclassmen who show early promise in their field of study.  There are also numerous other awards that recognize students who have made a mark on the College in different ways.  While they may also have significant academic accomplishments, these students are recognized for their contributions in areas such as service, leadership, and equality.  Recipients of these awards have been selected from nominations that were submitted by the College community.

Click here to view photos from the ceremony

The following students were recipients of a 2012 Academic Achievement Award:

Academic Achievement Awards

Nathen Casimiro, game design

Jennifer Wallace, dual major in
animal care and criminal justice

Laurellee Payne-Roberts, pre-veterinary

Samantha Millette, pre-veterinary

Bradley Rienstra, game programming

The Janice McPartland Award

Rachel Bagwell, nursing  

Aspiring Scholar Awards

Hayley O'Connell, interior design

Tim Donahue, graphic design

Michael Burke, game design

Anthony Botelho, game development

Frederick Nagle, business management 

Christine Wzorek, equine management

Katherine A. Reynolds, hospitality and tourism 

Luis Sanchez, sports management

Mark Zabicki, exercise science 

Aspiring Scholar Awards (cont.)

Todd Tompkins, elementary education

Megan Lapierre, elementary education

Theresa Boulier, psychology

Nancy Pecore, psychology

Sebastian Kuczek, organic chemistry

Alisha Swantee, nursing

Tara Sargentelli, nursing

Jessica Fox, veterinary technology

Ashton Wilkinson, animal care

Kerry Rizoli, clinical and laboratory animal medicine

Chelsea Ruzzo, pre-veterinary

Emma Crooker, lab animal management

Mary Charlotte Becker Award

Karen Layman, English

Janice Wiles Scholarship

Stephanie O’Dell, nursing

The Mark Bemis Award

Jessica Szorentini

The Jenny Lemay Scholarship

Jessica Whitney, interior design

The Service Award

Roseline Hernandez, forensic science 

The Equality Award

Ray Sgambati, game design

The Determination Award

Scott Tongue, game design

The lnitiative Award

Rebecca Corbett, nursing

The Leadership Award

Brooke Cote, veterinary science  

Outstanding Freshman Award

Rich Metellus

Outstanding Senior Award

Julie Merry, legal studies

Academic Achievement Awardees

Each year, Academic Achievement Awards are presented to select second semester, full-time freshmen, sophomores, or juniors who have GPAs over 3.5 and who exhibit the potential for becoming the most successful graduates of Becker College in their chosen fields of study. This annual recognition of high scholarly work is accompanied by a $1,000 scholarship for the following academic year. The Academic Achievement Award winners for the 2011-2012 academic year are:

Nathan Casimiro, game design
Jennifer Wallace, dual major in animal care and criminal justice
Laurellee Payne-Roberts, pre-veterinary
Samantha Millette, pre-veterinary
Bradley Rienstra, game programming



 


 

 


 


 

 


 


 

The Janice McPartland Award

Rachel BagwellThe Janice McPartland Award honors the memory of Janice McPartland, one of the founding members of the Academic Achievement Awards and longtime Becker College staff member

This year’s recipient—Rachael Bagwell, nursing—received the award from Janice’s daughter, Megan McPartland.

 

Aspiring Scholar Awards

The Aspiring Scholar Award is presented to second- and third-year students in each area of study who will be continuing their studies and who show significant promise or early achievement.

Hayley O'ConnellHayley O’Connell, interior design

Hayley is extremely detail oriented—almost to a fault! Her rewards for this are high grades and outstanding design solutions and renderings. She loves design, especially fireplaces. She is very mature and thoughtful—traits that helped her be selected as an RA in a Leicester Campus residence hall this past year. Her professors and classmates respect her opinions and lively discussions.

Tim Donahue, graphic design

Tim is an outstanding student whose enthusiasm for learning is an example for others. He strives for excellence in all of his course work and is always eager to learn something new. His creative ability and intelligence are part of his success, but his determination and positive attitude make him the kind of student that inspires others.

Michael Burke, game design

Quiet and reserved, Michael may be difficult to read at first, but his work speaks volumes about his talents, intelligence, and level of accomplishments. He has a passion for his work, a tremendous amount of creativity, and a truly unique artistic vision that has been masterfully demonstrated through his game projects in every area, from level design and 3D animation to story development and game programming. Having seen his meticulous attention to detail and dedication to working endless hours to produce items of outstanding quality, we know Michael will be successful in all of his future endeavors.

 Anthony Botelho, game programming

Anthony has been an outstanding asset to the game department due in no small part to his innate problem-solving skills, academic prowess, and intellectual curiosity. But his talents are made concrete by his maturity level, dedication to his work, and determination to make things happen. Anthony is a tutor for the Collaborative Learning Center, has worked on numerous departmental projects, has two concurrent internships, and has just completed showcasing his programming skills at the largest gaming convention on the East Coast (PAX East) by being one of only two programmers and the only junior on the senior project team for the 3D game, Shadow Walker

Frederick Nagle, business management (Accelerated and Professional Studies Program)

From a very young age, Fred knew he wanted to be in business and to manage people. He started his career at the age of 13, working for his father’s friend at a Honey Dew Donut coffee shop. Fred was happy washing dishes, but what he enjoyed most was when the owner showed him how to run the business. At the age of 17, the owner gave Fred a shop to manage. Fred doubled the sales the first year, reduced the turnover rate by 70 percent, and promoted more employees to supervisor roles than any of the other shops. This experience started him on the road to success. Today Fred is the human resource manager at ARS Products. His goal is to further his skills so he can become an HR leader at a large corporation. Fred realizes that a bachelor’s degree will help him achieve that goal. In addition, one of his long-term aspirations is to start a non-profit organization that will enable him to help others in his community.

Christine Wzorek, equine management

Christine is an excellent student in the business administration/equine management program. Her academic work is consistently of very high quality, and she takes a leadership role both inside and outside the classroom. She has been the captain of Becker’s equestrian team since the beginning of her sophomore year, and she has accompanied the equestrian coach to meetings that help promote Becker’s equestrian program. She hopes to eventually have her own equine rescue facility that would also be a fully functioning stable. Chrissy manages to be involved in all of these activities while still maintaining an extremely high GPA.

 Katherine A. Reynolds, hospitality and tourism

Katherine is one of the strongest students in the business administration program. Whether it’s accounting, economics, hospitality, management, or marketing, Katy excels academically. Her work is always of extremely high quality, and she never ceases to go above and beyond the requirements for every assignment. She is particularly good at making connections between theory and real-world business situations, and her contributions to group projects are what make them so successful.

 Luis Sanchez, sports management

Luis is an extremely conscientious and respectful student in the sports management program. He takes a leadership role in group projects, and it is always clear that students want to collaborate with him because of his strong work ethic. He does well in a variety of subjects, and his comments in class are thoughtful and relevant. Luis has a creative side that he puts to good use in class presentations, and he clearly has the ability to relate course topics to current situations in a wide variety of businesses.

 Mark Zabicki, exercise science

Mark has demonstrated a solid academic background, outstanding leadership, motivation, and communication skills. He has shown his commitment in the field of health and fitness and beyond. He has impressed his faculty by his enthusiasm and willingness to learn both inside and outside the classroom. Mark is a good listener and is always willing to help other students whenever necessary.

Todd Tompkins, elementary education

Todd exhibits a deep desire to work with young children, especially those who may come from an impoverished background. He holds himself to high standards and commits himself to excellence in the classroom. Todd has impressed his faculty as an aspiring teacher with his compassion for children who may be struggling and his understanding of the importance of maintaining a culturally-sensitive classroom environment.

 Megan Lapierre, elementary education (Accelerated & Professional Studies Program)

Joining the accelerated program in 2009, Meg has worked steadily and most successfully toward her goal of becoming an elementary school teacher, all while managing home and family responsibilities as well as working full-time as a teacher’s assistant in the Marlborough public schools. Meg’s enthusiasm for teaching, her creativity, and her high level of interest in working with young children shines through in every assignment—especially those in her pre-practica experiences, where she always went the extra mile to engage her students in the learning process. Now ready for her student teaching, we are confident that Meg will be an excellent addition to the teaching profession.

 Theresa Boulier, psychology

In the field of psychology, the term “mindfulness” has become a buzzword in many circles. It refers to the need to be focused on the moment and aware of all aspects of the self, and it has been linked to everything from positive physical and mental health, rapid recovery from setbacks, and higher levels of thinking and creativity. Theresa entered Becker College already self-schooled in mindfulness but, interestingly, she has since been drawn to the scholarly study of the field and her interest has allowed her to move from a curious student to aspiring scholar. Where others were trying to break down the nuances of a difficult primary source research paper on the neuropsychological correlates of mindfulness, Theresa was summarizing the research in a formal presentation for professionals at her internship at Children's Friend, where she practiced the techniques of mindfulness with adolescent girls diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. She then took her interest to UMASS and secured a research position with a neuropsychologist working with cardiac patients. And, like an aspiring scholar should, she is always looking to the future, currently arranging a third internship with the Neurodevelopment Center in Providence and talking about a research study that will bring her full circle, examining the effects of mindfulness and neuro feedback on the impulsivity seen in adolescent girls diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. She is indeed a thinker, a doer, and a passionate scholar who we are certain will one day contribute great scholarship to the field of psychology.

 Nancy Pecore, psychology (Accelerated and Professional Studies Program)

Nancy started at Becker three years ago, taking one course a semester. After a year, she decided she would never graduate at that pace. Despite working full-time, she became a full-time accelerated student. And if that wasn’t enough to fill her days, she decided to add applied behavior analysis courses and complete the three required practica. She did all this while maintaining a very high GPA. Nancy is truly an inspiration and deserving of the Aspiring Scholar Award.

 Sebastian Kuczek, organic chemistry

Sebastian, a sophomore in the pre-veterinary program, has shown an unusual interest in and understanding of organic chemistry, especially during laboratory experiments. He asks questions that indicate an in- depth and thoughtful analysis of the experimental work. He is this year’s Outstanding Chemist.

Alisha Swantee, nursing

Alisha is an associate degree nursing student who always has a positive attitude when taking on a project or a challenge. She was very instrumental when recruiting at the Becker College Carol Walsh Blood Drive with her sunny deposition. Thank you for all you do!

Tara Sargentelli, nursing

Tara is a graduate of Becker Colleges’ associate degree nursing program. Tara is a role model within the nursing profession as she attends the Becker College RN to BSN program.

Jessica Fox, veterinary technology

Jessica has been described by one of her professors as “an absolute delight to have in class.” She has made an impression on faculty as one of the most diligent, studious, scholarly, well prepared, and articulate students they have seen in first year vet tech courses.

 Ashton Wilkinson, animal care

Ashton may initially appear to have quiet demeanor, but once you get to know her you soon see that she has a real inner strength. Over her first year as a Becker student, she has demonstrated a genuine and consistent commitment to developing a strong academic foundation in her chosen field. She is an active participant in the learning process and has a level of maturity that is very refreshing.

Kerry Rizoli, clinical and laboratory animal medicine

Kerry has an enthusiasm for constantly learning about animals (and everything associated with them) that is truly infectious. Her smile has been described as “a ray of sunshine,” and she has a very artistic, creative side that shows in course projects. Her organizational skills and focused studying, even in the noise of Borger, have been noted by her faculty.

Aspiring Scholar-Laboratory Animal Medicine - Kerry RizoliChelsea Ruzzo, pre-veterinary

Chelsea has wonderful people and animal skills. She has always been articulate, focused and prepared, polite, and professional. She does well clinically and has a strong balance of intelligence and compassion. She is a very reserved young woman, but has a really good sense of humor and a big smile behind that reserve. Chelsea earns the highest praise a veterinarian can give. Professor Northrop has said, “I would definitely recommend her to work with my own pets.”

Emma Crooker, lab animal management

Emma distinguishes herself because she is extremely well organized, has consistently completed assignments and reading at a high level, and is always thinking and questioning in a very articulate manner. But she has a light, funny side too. Her compassion for the animals is always evident. She is very keen to gain experience in the research world and keep expanding her knowledge and awareness. She is sure to do a great job on her summer preceptorship.

 

Mary Charlotte Becker Award

The Mary Charlotte Becker Award is given to a member of the freshmen class who has consistently shown outstanding achievement in the discipline of English.

The recipient of the 2012 Mary Charlotte Becker Award is Karen Layman. Karen is a highly motivated and conscientious student—a credit to Becker College. She takes her academic responsibilities seriously, and her perceptions offered during class discussion are sharp and accurate. Karen thinks about the materials of the course, and her written work reflects that thoughtful approach to her studies. To read her essays involves the pleasure of observing a mind engaged with the literature in creative and sophisticated ways. Karen is well on her way to strong academic success, deserving of the Mary Charlotte Becker Award.

 

Janice Wiles Scholarship

The Janice Wiles Scholarship is given to a nursing student who best exemplifies Janice's exceptional qualities of dedication, courage, compassion, and professionalism. Scholarship recipients have generally had to overcome some form of adversity in reaching their professional goals, as did Janice.
This annual scholarship honors the memory of Janice M. Wiles who, in 1977 at the age of 22, became severely ill and was subsequently diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). As a result of numerous hospitalizations and ongoing medical care, she developed an intense desire to help others with medical problems. In 1981 she graduated from Becker College with an associate in science degree in physical therapy. Janice passed away in 1991 after a long battle with lupus. She was deeply committed to her alma mater and her profession. To honor her life, her professional colleagues established the Janice M. Wiles Memorial Scholarship.

The 2012 Janice Wiles Scholarship goes to Stephanie O’Dell. Stephanie is a nursing student who has demonstrated outstanding exceptional qualities of dedication to her nursing education studies. She is compassionate and professional as she provides care to her clinical patients and interacts with her fellow students and faculty.

 

 

 The Mark Bemis Award

The Mark Bemis Award recognizes a continuing student who has distinguished him or herself as a student leader on the Leicester campus.

The recipient of the 2012 Mark Bemis Award is Jessica Szorentini. Jessica has been described as an outstanding student leader on the Leicester Campus in many regards. She embodies Becker Pride. She is a captain on the competitive cheerleading team and helped bring Becker to the mat at competition for the very first time. She has helped with recruiting new team members and volunteered in the community with the team. She is also an RA and an orientation leader. She is intelligent, strong, kind, compassionate, confident, and always helpful.

 

 The Jenny Lemay Scholarship

To recognize Jenny Lemay, this scholarship is given to a female interior design student who has achieved academic success while contributing socially and spiritually to the Becker College community. This is the fifth year that Mr. and Mrs. Lemay have come to the College to honor their daughter Jenny, an enthusiastic and talented interior design student who passed away in her junior year at Becker College. They honor Jenny through a generous scholarship to a deserving interior design student in her junior year.

The recipient of the 2012 Jenny Lemay Scholarship is Jessica Whitney. Jessica has shown continuing growth in her design work. She is not deterred by problems. She spends untold hours working on her projects, until they are successfully and competently completed. Jessica is putting herself through school, so she understands and appreciates hard work and determination. Her optimistic attitude and quick smile are welcomed by professors and students alike.

 

The Service Award

The Service Award is presented to a student who demonstrates selfless sacrifice and determination in serving the needs of others in the name of Becker College.

Roseline HernandezThe recipient of the 2012 Service Award is Roseline Hernandez. Roseline is a forensic science student, drives the Becker shuttle, and was one of the students who traveled to Honduras last summer as a representative of Becker College. Whether drumming up support for the “Enough is Enough” campaign or helping with fundraising for another service project, Roseline is there – and smiling! Suffice it to say that Roseline Hernandez’s middle initial should be S, and it would stand for Service. That is what Roseline is all about—a commitment to service for others. When she graduates, Roseline is very interested in working with victims of crime, in any capacity that deals with victim services.

 

 The Equality Award

The Equality Award is presented to a student who has increased awareness of issues of equality, diversity, and/or social justice in the Becker College community.

The recipient of the 2012 Equality Award is Raymond Sgambati. Ray is a game design student and a fixture in the Collaborative Learning Center. For the past two academic years, he has demonstrated commitment and enthusiasm for learning and sharing his knowledge as a peer tutor. He takes his responsibilities seriously and recognizes the importance of a strong work ethic, persistence, and personal integrity. His posters advertising his tutoring in graphic design courses give you a pretty good idea of his personality. Colorful is the word that comes to mind. He shows leadership for innovation and change on campus and is not afraid to stand up for what is right. He has the ability to clearly articulate his opinions and shares his excitement for any task or challenge he takes on. Ray-Ray has established himself as a leader in the gay-straight alliance. He also works as a student ambassador for the admissions office and always seems to be able to find time to do tours.

 

The Determination Award

The Determination Award is presented to the individual who has overcome a challenge to excel in academic and co-curricular activities.

The recipient of the 2012 Determination Award is Scott Tongue. Scott’s disabilities make his everyday functions more challenging than most. Despite this, he tried out and became a member of the equestrian team and petitioned the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association for permission to ride as a handicapped rider. While it takes longer to catch and care for the horses he rides, he always does his part—and more. On the academic side, the required drawing courses present a challenge for Scott, especially those involving abstract concepts. He tackles his drawing assignments with tremendous effort and determination, and works hard to overcome his difficulties. He participates in class discussion during class critique, which is perhaps one of his most significant accomplishments. There are few that work harder to get the most from their college experience.

 

The lnitiative Award

The Initiative Award is presented to a student who has generated and implemented a new club or campus organization that has had a significant impact. Every year, students come up with new ideas for clubs and campus organizations that allow them to pursue and promote special interests. With the support and guidance of Becker staff, many of these clubs flourish over the course of a few years and provide the opportunity for other students to share in these interests. The drama club, the snowboarding club, and the gay-straight alliance are examples of successful clubs developed by students in recent years.

This year, a student brought forward an idea that she not only developed into an active student organization, but for which she also has received notice on a national level. Rebecca Corbett brought The ONE Campus Challenge to Becker. The One Campus Challenge is a nation-wide college competition designed to mobilize students, faculty, and alumni in the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease. With the local chapter currently ranked high among colleges and universities across the country, one of Becky’s biggest challenges—and one she has met head on—is to build the leadership of the club so it continues once she graduates.

 

The Leadership Award

The Leadership Award is presented to a student who, by both action and accomplishment in co-curricular life, has created positive change within a student organization and its student membership, as well as contributed to the overall quality of student life.

 The recipient of the 2012 Leadership Award is Brooke Cote. Brooke has shown exemplary leadership as our Student Government Association president. She has helped the group become more effective through formalized processes and helped to make changes that benefit the student body. She started the club for the Mazunte Turtle Project, is president of the ski and snowboard club, and is on the field hockey and equestrian teams. Brooke represented the student body as the student inauguration speaker and was the student representative for the Princeton Review student celebration. Her enthusiasm is contagious, and she is the poster child for Becker Pride.

 

Outstanding Freshman Award

The Outstanding Freshman Award is presented to a freshman who has shown commitment to the Becker College community, both inside and outside the classroom. This award recipient is well-rounded and recognized as a leader by fellow classmates.

Rich MetellusThe recipient of the 2012 Outstanding Freshman Award is Rich Metellus. Rich jumped into the Becker experience with both feet. He’s a regular at Becker events, whether athletic or student activities, and is rarely seen without a welcoming smile and positive attitude. Rich is seen as a positive role model, works in the Collaborative Learning Center, and is one of the student ambassadors in the admissions office—described as always going above and beyond expectations. Other student ambassadors look to him for guidance, and visitors always have something good to say about his tours.

 

Outstanding Senior Award

The Outstanding Senior Award is presented to a graduating senior who has shown unwavering commitment to Becker College, both inside and outside the classroom. The award recipient represents the benefits of receiving a liberal arts education by being well-rounded as well as intellectually, socially, and personally mature. This student is also recognized as a leader by classmates.

The recipient of the 2012 Outstanding Senior Award is Julie Merry. Julie is the student who can be called upon to help out, and will do so in a heartbeat. She has been involved with Habitat for Humanity and this year stepped up in a leadership role for that group. She continues to volunteer at the Habitat ReStore. She is senior class president for the Student Government Association and one of the most dedicated students on the Student Activities Committee. For her work during all four years of her Becker education, Julie is most deserving of this award.

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