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Saint Leo University Recognizes Students During 2022 Celebration of Academic Excellence

Students’ outstanding presentations, posters, art, music, and academic work honored by Division of Academic Affairs.

Tags: Artificial Intelligence College of Education and Social Services College of Health Professions Enrichment Experiential learning Faculty Featured Press Releases Robotics and Data Science Saint Leo Faculty School of Cards School of Computing Tapia College of Business Excellence
28 April 2022 - By Mary McCoy
Celebration of Academic Excellence award winners

At Saint Leo University, learning is the primary goal, and faculty and staff help students work toward academic excellence. Our students not only are challenged to meet expectations for their academic work, but also to learn to think critically, learn new skills, and develop the character to become good citizens of the world and responsible leaders.

In recognition of that pursuit, the Division of Academic Affairs hosted the annual Celebration of Academic Excellence Awards Ceremony honoring undergraduate students at University Campus on April 7. Students whose work has been of exceptional merit were recognized.

Awards from four different categories were presented to students from three of the four university’s colleges and one school. Additionally, the Clara McDonald Olson Scholastic Excellence Award was presented to a student based on grade point average among students who attended University Campus for four years.

Father Randall Meissen, university chaplain, opened the awards ceremony with a prayer, Saint Leo University President Jeffrey Senese welcomed everyone, and Vice President of Academic Affairs Mary Spoto gave the opening remarks to celebrate the academic efforts of our students in 2021-2022.

The winners are:

College of Education and Social Services

Excellence in Academic Leadership Award: Charisma Brown      

Excellence in Scholarship Award: Christopher Feliciano  

Excellence in Experiential Learning Award: Marisa Souchak


Marisa Souchak receives Excellence in Experiential Learning Award from education instructor Kate Wittrock

Dean’s Award for Excellence: Gabrielle Curiano


College of Arts and Sciences

Excellence in Academic Leadership Award: Alora Peters

Excellence in Scholarship Award: Karl Nyman 

Dr. Sergiy Borysov presents Karl Nyman with his award

Excellence in Experiential Learning Award: Dallas O’Clair

Dean’s Award for Excellence: Kylie Culver 


Donald R. Tapia College of Business    

Excellence in Academic Leadership Award: Seanette Culmer

Seanette Culmer receives the Academic Leadership Award for Tapia College of Business from Dr. Zachary Smith

Excellence in Scholarship Award: Tayhana Taylor

Excellence in Experiential Learning Award: Evan Wray      

Dean’s Award for Excellence: Victoria Budnar-Chapman

School of Computing, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and Data Science (CARDS)

Excellence in Academic Leadership Award: Naomi Nash

Excellence in Scholarship Award: Kristen Russell                                     

Excellence in Experiential Learning: Therese Corkum                               

Dean’s Award for Excellence: Chrisalyn Junkert 

Chrisalyn Junkert receives School of CARDS Deans Award from Dr. Vyas Krishnan

Other awards included:

Excellence for an Academic Poster Award:

First place Jade Evertsz, “The Ongoing Influence of Parents,” mentor: Dr. Christopher Wolfe;

Second place Sean Gallagher, “The Effect of Interpersonal Relationships on Stress,” mentor: Dr. Kevin Kieffer; and

Third place Dallas O’Clair, “The Relationship Between Parenting Styles and Views on the Pandemic,” mentor: Dr. Tammy Zacchilli.

Faculty mentor award for best poster: Dr. Christopher Wolfe

Excellence for an Oral Presentation Award: Karl Nyman

Faculty Mentor Award for Best Oral Presentation: Dr. Sergiy Borysov

Senior David Pacheco was honored with the Clara McDonald Olson Scholastic Excellence Award, presented by Vice President of Academic Affairs Spoto.

David Pacheco presented by VP of Academic Affairs Mary Spoto

Earlier in the day, students from the university’s multiple disciplines made oral presentations, participated in poster sessions, and provided musical and art presentations. Fall 2021 student work can be viewed here: Spring 2022 studio work for studio classes will be added at the end of the semester when all of the pieces will be submitted by May 1.

Dylan Hair and Valentina Diaz make presentation