College of DuPage Celebrates Student Academic Excellence

By: Brian Kleemann

academic excellence

College of DuPage students earning academic distinctions are being recognized virtually to commemorate the 2020 Celebration of Academic Excellence. 

Watch the videos that include congratulations from College of DuPage President Dr. Brian Caputo, Provost Mark Curtis-Chávez and Professor Lisa Higgins, director of the Honors Program; interviews with the two Honors Transfer Scholarship recipients, Amy Adduci (Glen Ellyn) and Grace Biernacki (Bloomingdale); and an interview with the Outstanding Honors Faculty, Professor Sam Mitrani. 

Caputo encourages students to continue excelling in their academic work and as leaders. 

“We are very proud of your dedication to your studies and everything you do,” he said. “Being a great leader is hard, but you’ve already been a leader at COD. Continue being a leader wherever you go and make a positive difference.”  

Curtis-Chávez recognizes student achievements take place both inside and outside the classroom. 

“Excellence is at the core of our mission at College of DuPage. You demonstrate to all of us how to achieve this excellence through your dedication, your hard work and your commitment,” he said.  

Higgins notes the unusual circumstances surrounding the spring semester and congratulates students on finishing strong. 

“Thank you for being a role model for other students by demonstrating hard work and a commitment to excellence in both your academic pursuits and your personal development,” she said.   

Presidential Scholars
Students accepting the Presidential Scholars Award are required to pursue a degree or certificate; be enrolled in 15 credit hours per semester; complete a minimum of 18 semester hours of Honors courses or 15 hours including an Honors seminar; and complete a designated Service Learning course or 20 hours of approved volunteer work within their first year of the scholarship. To receive the Presidential Scholars Designation on their transcripts, students completing these requirements maintained a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5/4.0 at COD. 

Presidential Scholars: Mary Andersen, Grace Biernacki, Ileana Campagna, Adellin Fernandez, Christian Lech, Roben Magnaye, Haley Otto, Joseph Russell and Tyler Spencer

Board of Trustees Scholars

Students accepting the Board of Trustees Scholars Award are required to pursue a degree or certificate; be enrolled in 15 credit hours per semester; and complete a minimum of 18 semester hours of Honors courses or 15 hours including an Honors seminar. To receive the Board of Trustees or Deans Scholars designation on their transcripts, students completing these requirements must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5/4.0 scale at COD. 

Board of Trustees Scholars: Thomas Adler, Megan Bauer, Jacklyn Erker, Minha Imam, Allison Plesha, Hira Qureshi, Carinne Risch, Vaiva Staugaityte and Maya Tellez

Deans Scholars

Students accepting the Deans Scholars Award are required to pursue a degree or certificate; be enrolled in 15 credit hours per semester; and complete a minimum of 18 semester hours of Honors courses or 15 hours including an Honors seminar. To receive the Board of Trustees or Deans Scholars designation on their transcripts, students completing these requirements must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5/4.0 scale at COD. 

Deans Scholars: Amy Adduci, Rachel Hofstetter, Magdalena Marek, Cheyenne Otto and Angelica Rossi 

Honors Transfer Scholarship Recipients

Two students received full-tuition scholarships to the following schools: 

Elmhurst College:  Grace Biernacki

North Central College:  Amy Adduci

Honors Scholars
Members of the Honors Scholars are students who have successfully completed a minimum of 18 semester hours of Honors courses or 15 hours including an Honors seminar. Students maintained a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.2/4.0 in order to receive Honors Scholars designations on their transcripts. 

Honors Scholars:  Mansoor Ahmed, Jawaria Arif, Sarah Bredesen, Larissa Chirane Ferfoglia, Nicolo Gaudio, Alyssa Gentile, Arline Khalil, Zoya Khan, Margaret Scranton, Alexis Souza, Tanya Vargas and Chloe Winkler  

2019 National Collegiate Honors Council Presenter

The following student was selected to give a presentation at the 2019 National Collegiate Honors Council fall event in New Orleans: Mariana Cruz Ramirez.

2020 Honors Council of the Illinois Region Presenters

The following students were selected to give presentations at the 2020 Honors Council of the Illinois Region Spring Student Symposium on various topics of research: Luke Fahey, Amy George, Mikayla Jacoby, Aidan Murphy, Danielle O’Brien, Belem Oseguera, Neal Paul and Lucas Troncoso.  

2020 Honors Council of the Illinois Region Margaret Messer Research Grant Recipient

Savannah Santos will receive a $600 grant to fund her study of the sleep disorder idiopathic hypersomnia. 

STEM Student Success Scholarships

The following students have completed the STEM Student Success Scholarship program funded by the National Science Foundation: Mohammed Akif, Harethah Alrousan, Nicole Duda, Jesse Fisher, Daniel Gonzalez, Anthony Gulyk, Syed Habibullah, Ahsan Imtiaz, Filip Kalinowski, Yazeed Kawaleet, Matas Lauzadis, Meri Nushi, Pratik Patel, Johnny Tran and Kaela Villafania. 

Academic Excellence Recipients by Discipline

Faculty members nominated the following students for demonstrating academic excellence within a specific discipline: Adrian Brown, Psychology; Rebecca Brush Fashion Studies; Daniel Cruz, Chemistry; Cierra Desmaratti, Counseling; Celestyna Jarzabek, Humanities; Sana Khan, Health Information Technology; Sarah Kueking, Mathematics; Frank Leong, Human Services; Analy Martinez-Pantoja, Photography; Neil Pagdin, Engineering; Mitchell Sandleback, Physical Education; Irena Stoica, Diagnostic Medical Imaging-Sonography; Julie Van Dyke, Paralegal Studies; Olivia Voegtle, English; Madison Willis, Languages; Claudia Wojcik, Anatomy and Physiology; and Angela Zhang, Medical Assistant. 

For more information about the Honors program, visit www.cod.edu/academics/honors or call (630) 942-3318.