Here’s how the 2021 student awards went

By Hadassah Umbarger, Staff Writer

This spring semester marks the second year in a row that Newman’s Academic Awards Banquet will be presented virtually.

The video premiered at 7 p.m. last night on Facebook and YouTube. The video opened with Rosemary Niedens, associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. Then the deans from the different schools on campus presented the winners in each of their categories.

Lori Steiner, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, presented the winning students for the Division of Science and Mathematics. She was followed by Mark Mannette, chair of the Division of Arts and Humanities, who presented the winners for that division.

Then the School of Business was featured, with Dr. Wendy Sahatjian, associate professor of Marketing and Management, presenting that school’s winning students.

Jessica Bird, interim dean of the School of Education and Social Work, then presented that school’s winners.

Teresa Vetter, director of the Division of Nursing, presented the award winners for the School of Nursing and Allied Health.

Finally, Niedens returned to present the junior-specific St. Catherine Medal to Madeline Alvarez.

For a complete list of the different awards and their winners, visit the Newman Facebook page or YouTube channel.

Clark Schafer, director of university relations, said that when the event was held in person in previous years, the Dugan Gorges Conference Center was usually packed. Because of the pandemic, the digital option was chosen instead.

“We just don’t have enough socially distanced space there to do it,” Schafer said.

The Ablah Awards were also originally going to be presented in the video, but Schafer said that plans changed, and now they will be presented at the commencement

ceremony as usual.

Last year, when COVID-19 hit in the middle of the spring semester, University Relations wasn’t able to make even a video honoring the winners of the Academic Awards. Instead, a web page was created, and each winner was individually honored on social media over the next few months, Schafer said. While this year will be slightly more formal, with an official video featuring deans from different schools introducing their winners, Schafer said, the university is still planning to honor the winners on social media as well.

Schafer said that university relations always enjoys honoring and writing the stories of students on campus, and that they suggested this method to still be able to celebrate those students.

“It won’t be hugely fancy, but hopefully it’ll be something that the students can share with their family and friends and will mean a little something to them,” he said.

PHOTO: Courtesy Photo, Newman Advancement