2022 Honors Convocation : A Celebration of Scholarship and Service

May 2, 2022

The Whittier College experience combines engaging and individualized classroom-based studies with practical, hands-on opportunities involving internships, research, fellowships, community service, campus leadership, and study abroad.

The 2022 Honors Convocation recognized those outstanding Poets who’ve taken full advantage of these opportunities to excel in and out of the classroom while enhancing their personal and professional development.

During the ceremony, Associate Professor of Education and Child Development Shannon Stanton Agbotse was presented with the 2022 Harry W. Nerhood Teaching Excellence Award. Named for Professor Emeritus of History Harry W. Nerhood, the award recognizes overall excellence in teaching. Stanton Agbotse is the Nadine Austin Wood Endowed Chair in U.S. History and she specializes in culturally responsive teaching, multicultural education, literacy, and teaching diverse learners within a social justice framework.

The 2020 Nerhood Awardee, James Irvine Foundation Chair of Biological Sciences and Fellowships Director Sylvia Vetrone, served as the evening's keynote speaker. In her speech, she shared sage advice given to her by her immigrant mother: "Tienes que tener ganas. Duermete un poquito, y vas a regresar con mas ganas y nuevas ideas. You need to have drive! Take a nap, and you’ll return with more drive and new ideas."

"This is how my mother taught me to maintain a growth mindset, take care of myself, and be flexible in my thinking," said Vetrone.

"As a professor of biology, this profession has allowed me to share and engage in my love of learning and never-ending curiosity for exploring the wonders of how our cells impart both health and disease, not just with my students, but also with my colleagues and friends within our College community and beyond. More meaningfully for me, is that I use this privileged position to share and extend the three lessons of my mother. I hold this knowledge to be more important than anything I have ever learned over my 20 years of formal education."



Undergraduate Fellowships

Alianza de Los Amigos-Ortiz Fellowship 
Jessica Rosales-Estrada

Art & Technology Student Fellowship
Sage Amdahl
Kirstin DeMarquez
Bridget Dietz
Dayquan Moeller

Arthur Vining Davis Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship
Casandra Avila
Adriana Cox-Gonzalez
Aman Kumpawat
Jacqueline Torres
Allison Willrich

Jan and John ‘45 Cauffman Fellowship 
Madeline Acosta

Mary Davis Fellowship in Public Service 
Zoe Iseri
Destiny Randle

The Fifth-Year Fellowship in Studio Art
Elise Marshburn 

The Fletcher Jones Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship 
Madison Gonzalez
Madeline Ho
Brandon Jatico
Mason Lebby
Ashley Lewis
Fernando Ramirez

INTEX Fellowship
Diego Cruz
Gisselle Jimenez
Geraldine Serna
Masami Tsukazan Kanashiro
Bekezhan Zhaxylykov

Jeffrey Lindstrom ’94 Fellowship 
Haley Paramo

Jan Lopez Wood Fellowship
Sophie Fudim

Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship
Alexandria Amaya
David Gomez
Adanech Muno

Richard M. Nixon Fellowship
Jillian Crane Mauzy

Barbara Ondrasik ’57 and David Groce Fellowship 
Raymond Hartig
Jacob Hayes
Thomas Lyle-Temple

UniHealth Peer Health Educator Fellowship-Internship
Hana Abdullah
Leah Gibson
Mursalle Khwajazada
Aleen Mendoza
Caitlin Rainey
Fernando Ramirez
Shayla Sakkakhanaune
Dominic Samanta
Rayba Shaw
Julie Stouffer


External Fellowships

Catherine Acosta, Northern Illinois University REU: Water Quality in the Yucatan Peninsula
Dalia Cortez, University of Miami School of Medicine Immunology SURF Program
Brandon Jatico, South Dakota State University, Microbiome REU
Natasha Waldorf, Air Force Research Laboratory Scholars Program 
Rubalcava Alyssa, University of Connecticut Physiology and Neurobiology REU


External Internships

Ally Burke, BDO, LCC Core Tax 
Alejandra Castillo, Fisher Investments 
Angela Centeno, Specialty Food Services 
Kate Coronell, Chino Hills Pharmacy
Alessandro De La Torre, Deloitte Product Management 
Javi-Nevaeh Hall, Justice Corps Internship
Jordan Heard, Northwestern Mutual College Financial 
Andy Pascual, Accenture Technology 
Kaden Symes, Iridium Satellite Communications Customer Service Engineer
Julia Trujillo, City of Long Beach Administrative 
Grey Wright, Aruza Pest Control 


External Scholarships

Destiny Aranda, Soroptimist Mentorship Scholarship
Giselle Ramirez, Soroptimist Mentorship Scholarship
Hailey Schneider, Ruth White Memorial Scholarship


Scholar-Athlete Awards

ACWPC Academic All American- Excellent Distinction
Eric Borunda (Men’s Water Polo)
Austin Dale (Men’s Water Polo)
Adan De La Loza (Men’s Water Polo)
Patrick Seelhorst (Men’s Water Polo)

ACWPC Academic All American- Outstanding Distinction
Lars Van Os (Men’s Water Polo)

ACWPC Academic All American- Superior Distinction
Paul Pittion (Men’s Water Polo)

CoSIDA Academic All-District
Katelyn Popoff (Women’s Volleyball)
Teani White (Women’s Basketball)

USTFCCCA All-Academic 
Benjamin White (Track & Field and Cross Country)




Humanities Division

Art & Visual Studies

Outstanding Student in Art History & Visual Culture
Aubry Acosta

Outstanding Students in Graphic Design
Angelina Costello
Scout Mucher

Outstanding Student in Studio Art
Elise Marshburn


English Language and Literature

Outstanding Achievement in Creative Writing 
Ariana Juarez

Outstanding Achievement in Literary Analysis
Yasmin Mendoza

Outstanding Achievement in Literary Applied Media Studies
Kristi Weyand


Global and Cultural Studies

Outstanding Academic Achievement in Global and Cultural Studies
Emily Russo



Outstanding Graduates in History
Elena Backus y Herrera
David Elithorpe
Ivonne Ochoa

The Paul Moore ’04 and Allison Moore-Smith ’00 Teaching Scholarship
Sarah Garcia
Malcom Niskey
Noah Ramirez


Modern Language and Literature

Outstanding Research in French
Aidan Anderson

Outstanding Students in French
Divya Rajagopalan
Nadine Syed Jefri

Outstanding Students in French Cultural Studies
Aidan Anderson
Nadine Syed Jefri

The Martin Ortiz Award for Academic Excellence in Spanish
Striker Herb
Cesar Tamayo



Outstanding Music Composition
Lakotah Battle

Outstanding Performance by a Music Major
Nicole Fair

Outstanding Scholarship in Music
Deborah Hernandez



Outstanding Academic Achievement in Philosophy
Arlo Sandoval


Religious Studies

C. Milo Connick Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Religious Studies
Hailey Hirakawa
Arlo Sandoval


Theatre, Film, and Communication Arts

Outstanding Academic Achievement in Theatre, Film, and Communication Arts
Mary Lewis
Yasmin Mendoza
Jillian R. Weber


Natural Sciences Divison


Outstanding Academic Achievement in Biology 
Monica Begany

Outstanding Academic Achievement & Research in Biology 
Katie Ann Huy

Outstanding Service to the Biology Department
Gabriella Torres Joubert



The W. Roy Newsom Award in Chemistry
William Gao
Alexis Ngo

Undergraduate Research Award in Chemistry
William Gao
Alexis Ngo
Emmanuel Shum


Environmental Science

Outstanding Academic Achievement in Environmental Science
Scout Mucher
Jillian R. Weber

Outstanding Academic Achievement in Environmental Studies
Ashley Duenas
Nona Golden

Outstanding Research in Environmental Science
Jillian R. Weber



Outstanding Academic Achievement in Integrated Computer Science-Math
Andy Pascual

Outstanding Academic Achievement in Mathematics-Economics
Sergei Jacobs
Pim van der Veer

The Dr. Sharad V. Keny Memorial Endowed Scholarship
Anni Bamwenda

The Pyle Prize Outstanding Graduate in Mathematics
Teresa Marchetti


Social Sciences Division


Outstanding Academic Achievement in Anthropology
Aidan Anderson
Nona Golden


Business Administration

Outstanding Graduate in Accounting 
Paul Trejo

Outstanding Graduate in Finance  
Sergei Jacobs

Outstanding Graduate in International Business  
Sanjay Khemani

Outstanding Graduate in Management  
Andrew Chavez

Outstanding Graduate in Marketing  
Gabriella Tellez

The Charles R. Laine Award for Outstanding Graduate in Business Administration
Pim van der Veer

The Murdy Writing Award
Rocio Gonzalez Melendez

The Richard T. Clawson Service Award
Kassady Garrison



The Gregory Woirol Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement in Economics
Sergei Jacobs


Education and Child Development

Outstanding Academic Achievement in Child Development
Katherine Christopherson
Daniella Coop

Outstanding Academic Achievement in Education
Daniella Coop

Outstanding Research in Education
Taylor Richter

Outstanding Service to the Department of Education & Child Development
River Danner
Brandon Dube



Outstanding Contribution to the Department of Kinesiology
Zurie Clark

Outstanding Graduate in Kinesiology
Madisen Diaz
Anthony Wadzinski

Outstanding Graduate in Sports Management
Megan Summers


Political Science

Burnett-Bergerson Political Science Award
Lhaga Dingpontsawa
Lisette Gomez


Psychological Sciences

Outstanding Academic Achievement in the Psychological Sciences
Kayla Carillo
Jeanie Cox
Amanda Farris

Outstanding Scholarship in the Psychological Sciences
Jeanie Cox

Outstanding Service in the Psychological Sciences
Amanda Robles
Carolyne Sparks



Charles J. Browning Prize in Sociology
Garrett Ferguson
Lisa Hench
Angela Rivera
Angel Tobar

Outstanding Student in Sociological Praxis
Angel Tobar


Interdisciplinary Programs

Africana & Black Studies

Outstanding Academic Achievement in Africana & Black Studies
Julie-Ann Aryee
River Danner


Gender Studies

Outstanding Academic Achievement in Gender Studies
Lisette Gomez
Camille Gunzburg
Arlo Sandoval


Whittier Scholars

Outstanding Graduate in the Whittier Scholars Program
Aila Benz

Outstanding Service to the Whittier Scholars Program
Sophie Nugent


The Whittier College Writing Program

First-Year Writing Prizes
Angela Abou Zaki
Madison Endo
Elizabeth Roybal

Outstanding Writing Associate
Carolyne Sparks


Service and Leadership Awards

Associated Student of Whittier College Awards

Key to the College Award
Fernando Ramirez
Marilyn Veich Award
Brittany Plascencia-Saldana
Director of the Office of Student Engagement

Richard B. Harvey Award
Cinzia Fissore
Roy E. and Marie G. Campbell Distinguished Chair in Biology
Associate Professor of Environmental Science