John Cabot University Holds Annual Student Life Celebration
On April 21, John Cabot University held its annual Student Life Celebration. The event, which took place in person in the Aula Magna Regina after a two-year in-presence hiatus, is both an awards ceremony and an occasion to celebrate the achievements of JCU student leaders outside of the classroom.
The Student Life Celebration recognizes graduating students and student organizations for their contributions with awards, certificates, and honor cords conferred by various departments. With speeches from President Franco Pavoncello, Vice President Jose Alvarez, and Dean of Students Carla Wiegers and moderated by Director of Student Services Pilar Murguia, the Celebration counted 40 recognitions and over 130 recipients for this 2021-2022 academic year.
The Student Services Excellence Awards were conferred to graduating student leaders who showed impeccable behavior throughout their time at JCU. The recipients were: Raei Megerssa Yohannes and Lenora Biche for the Alessandro Mioni Award, Michaela Papavero for the Community Service Award, Nicholas Robert Modlin for the Sports Award, Vittoria Maione for the Professional Award, and Maria Belen Ribulotta and Raei Megerssa Yohannes for the Service to the Community Award.
Honor cords to wear at Commencement were awarded to graduating seniors who demonstrated outstanding, extensive, and purposeful engagement beyond the classroom in their roles for over 4 semesters: 17 red cords for Club Leaders, 5 for Resident Assistants, and 7 turquoise cords for Community Service volunteers who served for at least 65 hours. Additionally, Leadership Certificates were given to 9 RAs, 15 Orientation Leaders, and 28 Community Service volunteers who served for at least 15 hours and participated in 2 classroom experiences.
The Institute for Entrepreneurship awarded 2 certificates in Social Innovation and 2 in Entrepreneurship, while the Italy Reads program awarded 3 certificates of participation to their students who volunteered with Italian high schools.
The Athletics Department awarded a Player of the Year and a Most Improved Player for every sports team and gave the Gladiator Spirit Award to Sofia Parenti, Noam Yawetz, and Professor Khaison Duong.
The Student Engagement Team then presented the winners of the Student Clubs and Organizations Awards: the JCU Spirit & Community Building Award went to STAND; the Event of the Year went to the Art History Society’s 4m2 Gallery Vernissage, the Asian Culture Club’s Lunar New Year Event, and the Business Club’s Game Night. The Community Engagement Award went to Grassroots, STAND, and the Slavic Student Alliance, while the Art History Society won the Student Organization of the Year Award. STAND President Vittoria Maione was awarded the Outstanding Senior Leader Award, and the Unsung Hero Award was given to Abdulfatah Alfandi, Mahima Batra, Viviana Calvagno, Nicholas Modlin, Judit Voros, and Francesca Yang. The Outstanding Advisor to a Student Club Award was given to Julia del Papa for her work with Grassroots and the Asian Culture Club, Professor Inge Lyse Hansen for her work with the Art History Society, Dean Andrea Lanzone for his work with STAND, Professor Isabella Clough Marinaro for her work with Student Government, and Professor Elisabeth Macias Gutierrez for her work with JCU’s The Matthew Newspaper.
To respect social distancing regulations, the event was only open to the recipients of the awards and was streamed live on Instagram for everyone to watch. Despite the capacity restriction, “it was incredible to finally hold the event in person, which seemed so impossible only a year ago,” said Pilar Murguia. “We can look at each other in the eyes and remember we are, above all, human.”
President Pavoncello commented: “Our University is a place where people truly come together, instead of just sitting in a class. Some students make the most of these opportunities and become true leaders. They push their alma mater forward and enrich it with their passion and dedication. These are the people we celebrated today.”