JCU Hosts Annual Student Life Celebration

On April 16, John Cabot University held its annual Student Life Celebration & Awards Ceremony. Each year, the event recognizes students’ achievements, contributions and successes in different areas, such as leadership, community service, sports, involvement in clubs and organizations, and other extra-curricular activities.

Student Life Celebration

President Franco Pavoncello, Interim Dean of Students Ariana Damaske, and the President of Student Government Carlos Santander gave talks to open the event. The ceremony was moderated by the Director of Student Services, Pilar Murguia, and counted 30 award recipients and over 170 recognitions for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Two new awards were introduced this year: the Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion Award, honoring students who have shown leadership and courage to foster an inclusive environment at JCU, and the Performing Arts Award, recognizing a student who has demonstrated an invaluable contribution and dedication to the program. The Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion Award was conferred to graduating seniors Danah Alkhafaji and Janane Saad Hassaan, and the Performing Arts Award went to Kaitlyn Meule.

The Student Services Excellence Awards were conferred to graduates for their outstanding leadership and service contributions to the community. The recipients were: Gioia Kunst for the Alessandro Mioni Award, Liliana Ferreri and Elisa Paris for the Community Service Award, Janane Saad Hassaan and Maiya Decena-Chinn for the Service to the Community Award, Carolina Miller for the Sports Award, and Tatiana Badillo Campuzano, Zhou Chenyu, and Faynette Herndon for the Professional Award.

For Student Clubs and Organizations, the Outstanding Senior Leader Award was conferred to Danah Alkhafaji and Francesco Albano; the Unsung Hero Award was given to Maiya Decena-Chinn; the JCU Spirit & Community Building Award was conferred to the Women’s Leadership Initiative; the Community Engagement Award went to the  Women’s Leadership Initiative and STAND; the Social Media and Digital Creativity Award was given to the Film Appreciation Club and Business Society.

The Event of the Year was awarded to three events: the Arab Student Association’s “Jamila: Women in Art” exhibit; the Business Society’s “Shark Venture” event; and “Living in the Diaspora,” a collaborative event between the Arab Student Association, the Asian Cultural Club, the Black and African Student Association, the Interfaith Alliance, the Organization of Latin American Cultures, Queer Alliance, STAND, and the Women’s Leadership Initiative. The Outstanding Advisor to a Student Club Award was given to Julia Del Papa, Salma Ali, Professor Paola Castelli, Professor Andrea Lanzone, Dean Pamela Harris, and Federica Bocco.

Student Life Awards Winners

The Athletics Department awarded a Player of the Year and a Most Improved Player for every sports team (Women and Men’s Soccer, Cheerleading, Volleyball, Basketball, and Tennis), and gave the Gladiator Spirit Award to Vittoria Caroli, Elena Orazi, Nicole Carnabuci, Michaela Salzman, Alexander Reindl, and Giorgia Cinaglia.

Honor cords to wear during the Commencement ceremony were awarded to graduating seniors who have demonstrated outstanding, extensive and purposeful engagement beyond the JCU classroom for over 4 semesters; 22 red cords for club leaders, 10 for Resident Assistants, and 10 turquoise cords for community service volunteers. In addition, Leadership Certificates were awarded to 17 Resident Assistants, 29 Community Service volunteers, 8 Community Service Site Leaders, and 24 Orientation Leaders. The Italy Reads program awarded 2 certificates to students that volunteered in Italian high schools.

“Each recognition tonight has not only highlighted individual excellence but has also underscored the collective ethos of inclusivity, creativity, and leadership that we cherish at John Cabot University,” said Director of Student Services Pilar Murguia. 

(Donnatella Bove Parra)