PRIDE Award Winners 2014
Student Employee of the Year
Presented by Laurel R. Davis-Delano
Sarah Englaish is the recipient of the 2014 Pride Award for Student Employee of the Year.
Sarah is an excellent student who is majoring in both psychology and sociology, with a current GPA of 3.97. As Springfield College Assistant Professor of Psychology Elizabeth Morgan explains, “One of Sarah's strengths is her drive to produce high quality work, which is supported by her commendable practice of seeking clarification and support when necessary. Sarah genuinely wants to understand the requirements of any project and, as a result, her work is consistently outstanding.”
While at Springfield College, Sarah has received several awards, engaged in volunteer service, and had very successful experiences in three different fieldwork placements.
Sarah starts on her master’s of social work degree at Smith College this fall.
Sarah is thoughtful, caring, empathetic, appreciative, hardworking, thorough, organized, and responsible. Springfield College Associate Professor of Sociology Susan Joel comments that, “Sarah is well-regarded on campus as someone who is friendly, warm, `wicked smart,’ but unassuming and helpful.”
Sarah has held several off-campus jobs, but related to this particular award, Sarah has been employed at SC in three capacities.
First, she was hired to contact prospective students on behalf of the sociology program.
Second, she has been working as a tutor for sociology courses, and doing a very good job at that!
Third, she is a building manager at the campus union. According to Karen Kisiel, Sarah’s supervisor at this job, “Sarah is what the ideal student employee embodies. She not only exceeds every expectation in her role, but excels in decision making, execution, and she puts pride into every task. Sarah is trustworthy, reliable, and an extremely effective communicator with her superiors as well as her peers. “
In sum, Sarah is an excellent student, is a top-notch employee, and will make a superb social worker. Thus, Sarah is a great choice for the Student Employee of the Year Award.
Student Organization of the Year
SC Outing Club
Presented by Kathleen Allen, SGA Executive Board
The Springfield College philosophy recognizes and embraces the act of student learning and leadership development through various opportunities available to students. Uniquely, with all the work these groups do outside of the classroom, it is commendable that all are run by undergraduate and graduate students, which is a tremendous feat. The award of “Student Organization of the Year” goes to a club who has worked diligently throughout the fall semester to lay a solid foundation for their club to prosper. The leadership of this club has met and exceeded every expectation placed on them throughout the year. This organization encompasses a creative twist to incorporate outdoor learning and experiences while simultaneously educating members on how to affect the environment as minimally as possible and promote sustainability. The passion and leadership qualities exhibited in the leadership of this organization is remarkable and a model for others to follow. It’s my pleasure to present the award of Student Organization of the Year to the Springfield College Outing Club. Congratulations on your leadership, dedication, and unwavering commitment to your club.
Advisor of the Year
Erin Friedman, YMCA Club
Presented by Kathleen Allen, SGA Executive Board
With close to 60 clubs on campus, there is a strong driving force that comes from the advisors, helping students execute their passion and ideas, and put those ideas into action. This particular advisor devotes a colossal amount of time to their students and the programs here at Springfield. She can be seen regularly walking through campus with a crowd of students surrounding her, very rarely ever by herself. This Advisor has been described by students “…as one of the most relatable and genuine people who work on campus.” Another student described this advisor “…as the person who will assist you in anything you need, will encourage you to do your best, take chances, and most of all step out of your comfort zone.”
Whether it’s a calming voice in the middle of an unbearable day, late night program planning in Judd, or a simple smile while passing her on campus – she is always there. I will close with one last student quote, “She is not only an amazing advisor, but an amazing person ... I have always been able to count on her as not only a support in school but a support in my life. I could not image my Springfield career without her!” Congratulations Erin Freidman as this year’s Advisor of Year and thank you for everything you do for us and our community.
Outstanding First-year Student
Presented by Charlene Elvers
I ask myself every year when it comes to this award, how much can actually be accomplished during your first year of college as you are adjusting to a new environment, meeting new people, finding your way around campus, and just finding your way in general. Looking at the achievements of this year’s award recipient, the answer is a lot.
The recipient of this award became engaged in campus life immediately upon arrival at Springfield College. This person is actively involved in a number of groups on campus, but it isn’t the number of groups or activities that has impressed me about this student, it is the way in which they have approached these opportunities. This student approaches every situation with a positive outlook. They see possibility in every person, every program and every encounter. This person is insightful and inquisitive and seeks solutions to problems through increasing their understanding of the concerns of the community. More than that, this person genuinely cares for and contributes to the people around her, both on campus and in the larger community.
This student has been an active participant in the, Emerging Leaders Program, the Partners Program, S.A.V.E., Best of Broadway, S.C. Backstage, and a group called Your Enlightened Side. There is no doubt in my mind that we will see much more from her over the next three years. It is with great pleasure that I present the Outstanding First Year Student Award to Rachel Cogswell.
Presented by Jennifer Kapinos
The recipient for this next award, the “Outstanding Sophomore Award” goes to an extremely well rounded individual. Serving as a student ambassador, she welcomes prospective students during tours and open houses, engaging with these students and educating them about the Springfield College lifestyle. Prior to the start of the semester she spends her time at East Campus as a Pre-Camp leader, bonding with her peers as well as incoming freshman.
Throughout the school year she consistently serves as a liaison between the student body and professional staff through her role as the Vice President of Student Affairs in SGA. Her passion in working with students is also evident through her leadership and participation in clubs like Campus Activities Board and the Late Night Madness Club.
This individual is exceptionally unique, with an ambition to inspire others. She has put forth a tremendous effort in leading this year’s Habitat for Humanity club where she served as the chapter’s treasurer. She also spoke on behalf of the Vagina Monologues this spring, providing the audience with an empowering performance.
Aside from her many leadership roles and cocurricular activities, this student has to be one of the most kind-hearted people I have had the opportunity to know. She is a motivated, determined, and passionate individual that displays genuine leadership in all aspects of the spirit, mind, and body. She truly is the epitome of the word outstanding. It is a great joy and honor for me to present this year’s “Outstanding Sophomore” award to Paige Moran.
Presented by Bill Toller
I am honored and blessed to present the outstanding member of the Class of 2014 tonight. This person has demonstrated throughout her three years at Springfield College a constant and unwavering commitment to the less fortunate and has sought ways to make a difference in the community by her own volunteer efforts at many community agencies that deal with the poorest of the poor in Springfield – at Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, The Gray House, The Pioneer Valley Project, and Holy Cross Parish’s Sandwiches for the Homeless Ministry on Sundays. As an officer in our Newman Community, she has demonstrated exceptional leadership as our Treasurer. She organized our mission trip to the Bronx this year during the semester break in January with exceptional dedication and attention to detail.
But this person brings much more to her volunteer efforts – a sense of mission and a sense of perseverance. She is incredibly open to new experiences in environments that others may feel challenged to pursue. Father Greg Boyle, the founder of Homeboy Industries, the largest gang employer in the world, speaks of all of us being called to a sense of kinship, that no one is disposable in God’s eyes. Our Outstanding Junior knows this and lives this in her efforts to serve the poor and to invite others into that lifechanging experience. She knows that each of us is called to a love without exceptions! Join me in acknowledging and celebrating our Outstanding Junior – Brigitte Smyth!
Class of '57 Outstanding Senior Leadership Chair
Presented by Tamie Kidess Lucey
- A head RA
- An LTC facilitator
- A Habitat for Humanity volunteer
- A volunteer for Rebuilding Together, Rays of Hope, and Hartford Hospital
- Has been an SC Dancer, SC Singer, participated in Best of Broadway, SGA and the PT Student Organization as well as Vagina Monologues
Outstanding Graduate Student
Presented by Nicole Gauthier
Gracie DiRoberts is a second-year graduate student in the School Guidance/Adjustment program. During her first year at Springfield College, she joined the AmeriCorps Program and was placed at Springfield's Kiley Middle School as a School Counselor, dedicating 900 hours of service to helping students who are at-risk for dropping out of school based on risk factors such as poor attendance, course failure, and social-emotional/behavioral issues. As a school counselor, Gracie quickly bonded with both the staff and students, becoming an important part of the Kiley family. Her dedication, consistency, authenticity, and ability to see the potential in every child allowed her to build strong relationships with students and have positive impacts on their self-image, their behaviors, and their academic success. Gracie reapplied to AmeriCorps this year and requested to go back to Kiley so that she could continue fostering the relationships she had formed with her students. She is currently finishing her second year of service and is a leader at Kiley and in the AmeriCorps program. She exemplifies the spirit of service that defines both AmeriCorps and the mission of Springfield College: by the end of this year, she will have dedicated more than 1,800 hours of service to the students at Kiley. Explains Gracie's supervisor, Ashleigh Malinowski, a Springfield College and AmeriCorps alum, "It has been awesome to watch Gracie grow and learn over these past two years of service. She is one of the most kind and thoughtful people--our kids need more people like her! Gracie is even more than a great counselor, she is a phenomenal person to the core. She has the intrinsic belief that our kids can thrive despite deficits and I see that positive energy every single day. I couldn’t be more confident that she will continue to succeed and change the lives of both students and colleagues. Everyone needs a Gracie in their life!"
Presented by John Gibson
There are three ironies in this award:
First, as an Unsung Hero, the recipient is really well known to many of us, especially in athletics and intramurals for his unfailing support both in the stands and on the fields and courts.
Second, despite him being well known, I thought the recipient only had one name, like those great Brazilian soccer players: Pele, Rivelino, Ronaldinho, etc. So I have only just found out that he does have a second name.
Perhaps the greatest irony, the Unsung Hero is best known to the soccer community at Springfield for his constant inspirational singing at games. So the singer is finally being sung! For his unfailing support of athletics and intramurals at Springfield College it is my great pleasure to present the Unsung Hero Award to Ricky Mazzella!
Presented by John Wilson
Tonight’s Spirit Award recipient is nearing the end of her journey as an undergraduate student enrolled at Springfield College. It’s amazing how quickly four years has gone by. Throughout her educational experience, she usually appeared more comfortable leading from a position outside the spotlight but has been strongly committed nonetheless. As a participant in Student Life activities, it seems her primary objective has always been to make a positive impact, by taking the team approach. This quality has consistently resulted in group success, rather than receiving individual accolades; to her it’s been a win-win situation. But what makes tonight’s recipient particularly unique is her willingness to understand the big picture. For example, one of her roles as a member of the Student Society for Bridging Diversity has been to assist and mentor current and future presidents so that he/she becomes effective leaders. In fact she drew everyone’s attention during her Cultural Connections experience, as a first year student, and at that time had always been eager to share her insights during the program critique session, to help improve the overall experience. In subsequent years, serving as a Cultural Connection mentor leader, she always won the respect and admiration of others affiliated with the program. Additionally, tonight’s recipient has done a miraculous job coordinating the 5A Tutor/Mentor Program. After receiving the baton from her predecessor, she quickly became one of the primary reasons student retention in this program has been higher the past two years than at any other time. Additionally, her enthusiasm as a student aid in the Multicultural Affairs Office can be recognized during open house programs, cultural and educational programs, and her participation on discussion panels focusing around race and diversity. Finally, our recent production of the Annual Harlem Renaissance Revisited with a Gospel Flavor was particularly a successful play, because of the efficiency of 10 Springfield College students, led by tonight’s recipient, who full filled important production needs unseen by the public. Her undergraduate journey at Springfield College may be coming to an end but she will continue to make a positive impact as a professional with the YMCA. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s indeed a pleasure to present the Spirit Award to Iesha Bailey.
Presented by David McMahon
The recipient of this year’s Mind Award has made the education and elevation of her fellow students the guiding principle of her time at the College. She has distinguished herself as one of the preeminent servant-leaders on this campus. She is respected as a mentor and confidante among her peers. She has made a life of promoting wellness (PAWS, Campus Recreation, Fit 2 Lead), diversity and inclusion (SAVE, Residence Life, the Vagina Monologues), and has been a vocal advocate for the causes in which she believes, and a particular champion in promoting and advancing women’s issues.
Christina Cetti embodies Dewey’s notion that the best teacher is a partner with the student, that learning is a shared and communal process. In so doing, she fulfils our own institution’s commitment to holistic education and community service. Over the few years I have known her, she has taught me a great deal about teaching and learning, and reminded me that the best ideas form and inform community.
It is my great honor to present this year’s Mind Award to Christina Cetti.
Presented by Kate McMahon
I am thrilled to present the Body Award to a wonderful person that I have come to know over the past three years. I was able to get to know the recipient in both academic and work settings. In class, this student was attentive and bright. As an employee, she has always gone above and beyond her regular job duties. For as long as I can remember, she has helped with wellness events, programs, and initiatives.
If you’ve ever taken her group exercise classes, you know that is she an extremely talented instructor, teaching everything from cycle to yoga to Zumba. Her energy and positivity are contagious to her participants, and to all who meet her. She makes exercise fun!
During her tenure at Springfield College, she has been involved in countless activities across campus, many related to leadership and wellness. I only have two minutes, so I can’t list them all. I will say that she was nominated for the Outstanding Junior Pride Award last year. And she is certainly outstanding.
This semester, I am lucky to have two fitness and wellness interns, and the recipient is one of them. She practically lives in the campus recreation conference room, working tirelessly to better the health and physical well-being of the College community. She assists with many aspects of wellness programming, including health and peer education, group exercise, fitness and wellness programs, and employee wellness. She does it all with spirit and passion, and always with a smile on her face.
This person will continue to positively impact the health and wellness of others after she graduates…in just a few weeks. She has accepted a job as the Wellness Director of the Gleason Family YMCA in Wareham, Mass. I am so proud of her, and I will miss her dearly.
Congratulations, Kim Postler! You are the recipient of the Body Award.
Diversity Leadership Award
Presented by Deb Alm
I wish to congratulate and honor all of the nominees for this award as they individually and collectively enrich the college community with their commitment to fairness, inclusivity and action. It is my honor to present this year’s Diversity Leadership Award as I have known the recipient since his arrival at Springfield College, serving first as his international student advisor, later working together with him in his role as the President of the International Student Organization, and most recently as a colleague when he took on the responsibilities of the Coordinator of the College Language and American Studies Program and sponsored students.
Bryan Cayabyab, this year’s recipient, in the words of his nominator, “has been a bridge builder ... connecting our international students with the broader campus community ... and has helped to internationalize the campus.” Indeed, Bryan left his home country of the Philippines to pursue an education a number of years ago and is so comfortable with the social, cultural and academic life of a U.S. institution that he could easily settle unnoticed into life alongside his domestic U.S. classmates, yet he maintains a pride in his country and a passion for the sharing of culture among the many international students as well as U.S. students from various backgrounds. As Springfield College became home to a large number of students from the Middle East, Bryan reached out to learn about the culture, to assist them in their adaptation to life in the United States, and to include them in the student and academic life of Springfield College. As the president of ISO, he and his board organized international student fairs, cultural and religious festivals, and film & discussion events. As coordinator of CLASP, he has smoothed the way among the many offices of the College that interface with our international students. As an RD, he has maintained an atmosphere that welcomes all to their home away from home. While he appears to do more in a day than most can do in a week, he always seems to have time offer an ear to listen or a shoulder to lean on with a quiet calm presence.
Bryan is so deserving of this award. He offers his empathy, warmth, good humor, compassion and insight to everyone, and he values, respects, and celebrates diversity in all its manifestations. If we are to live in a world of peace it will be because of people like him.
Humanics Leader in Service
Presented by Kristen Brosius
While I’ve had the pleasure and opportunity to present at previous ceremonies, this particular presentation is incredibly special and meaningful to me as I’ve known and adored this recipient since her first week on campus. And I don’t think a week has passed in the last four years where she hasn’t plopped down in my office to “catch up” or to more likely give me a hard time – or when she’s not busy saran wrapping each individual item in my office. There are days when I can just sense her sassiness from the moment she walks into my office, and I would tell her she was welcome to come back to my office when she had changed out of her “sassy” pants and into some “nicer” ones.
On a more serious note, I feel very grateful and fortunate to have been by her side throughout her career at Springfield College– as her coach, her supervisor, her advisor, her mentor, and now, as her friend. I have watched her grow from a timid and uncertain first-year student to a confident and empowering student-leader, scholar, and athlete. I am so incredibly proud of her accomplishments and of the impression she’s left at this institution.
In the description for the Humanics Leader in Service award, the criteria reads as someone who is “consistently committed to serving humanity.” It made perfect sense to nominate the most service-oriented student I know – someone who is entirely devoted to bettering our world and dedicated to enriching the lives of others. This young woman is at the core of our institutional values as someone who personifies our mission – she is the epitome of a humanitarian; someone who has and always will advocate and fight to improve the quality of life for those who are not fortunate enough to find their own resolve.
Many know this recipient as a brilliant leader on our campus. This includes serving and working as:
- An Outdoor Pursuits Student Class Instructor
- A Humanics Seminar Instructor
- A Wellness Supervisor for the Department of Campus Recreation
- A Challenge Course Facilitator for East Campus
- An AmeriCorp Member
- A Member of Habitat for Humanity
- A New Student Orientation (NSO) Leader
- A Student Ambassador
- Captain of the Women’s Rugby Team
- A Member of the cast of the Vagina Monologues Production
Those who know her also know that her work and passion goes far beyond the walls of our Springfield College community. For the past several years she has traveled coast to coast, working and volunteering for countless non-profit organizations and camps.
Over the past two summers, she has been employed as an Adventure Team Counselor at The Painted Turtle, a SeriousFun Children’s Network (formerly Association of Hole in the Wall) camp founded by Paul Newman that facilitates programs for children with chronic illnesses - programs that empower children to reach beyond the limits of their medical conditions to create lasting and positive impacts on their lives. She has also spent time volunteering as a counselor at several other Paul Newman’s SeriousFun Children’s Network camps including:
- The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, Ashford, Conn.
- Double H Ranch, Lake Luzerne, N.Y.
- Camp Korey at Carnation Farm, Carnation, Wash.
I continue to be marveled by her boundless spirit, and I know that my perspective is shared by many. A week ago I had contacted those whom “KK” has developed meaningful relationships with (including her peers, teammates, and closest friends) to share a few words that reflect the recipient’s character as it pertains to service and humanity. Here are a few excerpts from their writings:
“Her passion and desire to give back is motivating to others, and makes many want to follow in her footstep. But being who she is, she would never stand for others following in her footsteps, but she would challenge them to find their own way and lead a path of originality.”
“Kristiann is one of those people who deep down genuinely care about everyone and helps all that she can. But the unique thing is, she doesn't view anything that she does as service, she's just doing what she loves- it radiates from her. She has the deepest and strongest values of anyone I know and open-heartedly embraces every new experience that she can find.”
Fellow NSO Leader & Friend:
“She is a person who lives authentically and through her passion empowers others to do the same. It is hard for me, quite frankly, nearly impossible, to give Kristiann's dedication to leadership and service justice in just a few brief thoughts. Her depth and desire to make the world a better place is something that I admire. She is a service oriented soul who is going to change the world. I say this with absolute certainty-- as she has already changed mine.”
Kristiann will thrive in creating a place filled with warmth, compassion, laughter and most of all acceptance. In whatever context it may be, she will be brilliant - and her life’s work will matter because she’ll be making a difference.
It is my distinct pleasure to award Kristiann “KK” Kassay with the 2014 Humanics Leader in Service Award.
PRIDE Award Categories
- Student Employee of the Year
- Student Organization of the Year
- Advisor of the Year
- Outstanding First-Year Student
- Outstanding Sophomore
- Outstanding Junior
- Class of ‘57 Outstanding Senior Leadership Chair
- Outstanding Graduate Student
- Unsung Hero
- Spirit Award
- Mind Award
- Body Award
- Diversity Leadership Award
- Humanics Leader in Service