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University Recognizes Student Leaders in Virtual Ceremonies

Graduating student leaders on both of Fordham’s campuses were recognized at this year’s annualand virtualSenior Leadership Awards for Rose Hill and Lincoln Center, held on May 14 and April 28, respectively.

“You are the men and women of great distinction in your class. You’ve been recognized by your classmates and by members of the faculty and administration as the men and women who set the tone and bring light and life to the campus,” Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham, said in the Rose Hill awards video, addressing award winners and nominees from the University Church. “You’ve distinguished yourselves in the way in which you’ve rolled with all the challenges that have beset your class and the whole world in the last two months. So I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for all you that have done for Fordham. You are a gift to Fordham.” 

The yearly awards ceremonies recognize outstanding student leaders in Fordham’s campus communities. Every year, students are selected from hundreds of nominees to win awards in several categories. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the award presentations took place online. On the evening of May 14, the Office for Student Involvement at Rose Hill posted an hour-long YouTube video featuring speeches from Father McShane; Christopher Rodgers, assistant vice president and dean of students at Rose Hill; Olivia Quartell, executive president of United Student Government at Rose Hill; Roxanne De La Torre, director of campus and community leadership at the Center of Community Engaged Learning; and student winners.

In video messages, students reflected on their journey from freshman to senior year and how Fordham helped them grow and empower others. 

“I am so lucky and so honored to have been a part of this Fordham community. I passed Fordham twice a day every weekday on my way to and from high school, and I never imagined that I would call Fordham my home,” said Ashley Qamar, winner of a Senior Leadership Award, in the Rose Hill video. 

The Rose Hill ceremony also introduced a new award: the Winton Medal for Stewardship of a Student Organization, given to a graduating senior in recognition of their service to a student organization. The medal, presented by the Office of the Dean of Students, is named after David H. Winton, GABELLI ’94, an alumnus who died on 9/11. 

“David exemplified the devotion to the University, independent energy, and wry wit that make the best student leaders,” said Rodgers. 

The virtual ceremony was bittersweet, he said, but still a special milestone. 

“We will miss you, desperately,” he said in the Rose Hill video. “And after the awards [ceremony], we’ll leave this evening in hope that we will see you again as you move to bigger and better things, just as we said you would, four years ago, on that lawn at dusk, lit only by your candle and those of your thousands of new friends.” 

On April 28, student nominees, faculty, and staff attended a virtual awards ceremony for Lincoln Center on Zoom. Father McShane delivered an opening speech; afterward, audience members saw the names of more than 90 student nominees on a Google slideshow, and awards were presented to seven students. 

“In closing, I want to thank the studentsthose who received nominations and those who were selected for one of tonight’s awards,” Keith Eldridge, assistant vice president and dean of students at Lincoln Center, said at the end of the Zoom call. “The past few weeks have not been the end of your Fordham experience that any of you expected or would have hoped for, but we hope the leadership award event helped you remember the positive impact you made and the lasting mark you leave behind in the Lincoln Center community. I am confident that you will continue to make a positive impact as you embark on your next steps and your new beginnings after graduation.”

Senior Leadership Award Winners at Rose Hill

Senior Leadership Award: 

  • Kaidya Adames, GABELLI 
  • Emma Budd, FCRH
  • Peyton Hayes, FCRH
  • Jacklyn Onody, GABELLI
  • Ashley Qamar, GABELLI 
  • Nathaniel Singh, FCRH
  • Kaylee Wong, GABELLI

Reverend Joseph P. Fitzpatrick Award

  • Mia Beverly, FCRH

The Dorothy Day Peacemaker Award for Leadership in Social Action: 

  • Alexa Valentin, FCRH

Winton Medal for Stewardship of a Student Organization

  • Aislinn Keely, FCRH

Senior Leadership Award Winners at Lincoln Center

Senior Leadership Award: 

  • Paolo J. Estrella, GABELLI
  • Kylie Ford, FCLC
  • Mahbuba Hossain, FCLC
  • Finley A. Peay, FCLC

The Dorothy Day Peacemaker Award for Leadership in Social Action: 

  • Julianna K. Walchuk, FCLC

Journalism Award

  • Courtney M. Brogle, FCLC

St. Alberto Hurtado, S.J., Mission, Faith, and Justice Award 

  • Catherine A. Fernando, FCLC

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