Outstanding Seniors to Be Honored at Commencement
In honor of their accomplishments as undergraduates, seven seniors will be recognized at this year's Commencement ceremony.
Seven graduating seniors will be honored for their outstanding achievements during the University of Arizona's 152nd Commencement ceremony.
The seniors were nominated by faculty and peers for the following awards, which collectively honor individuals with marked integrity and notable achievements, and who also made positive contributions to their families and communities while studying at the UA.
The Provost Award
This award honors an outstanding graduating student who transferred to the UA from an Arizona community college. Criteria for the award include perseverance and commitment to academic studies, contributions to the UA community and above-average scholastic ability, citizenship and leadership.
Christopher Jabczynski, who is receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering, is this year's recipient.
Before transferring to the UA, Jabczynski took classes at Pima Community College, where he was further inspired and emboldened to become an engineer and share his love of science with others.
After enrolling at the UA, he served the Arizona community as an Engineering Ambassador at the UA College of Engineering. He was also an officer in the student chapter of the American Institute for Chemical Engineers.
In 2015, Jabczynski served as president of the UA chapter of the National Honor Society for Chemical Engineering, Omega Chi Epsilon. He also received the prestigious NASA Space Grant Internship. After graduating, Jabczynski plans to pursue employment in the consumer goods industry, while pursuing his graduate degree in chemical engineering.
Robert Logan Nugent Award
Candidates for this award display a record of accomplishments that exemplifies the high ideals of Robert Logan Nugent, former UA executive vice president. Those ideals include active and enthusiastic participation and service in community and University endeavors.
Dana Kralicek, who will graduate summa cum laude from the UA Honors College with a Bachelor of Science degree in optical sciences and engineering, is one of two recipients of this year's Nugent Award.
While at the UA, Kralicek was named to the Dean's List with highest academic distinction and received departmental honors. She also served as an undergraduate researcher, working as a research assistant in a psycholinguistics lab.
Kralicek was also highly committed to service. She participated in the Arizona Ambassadors Honorary as vice president and historian, and also participated in the Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Fraternity. She also was the social chair for the Student Optics Chapter.
Kralicek plans to continue her research and education by pursuing a doctoral degree with a focus on optics and bio-materials to make portable medical diagnostic equipment.
Fabio Mire, who is graduating summa cum laude from the Eller College of Management with a Bachelor of Science in business administration, is the second Nugent Award winner.
For his outstanding commitment to scholarship, Mire is the recipient of the Fielding-Singh Award. He was also named Eller's Outstanding Collegiate Scholar of the Year, a National Hispanic Scholar, and one of Eller's Top 50 Hispanic Scholars.
Committed to service and scholarship, Mire has been recognized on the Dean's List with Distinction, and he has held eight leadership positions over the last three years, including president of the Eller Leadership Board, president of the Financial Management Association, student body treasurer and founder and director of the Wall Street Scholars Program.
After graduation, Mire will be moving to New York to begin his career with Bank of America Merrill Lynch in their Investment Banking Division.
Robie Gold Medal Award
Qualifications for this award include personal integrity, initiative, cooperation, enthusiasm, humility, well-rounded interests, active participation in student affairs, service to the University, willingness to give more than required, and a love of God and country.
Lorene Fisher, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance from the College of Fine Arts, is one of two Robie Gold Medal recipients.
Fisher was attracted to the UA because it offered the opportunity to study with one of the top dance programs in the nation. But what sealed her decision to attend was the added bonus that the University offers a multitude of top programs, allowing her to pursue the versatility she was looking for academically – in dance, business and Africana studies.
Fisher has performed in School of Dance performances and at the University president's African American Advisory Council events, and was among select dancers honored with the opportunity to perform in a commercial.
During her time as an undergraduate, Fisher served as hall council president her freshman year and as a resident assistant the following two years, earning regional and national recognition, including RA of the Year.
This year, she served as the Residence Hall Association's national communications coordinator and has been instrumental in the UA's Residence Hall Association receiving numerous honors, including 2015 School of the Year.
Fisher is an inducted member of the National Residence Hall Honorary, Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society, Elgie M. Batteau Honor Society and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She also is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and earned Greek Life's Outstanding Campus Involvement honor.
Fisher will continue her service with UA Residence life as a graduate community director while she pursues her master's degree at the UA's Center for the Study of Higher Education.
Travis Sawyer, a member of the Honors College who will graduate Summa Cum Laude and valedictorian with a Bachelor of Science in optical sciences and engineering, will also be honored with a Robie Gold Medal Award.
Sawyer initially enrolled in college with an interest in astronomy. However, a misdiagnosis of leukemia his freshman year changed his plans.
Following a semester of extensive testing and exposure to medical optics, Sawyer realized that his passion was to pursue a career researching and developing optical technology to benefit the lives of others. From this, he chose to pursue optical engineering.
Sawyer also taught himself programming and began a software business primarily working with systems administration and algorithm engineering.
As an avid traveler, he spent a summer in Holland to expand his company, and studied abroad in Stuttgart, Germany, working to design and analyze novel laser illumination systems.
Sawyer received the Goldwater Scholarship and the Astronaut Scholarship for his efforts. As an undergraduate, he was involved with the UA Student Optics Chapter, acting as outreach coordinator and an Optics Ambassador. As a recipient of the Churchill Scholarship, Sawyer will pursue a master's degree in physics at the University of Cambridge, England, before continuing on to pursue his doctorate in optics.
Merrill P. Freeman Medals
Merrill Freeman served the UA as a regent and as a chancellor, and his will provided for two medals to be awarded annually to students selected by the UA administration. Qualifications include outstanding qualities of moral force of character. Additional factors that may be considered include popularity, receipt of athletic awards, membership in organizations, and service on committees and as officers.
Adam Geyer, who is receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in neuroscience and cognitive science, and Shivani Misra, an Honors College student who is receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in neuroscience and cognitive science, are this year's honorees.
During his time at the UA, Geyer was the first freshman to be selected to the Associated Students of the UA's appropriations board, where he served as a director for two years before becoming the organization's state affairs director. As the state affairs director, Geyer helped spearhead the student-run "It's On Us" campaign to raise awareness of sexual assault on campus. He also served on the Interfraternity Council as president and vice president of membership.
In 2015, Geyer was named Greek Person of the Year. This past year, he served as a member of the Bobcats Senior Honorary and as chapter president of his fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha.
After graduation, Geyer will spend the summer in Budapest as an Atlantis Program fellow before returning to Arizona to study for the MCAT and work on his medical school applications.
Misra is a Flinn Scholar, a Galileo Scholar and the Most Outstanding Senior for both the College of Science and her home department. She is a first-generation American whose undergraduate degree has an emphasis in development and aging. She also has completed minors in public health and biiochemistry, and will receive a certificate in developmental disabilities.
Misra serves on the Southern Arizona Division of the March of Dimes board and teaches Pilates and movement to students from the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind. She also has been a trainee in the Sonoran UCEDD at the UA, an education, research and service resource for people with developmental disabilities. She also is pursuing the UCEDD-sponsored Undergraduate Certificate in Developmental Disabilities.
Misra is interested in a career in maternal and child health, and aspires to eliminate the disparity associated with disability. She will pursue a dual degree in medicine and public health at the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix.
For more information about all of the awardees, visit the UA Dean of Students site.
Senior Class Gift
Hundreds of graduating undergraduate students have contributed to the Senior Class Gift, a new UA tradition unifying each graduating class and recognizing its unique contribution to UA.
This year's Senior Class Gift will support Counseling and Psychological Services, expanding access to students for much-needed services. A senior is recognized as any student graduating in May, August or December of the current academic year.
To give, visit the Senior Class Gift website.
For more information, visit the Commencement FAQ page or call 520-621-3644.
Clear Bag Policy
Commencement 2016 will be enforcing game-day rules:
- Attendees must abide by the UA's clear bag policy for entry into the stadium.
- No outside containers, large bags, backpacks, or parcels will be permitted and all in-hand items but be placed in the appropriate and approved clear bag
- Balloons and view obstructing banners are not permitted into the stadium.
- All personal items are subject to search.
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