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Scholars to be honored by state legislators (Released: 4/20/98)

by Luis Mocete and John Pyrzenski, Office of University Communications.

Storrs, Conn. -- Several dozen of the University of Connecticut’s top students will be honored by state legislators Wednesday, April 22, during the General Assembly’s first Academic Day.

The event, designed to recognize classroom excellence and to honor UConn students who set — and achieve — high standards, was the brainchild of state representatives Denise Merrill (D-Mansfield), Richard Roy (D-Milford) and Pamela Sawyer (R-Bolton). Starting at 1:30 p.m. in the House chambers, the students will be introduced to state representatives then, at 2:15 p.m., to state senators. A reception will be held at 3 p.m. in the Old Judiciary Room. The students’ parents also have been invited to attend.

The students represent a select group of scholars, including those achieving designation as Babbidge Scholars and University Scholars, and honors students.

Babbidge Scholars are recognized for achieving a perfect 4.0 grade-point average for both the spring and fall semesters of 1997. The Scholars are named after the late Homer D. Babbidge Jr., who was UConn's president from 1962-1972. The University Scholars program enables highly motivated students to pursue unusually ambitious and personally important programs of study. It is one of the most competitive and prestigious academic programs available to students at UConn.

"Honoring students from UConn, the flagship of the state’s higher education system, will send a message to younger students across the state that we in the General Assembly recognize the importance of a college education to Connecticut’s future," said Merrill.

The event "will provide a unique opportunity to focus public attention on the University of Connecticut’s commitment to academic excellence, and the strength of UConn’s outstanding undergraduates," added Susan Steele, vice provost for undergraduate education and instruction.

Editors: Please pick-up names from your circulation area

Maria Choupres
Senior, Psychology
Honors Scholar
Mentor and Coordinator in UConn'S First-Year Program
Co-founder of first NOW chapter at UConn
Accepted to UConn Law School

Benjamin Buckley
Senior, History and Philosophy Double Major
Honors Scholar
Amy Clark
Senior, Spanish and Individualized Dual Degree Major
Honors Scholar
Interned at the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C., under Elizabeth Dole
Mara Davis
Senior, Political Science
Honors Scholar
Honors Program Intern in Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro's office
Lisbeth Dizney
Junior, Education
Nutmeg Scholar
Honors Scholar
University Scholar
Sarah Donnelly
Junior, Physics and Applied Mathematics Double Major
1998 Goldwater Scholarship winner
Honors Scholar
Mathematics Scholar
1996 Babbidge Scholar
Justin Dextradeur
Senior, Environmental Science
Nutmeg Scholar
Honors Scholar
University Scholar
Timothy Fenn
Senior, Molecular and Cell Biology
Honors Scholar
University Scholar
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Has presented findings at national conferences on oceanography
Jacqueline Fernandes
North Haven
Senior, Pre-Med Biological Sciences
Honors Scholars Program
1998 Babbidge Scholar
ROTC Officer
David France
Senior, Music Education
Day of Pride
Honors Scholar
Melissa Kaplan
Senior, Political Science
Honors Scholar
Will present result of senior honors thesis at the
1998 New England Political Science Association Meeting
Marie Maignan
Sophomore, Human Development and Family Relations
Member of the Center for Academic Programs
Representative of the Reading Corp
Dean's List
CAP Peer Advisor
Ann Matthews
UConn-Stamford Campus
Senior, General Studies with a concentration in Sociology
Honors Scholar
Mortar Board
Part of the Needs Assessment Visions Project in connection with the United Way in Eastern Fairfield County
Nicholas Mocciolo
Senior, MCB
Honors Scholar
Alumni Association Scholar
Etai Nahary
Sophomore, Independent Major
Member of the Hillel Foundation
Jewish Theater Ensemble
Julissa Nixon
Junior, Psychology and African Diaspora Studies Double Major
Honors Scholar
University Scholar
Upcoming semester will study abroad in Puerto Rico
Gretchen Oat
Senior, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Presidential Scholar
Honors Scholar
University Scholar
Clifford Rios
South Windsor
Sophomore, Physiology and Neurobiology
Honors Scholar
Leadership Scholar
Angela Ruggiero
Beacon Falls
UConn-Waterbury Campus
Sophomore, Education
UConn Waterbury Award
Waterbury Campus Scholarship
Student Activities Recognition Award two years in a row
President of Associated Student Government for the UConn-Waterbury Campus
Kristen Sandstrom
Senior, Psychology
Honors Scholar
Class Representative for upcoming 1998 Graduation Ceremony
Golden Key
Mortar Board
Willington Mentor Program
Karen Sherk
Sophomore, Spanish
Presidential Scholar
Honors Scholar
UConn Diving Team
Vincent Southerland
Beacon Falls
Junior, Political Science
Day of Pride
Honors Scholar
Lisa Teng
Junior, Chemistry
Day of Pride Scholar
Honors Scholar
Brooke Zelesnick
Nutmeg Scholar
Honors Scholar
University Scholar