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Skidmore College

Honors Convocation carries on, online

May 29, 2020
by Angela Valden

Though this year’s traditional Honors Convocation ceremony could not be held in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the outstanding academic achievements of Skidmore students are not going unrecognized. Instead, their accomplishments — from national merit scholarships and fellowships to departmental awards — are being commemorated virtually.

Skidmore faculty chose the 2019-20 academic year departmental prize winners from an impressive field of candidates and wrote individualized statements about each award recipient.

“One of my favorite occupations each year is reviewing these citations prepared by faculty,” said Ron Seyb, associate dean of the faculty for student academic affairs. “While they offer arresting accounts of each student’s academic accomplishments, they also describe, often in witty and winsome ways, the qualities that distinguish each student.”

These students, Seyb says, have made the transition from pupil to peer, demonstrating through their efforts and accomplishments that they are now independent learners capable of posing their own questions, choosing their own methods and drawing their own conclusions.

Here is a look at this year’s academic prize and award winners, by the numbers:

6 students earned national merit awards for the 2019-20 academic year. Erin Marie Cantor ’20, Emma Fritschel ’19, Derrick Trust McAllister ’20 and Naomi Julia Roter ’20 are recipients of Fulbright Scholarships, and Samantha Rose Abrams ’19 and Christina M. Sanzari ’18 are recipients in the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program. More than a dozen others were applicants, nominees or earned honorable mentions for these national awards.

10 department and program prizes and opportunity awards went to a total of 18 students. These awards are given for paper competitions, field and laboratory research, artistic projects and other creative endeavors, and they build on close faculty-student collaborative work.

72academic awards and prizes were presented, from American studies to writing prizes.

24 senior class members of the National Honor Society of Phi Beta Kappa were acknowledged. The society exists to encourage and recognize outstanding achievements in liberal arts education. Skidmore was granted a charter in 1970.

22 senior class members of the Periclean Honors Forum were acknowledged. Through honors-designated courses, planned co-curricular activities and participation in community service, the forum strengthens intellectual life at Skidmore and provides positive leadership on and off campus.

260+ memberships in national and international honor societies for specific areas of study were celebrated. Some students are members of more than one honor society.

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