At the end of each academic year, Dean of Students Jerry Price, Ph.D. and his office celebrate remarkable achievements among the Chapman University undergraduate student body at the Campus Leadership Awards. Schmid College students took many honors, including three of the highest: the Ronald M. Huntington Award for Outstanding Scholarship, the Gloria and Julian Peterson Award for Outstanding Leadership, and the Cecil F. Cheverton Award.

Cecil F. Cheverton Award Winner Taylor Lee Patti

Dean of Students Jerry price (left) with Cheverton winner Taylor Patti (center) and Provost Pfeiffer (right).

Dean of Students Jerry price (left) with Cheverton winner Taylor Patti (center) and Provost Glenn Pfeiffer (right).

The Cheverton Award is awarded annually to the outstanding graduating senior and is the highest student honor at Chapman University. Students are not nominated for the Cheverton Award; they are invited to apply by the faculty based on their outstanding academic record. Then they are voted on by Chapman faculty. A gift of the class of 1929, the original bronze Cheverton Award cup remains on exhibit in Argyros Forum along with its successor, a silver bowl. Upon the trophies are engraved the names of all Cheverton awardees since 1929.

Faculty identified six Cheverton finalists, senior biological sciences major Caroline Aziz, senior computer science major and math minor Jordan Ott among them.

Senior Taylor Lee Patti, a triple math, physics and Spanish major and chemistry minor, was the faculty’s selection for this prestigious honor. Originally, from Medford, Oregon, Taylor is a presidential scholar, member of the Schmid Student Leadership Council, and External Vice President of Chapman’s Women in Science and Technology student organization. She is currently spearheading STEM outreach to underprivileged youth, holding workshops, and creating speaker events for women leaders in STEM fields.

Taylor was also invited to be a guest researcher and lecturer at the Perimeter Institute, and she presented a research talk at the American Physical Society March Meeting. Both of these are invitations typically reserved for PhD students. Taylor has two peer-reviewed journal publications: one in the field of biochemistry and food science in collaboration with Prof. Rosalee Hellberg and the other in quantum foundations with President’s National Medal of Science recipient Prof. Yakir Aharonov. She is currently working on a third publication related to her research at the Perimeter Institute.

In her Cheverton application essay, Taylor wrote:

“Growing up female and lower working class, I was never encouraged to pursue physics, math, or computer science. This all changed when I came to Chapman University. Our faculty recognized and fostered my talents, so in turn I now pay their support forward.”

Taylor has declined offers from Ph.D. programs at Yale and Berkeley. Instead, she will enter the Ph.D. program in theoretical physics this summer at Harvard University with a Graduate Fellowship awarded by the National Science Foundation.

Gloria and Julian Peterson Award for Outstanding Leadership Winner Sara Wanous

Sara Wanous with award

Peterson Award Winner Sara Wanous

The Gloria and Julian Peterson Award is awarded in tribute to the outstanding graduating senior who has excelled in scholarship and given distinguished leadership in their dedication to enriching university life. This student must exemplify leadership as represented in at least three of the four pillars that guide Chapman University: Intellectual, Physical, Social and Spiritual. This is Chapman’s highest senior leadership award.

The Committee identified four finalists, environmental science and policy senior Tessa Oliaro among them.

Senior Sara Wanous, an environmental science and policy and economics double major and University Honors student from Long Beach, California, is this year’s winner. Sara is a lead Civic Engagement assistant, the “Explore So Cal” director, and the vice chair of University Programming Board (UPB), the Director of Justice for the Student Government Association (SGA), and captain of the Cross Country Team. She is also a member of Kappa Alpha Theta and Schmid College Student Leadership Council.

Last November, Sara attended the Citizens’ Climate Lobby Education Day conference and lobbied for climate change policy (read all about it!), and she is known as “a leader devoted to making a big impact at Chapman.” One of her nominators wrote, “She builds team and community in ways that are just spectacular. She is going to make us proud as an alumna.”

Ronald M. Huntington Award for Outstanding Scholarship Winner Taryn Miyake

Huntington Award Winner Taryn Miyake (center) with Dr. Marco Bisoffi (left) and Dr. Melissa Rowland-Goldsmith (right)

Huntington Award Winner Taryn Miyake (center) with Dr. Marco Bisoffi (left) and Dr. Melissa Rowland-Goldsmith (right)

The Ronald M. Huntington Award is presented to the graduating Chapman senior judged to have exhibited the most distinguished record of scholarly accomplishments. Recipients must demonstrate evidence of exemplary scholarly accomplishments well beyond normal classroom activities.

The Committee identified five finalists, senior biological sciences and Italian language and culture double major Marco Saglimbeni and Taylor Lee Patti among them.

Biochemistry and molecular biology senior Taryn Miyake was selected as this year’s winner. She is a presidential scholar, member of the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honors Society (Tri Beta), America Medical Student Association (AMSA), and Asian Pacific Student Association (APSA), and president of Floor 13.

She performed research under Dr. Melissa Rowland-Goldsmith and Dr. Marco Bisoffi, examining pancreatic cancer. She also did research with the Chapman University School of Pharmacy under Dr. Rakesh Tiwari and Dr. Keykavous Parang. Taryn participated in the Summer Student Research Program at Hawaii Pacific Health, culminating with an oral presentation at the 2015 Hawaii Pacific Health Scientific Presentation and with a poster presentation at the 2016 American Chemical Society National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) Annual Conference.

One of her nominator wrote, “What sets [Taryn] apart is her ability to work successfully on multiple tasks simultaneously, on her own research, assuming a leadership position in the research team, acting as supplemental instructor, taking the lead in class based team projects within her curriculum, and maintaining her high GPA standards.”

Even More Schmid College students Recognized!

Undergraduate students from across Schmid College and the four class years were recognized at the May 5 ceremony.

Senior environmental science and policy major Kyvan Elep was nominated for the Paul S. Delp Outstanding Service Award, which recognizes contributions through voluntary service to the community at large and a substantial commitment to a life of service as evidenced by documented activities which significantly benefit the greater good and serve as models to others.

Outstanding seniors who were recognized included:

Sonia Djafri, biochemistry and molecular biology major and entrepreneurship minor from Fountain Valley, California. Sonia is Director of Philanthropy for Alpha Phi where she helped raise over $80,000 for Make-A-Wish, Cardiac Care, and the Alpha Phi Foundation. She is also member of Global Medical Brigades and the Schmid Student Leadership Council. Sonia was also selected as an Outstanding Sophomore and Outstanding Junior.

Kyvan Elep, environmental science and policy major with minors in secondary education and business, from Redondo Beach, California. Kyvan created and led the initiative for the NASPA Campus Vote Project, which led to Chapman being designated one of the nation’s Voter Friendly Campuses. In November, he traveled to Washington D.C. to lobby for a climate change bill. Kycan has also been member of Member of University Programming Board (UPB) for 4 years
Lead Assistant for Civic Engagement and a member of the Schmid Student Leadership Council.

Alex Himstead, biological science major and Spanish minor from Seattle, Washington. Alex is a Supplemental Instructor for general chemistry, general biology, and organic chemistry, and he received an Outstanding Junior award last year.  Alex also traveled on medical mission trips to Ghana and the Philippines, scored in the 99th percentile on the MCAT.

Tessa Oliaro, environmental science and policy major and international health minor from Folsom, California. Tessa is a Chapman Ambassador, Academic All-American NCAA athlete on the women’s lacrosse team, leader of the Student Outreach Committee for the Schmid Student Leadership Council, member of Global Medical Brigades and recipient of an Undergraduate Student Scholarly Research Grant.

Marco Saglimbeni, biological sciences and Italian language and culture dual major and part of the University Honors Program, from San Jose, California. Marco is a presidential scholar, supplemental Instructor and tutor, and team captain of Chapman men’s soccer team for his junior and senior years. They made it to the NCAA tournament this past season, and he is also Ambassador for Football For the World. Finally, Marco is a student presenter at Western Regional Honors Conference.

Lotus Thai, environmental science and policy and business administration double major with a minor in political science from Fountain Valley, California. Lotus was a founding member of the Schmid Student Leadership Council and has served as the Director of Marketing for UPB. She also traveled to Washington D.C. in November to lobby for a carbon fee (read her blog post about it!), and she led the Chapman Solar Decathalon team for two years.

Leah Thomas, environmental science and policy major from St. Louis, Missouri. Leah worked at The White House Visitor Center (read about it!) and has been a Huffington Post Contributor during her senior year. Leah is also a Lead Resident Advisor on campus and is an environmental leadership intern with the Upper Newport Bay Conservancy.

Outstanding juniors who were recognized included:

Emily Hanna, biological sciences major and psychology minor from El Segundo, California. Emily is a feature twirler of Chapman’s pep band, member of Pi Beta Phi, a Chapman Ambassador, involved in Dr. Keller’s Wetland Biogeochemistry Lab, and a Supplemental instructor for calculus. She is also Treasurer and previous Secretary of Women in Science and Technology (WIST).

Nilsha Khurana, biological sciences major and music minor with emphasis on vocal performance, part of University Honors Program from Rancho Cucamonga, California. Nilsha is recipient of an Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity grant, president of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), Supplemental Instructor for BIOL 204 and BIOL 205, member of Kappa Alpha Theta and Secretary for Gamma Beta Phi Honor Society.

Alyssa Nowlen, biological sciences major and leadership studies minor from Morgan Hill, California. She was recipient of 2017 Dougherty Scholarship and is president of the Pre-Dental Society, Education Vice President for Gamma Phi Beta sorority and served as Served as a Supplemental Instructor for General Chemistry courses. Last year Alyssa was named an Outstanding Sophomore.

AJ Silva, biological sciences major, nutrition minor and part of Honors Program from Danville, California. AJ is team captain of Chapman’s Swim and Dive team, a Chapman Ambassador, member of the Gamma Beta Phi honor society, a Friendly Center volunteer, and he has been Resident Advisor for his sophomore and junior years.

Outstanding sophomores who were recognized included:

Vidal Arroyo, biochemistry and molecular biology major and Integrated Educational Studies minor from Las Flores, California. Vidal is a presidential scholar, served as a General Chemistry Lecture supplemental instructor, Lab supplemental instructor, and a tutor for six different science courses, volunteers as a youth assistant wrestling coach for Team Thunder Athletics in Santa Ana, and will conduct cancer research over the next two summers at the Baylor College of Medicine. Vidal is also a member of Schmid Student Leadership Council.

Lauren Elizabeth Friend, biochemistry and molecular biology double major with a minor in philosophy from Kirkland, Washington. Lauren is member women’s volleyball team, setting school records for total blocks per season and assisted blocks per season. She has been selected as the secretary for the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, and she is a member of the Schmid Student Leadership Council.

Finally, outstanding first-year students who were recognized included:

Melissa Coyle, biological sciences major and part of the University Honors Program from Huntington Beach, California. Melissa is a member of Women in Science and Technology (WIST), Beta Beta Beta Biological Honors Society (Tri-Beta), and the National American Medical Student Association. She worked in Dr. Hamidreza Montazeri Aliabadi’s laboratory. Melissa will present her research at the Western Regional Honors Conference, and she has been nominated by Chapman to present at the National Honors Conference. Melissa is also member of the Provost Student Advisory Board.

Crosby Tinucci, biological sciences major with minors in Spanish and religious studies from Roseville, California. Crosby has been admitted to Chapman’s Wetland Biogeochemistry Lab, is member of Chapman’s swim team, an Undergraduate Research Assistant and part of the leadership team of InterVarsity.

Congratulations to all those honored at he 2017 Campus Leadership Awards!

Just some of the many Schmid College students honored.

Just some of the many Schmid College students honored at the 2017 Campus Leadership Awards, from left to right: Vidal Arroyo, Alex Himstead, Sonia Djafri, Taryn Miyake, Taylor Lee Patti, Sara Wanous and Lotus Thai.