2022 Honors and Awards Ceremony highlights student achievements

A group of honorees at the 2022 Honors and Awards Ceremony

Students celebrated their honors and awards on May 4, 2022. Photo credit: Leah Keith '24

The St. Catherine community celebrated both the opportunity to gather in person again as well as the astounding accomplishments of students and their mentors at the annual Honors and Awards Ceremony. 

A capstone for student leadership, the St. Catherine University Honors and Awards Ceremony celebrates the outstanding accomplishments of the leaders within the St. Catherine University community and not only recognizes them for their efforts, but also the legacy they leave behind. 

“This is a wonderful day because we get to celebrate student achievement and the very hard work that goes into each and every final project or research paper, program or event,” said Becky Roloff ‘76, president of St. Catherine University. “Each award recipient is truly deserving.”


Helen B. Lemmer Award given to Karisa Johnson and Sydney Kennedy

Traditionally seen as the University’s highest academic award, the Helen B. Lemmer Award in Honor of Mother Antonia McHugh recognizes a student who is intending to pursue a career in college or university teaching and exemplifies the high academic ideals cultivated by Mother Antonia.

A double major in public policy and economics with a minor in statistics, Karisa has a strong research background, a tremendous drive to improve the world, and incredible communication skills. She aspires for a career in public policy and is considering graduate school in public policy, data analysis, or law. Karisa’s passion, intelligence, and drive combine to create a truly wonderful scholar.

Sydney Kennedy has an impressive undergraduate academic track record, is curious, thinks critically and brings a unique perspective to the classroom, workplace and her community. She is on a clear path to excel at the interface of biological research and public policy given her unique degree choice of a BA in Biology and BA in Public Policy.


Michael J. Baynes Reflective Life Award Given to Corisa Iubhar

The Michael J. Baynes Reflective Life Award recognizes a student in the Associate Degree program who, through leadership, service to peers and community, and adherence to high personal and academic standards attempts to do good in the world. 

Corisa (Abi) has quietly and consistently demonstrated leadership in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program. She has taken initiative to pursue a topic she is extremely passionate about, trauma-informed care. Abi learned that having a better understanding of trauma informed care will help her develop into a more caring and compassionate provider for all of her patients. Her commitment to “doing good” extends beyond her classmates and patients. She is actively involved in many community organizations including volunteering for My Very Own Bed which is an organization that provides beds, individualized bedding, and books for children who do not have their own.


Mary Alice Muellerleile Student Leadership Award Given to Rita Widmer

The Muellerleile Award is named in honor of the first director of continuing education. Each year, this award is presented to a College for Adults student who has not only demonstrated exceptional leadership and service to their peers and to the University, but further been an active advocate for the development and leadership of women of all ages.

Rita is a second-degree student in the Bachelor of Social Work program and is a member of the social work honor society, Delta Epsilon Zeta. She has served on the Bachelor of Social Work Student Leadership Team for two years, which is a team of student representatives selected by their classmates who serve as an advisory committee to the program director. Rita is welcoming and inclusive of her classmates, inviting them to collaborate on in-class activities as well as socialize outside of class. As a project assistant for one of the social work faculty, Rita helped design, organize, advertise, and facilitate two professional development events for social work students. 


Thomas More Award Recipients

The Thomas More Award is presented to students who have demonstrated outstanding loyalty and service, as well as integrity and campus spirit. These students may have made a major contribution to a particular organization, department, program or issue, or may have consistently contributed to a broad range of activities. This year 72 students were nominated for this award and 16 are recipients.

The 2022 Thomas More award recipients are (in alphabetical order): Rahma Abufoor, Brittany Armstrong, Suzanne Damberg, Clara Godoy-Henderson, Sylvie Guezeon, Mandy Hay, Karisa Johnson, Sydney Johnson, Elsa Joy, Amalea Jubara, Bryana Leverentz, Mary-Genevieve Moison, Kim Nguyen, Anastasia Rousseau, Kara Schleck, and KaZong Vue.


Dean of Students Award given to Ania Salcedo

The Dean of Students Award recognizes a senior from the College for Women who has made an outstanding contribution to the University’s mission, throughout their years at St. Catherine University. 

This year, with 19 nominees for this award, Ania stood out as an engaged member of our community throughout her four years at St. Kate’s and has made multifaceted and substantive contributions to the university’s mission. She has served as a Resident Advisor and the President of the Latinx Student Association. Her involvement in the Student Senate grew through numerous leadership roles: External Affairs Co-Chair, Senate Official and Academic Affairs Co-Chair..Her academic work in history and international studies provides an important liberal arts foundation for analysis of policies and strategies for change. Ania’s leadership draws on the best of St. Kate’s as she contributes to our mission both within the university and in the wider community.


Mary E. McCahill Award given to Audrey Muntanhaurwa

The University’s most prestigious award, the Mary E. McCahill Award recognizes both academic excellence and extraordinary student leadership and is presented to the senior who has consistently demonstrated outstanding leadership, loyalty and service to the University. This year's award goes to Audrey Muntanhaurwa. 

As an Economics major with minors in Statistics and Finance, Audrey has consistently been on the Dean’s list and has served as an Economics and Statistics tutor, Macroeconomics Teaching Assistant and a Research Assistant in the Economics and Political Science department. Audrey has also been selected as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She has been engaged in the Student Senate for the past 4 years, from challenging herself to step forward as a new first year international student from Zimbabwe to run for a Commuter Senator position, to serving as Senate President this year. 

Audrey has a genuine love for learning that fuels her work and is very generous in sharing her knowledge and skills with others. She is an exceptional leader and strives to always bring a positive approach to all that she does. She navigates challenging situations with poise and grace many people never achieve. She demonstrates a sense of diligence and commitment that is impressive and rare. 


A PDF of the commemorative booklet may be viewed online. 


Each award recipient is truly deserving. St. Catherine University congratulates each of these outstanding leaders.