UMass Amherst To Recognize 21st Century Leaders at Undergraduate Commencement May 23

AMHERST, Mass. – Sixteen seniors will be presented with 21st Century Leader awards during the 134th Commencement of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Sunday, May 23, at 10 a.m. in Warren P. McGuirk Alumni Stadium.

The awards are designed to recognize students who are academically accomplished and who have contributed to the University by exceptional achievement that distinguishes themselves or enhances the reputation of the campus. The recipients are nominated by faculty for strong leadership qualities; noteworthy original research; community service; the achievement of success by overcoming extraordinary personal circumstances; or public presentation through art, performance or athletic ability.

This is the second year the awards have been given. The awards are sponsored by the Chancellor’s Office and the UMass Alumni Association. The presentation of the senior awards during the undergraduate Commencement is designed to focus the ceremony on the accomplishments of students and to recognize the support they have received from their families, says UMass Chancellor John V. Lombardi.

This year’s recipients are:

* Johanna Sophia Aguilar, a political science major, from Maywood, Calif.

* Leanna Stallard Barlow, majoring in BDIC (bachelor’s degree with individual concentration) and community health and social justice, from Lincoln, R.I.

* Autumn B. Cohen, a nursing major, from Shelburne Falls, Mass.

* Stephen T. Davis, an operations management major, from Metheun, Mass.

* Jonathan Dick, a physics major, from East Walpole, Mass.

* Hannah S. Fatemi, a history major, from West Brookfield, Mass.

* Patrick Ryan Getty, a biology major, from Springfield, Mass.

* Jennifer R. Gosselin, a mechanical engineering major, from Millbury, Mass.

* Kimberly M. McLaughlin, a communications and psychology major, from Spencer, Mass.

* Matthew D. Pelnar, a political science and philosophy major, from Creeskill, N.J.

* Melissa A. Russell, an environmental science major, from Titusville, N.J.

* Rafael V. Santana, an electrical engineering/computer systems engineering major, from Weston, Fla.

* John J. Stenglein, a biology and Spanish major, from Hatfield, Mass.

* Diwakar Turaga, a physics and biochemistry and molecular biology major, from Chelmsford, Mass.

* Marla A. Washington, a nursing major, from Philadelphia, Penn.

* Natalya Weinstein-Roberts, a BDIC and social justice through the arts major, from Leverett, Mass.