The Annual College of Professional Studies’ Dean’s Convocation took place yesterday to recognize outstanding students and honor society members. Kathleen Vout√© MacDonald, Ed.D. Dean of the College of Professional Studies delivered the welcome and introduction.
In the opening prayer, Rev. Michael J. Cummins, C.M., assistant dean of the College of Professional Studies congratulated the recipients on their achievements, extended special wishes for the upcoming graduates and gave mention to the victims of Sept. 11 and the St. John’s Alumni lost.
The students honored at this event are those who have maintained outstanding grade point averages and shared their strengths both inside and outside of the classroom.
Certificates of Achievement, Silver Keys, and Gold Keys, which acknowledge students in each major who have attained the first, second and third highest cumulative indices in the graduating class, were given, along with two new awards that were presented at this year’s Convocation.
The first was The William A. Trunkes Memorial Scholarship Fund, given to Thomas Scalise, a criminal justice major who has kept an exemplary grade index. Judge Thomas T. Trunkes, a graduate of St. John’s University, donated this money.
“St. John’s was very good to me,” said Trunkes. “I was able to attend St. John’s University on academic scholarship and attended the College and School of Law.”
Trunkes grew up in Brooklyn and received the money for the fund from his uncle, a New York City Police officer, for whom the award is named.
The Fund is awarded to a NYC police officer, or his or her child who is pursuing a degree in criminal justice, and preferably living in Brooklyn.
The First Annual Dean’s Award was the second inaugural award and given to the President of the Student Government Society, senior Kristina Verbitskaya. The idea for this award came about because of the 40th anniversary of the College of Professional Studies coming this October.
The ceremony also gave various students Vincentian Spirit Awards for Outstanding Contributions, which recognizes students for their outstanding co-curricular contributions. There were also Recognition Awards and Certificates given.
The Mock Trial Team was recognized along with the Lambda Epsilon Chi National Honor Society in paralegal studies to identify the superior academic performances of its students.
New inductees of the College of Professional Studies Honor Society were also mentioned for both their outstanding achievements in academics, attaining a 3.5 or higher, and in volunteer service.
Clubs that were given awards were the Sports Management Club and Criminal Justice Association, both of the Staten Island and Queens Campuses, the Staten Islands Communication Arts Society and many other organizations.
“It’s truly an honor for me,” said Melanie Meditz of SJU’s TV Club, WRED, and winner of the Vincentian Spirit Award as recognition for her contribution to the television club. “But most of all I’d like to dedicate this to my club. To me the award goes to them because they helped make this all happen.”
To some, the acknowledgement of their achievements means just as much, if not more, than the ability to demonstrate their talents to others. However, the glow on the faces of the recipients of these prestigious awards did not even compare with those of their family and friends.