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UConn Advance

Ceremony to honor best students
By Bonnie Graber
April 11, 1997

The Honors Program will host its fourth annual Scholars Day ceremony at 4 p.m. April 15 in Jorgensen Auditorium.

"Our intention is to recognize the undergraduate students who have done particularly well during the last spring and fall semesters," said Patricia Szarek, assistant director of the Honors Program.

"These awards are different from others because we only considered two consecutive semesters' grade-point averages. So if students do not do well from one or two semesters, they still have a chance to improve and be recognized."

Undergraduate students from all of the University's campuses are considered. Those who will be recognized: University Scholars, 30 students chosen to pursue accelerated and nontraditional programs of study; Babbidge Scholars, students who have achieved a 4.0 grade-point average for two consecutive semesters; and New England Scholars, those who have maintained at least a 3.5 grade-point average for the two semesters.

The four Teaching Fellows for 1996-97 also will be recognized: Derek Allinson, professor of agronomy; Jean Givens, professor of art; Sandra Rigazio-DiGilio, associate professor of human development and family relations; and Linda Strasbaugh, associate professor of molecular and cell biology.

The four faculty members were selected by the Institute for Teaching and Learning based on instructional excellence and dedication to teaching.

Students said they're looking forward to the ceremony.

"It's important to encourage scholastic achievement. That's the main reason we're all here," said Kristen Sandstrom, a sixth semester psychology major who will be receiving a Babbidge Scholar Award and is the student representative and closing speaker for the Honors Program. "It takes a lot of personal drive to be a scholar. You have to know what you want out of your school and enjoy what you're learning."

But Sandstrom said it's not all about academics.

"You have to balance academics with other activities. That's part of being a scholar, too," she said. Sandstrom is involved in the UConn Poetry Society and the Willington Mentors Program through UConn's Community Outreach Program.

Some students feel that being a scholar and Scholars Day is more than just getting recognition.

"The main thing is being dedicated to learning, not just getting the grade," said William McQuillan, an eighth-semester English major receiving a Babbidge Scholar Award. "It's great that the college recognizes our achievements, but I really did it for myself."

A reception for the scholars will begin at 3 p.m., with the ceremony set to begin at 4. All scholars will be presented with an award. The Teaching Fellows will receive a medal.

University Scholars will receive Cross pens with the University seal and "University Scholar" engraved on the side.

Babbidge Scholars will receive a book they selected from a list of five books published by UConn faculty, and New England Scholars will receive a certificate.

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