"The Tommies: A Leadership Recognition Ceremony" was held Thursday in James B. Woulfe Alumni Hall at the Anderson Student Center. The annual celebration of the St. Thomas community recognizes student leadership on campus and the significant contributions made by students, staff and faculty.
During the luncheon, Student Leadership Scholarship Awards were presented to 18 undergraduates who’ve demonstrated leadership while working with University of St. Thomas students, alumni and community members.
Vern Klobassa, co-chair of the Student Leadership scholarship selection committee, said the Student Leadership Scholarship Awards were created as a way to identify and award scholarship aid to students who excel in, and are committed to, leadership, community service and the St. Thomas mission.
To be considered for a scholarship, students who will be graduating in the next academic year were asked to write a short essay discussing how the mission of St. Thomas resonates with them personally and what inspires them to be good leaders.
This year’s recipients include:
Bisrat Bayou, from Minnetonka, is majoring in neuroscience and minoring in public health. He has been an active member of the Black Empowerment Student Alliance, African Nations Student Association, Summit Singers, Liturgical Choir, Concert Choir and Chamber Singers. He has served as an Ireland Hall resident advisor, orientation leader, Student Diversity and Inclusion Services Linkages mentor and was recently elected to serve as president of the 2018-19 Undergraduate Student Government.
Ashley Borland, from Maple Grove, is a neuroscience major. Her campus involvement includes serving as a resident advisor in Dowling Hall, a neuroscience summer research assistant, executive board member of the Neuroscience Club, and a member of the Pre-Health Professions Club, Festival Choir, Aquinas Scholars, Delta Epsilon Sigma and Omicron Delta Kappa.
Sadie Buckel, from Hammond, Wisconsin, is an international business-Spanish intensive major. She has been involved on campus as a Tommie ambassador, junior class president, Board of Trustees student liaison, and a member of Delta Epsilon Sigma, Phi Theta, Pre-Law Society, Student Alumni Council and a Spanish convo hour leader.
Sunita Dharod, from Eagan, is majoring in justice and peace studies and minoring in American culture and difference. She has been involved on campus as a VISION leader, Students for Justice and Peace Club coordinator, Diversity Activities Board marketing chair, Food Justice Club vice president, and a member of Asian Students in America, Black Empowerment Student Alliance and Desi South Asian Club.
Jamie Gruber, from Clear Lake, is majoring in accounting and minoring in sustainability. She is a member of the Accounting Club, Sustainability Club and the Opus College of Business’ Gibney Student Board. She is an honorary member of Net Impact at the University of Minnesota.
Abigail Heller, from Southington, Conn., is a neuroscience major. Abigail’s campus involvement includes serving as a resident advisor in Dowling Hall, secretary of the Neuroscience Club, undergraduate representative to the Luann Dummer Center for Women Advisory Board and the Culture of Respect Taskforce and a recognized leader in the National Residence Hall Honorary. She recently received the Sister Pat Kowalski Women’s Leadership Award presented by the University Advocates for Women and Equity.
Brianna Herdering, from Freeport, is majoring in entrepreneurship. Herdering’s campus involvement includes serving as president of the Entrepreneurship Society and volunteer and site coordinator for Volunteers in Action. She is active in VISION, Delta Sigma Pi and the Wellness Center.
Michelle Hirani, from Apple Valley, is majoring in accounting. She has been involved on campus as a commuter mentor, executive assistant for the Accounting Club and a member of Asian Students in America. Hirani is also an active volunteer in the community in the area of early childhood/elementary education.
Fatoumata Jaiteh, from Hopkins, is majoring in biology of global health. She is involved on campus as the off-campus student representative for the Undergraduate Student Government, secretary of the Muslim Student Association and undergraduate representative on the Commencement Speaker Committee. She also founded the nonprofit organization From Mother to You to help provide necessary supplies to mothers and their newborns in The Gambia, West Africa.
Lydia Lockwood, from Bloomington, is majoring in communication and journalism and pursuing a minor in our Renaissance Program. She is involved in the Entrepreneurship Society, Cru, St. Paul’s Outreach, Omicron Delta Kappa and Lambda Pi Eta. Lydia is an Aquinas Honors Scholar and tutors at St. Mark’s Catholic School.
Margaret Miller, from De Pere, Wisconsin, is majoring in exercise science and minoring in chemistry. Miller’s campus involvement includes serving as president of the Health and Human Performance Club, mentor for the Pre-Health Professions Club, intramural athletics participant and a member of the Pre-Dental Club. She is active community volunteer, doing volunteer work with the Hope Dental Clinic, Special Olympics and Syble Hopp School for children with cognitive and physical disabilities.
Katherine Nickoloff, from North Oaks, is majoring in psychology and minoring in justice and peace studies. She is involved as an apartment coordinator in Residence Life, a member of Psi Chi Honor Society and Delta Epsilon Sigma National Scholastic Honor Society. She recently presented her independent undergraduate research for the psychology department at the Midwestern Psychological Association Conference in Chicago.
Sylvester Nwosuji, from Columbia Heights, is majoring in neuroscience and minoring in mathematics. Nwosuji’s involvement includes serving as an international orientation leader, REAL Program participant and adviser, Student Diversity and Inclusion Services Linkages mentee, mentor, and intern, and Tommie ambassador. Nwosuji is a member of the Anti-Racism Coalition, Students of Color: Claim our Seats, Black Empowerment Student Alliance, African National Student Association, Neuroscience Club, Catholic Medical Association, Society of Hispanic Engineers and the soccer and track teams.
Mark Schuweiler, from West St. Paul, is double majoring in biochemistry and general business management. Schuweiler’s campus involvement includes serving as chair of Advertising for the Undergraduate Business Council, Treasurer of the Pre-Health Professions Club and member of Aquinas Scholars and the UST Wind Ensemble. Schuweiler is a biology research assistant and participated in the Mayo Innovation Scholars Program. He volunteers at Regions Hospital and the Science Museum of Minnesota.
Nicholas Simek, from Warsaw, is double majoring in political science and philosophy and minoring in legal studies. He is involved on campus as president of Pi Sigma Alpha, marketing chair of the Pre-Law Society, a member of Mock Trial, the Foreign Affairs Club, Delta Epsilon Sigma, a Model UN participant and has served as an orientation leader and Welcome Days leader. He has volunteered with St. Jude’s Up ‘til Dawn and Open Arms of Minnesota.
Tim Trautman, from Darwin, is majoring in accounting. Tim has been involved on campus with the Accounting Club, as a STAR intern, Homecoming Week planner and on the St. Thomas Day of Service volunteer board. He has participated in the PricewaterhouseCoopers case competition and leadership program.
Eshan Varma, from Eagan, is majoring in general business management and minoring in economics. Varma has been involved on campus in Men’s Tennis, College Democrats, Tommie Catholic and the Theology Club.
Michelle Wise, from Coralville, Iowa, is majoring in operations and supply chain management. Wise has been involved on campus as a Business LLC resident advisor, cross country and track and field athlete, Aquinas Scholars Exec Board member, co-president of St(art) Club, a liturgical minister-cantor and a member of Delta Epsilon Sigma. She also participated in a J-Term VISION trip to Thailand.