Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar Award

The Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar Award celebrates the top 1% of undergraduate students who are able to maintain a high standard of academic excellence while also giving back to their community through civic or volunteer work, conducting research, or being engaged in a co-op or work in their field of study. 


  1. Undergraduate students at RIT who maintained a minimum grade point average of 3.85 out of a possible 4.0.
  2. Completed 83 credit hours of study, more than two-thirds of the credit hours required for a baccalaureate degree.
  3. Students are also selected based on other factors complementing academic achievement, such as creative work, service on student committees, civic activities, employment, and independent research.

For additional information about this award, please visit RIT's Governance Library.

Nomination Process

RIT's Registrar sends a list of the students who meet the award criteria to a committee in each college and degree-granting unit. The committee reviews each nomination submission and selects the award recipients.

Awards Ceremony

Award recipients will be honored during a celebration on Thursday, March 18, 2021. The format of it is pending due to New York's COVID-19 guidelines.

More information about the ceremony

Information for Scholars

Congratulations on being named an Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar! You will be honored at a reception, award ceremony, and dinner, and you will be presented with a special medallion designed by the late Professor Hans Christensen of the School for American Crafts.

Scholars' biographical information is requested by January 6.

As part of your recognition, RIT honors former high school or community college teachers of our Outstanding Scholars. We encourage you to identify a high school or community college teacher whom you consider to be the exemplary. RIT will acknowledge the teacher you nominate with a certificate and will invite and cover travel expenses for those in the continental United States and Canada to join you at the recognition events.

Dinner invitation form and teacher nomination is requested by January 6. 

Important dates (deadlines for RSVP’s, dinner tickets, ceremony)

  • Deadline for submitting biographical content: January 6
  • Deadline for nominating a past high school or community college teacher: January 6
  • Deadline for approving biographical content for printed program: February 3 
  • RSVPs due for students, guests, and honored teachers: February 17
  • Deadline to modify guests: March 9

Information for Honored Teachers

Congratulations on being selected as an Honored Teacher at the RIT Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar Awards!

As part of the Scholars’ recognition, we have asked them to identify a high school or community college teacher whom they consider to be the “best” — a teacher they would like honored as a model for others. These teachers have had a profound influence on their career and have been an inspiration in their life. As one of the few selected for this honor, please accept our congratulations.

A reception, award ceremony, and dinner in honor of these Outstanding Undergraduate Scholars and their high school or community college teachers will be held on March 19, 2020.

You will have an opportunity to visit with your former student at the reception and you will be seated with them and their family and guests, at dinner. A certificate of appreciation and an acknowledgement from your Scholar will be presented during the dinner program.

Travel and Expenses
RIT will pay your airfare or mileage, along with associated tolls, within the United States or Canada, and one night’s lodging at the RIT Inn and Conference Center (including breakfast on Friday). RSVPs are accepted online for this event; you will receive a link via email from Academic Affairs at RIT. Should you have any questions, feel free to contact Dawn Murray at 585-475-5334.

Please record your expenses on the expense form and return it to Dawn Murray, along with original receipts and the W-9 form, for reimbursement. When we receive your expense form, we will process a reimbursement check and mail it to you at the address indicated on the form. The process usually takes 10-14 business days.

Flight and Hotel Information
If you require flight arrangements, please contact Tzell Travel at 1-800-842-0941. Please let the counselor know you are making flight arrangements for RIT’s Outstanding Undergraduate Awards. Your flight will be direct-billed to RIT. If you book your flight another way, RIT will reimburse you for the cost of the flight.

A room has been reserved for you at the RIT Inn and Conference Center, 5257 West Henrietta Road, W. Henrietta, NY, 14586 (585-359-1800) for the evening of March 19. As a reminder, the cost of the room will be billed directly to RIT. At check-in, you will receive a gift certificate to Petals Restaurant for breakfast on Friday morning. You will be responsible for any other incidental charges (i.e. room service, movies, etc.)

Shuttle Service
The RIT Inn and Conference Center provides shuttle service to and from the Greater Rochester International Airport. Please contact the Inn by phone when you arrive to request shuttle service. The Inn is 10 minutes from RIT and provides shuttle service to and from campus. Please inquire with staff at the Inn to reserve the shuttle for transportation to and from the event. Drop off and pick up should be at the Gordon Field House and Activities Center at the south end of D lot (map).

Information for Guests

We look forward to joining recognizing your student’s outstanding achievement at this event. RSVPs will be accepted until February 17.

Special accommodations
The FAQ section includes information on parking, directions, accessibility, and other topics.

Extra guests
Dinner is provided for each scholar, their honored teacher and up to three guests at no cost. Additional guest tickets are available for the dinner for $25. All guests who plan to attend the dinner must complete an RSVP; walk-ins cannot be accommodated at this invitation-only, catered event. Attendance at the reception and ceremony is open to the public and free of charge.

Submit payment online for additional guests.
Deadline for guest RSVPs is February 17, 2020.

Guest Ceremony and Reception Details (open to all)
On Thursday, March 19, 2020, a reception for the RIT Outstanding Undergraduate Scholars begins at 4:30 p.m. in the Gordon Field House and Activities Center. Your student will be required to check in at the Gordon Field House lower-level entrance to receive table assignments for dinner. Guests may proceed directly to the reception. The Scholars will be honored at an awards ceremony at 5:30 p.m.

Guest Dinner Details (invitation only)
Your student will be required to check in at the Gordon Field House lower-level entrance to receive table assignments for dinner. A catered dinner will be served following the ceremony; dinner choices do not need to be selected in advance. Please include any dietary restrictions with your event RSVP.

DF - Dairy free
GF - Gluten free
V - Vegetarian

If you have a nut allergy, please let us know. Desserts are prepared at an off-campus facility that contains/processes nuts. A substitute that is prepared on-campus will be offered.

If you have any dietary restrictions not mentioned above, please contact Dawn Murray.

Award Recipients

College of Art and Design 

Sophie Becker
Erica Boyd 
Janine Bushey
Anne Elliott*
Lily Garnaat
Shayna Ginster
Sam Kaplan
Yuke Liu
Ailene Lung*
Lauren Perttula
Trisha Pickelhaupt*
Catherine Rafferty*
Jennifer Schaffer*
Madison Schoenfeld
Anna Schum-Houck*

Saunders College of Business

Ansel Amanna*
Li Baisong**
Pamina Benčić**
Peter Bilzerian*
Sun Fan**
Jarod Farchione
Benjamin Frenett
Emily Gray
Daniel Keirsbilck*
Ivan Kolembus**
Vyshali Sanjeev**
Nikola Sladić**
Belma Sokolovic**
Andrew Voss*
Yuncong Wang**      
Adrianna Wellin
Zixiang Yin**

Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences

Ricardo Aguilera*
Alexander Amling*
Alex Atwater*
Robin Avenoso*
Charles Barber
Rachel Bogdany
Cody Burrows
Marko Čačić**
Barrington Campbell II*
Elizabeth Codick
Anthony DiCarlo
Joshua Ehling
Paul Galatic*
Owen Gruss
Luis Angel Gutierrez Galaviz
Michael Hurlbutt
Karthik Iyer
Anna Jacobsen
Domagoj Rade**
William Redmond
Andrew Searns*
Eric Sotack*
Justin Stein*
Paolo Stojic**
Emily Wu

Kate Gleason College of Engineering

Torie Adler*
Félix Chamberland
Allyssa Cio
Carly DeLeonardo
Connor Devitt*
Antonio Faraci
Elliott Gengo
Michael Guglielmo
Sarah Henretta*
Trevor Hess*
Matthew Millar*
Abbi Miller
Audrey Moore*
Carter Nesbitt
Shawn Nevers
Abigail Pfentner
Julie Provenzano*
Evan Purcell
Erin Reilly
Marla Roberts
Akarshan Satsangi**
Justin Silva*
Brooke Stanley
Adam Taylor*
Hannah Weppner*
Emily Zebrowski

College of Engineering Technology

Kelly Fellner
William Fisher
John Fitzpatrick
Madison Griebel
Kallie Hauser
Matthew Hofmeister
Allison McClain
Cole Overhoff
Sophia Pizzola
Steven Songer
Lucas VanDee
Jessica Visco*
Lucy Zhang

College of Health Sciences and Technology

Ashley Gleason*
Jessica Metelski*
Maria Morcos*
Courtney Richardson*
Abigail Snow*
Julia Wuest

School of Individualized Study

Ibrahim Jetullahu**
Ardian Kacaniku**
Edita Karavidaj**
Shkelqim Lloqanaj**
Melisa Uka**
Amanda Zeluff

College of Liberal Arts

Jessica Burt*
Camila Camps
Monica Conary
Brienna Johnson-Morris
Carolyn Kidder

National Technical Institute for the Deaf

Erin Binkley*
Kellie Mullaney*

College of Science

Alaa Abdelmageed Ahmed
Dylan Chase*
Julia Faraone
Zachary Gazzillo
Quinn Kolt*
Emily Mahoney*
Kenneth Shultes*
KayLee Steiner*

*Scholar is a member of the RIT Honors Program
**Scholar attends RIT China, RIT Croatia, RIT Kosovo, or RIT Dubai

Eric Amendola
Fairview High School
Fairview, PA

Peter Anderson
New Hartford Senior High School

New Hartford, NY

Daniel Anderson
Queensbury High School

Queensbury NY

Lynette Avery
Liverpool High School

Liverpool, NY

Daniel Aviv
The Leffell School

Hartsdale, NY

Frank Balantic
Daniel Hand High School

Madison, CT

Fabienne Barnard
Académie Saint-Louis

Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

Sean Bayha
Jackson Memorial High School

Jackson, NJ

Carlen Blackstone
Emmaus High School

Emmaus, PA

Shelley Bochicchio
Lockport High School

Lockport, NY

Dan Bowler
Benilde-St. Margaret’s High School

St. Louis Park, MN

Michael Brooke-Gay
Hilton Central High School

Hilton, NY

Anne Budd
Avon Ceneral School

Geneseo, NY

Kara Campbell
Lancaster High School

Lancaster, NY

Brian Carpenter
Laurel School

Shaker Heights, OH

Dan Clement
Somers High School

Somers, CT

Stacy Corio
Williamsville North High School

Williamsville, NY

Suzanne Covington
Clarence High School

Clarence, NY

Lavinia Curletta
Rochester Christian Co-op

Churchville, NY

Erin Degan
Bainbridge-Guilford Central School

Bainbridge, NY

Robert Del Russo
Daniel Hand High School

Madison, CT

Brian Dena
Orchard Park High School

Orchard Park, NY

Dave Denner
Victor High School

Victor, NY

Jason Deramo
Cardinal Spellman High School

Brockton, MA

Linda Dooley
River Bluff High School

Lexington, SC

Katherine Farry
Schalmont High School

Schenectady, NY

Katie Feulner
Manlius Pebble Hill

Syracuse, NY

Carl Fink
Greece Arcadia

Rochester, NY

Christine Freeman
University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI

Rick Geesaman
Northern High School

Dillsburg, PA

Eliel Gonzalez
East Longmeadow High School

East Longmeadow, MA

Joseph Haas
New Paltz High School

New Paltz, NY 

Krisanne Hailey
East Aurora High School

East Aurora, NY

Richard Hancock
Idaho Falls High School

Idaho Falls, ID

Jessica Hegedorn
Fairport High School

Fairport, NY

Mark Heichberger
Springville Griffith Institute

Springville, NY

Laura Hollis
Saddle River Day School

Saddle River, NJ

Paul Holloman
Rocky Mount High School

Rocky Mount, NC

Mercedes Ingenito
Randolph High School

Randolph, NJ

Susan Jacobsen
Holden, MA

Joseph Jourdain
Wachusett Regional High School

Holden, MA

Elise Jutzeler
Jamesville-Dewitt High School

Syracuse, NY

Lee Kaltman
DeWitt Middle School

Ithaca, NY

Sona Kapadia
Indian School Muscat

Muscat, Sultanate of Oman

Joelle Keats
North Allegheny Senior High School

Wexford, PA

Sean Kelly
Cazenovia High School

Cazenovia, NY

Sue Lewke Green
Williamsville East High School

East Amherst, NY

Patricia Mackey
Guilderland High School

Guilderland, NY

Michele McConnell
Liverpool High School

Liverpool, NY

Ryan McDowell
La Salle College High School

Wyndmoor, PA

Daniel McKeen
Solon High School

Solon, OH

Martin Miller
Rush Henrietta Senior High School

Henrietta, NY

Craig Mills
Rush-Henrietta Senior High School

Henrietta, NY

Michael Moguel
Greece Athena High School

Rochester, NY

Margret Montleon
Tottenville High School

Staten Island, NY

Michael Nardi
Lehman Alternative Community School

thaca, NY

Marilyn Nosky
Aquinas Institute of Rochester

Rochester, NY

Emily Novak
Lisle Senior High School

Lisle, IL

Benjamin O'Shea
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School

Burnt Hills, NY

Carolyn Petite
Chagrin Falls High School

Chagrin Falls, OH

Dan Petrich
Mt. Lebanon High School

Pittsburgh, PA

David Pihlblad
Pine Valley Central School

South Dayton, NY 

Julie Prokopchak
Harbor Creek High School

Harborcreek, PA

James Rowe
Kenmore West Senior High School

Buffalo, NY

Kyle Salisbury
Midlakes High School

Clifton Springs, NY

Shizuko Shimada
Shimada Japanese Academy

Mexico City, Mexico

Ted Simons
Clayton A. Bouton High School

Voorheesville, NY

Anthony Slata
Garnet Valley High School

Glen Mills, PA

Daniel Spacher
Red Jacket High School

Shortsville, NY

Kathryn Stewart
New Paltz High School

New Paltz, NY

Jared Streiff
Hilton High School

Hilton, NY 

Timothy Strohm
Churchville Chili High School

Churchville, NY

Mark Tasker
John Bapst Memorial High School

Bangor, ME

Lynn Tytka
St. Mary's High School

Lancaster, NY

Laura Van Niel
Finger Lakes Technical and Career Center

Stanley, NY

Charles Vandenberg
Fairport High School

Fairport, NY

Lilly Windle
Lincoln High School

Portland, OR

Christopher Wuest
Victor Central High School

Victor, NY

Pete Wyndorf
Milton High School

Milton, VT

Robert Zimmerman
Frontier High School

Hamburg, NY


Since 1976, RIT has honored the top 1% of students who are able to maintain a record of academic excellence while also giving back to their community through civic or volunteer work, conducting research, or being engaged in co-op or work in their field of study.

RIT is pleased to pay tribute to these undergraduates who have demonstrated devotion to excellence is an inspiration to the university community.

The bronze medallion awarded to RIT Scholars was designed by the late professor Hans Christensen, renowned silversmith and first holder of the Charlotte Fredericks Mowris Chair in Contemporary Crafts in the School for American Crafts. Professor Christensen was the youthful recipient of two medallions for excellence in silver design and execution from the King of Denmark. His memory of this special event in his own life became the genesis for RIT's bronze medallion.

Professor Christensen chose traditional symbols for wisdom and respect—the Athenian owl and the olive branch—as images for the medallion. Each student attending the ceremony receives their medallion from the President, who personally acknowledges their academic excellence.

Frequently Asked Questions

Home-schooled students may nominate a home-school educator, parent, or relative that has played an important role in their home school education. Please submit the name of your home school educator you’d like to honor and how you would like your home school name to appear in the program. You may also nominate a community college teacher.

This event is designed to honor high school and community college teachers who have influenced the Scholar and the Scholar’s career. There are other programs at RIT to recognize outstanding RIT faculty.

A certificate of appreciation and an acknowledgement from the Scholar will be presented during the dinner program.

RIT's president and provost will recognize this year's scholars during a celebration on Thursday, March 18, 2021. The format is pending due to New York State's COVID-19 guidelines. If the ceremony is held in-person, additional information for RIT's scholars and their guests is below. 

Most students elect to wear business or business casual attire to this event (such as you would wear to an interview or nice restaurant.) Please do not feel obligated to purchase new clothing for this event.

Academic regalia is not required for faculty. Most faculty elect to wear business or business casual attire to this event.

The ceremony is American Sign Language interpreted. The Gordon Field House and Activities Center is equipped with an FM hearing assistance system. Receivers will be available at the ticket office in the main lobby.

Service dogs are the only animals permitted inside of the venue.

Smoking, including e-cigarettes, is not permitted in any of RIT’s facilities. Smoking is permitted on campus in the following areas: 

  • Eastside of Lyndon B. Johnson Hall
  • Outside Nathaniel Rochester Hall
  • Northeast of entrance to Gene Polisseni Center
  • East side of S Lot
  • East of Greek housing
  • South of Golisano Hall

Floor seating is reserved for scholars and faculty; guest seating is available in the bleachers. Please contact Dawn Murray if you or a family member require special accommodations for wheelchairs or walkers.

Parking for students, guests and honored teachers is available in D Lot, northeast of the Gordon Field House. Disabled parking is available for those with a permit.

Students, guests, and honored teachers should plan to arrive by 4:30 p.m. in order to participate in the pre-ceremony reception. Students and honored teachers must check in at the lower level entrance of the Gordon Field House. For those attending the ceremony only, plan to arrive no later than 5:15 (check-in for ceremony guests is not required).

Students, guests, and honored teachers should check in at the lower level of the Gordon Field House to receive table information (for those invited to dinner) and instructions for guests.

Scholars are provided three guests at no charge. For more information, please see the Information for Guests section.

People without an RIT username can connect to the "RIT-Guest" wireless network. Open a Web browser and follow the on-screen prompts to get Internet access. Guests must have a phone number capable of receiving text messages in order to register (carrier text message rates may apply). RIT guest access prohibits access to some internal RIT network resources. Students, employees, and others with RIT computer accounts should continue to use the encrypted RIT wireless network. If you have any questions about guest wireless at RIT, please contact the ITS Service Desk at or 585-475-4357.

Walking up to a quarter mile may be required between buildings and parking lots for this event. Please wear comfortable shoes. 


Dawn Murray, Senior Staff Specialist, Office of the Provost, 585-475-5334, dlwdfp@rit.edu