SASN Dean Jacqueline Mattis
Toggle caption Photo by Fred Stucker

Celebrating Student Achievements in the Arts & Sciences

On May 3, 2022, outstanding Rutgers University-Newark students were honored at the School of Arts & Sciences-Newark (SASN) Annual Awards Banquet surrounded by their professors, mentors, and peers.  It was the first time the ceremony has occurred in person since 2019. 

Every year, the Office of Academic Services (OAS) works together with the Office of the Dean and the academic departments across SASN to present awards to a select group of students, mostly seniors, for going above and beyond in their chosen areas of study. The awards are a combination of scholarships, monetary awards and plaques or certificates.

Sofia Pinto-Figueroa, Dean of Academic Services, looks forward to the event each year and was happy to be back in person after so long.

“The SASN Annual Awards Banquet is an opportunity to celebrate and honor our undergraduate scholars," she said. "It’s a very exciting time to come together as a community with family, friends, faculty, staff and students all celebrating this amazing accomplishment that they’ve worked very hard to attain, which is their degree, and while doing so they’re being honored for their excellence in their field or in their specific area."

She added, "This event is a tradition at the university, and as well all know, one that we had to move to a virtual space for the last two years.  However, we are excited to be back in person and to celebrate our exceptional students in the Campus Center this year.  We appreciate everyone that was able to attend, including Chancellor Cantor, Executive Vice Chancellor Butterfield, Vice Chancellor Gunkel, all of the SASN faculty, staff, and students, and our incredible keynote speaker, Dean Jacqueline Mattis."

View Photos from the event [Facebook]

The event was livestreamed on YouTube for family and friends who could not attend and is available to watch in full below. 


Earlier that same afternoon, 43 students were inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society, which recognizes and honors exceptional academic achievement in the arts and sciences. 

The full list of 2022 awards and recipients are as follows:

Academic Foundations (EOF)
Community Service Award - EOF Habiba Rao
African American and African Studies
Department Recognition Award Keisha Brewer, Annette Coleman, Landon Gaines, Issiah Harris, Marietta Hutchinson
Wendell A. Jean-Pierre Award of Excellence Jamisha Montague
Merit Award Lakeemah Adams
Arts, Culture and Media
Creative Achievement in Fine Arts Yasmine Bacon
Creative Achievement in Graphic Design Yasmine Bacon, Joanna Januszkiewicz, James Negri, Bianca Pereira
Creative Achievement in Video Production Award Bilal Meshanni
Journalism Excellence Award Bilal Meshanni, Karoline Gonzalez Sanchez
Theatre Excellence Award Janelle Castellano
Music Excellence Award Angelica Dematas
Biological Sciences
Bessie Dolgan Memorial Award Abigail Isaac
Biological Sciences Award - Excellence in Scholarship Richard Cristobal, Donna Garandouka, Diana Ibrahim, Christopher Leonardo, Temiloluwa Owolabi
Biological Sciences Award - Health Professions Career Award Akshay Warrier
Biological Sciences Award for Excellence in Research Yohana da Silva
John Keosian Award Karen Zuluaga
General Chemistry Teaching Award Brianna Morgan
Harold A. Fales Memorial Award Mya Serrano
Hugh W.Thompson Memorial Award Mickhaila James
R. Ian Fryer Memorial Award Nicholas Verdiramo
Dean's Office
CARR Academic Scholars Morgan Brevard, Gabriela Encarnacion, Jonathan Estfanous, Abigail Isaac, Katarina Martillo, Bianca Pereira, Mya Serrano, Akshay Warrier
Charles Pine Memorial Fund Award Maximillian Mrozek-McCourt
School of Arts and Sciences-Newark Dean's Award Abigail Isaac, Akshay Warrier
John Faulstich NCAS Alumni Award Michaela Skelley
Richard Robey Memorial Award Molly Stevens
Earth & Environmental Sciences
Herbert P. Woodward Memorial Fund Karen Zuluaga
Morris H. Beck Student Achievement Award Alexander Stine, Rei Vaka
Certificate of Excellence Jenny Sejmenovic, Claudia Perez, Caroline Vasquez
Louis R. Zocca NCAS English Prize Sarah Horne
David Diorio Memorial Award Beshouy Bouchra, Mercedes Pastrana
Madison C. Bates Memorial Prize Ashley Darkwa-Anto
David Robert Friedlander Memorial Award Serene Hozien, Daniel McKay, Maryam Yasin
Edward H. Zabriski Memorial Fund Award Molly Stevens, Megan Tomaselli
Sydney Zebel Award - NCAS History Mahnoor Shaikh, Randy Vargas
Math and Computer Science
Computer Science Award Xavier Abreu Cedeno
Ingrida Soldatova Award for Women in Mathematics Qiaofei Liu
Samuel Greitzer Math Award Joshua Turk
Office of Academic Services
Cassie Edward Miller Award Cassandra Botnick
Dean Norman C. Miller Award Emily Carolan
Dean of Academic Services Award Ana K. Guzman Quiroz
Tau Sigma National Honor Society Peter A. Espinoza
Yolande Rubianes Memorial Award Nelson Reyes
Charles I. Biederman Award Maram Tai-Elkarim
Betty Skuse Thompson Prize in Physics Thomas Kaldawi
Political Science
Benjamin M. Weissman Memorial Scholarship Yousuf Ahmad
Heinz Seelbach Award Diana Garay, Samantha Sanchez
Joel Girgus Memorial Award Emily Carolan, Ashley Feola, Angel Hazim, Kaylen Lane, Sarra Nasim, Bryan Nolan
Lillian Robbins Memorial Award Samantha Novack, Dayanara Sanchez
Lourdes Casal Memorial Award Ivette Castillo
Social Work
Academic Excellence and Leadership Claudia Hawse
Academic Excellence in Social Work Favour Izuchukwu
Dean James Plummer Award Sarah Betros
Dr. Phylis J. Peterman Book Award Lauren Kahn
Excellence in Field Practice Award Sheina Rivera
Sociology and Anthropology
Jay Rumney Memorial Award Erika Martinez
Joannie L. Huberman Memorial Award Caroline Vasquez
Spanish and Portuguese Studies
Academic Excellence in Portuguese and Lusophone World Studies Samantha Branco
Israel S. Stamm Memorial Prize Fund Laura Jimenez, Edward Veloso
Outstanding Achievement in Spanish and Hispanic Civlization Carlos Rubio Arenas
Urban Education
Outstanding Urban Teacher Candidate Secondary Education Emily Vu
Women's and Gender Studies
Beth Niemi Award for Excellence in Women's and Gender Studies Jubilee Rexach
Dean James Credle Award Sarah Shobut


The 2022 Phi Beta Kappa Initiates were Kassidy Beauzil, Emely Betancourt, Giovanna Berr Bialoglowka, Nyah Campos, Priscila Cruz, Millie Doshi, Maria Basem Elsaker, Williem Christian Encarnacion, Mike W. George, Diana Grass, Martena Kamal Hana, Mhana Russel Harfouche, Sarah Elisabeth Horne, Serene Nidal Hozien, Adebisi Adedayo Ibitoye, Diana Ibrahim, Ifeanyi Spencer Ike, Laila Camille Jones, Lovena Joseph, Julia Bianca Andres Joson, Jose Liriano, Jr., Mariam Lopez, James Mendoza, Thomas Ayman Moussa, Jeremy Nifras, Ali Usama Omar, Ivana Ordonez, Simone Sandra Oropeza, Kissarne Averill Pang, Josie Zoe Pearlman, Daniel Reardon, Irmis Sabani, Samantha Sanchez, Dayanara Sanchez, Arthur G. Searle, Jenny Alexandra Sejmenovic, Ami Shah, Michaela Skelley, Maram Tai-Elkarim, Saint-Anne Thompson-Quartey, Brenda Alexandra Velarde, Niveen Wadi, and Shayaka Shakeria Wilson.