Before a spirited crowd of family and friends, Vaughn College paid tribute to its best and brightest Wednesday (May 11) at its annual Honors Convocation Ceremony in the main lobby.

Awards were presented to more than 60 students, including the Board of Trustees Award to senior Jessenia Diaz; Fiorello LaGuardia Awards to graduate students Aleksandra Drys, Timothy MacBryde and Marco Devarez; and the Bessie Coleman Award to Vandita Banka. The awards all recognize academic achievement and service to the Vaughn community.

“This is one of the great days we celebrate here at Vaughn, so welcome,” College President Dr. John Fitzpatrick said. “We’re counting on you to become the leaders of the next generation.”

The annual convocation ceremony recognizes not only academic achievement but those students who, through service to the community, demonstrate the civic values the College espouses. Service Awards, for example, were presented to eight graduating students whose work in club activities helped to foster an engaging spirit on campus. Leadership Academy cords were given to seven students who completed Vaughn’s Leadership Academy in preparation for their post-college careers. Cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude students were recognized with honor cords to be worn at commencement May 21.

Founders Awards were presented to more than a dozen high-performing students from associate degree programs and Casey S. Jones Awards recognized bachelor of science students with similar accomplishments.

After welcome remarks from President Fitzpatrick and Senior Vice President Dr. Sharon DeVivo, the ceremony continued with an address from guest speaker LaGuardia Airport General Manager Thomas L. Bosco, who reminded students that next week’s commencement is not an end but a beginning.

“With the opportunities you’ve received at Vaughn you’ll be well-positioned to succeed,” Bosco said.

Diaz followed with similar words of encouragement for her fellow students, telling them that “our journey does not end here with graduation.”

Brian Linhares, winner of The Asch-Root Engines of Invention Scholarship, said yesterday’s event represented an opportunity to celebrate Vaughn and the opportunities it offers. “This event prove that hard work pays off,” Linhares said.

A special thank-you was reserved for College board member Elaine Asch-Root, who donated copies of life coach Kenneth Jedding’s book “Higher Education: On Life, Landing a Job, and Everything Else They Didn’t Teach You in College” to students recognized Wednesday.

A complete list of award winners can be accessed here.

Bosco    Jessenia

VAUGHN COLLEGE HONORS CONVOCATION: Clockwise from top left, speaker Thomas L. Bosco counsels honors students on what they can expect from life after college; Jessenia Diaz receives the Board of Trustees Award from President Dr. John Fitzpatrick; electronic engineering technology student Vandita Banka accepts her Casey S. Jones Award from Engineering and Technology Department Chair Dr. Hossein Rahemi; and Brian Linhares receives The Asch-Root Engines of Invention Award from College board member Elaine Asch-Root.

Brian_Linhares    Banka