Top Awards for Graduates Presented at Virtual Ceremony

By | September 8, 2020
Jennifer Panepento, ABA Academic Excellence Award

ABA Academic Excellence Award recipient Jennifer Panepento

The outstanding achievements of graduates in the Daemen College Class of 2020 were recognized at the annual Excellence Awards Ceremony held virtually on Aug. 14 as part of the college’s commencement activities.

“Although this year we were unable to celebrate these exceptional students in person, I’m pleased we had the opportunity to commemorate their achievements in this virtual ceremony,” said Daemen President Gary Olson. “This ceremony is a time to honor our graduates and to say farewell to the members of the Class of 2020 who have earned great distinction at Daemen and who have added so much to our college community.”

Departmental award winners for 2020 are:

President Gary Olson standing behind a podium in the RIC with American and Canadian flags on the side

President Gary Olson

Accounting and Business Administration

  • Rebecca Chilelli of Lancaster – Paralegal Graduate of the Year
  • Joey Keem of Amherst – Outstanding Graduate Accounting Award
  • Jessica Kranz of Amherst – Outstanding Business Award
  • Sydney MacInnis of Renton, Wash. – Charlie Sabatino Sport Management Graduate of the Year
  • Michael Szmania of West Seneca – Outstanding Accounting Award 

Applied Behavior Analysis

  • Sean Lehane of Malta – Student Research Dissemination Award and Academic Excellence Award
  • Jennifer Panepento of Williamsville – Academic Excellence Award
  • Jessica Wess of Williamsville – Student Experimental Research Award

Athletic Training

  • Kristen Schlabach of Killeen, Texas – Sue Rocque Award
  • Audrey Yokopovich of Webster – Clinical Excellence Award 


  • Julianna Moffitt of Mission Viejo, Calif. – Undergraduate Excellence in Education Award


  • Travis Starzynski of Cheektowaga – Katherine A. Sullivan Award for Adolescent Education


  • Roger “Greg” Hester of Buffalo – Excellence in Entrepreneurism

Global and Local Sustainability

  • Peter Bellanca of West Seneca – Outstanding Graduate in Global and Local Sustainability
  • Christopher Reed of Lockport – Outstanding Senior Project in Sustainability

Health Promotion

  • Fabian Wilde of Crimmitschau, Germany – Student of Distinction Award

History and Political Science

  • Alec Karcher of Lancaster – Department Valedictorian
  • Louis LiVecchi of West Seneca – Best History Thesis
  • Cale Silvestri of Elma – Best Political Science Thesis 

Master of Public Health

  • Miller Barmasse of Tonawanda – Master of Public Health Academic Achievement Award
  • Lucy Connery of Homer – Master of Public Health Leadership Award
  • Rachel Roberson of Tonawanda – Master of Public Health Ambassador Award

Modern Languages

  • Mary Ellen Crawley of Buffalo – Capstone Project Award
  • Shania LiVecchi of West Seneca – Senior Award

Natural Sciences

  • Amy Haines of Butler, Pa.— Outstanding Student Award
  • Cassandra Mayle of Williamsville – Outstanding Student Award
  • Paige Ringo of Cheektowaga – Outstanding Research Award


  • Julie Morton of Ashville – Outstanding Nurse Leader Award
  • Emily Radford of Holley – Emerging Nurse Leader Award
  • Jill Stein of Pendleton – Excellence in Advanced Nursing Practice Award

Physical Therapy

  • Keith Feind of Buffalo – Physical Therapy Department Faculty Recognition Award
  • Michael Mauro of Victor – New York Physical Therapy Association Student Participation Award
  • Kara Ransbury of Orchard Park – Richard Schweichler Award for Academic Excellence

Physician Assistant

  • Brittany Cushman of New Hartford – Research Award
  • Matthew Daley of Rochester – Faculty Award and Research Award
  • Anthony DellaValle of Tonawanda – Clinical Student of the Year and Research Award
  • Mikayla Gowett of Mechanicville – Research Award
  • Alina Juskiewicz of Webster – Physician Assistant Student Society Award
  • Hannah Koteras of Cheektowaga – Excellence in Graduate Anatomy Award
  • Janelle Lauciello of Tonawanda – Chair’s Award for Academic Excellence
  • Wayne Leblanc of Lockport – Research Award
  • Emily Ludwig of Fredonia – Humanitarian Award
  • Christine Oliveri of North Tonawanda – Research Award

Psychological Sciences

  • Mary Ellen Crawley of Buffalo – Outstanding Senior Thesis Award
  • Dung Dinh of Buffalo – Outstanding Departmental Leadership Award
  • Leah May of Alden – Outstanding Academic Achievement Award
  • Brian Morreale of Williamsville – Outstanding Academic Achievement Award

Social Work and Sociology

  • Julianna Everdyke of Lyons – Outstanding Student in Field Education (MSW)
  • Ayrell Nailor of Buffalo – Outstanding Student Award (MSW)
  • Celeste Rodriguez of Buffalo – Outstanding Senior in Field Internship
  • Madelynn Turano of Little Valley – Outstanding Senior Award

Visual and Performing Arts

  • Jack Gatto of Lewiston – Studio Achievement in Animation (“Sweatbox Award”)
  • Emily Goldenberg of Vestal – Studio Achievement in Animation (“Sweatbox Award”)

Recipients of top campus-wide award recipients include:

  • Emily Kreutter of Elba – Alumni Senior Award, which recognizes an undergraduate student who has demonstrated exceptional dedication to the larger community. She earned a bachelor’s degree in art education.
  • Jamie Boyar of Williamsville – Mary Angela Canavan Award, which recognizes an undergraduate student who has made significant contributions to the betterment of student life at the college. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business marketing.
  • Madeleine Ruger of Hamburg – André Hannotte Award, which recognizes a student who has submitted outstanding thesis work in their discipline for excellence in writing. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history.
  • Andrew Sischo of Schenectady – President’s Award, which recognizes an undergraduate student who has enhanced the Daemen community through a record of extraordinary accomplishment in such areas as scholarship, student life, and community life. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business sports management.
  • Daemen College Tradition Keeper Medal – Madalyn Bufalino of Lockport and Emily Kreutter of Elba.