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ASU Alumni Association kicks off school year with Medallion Scholarship banquet


Doug Owczarczak, Director of Student Relations at the ASU Alumni Association, leading the virtual Medallion Scholarship Banquet.

The ASU Alumni Association held a virtual Medallion Scholarship banquet on Wednesday, Sept. 2.

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September 08, 2020

The Medallion Scholarship program is one of the ASU Alumni Association’s signature scholarship initiatives. More than a financial award, the comprehensive program recognizes and develops a tradition of leadership, scholarship and service throughout the span of the students’ academic careers.

On Wednesday, Sept. 2, the ASU Alumni Association held a virtual banquet to welcome the newest cohort of 38 freshmen into the Medallion Scholarship family of 130 undergraduate students of all academic levels. The virtual event also celebrated the 22 seniors who graduated in May.

“This year, we received 425 applications for the Medallion Scholarship program from Arizona-based students who received the Dean’s Scholarship,” said Christine K. Wilkinson, president and CEO of the ASU Alumni Association. “More than 200 ASU alumni from around the world served as scholarship reviewers to help select this year’s freshman cohort. The Alumni Association looks forward to working with these newest scholarship students as they pursue their academic careers, and continuing to engage with our newest Sun Devil alumni.”

After viewing a compilation video of each freshman introducing themselves in unique ways, Chris Hill, chair of the ASU Alumni Association board of directors and national alumni council, recognized and officially introduced each of the new cohort members.

As the banquet was held virtually, the freshmen were sent their medallions prior to the event and the association asked them to have a friend or family member assist with the induction. In their place on stage, the Alumni Association placed the medallion around the neck of ASU’s mascot, Sparky, to signify the induction of the 38 new scholars.

During the banquet, the association awarded three Medallion students for going above and beyond the requirements of the program.

The Scholarship Award, given to the junior or senior with the highest cumulative GPA, was presented to Pnina Rokhlin. Over the course of her four years at ASU, Rokhlin maintained a GPA over a 4.0 while double majoring in biological sciences with an emphasis in neurobiology, physiology and behavior, and family and human development.

The second award was given to the scholar who has excelled as a leader within the program. This year’s Leadership Award was presented to Alyssa Tarpley, who has served on the Medallion Scholarship program’s council since she was a freshman, and consistently develops new ways to help engage her peers from service projects to social events.

The last award presented was the Service Award. This year’s Service Award was presented to John Gebara, who performed 505 hours of community service during the 2019–2020 school year. Each of the scholars must complete at least four hours of community service a semester, and as an organization, the Medallion Scholarship students completed 1,500 service hours this past academic year.

Learn more about the ASU Alumni Association Medallion Scholarship or become a donor.

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