The ambience was warm and bright under the lights of the Gold Dome on Arizona State University's Tempe campus as outstanding students and alums were celebrated for their achievements at the seventh annual Barrett, The Honors College Gold Standard Awards ceremony on April 6.
Barrett Dean Tara Williams said the occasion was a chance for the honors community to come together to highlight “the incredible achievements” of Barrett students and alumni, adding that more than 200 students had been nominated for awards in 10 categories.
The event takes its name from a 2015 New York Times column by Frank Bruni in which he called Barrett “the gold standard” among honors colleges in the nation, said Barrett Vice Dean Kristen Hermann.
Hermann said more significance was lent to the evening by the event’s setting under a historic gold geodesic dome designed by R. Buckminster Fuller, a renowned architect, systems theorist, writer, designer, inventor, philosopher and futurist. The Gold Dome, as it’s commonly called, sat atop a bank building on the northwest corner of Rural Road and Apache Boulevard for many years before it was moved to its current location to make way for the development of the Barrett complex.
Here are the winners of this year’s Gold Standard Awards. Information was taken from submitted nominations.
Community Service Award: Selena Morse and Marybeth Bonner
Morse, a freshman, moved to Tempe in August after living in Shanghai, China, since 2009. She has been involved in the Next Generation Service Corps (NGSC) program as a member of both the Innovation Committee and the Environmental Sustainability Mission Team.
Working with the Innovation Committee, she created a database of organizations and contact information, which has helped to encourage collaboration between the NGSC and other ASU student organizations. She has helped to advance the efforts of student groups to educate ASU students on global issues and work together to devise solutions.
Since her freshman year, Bonner has been involved in ASU RISE, a volunteer organization in which ASU students tutor and mentor refugee students to help them transition to school and life in the U.S. and help them excel in their educational studies.
She has served the organization as director of outreach, director of operations and executive director. Bonner is also a Tillman Scholar and was the lead student for the Community Action Committee.
Emerging Leader Award: Bushra Karim and Naina Misra
Karim has worked as an ASU Sync LEAD instructional assistant, a new role to accommodate remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In her sophomore year, she became a founder and vice president of service for the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity. She organizes at least two service events and projects every month in addition to other fraternity duties. Currently a junior, she is the vice president of outreach for Women in Computer Science.
She said she believes in leadership through inclusion, so she focuses on roles and programs where she can work with diverse populations and impact their lives positively through community service, education and inclusion.
Misra is a second-year biomedical engineering and premedical student.
She serves as the 2022–23 secretary for the ASU Biomedical Engineering Society and a mentor for first-year students. In addition, she is a member of the Health Occupations Students of America and the American Medical Women’s Association.
Through these experiences, she has demonstrated sincerity, empathy and leadership by speaking personally to members, providing guidance and support, and helping others feel included within the organization.
Community Builder Award: Lucas Barduson and Mallory Moss
Barduson is president of Next Level Devils and a Space@ASU Ambassador. He is working to build the Space Coalition, which joins all of the space-related student organizations at ASU in a network for collaboration, socialization and access to opportunities.
As an ambassador, he has represented ASU’s space endeavors to leaders at top institutions, including NASA, SpaceX, Blue Origin, MIT, Stanford and Oxford.
Moss served as a teaching assistant in the Human Event, a Barrett signature course for first-year students.
She guided students in the course to think critically and write effective essays. She was approachable out of class and helped students develop as scholars and members of the Barrett community.
Innovation Award: Rafael Ortiz III and Benjamin Hall
Ortiz is a third-year astrophysics student who began his leadership and involvement in Barrett during his sophomore year when he was a teaching assistant in Professor Stephanie DeLuse's Human Event sections.
Ortiz went on to become a Barrett senator in the Undergraduate Student Government on the Tempe campus. Ortiz has fostered relationships and consistently engaged with his Barrett peers through a variety of organizations. He exemplifies innovation because of his extensive leadership within Barrett, his interdisciplinary approach to on-campus involvement and his eagerness to translate his passion for academics into tangible results.
Hall has been a leader in the Barrett community since his freshman year at ASU. He was an Honors Devils tour guide for four years, helping to raise interest in an honors experience for prospective students. He is now co-president of Honors Devils.
He also served on the Business School Council as the vice president of activities and organized philanthropic and social events for the W. P. Carey School of Business community. He mentors incoming business students as a McCord Scholar.
Community Involvement Award: Eric Do and Sebastian Esquerra
Do is a member of the Barrett Leadership and Service Team, which aims to provide service opportunities and leadership and professional development opportunities for students. He served as vice president and head of the Events Team Committee, which assists with Barrett events such as Family Weekend and convocation.
He is on the executive board of Pitchfork Pantry and serves as the organization’s volunteer coordinator.
Esquerra works at CCAP Across the Map, a nonprofit creating educational content about HPV awareness and prevention. He helped identify new procedures for HPV awareness and safety for transgender individuals.
He works in the organization's Mexico initiative helping to provide educational resources on HPV for middle school students. Last summer, he volunteered at a women's center in his hometown of Tucson, where he shadowed and assisted nurses by acting as a witness and a translator for patients.
Research and Thesis Award: Jake Summers and Shreya Bharath
Summers is a second-year student triple-majoring in astrophysics, physics and mathematics. He has made significant contributions to the James Webb Space Telescope PEARLS Project at the School of Earth and Space Exploration. Since fall 2021, Summers has led the reduction, distribution and analysis of data for the PEARLS Project. He has been a co-author on PEARLS-refereed papers submitted to the Astrophysical Journal.
Bharath currently volunteers as an undergraduate researcher in the Kong Lab at the Biodesign Institute’s Center for Immunotherapy, Vaccines and Virotherapy.
She has been working on a variety of vaccine projects since her freshman year and is now one of the lab leaders who oversee undergraduate students working in the lab. She has given several presentations regarding her research, including at the National Institutes of Health.
Global Citizenship Award: Rachel Hess and Jasmine Lopez
Hess has helped refugees through her work with RISE, study abroad and her Barrett thesis project focusing on refugee women’s artwork and underrepresented voices.
She won the ASU Ansari Travel Scholarship in Religion and International Affairs to work with the Oxford Initiative’s War and Peace Series on Migration, Refuge, Peacebuilding, Memory and Narrative in Greece. Additionally, she has participated in Global Resolve since her sophomore year, working to empower students and bridge the global divide through collaboration with the Maasai community.
For her honors thesis, Lopez created “Salud Empoderada,” a blog to address the lack of Latino representation in medicine and STEM.
She uses her blog as a platform to highlight Latinos from all over the world in medicine and STEM. She writes in both English and Spanish. Her aim is to provide students with information and advice they may not currently have access to, given the underrepresentation of Latino mentors in these fields.
Creative Spirit Award: Chloe Bourne and Emily Stabilito
As the lead graphic designer for the Barrett social media team, Bourne has produced high-quality designs that effectively communicate Barrett's message and brand. Her designs are visually engaging, innovative and unique. She has a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of the principles of design, which allows her to create designs that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional and effective.
Stabilito has demonstrated creative talents through a variety of mediums. She currently is an intern with NASA’s Psyche Inspired program, where she has created a quilt influenced by ancient Greek art depicting the goddess Psyche. She works at the intersection of art and science and uses her creativity to bridge the divide between the two.
Internship Award: Ruby Maderafont and Sarthak Agarwal
Maderafont works as an anthropological collections intern for the Center for Archaeology and Society Repository and takes special care in documenting centuries-old artifacts, including those that are culturally significant to the indigenous people of the Southwest and the process of repatriation of artifacts to their communities.
Manderafont was among eight ASU students who interned in the Smithsonian Institution’s Latino Museum Studies Program in Washington, D.C. As an intern, they offered new ways of representing multiple marginalized groups and actively engaging with diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion in practical and conceptual ways.
Agarwal is a senior pursuing a bachelor's degree in computer science. During his freshman year, he was an engineering intern in the Oculus (AR/VR) department at Meta. After graduating this fall, he hopes to work as a senior project manager at Lumen Technologies.
Gold Standard Award: Kallee Schwan, Caleb Lau and Alex Gilchrist
As president of the Barrett, The Honors College Council, Schwan collaborates with Barrett clubs, advocates for students and creates meaningful programming for her peers.
With funding from the Barrett Global Explorers Grant, during her junior year, Schwan traveled to Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic to study health care resources provided to human trafficking victims. She is using her findings to complete her thesis this spring and plans to attend medical school next year.
Lau is president of Medical Directive, a club for students interested in medicine and health care. He has orchestrated countless weekly presentations for students, where top medical professionals are brought in to speak about their experiences and give valuable advice.
He volunteers for Science Detectives every Saturday morning, where he performs science experiments with elementary school students. He is a weekly hospice and kids ministry volunteer.
Gilchrist has served as a community assistant, lead genetics researcher and volunteer instructional assistant. He has been a Barrett delegate to the National Collegiate Honors Council conference. As a Legend Scholars mentor, he has provided resources to high school students and prospective Barrett students so they are better prepared for the transition to college.
Barrett Distinguished Alumni Award: Ashley Kasarjian
Kasarjian received bachelor's degrees in political science and justice studies in 2004.
Kasarjian served on the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation for ten years, including two as chair. She is the past chair of the Executive Council of the Employment and Labor Law Section of the State Bar of Arizona. She served on the Executive Council and the Continuing Legal Education Committee for a combined 14 years. She also served on the editorial board of Arizona Attorney Magazine, the official journal of the State Bar, for 10 years. She is a past recipient of the Greater Phoenix Chamber’s Young Professional ATHENA award and was recently named one of the Phoenix Business Journal’s “40 Under 40.” She worked as an attorney at Snell & Wilmer and authored an award-winning legal blog. She served on the firm’s Hiring Committee and Women’s Initiative Committee. She is frequently invited to speak on issues regarding leadership, education, diversity and women’s issues, and is passionate about supporting the intellectual and cultural diversity of our community.
Barrett Service Award: Mirtha Garcia Reyes
Garcia Reyes received bachelor's degrees in anthropology and Spanish in 2011.
Garcia Reyes is committed to education and equity for underrepresented and marginalized communities. Before pursuing a PhD in sociocultural anthropology, she was a primary and secondary teacher at a low-income school in Phoenix for five years. She also completed a master’s degree in visual anthropology.
She was born in Mexico and raised in Arizona. She was the laboratory manager for the Culture Health and Environment Lab for the 2021–22 academic year and led 30 undergraduate research apprentices, including Barrett Undergraduate Research Fellows, as they worked through qualitative and quantitative research projects. She also led graduate students through the positions of co-secretary and sociocultural anthropology approach representative for the Association of All Graduate Students. In addition to having these roles through the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, she has been involved with organizations that support Black, Indigenous and people of color, or BIPOC, communities. Last October, she was nominated as a delegate for the Women’s Council of Indigenous Doctoral Scholars at ASU, which provides a network and community of support for Indigenous graduate students.
She has shared her expertise in matters related to LGBTQ+ communities, specifically using previous research experience working with trans community members. In summer 2021, she led and conducted research on trans women from Latin America and Spain for the school's undergraduate summer scholars program and guided students through a discussion of best practices when working with trans community members. She has trained members of the LGBTQ+ and other underserved communities on how to use visual methods to share their stories with the public. Last summer, she held a workshop for trans community members in Valencia, Spain, to introduce them to the photovoice method, which encourages individuals to share their perspectives using self-taken photographs.
Early Achievement Award: Windsor Smith
Smith received a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and a master’s degree in mass communication in 2016.
She is the evening news producer for ABC 15 Phoenix, and recently won a Rocky Mountain Emmy for Best Daytime/Evening Newscast in a Large Market. As a student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, she won the Edward R. Murrow Award for her work on Cronkite News.
She serves on the Rocky Mountain Emmy Board of Governors, the Xavier College Prep Alumnae Board and is a member of Women in Service and Hope, St. Vincent De Paul women's service group. She is an active life member of the ASU Alumni Association and served on the ASU Medallion Scholarship Selection Committee. In addition, she has served as a member of the Mu Epsilon Theta Foundation, which supports scholarships and fundraising for collegiate women. She is an active participant in the ASU Cronkite mentorship program.
Smith and her family established the Smith Family Scholarship for Study Abroad programs at Barrett.
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