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Honors students celebrated in ceremony at ASU's Polytechnic campus


Photo of Barrett Poly Gold Standard Award winners holding awards and standing in a line together smiling at the camera in front of an ASU Barrett backdrop.

Lailah Smith (fourth from left) and Melisa Molina (fifth from left) received the Barrett, The Honors College Polytechnic campus Gold Standard Award for demonstrating consistent dedication to academic achievement, service and leadership within Barrett.

May 11, 2023

It was a time for recognition, inspiration and gratitude at the Gold Standard Awards event that capped off the spring semester at Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University’s Polytechnic campus.

The Polytechnic honors community came together recently to recognize students for their achievements in and out of the classroom, their contributions as leaders of student organizations and their service to the honors college and ASU throughout 2022–23.

“You’ve worked hard to achieve your goals in academics and in research, to be involved and serve at many levels. Now it’s your turn to go on to teach, mentor and encourage others to do great things,” said Thomas Sugar, associate dean of Barrett, The Honors College at the Polytechnic campus, to students in the Cooley Ballrooms, with faculty and staff looking on.

“At Poly we are a community that does things. That requires persistence, a drive to push through and finish what you started. It takes patience and resilience. I couldn’t be prouder of all you have achieved, and as I look out in the room I’m hopeful for the future because of all of you,” he added.

The Gold Standard Award, in recognition of being the “gold standard” among honors students and demonstrating consistent dedication to academic achievement, service and leadership within Barrett, was given to Lailah Smith and Melisa Molina. 

Smith served as a Poly Honors Devil, chief of staff in the Undergraduate Student Government, director of communication for the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts Ambassadors and student worker at the Sun Devil Fitness Complex. She was named the Barrett Polytechnic Outstanding First-Year Student last year, and landed a Fulbright scholarship to study in Canada this summer.

She participated in the college's Emerging Professionals and the Cooperation Scholars programs on ASU's Tempe campus, two social and behavioral research labs focusing on football coaches on the Polytechnic campus and the Davis Research lab at the Downtown Phoenix campus. She maintained a 3.9 GPA while taking 23 credit hours in the spring 2023 semester in addition to extracurriculars. 

She attended the National Collegiate Honors Council conference in Dallas last November to learn and network with students, staff, faculty and deans from other honors colleges and programs around the country.

Molina served as a student recruitment assistant, vice president of the Barrett Leadership and Service Team and director of internal affairs for the Poly Honors Devils, a student organization that assists with recruitment. In addition to taking 20 credit hours in the spring semester, participating in three internships and volunteering on weekends, she worked overnight at a veterinary clinic on Sundays and Mondays throughout the semester.

Barrett Poly Outstanding First-Year Student Award: Owen Greathouse

Recognizes demonstrated excellence in The Human Event seminar, honors courses and leadership in the honors and ASU community. Greathouse served as a member of the Poly Honors Devils, the director of marketing for the Barrett Leadership and Service Team and a student engagement assistant.

The Community of Scholars Award: Knight Wolff and Maclovio Foy.

Presented for significant contributions to building the honors community on the Polytechnic campus. Wolff was a member of the Poly Honors Devils, the Barrett Poly Mentors and a head tutor for the Barrett Writing Colloquium. He helped first-year students with their written work for The Human Event, led the writing tutors, mentored first-year students and shared his Barrett Poly experience with prospective students and their families. Foy served as a Poly Honors Devil and lead hall host, creating events like video game tournaments, archery tag, rock climbing and pizza grilling to foster connections within the Barrett Polytechnic residential community. He helped his fellow hall hosts with other events, including an open mic night, a visit to a trampoline park and a private screening of Marvel’s "Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania."  

The Outstanding Senior Award: Brianna Miller and Chloe Fox

Presented to outstanding graduating seniors that demonstrated exceptional leadership, academic excellence and service in and out of the classroom. Miller served as a front desk assistant in the Barrett Poly Suite, a head writing tutor and a Barrett retreat coordinator in 2020 and 2021. She was a student volunteer at the McCain Institute Sedona Forum in 2022, where she collaborated with institute staff, attended forum panels and gained hands-on experience with high-level event execution, communications and foreign policy while meeting and networking with the institute’s leadership, senior staff and partners. Fox served as a student engagement assistant, a Barrett Poly Mentor, a retreat coordinator and the president of the Barrett Leadership and Service Team. As the retreat coordinator, she helped plan a three-day camp in Prescott, Arizona, for more than 100 students and staff and welcomed incoming students to the Barrett Polytechnic community.

Excellence in signature honors course

Barrett faculty recognized students for their excellence and contributions to elevating the level of discussion in the honors college’s signature courses. The students recognized for their excellence in The Human Event were Varun Bose, Gentry Boylan, Elsie Davis, Kai-Ra De La Fuente, Reid Graham, Ben Morman, Marc Palma, Khushi Patel, Emily Sanders, Malcolm Pearce, Vijay Menon, Zayn Mowzoon-Mogharrabi, Sophia Page, Lily Russell and Wenjie Xu. The students recognized for excellence in The History of Ideas were Danielle Ostrop and Andrea Salazar Calderon.

Emerging Leader Award: Benjamin Morman and Michelle Gonzalez

Presented in recognition of a student’s exemplary leadership within ASU, the Barrett community and beyond. Morman served in several student leadership positions, including as a student engagement assistant and hall host. He assisted with honors community events, including Poly Picnics, Dinner Down the Orchard and Pride Prom. He also planned events in the residential community focusing on wellness and connections. He was also a student worker for ASU Health Services. Gonzalez served the Barrett Polytechnic community as a hall host, where she planned many events in the student residential community. She also served as a Barrett senator in the Undergraduate Student Government and as the Appropriations Committee co-chair.

Outstanding Service Award: Carlos Chacon and Caitlin Burke

Recognizes service to the Barrett and ASU community through student employment and leadership. Chacon served as a student engagement assistant, executive director and director of business administration for the Poly Honors Devils and the director of finance for the Barrett Poly Mentors, a group of students who serve as peer mentors. He planned all of the Poly Picnics in 2022–23. Burke served as a student engagement assistant and vice president of internal affairs for the Barrett Poly Mentors. As the student lead for the 2023 Pride Prom, she helped with all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into planning a large and successful event: communicating with vendors, campus partners and student organizations; helping with graphic design and marketing; and creating a safe, welcoming and fun environment. More than 300 students attended Pride Prom, making it Barrett Polytechnic’s largest event to date. She also helped plan events for the Barrett Poly Mentors.

Honors Devils Most Engaging Award: Mateo Ramirez and Lauren Marvuglio

Presented in recognition of their work on behalf of the organization, particularly connecting with prospective students and their families. 

Honors Devils Most Approachable Award: Megan Carlton

Recognizes a student who assists at tabling events and provides useful information about the Barrett experience to prospective students and their families.

Honors Devils Best Communicator Award: Lailah Smith

Recognizing a student’s ability to reach out and connect with prospective students through phone calls, provide useful information and help with applications.

Honors Devils Lunch Time Legend Award: Knight Wolff

Presented in recognition of their work hosting lunches with prospective students and their families in an effort to connect and encourage applications to Barrett.

Honors Devils Outstanding Tour Guide Award: Maclovio Foy

Recognizes the Honors Devil who gave the most tours of the Barrett Poly suite and Lantana Hall, and who engaged with prospective students and their families.

Honors Devils Outstanding Newcomer Award: James Miller

Recognizing the Honors Devil who showed the most initiative in their first semester.

Outstanding Honors Devil Award: Melisa Molina

Honors Devils vote to give this award to a member who has significantly gone above and beyond in their efforts on behalf of the organization.

Outstanding Mentor Award: Chase Gable and Elliott Ruble

The recipient of the Outstanding Mentor Award is chosen by their fellow mentors on the basis of their commitment, engagement and leadership within the organization and with their mentees. 

Out of this World BLAST Members: Lailah Smith, Claire Rogers and Sophie Wallace.

The Barrett Leadership and Service Team, a student organization that serves the honors community by hosting events and student-centered initiatives, gives this award for work on behalf of the group.

Best BLAST Senior: Chloe Fox

Recognizing her commitment and leadership throughout her senior year.

The evening ended with the Barrett Poly Senior Celebration, recognizing students graduating with honors this semester as they walked across the stage to receive a gift from Dean Sugar.

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