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Student Honors and Awards

Meet the May 2021 Honorees


Old Dominion University announces the names of nineteen May 2021 honor students and celebrates their outstanding contributions to academic excellence, community service, and leadership. The Student Honors and Awards are amongst the most prestigious university recognitions bestowed upon our students. In addition to recognizing these students, our institution honors inspirational faculty that supported them throughout their academic journey.

Alumni Association Awards

Outstanding College Scholars & Outstanding University Scholar

The Alumni Association recognizes the undergraduate student in each college with the highest academic average who will have completed at least 60 hours at the University. Among these honorees, one graduate is chosen for the Outstanding University Scholar Award, the highest honor awarded by the Alumni Association. These students recognized the faculty member who most inspired their success.

For more information on the Alumni Association, please visit www.odualumni.org.

2021 Outstanding University Scholar Award Winner & College of Arts and Letters Scholar

Timothy Burleigh

Timothy is this year's Outstanding University Scholar. He will graduate with a major in Music Education. During his time at ODU, Timothy participated in the ODU Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, and Jazz Orchestra, as well as the 1210 Brass Quintet and the Monarch Marching Band. He was also awarded the Outstanding Music Education Undergraduate Award for Instrumental Education.

After graduation, Timothy will be the Divisional Music Director for the Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi Division of the Salvation Army.

Student Awards 2021 Inspiration Faculty Quotes

Tricia Schroeder – Strome College of Business Scholar

Tricia will graduate with a major in Accounting and Finance. She is a member of the Beta Alpha Psi honor society and the recipient of the Vispo-Torgensen Accounting Scholarship and the Gilmore Family Endowed Scholarship.

Tricia will continue her education at ODU and pursue a Master of Accounting degree.

Student Awards 2021 Inspiration Faculty Quotes

Amanda Nhek – Darden College of Education and Professional Studies Scholar

Amanda will graduate with a major in Physical Education and a minor in Health Education. She was a student athlete for ODU Women's Soccer and a recipient of the Newcomer of the Year and Top Goal Scorer honors. Amanda was recently awarded the VAHPERD Outstanding Woman Student Athlete award. Outside of her athletic achievements, she was an ODU Monarch Sister Program Mentor and volunteered with ODU Special Olympics.

Amanda plans to attend the George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School after graduation.

Student Awards 2021 Inspiration Faculty Quotes

Jeremy Loughheed – Batten College of Engineering and Technology Scholar

Jeremy will graduate with a major in Mechanical Engineering. During his time at ODU, he treasured the opportunity to learn hands-on as a part of the Formula SAE Team, a student design competition team tasked with developing the prototype for a race car.

After graduation, Jeremy will serve as a commissioned officer in the United States Marine Corps.

Student Awards 2021 Inspiration Faculty Quotes

Sarah Jane Sapiano – College of Health Sciences Scholar

Sarah Jane will graduate with a degree in Nursing. She was selected for the nursing honors program and is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. Sarah Jane completed her preceptorship in the labor, delivery, recovery, and postpartum unit at Sentara Leigh Hospital.

Sarah Jane hopes to pursue a career as a nurse in a local hospital.

Student Awards 2021 Inspiration Faculty Quotes

Evan Mulloy – College of Sciences Scholar

Evan will graduate with a degree in Computer Science and a minor in Cybersecurity. He is passionate about programming. Evan was a member of an extracurricular game development team and participated in a cybersecurity Capture the Flag (CTF) event.

Evan plans to pursue a career using technology to develop solutions to challenging problems faced by society.

Student Awards 2021 Inspiration Faculty Quotes

Kaufman Award

Landmark Communications Inc. established the Kaufman Award to honor philanthropist Charles L. Kaufman. The prize is awarded to a graduating senior "who has exerted an exceptional and constructive influence on the university, its students or the community by demonstrating the highest qualities of leadership and service."

There are ten finalists this year. These students recognized the faculty member who most inspired their success.

2021 Kaufman Award 1st Place Winner

Krista Brant

Krista is this year's winner of the Kaufman prize. She will graduate with a major in Occupational and Technical Studies and a minor in Women's Studies and Sociology. She is an inspirational student veteran on campus and in 2020 she received a G.I. Jobs Magazine Inaugural Student Veteran Leadership Award.

Upon graduation, Krista plans to pursue a of Master of Science in Education degree in Educational Leadership and Higher Education.

Student Awards 2021 Inspiration Faculty Quotes

2021 Kaufman Award 2nd Place Winner

Rita Meraz

Rita is this year's runner-up for the Kaufman prize. She will graduate with a major in Electrical Engineering and a minor in Physics. Rita has been an active member of Engineers Without Borders during her four years at ODU and she serves as Vice President of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.

Rita plans to pursue an advanced degree in engineering after graduation.

Student Awards 2021 Inspiration Faculty Quotes

Kaufman Award Finalists

Charleigh Austin

Charleigh will graduate with a major in Speech-Language Pathology and a minor in Special Education. As a student, she contributed her time and talents to several organizations and projects including ODU Alternative Spring Break, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., and IGNITE Food Pantry.

Charleigh plans to continue her work as a behavior assistant for children on the autism spectrum and pursue a career as a certified Speech-Language Pathologist.

Student Awards 2021 Inspiration Faculty Quotes

Amanda Gainer

Amanda will graduate with a major in Interdisciplinary Studies -Teacher Preparation and a minor in American Studies. She is passionate about social justice in education and literacy. She has held multiple leadership roles in the ODU chapter of the Student Virginia Education Association (SVEA).

After graduation, Amanda will pursue a graduate degree and a teaching license.

Student Awards 2021 Inspiration Faculty Quotes

Danielle Johnson

Danielle will graduate with a double major in Business Management and Lifespan Communications. While at ODU, Danielle was a Resident Assistant for the Entrepreneurial Living Learning Community and the President of Enactus student entrepreneurial club.

Danielle will obtain her B Corp certification and continue growing her marketing and design company House of MKTG after graduation.

Student Awards 2021 Inspiration Faculty Quotes

Robert King

Robert will graduate with a major in Cinema Production and a minor in Psychology. At ODU he was a member of the ODU Track and Field Club and Student Activities Council and served as a committee chair for the Student Government Association.

After graduation, Robert will work towards building experience in the film industry and cultivating his portfolio.

Student Awards 2021 Inspiration Faculty Quotes

Amanda Nhek

Amanda will graduate with a major in Physical Education and a minor in Health Education. In addition to being a Kaufman finalist, she was awarded the prestigious College Scholar honor for the Darden College of Education and Professional Studies (listed above).

Amanda plans to attend the George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School after graduation.

Student Awards 2021 Inspiration Faculty Quotes

Kieran Rundle

Kieran will graduate with a major in Photography and Print Media and a minor in Art History. She was the president of the Gamma Sigma Sigma National Service Sorority and regularly volunteers her time to organizations like St. Jude, the SPCA, Alternative Spring Break, and the ODU Women's Center.

Kieran will pursue full-time employment in publishing and advertising and plans to open her own business.

Student Awards 2021 Inspiration Faculty Quotes

Tony Sawyer

Tony will graduate with a major in Human Services and a Certificate in Addictions Treatment and Prevention. He is an advocate for persons struggling with addiction. He was a student intern Peer Recovery Specialist with the Chesapeake Probation and Parole office.

Tony will continue his work with the Chesapeake Probation and Parole office and pursue a Master of Science Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at ODU after graduation.

Student Awards 2021 Inspiration Faculty Quotes

Jade Smith

Jade will graduate with a major in Biology. She served as an ambassador for the College of Sciences helping to recruit high school, transfer, and undecided students. Jade also represented a cohort of students for the NIH-funded Monarchs Maximizing Access to Research Careers (M-MARC) program.

Jade plans to attend graduate school to pursue a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences.


Evon-Broderick Award for Community Engagement and Service

The Evon-Broderick Award is one of the University's most prestigious honors and awards.

In 2011, Old Dominion University's 8th President John R. Broderick and First Lady Kate Broderick, with the help of other family members who choose to remain anonymous, established and endowed the Evon-Broderick Award for Community Engagement and Service in honor of their mothers Joan Evon and Ellen Broderick.

This esteemed honor recognizes ODU students, who like the award's namesakes, exemplify a commitment to service and civic engagement to the university and surrounding community through superior leadership and service.

Payal Arora

Payal is a Biomedical Sciences major from the College of Sciences. She is committed to serving and supporting the community in times of need. She is a member of the Medical Reserve Corps and has volunteered with the Virginia Department of Health on COVID-19 vaccination distribution efforts during the pandemic. Payal also devotes her time as a volunteer for StandUp For Kids, an organization that helps youth experiencing homelessness.


Calvin Dugger

Calvin is a Mechanical Engineering Technology major from the Batten College of Engineering and Technology. He is also pursuing a minor in Engineering Management. Calvin is dedicated to leading by example. He has inspired his Sigma Phi Epsilon brothers to join him in providing numerous community service hours through community clean-ups, delivering food to the elderly, and educating his fraternity chapter on the Women's Center M-Power program and the Green Dot program.


Diego Feliciano

Diego is a Finance major in the Strome College of Business and pursuing a minor in Actuarial Science. He has a passion for developing himself and others and is a leader among the Monarch community. Diego holds leadership positions in several campus organizations, including the Student Government Association, Latino Student Alliance, and the Model United Nations Society.


Congratulations and best wishes to all of our 2021 Student Honorees!

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