Senior Celebration 2013

The Duquesne University Senior Celebration annual event was held on Saturday, March 23. Recipients of the Student Life Leadership Award and Eugene P. Beard Student Award for Ethics in Leadership were announced.

Student Life Leadership Award
The Student Life Leadership Award was presented to the following outstanding seniors who were nominated by the Student Life staff. They were evaluated on their dedication to the Mission Statement, leadership positions, service, academic achievements and their presence on campus.

Yamilette Ayala is a Corporate Communications and Political Science major in the McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts with a 3.69 GPA. She served as the Vice President of Communications for the Student Government Association, Promotions Co-Chair for the Duquesne Program Council, the Public Relations and Risk Management Chair of PanHellenic Council, and President of the Latin American Student Association. Yamilette has been a Resident Assistant for three years and also served as a Team Leader for Orientation. She attended the Cross-Cultural Mission Trips to New Orleans, Louisiana and San Juan de La Maguana, Dominican Republic. Her awards include: The Spirit Emerging Leader Award, the Office of Multi-Cultural Affairs Student Leadership Award, and the Student Government Association Senator of the Year.

Shelby Bassinger is an Early Childhood PreK-4 major in the School of Education with a 3.91 GPA. She served as the Service Chair for the Freshman Class Advisory Committee, Vice President for Kappa Delta Epsilon, Entertainment Chair for Orientation, a School of Education Student Ambassador, and was a Resident Assistant for three years. Her community service includes working with Children’s Hospital for their radio-thon, Parent Network night, and book cleaning. She organized the No Strings Workshop annually in the Living Learning Centers and volunteered on a regular basis at the Pittsburgh Food Bank, Children’s Hospital, the Free Care Fund, Project Linus, the Parent Resource Network, as well as numerous supply drives for shelters and schools. She received the Orientation Outstanding Spirit Award and the Residence Life Linda Brown Spirit of Service Award.

Alyssa Federoff is a Self-Designed, Social Justice major in the McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts with a 3.97 GPA. Alyssa was President of Greeks Advocating Mature Management of Alcohol and Chairwoman for the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority. She was the Chapter Director for the Strong Women, Strong Girls Organization, volunteered during Spring Break with Campus Ministry in West Virginia, and was a Crisis Line Specialist for CONTACT Pittsburgh. Alyssa served as a Resident Assistant for three years and was a program facilitator for Girl Scouts of America, and Outreach Manager for the Endangered Species Campaign for the Women’s Therapy Centre Institute in New York City. She is a member of several Honor societies, was selected as Greek Woman of the Year in 2011-2012, a member of the Rho Lambda Leadership Society, and the PMINJ Scholarship Renewal Program.

Samih Nassif is Biochemistry major in the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences with a 4.0 GPA. He is the President of the International Students Organization. In addition, he is a member of the Integrated Honors Society, Alpha Chi Sigma Chemistry Fraternity, Alpha Delta National Fraternity, the American Chemical Society (ACS), and presented at the 243rd and 245th ACS National Conferences. He is a Certified SPIRIT Leader and a Certified SPIRIT Instructor. Samih volunteers regularly at Mercy Hospital in the ER and in the Anesthesia Workroom. He is a recipient of the John V. Crable Fellow 2011-2013. Other honors include the Outstanding Poster Presentation at the Metalsin Biology Mini-Symposium in 2010 and 2011, the Office of Multi-Cultural Affairs Diversity Award and the 2012 Student Leader of the Year.

Anissa Gilbert is an Information Systems Management and Marketing major in the A.J. Palumbo School of Business with a 3.66 GPA. She served as Vice President of Student Life for the Student Government Association, Vice President and Parliamentarian of the Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority, Scholarship Chair for PanHellenic Council, a Resident Assistant, a team leader for Orientation, and is a member of the Black Student Union. She participated in the Hill District Garden Project, Spring Clean-Up, the Habitat for Humanity Re-store, and volunteered at the Villa St. Joseph. She was an Office of Multi-Cultural Affairs Leadership Award nominee. Other honors include the 2012 SGA Senator of the Year Award and 2012 Top Tau National Award for Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority.

Eugene P. Beard Student Award for Ethics in Leadership
Eugene Beard, a generous friend of Duquesne University, established this award over 10 years ago to recognize a graduating senior who has demonstrated superior ethical leadership. Faculty and staff are encouraged to submit nominations, which are reviewed by a special committee coordinated by the Beard Institute for Leadership Ethics and Rev. Sean Hogan, C.S.Sp., the Executive Vice President for Student Life.

Students are selected based upon their commitment to moral and spiritual values and their outstanding leadership in the area of ethics in campus life, family life and in the community. The recipient of the 2013 Eugene P. Beard Student Award for Ethics in Leadership is Zachary J. Zeigler.

An Information Systems Management and Accounting major in the A.J. Palumbo School of Business Administration. While at Duquesne, Zachary demonstrated extensive involvement and leadership, while practicing the three tenets of Ethical Leadership. He participated in many programs and was involved in several organizations, which directly impacted his ability to defend the common good, demonstrate respect for the dignity of others and display sensitivity for the stewardship of the University.

His involvement included: President of the Student Government Association for two years, Vice President of the Order of Omega, Bylaws Chairman of the Delta Chi Fraternity, and Student Executive Committee, Business School. He served as an Orientation Team Leader, participated in several Spring Clean-ups, is involved with the Music Ministry at the Grace Church in Cranberry, Pa., and is a Youth Group leader at the Calvin Presbyterian Church. He received the Bartolec Scholarship; the Student Leader of the Year, and was inducted into several honor societies.

While reflecting on his various leadership roles at Duquesne, Zach wrote, “I wanted to be the student leader that our younger students can look up to as an example of what it means to be a student leader at Duquesne, who has a passion for service to other students and his/her university.”

Nominator Alia Pustarino-Clevenger, Assistant Director of Community Engagement, notes, “I believe that he has been so profoundly influential upon this campus because he has chosen to always follow his high ethical standard and chose to be a leader among his peers because he understood that this was his obligation—to help others to become better leaders themselves.”