April 9, 2021

The 1871 Awards Celebrate 40 Exceptional Students

1871In a live virtual presentation on YouTube on Thursday, April 15, 40 WCU students will be recognized with the University’s 1871 Awards. The program begins at 6:30 p.m.

The 1871 Award was established in 2018 and represents the year in which West Chester University was founded. This year’s awards are unique as the University celebrates its sesquicentennial — 150th — anniversary in 2021.

WCU juniors and seniors who have excelled both in the classroom and beyond are eligible for the 1871 Award, which rewards their accomplishments in academics, career readiness, leadership, and community engagement. A selection committee comprising faculty, staff, and one student reviews applications, including recommendation letters written by WCU faculty and staff. Limited to a maximum of 71 students, the 1871 Award is a truly special honor.

Among the 2021 award winners are several who have achieved perfect 4.0 grade point averages (GPAs); student organization presidents and club officers; students who have started new student organizations; recipients of multiple scholarships; inductees into many honor societies; student athletes, tutors, peer mentors, orientation leaders, and resident assistants; and students who have volunteered extensively locally, regionally, and nationally.

Senior Yeseena Alli, who will speak at the April 15 ceremony, is one of the 40 inspirational students celebrated by this award. One of the highest achieving students in the sciences in West Chester University’s history, this chemistry-biology major with a minor in women’s and gender studies has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout her entire undergraduate career. Since complete electronic records began 36 years ago, Alli is the ONLY chemistry degree recipient to have achieved perfect grades each semester. She also earned the distinction of being WCU’s nominee for the Syed Ali-Zaidi Award for Academic Excellence, presented by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

A pre-med student, Alli co-founded the WCU chapter of the American Medical Women’s Association, a national organization dedicated to advancing women in medicine, advocating for equity, and ensuring excellence in health care. She has also served as a peer mentor for the Dowdy Multicultural Center, has been active in the Muslim Student Association, and has volunteered extensively in the local community.

Alli and the other 39 equally exceptional students will be honored by the academic dean of their respective colleges, in alphabetical order. Other speakers are WCU President Chris Fiorentino, Vice President for Student Affairs Zebulun Davenport, and Assistant Vice President for Student Development in the Division of Student Affairs Judy Kawamoto.

The 2021 1871 Award winners are:

Tanya Adkins, Yeseena Alli, Joseph Bevilacqua, Skylar Brightbill, Blair Broad, Kaitlyn Cannon, Barbara Chen, Carley Cirafesi, William Claudio, Amondo Clayton, Mitzi Colin Lopez, Katherine Cooney, Hannah Crespy, Emily Dwyer, Nebiyou Elias, Shannon Emery, Sydney Fritz, Erica Fus, Lauryn Gaston, Jessica Hazell, Allison Herbst, Madison Justice, Erin Kaliszak, Sophie Koval, Bianca Maggio, Dunya Markovic, Samantha Moser, Kathryn Mosser, Mae Prasch, Courtney Rothman, Elizabeth Schultz, Hayley Sholansky, Allison Short, Megan Streich, Julia Strohl, Shreya Sukur, Hannah Wagner, Samantha Yothers, Amber Young, Mikayla Zeigler.

Click here to watch the event live on Thursday, April 15, at 6:30 p.m.

Visit the 1871 Award website for additional information.

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