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Michael Chajes, dean of UD’s Honors College presides over the 2024 Honors Medal Ceremony held on May 23.
Michael Chajes, dean of UD’s Honors College, presides over the 2024 Honors Medal Ceremony held on May 23.

Honors Medal Ceremony

Photo by Christopher Ginn

Students, faculty recognized by UD Honors College

As part of the 2024 Commencement Week activities, the University of Delaware Honors College held the Honors Medal Ceremony on May 23. Honors College Dean Michael Chajes was joined by President Dennis Assanis, Provost Laura Carlson, deans of the academic colleges, and many honors faculty and staff.

Honors Medals were presented to 411 Honors graduates. These students attained an Honors Degree, completed a minimum of 30 Honors credits, completed Honors coursework in their major and at the upper level, an Honors Senior Capstone course, and had a minimum of a 3.4 GPA.

Thirty-two Honors graduates attained an Honors Degree with Distinction, completing all of the requirements for an Honors Degree and completing and defending an Honors Senior Thesis. These students were presented with two Honors Medals.

In the spirit of the outstanding teaching and mentorship that Honors faculty provide, Chajes recognized several faculty members who were identified by Honors students.

“When I ask students and alumni to tell who contributed to their success, the answer I often get is the faculty who taught their classes or collaborated with you on research,” said Chajes.

Two UD faculty members were presented with the 2024 Outstanding Honors Teaching Award. As the faculty members came forward to be recognized, Chajes shared a comment about each from their respective nominations.

Leslie Allshouse, Department of Medical and Molecular Sciences in the College of Health Sciences: “She is always there for her students whether to help them forward their education or provide them with warmth and compassion when college gets tough.”

Lesa Griffiths, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources: “She plays a crucial role as the advisor for the Animal Science Club, providing invaluable mentorship and resources to help educate the UD community on the significance of biological science and the responsible care of domestic livestock.”

Two faculty members were presented with the 2024 Outstanding Mentoring Award.

Julia Bayuk, Department of Business Administration in the Lerner College of Business and Economics: “Her passion for helping students succeed inside and outside of the classroom has impacted the success of thousands.”

Alison Karpyn, Department of Human Development and Family Sciences, College of Education and Human Development: “Her drive to get answers and understand challenging problems is a model for me as someone who hopes to tackle similar complex and nuanced issues.”

Chajes presented Derek Wu with the inaugural Dean’s Outstanding Senior Award. Don Puglisi and Marichu Valencia, friends of the college, made the award possible.

In his remarks, Chajes shared that Wu “…is graduating with a 4.0 GPA, is getting dual degrees, has been a voracious undergraduate researcher, has co-authored peer-reviewed publications has presented his research at conferences, has been a Munson Fellow and a Writing Fellow, has served as a teaching assistant, has participated in countless Honors recruiting events, has served on the President’s Student Advisory Council, has won a Goldwater Award, and has been 100% dedicated in helping his fellow students.”

Chajes ended the ceremony by welcoming the students into the network of 12,000 UD honors alumni. “Like the 48 UD Honors classes that have graduated before you, the Class of 2024 is made up of students whose accomplishments are truly remarkable. Honors students are amazing scholars and skilled at taking advantage of a myriad of enriching activities and opportunities,” said Chajes. “Some of you are headed to medical school, law school, or graduate school at the very best institutions in the country. Others are off to work for some of the nation’s most prestigious employers. I am pleased to see how many aspiring teachers and nurses we are sending out into the world. As Dean of the Honors College, I could not be more proud of you, our Honors Class of 2024.”

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