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Seniors Emilie Delaye (left) and Allie Rebuck are honored by the University of Delaware Alumni Association for their high achievement.
Seniors Emilie Delaye (left) and Allie Rebuck are honored by the University of Delaware Alumni Association for their high achievement.

Recognizing outstanding seniors

Photo by Kathy F. Atkinson

University of Delaware Alumni Association honors members of the graduating class with the 2024 Warner and Taylor Awards

Allie Rebuck and Emilie Delaye are the 2024 recipients of the Emalea Pusey Warner and Alexander J. Taylor Sr. Awards for Outstanding Seniors. The awards are presented by the University of Delaware Alumni Association (UDAA) each year to recognize seniors who demonstrate leadership, academic success and community service. Recipients must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher.

Emalea Pusey Warner Award: Allie Rebuck

Allie Rebuck, an honors management information systems and business analytics major, has a passion for enhancing the UD student experience for current and future Blue Hens.  

After her sophomore year, Rebuck saw a need for first-year students to become more involved with the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, and she volunteered to coordinate a two-day Lerner College Involvement Fair in the fall of 2022. She managed all event logistics and registration, ensuring that around 20 clubs had the opportunity to expand their membership and offering 750 first-year students meaningful ways to connect. Rebuck then planned a similarly successful event for the fall of 2023.  

Rebuck’s attention to detail and initiative led to a teaching assistant and peer mentor position for the Basics of Business course (BAUD110). Her classroom leadership included teaching classes on various topics and organizing an upperclassman panel where first-year students could hear from more experienced peers. Outside of the classroom, she had coffee with students, encouraged them to get involved on campus and built their confidence as college students. 

“I am continuously inspired by the determination and intellect of the students, and it is rewarding to help them discover and embrace their passions,” Rebuck said.

Rebuck also sought additional ways to enhance UD’s student experience. She joined the Lerner Student Advisory Board (LSAB) in the fall of 2022 and became chairperson the following spring, leading a 13-person board. Under her direction, LSAB executed workshops, organized panel discussions and student surveys, and guided strategic planning initiatives. She also became involved as a Lerner Ambassador, participating in Decisions Days and speaking with admitted Lerner College students. 

Through her involvement over the past two years, Rebuck has impacted the entire Lener College first-year class. 

“I am fulfilled in knowing that I played a small part in enhancing someone else’s unique educational experience at UD,” she said.

Julia Bayuk, professor of marketing and associate dean of curriculum, got to know Rebuck well through her role as course coordinator of the Basics of Business course. Bayuk was impressed with Rebuck’s accomplishments. 

“While Allie is a 4.0 GPA student in the Honors College, which speaks to her academic abilities, her abilities and potential go beyond mere academic performance; they are rooted in the remarkable qualities she has demonstrated as a student, a teaching assistant and a critical part of the Lerner, Honors and UD communities,” Bayuk said.  

After graduation, Rebuck will be working as an analyst in the Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. LAUNCH Program. 

Alexander J. Taylor Sr. Award: Emilie Delaye

Emilie Delaye, an entrepreneurship major with a minor in fashion management, has always wanted to change the world and start a business. Throughout her time at UD, she has found opportunities to see these dreams take form. 

Participating in the Up To Us competition during her first year was Delaye’s first exposure to how her UD education could impact the community. She led a team of 14 students to organize a Day of Action event, gathering pledge signatures and presenting to classes on fiscal policy issues. Her team achieved second place out of 34 colleges and universities. This competition sparked her interest in engaging beyond the classroom and taking on more leadership opportunities.  

Within Horn Entrepreneurship, Delaye has been a teaching assistant and Horn Ambassador. She is also a venture support assistant for all of Horn’s venture-specific initiatives, and she facilitates community sessions. Delaye mentors fellow entrepreneurs, giving them tailored feedback and empowering them to develop their own ideas. 

“I aim to assist community members in recognizing their own unique value,” she said.    

Delaye’s resolve to help others is also evident in her own startup, Relief Chronic Care, which was conceptualized out of her own battle with chronic illness and her research on gender inequality in healthcare. 

“Relief’s solution is a comprehensive platform to connect women with the resources and tools, community and experts they need,” she said. 

Through dozens of patient interviews and post-presentation discussions, Delaye’s startup has encouraged members of the UD community to come forward about their own experiences with chronic illness and to seek supportive resources. Her success has encouraged other women entrepreneurs to pursue their projects. 

Delaye’s desire to help others is also evident through her community service. Whether as a volunteer for UD’s American Host Partnership Program, a designated notetaker for Disability Support Services, or as an intern with the Delaware Youth Leadership Network, Delaye believes that her actions can inspire others to create a positive impact. 

Vincent DiFelice, senior instructor of entrepreneurship and faculty director of venture Support, affirmed Delaye’s potential as a changemaker. 

“As an entrepreneur, I’ve encountered many successful businesspeople and many successful agents of social change. It’s rare to find someone who is capable of both. This is Emilie,” he said.

After graduation, Delaye will be interning at the American Apparel and Footwear Association in Washington, D.C., as well as continuing to grow her startup, Relief Chronic Care. 

To learn more about the UD Alumni Association’s Warner and Taylor Awards, past recipients and more awards offered through the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, visit the Scholarships and Awards web page.

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