Undergraduate Commencement at Utica College

Annual Awards - Financial Aid

Annual Awards are grants and prizes awarded to deserving students on a yearly basis.

(Note: * indicates award may not be available every year.)

John Behrens/RSI Phoenix Award
This award, established in honor of Professor Emeritus John Behrens, is given in recognition of the personal and academic achievements of the non-traditional student and as encouragement for continued success.

Joseph Bonomo Scholarship Award
This $100 award is given to the outstanding senior in the area of business and international studies. It was established by Mrs. Gertrude Bean to perpetuate the name of Mr. Joseph Bonomo and his high ideals of education and business. The award is based on a GPA of 3.0 or higher with consideration given to the student's involvement in extracurricular activities. Priority is given to students who have selected the international business management concentration.

Owen Comora/RSI Tangerine Award
Established and administered by the Raymond Simon Institute for Public Relations in honor of Owen Comora '53, this annual $200 cash award is given to a member of The Tangerine staff whose work on the College weekly has been outstanding and effective.

Jessica Cynkus Memorial Accounting Award
This Award was established by Harry Cynkus ’71 in honor of his mother. It is awarded to a full-time student entering their junior year, majoring in Accounting – CPA (until 2009, then an Accounting Major will be selected). The amount of the Award will be up to $250 per semester and provide reimbursement for the purchase of books up to the Award amount or the actual cost of the books, whichever is less. The Award is renewable for the senior year based on continued academic merit. Selection shall be made based on academic merit by full-time Accounting faculty.

David D'Alessandro/RSI Intern Awards
These $750-$2,000 awards are given to the public relations/journalism upper-level students deemed by the public relations/journalism faculty to have demonstrated academic, professional, and extracurricular excellence. The award honors and was established by David D'Alessandro '72 as a means of assisting public relations/journalism interns in covering their internship expenses.

Henry and Rose DiSpirito Award for Excellence in Art
This award was established by Dolores DiSpirito in honor of her parents, the late Henry DiSpirito, former artist-in-residence at Utica College, and the late Rose DiSpirito. The recipient of the award will be a full-time senior whose work reflects potential for a lasting contribution in the field of art.

Kathi Kowalewski Dunn ’86 Therapeutic Recreation Award
Established by Joan Kay reimbursement for the purchase of books up to the award amount or the actual cost of books, whichever is less. The award recipients shall be selected by the Chair of the Therapeutic Recreation program from the candidates who best demonstrate propensity for the field of therapeutic recreation and exemplify Kathi’s dedication and commitment to the profession, as well as her sensitivity, heart, and compassion to her patients.

Amparo M. Escarrilla Chemistry Award
This award recognizes academic achievement in a chemistry course(s). It was named in honor of Amparo M. Escarrilla, Ph.D., professor emerita of chemistry. Recipients are selected by the full-time faculty of the chemistry department.

Robert Feldman/RSI Faculty and Student Support Grants
Established by Mr. Feldman ’78, these annual grants provide funding to public relations students and faculty in support of projects, trips, and extracurricular activities.

Anthony Gagliardi/RSI Arts Award
Named for the 1952 public relations graduate, now retired after three decades as a General Motors communications executive, this annual cash award is presented to the PR graduate who has excelled in the arts as well as in public relations.

Fred and Corinne Grates/RSI Achievement Award
As a memorial to his parents, Gary F.Grates '81 endowed this annual award to the public relations/journalism student whose personal achievements reflected those attributes shared by the most respected professionals in the field.

Alex Haley Magazine Writing Award*
The cash prize award is presented to the student who is determined the best magazine writer to complete Professor John Behrens' magazine writing class during the year. The award recipient is placed on an honor roll of Alex Haley Award winners at the College. The award was begun in 1983 with guidelines and the initial contribution by Roots author Haley.

George E. Jones/RSI Outstanding Public Relations/ Journalism Student Awards
Named in honor of George E. Jones '60, these four $150 to $200 awards are presented annually to the outstanding public relations/journalism students in each class on the basis of academic, professional, and extracurricular achievement.

Gary and Jeanne LaBella/RSI Transition Award
Presented annually, this cash award is given to the public relations/journalism major who has excelled at Utica College after transferring from a previous institution, as Mrs. LaBella did when she was an undergraduate. Gary and Jeanne graduated in 1975 and have built successful PR careers in the Washington, D.C. area.

F. Clark Laurie Prize
This is a $50 award given annually to a full-time accounting major enrolled in the day program who is in his/her junior year.

Randall K. Nichols Award
Established by Professor Randall K. Nichols, this award will be presented to a fulltime student in their junior year, majoring in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance. If there is not an eligible student meeting these criteria, then consideration will be given to a full-time student in their junior year majoring in Criminal Justice and/or Economic Crime Investigation. The award will provide reimbursement for the purchase of books up to the award amount or the actual cost of the books, whichever is less. The recipient shall be selected by a committee designated by the Dean of Business and Justice Studies, of whom at least one member should be a representative of the Justice Studies programs.

Reader's Digest Foundation Research Grants*
Students enrolled in the JS 373 Advanced Magazine Studies course are eligible to earn research grants to defray expenses necessary to prepare magazine articles for publication. Joanne Reppel/RSI Contingency Grants
Established by Ms. Reppel ’62, these annual grants provide funding to public relations students and faculty in support of projects, trips, and extracurricular activities.

Eleanor and Matty Sokolow/RSI Writing Awards
Named in honor of the mother- and father-in-law of Owen Comora '53, this award is presented to the three public relations/journalism students who have demonstrated excellent writing proficiency in one or more public relations/journalism classes.

Ralph F. Strebel Prize
This is an annual prize of $50 given to an outstanding pre-medical scholar. It was established by Dr. Christie E. Davis and Mary J. Davis to honor Dean Ralph F. Strebel, a pioneer of Utica College.

David F. Trad '59 Memorial Award
Established by associates of Mr. Trad at Kaman Sciences Corporation and The Rome Laboratory of Griffiss Air Force Base and Mr. Trad's family, this award is given to a freshman UC student in the computer science program who is a graduate of Whitesboro High School.

The Joseph A. and Mary E. Virkler Memorial Award
This Award will be given annually to an incoming freshman from New Hartford High School attending Utica College. The amount of the Award will provide reimbursement for the purchase of books up to the Award amount or the actual cost of the books, whichever is less. Selection for the Award shall be made by the Office of Student Financial Services.

Joseph Vogel Award for Poetry and Joseph Vogel Award for Fiction
Established by the late author Joseph Vogel, these awards are given to students for outstanding work in poetry and in fiction.

Professor Emeritus Jerome Weiss Outstanding Theatre Award
Established by Professor Emeritus Jerome Weiss, this award shall be made annually to deserving students involved in the theatre arts while at Utica College. In the case that no deserving students are identified, the Award shall not be made.

Dean Robert Woods Student Life Award
Income from the Dean Robert Woods Student Life Award shall be used to fund annual costs associated with the Student Life Award, including but not limited to the cost of preparing the awards and the award ceremony. The award shall be made annually to those members of the graduating class who have made the most outstanding contributions to the quality of life on campus during the time they attended Utica College. These contributions include but are not limited to leadership in student government, athletics, the performing and fine arts, community service, student publications and media, or campus social and cultural activities. The recipients shall be selected in a manner determined by the senior student affairs officer of the College.

Dr. Mark E. Wondro Memorial Award
Financial assistance from this fund, established by the family of Dr. Wondro, is made to a full-time student who has been accepted in a school of podiatry. Each candidate must demonstrate those traits which will make him/her an asset both to his/her profession and community. Recipients shall be all-around students who demonstrate academic merit and a positive caring attitude. Preference may be given to students who demonstrate financial need.


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