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10 Skookum Award Winners Receive Additional Honors from National Who’s Who Publication

Posted November 26, 2009

skook09whogifThis year’s edition of the 2009-2010 Who’s Who Among American Students in American Universities and Colleges included 32 Western New England College students, 10 of whom were also Skookum Award winners. The Skookum Awards are presented by the Alumni Association to seniors for their excellence in academics, co-curricular activities, athletics, volunteer work, and community service.

Those honored with the Skookum Award, as well as inclusion in this year’s Who’s Who Among American Students in American Universities and Colleges, are Katie Manning (pictured with School of Arts and Sciences Dean Saaed Ghahremani and President Anthony S. Caprio), Samantha Bashaw, Michelle Delgado, Kelly Jerzyk, Leigh-Anne Malke, Olivia Mazzarella, Megan McNatt, Rosalie Rodriguez, Michael Sullivan, and Patrick Tebaldi.

Manning, who was the winner of the Grand Skookum Award, the highest honor of the Skookum Awards, is a senior English literature major with a minor in psychology and is a resident of East Longmeadow, MA. She is a member of several honor societies, including Alpha Lambda Delta (freshmen), Omicron Delta Kappa (leadership), Mortar Board (seniors).

Manning has served as a peer advisor for three years and in the summer of 2008 worked as a freshman Orientation Leader. She is also a member of the Stageless Players theatre club. Last year, Manning was a part of the V-Day Committee, which works to raise awareness about violence against women.

For the past two years, Manning has been a volunteering participant in the Alternative Spring Break program. On her first trip she traveled to Atlanta to help work with a refugee resettlement organization, where she taught English as a second language. During her second trip, she and other participants traveled to Pittsburgh to donate their time at the PACE School, where they assisted children with autism and other behavioral disabilities. Manning has also volunteered at the Gray House in Springfield and currently works there as an after school counselor in the Kid’s Club.

Upon graduation, Manning plans to attend Graduate School for Higher education and hopes to become involved with AmeriCorps.

Bashaw was a recipient of the second highest Skookum award, rhe Royal Skookum.

A forensic chemistry major from Westerly, RI, Bashaw currently serves as Student Senate president and served as secretary for two terms. Bashaw is a member of the All-College Academic Affairs Committee, Pre-Med Club, Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society, and has worked as Junior representative for Senior Council. Last year she co-chaired Midnight Madness, which raised over $2,900 for the American Cancer Society.

Bashaw has volunteered as a biology lab assistant as well as a peer tutor in chemistry and organic chemistry. Her work as a lab assistant and peer tutor has influenced her to pursue a PhD so that she can eventually teach organic chemistry at the college level.

For the past two summers, Bashaw shadowed a doctor in the Critical Care Unit at Rhode Island Hospital, and she has also donated her time at Westerly Hospital as a courier and an infection control volunteer. After graduation, Bashaw plans to pursue a master’s degree in toxicology.

This story was written by Office of Alumni Relations intern Matt Mondry ’10.


Western New England University is a private, independent, coeducational institution founded in 1919. Located on an attractive 215-acre suburban campus in Springfield, Massachusetts, Western New England University serves 3,955 students, including 2,575 full-time undergraduate students. Undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs are offered through Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, and Pharmacy, and School of Law.


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