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2018 Skookum Award Recipients

  • (L-R) Bottom row: Alexandra Summa, and Megan Pantos. Middle row: London Green, Caitlyn Marchand, Jimmy Sullivan, Vice President for Advancement Beverly Dwight, Daniel Paradiso, Melissa Montalvo, and Joseph Strid. Top row: Michael Ciofalo, Matthew Koslowski, Kenneth Stratton, D'Naysia Stonick, Brendan Kaljulaid, Patrick Tierney and Alexander Fletcher.

The Skookum Award of Excellence was established in 1989 by the Western New England University Alumni Association as a way to recognize the outstanding achievements of students. The Skookum Award recognizes the commitment and dedicated service of Western New England University students throughout their college career by their demonstrated leadership roles on campus, community service/volunteer experiences, and participation in athletics and cocurricular programs. The word Skookum means excellence in the Chinook Indian culture. This annual award process takes place each spring semester to prepare for the Skookum Awards dinner the following fall.

For information on Skookum Award criteria, click here.

View photos from the 2018 awards ceremony.

Grand Skookum

  • Matthew Koslowski

    Management and Leadership • Warren, MA

    Being a Resident Advisor to freshman students for the past three years has been a critical aspect of Matt’s development. The experience has taught him how to always be a leader even when no one is watching, how to be a better friend, and how to be a better person.

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Royal Skookum

  • Alex Fletcher

    Pharmacy • Cromwell, CT

    On campus, Alex is extremely active as a student leader. He is in his third year as a Resident Advisor to first year students, a role that requires the ability to create a comfortable and safe community, to lead by example, and have an extensive working knowledge of campus resources.

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Royal Skookum

  • Jimmy Sullivan

    History • Guilford, CT

    Jimmy has embraced the mentorship of new Golden Bears as an Orientation Group Leader, guiding incoming first year students as they got to know our campus. He continued working with those new students into the fall semester as a Peer Advisor, helping them set and meet goals, and acting as part of their crucial support system.

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Other Skookum Award Recipients

  • Michael Ciofalo

    History • Croton-on-Hudson, NY

    Michael’s dedication to service can be readily seen in his commitments on campus where he has focused on making the University community the best it can be. Serving as the Class of 2019’s President for two terms, he has had a direct impact on class engagement and participation.

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  • London Green

    Psychology • Adams, MA

    One of London's favorite activities is being a member of the Dress for Success, Western Massachusetts Board of Directors, which empowers young women to achieve economic success through networking, career development opportunities, and wardrobe assistance. Much of her role involves attending board meetings and recruiting potential sponsors and experts to support the program.

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  • Brendan Kaljulaid

    Accounting and Finance • Simsbury, CT

    A recipient of the esteemed Cohen Scholar award, Brendan was recognized as being among the top students in academics, leadership, communication, citizenship, and interpersonal skills. This award also comes with a two-year appointment as a College of Business Ambassador, which is an unparalleled learning and networking experience.

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  • Caitlyn Marchand

    English • Palmer, MA

    Some of Caitlyn’s most valuable contributions to the campus community have involved mentoring potential Golden Bears and new students, which gave her a platform to grow as a young professional and positively influence the experience others had at Western New England.

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  • Melissa Montalvo

    Psychology • Bronx, NY

    Melissa has been a consistent presence in the Office of First Year Students and Students in Transition. She began as a Peer Advisor, where she plays a crucial role in helping first year students adjust to college life and creates personalized success plans. Melissa acts as a mentor and easy-to-find campus resource for incoming students.

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  • Megan Pantos

    Pharmacy • Rutland, MA

    Megan has enjoyed welcoming prospective students to campus and helping their families while working for the Office of First Year Students for the last two years. She is proud to highlight Western New England during Open Houses throughout the year and then welcome new students on Accepted Students Day.

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  • Daniel Paradiso

    Mechanical Engineering • Pipersville, PA

    Dan has been involved with a variety of volunteer opportunities, but his main focus has been on Wrapping Presence, a nonprofit organization in his home town that brings holiday cheer to the residents of local nursing homes. Working closely with the organizations founder, Dan assists with events throughout the year which include visiting nursing homes, purchasing gifts to stock the inventory, helping out with the volunteer appreciation dinner, and moving the inventory to and from various storerooms.

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  • D'Naysia Stonick

    Marketing • Colchester, CT

    As a student leader, D’Naysia has found her passion in Peer Advising. Through training and experience, she developed the strength not only to mentor and support her advisees, but also to meet head-on the difficult conversations that may occur when a student is struggling or not meeting expectations.

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  • Kenneth Stratton

    Communication • Southwick, MA

    Ken has also been a key member of our Polling Institute, gauging public opinion throughout the Bay State, before rising through the ranks to become a student supervisor. If that weren’t enough to keep him busy, he is also a Peer Tutor, an active member of the Historical Society, and a First Year Seminar Assistant.

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  • Joseph Strid

    Criminal Justice • Bristol, CT

    As a Peer Advisor, Joe directly influences his advisees and guides them towards success. As he shares with them tips and strategies for personal growth, Joe has come into his own as a leader, cultivating skills such as time management, communication, assertiveness, and active listening.

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  • Alexandra Summa

    Psychology • Albany, NY

    Working as a Peer Advisor gave Alexandra an outlet not only to contribute to the campus, but also to grow and thrive herself. A huge proponent of the transformative power of the Western New England experience, Alexandra served as an Orientation Group Leader this past summer, helping new students begin their college career on the right foot.

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  • Patrick Tierney

    General Biology and Neuroscience • Pittsfield, MA

    As the Vice President of the Pre Med Club, Patrick has worked with students interested in careers in medicine to explore the industry, prepare for entrance exams and medical school applications, and hold community service events, such as blood drives on campus.

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