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2019 Skookum Award Recipients

  • (L-R) Bottom row: Laura Cafaro, Kaytlin Nelson, Eve Carciofi, Julia Garvey, Lyubov Kodreanu. Middle row: Dimitrios Tartsinis, Laura Sawyer, Erin Butts, Sarah Waterhouse, Emily McGuinness, Tyler Brault. Top row: Donna Montgomery, Sarah O’Hazo, President Anthony S. Caprio, Kimberly Pocwierz, Madison Pezze.

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 2019 awards ceremony.

Grand Skookum

  • Laura Sawyer

    Electrical Engineering • Long Island, NY

    Laura has dedicated her spare time to extracurricular activities that give back to both the greater community and her WNE community.

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Royal Skookum

  • Donna Montgomery

    Communications • Cambridge, NY

    Donna has had the opportunity to experience many aspects of life both on and off campus. She has made a positive impact in the University community as a student leader who strives to give back whenever she can.

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Royal Skookum

  • Erin Butts

    Actuarial Science • Brookfield, MA

    Erin is a Head Resident Advisor for first-year students, where her experiences have enhanced her communication skills, professionalism, and flexibility in stressful situations.

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Other Skookum Award Recipients

  • Tyler Brault

    Psychology • Springfield, MA

    Tyler may not have had to travel far to find himself on our campus, but he has certainly made his mark. Tyler is passionate about helping student life at WNE be the most vibrant it can be, as well as helping new and prospective students find their place here.

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  • Laura Cafaro

    Communication • Feeding Hills, MA

    Laura has found a balance between mentoring other students, participating in extracurricular activities, and excelling in academics.

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  • Eve Carciofi

    Pharmacy • Tewksbury, CT

    Eve has been involved in the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and will serve as president this year. Each fall she organizes Mental Illness Awareness Week and leads a team in the Out of the Darkness Walk for Suicide Prevention.

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  • Julia Garvey

    Political Science • Springfield, MA

    Julia’s passion for governance and leadership translates onto campus through her roles as Legislative Chairperson of Student Senate, a member of the Class of 2020 Council, Secretary of Golden Bear Commuter Council, and as a student representative on the Board of Trustees Student Affairs Committee. 

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  • Lyubov Kodreanu

    Political Science • Chicopee, MA

    Lulu’s favorite experience at the University was participating in the Alternative Spring Break trip in 2018, when she traveled to Beaumont, TX to assist with Hurricane Harvey relief.

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  • Emily McGuinness

    English Literature • Holden, MA

    Emily’s outstanding academic performance has earned her membership in the Mortar Board Senior Honor Society and Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society as well as being a recipient of the Alfred and Mariam LaRiviere Merit Scholarship.

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  • Kaytlin Nelson

    Psychology • Springfield, MA

    One of Kaytlin’s most memorable experiences was traveling to New Orleans for Alternative Spring Break, where she had the opportunity to work with the NOLA Tree Project to liven up a community center and worked toward the mission of growing stronger, healthier communities through tree planting, community service, and disaster relief programs.

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  • Sarah O'Hazo

    Management & Leadership • Harwinton, CT

    Sarah has made it her mission to contribute to whatever community she resides in. She has certainly done that on our campus, as she was the Secretary of Student Senate for two years. She is currently serving as Vice President, and was able to create initiatives she is proud of. She not only started the Kindness Project, but she was also the Chairperson of the first ever Dancing with the GBears event.

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  • Madison Pezze

    Communications/Public Relations • Slingerlands, NY

    Madison world grew immensely when she began her collegiate career. She knew right away that she wanted to surround herself, one activity at a time, with opportunities to help others and make the world a better place.

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  • Kimberly Pocwierz

    Biomedical Engineering • Woodbridge, CT

    Kimberly has focused much of her time and energy toward volunteering and giving back whenever she can and plans to use her degree in to continue improving quality of life for others.

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  • Dimitrios Tartsinis

    Accounting • Colchester, CT

    Dimitrios has dedicated much of his time to the Class of 2020 Council, and was recently elected Vice President. In this role he will continue to collaborate with other council members to plan senior year events that unite the class and create lasting memories leading up to graduation.

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  • Sarah Waterhouse

    Secondary Education and English • Middletown, CT

    Sarah says her time at Western New England University has been filled with influential experiences that have shaped her into the person she is today, and who she will be as a future educator

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