We are happy to announce that nine students have been selected to receive the 2017-2018 President’s Award for Excellence in Leadership. These students have been selected for their achievement in academics, community service/civic engagement and co-curricular involvement. Congratulations to all of our outstanding award winners! You have excelled and demonstrated leadership during your time at Westfield, and we are proud of you!
Sean Bacon is a junior from Ware, Mass. majoring in Psychology with a minor in Biology. He carries an overall GPA of 3.89.
In his own words, Sean says, “As an RA, I am faced with challenges on a daily basis; some of which are easy, while others are, in the eyes of some, an impossible feat. I have learned how to be an active listener, a protective force, a supporting friend and an honest soul.”
Heather Demers is a senior from Uxbridge, Mass. double majoring in Early Childhood Education and Liberal Studies with an overall GPA of 3.96.
Heather gained crucial skills in her leadership roles with the Relay for Life Club. In her own words, Heather says, “Through this position I learned how to communicate and ask questions effectively. I was also able to grow my public speaking skills. I’m learning how multitasking and organizational skills can help me stay on track. These skills will be very beneficial for my future career as a teacher.”
Toni Dolan is a senior from Whately, Mass. majoring in Social Work with an overall GPA of 3.65.
Toni’s challenges and experiences in her personal life have made her commitment to Social Work more meaningful with a driven passion to advocate for others. In her own words, Tony says, “My journey has been filled with challenges and victories. I have learned to offer my voice and my story to others in a way that I hope is inspiring. Every day I’m passionate to take all that I have learned from the day before and improve on what I know.”
Jonathan Kelland is a senior from East Walpole, Mass. double majoring in Economics and Political Science with concentrations in International Studies/Theory and Public Administration and a minor in Environmental Science. He carries an overall GPA of 3.83.
Jonathan shared his current project with the committee: “I want to see a Westfield State where teams would “sponsor” groups on campus, as well as the other way around. I like to call my project: Owls On and Off the Field. I have this vision where groups and teams on campus, “build community,…support development,…and embrace” everyone on campus. I am working with Student activities and the Athletics Department to make this dream a reality.”
Allen LaGuerre is a senior from Roslindale, Mass. majoring in Movement Science, Sport & Leisure Studies with a concentration in Exercise Science. He carries an overall GPA of 3.64.
As the founder and president of a new club, Allen says in his own words, “My involvement as the founder and president of the Inclusive Advancement of Multicultural Students in STEM has helped create opportunities for some students to learn how to be more involved in the campus community. My leadership position has given me the opportunity to learn how to create an environment that is inclusive.”
Kathleen Morris is a junior from Avon, Mass. majoring in English with a concentration in Literature and certification in Secondary Education. She carries an overall GPA of 3.96.
Kathleen currently serves as the student representative to the National Education Association’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identification Committee. In her own words, Kathleen says, “As a future teacher, I take any opportunity I can to help people to better understand things that confuse them. Every day I wake up and think of ways that I can impact the world we live in. I think of it my personal responsibility to be a leader and a voice for those who may be too afraid to speak.
Michael Reid, Jr. is a junior from West Springfield, Mass. double majoring in Criminal Justice and Political Science with a concentration in Public Administration. He carries an overall GPA of 3.77.
Michael is a commuter to Westfield State and President of the Commuter Council. In his own words, Michael says, “I was elected President of the Commuter Council. I grew from these challenges by opening up to the Council letting them know that we are all here for the same purpose and our meetings should be the result of a collective effort. It didn’t take long for me to realize that student leadership is how I define the term “college experience” and I couldn’t be any happier.”
Kaleala Shaw is a senior from Lynn, Mass. double majoring in Criminal Justice and Social Work with an overall GPA of 3.95.
Kaleala is the president of the Social Work Association and has been instrumental in rebuilding the club to a member-based active club on campus. In her own words, Kaleala says, “I was appointed president of the Social Work Association which only had two members at the time. Building this organization has been my greatest accomplishment and greatest challenge at the same time. From these challenges I was able to improve my leadership skills vastly. I also learned relationship-building and communication skills.”
William Sondrini is a senior from Dalton, Mass. majoring in Business Management with a concentration in Accounting. He carries an overall GPA of 3.90.
As a tutor for a visually-impaired student, William says in his own words, “I believe my ability to take charge with this situation and unwavering ability to display patience has motivated this student in a positive way. His mindset going forward is that he desires to get through the course in any way possible. By being able to effectively communicate and trust one another, the student is certainly on the path towards success in the future.”