Senior Dinner and Awards


In May, the WC GIS Program has a small tradition for the seniors who work as interns. We celebrate our soon-to-be graduating seniors by throwing them a farewell dinner at the end of the spring semester to say thank you for all of their hard work. This year, the staff and seniors enjoyed a nice dinner at JR’s downtown. Although not every senior could attend, it was still nice to spend some quality time with the ones who could make it.

Over the past four years (and longer in some cases) we’ve worked with these students, watched them grow academically, professionally, and personally. We’ve seen them off as they went to study abroad and celebrated their return. We’ve wished them luck on tests, papers, presentations. And we’ve mentored, lectured, and trained them as they expanded their curriculum through their work at the GIS Program.

This year the staff decided to something a little extra special for their seniors and award each one with a unique award, though some had to be awarded in absentia:

  • Katie Walker – Betty Crocker Award
  • Erika Koontz – Hound Dog Award .
  • Elizabeth Stackowitz – The Loch Ness Award
  • Johnathan Seitz – The Behind the Scenes Wonder
  • Julianne Golinski – Green Thumb Award
  • Ashley Surock – The Mighty Mouse Award
  • Daniel Benton – The Dapper Dan Award
  • Lynn Diferdinando – The Encouraging Word Award 

Each award was conferred with a brief mention of why they received that particular award, but in keeping with the nature of exclusive societies everywhere, we aren’t telling! Suffice to say that we rewarded them in recognition of who they are, how grateful we are to the work that they’ve done and how proud we are to see them graduate and continue striving forward.

In the end, as with every year, we planned and said our bittersweet goodbyes. On Saturday, May 20th, we watched and applauded with parents, family and friends as they officially graduated with the conferral of diplomas and words from President Sheila Bair.

We are very grateful for all of the hard work that our seniors have put in over the years. Each one definitely left an impact on the GIS Program and will be missed, but we know that they each will achieve greatness in their future endeavors!

And now, we turn to look in the class of 2021 for the next generation of talent that will come through our program. As the wheel turns and ages come to pass, we also start planning the next dinner ceremony for the class of 2018.