24 seniors receive the Who’s Who award

By Aislinn Walsh
May 7, 2019

Who’s Who recipient Nia Alvarez-Mapp.

Just a month before graduation, 24 members of Cabrini’s graduating Class of 2019 were bestowed the honor of the Who’s Who award.  This prestigious award is given to seniors at over 1,000 colleges across the country who exemplify academic merit, leadership and service as an undergraduate.  

To be considered, students must have applied for the Who’s Who award and excelled in three areas: academics, leadership and service. In addition, students must receive a letter of recommendation and nomination from a faculty member. 

2019 Who’s Who Award Recipients. Graphic by Amy Kodrich

The founder of the award,  Henry Pettus Randall, was unable to join honor societies while in college due to this financial status. According to the organization’s website, he created “Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges” in 1934, so that students could receive recognition for their work “based on achievement rather than financial ability.”

Cabrini’s Who’s Who recipients balanced work, leadership, service and athletics all while focusing on their academics.

Sonia Spadafora, senior biology major with a pre-dental track, spent her time at Cabrini involved in several activities across campus.

She was the president of the student government association, vice president of the Rotaract club, a member of the science club and crew team, worked as a Resident Assistant, peer tutor and participated in  Bacteriophage research.

Sonia Spatafore has served as president of the Student Government Association. Photo from Cabrini University Athletics.

After graduation, Sonya aims to attend dental school and knows that she has put a positive mark on Cabrini.

 “The Who’s Who award was a touching sentiment to remind me that through my advocacy and efforts to improve the Cabrini experience,” Spadafora said. “I will be leaving a lasting impression here.”

Nia Alavrez-Mapp, philosophy and writing double major with a minor in political science, seeks to further her education at graduate school. Before grad school, she will be participating in two years of service.

The decision to volunteer comes to no surprise to anyone that knows Nia, as she is heavily involved in service and activism. Although her involvement list is too long to name, there are several activities and efforts that she’s particularly proud of.

During her time at Cabrini, Alavrez-Mapp has worked to create the interfaith prayer room, co-ran the drive for student voter registration and organized a Valentine’s Day pantry drive for rape survivors.

In addition, she was 2018-2019 recipient of the Newman Civic Fellowship, a national award and fellowship for college students. According to the organization’s website the award, “recognizes and supports community-committed students who are change-makers and public problem-solvers.”   

She has also been inducted into four honor societies,  Delta Alpha Phi, Sigma Tau Delta, Omicron Delta Kappa and Psi Chi.  

Alvarez-Mapp wishes to dedicate this award to several family members and The Wolfington Center.

“I am dedicating this Who’s Who to my Grandma Aracely, Grandpa José, Aunt Justa, Grandma Elaine, Tio Juan and those I wished who were here to see this moment,” Alvarez-Mapp said.  “Also I just really want to thank the Wolfington Center for being one of my biggest supporters on this campus.”

Matt Keelan, also a recipient of the Who’s Who award, was a member of the theater program and worked as many as three jobs on campus at any given time.

Senior Matt Keelan has been active in the theater program. Recently, he was in the “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”  Photo submitted by Matt Keelan.

“It feels good to know all my accomplishments at Cabrini didn’t go unnoticed,” senior business management major Matt Keelan said. “I’m glad I was able to make an impact at this school.”

Keelan believes that of the three required fields of excellence he has shown his abilities as a leader most while here. He has worked in admissions, as an orientation leader and was a student fellow of the leadership LLC.

“For four years I’ve studied leadership and year after year I’ve been able to put my skills to the test,” Keelan said.

Meghan Murtha, senior math and chemistry major, was another recipient of the award with a great deal of involvement at the school.

Megan Murtha has been involved in crew and has worked as an RA. She is also a member of the Honors Program. Photo from Cabrini University Athletics.

Throughout her years here Murtha has been a Residence Assistant, a math tutor, a classroom coach, the vice president of the math club, the coordinator for the science club, a peer tutor for science and learning community, captain of the rowing team and was a part of the Student Athletic Committee.

Not only that but Murtha is part of several honors societies; Gamma Sigma Epsilon, Beta Beta Beta, Sigma Zeta, Delta Epsilon Sigma and Omicron Delta Kappa. Murtha is also part of the honors program at Cabrini University

“I’m really honored to have my hard work here recognized,” Murtha said. “I’m looking forward to the induction ceremony.”

Those who have received the award were invited to attend an induction ceremony on Saturday, May 18.

Aislinn Walsh

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