STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Wilmington’s Rachele DiFava Receives Trustees Key (Perfect 4.0 GPA For 4 Years) From UMass Lowell

Below is a press release from UMass Lowell:

LOWELL, MA — Outstanding seniors preparing to graduate from UMass Lowell were recently honored for their service to the campus and community, their academic and athletic achievements and their efforts to promote diversity and inclusion.

Recipients of the 2021 Chancellor’s Medals were recognized during an online celebration on Monday, May 3 that set the stage for Commencement, a series of small, socially distanced in-person and virtual events to be held this week.

This year’s awards celebration featured the achievements of 41 graduating seniors.

“You represent some of the very best of UMass Lowell: our highest academic achievements and our highest ideals of service, diversity and inclusion,” UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Moloney told the award recipients. “Your accomplishments would stand out in any year – but this is not just any year. The courage and compassion you have demonstrated make us enormously proud. We know you will make a real difference in the world because you have already made one here at UMass Lowell.”

Academic award winners are graduates with the highest grade-point averages in their class and each of the university’s colleges.

Six members of the Class of 2021 have earned the Trustees Key for completing all four years of their college careers at UMass Lowell with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Moloney announced the award recipients:

  • Marinos Blanos of Arlington, mechanical engineering major;
  • Samuel Burns of Lowell, mechanical engineering major;
  • Rachele DiFava of Wilmington, psychology major;
  • John El Helou of Methuen, mathematics major;
  • John Flood of Woburn, computer engineering major;
  • Kishan Patel of Quincy, biology major.

Each of these students also received a Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Academic Achievement, which honors undergraduates in each college who have attained the highest GPA. Joseph Hartman, UMass Lowell’s provost and vice chancellor for academic and student affairs, announced these award recipients, who include 16 other students. They are:

  • Lucia Arrigo of Ayer, a double major in criminal justice and psychology;
  • Scott Childs of Newburyport, biology major;
  • Timothy Cobb of Clinton, nutritional science major;
  • Stephen Collins of Tyngsborough, business administration major;
  • David DeLuca of Lowell, computer science major;
  • Donato Dicicco of Brighton, information technology major;
  • Gabrielle Favreau of Springfield, education major;
  • Nicholas Hansmann of East Longmeadow, information technology major;
  • Rachel Mains of Lowell, public health major;
  • Brynne McConnell of Bolton, business administration major;
  • Michael Miller of Kingston, electronic engineering technology major;
  • Alina Mocan of Matthews, N.C., business administration major;
  • Pietra Souza of Milford, civil engineering major;
  • Tatsiana Stukov of Lakeland, Fla., information technology major;
  • Julia Sypek of Auburn, exercise science major;
  • Nadine Younan of Westborough, psychology major.

Chancellor’s Medal for Student Service award recipients are graduating seniors recommended for the honor who have made outstanding contributions to UMass Lowell. Political science majors Ryan Callahan of Chelmsford, who served for two years as a UMass student trustee, and outgoing UMass Lowell Student Government Association President Hannah Casey of Marblehead, were two of the honorees in this category.

“I honestly didn’t think it was possible to be more proud to be graduating from UMass Lowell but this is astounding,” Casey said of the accomplishments of her fellow award recipients. “Take this drive and determination out into the world.”

Other honorees include:

  • Marcelo Costa of Marlborough, biology major;
  • Kanya Derisme of Boston, business administration major;
  • Abigail Drezek of Cumberland, R.I., exercise physiology major;
  • Dana Ibrahim of Lowell, peace and conflict studies major;
  • David Nguyen of Everett, nursing major;
  • Jordan Shaw of Haymarket, Va., mechanical engineering major.

Seven students received the Chancellor’s Medal for Community Service in recognition of their significant contributions to the public good. The honorees include:

  • Benjamin McEvoy of Dunstable, business administration major;
  • Madeline Meeks of Manchester, N.H., political science major;
  • Amir Qudaih of Groton, civil engineering major;
  • Danelia Ramirez Aguilar of Chelsea, double major in criminal justice and sociology;
  • Sofia Savoca Rojas of Lowell, civil engineering major;
  • Krina Shah of Billerica, biology major;
  • Molly Teece of Methuen, plastics engineering major.

The university recognized three students for their significant achievements in the areas of diversity, inclusion and social justice through their service, advocacy, community outreach and research efforts. The recipients of Chancellor’s Medals for Diversity and Inclusion are:

  • Benjamin Jeter of Sharon, sociology major;
  • Sarah Kamal of Cambridge, electrical engineering major;
  • Morgan Walter of Westford, psychology major.

The Chancellor’s Scholar-Athlete Award was presented to Benjamin Drezek of Cumberland, R.I., an exercise physiology major who was honored as the athlete who attained the highest grade-point average among students who have participated in varsity athletics for four years.

More information about Commencement events, guest speakers and honorees is available at http://www.uml.edu/commencement.

UMass Lowell is a national research university offering its more than 18,000 students bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in business, education, engineering, fine arts, health, humanities, sciences and social sciences. UMass Lowell delivers high-quality educational programs and personal attention from leading faculty and staff, all of which prepare graduates to be leaders in their communities and around the globe. 

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