Recognizing excellence at the Academic Awards


Families, students and faculty mingling at the reception after the awards ceremony.

Mariah Mauke, Staff Writer

Every year towards the end of the spring semester, AIC holds a series of awards ceremonies to recognize the student body for all the hard work and dedication they have committed to the school.

Among these ceremonies is the Academic Awards, which praises students not only for their achievement in class but their ability to balance classwork, jobs, family and personal issues, extra-curriculars, and much more.

This semester, that ceremony was held on April 16th.

The night began with remarks from Mika Nash, the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, who welcomed families, faculty, and the distinguished students in her opening address. Nash spoke about what it means to be an AIC student and gave advice from her experience in her work.

The ceremony proceeded with what is known as the Ivy Oration, where a graduating senior, representing their class, addresses the award recipients along with a ceremonial planting of an ivy sprig.

This year’s Ivy Orator was Class of 2019’s Will Johnson. Johnson spoke about his time at AIC and the importance of becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable. He advised the awardees to continue to step out of their comfort zones and to strive for what they want to achieve.

Alice Calabrese received the award for Superior Performance in Healthcare Management.

After these opening statements, more than 70 students from all majors were recognized for their success. Families and friends looked on in the Griswold Theatre as their loved ones received accolades from their professors.

One by one, students were recognized for their strides in the fields of Accounting all the way to Theatre Arts.

Theatre Arts Professor Frank Borrelli was last, but certainly not least, to award his students for their outstanding achievement.

Borrelli began by describing his program as “a 21stCentury Theater Department.”

“We’re creating the whole artist, to work in a multi-billion-dollar industry, in varied capacities, in ways that would just shock you,” said Prof. Borrelli

Borrelli had high praise for his students’ dependability, dedication, talent, and character, speaking about how his students are known for “building the sets they stand on, sewing the costumes they wear, and managing the plays they are a part of.”

Professor Borelli’s speech was laced with his typical humor, style, passion for his work, and overwhelming support for his students.

These qualities led me to want to know more about his feelings on the Academic Awards as a whole.

During the reception that followed the ceremony, Borelli shared his thoughts on the proceeding.

He described the event as “A time to honor students who are consistently courageous, academically rigorous, and who embody our mission of highlighting the intrinsic worth of the individual.”

“My students are writers,” he said.

“They are researchers. Managers, designers, artists. They build the lights that illuminate them, they assist in marketing for the plays. The field is so broad and there’s so many opportunities for advancement and study,” he added.

Borrelli made it clear that no matter the major you choose, “You’re all doing the same thing. You come to college to better yourself, and you leave a better version of yourself.”

Borrelli’s sentiments are true of not only the students recognized in the ceremony, but of the entire AIC student body.

Each professor’s remarks about their amazing students were echoed throughout the night and are continuously echoed around campus.

The Academic Awards simply highlighted a portion of the student body’s achievements and their commitment to Higher Dedication.