May 4, 2023
honors medallion with wildcat engraving blue background

On May 11 at McKale Memorial Center, the W.A. Franke Honors College will be celebrating the spring graduating class of 2023. Every semester, we acknowledge select students that have exemplified the values of the college; what it means to seek, connect, create, evolve and celebrate, both personally and academically. The Outstanding Senior, Outstanding Transfer, and Dean's Award of Excellence are chosen via nominations from Franke Honors faculty & staff, and are awarded to graduating seniors that have embodied a spirit of inquiry, pursued their passions, and overcome adversity throughout their time in honors. Let's congratulate these students on their incredible accomplishments!


graduating senior headshot with medallion

Lady Elli 

W.A. Franke Honors College Outstanding Senior

Lady Elli, a senior from Tucson, is graduating with majors in Public Health and Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. Lady has been very active as a leader on campus, including her roles as Student Body Senator for ASUA, President for the Public Health Undergraduate Network, and Creator and President for the Pan Asian Council and Coalition. She has a myriad of commitments on campus and in the community, selecting opportunities for involvement that enable her to use her leadership, creativity, and compassion to serve her fellow students and community members. She has a special talent for engaging and inspiring other people through her leadership, service as a preceptor, and involvement in community organizations like Arizona Justice for Our Neighbors that supports legal clinics for refugees and immigrants in Tucson. 

Lady immigrated from the Philippines as a high school student and her experiences have inspired her career goals, which involve working in either medical malpractice or global health policy research to create positive change in the lives of underrepresented and marginalized communities. She has multiple options available for graduate study, including acceptance into the Master of Public Health in Health Policy and Management at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. 

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Shawn Yang

W.A. Franke Honors College Outstanding Transfer Student

Shuo (Shawn) Yang, a senior from Tucson, originally hails from China and came to the W.A. Franke Honors College as a transfer student from Pima Community College. Shawn aspires to be a counselor and has demonstrated positivity, persistence, and drive in reaching this point in his life and career. With majors in Philosophy and Psychology, Shawn has undertaken research, including his senior thesis, that will prepare him for his intended career goals. He is described as a thoughtful and supportive classmate who provides mental and emotional support to his teams, a characteristic that points toward excellence as a future counselor.  

Prior to moving to the United States, Shawn was a small business owner and marketing professional who created and served as President for Yang Shuo Rare Disease Care Center, an organization that advocated for disabled, lower income people so they could access the medical care they needed. Shawn brought this commitment to his work as an intern with the University of Arizona’s Disability Resource Center.  

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Farah Sawal

W.A. Franke Honors College Dean’s Award of Excellence

Farah Sawal, a senior from Chandler, Arizona, has a major in Neuroscience, Cognitive Science as well as minors in Biochemistry and Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law. Farah has been involved deeply in the W.A. Franke Honors College, serving as a PATH mentor and then PATH lead over three of her years as an Honors student. She also served as co-chair of the inaugural Franke Fling dance that occurred in April. In addition, Farah has been involved in multiple research experiences, beginning with her First Year Project and extending to her thesis work focused on therapies for Down’s Syndrome. Farah also participated in Honors Alternative Spring Breaks and in the Explore Italy study abroad program. 

An aspiring physician, Farah has served as a scribe and also has stepped up to serve in a variety of settings on campus and in the Tucson community. These commitments demonstrate her empathy and concern for others as well as her desire to use her talents and education to improve life for others so they can thrive. She has pushed through her own obstacles and challenges to lead and serve with passion, joy, and a keen sense of purpose. 

Ethical Reasoning Award Winners

The Ethical Reasoning Award was created to promote the inclusion of ethics related to students’ honors thesis projects. The goal is to stimulate students to consider and contextualize the role that ethics and ethical reasoning plays in their area of study. Ultimately, we hope that students are encouraged to engage with a diversity of ethical perspectives while gaining greater insight into their own views, values, and beliefs in a culturally thoughtful way.

graduate standing in front of brick building wearing yellow and white stole

Katie Slaughter
Geosciences & Mining Engineering


Silver Award Winners

The Silver Award is presented to Franke Honors Graduates who maintains a 4.0 GPA through graduation.

Braegen Adams 
Vanessa Addison 
Aasim Ahmad 
Geethika Ameneni 
Amelia Anderson 
Andrea Ardeleanu 
Shruti Attreya 
Isaiah Bae 
Shaan Bhullar 
Nicolas Blanchard 
Blaze Borowski 
Bryn Bowen 
Karissa Bowers 
Bailey Bowles 
Robin Bradley 
Ellie Browne 
Caelen Burand 
Noah Butler 
Gavin Caldwell 
Brooke Carruthers 
Julian Cavell 
Yash Chandak 
Naomi Chao 
Wesley Chiu 
Sean Collins 
Josh Colten 
Alyssa Connolly 
Raya Cox 
Genevieve Craven 
Alexis Cruickshank-Taylor 
Alycia Cusson 
Jeena Davidson 
Patrick DeToro 
Nina Edwards 
Amy Ellsworth 
Matthew Evangelista 
Sophie Feldman 
Nicole Ferguson 
Carson Freeling 
Ashley Fries 
Aurora Gabow 
Lela Garcia 
Allison Glazer 
Brandon Good 
Grace Gousman 

Jeff Greenfield 
Grace Hala'ufia 
Grace Hannon 
Alia Hauger 
Ryan Hauger 
Greyson Henry 
Isabel Herrera 
Halley Hughes 
Jack Hughes 
Caroline Humphreys 
Ethan Hunter 
Kavya John 
Chase Jones 
Liza Keifer 
Shreyas Khandekar 
Terese Kulangara 
Raphael Lepercq 
Kelsey Lynch 
Melanie Macioce 
Shayna Maddern 
Kate Martin 
Kidron Martin 
Kyleigh Masterson 
Cameron Matsumoto 
Kayla McCabe 
Rachel McKeighan 
Micayla Miller 
Ashley Minks 
Ethan Morgan 
Nick Mortimore 
Vaisha Nair 
Rachel Newcomb 
Jack Nichols 
Sky Nicolini Bertsch 
Elise Nochomovitz 
Maddie Officer 
Calista Olander 
Rhiannon Olivarez-Kidwell 
Emily Palanjian 
Nandita Parekh 
Chloe Penna 
Amy Pennington 
McKenzie Petch 
Nicholas Quatraro 
Karli Ramsey 


Ulysses Rascon Lerma 
Divyansh Rathod 
Emma Rautenberg 
Wini Ravinthiran 
George Reicher 
Sasha Reist 
Cece Roessle 
Andrew Romero 
Mikah Rosanova 
Tristan Rubio 
Alyssa Ruiz 
Marlena Ruprecht 
Jasmine Saenz 
Samamtha Schatz 
Zachary Schlamowitz 
Jamie Scott 
Ali Shaikh 
Ryan Silver 
Bennett Skinner 
Katie Slaughter 
Cassandra Smith 
Ethan Snapp 
Brisa Spears 
Ella Spoor 
Allison Staib 
Allison Steedman 
Christopher Sterzinar 
Melia Storey 
Reece Stover 
Erin Sweeney 
Natalie Temple 
Izzy Watkins 
Katy Webster 
Zach Werber 
Julia Wieland 
Maia Wilenius 
Lauren Winter 
Jenna Wise 
Burke Wood 
YiYun Wu 
Victoria Yatsenko 
Brianna Zahorecz 
Maya Ziegler 

Da Vinci Award Winners

The da Vinci Award is presented to Franke Honors Graduates who graduate with honors in more than one discipline by completing two or more Honors Thesis Projects. 

Wesley Chui
Stella Heflin
Caroline Hyland

Danielle Nead-Work
Zoey Plytas
Sasha Reist

Katie Slaughter