Alumni Association honors distinguished students

Author: Shannon Chapla

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Daniel Richter, a senior from Los Gatos, Calif., and Shannon Gayk, a doctoral student in the Department of English from Knoxville, Tenn., have been selected recipients of the University of Notre Dame Alumni Association’s 2004-05 Distinguished Student Award and Distinguished Graduate Student Award.p. The students were recognized by the University’s president, Rev. Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C., during a ceremony Monday (Feb. 21) in the rotunda of the Main Building. The Alumni Association will host a luncheon in their honor April 22 (Friday).p. An environmental geo-science major and resident assistant in Keough Hall, Richter has compiled a 3.86 grade point average, and has earned Deans List honors in each semester. He recently was nominated by the University for the Rhodes and Marshall Scholarship competitions, and, under the direction of Professor Jeremy Fein in the Department of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences, is currently researching the thermodynamics of uranium mineral dissolution.p. Outside the classroom, Richter has served as a co-chair of the Appalachia Task Force and a staff member of the Notre Dame Encounter with Christ Retreat, and has participated in the Urban Plunge service project. He has served local organizations, including Logan Center and St. Josephs Regional Medical Center. In addition, Richter writes articles for Common Sense, a student and faculty newspaper on campus.p. A graduate of Duke University, Gayk received her masters degree from Notre Dame in 2004. Her current research and dissertation on the status of images in 14th and 15th century Middle English texts is predicted to reshape the ways in which scholars consider the period. In addition, Gayk has been recognized with Presidential andp. Dissertation Year Fellowships and has received excellent teacher course evaluations from her first-year composition students.p. Also recognized for her commitment to service, Gayk works as a language partner for the wives of Chinese graduate students, a liason between Campus Ministry and an inter-denominational graduate student prayer group, and a mentor to undergraduate students considering graduate school. She also volunteers at St. Margarets House and Hope Rescue Mission in South Bend and is active with her church.

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