Student Affairs honors five students with leadership awards

Author: Julie Hail Flory


The University of Notre Dames Division of Student Affairs recognized five outstanding seniors with student leadership awards at a banquet held on campus last month.

The Ray Siegfried Award for Leadership Excellence , established in 2006 in memory of the alumnus and University Trustee, was presented to Rachel Cota, a theology major from Altadena, Calif. The Siegfried Award recognizes a Notre Dame senior who exemplifies the qualities for which Siegfried was known, including leadership, generosity, devotion to the Catholic faith and participation in athletic programs.

The captain of Notre Dames fencing team and an active member of her residence hall community, Cotas service activities include trips to the West African nation of Benin to work with children in the village of Adourekoman for whom, upon her return to campus, she created peer-to-peer links with other children at South Bends Christ the King School.

The Rev. A. Leonard Collins, C.S.C ., Award, given to a graduating senior who has made a substantial personal effort to advance the interests of Notre Dame students, was presented to Bridget Keating, an accountancy major from Hannover Township, Pa.

Serving as both junior and senior class president, as well as sophomore class treasurer and as a member of the freshman class council, Keating also worked on behalf of students as part of the Financial Management Board and Judicial Council. She worked as a news writer for Notre Dames student newspaper, The Observer, and as a tour guide and student ambassador for the Office of Admissions.

The John W. Gardner Student Leadership Award , presented to a graduating senior who exemplifies the ideals of Notre Dame through outstanding volunteer activities reaching beyond the University, was given to Michael McKenna, an anthropology major from Drexel Hill, Pa.

Among McKennas honors are a Kroc/Kellogg Research Grant, a McGrath Fellowship, the Yarrow Award from Notre Dames Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, and the Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship for Foreign Affairs. His service activities include participation in an international summer service program working in Tijuana, Mexico, for Casa Migrante, a Catholic-run shelter that provides humanitarian services to those seeking to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. He served for three years as coordinator for NDVotes and the Rock the Vote campaign and completed an internship for the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants while studying for a semester in Washington, D.C.

The Denny Moore Award for Excellence in Journalism , named in honor of the Universitys late associate vice president for public affairs and communication and presented to a senior who exemplifies the qualities for which Moore was known, including personal integrity and character, commitment to Notre Dame and writing ability, was given to Madeleine Hanna and Michael Laskey.

A French major from Mequon, Wis., Hanna worked for The Observer all four years and served her senior year as editor-in-chief. Laskey, an English major from Belle Mead, N.J., served as executive editor of the student-run Scholastic Magazine and completed an internship with the Department of Social Development and World Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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