Students Recognized for Achievement and Outstanding Scholarship

May 4, 2021 -- Each year, the History, Government and Economics (HGE) Department distributes a number of scholarships and awards to DCC students in recognition of their achievement and outstanding scholarship. This year’s award ceremony, held virtually on April 22, honored five students.

The HGE Department began presenting these awards in 1980 in memory of Eugene A. Sheridan Jr., who taught in the department from 1966-73. Professor Sheridan was an outstanding educator and respected for his devotion to high standards and sensitivity to students. The criteria for all of the awards requires that students have a GPA of 3.0 or better. Students must have taken at least two courses offered by the HGE Department and have received a “B” or better in both courses. They must also have a strong written recommendation from a faculty member in the department. 

The 2021 award recipients include:  

Emily K. Lehan received the Eugene Sheridan Award, presented in memory of Eugene A. Sheridan, Jr. The Sheridan Award is the HGE Department’s highest and most distinguished award. Winners’ names are engraved on a bronze commemorative plate on the department’s Eugene A. Sheridan plaque that is prominently displayed in the HGE office. Lehan, who graduates this year, will be transferring to Bard College to pursue studies in anthropology.

"Winning the Eugene Sheridan Award means a lot to me,” said Lehan. “It confirms that I have been working very hard at DCC and shows me that my goals are not far out of reach. As a student who wants to continue exploring social sciences after DCC, it means a lot to be recognized in that field by all of the lovely and knowledgeable professors in the HGE department.”

Carline Brown received the Ann and Dan Zodikoff Memorial Scholarship, awarded in memory of Rita Alterman and her parents. Alterman was a strong advocate for education and a former adjunct faculty member of the HGE Department. Brown is transferring to SUNY Oswego where she hopes to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting and mass communication. She received SUNY Oswego’s Transfer Achievement Award and the Green and Gold Transfer Award. Brown also received the New York State Transfer and Articulation Association Scholarship along with DCC Foundation Graduating Student - DUE Scholarship in honor of Allan E. Rappleyea. 

Brown credits a spirit of tenacity and perseverance as the secrets to her success. “Amid all the chaos in my life while attending DCC, I maintained an exquisite academic record and also took part in extracurricular activities,” she said. “There is no doubt that I will continue to excel and try to leave a positive imprint, no matter where I go.”

Anisa N. Alzate and Jason T. Santoli were presented with HGE Departmental Awards for Outstanding Achievement in the Social Sciences.  

For Alzate, winning the award was a tremendous confidence-builder. “I was so surprised when I first got the email about my award because school to me isn’t about winning awards, it’s about doing your best,” she said. “It’s a stepping-stone for me to where I want to be in life. I am beyond thankful to be part of the fantastic group of students that won awards alongside me.” 

Alzate will be transferring to New Paltz, and then onto a career as an elementary teacher specializing in special education.

Santoli, who also received an HGE department award, will be returning to DCC in the fall.

“This award is an affirmation that I can do what whatever I put my mind to and succeed if I put in effort,” said Santoli. “I am proud that I could attend college while not visiting the campus in a pandemic. The fact I could earn an education and do well is why I am proud of myself.”

Santoli plans on transferring to SUNY Potsdam in spring 2022 after which he hopes to pursue a master’s and doctorate in the field of paleontology. He hopes to improve society’s understanding of ancient life by working as a professor of paleontology.

Blaine McCollum received the Xavier H. Verbeck Memorial Award, which is presented in honor of Xavier H. Verbeck, who taught in the HGE Department from 1963-1992. Verbeck also served as the department’s chair.  

“I was completely unaware that I would receive this award, and I am truly humbled to have been selected,” said McCollum. “I am confident that this award will help to bolster my resume' in my professional pursuits, but it will always have a deep and inherently personal meaning to me. I find myself a bit on the sentimental side when it comes to my time at DCC, as I will miss the incredible faculty that I've grown to know so well. When I think of the future, I know that I will look back at this award with a sense of pride, and as a tangible reminder of my DCC experience.”

McCollum will be transferring to Cornell University's SC Johnson School of Business to complete his bachelor's degree in finance. He is also in the process of interviewing for a summer internship that will have him working on strengthening the company’s business pitches.