A Community of Scholars Recognized at Honors Day
Shabnam Mirsaeedi Farahani Earns Alma College Barlow Trophy
Presented at Alma’s annual Honors Convocation Thursday, April 7, the Barlow Trophy was established in 1949 by Dr. Joel Barlow, a 1929 honors graduate of Alma College. The award recognizes academic achievement for a graduating senior in the top 10 percent of the class as well as contributions to campus and community. The Barlow Trophy winner is determined by a vote of Alma’s Student Congress and faculty members.
Mirsaeedi Farahani, a foreign service major, is this year's Student Congress president. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Delta Pi, Omicron Delta Kappa and Pi Sigma Alpha honor societies. She has been a member of the College's Strategy and Planning Council and student member of the Board of Trustees.
She has been a member of Alma's Model UN Team that has received two Outstanding Delegation awards at the national conference every year for the past three years.
An avid volunteer, Mirsaeedi Farahani is co-founder of the Forgotten Children of Eastern Europe, a non-profit organization that supports an orphanage in the Ukraine by sponsoring developmental projects that make life better for the orphans. Her projects have included helping raise enough money to purchase and install a heating system in the building. During her service to FCEE, the Posey Family Foundation endowed a scholarship to help students live in the Ukraine for four to six weeks to assist the orphans and learn about children's issues and life in the Ukraine.
has been involved in the Society for Protecting the Rights of the
Child, Amnesty International, and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF Mirsaeedi
Farahani has demonstrated her understanding of poverty and the issues
surrounding it on a global level and fought for the rights of women and
children in the Ukraine and in Iran. She utilizes these experiences to
teach and lead local college students about human rights and what can
be done to prevent their violation.
A 2001 graduate of Midland Dow High School, She is the daughter of Hessam Mirsaeedi Farahani and Gila Mohadjer of Midland.
Bethany Doran of Ithaca, daughter of Mike and Kathy Doran, and Mary Pietsch of Rogers City, daughter of Gary and Paula Pietsch, were the other Barlow nominees.
Barrister Society Wins Kapp Honors Day Prize
The Alma College Barrister Society took the 2005 Ronald O. Kapp Honors Day Prize with their proposal to do good deeds.
This year's task promoted by the Honors Day Committee in the annual cross-curriculum, collaborative project was titled "Raise Your Voice: Simple, Inexpensive Ways to Improve the Quality of Life at Alma College."
The Barrister Society, a group of pre-law students advised by Business Administration Professor Elizabeth Cameron, proposed "Pay It Forward -- A Commitment to the Liberal Arts" modeled after the movie "Pay It Forward" in which a young boy does good deeds with the stipulation that recipients pay forward the kindness to three other people.
Sophomore Sarah Ellsworth of Lansing, junior Mark Monto of Bay City and sophomore Mollie Smith of Grand Haven formally presented the proposal. Sophomore Chris Adamec of Goodrich, junior Sol Cortez of Detroit, first-year students Rachel Dotson of Chelsea, Jennifer LaMay of Yale, Kelly Schwartzkopf of Rochester, and junior Jim Templin of Brownstown plus Ellsworth and Monto prepared the presentation.
Recognizing a morale problem on campus among faculty and staff, the barristers are calling for students and campus organizations to unite to perform "a good deed for another with the stipulation that in return a good deed must be done for some other person or group," according to their proposal.
"Now is the time to show that students truly want to make a commitment to the liberal arts. Our proposal presents solutions to the decline in morale and would create a sense of 'community wellness,' by advocating (that if) it only takes one person to make a difference, as illustrated in the movie, then imagine what an entire campus could do. All aspects of the plan are designed to improve the overall quality of life on campus, not only for students, but also for the faculty, staff, community members, and student organizations," the proposal states.
Ideas include a mentoring program for first-year students with the result of connecting alumni to the College; Stepping out of the "Alma Bubble" to embrace the community as a whole; Friday speakers sharing their knowledge to help the Alma community.
"You have left a lasting legacy which will benefit future students. Pay it Forward — A Commitment to the Liberal Arts will celebrate a legacy of individual students, faculty, administration, organizations, and friends, the influence they have on who we are as a higher institution of learning, how far we have come, and the legacy we leave behind. It rejuvenates the bond that students have with their alma mater and their peers."
Bethany Payton Named Outstanding Senior Leader
Alma College seniors Amanda Buck of Saginaw, Shabnam Mirsaeedi Farahani of Midland, Bethany Payton of Bloomfield Hills, Jeff Snow of Pleasant Ridge and Laura Wasek of Traverse City received 2004 Outstanding Senior Leadership Awards. The Outstanding Senior Leader, won this year by Payton, is elected from the leadership award winners by a vote of the senior class.
The Alma Leadership Alliance (ALA), a student organization committed to bridging the transition between student and alumni status, sponsors the Senior Leadership Awards. Nominated by campus organizations and selected by a committee of students, faculty and administrators, seniors receive Senior Leadership Awards for involvement in various areas of campus life leadership.
A scholarship sponsored by ALA is given in the Outstanding Senior Leader’s name to an incoming freshman who has demonstrated leadership qualities in high school.
Buck, a biology major and a 2001 graduate of Freeland High School, is the daughter of Kenneth and Tammy Buck.
Mirsaeedi Farahani, a foreign service major and a 2001 graduate of Dow High School, is the daughter of Hessam Mirsaeedi Farahani and Gila Mohadjer.
Payton, a communication major and a 2001 graduate of Lahser High School, is the daughter of Cathy Payton.
Snow, a 2001 graduate of Ferndale High School, is the son of Thomas and Kathleen Snow.
Wasek, an exercise and health science major and a 2001 graduate of Traverse City Central High School, is the daughter of Arthur and Paula Wasek.
Four Earn Outstanding Senior Awards
Melisa Bower, a Spanish major from Peck; Mary Pietsch, an exercise and health science major from Rogers City; Victoria Wilson, a biology major from Rochester Hills; and Angela Zischke, a biochemistry major from Lansing, received an Alma College 2005 Outstanding Senior Award, recognition for the highest grade point average of all graduating seniors.
Bower, the daughter of Dennis and Joanna Bower, is a 2001 graduate of Sandusky High School.
Pietsch, the daughter of Gary and Paula Pietsch, is a 2001 graduate of Rogers City High School.
Wilson, the daughter of Thomas and Alicia Wilson, is a 2001 graduate of Rochester Adams High School.
Zischke, the daughter of Kenneth and Mary Zischke, is a 2001 graduate of Waverly High School.
Outstanding Faculty and Junior Faculty Recognized
Alma College seniors recognized Dr. Kay Grimnes, Dr. Mark Seals and Dr. Robert Vivian with Outstanding Faculty Awards at the annual Honors Convocation April 7. Dr. John Rowe was named Outstanding Junior Faculty by his colleagues.
The Outstanding Faculty Award recognizes the impact on the quality of students’ education. The awards are chosen by a vote of the senior class members in March with one recognition in each of the College’s academic divisions.
Grimnes, professor of biology, represents the life sciences division; Seals, assistant professor of education, represents the social science division; and Vivian, assistant professor of English, represents the humanities division.
The Outstanding Junior Faculty Award demonstrates the confidence in and commitment to those faculty who have served a short time at Alma College. Rowe, associate professor of biology, was nominated by tenured faculty and chosen by the Provost with advice from the Faculty Personnel Committee and in consultation with the College President.
Posted: Fri, April 8th, 2005 at 9:43AM