Uni honors student achievements at annual awards ceremony
Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 3:07pm
When & Where: Thursday, May 17, in Uni Gym
Student of the Year Award: Sarah Yockey, senior
Director's Award: Annie Rong and Marie Lilly, seniors
June Mank Award: Wyatt Benskin, junior
Matt Wilhelm "Service With a Smile" Award: Jamie Blue, senior
Other awards: Thursday afternoon's ceremony featured a wide range of awards, with each department having a chance to recognize outstanding achievements.
Senior Sarah Yockey won the Student of the Year Award at the annual end of the year Awards Ceremony this year. We use this ceremony as a way to recognize the amazing things that students, teachers and other members of the Uni community have accomplished throughout the year. The ceremony took place May 17 during Uni Period. This years award recipients showed no exception to the wide degree and variety of things our community has accomplished.
Ella Leppert Award
Lisa Micele, college counseling
This award is named in honor of Dr. Ella C. Leppert, a long-time social studies teacher at Uni High. the award recognizes outstanding teaching and the recipient is selected by the senior class. The recipient receives recognition by having her name engraved on the permanent plaque displayed at the school and a cash honorarium of $100.
Iris Chang & Peter Kolodziej Writing Awards
Fiction: Tanisha Afnan, sophomore
Non-Fiction: Seniors Sarah Yockey, Nikita Dutta, Brendan Morales-Doyle and junior James Boyle
These awards honor the memory of writer Iris Chang, Class of 1985, and scientist Peter Kolodziej, Class of 1979. Peter's younger brother, Daniel, worked with Chang on the Unique student literary magazine. He established the awards in recognition of the central role that good writing played in the lives of both Iris and Peter. First-place winners in each category receive $100, a book award, and a plaque.
Wylde Q. Chicken Award
Nikita Dutta, senior
The Class of 1972 established this award 12 years ago to honor students for their unbidden creativity and their willingness to challenge orthodox ways of doing things. The full title of the award is the "Wylde Q. Chicken Spontaneous Generation Award for Coloring Outside the Lines". Dutta received the award for her pastiche of the book Mumbo Jumbo by Ishmael Reed
Matt Wilhelm Memorial “Service with a Smile” Award
Jamie Blue, senior
Matt Wilhelm, Class of 1999, was a dedicated member of the Uni student body who was constantly helping others. Each year, the Matt Wilhelm Memorial “Service with a Smile” Award is voted on by the faculty and goes to a member of the Uni student who, like Matt, went above and beyond the call of duty to serve the Uni community.
June Mank Award
Wyatt Benskin, junior
This award is presented in the honer of June Mank, the bookkeeper for Uni High from 1972 to 1988. She served on the Champaign City Council from 1979-2003. In her spare time she drove cancer patients for treatment, delivered meals on wheels, and served on various neighborhood committees, plus church activities.
Marie Lilly, senior
Annie Rong, senior
This award is given at the discretion of the director. The award is intended to recognize a student who exhibits strong character and is a good role model for others both in the classroom and outside it. Giving this award to Rong literally brought Director Jeff Walkington to tears as he recalled how she helped him through his first few months at Uni.
Student of the Year Award
Sarah Yockey, senior
This award is determined by the faculty. The following are the criteria used to select the winner:
1. The student demonstrates respect for the dignity and worth of the individual.
2. The student is sensitive to the needs of his/her school and community and initiates constructive action without seeking self-glorification.
3. The student is willing and able to operate as a leader or follower as the situation demands.
4. The student is creative and demonstrates ability to inaugurate and carry out original proposals. The student is not bound by tradition.
5. The student has a strong interest in and commitment to their academic program.
Faculty comments about Yockey included: "Is there anything she does not do well? She dedicates herself to her academics and she knows how to have fun".
Christopher Bannister Memorial Award
Sarah Sutter, senior
This award is given by the Fine Arts department in memory of the late Christopher F. Bannister. Bannister, a member of the Uni High Class of 1955 was a master harpsichord builder who believed that Uni High was a unique and ideal place in which to grow and stretch one's mind in many directions while still allowing one to specialize in particular interests.
"There’s something 'immediate' about our society," Bannister said. "Learning the discipline of almost anything has fallen out favor. But be it in music or photography or anything else, subtlety and appreciation only come from self-discipline and study. And it's very rewarding if you make that effort."
Emma Koenker Award
Elena Bauer, senior
This award is presented by the Foreign Language Department in honor of Emma Koenker, a member of the Class of 1998 who died of a brain tumor during her freshmen year. The award is given to students who not only excel at languages, but share Koenker's love of culture, people and who display her enthusiasm and spirit of adventure.
Illinois Science Teachers Association Award
Jo Ellen Machesky
This award, sponsored by the Illinois Petroleum Resources Board, is presented to a junior or senior who has exhibits a strong science background, excellent leadership, laboratory and study skills, the ability to solve problems, and who has a strong scholastic rank. He or she must also have an interest and desire for a career in science. Machesky was recognized not only for her skills in the sciences, but also for her volunteer work at local elementary schools.
Bausch and Lomb Science Scholarship Program Award
Brianna Hajek, junior
This award goes to a junior who has demonstrated achievement in all areas of the sciences, has shown exceptional skill in laboratory experimentation, and possesses the qualities necessary to help them excel in a future career in the sciences.
Philip Anderson Outstanding Science Student Award
Aishwarya Gautam, senior
This award honors Philip Anderson, who was a member of the Uni High Class of 1940 and won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1977.
James Tobin Award for Excellence in the Social Sciences
Rosa Druker, senior
This award was established in honor of Uni graduate James Tobin, an economist who won the Nobel Prize in 1981. The Tobin Award is given each year to a graduating senior who has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the questions and principles of the social sciences. Teachers description of Druker matched this description exactly saying that she was "most likely to challenge basic assumptions".
STUDENT SERVICES AWARDS
Kiwanis Club of Champaign-Urbana Vic Shaul Award
Kevin Kuo, senior
also recognized by the Kiwanis club: Seniors Nikita Dutta, Marie Lilly and Hannah Johlas
The Champaign-Urbana Noon Kiwanis Club started a scholarship program in 1989 in honor of one of their club's finest members — Vic Shaul, a member from 1945 until his death in 1993. This $500 scholarship recognizes Shaul for his contributions to the C-U community and its young people.
Junior League of Champaign-Urbana Volunteer Scholarship Award
Amalia Dolan, senior
This $500 scholarship is presented each year by the Junior League to one young woman from each of C-U's six high schools. The recipients are picked by their high school’s internal process and are recognized for their volunteer service to the community.