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Two Eastern Students Win Barnard Scholar Awards



Written by Emily Bonoyer


             Willimantic, CT -- Sara Hanrahan of Oakdale and Tristan Hobbes of West Utica, NY, both seniors at Eastern Connecticut State University, are among the 12 scholars who were recognized on April 21 at this year's annual Henry Barnard Distinguished Student Award Banquet held at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington. Douglas Guthrie of Portland was the keynote speaker. He is the senior vice president of Comcast's Western New England Region and has 25 years experience in the communications industry.

Eastern President Elsa Núñez with Sarah's Parents.jpg     Eastern President Elsa Núñez, right, with Sarah Hanrahan and her parents.

To be considered for a Barnard Award, a student must have at least a 3.75 GPA and a record of significant community service. The students are nominated by their respective universities and presidents.  The award is named for the first U.S. commissioner of education, Henry Barnard, a distinguished Connecticut educator who was the state's first superintendent of schools and principal of what later became Central Connecticut State University.

             Hanrahan is a mathematics major at Eastern with a concentration in secondary education. She has a 3.98 GPA and has earned the SMART Scholarship and the ETS (Education Testing Service) Recognition of Excellence in Mathematics for scoring within the top 15 percent on the Praxis II for math content knowledge. She has been on the Dean's List each semester, and is a member of Eastern's Honors Program and the Kappa Mu Epsilon National Mathematics Honor Society. She is also listed in the "Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities."

Hanrahan participated in Eastern's first International Honors Colloquia in Scotland, where she conducted original math research for her thesis. She also served as treasurer of the Honors Club, is student teaching at Norwich Free Academy and volunteers weekly at the Covenant Soup Kitchen.

"Her (Hanrahan) motivation to succeed comes from within," said Eastern President Elsa Núñez. "Sara is motivated by the learning process, not by grades. Her passion is for teaching mathematics to young people. She has a particular interest in working with students who struggle with the subject.  She wants to show students that they can be good at math even if they stumble along the way, that you shouldn't give up trying even when the problems are difficult. It is no surprise that Sarah understands how important teachers are in the lives of children."

            Eastern President Elsa Núñez with Tristan Hobbes and his parents.jpg







               Eastern President Elsa Núñez with Tristan Hobbes and his parents.

                Hobbes is a communication major and sport and leisure management minor at with a 3.80 GPA. He has received the ECSU Foundation Scholarship, ECSU Scholar-Athlete Award, Joe Wojick Coaches Award and National Student Athlete Day Award. He is captain of Eastern's baseball team and was named to the Little East Conference First Team, ECAC All-New England First Team, CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors Association) Academic All-America District 1 First Team and the Little East Conference All-Academic Team.

Hobbes is president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee that coordinates "Haunted Happening" each year, a member of the Lambda Pi Eta-Tau Nu Chapter of the Communication Honor Society and a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honor Society. He is a broadcaster on Eastern's WECS-FM (90.1) and initiated Internet broadcasts of Eastern athletics events. He was also a reporter for "My Hometown Sports" website and newspaper.

            "Training to excel in a sport and learning to master a scholarly discipline requires copious quantities of time, effort, focus and motivation," said Núñez. "Tristan makes it look easy. If you have ever played a sport at the collegiate level, you know that it is not. Maintaining a successful balance between academics and athletics requires self-discipline and impressive time management skills.  Is he a scholar? Or is he an athlete.  The answer is clear: he is both. Tristan is an exceptional young man who has distinguished himself academically, athletically and as a citizen of the Eastern community."

            Other Barnard Award recipients include Lianne DiFabbio, Steven Edwards, Ryan W. Hewey and Amanda Elaine Johnson, all from Central Connecticut State University; Alberto Cifuentes, Jr., Stamford, Megan Rudne, Catherine Shortell and Walter J. Stutzman, students at Southern Connecticut State University; and Meredith A. Liberto and Laura Telman, of Western Connecticut State University.

            The major sponsors for the 21st Annual Henry Barnard Distinguished Student Awards Banquet are Comcast, Otis Elevator Company and People's United Bank.


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