Written by Kate Harner
From left, Executive Vice President Michael Pernal, John Lappie, Chelsea Williams and President Elsa Núñez.
Willimantic, CT - Eastern Connecticut State University students Chelsea Denise Williams '10 and John Peter Lappie III '10 were among eight Connecticut State University System students recognized for their outstanding academic achievement by the Connecticut State General Assembly. The ceremony took place on April 14 during College Academic Day at the State Capitol.
Williams, a senior from Torrington, is a psychology major and sociology minor. She currently holds a 3.86 GPA; was named a recipient of the Who's Who Among College Students Award in 2009; and is a member of Psi Chi, the honor society for psychology majors. For the past three years, she has been a resident assistant in Occum Residence Hall and a peer mentor for Eastern's First Year Program. She was also a teaching assistant for two semesters. Throughout her college education, Williams has served as vice president of the student-run community service group, People Helping People; as vice president of the Psychology Club; as hall representative of the Resident Assistant Council; and as secretary for both the Freshman Leadership Council and Residence Hall Association.
Williams gives back to the community on a regular basis. She volunteers at the Windham No Freeze Shelter, the Covenant Soup Kitchen and St. Paul's Collegiate Church. She traveled to Panama in January 2009 and 2010 and to the Dominican Republic in July 2009 to carry out mission work with members of her church.
"Her work in all of my courses is always of high quality," said Melanie Evans, assistant professor of psychology. "It is not only her academic ability that makes Chelsea stand out, however. She is one of the most mature students I have ever worked with and one of the most giving, thoughtful and selfless individuals I have ever known."
Lappie, a senior from North Branford, is a political science major and a history minor. He currently holds a 3.91 GPA. He is a recipient of the Daniel Pearl Memorial Scholarship and an active member of Eastern Conservatives and Eastern Republicans. Lappie also is a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science honors society; Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), the National Leadership Honors Society; the ODK Student Leadership Development Program; and Eastern's Honors Program.
Lappie regularly volunteers at the North Branford Town Hall and assisted the town manager in writing the town's annual report. Other volunteer efforts include assisting local campaign efforts in North Branford and volunteering in the Special Olympics at Windham High School for four consecutive years.
"My experience with John in the classroom has shown him to be a gifted and serious student," said William Salka, associate professor of political science. "I can honestly say that John is among the best students I have worked with at Eastern. I have watched him work tirelessly to accumulate the skills and knowledge he will need to excel in graduate school."
Lappie has been accepted to the Ph.D program in political science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Each year, state lawmakers honor outstanding students from each of Connecticut's public and private colleges and universities. The students are selected by their respective schools, based on academic achievement and extra-curricular involvement.
The students received an official citation from the Connecticut General Assembly in recognition of their academic achievement. In addition, the students were formally introduced to the State Senate and House of Representatives and were joined by legislators during a State Capitol reception.