On April 28, 2023, Siena Heights University (SHU) held its annual Honors Convocation in the Spencer Performing Arts Center. While there, seniors Elizabeth Heintz and Julianne Lark earned the 2023 Outstanding Undergraduate Student Awards from Siena Heights University. The award is SHU’s highest honor given to undergraduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences who represent the University’s best in curricular and co-curricular accomplishment throughout their college career.

Elizabeth Heintz of Lakeview, Ohio, graduated in May 2023 with a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW), Summa Cum Laude. During her time at Siena Heights, Heintz was actively involved in several clubs and set herself apart as a distinct student in the social work field. Heintz was a FYE Peer Mentor, O-Team Leader, Welcome Week Leadership Team member, Campus Ministry scholar, Board President of the Siena Heights Dominican Youth Adults, and Adopt-a-Sister President. She was a part of TRIO and the Student Support Services, which allowed her to flourish academically and granted her several Student Leadership Awards, such as the Trudy McSorley Servant Leader Award (2021-22), Saint Catherine of Siena Award (2022), the 2023 Ann Lauderdale Commitment to Social Work Profession Award, Outstanding Social Science Division Student (2023), and Outstanding Social Work Student (2023). In addition to these accomplishments, Heintz was heavily involved in the Lenawee County area, serving as a member of the Lenawee County Aging Adult Coalition and held an internship position at the Lenawee Department on Aging. While there, Heintz gained valuable knowledge and skills within the social work profession prior to graduation and completed her senior research on “The Prevention and Treatment of Eating Disorders in the Aging Population.” Following graduation, Heintz plans to attend the University of Michigan in the Advanced Standing Master of Social Work (MSW) Program. She has been granted the opportunity to be in the Geriatric Scholarship Program with a degree concentration in Older Adult Family Lifespan.

Julianne Lark of Tecumseh, Michigan, graduated in May 2023 with a Bachelor of Arts as dual major in Business Administration and Religious Studies. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and was on the Dean’s List for all four years. While at SHU, Lark has been involved in a wide variety of extracurriculars, one of the most notable being her activity in Student Government. She has been involved in Student Government since her sophomore year, first as a Senator (2020), Historian (2021), Vice President (2021), and, for her senior year, occupied the position as the organization’s President. In 2021 and 2022, Lark received the “Most Valuable Officer Award” during the year’s Student Leadership Awards Ceremony. Outside of Student Government, Lark has been a Peer Mentor, Orientation Leader, and Welcome Week Coordinator to help welcome first year students into the Siena Heights community. In addition, she has been a member of the Dominican Young Adults, SPARC, and was the event coordinator for the Protect Life club on campus. Lark was also involved in the performing arts, having been in the University Chorale and Chamber Singers since her first year, as well as singing for Campus Ministry every weekend. She also performed in a handful of theatrical performances, including a student-directed one-act entitled “The Dark Road.” After graduating, Lark plans to continue her education at Siena Heights to get her Master’s in Business Administration while working as a graduate assistant for the Visual and Performing Arts department.

During the April 28 Honors Convocation, the following awards were also given:

  • Thomas Emmet Award (top junior student-athletes): Aubrey Bates (Women’s Volleyball) and Cole VanWasshenova (Baseball).
  • Team Academic Award: Women’s Volleyball.
  • Business Management Division Outstanding Student: Julianne Lark.
  • Computer, Mathematics, and the Sciences Division Outstanding Students: Anna Crites and Jay Moore.
  • Teacher Education Division Outstanding Students: Amanda Blair and Linsey Laurinee.
  • Humanities Division Outstanding Students: Julianne Lark and Sophie Zelek.
  • Nursing Division Outstanding Students: Sara Tartarian and Lillian Walker.
  • Social Sciences Division Outstanding Students: Elizabeth Heintz and Lyndsey M. Pena.
  • Visual and Performing Arts Division Outstanding Students: Julianne Lark and MaKayla Beck.
  • Catherine of Alexandria Award (for junior leadership and service): Andrew Bookman.
  • Sister Jean Cecile Hunt Outstanding Advising Award: Betsy Brooks.
  • Staff Excellence Awards: Tim Henkel and Natasha Manchester.
  • Stimson-Tsuji Faculty Research Award: Leland Harper.

Other 2023 Student Leadership Award recipients include:

  • Sister Carmelia O’Connor Outstanding Community Service Program Award: Math Club.
  • Outstanding Educational Program: Greenlight Club.
  • Outstanding Social Program: SPARC: Up All Night St. Patrick’s Day and SHU Pride: Drag Show.
  • Most Valuable Officer: Jay Lugo and Kayla Davis.
  • Advisor of the Year: Elizabeth Artz.
  • Student Organization of the Year: TEACH.
  • Mitchell Prater Halo Award: Joel Koshko.
  • Saints Pride: Caitlyn Harwood.
  • Emerging Leaders: Bobby Lindsey and Lilly Currier.
  • Trudy McSorley Servant Leader Award: Giannina Romero.
  • Legacy Award: Shanterra Holmes and Hannah Thomas.
Elizabeth Heintz and Michael Orlando
Elizabeth Heintz and Michael Orlando,
Vice President of Student Affairs
Julianne Lark and Michael Orlando
Julianne Lark and Michael Orlando,
Vice President of Student Affairs