Four Students Receive Top Achievement Awards

May 23, 2013 | by the Office of Marketing and Communications

During its annual Honors Convocation ceremony earlier this month, Elmhurst College announced the recipients of the Founders Award and the Senior of the Year Award, which are among the College’s top honors for individual student academic achievement.

The 2013 Elmhurst College Founders Award was given to Matthew Rohde of Arlington Heights, Colin Ashwood of Cedar Falls, Iowa, and Jazmine Martinez of West Chicago. Uchenna Ebiringah of Frankfort was named the 2013 Elmhurst College Senior of the Year.

Senior of the Year

The winner of the highly sought-after Senior of the Year award is selected by a special committee of the College’s Alumni Association. The association created the award to honor the senior who typifies the Elmhurst College graduate. The winner excels in academics and campus involvement, and is committed to continuing the Elmhurst College tradition.

Uchenna Ebiringah is an exercise science major and a member of the American College of Sports Medicine. Ebiringah has been an active member of the football team for two years and is currently a member of the Rugby Club. Ebiringah serves a number of roles in his Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, including chaplain, public relations chair and member of the judicial board.

He lives a values-based life that has led him to become an Orientation Student Leader, a LeaderShape Institute graduate and a member of the Judicial Hearing Council. His parents are Chidi and Virginia Ebiringah of Frankfort, and he is a graduate of Lincoln-Way East High School.

Founders Award

The Founders Award recognizes self-initiated service that effects change and embodies humane values. One of the awards is given for self-initiated service to the campus; a second is given for service to the community; and the third is given for global service.

Matthew Rohde received the award for Service to the College Community. Majoring in economics and management, Rohde has a 4.0 GPA and also was named Outstanding Senior in the Department of Business. A paper he submitted in March at the annual MBAA International Conference, a gathering of scholars and students from various business disciplines, was named Outstanding Student Paper in Operations Management and Entrepreneurship. Rohde co-authored three papers with Dr. Bruce Fischer in the business department, and also served as a Resident Adviser and as a member of numerous honor societies. He also is active in Habitat for Humanity and his fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha. His parents are Debra and Roy Rohde of Arlington Heights, and he is a graduate of Prospect Heights High School.

Colin Ashwood, who received the Service to the Greater Society award, is a senior from Cedar Falls, Iowa, who is majoring in political science and religion and service. His idea of living faith “is gritty and requires devotion beyond any pew or donations plate.” He believes it requires education, advocacy and serving society. Ashwood has worked for Justice and Witness Ministries at the national office of the United Church of Christ, interned for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and has helped to lead student involvement in President Obama’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge.  He was the founder of two student groups at Elmhurst College: Elmhurst College Progressive Christians and Democracy Matters.  Ashwood has been accepted into the Teach for America program and will be teaching in a low-income community in Cleveland, Ohio. His parents are Patrick Ashwood and Eileen Daley and he is a graduate of Cedar Falls High School.

Jazmine Martinez, who received the Cureton Award for Service to the Global Community, is a senior from West Chicago whose major is intercultural studies. “My drive, my compassion, my calling is to serve humanity . . . and share my knowledge with others while never forgetting my place as a civil and social citizen of the world.”  She served as the president of the Elmhurst College Gospel Choir and has been involved in Peer Mentoring, American Model United Nations and LeaderShape.  Through her involvement with the Niebuhr Center for Faith and Action and her church, Martinez has traveled to Jamaica and Haiti, where she worked with the King’s Garden outreach program. She will be returning to Africa, where she will teach classes for children and adults. Martinez is a graduate of West Chicago High School.

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