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A celebration for students

With music, food and flag-filled pageantry, the 2015 Sammy Awards show was a celebration of student life.

The midday festivities, held April 21 in the Student Life Zone, recognized academic and non-academic student achievements. Flags representing the home countries of NCC’s international students gave a colorful touch to the occasion.

The show kicked off with an instrumental ensemble and continued with students and faculty presenting awards, with entertainment intermissions in between. Attendance was about 150, and not a chair was empty.

Thirteen awards were presented, including three Sammy’s, which were for Club of the Year, Club Advisor of the Year, and special recognition.

Club of the Year honors went to the International Student Organization, the Club Advisor award was presented to Michael Pogach of The Laconic, and special recognition was given to Dr. Susan Salvador, vice president of Enrollment and Student Affairs.

Other major awards included the Alumni Association Athlete of the Year and the William F. Bearse Scholar Athlete of the Year. The Alumni Association’s honors went to volleyball player Emily Koehler and baseball player Ben Hauser. Koehler plans to attend Chestnut Hill College, where she will be playing for the volleyball team; Hauser is taking his talents to Georgia Southern University.

The Bearse award winners are volleyball player Samantha Bertasavage and basketball player Derek Kulp. Bertasavage is a nursing major, with a 3.5 GPA and Kulp is a business major with a 3.94 GPA.

Among other awards were Environmental Excellence, presented to the Ban the Bottle committee; Prism for promoting diversity and multiculturalism, Michelle Zittoni; Freshman Leadership, Patrick Grifone; Most Memorable Student Event, Zeta Kappa Psi for its Haunted Woods; Club Wars, the Nursing Students Association; and the Jennifer Simrell Resident-Student honors, Josh Moser.

“I am proud of you all,” Dr. Salvador said, recognizing students for their goals and accomplishments.

The awards show featured students presenting their many talents.

Danny Abruzzi, winner of Open Mic night at NCC, sang “I See Fire”; Gertrude Kibagendi sang “Sweetest Thing”; Anthony Gieldman sang “I Believe I Can Fly”; Nate Decker and Chris Lordi from The Laconic performed poetry readings; cheerleaders from the Monroe Campus gave a dance performance; and Sara Gong displayed her modern dancing talents.

As the applause died and the confetti settled toward the end of the celebration, the 2015 NCC Leadership Class sang the college’s alma mater. The Sammy celebration was a reminder to students to keep working hard as they pursue their goals and dreams.

Below is a gallery of photos from the celebration, courtesy Adam Soltys.