YSU honors student, honors publication earn top NCHC conference awards

A delegation of students from the Youngstown State University Sokolov Honors College took home two top awards from the National Collegiate Honors Council conference held in Orlando.

Julie Centofanti received the John J. Hanigan Scholarship
Julie Centofanti received the John J. Hanigan Scholarship 

Julie Centofanti, a sophomore Biology major in the BaccMed program, received the John J. Hanigan Scholarship for her work developing a meaningful way for students to serve the community together through transcribing.

“Julie Centofanti seized the moment to find an answer to the question of how students could volunteer meaningfully during a pandemic. Julie took the initiative to leverage technology to develop a transcribing community and provide a remote service opportunity, while also learning,” said Amy Cossentino, dean of the Sokolov Honors College and associate provost for strategy and engagement.

For decades, students have presented at NCHC and received recognition for top awards in their disciplines. A new first for YSU is a student receiving one of their competitive awards of distinction.

“We are proud of Julie's leadership and to all those who transcribe along with Julie. The receipt of the NCHC John J. Hanigan Award is a testament to what can be achieved no matter the obstacles.”

Collectively, honors students have transcribed more than 13,000 documents and logged 1300 hours of service.

“As I continue at YSU, the transcribing club has given me a sense of purpose. I met students of diverse majors and made friends that I could have never made without this club. We work together to achieve a common goal, despite the various pandemic limitations,” said Centofanti. “I am thankful for the Honors College and all the students who take time out of their busy schedules to transcribe and help our community!”

Centofanti was also selected to share her work as a conference presenter during a general session, something that is typically reserved primarily for honors faculty and staff.

The Honors College also earned a first-place award in the print division for the With Honors magazine.

“Having our magazine recognized through this competitive process provides recognition for the student magazine team and the significant time and effort they invested to develop this publication,” said Mollie Hartup, associate director and professional staff editor of the magazine.

Other YSU student presenters include:

  • Tek Chhetri, senior majoring in Electrical Engineering, presenting Self-Driving Car research poster.
  • Bronson DeAngelo, sophomore majoring in Psychology, and Taylor Sebastiano, sophomore majoring in Biology/Pre-Medicine, presenting Honors Helping Future Scholars – And Their Schools.
  • Alessandra Montanez, sophomore majoring in Business Administration, serving as student moderator for several conference sessions.
  • Lauren Rager, senior majoring in Anthropology, presenting A Student-Centered Approach to Curating Content for Publications and The Impact of Man-Made Bird Boxes on the Reproduction of Cavity Nesting Birds research poster.

The NCHC conference brings together students, faculty and administrators from across the world to collaborate and inspire new ideas and energy into honors education. YSU students have been attending the conference since 2008. Attendance at NCHC supports Honors College pillars of academic and research, interdisciplinary perspectives and global citizenship.