Seniors Honored With Prestigious Coleman Awards

April 11, 2019

By Alex Dooley '21

2019 Coleman Award recipients
From left, James Bloor, Braelyn Croteau, Kerrin Norton, and Grace D'Antuono, recipients of the Paul S. Coleman Senior Service Award for Outstanding Service Engagement

On April 10, friends, family, and faculty of Saint Anselm College gathered in the Roger and Francine Jean Student Center Auditorium to honor twenty seniors at the college’s 26th annual Paul S. Coleman Volunteer Service and Leadership Awards. These students are nominated for their dedication to Saint Anselm College, and the impact that they have had on the college, as well as the surrounding community. The ceremony includes the presentation of department service awards, as well as two senior awards to four students who represent the values and spirit of Paul Coleman.

Seniors Grace D’Antuono (international relations), and Braelyn Croteau (business) were this year’s recipients of the Paul S. Coleman Senior Service Award for Outstanding Service Engagement. James Bloor (mathematics) and Kerrin Norton (English and communication) were also recognized with the Paul S. Coleman Senior Service Award for Outstanding Service Leadership.

Matthew Pendergast ’13 offered keynote remarks preceding the presentation of the awards. As a proud alumnus of Saint Anselm College, Pendergast looked back fondly on his time on the Hilltop, remarking that he was in the recipients’ shoes just a few years before. His participation in the Road for Hope, several Service and Solidarity mission trips across the country, and the Langdon Mills afterschool program were some of his personal highlights. After graduating with a Peace and Justice Studies major and a minor in Spanish, Pendergast continued his education at the University of Notre Dame in their Alliance for Education teaching program, working with elementary students in Richmond, Va. He is currently an educator and campus minister in the city of Lawrence, Mass.

Pendergast congratulated the nominees for their various accomplishments, urging them to continue down the path of service and leadership that they are currently on and wished them the best as they embark on new journeys. He concluded by wishing for the seniors to find the “pulse” of wherever their future endeavors take them.

“You need to find the pulse, the life-blood, the purpose in your new environment. And if you cannot find that pulse, then you need to bring it with you. Your work here, at this campus, your experiences, and your dedication to others, cannot go away. It is far too important.”

Senior Service Awards

Sixteen students were nominated to receive the prestigious Senior Service Awards:

Felipe Bispo (biology), Taylor Head (nursing), Mallory Schell (nursing), Braelyn Croteau (business), Samantha Delaney (biology), Kerrin Norton (English and communication), Meg Miller (peace and justice studies), Pauline Yates (computer science), Abigail Reynolds (marketing), Benjamin Moffet (criminal justice), Cara Onyski (criminal justice), Caitlin Graham (English), Matthew Diello (nursing), Yuliana Vaquerano (social work), and Sarah Hummel (history).

Prior to presenting the Coleman Awards to the four senior honorees, Dan Forbes, director of Service Education spoke about the history of the Coleman Awards and what they represent. Twenty-six years ago, Forbes led the creation of a senior awards ceremony that recognized the volunteering efforts of students at Saint Anselm College. After much deliberation regarding what the name of the award, the group of coordinators settled on someone who “embodied what it meant to serve and volunteer with the intention of bettering the community;” that person was Paul S. Coleman.

Paul S. Coleman Senior Service Award for Outstanding Service Leadership
James Bloor, mathematics

“A great leader is someone who can inspire others. He or she does not necessarily have to force anyone, but his or her influence on people should be so profound that they start to follow him or her wherever,” said Wayne Currie, director of the Intercultural Center.

Bloor has been active throughout his four years on campus, involving himself in as many programs as he can, and making sure to always lead by example. As a Transitions program participant, and then a participant in many of the volunteer opportunities on campus, Bloor quickly became a leader among his peers in the Intercultural Center, Campus Ministry, and the Meelia Center.

“James will be greatly missed at Saint Anselm College. He’s a great leader, he works hard, he is humble, and passionate, committed, and empathetic,” said Currie.

Bloor has worked tirelessly for the many organizations he volunteers for on a daily basis for the last four years. Not only is he a key volunteer in the Intercultural Center, but he sits on the Presidential Committee for Diversity and Inclusion, is active in the Dean of Students Office, and he has been instrumental in the development of the “Open Space, Open Minds” program of the Intercultural Center.

Paul S. Coleman Senior Service Award for Outstanding Service Leadership
Kerrin Norton, English and communication

“Kerrin is comfortable sharing her insights, asking questions, and challenging the status quo. She does this with humility, with her fellow classmates, and with those in need in mind,” said Sue Gabert, assistant dean of Students.

As an Orientation Leader, Orientation Leader Committee member, President of the Saint Elizabeth Seton Society, Co-Chair of the Relay for Life Committee, a Service and Solidarity Leader, and an Admission Ambassador, Norton’s service to the Saint Anselm College community is nothing short of extraordinary.

“Beyond this remarkable, impressive, and exhausting list of service to the Saint Anselm community, what stands out most is the way in which Kerrin does all that she does, with tremendous balance and poise,” said Gabert.

Not only has Norton continuously volunteered throughout her four years at Saint Anselm College, but one of her most impressive accomplishments is the dedication she has shown to handicap accessibility across campus. She worked diligently through her position as Student Government Association Room and Board Secretary to ensure this issue does not go unnoticed. The initiatives that Norton created always seek the betterment of the community on campus and the surrounding communities, truly embodying the spirit of Paul S. Coleman.

Paul S. Coleman Senior Service Award for Outstanding Community Service Award
Grace D’Antuono, international relations

“I would describe Grace as fearless. But I think it is a fearlessness that is rooted in love. She looks for the goodness in others, and given her gentle soul people are usually able to let down their defenses, and allow their own goodnesses to shine when they are in her presence,” said Daniel Forbes, director of Service Education in the Meelia Center.

D’Antuono joined the Meelia Center as a first semester freshman, but had already made an impact in her hometown as a highschooler. Her Cupcakes Against Cancer non-profit organization cemented D’Antuono’s belief in service and community, before she even arrived at the Hilltop. From then on, she only grew in those beliefs.

“She has a gift for inspiring and empowering people, and is committed to moving barriers. Grace engages with the community in a manner that makes it clear that the work is never about her,” said Forbes.

She manages nine community partnerships with the Meelia Center, and worked through Campus Ministry to make a significant impact on the Andre House, an organization in Arizona that assists individuals and families experiencing homelessness. With all of these accomplishments and experiences in mind, it is clear that D’Antuono encapsulates all of what it means to do service, be a Benedictine, and be an Anselmian.

Paul S. Coleman Senior Service Award for Outstanding Community Service Award
Braelyn Croteau, business

“During her four years at Saint Anselm, Braelyn has been quietly dedicated to countless service activities, and been a role model to her peers throughout. This warm, thoughtful, hard-working, and compassionate young woman spends most, if not all, of her time serving the Saint Anselm College community,” said Sue Gabert, assistant dean of Students.

An employee within Campus Ministry, Croteau has become one of the integral pieces of the office. After being involved all four years in some way, it is no surprise how much she was able to accomplish and serve.

“Brae puts her heart and soul into our community. She sets an example for other students at the college, because she effectively draws connections between her faith, and service. She is an exemplary service leader,” said Gabert.

Croteau demonstrated exceptional volunteer work through being a leader in the Campus Activities Board, through the Meelia Center with a special love for outreach, and a dedicated volunteer for the Food, Clothing, and Furniture drive. Although she prefers to operate behind the scenes, she leads by example and truly embodies the spirit of the College in order to ensure the success of her programs. Her desire to continually grow and learn has shaped everyone she has come into contact with, and has certainly impacted the campus in many ways.

Department Service Awards

Taylor Head ’19 (nursing) The Father Michael H. Custer, O.S.B. Service Award is presented to a student in recognition of outstanding efforts of service and involvement to the Office of Admission and the surrounding Saint Anselm College community. “Our recipient this evening can be defined by the following words: generous, loyal, and fun. She is universally adored by everyone in the office,” said Lee Joyce, assistant director of Admission and manager of the Saint Anselm Admission Ambassador Program. She continued to point out that while Head did lead many tours and interviews, she also worked on mailings, data entry, and hauling boxes, always with a smile on her face. “Her hard work and dedication to the office is evident to all through everything she does.”

Felipe Bispo ’19 (biology) The Donna M. Guimont Service Leadership and Engagement Award is presented to an outstanding student athlete that has shown exceptional dedication to community service and involvement while at Saint Anselm College. “Felipe’s involvement and hard work are seen throughout campus in his academic accomplishments. He does everything with curiosity and a smile,” said Bruno Victal, head coach of Men’s Soccer at Saint Anselm.

Mallory Schell ’19 (nursing) The Health Services Award is granted to a student, who by his or her service to the Saint Anselm Community, has contributed generously and significantly to the care of the ill or injured. As captain of the Saint Anselm College Emergency Medical Services, Schell continuously embodied what it meant to fulfill these expectations and more. “Depending on who is elected Captain of the team, this can make Lauren’s (Maher, staff advisor for EMS) job easier or more difficult. This has been an easy year for Lauren due to Mallory’s excellent communication and organizational skills, collaboration with multiple departments on and off campus, mentoring of younger team members, and overall leadership,” said Maura Marshall, director of Health Services.

Braelyn Croteau ’19 (business) The Campus Ministry Student Leadership Award honors a student who dedicates his or herself to the office of Campus Ministry, as well as the spiritual development of the community. Braelyn has worked with Campus Ministry all four years on the Hilltop, and has proven herself through her dedication and hard work, no matter what the task at hand. “Every little project that has to get done, every little detail that has to be attended to, every seemingly minor concern that a fellow student has shared with her, she responds with an intentionality and a love that has slowly but surely built up into a mountain of greatness,” said Joycelin Raho, assistant director of Campus Ministry.

Samantha Delaney ’19 (biology) The Sr. Pauline Lucier, C.S.C award is given to a service-driven member of campus ministry who embodies both what it means to be an Anselmian, and to grow in their faith. Delaney participated in a variety of different service opportunities on campus, including Road for Hope, a Service and Solidarity leader, a Eucharistic Minister, Lector, RENEW group leader, and many more. “Sam carries herself with integrity, honesty, and humility. She takes the time to attentively listen to others, attempts to reach comprises, and is welcoming to everyone she meets,” said Fr. Stephen Lawson, O.S.B.’08

Kerrin Norton ’19 (English and communication) The Dean of Students Award for Service Leadership is awarded to a student who completely dedicates his or herself to the betterment of the school through their service, and works exceptionally through the office to find ways that satisfy the school’s Benedictine heritage. Kerrin Norton exceeded all expectations by working for eight different college offices, heading student groups and committees, serving as the sole student representative to the Presidential Search Committee, and even creating or animating three campus initiatives. “Her passion for this community and its members exudes from her words and action in ways that inspire us all to do more: more for ourselves, more for Saint A’s, and more for the world,” said Dr. Alicia Finn, chief Student Affairs officer and dean of Students.

Meg Miller ’19 (peace and justice studies) The Meelia Center for Community Engagement Partnership Award is awarded to an individual who has grown and developed significantly through partnership with the surrounding community. Megan worked with the Meelia Center all four years of her student life, and as a part of the Student Management Support Staff, Miller assists 40 of her peers with about 60 different partnerships in the community, all while volunteering her time with many of those organizations. “The notion of walking alongside, and working with the community, is something that Megan humbly embodies. Not only does she embody it, and engage in her service from that way of looking at things, this is how she leads,” said Nicole Lora, associate director of the Meelia Center.

Pauline Yates ’19 (computer science) The Meelia Center’s first ever Service to Access Academy Award has no precedent, but is presented to a student that is a pioneer in this particular Meelia Center initiative. Pauline Yates helped shape the afterschool academic program that assists underrepresented high school students in the surrounding Manchester area. Yates worked tirelessly to improve the program, and continuously exemplified what it means to volunteer with purpose and grace. “You’re quick to volunteer, and inspire others to do so as well. You set an example for others, perhaps not even always intending to do so, but you do and others follow,” said Terri Henning, outreach coordinator for the Meelia Center to Yates.

Abigail Reynolds ’19 (marketing) The Office of Student Engagement and Leadership Department Award recognizes an individual that has demonstrated his or her dedication to service, leadership, and involvement. During her four years, Reynolds has worked in a variety of organizations, as a leader or a participant, including a leadership role in the Campus Activities Board, a Meelia Center Committee member, a member of the Student Government Association, and many more. “She is dedicated, passionate, caring, confident, and energetic. She makes me laugh so often,” said Jean Couture, director of Student Engagement and Leadership.

Yuliana Vaquerano ’19 (social work) The Intercultural Center is presented to a student each year for fostering a greater appreciation, advancement, and celebration of diversity and inclusiveness in the Saint Anselm College culture and community through service. Yuliana was instrumental in the operation of the Intercultural Center over the past three years as an administrative assistant, as well as working with the Meelia Center. “She is very creative, organized, hardworking, and dependable. When she interacts with people she is always cheerful, helpful, and smiling,” said Wayne Currie, director of the Intercultural Center.

Sarah Hummel ’19 (history) The Kevin B. Harrington Student Ambassador Program selects one of over 80 student ambassadors who exemplifies how dedication to the improvement and professionalism of the program can positively impact the Saint Anselm community. “Sarah Hummel goes above and beyond in the work she does for us, and extends this passion and commitment to other groups on campus as well,” said Neil Levesque, executive director of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. Levesque went on to describe Hummel’s many accomplishments, including being a presidential scholar, a member of the Honors Program and five collegiate honor societies, and a regular volunteer.

Saint Anselm College EMS Club, led by Benjamin Moffet ’19 (criminal justice), Cara Onyski ’19 (criminal justice), Caitlin Graham ’19 (English), Matthew Diello ’19 (nursing), and Mallory Schell ’19 (nursing), was recognized with the Club or Organization Volunteer Award for outstanding service by Jean Couture, director of Student Engagement and Leadership. The Saint Anselm College EMS club exemplifies the standards of service and service leadership, not only by caring for and protecting the Saint Anselm students, but by going above and beyond, donating over 7,000 hours of service to the campus. “As you know, SAC EMS works very hard to be on-call and cover requested stand-bys. They are a dedicated group I truly enjoy working with,” said Couture, quoting from Lauren Mahar, the club’s advisor.