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In the Spotlight
May 7, 2020

St. Francis College Names 19 New Members to Duns Scotus Honor Society


St. Francis College will welcome 19 new students into its Duns Scotus Honor Society this year, a testament to their collegiate achievements in and out of the classroom.

Traditionally, SFC inducts its new Duns Scotus Honor Society class as part its Charter Day convocation, an annual spring event commemorating the date SFC received its official New York State Charter in 1884. The current restriction on large gatherings has altered those plans.

Instead, the College will celebrate the latest Society members in an online event on May 8, 2020, preceding a formal in-person induction ceremony scheduled for August 26th.

"We're thrilled to wrap up this academic year by shining a spotlight on some of the best and brightest among our student body," said Jennifer Lancaster, Ph.D., SFC Academic Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs. "It's a privilege for us to have the opportunity to elect the latest cohort of Duns Scotus members. These students represent the very best of academic achievement and service which are at the heart of our mission.On behalf of the SFC faculty, I sincerely congratulate each new member."

Founded in 1935, the Society is named for the Blessed Duns Scotus, a Franciscan scholar and champion of Our Lady's Immaculate Conception. Election to membership in the Society is based on scholastic standing, participation in extra-curricular activities, evidence of loyalty to the ideals of St. Francis College and demonstration of a true Franciscan spirit. Students are inducted either the year they graduate or the prior year.

Thomas Flood, SFC Vice President for Advancement and Louis D'Elia, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Accounting and Business Law Director in the MS Program in Accounting will be recognized as Honorary Duns Scotus inductees at the May 8th and August 26th events.

"Receiving this recognition has warmed my heart in an indescribable way," said Flood. "To be included among this talented and distinguished group, along with the other honorary member who I hold in the highest regard, Dr. Louis D'Elia, and invited by the very students who are the passion and drive behind every ask we make for their Big Dreams, all I can say to each and every one who made this possible: thank you for delivering a Big Dream that I never expected."

Dr. D'Elia echoed Flood's sentiments of gratitude.

"It is indeed a humbling honor to be chosen as this year's Faculty Honoree. I cannot think of a higher privilege than being chosen by such an esteemed and distinguished class of student representatives," said Dr. D'Elia. "This induction is not one that I take lightly. I am so honored to be chosen by the students who make up the 'best of the best' that we have to offer as a college community. It is these students - and all of those past and present – whose eagerness to learn and serve that have made teaching at St. Francis College the most rewarding professional experience of my life."

The Society selected Accounting major Nerma Kolenovic '21, as its President for the 2020-21 academic year. Maeve Conlon '21, an Adolescent Education major will be Vice President.

"It is indeed a humble honor to be a member of the Duns Scotus Honor Society and to have the opportunity to lead the St. Francis College's most prestigious society for the 2020-2021 academic school year," said Kolenovic, who volunteers as an intern at the Financial Executives International (FEI) and is active in the SFC Accounting Society and the Women's Leadership Network. "I want to point out that this would not be possible without the continuous support from my professors, family, and a prominent class of student representatives. In these unprecedented times, I am proud of my fellow members – past and present – for their dedication in preserving the standards of excellence and the richness of the Franciscan tradition this spring and thereafter."

Outgoing Society President Zoe Felix '20 said she is grateful for her experience in the Society and is hopeful for its future.

"Wrapping up the semester as the Duns Scotus President was rewarding," said Felix, who also served as the Speaker of SACOR this year and plans to attend graduate school and pursue a career in public relations after graduation. "I built valuable relationships and connections that I will carry long after my time at St. Francis College. Being in this position has allowed me to further make an impact and continue pushing Franciscan values with my colleagues. This year we have very strong inductees and I have no doubt in my mind that they will continue to carry on the tradition of service. They truly embody what it means to be a blessing to other individuals."

Jakisin Mathur, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Sociology who serves as faculty moderator for the Society, pointed out that the Society's values are particularly meaningful now.

"It is indeed a privilege to serve as the Moderator for the Duns Scotus Honor Society. Induction into Duns Scotus is the highest honor St. Francis College bestows upon its most remarkable scholars who further distinguish themselves with their commitment to service," said Dr. Mathur. "The present members and the 19 inductees for the year 2020 are a diverse group exemplifying the ideals enshrined in the college's Mission Statement. Their fortitude and resolve in these challenging times is heartening and I am confident that our new inductees will continue to embody and uphold the Franciscan values that are so integral to our ethos as well as to our success and well-being".

The 19 new Duns Scotus Society members are:

Class of 2020:

Antonia D'Amato

Maxine Lahoumh

Nermina Markisic

Lara Milak

Andon Papa

Valentina Papeo

Runsi Patro

Cristina Quiles

Tadeu Rodrigues

Andrea Rojo

David Schoen

Romario Thomas

Class of 2021

Ampha Chaiwongsa

Maeve Conlon

Connor Keating

Nerma Kolenovic

Bianca Gonzalez

Victor Masi

Lexis Ortiz

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