Sigma Alpha Sigma, the undergraduate honor society of Niagara University, inducted new members during its 81st annual tapping ceremony on April 26, 2014, at the Castellani Art Museum.
The Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., university president, inducted 26 students into Sigma Alpha Sigma, a selective society established by the Niagara Class of 1933 to recognize and reward the academic and extracurricular achievements of outstanding students. The purpose of the organization also includes creating an incentive for undergraduate students and fostering an example of high standards.
Father Maher, who also offered the event’s keynote address, was joined by current Sigma Alpha Sigma officers Mitchell Willie (president), Allison Radley (vice president), Nathaniel Resila (secretary) and Matthew Nadler (treasurer) in presenting cords to new and honorary inductees.
Selena Cerra, an education and Spanish major from Fell Township, Pa., was named this year’s Outstanding Freshman while Amanda Karaszewski, a Kenmore native studying education (and last year’s Outstanding Freshman), took home the award for Outstanding Sophomore.
Congratulations to this year’s Sigma Alpha Sigma inductees:
- Alexander Carruthers (Economics/Niagara Falls, N.Y.)
- Shannon Chowaniec (Marketing/West Falls, N.Y.)
- Jason Cutler (Accounting/Niagara Falls, N.Y.)
- Ashley DeMar (English/Theatre/Watertown, N.Y.)
- Vanessa Dunn (Social Work/Fairport, N.Y.)
- Taylor Edmonds (Psychology/Richfield, Wis.)
- Claire Elling (Psychology/Rochester, N.Y.)
- Emily Fleetwood (Education/Special Ed./West Seneca, N.Y.)
- Adam Gallegos (Criminal Justice/Monterey Park, Calif.)
- Sarah Hanson (Education/French/Alden, N.Y.)
- Margot Hickey (Psychology/Rochester, N.Y.)
- Erinn Hill (Tourism/Special Events/Grand Rapids, Mich.)
- Stacy Kochanowski (Political Science/West Seneca, N.Y.)
- Carly Lapp (Psychology/Niagara Falls, N.Y.)
- Mark Mackowski (Accounting/Tonawanda, N.Y.)
- Addison Marino (TESOL/Batavia, N.Y.)
- Amber Markham (Psychology/Philmont, N.Y.)
- Helena Nichols (Nursing/Penfield, N.Y.)
- Zachary Nutter (CIS/Ballston Spa, N.Y.)
- Marie Olszewski (Criminal Justice/Skaneateles, N.Y.)
- Jared Persons (Criminal Justice/Syracuse, N.Y.)
- Samantha Saraceno (Nursing/North Tonawanda, N.Y.)
- Amanda Smith (Psychology/Political Science/Lewiston, N.Y.)
- Melinda Stecher (Education/Special Ed./Scotia, N.Y.)
- Sarah Tassini (Psychology/Syracuse, N.Y.)
- Emily York (Chemistry/Niagara Falls, N.Y.)
Honorary inductees included:
- Kimberly Fenton, Residence Director
- Dr. Kevin Hearn, Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student Affairs
- Judith Merkle, SNDdeN, Professor of Religious Studies
- Kristina Schliesman, Campus Minister
The name of the Sigma Alpha Sigma society signifies the scholastic, athletic and social achievements of its members. Admission to the group remains the highest undergraduate honor and is based upon a comprehensive and elaborate point system used to evaluate student participation.
Originally, the yearly tapping ceremony was held in conjunction with “Moving Up Day.” The induction ceremony has been held annually with the exception of a three-year suspension during World War II. The ritual of induction for new members has remained an enduring tradition.
However, some traditions have been broken, while others have been instituted. Women first entered the society in 1947. Outstanding Freshman and Sophomore Awards were established in 1970 and 1976, respectively, to recognize an accomplished member of each class.