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All School Student Awards 2022

Madeleine Robinson Memorial Award

Presented to a student who is active in community service; established in 1975 by the husband of Madeleine Robinson, a 1959 graduate who died at an early age and was beloved for her community activities in the Aurora, Illinois, area

Tess Majewski

Tess Majewski

Tess Majewski brings a welcome and inspiring astuteness to their work as a dancer. Though they are diligent and precise, they dance with great joy and humor. They are equally adept as a leader and a team player, as is evidenced by their myriad other commitments to campus groups and events. Hardworking, musical, and organized, Tess exudes excellence in their engagement in, dedication to, and vision of their goals.

Lucia Wiant Award

Awarded to a student who has shown outstanding academic or artistic growth in the communication arts and sciences

Elyse Yun

Elyse Yun

Elyse Yun has shown incredible growth as an artist and individual. She came into her acting classes with talent and discipline and has worked diligently to shape those gifts and channel them into a fuller expression of self in all aspects. Her work ethic is impeccable, and her future in the field is bright. She is hardworking and involved in a dizzying number of projects, but she brings to each enthusiasm and dedication.

Zeta Phi Eta Award

Awarded to a continuing graduate student, or to an outstanding junior or senior who will remain at Northwestern to pursue a master’s degree, who has demonstrated excellence in communication arts or sciences as well as strong scholarship, exemplary character, talent, and leadership ability exemplifying the organization’s motto, “Achieve! With Wisdom, Integrity, and Love”; presented by Zeta Phi Eta, a national professional fraternity in communication arts and sciences and the oldest national group of its kind, founded at Northwestern University in 1893

Lucy London

Lucy London

Lucy London is a committed and incisive thinker and doer. She excels in critical theory distillation, analytic skills, and explorations of performance practice and activism. She is a committed student but does not limit her work to campus affairs, choosing instead to additionally go out into the world to explore connections and enact positive change. Her work, and the process she uses to bring it to fruition, is exciting and moving.

Robert M. Cumnock Scholarship

Awarded to an outstanding first-year student; honors Robert M. Cumnock—a performer and teacher who believed oratory was an art, not a science—who in 1878 founded Northwestern’s School of Oratory, now the School of Communication, and was responsible for the construction of Annie May Swift Hall

Julia Chu

Julia Chu 

In addition to being a conscientious, accomplished student, Julia Chu brings energy and engagement to the classroom. She was hardworking and attentive when it came to her speech assignments and brought excitement to each of her chosen subjects. Like her award’s namesake, Chu approaches oratory “as an art, not a science” and embodies Cumnock’s legacy and that of the School of Communication through her inspired, inspiring work.

Ralph B. Dennis Scholarship

Presented to an exceptional sophomore; honors Ralph Dennis, dean of the school from 1913 until his retirement in 1942,who oversaw a period of exponential growth and whose vitality and personal style in interacting with students made the school unique

Elise Pakiela

Elise Pakiela 

Elise Pakiela is an excellent student with a focus on production and management. She is impeccably organized and on task and generous with her time and talents. Her contributions to class are always well considered and often deeply insightful.


James H. McBurney Scholarship

Awarded to an outstanding junior; honors James McBurney, dean of the school from 1942 to 1972, under whose leadership it achieved widespread recognition, while the school structure reinforced cohesion among its disciplines

Kennedy Williams

Kennedy Williams 

Kennedy Williams is passionate, intelligent, meticulous in her thinking, boundlessly curious, and understanding of complex concepts. She has leveraged her background in mathematics to study models of cochlear mechanics and is able to connect her learning and research to clinical issues. Her dedication and diligence are unparalleled, and her kindness and excitement are contagious. Her teachers, mentors, and lab mates all truly enjoy the chance to think and work with her.

Roy V. Wood Scholarship

Awarded to an outstanding senior; honors Roy Wood, dean of the school from 1972 to 1987, whose door was always open to students and whose tenure saw marked growth in the size of the school, major gains in physical facilities, and advancement in the quality of teaching, research, and creative activity

Wenke Coco Huang

Wenke (Coco) Huang

Wenke (Coco) Huang is a profound thinker—in equal measure both scholarly and artistically creative—and academically excellent. She is committed to the painstaking analysis of texts to find inspiring new meanings that are both unexpected and unprecedented. She is able to distill the soul of a text through her interpretations and is consistently impressive in her work.

Marsha P. Johnson Award

Awarded to an undergraduate or graduate student who has shown leadership and/or advanced conversations around LGBTQ+ issues through their scholarly work, teaching, or research

Sawyer Sadd

Sawyer Sadd

Sawyer Sadd brings positivity, humor, and inspiration to both his digital media work and his advocacy. He is passionate, dedicated, and produces work with concepts that matter to the world. He is a leader in and outside of the classroom, particularly in matters of inclusion, the transgender experience, inequality, sexual harassment, and gender expansive ideology. He is a pivotal member of the campus community and a high achieving model student.

Burton and Karol Lefkowitz Prize

Awarded to an undergraduate student who has demonstrated leadership capabilities through civic engagement, community service, or other projects designed to improve society or advance social change. One recipient chosen from each of the School’s three divisions: Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies; Communication Studies and RTVF; and Communication Sciences & Disorders.

(Division I)

Molly McDermott 

Molly McDermott’s energy and passion for accessibility in theatre has yielded tangible changes in the spaces for and visibility of differently abled performers. She spearheaded the annual Inclusive Theatre Festival and served for two years as director of accessibility services for the Dolphin Show. The position is now permanent, thanks for her advocacy. Her involvement in multiple other institutions and initiatives suggests a commitment to the field and a seriousness about enacting positive change for populations often overlooked in theatre programming.

(Division II)

Seunghee Chang

Seunghee Chang 

Seunghee Chang is a profoundly thoughtful, deep thinking, high-achieving, and reflective student. As a documentarian, he bears a poetic sense of story, composition, and editing, and is also a kind and insightful person. He is fully engaged with the work of his peers, offering smart and sensitive feedback. He has won both grants and awards for his work, and his talents extend well beyond the film realm, as he is a highly engaged member of the campus community.

(Division III)

Halle Sigman

Halle Sigman

Halle Sigman is highly focused on the emotional and mental health and wellbeing of others and engages in inspiring work to help those with learning differences. She is the senior leader for Northwestern’s chapter of Eye2Eye, a national non-profit that connects high school or college students who have learning differences with middle schoolers who also learn differently. Halle is also the philanthropy chair of Northwestern’s National Student Speech Language Hearing Association undergraduate chapter, which aims to spread awareness of issues related to communicative disorders and build community among those interested in the field.