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Celebrating the Achievements of our Clarke Community

By Clarke News  |  May 5, 2022

Each spring, members of the Clarke community take time to recognize all that we have accomplished over the academic year, both as an institution and as individuals. While this is incorporated in many events and activities around campus, the annual Honors Banquet and Faculty and Staff Recognition ceremonies are two of the most widely celebrated. 

Clarke hosted its annual Honors Banquet on Friday, May 6 in acknowledgement of the academic, athletic, and other achievements of our students.  Of these, the highest honor is the Francis J. O’Connor Memorial Award bestowed upon a graduating senior based on their demonstration of leadership, cooperation, generosity, kindness, and academic achievement. The 2022 winner is Biology major Anthony Gonzalez.  

While honored, Anthony stated he could not have experienced the success he did without the support of those around him.  

“We all have a ‘supporting cast’ in our lives and through my involvement I’ve been lucky to gather an amazing group around me, and I hope I offer the same to others,” Anthony said. “As I think about graduation, a saying comes to mind: you should always leave a place better than you found it. Obviously, Clarke has a long history and that sense of community was always there. I like to think that I was able to contribute and make it a more fun and welcoming place for this generation of students, and I intend to keep developing those connections as an alumnus.” 

Additionally, Clarke held its annual Faculty and Staff Recognition Event on April 21, 2022 as part of its One Clarke, One Community Week. The event celebrated employee milestones, tenure and promotion, and faculty-led summer research projects. Clarke also presented a series of awards acknowledging employee excellence, including: 

The BVM Core Values Award was presented to Assistant Professor of Education Cathy Stierman for her dedication to the BVM Core Values of freedom, education, charity, and justice, as well as the quest for self-knowledge and the application of knowledge for a greater good. Her nominator stated, “Cathy is a true advocate for her students and educators in the field. She has a unique gift for recognizing the strengths in others and helping them to see their own value.” 

The Rose O’Toole Staff Recognition Award was given to Director of Engagement and Intercultural Programs Callie Clark to acknowledge her outstanding achievements for the benefits of students and employees alike. One of her nominators stated, “She has clocked more on-campus hours than the greatest scientific minds of our planet can calculate. . . She is a mentor, friend, tireless advocate for every aspect of the Clarke community, and all-around undeniable force of nature who needs to be recognized for her essential place within this institution.”   

Dr. Sunil Malapati, Professor of Chemistry, earned the Meneve Dunham Award for Excellence in Teaching, which was established by the Clarke Board of Trustees in honor of former Clarke President Meneve Dunham. Current and former students nominated Sunil, as well as a colleague who wrote, “His contributions to Clarke and his students are many and substantial. His creativity and willingness to bring that creativity to the students often results in unique and impactful assignments.” 

Those mentioned here are just a few examples of the amazing individuals that make up our One Clarke, One Community. If you know of a student, employee, alumna/us or community member who deserves recognition, please share your story ideas at