It is rare that a student in one department wins major end-of-year awards at Michigan Tech. So imagine how excited we were to have two! Congratulations to our outstanding award-winners in the biological sciences department who are also part of our pre-health program.
Christian Johnson wins the Provost’s Award for Scholarship
First to Christian Johnson, winner of the Provost’s Award for Scholarship. The Provost’s Award for Scholarship is given “to a senior who best represents student scholarship at Michigan Tech. This outstanding student is considered excellent, not only by academic standards, but also for participation in research, scholarship activity, levels of intellectual curiosity, creativity, and communication skills.”
“I am thrilled to see that Christian was selected for the Provost Award for Scholarship. I have had the honor to work with Christian over the past 3 years as his Pre-Med Advisor,” says Nicole Seigneurie, director of pre-health professions and instructor of biological sciences. “I can’t say enough how outstanding a student Christian is. He has always impressed me with his passion, commitment to community service, work ethic, and servant leadership. On top of that, he is a very kind and compassionate individual who I know is destined for great things. This award was well-deserved!”
Stephanie Carpenter, assistant professor of creative writing describes Christian as “an inventive, dynamic writer and an engaged, generous participant in discussions of published and student works” who is “a stand-out in our department and at Michigan Tech.” Christian added the English major, a move that he feels will help him to be a more empathetic physician and to develop the critical thinking and writing skills he will need to be successful in medical school.
And Travis Wakeham, lecturer and undergraduate academic advisor in biological sciences adds, “It has been an absolute pleasure watching Christian grow into an empathetic leader through his involvement in a wide variety of activities. Few students can balance conducting research in cardiovascular physiology, pursuing various artistic endeavors (including actively working on two novels), assisting people through a crisis as a volunteer at Dial Help, while finding time to play through a Dungeons and Dragons campaign between all of his schoolwork. He truly represents some of the best scholarship at Michigan Tech.
Pursuing a double major in English and human biology with a pre-health professions minor, Christian’s diverse passions and accomplishments led to his selection as the Departmental Scholar for both Humanities and the Pavlis Honors College. We thank Christian for his scholarship and academic accomplishments, as well as his tireless commitment in serving the Michigan Tech community.
Bella Menzel-Smith wins William and Josephine Balconi Community Service Award
And congratulations to Bella Menzel-Smith for winning the 2022 William and Josephine Balconi Community Service Award! The William and Josephine Balconi Community Service Award is “presented to a student who demonstrates community service with lasting and meaningful impact during their time at Michigan Tech, regardless of background or area of study.”
Dr. David and Marie Blum initiated this endowment in memory of Marie’s parents, Josephine and William Balconi. David and Marie remember Marie’s parents as “kind, gracious, warm, and always helpful. They were always involved in helping others.” Marie’s parents lived in the Houghton area.
“I was so honored to be able to nominate Bella for the Willman and Josephine Balconi Community Service Award,” says Nicole. “Bella embodies everything this award stands for. She has a real passion for helping others through service and she’s left such an incredible impact on both the Tech and Houghton community. I am excited to see where the future takes her as she embarks on her next chapter, Physician Assistant School. I am confident Bella will continue to have a positive impact on her future patients and the communities that she will serve in the future.”
Travis adds, “Bella energizes any room that she walks into with her positive attitude and dedication to serve others. She has made a tremendous impact within our community through her initiatives, including creating a pre-health mentoring program to connect new students with upperclassmen. Her work has helped empower others and bettered their well-being. I have no doubt that she will excel in the Physician Assistant program at Marquette University next and continue to serve others as a healthcare professional.”Bella is a pre-physician assistant student who is majoring in human biology. You can read more about her pathway to Physician Assistant School. We thank Bella for her tireless commitment to community service and passion for helping underserved communities.