Navigation Menu


Graduate Awards

Graduate awards are presented annually at Commencement. Eligibility for most awards is based on academic record and determined by academic advisors. Graduates who meet the criteria are contacted as nominees and asked to submit materials for consideration. However, for three of the awards, Robert E. Kinsinger Award, Robert P. Mahoney Award and the Student Support Award, the selection process requires self-nomination.

For more information or if you have questions, contact commencement@excelsior.eduand be sure to reference the name of the award in the subject line of the email.







Watch the inspiring stories of the 2011 graduate and alumni award winners from the Awards Convocation held on July 7, 2011.


Flash Player is required for viewing this video.

Requires Flash Player



All Graduates

Student Support Award

Award Recipient: Derek M. Doty

This self-nominated award is presented to a person (or persons) whose assistance and encouragement played a significant role in a graduate’s quest to earn an Excelsior College degree. 

Charles W. Laffin Jr. Memorial Award

Award Recipient: Joseph T. Sevcik

In recognition of Charles W. Laffin Jr., whose vision and leadership gave momentum to a fledgling community college movement and left a legacy of opportunity to millions of adult learners, and in gratitude for his invaluable service to Excelsior College, the faculty of the College presents this award for academic excellence and outstanding achievement.

Ewald B. Nyquist Award

No Award Recipient this Year

In recognition of the leadership of Ewald B. Nyquist, founder of the College, who was determined to extend the quality of educational opportunity from kindergarten through college to learners everywhere, the Trustees of Excelsior College present this award for academic excellence and outstanding achievement in earning a degree through independent study.

Excelsior College® Examinations Award

Award Recipient: John J. Armstrong

This award is presented by the Excelsior College Assessment Unit for demonstrated excellence in Excelsior College Examinations. Recognizing achievement of the highest standard score on a group of the College's exams taken during the previous calendar year, the award annually honor one examinee in one of two categories: Nursing and Business/Technology/Liberal Arts.

LeRoy V. Good Memorial Award

Award Recipient: Brian Keith Taylor

In recognition of LeRoy V. Good's vigorous efforts on behalf of community colleges throughout the country and of his distinguished tenures as the founding president of four such institutions, and in gratitude for his commitment and service to the College, the faculty of Excelsior College presents this award for academic excellence and outstanding achievement in earning an associate degree through independent study.

Robert Kinsinger Award

Award Recipient: Jason R. Lowman

This self-nominated award recognizes the leadership and vision of founding trustee Dr. Robert E. Kinsinger. As the first chair of the College’s Board of Overseers, Dr. Kinsinger built upon his earlier relationship with the College as a vice president of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. While at the Foundation, Dr. Kinsinger encouraged and supported the development of the Regents College nursing degree programs, an interest that he carried forward into his work as an overseer and later as a trustee. The award is presented to a student who demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and who is involved with the nonprofit sector as either an employee or volunteer.

School of Business and Technology

Jean Smith Award (Business)

Award Recipient: Adrienne S. Mason

This award recognizes the leadership and vision of Founding Trustee Jean M. Smith. Ms. Smith’s career in banking has been characterized by a deep commitment to institutions that are devoted to improving society. Her passion for social justice shaped her work with the college, first as an overseer and later as a trustee, as she worked to support students. The award is presented to a student who demonstrated outstanding academic and professional achievement in the world of business.

Marvin Curling Memorial Award (Technology)

Award Recipient: Robert L. Simmons

This award is given in memory and recognition of the vision and contribution of Marvin Curling to the development of collaboration between industry and education through the integration of corporate-sponsored training and college-level learning. A New York Power Authority (NYPA) training superintendent, Mr. Curling motivated employees at NYPA to persist in educational advancement. He helped establish degrees in technology at Excelsior (then Regents) College. In honor of the superior model of collaboration which he helped established, the New York Power Authority contributed the endowment to maintain this annual award which is presented to a graduate who achieved outstanding academic achievement while pursuing a degree in a nuclear technology program.

School of Liberal Arts

Robert P. Mahoney Award

Award Recipient: Rocio Villa

In recognition of Dr. Mahoney's outstanding contributions to liberal arts education at this College and his devotion to serving his community, this self-nominated award is presented to a liberal arts graduate who completed a degree in the face of significant challenges and demonstrated a dedication to community and volunteer service.

The Joshua L. Smith Award

Award Recipient: Kerry Lehan

This award recognizes the leadership and vision of founding trustee Joshua L. Smith. During his three years as chair of the Excelsior College Board of Trustees, he encouraged the College to expand graduate degree programs. Smith, a retired professor and director of the Program in Higher Education and Center for Urban Community College Leadership, New York University, School of Education, dedicated his career to education. Thus, this award is presented to a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies graduate who demonstrated outstanding achievement and has a career focused on education.

School of Nursing

Mildred L. Montag Memorial Award

Award Recipient: Patricia Printz Smith

The Mildred L. Montag Memorial Award is presented in recognition of Dr. Montag’s national leadership in nursing and nursing education and her distinguished contribution to the development of the nursing programs offered by Excelsior College. The graduate selected to receive this award has completed the Excelsior College Master of Science degree in nursing and has demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and excellence in all of the nursing courses, including the capstone course.

Ruth V. Matheney Memorial Award

Award Recipient: Carissa R. Westring

The Ruth V. Matheney Award is presented in memory and recognition of the distinguished contributions of Ruth V. Matheney to nursing education, her nationally acclaimed leadership toward progressive, patient-centered practices in the classroom and at the bedside, and her wise and willing counsel to the Excelsior College nursing programs. The recipient of this award has completed an undergraduate degree at Excelsior College and has demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and excellence on the nursing theory examinations or nursing courses and the nursing capstone requirement.


Arthur Gregg Award

Award Recipient: James R. Shreve

This award recognizes the leadership and vision of founding trustee Lt. General Arthur J. Gregg (USA Retired). General Gregg chaired the College’s Board of Overseers and guided the transition to independence as a private institution, becoming the first chair of the Board of Trustees. With a distinguished career in the U.S. Army, General Gregg has contributed greatly to the College’s service to the U.S. military. The award is presented to a student who is on active duty in the U.S. Military and who demonstrates outstanding academic and career or professional achievement.

Catherine Craig-Erhardt Memorial Award

Award Recipient: Adam J. Carlson

This award is given in memory of Catherine Craig-Erhardt, a member of the College staff beginning in 1980. From 1984 until her untimely death in 1986, she served as the College’s liaison to the military. The award recognizes and commemorates her commitment to helping military servicemembers attain their educational goals and is presented for service to others, commitment to education, and for academic, professional, and personal achievement.

Course Registration Image