Santa Clara University

Religious Studies department

Student Awards

Several prizes and honors are awarded by the University and the various undergraduate colleges each year for exceptional research and service by Santa Clara students. We would like to honor and acknowledge those religious studies majors and minors who have earned the high regard of the department and the University.

Religious Studies Department Prizes

  • The Religious Studies Prize
    Awarded annually to the religious studies major and, from 2003-2007, the religious studies minor, whom the Faculty of the Religious Studies Department deem to have the most distinguished academic records in the study of religion.
      2015 Jonathan Homrighausen
      2014 Vaniah Holtz
      2013 Celina Mogan
      2012 Brittany Adams

    2011 Ember Cooke, Anna Paustenbach

    2010 Hannah Palm, Kevin Schmitt


    Ashley Loetscher

    2008 Jessica Coblentz (major), Maggi Van Dorn (major), Caitlin Lorley (minor), Kyle Ozawn (minor), Stephanie Paulus (minor)
      2007 Kim McGiven (major), Kyle Stephenson (minor)

    2006 Beth Lauck (major), Brandon Au (minor), Nicholas Cantrick (minor), Ryan Fante (minor), Courtney Marunda (minor)

    2005 Chris Wall (major), Jon Heit (major), and Louise Hills (minor)

    2004 Erin Nuccio (major) and Stephen Chesterton (minor)

    2003 Craig McLane (major) and Victoria Mayes (minor)

    2002 Alicia Ross and Charlotte Vallaeys

    2001 Elizabeth Trippe

    2000 Maureen Romani and Matthew Smith

    1999 Kathleen Barrera and Thomas Zebrowski

    1998 Kim Miller

    1997 Mary Elena Gonzalez
  • Tennant C. Wright, S.J. Award for Outstanding Minor (Religious Studies Department)
    This award is named in honor of Tennant Wright, S.J. It is awarded to the Religious Studies minor most proficient in the study of religion.
      2015 Amia Nash
      2014 Erin Callister, Edward Nugent
      2013  Laura Snowden
      2012 Tanya Schmidt

    2011 Kiley Winsnes

    2010 Benjamin Petrick

    2009 Brandon Ashby
  • Theodore Mackin, S.J. Thesis Prize (Religious Studies Department)
    Awarded annually to the student whom the faculty of the Religious Studies Department deem to have written the finest senior thesis. Named in honor of long-time theology professor who exemplified fine scholarship and deep concern for students' lives.
      2015  Gina Pasquali: Applying Queen Insights into the Comparison of the Synophic Gospel and Matthew and Mark to the Gospel of John
      2014 Katherine Burkhuch
      2013  Tanushree Mondkar
      2012 Paria Amini: The Green Movement and Exodus
      2011  John Logan: Lonergan's Transcendental Method
      2010  Anne Murphy-Hagan: Functionalism vs. Virtue: The Impact of Augustinian Marriage
      2009  Kaitlin Thompson: The "Myth" of the Separation of Church and State or: How Some Baptists Stopped Worrying and No Longer Loved the Wall (Best Senior Paper), Heather Lynch (Best Senior Project), Ashley Loetscher: A Postcolonial Perspective of Revelation 12-14 (Honorable Mention)
      2008  Christina Leone, Erotic Egalitarianism: Redeeming Paradise Through the Song of Songs
      2007  Tessa Weston: Constructing a Unified Identity Out of Shared Oppression: How Dalit Theologians Interpret the New Testament in Response to the Postcolonial Environment in India, James Servino (Honorable Mention)

    2006 Christine Bourey, Dialogues of Death: Considering the Transformation of Lepcha Religiosity

    2005 Pearl Barros, Learning to Listen: An Analysis of Discrepancy Between "First World" and Two Thirds World Christian Feminist Biblical Studies

    2004 Alejandra Lizardo, Adapting Mujerista Theology for Chicanas: Expanding Methodology

    2003 Linda Stankovic, Post-Vatican II Parish Life in the United States

    2002 Jessica Heller, An Ontology of Depression

    2001 Patrick Schelble, Adoption Theology

    2000 Meghan Curley, Traditional Symbols in Modern Culture

    1999 Thomas Zebrowski II, A Thomistic Critique of C. S. Lewis' Defense of the Natural Law and
    Ryan O'Malley, Scientific Knowledge and Religious Experience

    1998 Son Pham, Tillich's Being-Itself and Buddha-Nature and
    Kimberly Miller, Yearning for Being: Empowering Symbols in the Experience of Love

    1997 Neal Arthur, A Theology of Life, Death and Resurrection
  • Catherine Bell Award (Religious Studies Department)
    This award is named in honor of Professor Catherine Bell. It is awarded to Junior Religious Studies Majors for outstanding academic achievement.
      2015 Gus Hardy
      2014 Jonathan Homrighausen
      2013  Vaniah Holtz
      2012 Celina Mogan

    2011 Brittany Adams

    2010 Mark Vetto

    2009 Hannah Palm, Kevin Schmitt, Deepti Shenoy

  • Joseph A. Grassi Social Justice Award (Religious Studies Department)
    Awarded annually to the student who has exhibited the greatest commitment to social justice. Inaugurated in 2003 to honor the retirement of a New Testament faculty member who exemplified the values of scholarship and service.
      2015 Ian Layton
      2014 Joseph Alexander-Short, Celia Trujillo
      2012 Andrew Hodun, Jahayra Molina, Tora Troop

    2011 Mark Vetto

    2010 Elizabeth Purner, Julie Arcaro

    2009 Anne Rovzar

    2008 Jessica Coblentz, Theodore Dykzeul and Kyle Ozawa

    2007 Sarah Attwood and Megan Raimondi (Honorable Mention)

    2006 Tessa Baker and Patrick Green

    2005 Heidi Kallen

    2004 Emily Sargent and Jacob David

    2003 Erin Bishop and Kristin Love
  • Cum Laude Awards (Religious Studies Department)
    These awards are presented to majors and minors who have an outstanding academic record and/or have made significant contributions to the department, the college, and the University.


    John Mahoney (major)

    Laura Martin (major)

    Elizabeth Purner (major)

    Nicole Sanfilippo (major)

    Maria Adelus (major)

    Alexandra Angel (major)

    Julie Arcaro (major)

    Andrea Carrera (major)

    Angela Cooke (major)

    Ryan Cooke (major)

    Ryan Dilag (major)

    Alison Gansert (major)

    Rebecca Hirsch (major)

    Lucy Kelly (minor)
    Claire O'Leary (minor)
    Anne Sobczak (minor)
    Maggie Spreitzer (minor)
    Rachel Barmore (minor)
    Sarah Esparza (minor)
    Stephanie Ma (minor)
    Bianca McNeil (minor)
    Monique Teixeira (minor)

      2009 Sarah Cox Arredondo (major)

    Genevieve Kaplan (major)

    John Michael Reyes (major)

    Jeremy Scott Saline (major)

    Kaitlin Thompson (major)

    Sofia Aboitiz (minor)

    Julie Angelo (minor)

    Mary Tessa Brown (minor)

    Chad Dupic (minor)

    Jill Fitzsimmons (minor)

    Marie Gribble (minor)

    Sasha Kanick (minor)

    Noelle Lopez (minor)

    Jeana Williams (minor)

    Zachary Young (minor)
      2008 Venessa DiCarlo (major)

    Elena Ebrahimian (major)

    Janet Ferree (major)

    Amanda Fowler (major)

    Gabriel Godwin (major)

    Nathaniel Hays (major)

    Molly Leaverton (major)

    Courtney Magner (major)

    Jessica Meyer (major)

    Caitlin Moran (major)

    Aislinn Wyatt (major)

    Caitlin Corley (minor)

    Kyle Ozawa (minor)

    Stephanie Paulus (minor)
  • Disciple of Many Masters Award (Religious Studies Department)
    Awarded anually to the student who has studied with the greatest number of faculty members in the Santa Clara University Religious Studies Department.

    2011 Kevin Senefeld

    2010 Mary Lou Terrazas

      2007 Sarah Attwood and Angela Bustos

    2006 Patrick Sauls

    2005 Chris Wall

    2004 Guillermo Carreon
  • Many Faces of the Divine Award (Religious Studies Department)
    Awarded anually to the student who has studied the greatest range of traditions offered at the Santa Clara University Religious Studies Department.

    2010 Alison Gansert

    2007 Tessa Weston and Lauren Clyne

    2006 Stacey Rotta

    2005 Jessica Rauff and Chris Wall

    2004 Jason Crowley
  • Keys to the Kingdom Award (Religious Studies Department)
    Awarded anually to the students who pursue graduate studies in religion after graduating from our program.
      2013  David Bibee

    2010 Nicole Sanfilippo

    2006 Patrick Sauls

    2005 Jon Heit

    2004 Alejandra Lizardo
  • Bodhisattvas in Training Award (Religious Studies Department)
    Awarded to seniors who, out of a deep sense of compassion, have opened themselves up to learning and receiving from others to whom they will offer a year or more of direct volunteer service.

    2010 Andrea Carrera, John Mahoney,   Deepti Shenoy, Anne Sobczak,  Alexandra Angel

    2006 Richard Bersamina, Courtney Marunda, Jennifer Vollmann, Bryan Lorentz

    2005 Chris Wall, Heidi Kallen, Ross Egge, and Anne Selak
  • Pillar of the Temple Award (Religious Studies Department)
    Awarded to the student who has made the greatest contribution to the life of the department through support of academic and extracurricular activities.
      2012 Zena Andreani

    2006 Everett DePangher
  • Local Religion Project Special Recognition Award (Religious Studies Department)
    Awarded to the student who has given exceptional service and support to the department's flagship Local Religion Project.

    2007 Kara Miyasato
  • Chair's Recognition Award (Religious Studies Department)
    Awarded to the student who has demonstrated outstanding academic promise and a commitment to the values of the profession.
      2015 Anthony Ferrari
      2014 Seher Siddiqee

    2012 Caroline Read
    University Awards
  • The Saint Clare Medal
Tanya Schmidt, (2012)
Noelle Lopez, minor (2009)
Jessica Coblentz, major (2008)
Anne Selak, major (2005)
  • Valedictorian
Brandon Ashby, minor (2009)
Christopher Wall, major(2005)
Rahima Saratore, minor
  • The Nobili Medal
Andrew Hodun, (2012)
George Barnidge, minor (2001)
  • The Richard J. Riordan Award (community service)
Jahayra Molina, (2012)
Zena Andreani, (2012)
Anne Rovzar, major (2009)
Tessa Baker, major (2006) 
Kristin Simms, major (2001)
  • The Ryland Prize (excellence in oratory and debate)
Khanh Bui, major (2001)
  • The Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J. Award
Anne Murphy-Hagan (2010)
Heidi Kallan, major (2005)
  • The Markkula Prize
Jon Heit, major (2005) 


College of Arts & Sciences Awards
  • The Anthropology Program Award
Rita-Marie Brady, minor (June 2001)
Religious Studies Majors/Minors Summer Internship Award
  • Discover Interns
The Discover Summer Ministry Internship program is designed to help students to explore the rewards and demands of working on behalf of communities of faith.
Sarah Attwood 
Nicole Brand-Cousy 
Molly Leaverton
2006 - Jessica Meyer 
Megan Raimondi 
Sarah Attwood   
  • Donovan Fellows 
The Donovan Fellowship provides students with a cash grant of up to $1,500 to encourage and support students who desire to deepen their understanding of social justice issues through a summer coummunity-based learning experience.

2011 - Jahayra Molina

2006 - Theodore Dykzeul 

2006 - Stephanie Edwards 
2006 - Emory Lynch 
  • Arrupe Interns 
The Arrupe Internship is designed for students who have particpated in several Arrupe Partnerships community-based learning experiences and who desire a richer and deeper experience in the community than the typical eight week commitment will allow.
2011 - Caroline Read
2007 - Jessica Meyer
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