SWCID honors its best

Annalise O'Connell received the President's Award as top student at SouthWest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf during the SWCID Awards Convocation Thursday evening.The President's award is annually based on academic excellence, participation in all facets of student life, leadership in extra-curricular activities and college spirit, said Howard College President Dr. Cheryl Sparks, who presented the award.O'Connell, a sophomore, will graduate from the institution with an associate's degree in interpreter training. During her time at SWCID, she has compiled a 4.0 grade point average and has been named to the President's List and Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. In addition, she has been a resident's assistant in the dormitory and has been involved in the Student Government Association and the American Sign Language Sign Club.After graduation from SWCID, her goal is to work as an interpreter for deaf or hard of hearing students in the public education system.O'Connell also received the Chamber of Commerce Award during Thursday's convocation. The award is given to the student with the highest GPA for the Fall 2012 semester who is also an active participant in school activities and is considered a leader among his or her peers.Receiving the Provost's Award, presented to a student who best displays outstanding academic and leadership qualities, was Chris Warmack.Warmack, a sophomore, is a Dean's List member with a 3.54 GPA who is also involved in the SGA.“He has been an outstanding role model and exemplifies a positive attitude with full energy and motivation toward his studies and life in general,” said Dean of Student Life Nancy Bonura, who presented the award.Other notable awards presented during Thursday's convocation included:• American Legion Award — Emilio Falduto and Cara McElfresh.• SWCIDfest Scholarship — Travis Harter.• P.W. Malone Scholarship — Ikemefuna Chukwunyerenwa and Ibukunoluwa Sokenu.• Jessie Lee Walters Jr. Scholarship — Brenda Aragon.• Phillip Waldrup Schalarship — Mohammed Khan.• Sherrie Baird Scholarship — Yah Dahn.SWCID held 2013 commencement exercises at 10 a.m. today in the activity center. Howard College graduation is set for 7 p.m. tonight in Garrett Coliseum.