During last month’s annual “Zero Year” Reunion Brunch, several graduating seniors were honored for their contributions to Rensselaer.

The Livingston W. Houston Citizenship Award, honoring the “first citizen of the college,” ranking high in character, leadership, scholarship, and athletic ability, was awarded to Erin Amarello, a dual major in mechanical and nuclear engineering, who was elected to serve as the 125th President of the Rensselaer Union. Amarello is a member of the Rensselaer Phalanx Honor Society, and served as a two-time captain of the women’s lacrosse team, and has also received recognition as a three-time Liberty League all-academic, and six-time defensive performer of the week. In 2014, Amarello received the Founders Award of Excellence. Aside from these awards, while at Rensselaer she carved out time to pursue internships with General Dynamics Electric Boat and the Nine Mile Point Nuclear Power Station. Following graduation, Amarello will be working for Timken Operations Development.

The Leopold L. Balleisen Prize, which was established by the Class of 1918, honors a senior student athlete who has won a varsity letter in at least one sport during two undergraduate years and who stands highest academically in the senior class. The prize was awarded to Zacharie Dugas, a dual major in computer and systems engineering and computer science. While at Rensselaer, he earned “nothing short of an A-letter grade, resulting in a perfect cumulative grade point average.” Dugas has earned numerous academic honors while at Rensselaer including induction into Eta Kappa Nu, the international electric and computer engineering honor society. In addition, he is the recipient of the Henry J. Nolte Memorial Prize as well the Rensselaer Leadership Award Scholarship. Aside from his academic success, Dugas served as a defender and a four-year member of the men’s soccer team and was a three-time Liberty League All-Academic. Following graduation, Dugas will be working for Amazon.

The Willie Stanton Award, presented to the seniors judged to have contributed the most in service to the student body, was awarded to Shoshana Rubinstein, an industrial and management engineering major, and Anthony Barbieri, an information technology and web science major. The award was established in 1981 in memory of Willie Stanton, also known as “Mr. RPI,” a loyal employee of the Rensselaer Union who was renowned for his service to students. Throughout Stanton’s career, his compassion and his ability to boost the spirits of everyone around him made him admired and cherished. In his memory, the award is presented to the senior(s) who is judged to have contributed much in service to the student body. This year, the Institute recognized two recipients for the award, which is not uncommon due to the great characteristics of our student body. Rubenstein and Barbieri were recognized as individuals who have given of themselves to benefit the student body and uplift where needed, in the style in which Stanton would have been proud. In the opinion of the selection committee, the awardees have left their mark on Rensselaer and the student body as a whole.