North Central College recognized Ian Wright as the Outstanding Senior Man and Christina Richardson as the Outstanding Senior Woman for 2014 during the College’s annual Honors Convocation on May 13.
The annual awards recognize one senior man and one senior woman for their successes in the classroom, their involvement and contributions to the campus community outside the classroom, and their future potential.
Wright, of New Lenox, carries a double major in studio art and global studies with a focus on Europe. He also was recognized during the ceremony with the Outstanding Major in Art and the Outstanding Major in Interdisciplinary Studies awards and for earning a Fulbright Scholar English Teaching Assistantship, which will take him to Germany in the fall.
After transferring to North Central College from Joliet Junior College, Wright began an extraordinary number of scholarly and creative projects. In fall 2012, Wright studied abroad in Berlin at the Freie Universität where he learned German.
The following year Wright received the Outstanding Major in Global Studies Award and was granted a Richter Independent Study Fellowship to study abroad in Iceland. This led to his thesis art show and College Scholar thesis, titled “Kynjamyndir-Strange Pictures: Responding to Icelandic Landscape and Culture.” Wright also presented his thesis work at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research and at North Central’s Rall Symposium for Undergraduate Research. In addition, he’s exhibiting his drawings and video installations in the Senior Art Show.
“Ian exemplifies several of the College’s very best characteristics,” explains Perry Hamalis, Ceceilia Schneller Mueller Professor of Religion, associate professor of religious studies and director of the College Honors Program. “A nontraditional student who has had to support himself through school, Ian’s work ethic is the foundation upon which he has built his development and learning.”
Richardson, of Spring Valley, is majoring in accounting with a CPA focus. She also carries a Leadership, Ethics and Values (LEV) concentration and minor in finance. In addition to being named the Outstanding Senior Woman, she received the Outstanding Major in Accounting Award and is a College Scholar, North Central’s prestigious honors program. Her name regularly appears on the Dean’s List of scholars and she has helped prepare tax returns with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.
“Christina is by far the ‘perfect’ student and role model to her peers,” says Sarah Lureau, assistant professor of accounting. “Despite having a rigorous major, completing an honors thesis and having a resume filled with various leadership roles around campus, her GPA is a perfect 4.0.”
For the past two years, Richardson has served as a mentor to first-year students and as an Orientation Staff Leader. Her involvement on campus extends to many areas, including serving as a comptroller for various student organizations, as an accounting tutor, and president to the leadership development co-curricular group LEVerage, the Blue Key Honor Society and the Student Accounting Society. She is a member of the Senior Class Gift Committee and the finance committee for the Student Governing Association.
Richardson also has participated in various D-Term trips, visiting New Orleans and traveling abroad to Guatemala. Her 2014 poster presentation at North Central’s Rall Symposium for Undergraduate Research focused on her study in Guatemala and fair trade certification for the coffee farmers there. Most recently, she was part of a panel discussion with U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin who visited campus in May to discuss student loan debt.
After graduation in June, Richardson will pursue a master’s degree in accounting science, working as a teaching assistant at Northern Illinois University, before beginning a position as a tax accountant at EY, formerly Ernst & Young, where she’s held two internships as a student.