Winners of the 2023 Regents' Honor Award for Graduate Students

May 05, 2023
Submitted By: Jessica Nicklin

Eight outstanding graduate students were awarded the Graduate Regents’ Honor Award at the Graduate Research and Creativity Symposium on April 25This is the highest recognition that the University gives to its graduate students. The awardees not only have a very high graduate GPA, but they have also excelled in their research or creative projects and/or served the academic community.

Doctoral Recipients

Christopher Ramos

The Hartt School

Doctor of Musical Arts

Christopher’s area of expertise is instrumental conducting. He graduated from the University of New Mexico and Texas A&M University-Commerce and worked at the Dalat School before pursuing his DMA at the Hartt School. He was recently named the Director of Bands at Utah Valley University and is excited to serve the Utah music education community and the national wind ensemble. His letter of support indicates that he is “an extraordinary human being. He is one of the brightest students I had the pleasure of teaching. I have no doubt he will be a leader in the field.”


Celina Whitmore

College of Arts and Sciences

Doctor of Psychology

Celina is passionate about neuropsychology and community-based research, and her contributions have been recognized through several awards and honors such as the Ethnic Diversity Task Force-Ethnic Minority Student Mentoring Scholarship from the Connecticut Psychological Association. Her research has been showcased at several conferences and she has been a recipient of the A. Toy Caldwell-Colbert Distinguished Student Service Award from the American Psychological Association for outstanding clinical contributions targeted at psychological issues of importance among ethnic minorities (among many awards and honors).


Master’s Degree Recipients

Jayne Carletta Kernodle

College of Education, Nursing, and Health Professions

Master of Science in Prosthetics and Orthotics

Jayne is passionate about orthotics and has examined the effects of prefabricated carbon composite ankle foot orthotics on gait. She served as the primary author of a literature review, which is in press at Lower Extremity Review. Jayne has served as a teaching assistant for Lower Limb Orthotics and Scientific Inquiry, and intern at Hanger Clinic. She plans to continue her research and possibly specialize in pediatric orthotic and prosthetic care.


Chrissy Davies

College of Arts and Sciences

Master of Arts – Communication

Chrissy’s area of expertise is in Public Relations and she completed a thesis entitled, “How do media images portray the power suit worn by female politicians in the 21st century? A comparative content analysis of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Pete Buttigieg.” She has served as a teaching assistant in the School of Communication and hopes to teach communication courses at the University level in the future.


Daniella Greene

The Hartt School

Graduate Professional Diploma

Daniella’s area of expertise is performance and instruction of classical music for violin, with a particular interest in works by composers of Chinese descent. She has been the administrator for the professional chamber festival in Louisiana, the organizer of Hartt’s new music ensemble, and assistant director of Ode to Joy, a yearly week-long chamber festival involving up to 75 performers. She is known as a generous and visionary citizen of the arts.


Renee Harbers Liddell

Hartford Art School

Master of Fine Arts – photography

Renee is earning her MFA in fine-art photography and is the Founder and CEO of Harbers Studios and Harbers Family Foundation, where she has brought together her passion for photography, love of the planet, and compassion for humans in need. She works with some of the best visual storytellers and filmmakers in the world, creating compelling visual narratives that tell the stories and enhance the efforts of people working to make the world a better place.


Alicia Maffiolini

Barney School of Business

Master of Science Business Administration

After teaching mathematics for four years at the middle and high school levels, Alicia transitioned into a career in the insurance industry and now holds an underwriting role. In the MSBA program, she collaborated on several risks analysis projects such as “Risk Management Analysis of Facebook’s Diem Project” and “Loan Default Predictive Analysis.” Alicia hopes to advance her career in the insurance industry through an underwriting or actuarial role.


Nicholas Sasso

College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture

Master of Engineering

Nicholas is in the E2M Program earning both his Master of Engineering and Master of Business Administration with a major concentration in Mechanical Engineering. In addition to his stellar academic performance, he is presently a Project Manager at MJ Daly in Waterbury, CT where he applies his knowledge and skills to the mechanical side of the construction industry. He seeks to become a president of an HVAC subcontracting company.