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Top leadership award goes to 3 Hatter grads

Provost Beth Paul presented the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for top leadership, to three graduates - Tyce Herrman (far right) and, in a tie, to Maria Wrabel (far left) and Jillian Masucci.

The top leadership honor for graduating seniors, the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, is presented each year to the man and woman in the graduating class whose personal example and influence throughout the campus best exemplify the noblest human qualities and the finest values that Stetson nurtures. The award is presented each year at the Honors Convocation, which was held this year on Friday, May 11, the day prior to Commencement. This year, the award went to Tyce Herrman and, in a tie, to Jillian Masucci and Maria Wrabel.

The awards are given jointly by the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation of New York and Stetson University. They recognize fine spiritual qualities, practically applied to daily living, with the hope that the awards will influence others to follow the paths taken by the honorees.

Provost Elizabeth “Beth” Paul presented this year’s awards to the three recipients. In her introduction of Tyce Herrman, she said, “The spiritual qualities of the young man receiving this award today are reflected each day in the dedication he has to serving others and improving the world around him.” Herrman has been a Hatter Harvest gardener since the garden’s creation, led students on beach and park cleanups and wrote the SGA legislation for the Green Bike initiative. He co-founded Stetson Progress, which serves as an outlet for activists on campus through initiatives such as Occupy Stetson. “Through his studies of Philosophy and Environmental Science over the past four years,” Paul continued, “he has investigated not only the depths of his soul, but also some of the most pressing environmental and political questions of our time.” This summer, Herrman will join with his best friend, Francis Sams, on a cross-country Bike & Build bicycle trip to raise awareness and funding for affordable housing. After that, Herrman hopes to join the Peace Corps or go to graduate school. “With his passion and scholarly pursuits,” Paul said, “he no doubt will change the world for the better.”

The spiritual qualities of Jillian Masucci, one of the two young women receiving this leadership award, are reflected in her leadership on and off-campus. “A focused and driven individual with commendable character,” Paul said, “she has been an outstanding student, excelling in her fields of Finance, Economics and Psychology as one of Stetson’s J. Ollie Edmunds Scholars.” For two years, Masucci served as an assistant for the Values Council and has been devoted to helping with Stetson’s annual Values Days. She is a member of three honor societies, the Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity and Pi Beta Phi. She served as president of Alpha Kappi Psi, the Omicron Delta Epsilon economics honorary and Stetson Recycles this year, in addition to participating in the award-winning Roland George Investments Program. “She has developed a global view, studying abroad in China and Austria. As she heads to St. Louis for graduate school, she will no doubt leave a legacy of leadership and academic excellence – a legacy that will be transcended in the larger world,” Paul said.

The spiritual qualities of Maria Wrabel, the other young woman receiving the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, are “reflected in her passion for serving the disenfranchised. She has devoted hundreds of hours to tutoring children and working at a local homeless shelter through the Bonner Program. As a participant of the Honors Program and with a servant’s heart, she designed her own major in Global Development Studies and has spread her passion for global issues as president of the Oxfam Club, the Bonner Program and the four honor societies to which she has been inducted,” Paul said. She studied abroad at Oxford University and, this year, she interned with Feeding Children Everywhere. She plans to devote her life to international human rights, focusing on promoting food security. Before attending graduate school, she will spend a year inVietnam, teaching English through Volunteers in Asia and volunteering at a rural and agricultural development and research center through Peacework. “Maria personifies the motto of the late Chancellor and former President Doug Lee—by letting “her life speak”—which so aptly articulates what Stetson students do best,” Paul said.