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Graduating Class Celebrated at Annual Athletics Banquet

group of 60 students standing together with graduation sashes draped on necks

The Carnegie Mellon University Department of Athletics hosted its annual awards banquet on Wednesday, May 4 to celebrate the year and the accomplishments of the senior student-athletes. The event was hosted in Simmons Auditorium in the Tepper Quad.

The program began with a procession of senior athletes who were given their graduation sashes and posed together at the front of the room for a standing ovation from the crowd of coaches, athletics administrators, heads of academic departments, and other special guests.

Director of Athletics Josh Centor praised the seniors for their responsiveness to adversity and congratulated them on their numerous accomplishments throughout their four years in a Carnegie Mellon uniform.

Following Centor’s remarks, a select number of seniors were mentioned for their completion of the Tartan Leaders of Tomorrow program. A program in which Carnegie Mellon Student-Athletes evolve as leaders through engaging speakers, thoughtful discussion, campus outreach, engagement, and proactive mentorship.

Two student speakers were invited to share their thoughts with their graduating class as men’s swimmer Justin Britton and women’s cross country and track and field runner Taylor Jacobs engaged the crowd with memories of their student-athlete experiences.

In her first year as the Faculty Athletics Representative, Rebecca Nugent handed out the Dr. William Brown Academic Athletic Achievement Awards. The award was renamed in honor of the Tartans’ first-ever NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative, William Brown, following his passing in 2007 and goes to a men’s sports and women’s sports four-year participant who has earned the highest grade-point average while participating in intercollegiate athletics.

Like in many years past, this year’s graduating class has more than two earning the award for carrying a 4.0 grade point average. The award winners were Vivian Beaudoin (volleyball), Justin Britton (men’s swimming and diving), Erik Dehkes (football), Jocelyn Mayer (women’s soccer), Katie Parson (women’s swimming and diving), and Carrie Stewart (volleyball).

Beaudoin will graduate with a degree in electrical and computer engineering and will be working as a CPU Design Verification Engineer at Apple. Britton completed his degree in information systems in December and is working as a Software Engineer at Capital One. Dehkes will graduate with a degree in biological sciences and psychology and is in the process of interviewing for full-time employment.

Mayer will graduate with a degree in business administration and will be working for Lazard in New York City as an Investment Banking Analyst. Parsons will graduate with a degree in chemical engineering with a double major in biomedical engineering and will be attending medical school at Duke University. Stewart will graduate with a degree in business administration and decision science and will be working as a consultant at Oliver Wyman in New York City.

Dean of Students Gina Casalegno presented the Michael C. Murphy Citizenship Award to women’s diver Katie Parsons. The award is given to a senior student-athlete that has demonstrated character, sportsmanship, service and impact on the university during his or her time at Carnegie Mellon.

Parsons has been a member of the Carnegie Mellon Emergency Medical Services team since her first year on campus, balancing academics, athletics and her critical role as an EMT. Parsons has also volunteered as part of Global Medical Brigades, shadowing clinicians in Panamanian communities, and served with the Allegheny Health Network Elder Life Program at West Penn Hospital interacting with elderly patients to prevent hospital-induced delirium. Additionally, Parsons has served as a peer supporter for Carnegie Mellon Lean on Me and has been a Tartan Ambassador, spreading her love for Carnegie Mellon with prospective students and their families on campus tours.

The last awards of the evening were given to the outstanding senior athletes. Earning the award for men’s sports was Justin Britton and for women’s sports was Nadia Susanto.

Britton finished as a three-year NCAA Championships competitor with one All-America honor and 15 Honorable Mention All-America honors. Britton leaves his time as a Tartan with eight school records, four University Athletic Association (UAA) individual championships, and helped the 2022 team finish 14th at the NCAA Championships, the program’s highest finish since 2005.

Susanto helped lead the women’s golf team to a runner-up finish at the 2021 NCAA Women’s Golf Championships and has been part of three consecutive team’s to be ranked number one. Individually, Susanto was named a 2020 All-American and has earned three UAA and three All-Region accolades to date with the current team preparing for another run at a national championship in May.

The evening closed with a highlight video narrating the moments that defined the year in Tartan athletics.

The annual Tartan Awards were presented separately at team functions and are based on program-specific criteria developed by each head coach. Below is a list of the Tartan Award winners in each sport:

Will Powell of Men’s Basketball (Thomas B. Craig (E’53) Tartan Award)
Emily Archer of Women’s Basketball (John N. Wiernicki Tartan Award)
Matthew Karee of Men’s Cross Country
Kristen Seballos of Women’s Cross Country (Kelly Chin de Csepel (TPR’02) Tartan Award)
Nick Cizik of Football; Defense (Walter H. and Antoinette V. Haupt Tartan Award)
Thomas Yager of Football; Offense (Thomas B. Craig (E’53) Tartan Award)
William Knauth of Men’s Golf (Thomas B. Craig (E’53) Tartan Award)
Nadia Susanto of Women’s Golf (Thomas B. Craig (E’53) and LaVerne Craig Tartan Award)
Dante Mancini of Men’s Soccer (W. Young Kang (E’92) Tartan Award)
Jocelyn Mayer of Women’s Soccer (Jared L. (H’14) and Maureen B. Cohon Tartan Award)
Kyra Musmanno of Softball
Sean Ream of Men’s Swimming & Diving (Scott (TPR’88) and Lara Morrison Tartan Award)
Wendy Mo of Women’s Swimming & Diving (Joseph (E’48) and Myrna Stein Tartan Award)
Matthew Poh of Men’s Tennis (Michael H. Ference (DC’91, TPR’92) Tartan Award)
Lindy Cornwall of Women’s Tennis (Ellie (Wiseman) Ference (E’64) and Thomas P. Ference (E’64, TPR’66, ‘67) Tartan Award)
Bram Miller & Justin Kiefel of Men’s Track & Field; Field Events
Elizabeth Barre of Women’s Track & Field; Field Events
Michael Obroin of Men’s Track & Field; Running Events (Gary L. Meckley Tartan Award)
Samantha Giordani of Women’s Track & Field; Running Events (Dario Donatelli (TPR’81) Tartan Award)
Anna Cao of Volleyball (Robert S. (DC’93) & Ann Feng Simon (TPR’93) Tartan Award)