Ursuline News

Class of 2020 Graduation: Awards and Honors

Commencement ceremonies for the 146th Graduating Class of Ursuline Academy will be held on Sunday, June 28. 

The Valedictorian Award, given to the student with the highest cumulative grade point average, was awarded to Silvia Vazquez. The Salutatorian Award, presented to the student with the second highest cumulative grade point average, was awarded to Sarah Visokay. The Sister Emmanuel Shea Award and Sedes Sapientiae Award recipients will be announced at the Graduation Ceremony in June.

Valedictorian Award

Silvia Lourdes Vazquez, daughter of Patricia and Miguel Vazquez, is the valedictorian of Ursuline Academy of Dallas. She is a member of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Plano. 

Silvia was an Ursuline Ambassador, Spanish Honor Society President, member of the Biomedical Club, and volleyball player. She was a member of the National Honor Society and was recognized as a National Hispanic Scholar. Silvia additionally volunteered as a classroom assistant for three years with her parish's Faith Formation and completed her Senior Service with the residents at Crystal Assisted Living. 

This fall, Silvia will be pursuing a degree in Biomedical Sciences from Texas A&M University. 

Read excerpts from Ms. Vazquez's Valedictory Address.

Salutatorian Award

Sarah Anne Visokay, daughter of Mark Visokay and Eden Zielinski, is the salutatorian of Ursuline Academy of Dallas. She is a member of St. Rita Catholic Church in Dallas. 

Sarah was Ursuline's Students Reach Out (SRO) Supper Club President, Science National Honor Society Secretary, and a National Merit Finalist. She founded a science program at St. Rita Catholic School, providing an opportunity for Ursuline student volunteers to perform fun science experiments with Pre-K students. Additionally, Sarah was a STARS Summer Research Program at UT Southwestern participant and conducted research in a laboratory for eight weeks. 

This fall, Sarah will be pursuing a degree in Bioengineering from Stanford University. 

Read excerpts from Ms. Visokay's Valedictory Address.

Sedes Sapientiae Award

Cecilia Jane O'Brien received the Sedes Sapientiae Award for the Class of 2020. The highest award presented by the faculty, staff, and administration of the Academy, the Sedes Sapientiae Award takes its name from the Latin phrase meaning "Seat of Wisdom."

This award is presented by the faculty and administration to the graduate who exemplifies in an outstanding way the core values of Ursuline. The recipient contributes greatly to Ursuline through her optimism, compassion, and strength of character.

Cecilia is "an extraordinarily talented and accomplished young woman who is humble and gracious." She is motivated by a genuine love of learning and for personal enrichment, not accolades, though she certainly receives many.

Further, Cecilia does well across all disciplines and is a balanced student who enjoys math and science as much as she does literature and history. An accomplished musician, she has received scores of musical honors and awards, and she uses music to serve.

Sister Emmanuel Shea Award

The Sister Emmanuel Shea Award was presented this year to Chiamaka Lisa Osuagwu. This award, sponsored by the Ursuline Alumnae Association, is given in honor of beloved Sister Emmanuel Shea for her years of service to the Alumnae Association. The graduates chosen to receive this award have served Ursuline willingly and generously. The most outstanding characteristic of their service has been the joy with which it has always been completed.

Chiamaka is "a mature, reflective, and self-aware young woman who takes nothing for granted and exudes positivity and kindness." She understands the power and impact of taking the time to share a quick smile or simple hello, and she leaves a sense of warmth and goodness wherever she goes.  

Class of 2020: Additional Awards and Recognitions

National Merit Scholarship Program Finalists

  • Sarah Hui
  • Lauren Montigue
  • Cecilia O’Brien
  • Sarah Visokay

National Merit Scholarship Program Commended

  • Helen Emerson
  • Ashlyn Gage
  • Alexandra Lewis
  • Joann Nguyen
  • Mary Parro
  • Madeleine Phung
  • Kristy Reynolds
  • Katherine Rucker
  • Sonia Stadler
  • Jacqueline Thomas
  • Teresa Valenzuela
  • Megan Wampner
  • Claire Weber

National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholars

  • Victoria Barbero                   
  • Katherine Martinez                  
  • Caroline Neal                           
  • Brooke Patton                      
  • Sonia Stadler                     
  • Teresa Valenzuela                 
  • Silvia Vazquez                        
  • Justine Walker