UVA Darden Students Celebrated With Students Awards

03 September 2015

By Dave Hendrick

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business honored some of its most promising Second Year students 2 September, presenting a series of awards to members of the Class of 2016.

Addressing the Darden community during a special First Coffee, Professor Peter Rodriguez, senior associate dean for degree programs and chief diversity officer, said the awards recognized the meaningful contributions of a group of exceptional students.

Dean Beardsley and Hyde Award Winner

“Twice a year at the Darden School, we have the wonderful occasion to offer awards to students who excel in the classroom and the community,” said Rodriguez. “They help us to recognize, among the many people who contribute wonderfully to our community and classroom, a few who really excel in that job.”

Dean Scott Beardsley congratulated each award recipient.


  • Samuel Forrest Hyde Memorial Fellowship: The Hyde Fellowship, determined by faculty vote and considered the highest honor presented to a Second Year student, went to Jessica Williams. The award honors a student who has contributed the most to Darden in their First Year and shows the greatest promise of achieving a “useful” career.  Rodriguez said Williams was lauded as someone who “demonstrates the very best qualities of a leader” and is “committed to academic excellence and passionate about building the Darden community.”
  • G. Robert Strauss Marketing Award: Professor Thomas Steenburgh presented the marketing award to Dana Clifford. The award recognizes a student who shows innovative thinking, the ability to develop unique solutions to real-world problems, flair and charisma in presenting ideas, provocative insights when challenging classmates viewpoints, and compassion for fellow students.
  • C.Stewart Sheppard Distinguished Service Award: Sarah Wilcox Elliott, director of student affairs, presented the service award to Travis DezendorfAnshuGupta and Melissa Jenkins. The award recognizes Darden students for exceptional service to the school of a non-academic nature.
  • William Michael Shermet Award: Professor Mark Lipson, associate dean for the MBA program, presented the William Michael Shermet Award to 15 students. The award honors students who demonstrate academic excellence and provide an example of responsible competitive spirit for their classmates.The Shermet Award winners included:
  • Cameron Cutro
  • Travis Dezendorf
  • Luke Forster
  • Alexander Fuller
  • Kelly Gerhardt
  • John Greenfield
  • Griffin Humphreys
  • Trenton Murphy
  • Travis Nixon
  • Jamie Preusche Morad
  • Erika Schwartz
  • Charles Smith
  • Ryan Soer
  • Gregory Suellentrop
  • Jessica Williams
About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


Press Contact

Sophie Zunz
Director of Media Relations
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia