2023 Dean's Scholars Named at Commencement

At commencement on May 14, Dean of the College Terry Papillon announced the inaugural recipients of the newly implemented Dean’s Scholar award. Developed to recognize the top academic achievers of the graduating class, this year’s award was given to five graduates of the College.

The 2023 Dean’s Scholars included: 

Elizabeth De Wetter: A psychology major and art minor from Snowmass Village, Colorado, De Wetter counted her hands-on experience with Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology Sherry Hamby and the Life Paths Research Center, exploration of identity via art, and her work as a dialogue ambassador with the Dialogue Across Difference program as highlights of her Sewanee experience. Looking to launch a career in publishing, De Wetter will next attend the Denver Publishing Institute at University of Denver this summer.

Alexander Robinson: A native of the Chattanooga, Tennessee, area, Robinson graduated as a double major in history and politics with a minor in German and German Studies. Earlier this spring, Robinson was selected as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, which will take him to Germany to teach for the upcoming academic year. Looking back on his Sewanee career, Robinson mentioned the Slavery, Race, and the University course with Dr. Woody Register as a cornerstone of his Sewanee experience. 

Gary Satin: A biochemistry major and neuroscience minor from Chattanooga, Tennessee, Satin was highly involved in Sewanee’s many clubs and organizations focused on the health sciences, including: Nu Rho Psi National Honor Society in Neuroscience (Delta Chapter), the Sewanee Health Professions Society, and the Sewanee Multicultural Health Society. Prior to receiving the Dean’s Scholar award, Satin was also honored with the Thomas O’Conner Scholarship for the highest scholastic attainment for three years by a junior at the Foundation Day Convocation in 2022.

Madison Sellers: An English major from Charlotte, North Carolina, Sellers also graduated with minors in biology, philosophy, and environmental studies. A student-athlete, Sellers noted her experience running on the cross-country and track and field teams as a particularly impactful and transformative part of her Sewanee career. Sellers will extend her time on the mountain later this year when she returns to Sewanee as an editorial assistant with the Sewanee Review.

Kalia Thompson: Originally from Inglewood, California, Thompson graduated as a double major in English and theatre. This summer, Thompson will complete a short study abroad program in Prague to coincide with the Prague Quadrennial festival, the world’s largest festival of scenography, performance design, and space. In reflecting on her time at Sewanee, Thompson shared that her professors, her advisor, and the acting vice-chancellor helped her to feel like part of the Sewanee community even during difficult times, and acknowledged the role their support played in her achievements.

Dean’s Scholar award honorees were selected by the dean of the college in consultation with the associate deans of the college and members of the College’s Standards Committee. Academic department chairs submitted nominations for consideration. Winners were chosen according to a number of factors, including GPA, the additional academic challenges they sought, having performed or presented for a broader audience, and for their contributions to Sewanee’s intellectual community.