North Central College recognized Etienne Mashuli as the Outstanding Senior Man and Amanda Marek as the Outstanding Senior Woman for 2013 during the College’s annual Honors Convocation on May 14.
The annual awards recognize one senior man and one senior woman for their successes in the classroom, their involvement and contributions to the campus community outside the classroom, and their future potential.
Mashuli, majoring in political science, was also recognized during the ceremony for being a 2013 recipient of the prestigious Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, which will fund his pursuit of a master’s degree in African studies at Yale University.
Mashuli’s experiences of the violence in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo where he spent his youth impacted his scholarly pursuits and extracurricular involvement at North Central. He analyzed the conflict in both countries to determine whether the violence in each could be categorically defined as genocide.
In 2011, his work in the political science department earned him recognition as the Outstanding Major in Political Science as a sophomore. Mashuli’s research experience also extended beyond the walls of North Central; he spent two summers after his sophomore and junior years conducting undergraduate research at Michigan State University and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
“Etienne is driven by a desire to understand the world around him and to make a meaningful difference in that world,” one nominator said.
Outside his studies, he collaborated with a number of student organizations at North Central to raise funds for Ubuntu in Action, an initiative established by Mashuli and a University of Chicago student to build schools in Africa’s Great Lakes region.
Marek will graduate with two majors, in management and in entrepreneurship and small business management. Also at the Convocation, she received the Outstanding Student in the Economics and Business Division Award. Marek earned last year’s Outstanding Major in Management Award.
On campus, Marek has been an active leader and speaker at regional and national competitions for Enactus. Her work with Enactus took her to Guatemala to develop a documentary about the impact entrepreneurial businesses have on that country’s economy. She also presented her academic research on the 2008 financial crisis at the College’s 2013 Rall Symposium for Undergraduate Research.
“In every class, Amanda went beyond just being a good student,” one nominator said. “She was among the most articulate and insightful students in class discussions I’ve had in my 30 years of teaching.” Another noted, “Her work ethic is impeccable and her leadership skills are outstanding.”
A student-athlete all four years, Marek competed on the women’s cross country and track and field teams and was a national qualifier in both sports. An Academic All-American, she was chosen captain of both teams during her junior and senior years.
Marek will begin her business career working as a transportation intermodal representative for CH Robinson Worldwide, the largest third-party logistics company in North America. She also will continue training for triathlons and other running races.