The Catholic University of America

May 12, 2012

Nursing Major Wins President’s Award

  Alyssa Pellegrino

Thomas E. Zoeller, president of the CUA Alumni Association, congratulates Alyssa Pellegrino after she receives the President's Award.

Catholic University President John Garvey presented Alyssa M. Pellegrino of Elkridge, Md., with the President’s Award during the 123rd Commencement Ceremony on May 12.

Pellegrino, a nursing major, earned a 3.8 grade point average, has been on the Dean’s List every year, and is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, the nursing honor society.

During her four years at CUA, Pellegrino has been active in a number of offices and student organizations. For three years, she was an Orientation adviser with the Office of the Dean of Students. For two years, she worked in the Office of Campus Activities. Pellegrino has been an active member as well as officer of the Kappa Tau Gamma Sorority. She has dedicated time every semester to the Student Nursing Association and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity.

Pellegrino played an integral role in the planning and coordination of the last two Women’s History Month celebrations and, together with her classmates, helped plan the senior retreat through Campus Ministry. She also served in the President’s Society and recently had the honor of attending the annual American Cardinals Dinner as a student ambassador.

The President’s Award is the highest University award presented to a graduating senior who has demonstrated prominent leadership and outstanding scholarship, and who exemplifies the highest ideals of Christianity. Nominees should have a grade point average of 3.8 or better, and they should have distinguished themselves in various activities throughout their career at CUA.

“Alyssa has a kind and gentle personality that makes her well liked and well respected among her peers,” noted the President’s Award citation, which was read during the ceremony.

Pellegrino said that she was shocked, surprised, and excited by being selected, as those who nominated her “did a wonderful job of hiding it.” She said being named the winner was “very humbling,” adding that she could think of many other students whom she would have chosen for the honor.

Her immediate plans include studying for and taking the NCLEX, the nursing board exam, but only after a long-planned family trip this summer to Italy — the family’s ancestral home. Pellegrino said family members, including a cousin who graduated from college last December, plan to visit several spots including Rome, Capri, Venice, Florence, Chianti, and Assisi. “Planning the whole thing was a good experience,” she said.

And the future? While working as an intern at the University of Maryland Medical Center, “I found my passion,” she said. “Babies.” She plans to be a neonatal intensive care nurse and provide care to new mothers.



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