2021 Student Award Recipients
Undergraduate President’s Citation: Naomi Jones
Originally from Waterford, Connecticut, Naomi Jones will be graduating with a BFA in Creative Writing. From her first days on campus, she quickly established herself as someone who would change this community for the better. A talented performer, Jones is a member of Flawless Brown and the Treblemakers. She has been active as a resident assistant and an Orientation Leader, as well as a member of SGA. This year, she served as president of the Senior Class Council, as well as president of EBONI. Jones is a member of the Undergraduate Students for Publishing and an active member of Zeta Phi Eta. She is a member of the Purple Key Leadership Society and was selected as the senior speaker for the 2021 Commencement Exercises. She is known across campus as an enthusiastic and authentic leader who takes seriously the responsibilities of leadership. Her frequent service on committees and in presentations to College boards and leadership demonstrates the value of the impact she has had on this community.
Graduate President’s Citation: Mikaela Joyce
Mikaela Joyce is a Media Design (MA) candidate at Emerson. Her thesis focuses on developing assistive technology for young adults on the autism spectrum through co-design methodology. Additionally, she has worked on projects at the Engagement Lab and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Joyce’s interests include human-centered design, the social sciences, contemporary art, web development, and emergent media. She is also an artist, specializing in stop-motion animation and collage.
Undergraduate Dean’s Award: Harper McKenzie
Originally from Dallas, Texas, Harper McKenzie is completing an interdisciplinary degree in Creative Writing and Disability Studies. A longtime member of SGA, McKenzie served as the commissioner for accessibility and disability. Throughout her career at Emerson, she has worked to dismantle barriers to access and create a more inclusive and accessible community. One of the cofounders of the Access: Student Disability Union, McKenzie worked to create a safe space for students with disabilities. Most recently, she helped author an action plan encouraging the College to work more diligently to create an accessible community and challenge ableism. Known across campus as a kind, intentional, and compassionate leader, she has served on many committees and as a frequent presenter and panelist. Emerson College is a better place as a result of her leadership and passion, which will benefit students for generations to come.
Graduate Dean’s Award: Jenna Lourenco, School of the Arts
Jenna Lourenco is an actor, singer, costume designer, researcher, and educator, who will be graduating with an MFA in Theatre Education and Applied Theatre. She is currently working as an adjunct professor of theater arts and speech at Emmanuel College in Boston. Her MFA thesis examines the progress of representations of autism in theatre, and she is curating an accompanying online database of plays concerning autism: plays written by autistic playwrights and/or featuring autistic characters or autism as the focus of the play.
Graduate Dean’s Award: Miriam El-Haoui, School of Communication
Miriam El-Haoui is from North Attleboro, Massachusetts, and will be graduating with an MS in Communication Disorders. She is Lebanese and a first-generation immigrant. She is passionate about working with children from culturally and linguistically different backgrounds and ensuring that equitable care is accessible to all. Over the last six years, Emerson has continuously provided her with priceless opportunities to grow. She has participated in incredible clinical placements and has become the clinician who she always hoped to be. She will take the skills she learned at Emerson and provide her future clients with the care they deserve as a bilingual speech-language pathologist.