Academic achievement prizes, prize scholarships and other recognition of student accomplishments were awarded at Hamilton’s 66th annual Class & Charter Day convocation on Monday, May 9, in Wellin Hall. Among the top prizes, Bryan Ferguson ’17 was awarded the Milton F. Fillius Jr. /Joseph Drown Prize Scholarship, and Alex Mitko ’16 received the James Soper Merrill Prize.

Bryan Ferguson is a biochemistry/molecular biology and Hispanic studies major from Southbury, Conn. A Dean’s List student, he studied in Spain last year through Hamilton’s program there.

Ferguson, who plans to attend medical school after Hamilton, conducted summer research in 2015 at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse through the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program. He also conducted chemistry research with Professor Myriam Cotten during the summer of 2014.

Ferguson is a leader of Global Outreach Hamilton, a part of the Community Outreach and Opportunity Project (COOP), dedicated to providing assistance to the international community while expanding students’ knowledge of social issues outside the U.S. The organization undertook service projects at a farm in Nicaragua over spring break in 2014 and 2015,

Also while at Hamilton Ferguson was a COOP service intern with the Multicultural Association of Medical and Legal Interpreters (MAMI) and served as an Outreach Adventure orientation leader.

The Milton F. Fillius, Jr. /Joseph Drown Prize Scholarship, established by the Joseph Drown Foundation, is awarded to a junior who has been very successful academically, has demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities while at Hamilton and who is likely to make a significant contribution to society in the future.

Soper Merrill recipient Alex Mitko is a neuroscience major from Cranbury, N.J. A Dean’s List student, he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society in February and Sigma Xi scientific honor society last week.

Last summer Mitko interned with the Boston Attention and Learning Lab (BAL Lab), a cognitive neuroscience lab at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Boston. The BAL Lab conducts research that focuses on “the cognitive and neural mechanisms of attention, as well as the potential for enhancing attention abilities through cognitive training.”

He has also conducted research with Assistant Professor of Psychology Alexandra List in 2014.

Mitko created Hamilton Healthcare Network, a student-run group to help local community members learn about and sign up for the Affordable Care Act. He has been a teaching assistant for chemistry and biology labs as well as neuroscience classes. Mitko conducted a two-semester neuroscience independent research program and has hosted a weekly radio show on the campus radio station.

He has received Hamilton’s Charles A. Dana Prize Scholarship (a convocation award for academic achievement, character and leadership) and Coleman Burke Prize Scholarship (a Class & Charter Day award for academics, broad based extra-curricular involvement and leadership in the campus community).

Mitko played football all four years at Hamilton and was named to the College Sports Information Directors of America ( CoSIDA) Academic All-America Division III Football Team in December. He is the first Continental football player to ever earn academic all-America honors.

The James Soper Merrill Prize is awarded to the member of the graduating class “who, in character and influence, has typified the highest ideals of the College.” The winner is selected by the faculty and speaks at Commencement.

A total of 192 students won other prizes and scholarships for public speaking, writing and achievement in all academic disciplines. Visit the Class & Charter Day website to view the complete list of award recipients.

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