Matthew Pesce 14C, a political science major, has been named the 2014 recipient of the Lucius Lamar McMullan Award, recognizing an Emory College graduate who shows extraordinary promise of becoming a future leader and rare potential for service to their community, the nation, and the world. The McMullan Award carries with it $25,000 –no strings attached. Described by nominators as “a Renaissance student, a scholar, leader, and friend” who “combines his thinking with practice,” Pesce has taken on difficult leadership roles as chair of the Honor Council and chair of the Emory Elections Board, where he reformed the Student Government Association’s election codes (after other unsuccessful efforts throughout the years), tying together 18 separate elections that happened throughout the year into a much simpler, streamlined process. He has provided strong leadership to other groups as well, serving as president of Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society and as a student representative on the Committee on Class & Labor, the Committee on Campus Life, and the College Curriculum Committee. The Atlanta native came to Emory ranked third in the nation as a high school debater and his success continued with regular college tournament wins and top 10 national rankings during his four years here. He’s also worked to bring the skills and benefits of debate training to Atlanta Public School students as a coach and mentor through the Emory-founded Urban Debate League (UDL).
Megan Light 14C, an anthropology and human biology major, has been named the 2014 recipient of the university’s highest student honor, the Marion Luther Brittain Award. The award is presented each year to a graduate who has demonstrated exemplary service to both the university and the greater community without expectation of recognition. Candidates are required to demonstrate a strong character, meritorious service and sense of integrity. Light receives the award, which also comes with $5,000, during the central Commencement ceremony on May 12th. In addition to athletics (a member of Emory’s women’s softball team, she earned 2013 UAA Most Valuable Player, 2011 and 2013 All-America honors, and 2013 Academic All-America honors), Light embraced Emory’s culture of service, working with Volunteer Emory since her freshman year, volunteering at a homeless shelter, coaching softball for younger students in local leagues, and serving on Emory’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee to coordinate educational, community-service, and leadership-development opportunities for all student-athletes. Light has worked in the Department of Global Health at RSPH with assistant research professor Jorge Vidal doing quantitative DNA analysis for a study on pneumonia in South Africa and at the Global Center for Safe Water, where she worked on a rapid assessment tool to examine fecal contamination for rural or urban low-income areas with director Christine Moe, the Eugene J. Gangarosa Professor of Safe Water and Sanitation.
Photos by Emory Photo/Video