AU Press Releases

Alfred University to present Miller 'Outstanding Senior' Awards

Two seniors in the School of Art & Design at Alfred University are this year’s recipients of the Marlin Miller Outstanding Senior Awards. Callie Rimmel and Nicholas Garofoli will each receive a $5,000 check and a hand-crafted tile at Honors Convocation April 24 in McLane Center.

They were chosen for the honor – among the highest bestowed upon students – by a campus-wide committee on the basis of their scholarship, extra-curricular leadership and personal character. Faculty, staff and students may nominate candidates for the award.

“We once again had an exceptional field of candidates for the Marlin Miller Outstanding Senior Awards,” said Kathy Woughter, vice president for Student Affairs. “I continue to be impressed with our students, and recognize how fortunate we are to have such incredible students – they’re bright, engaged, and totally committed to making the most of their Alfred University experience.”

“Callie Rimmel is quite simply an amazing individual with an incredible desire to serve her community,” wrote Dan Napolitano, director of Student Activities and adjunct professor for the Drawn to Diversity program. “Her contributions to Alfred are numerous…. She has been actively involved in numerous campus programs as a leader, while also serving as a loyal supporter of so many other endeavors.”

Founder of the Creative Arts Therapy Club, which brings together art, education and psychology, Rimmel also helped to launch the Relay for Life (cancer awareness) program at Alfred University. She is an award-winning resident assistant (RA) for the Office of Residence Life, and is now the RA at the International House, a special interest house for students from other countries. “Her ability to communicate with non-English-speaking students is quite impressive, demonstrating a high level of patience and empathy,” Napolitano said.

“I have also witnessed her artistic vision and talent through her various campus and community exhibits,” Napolitano wrote. “I can honestly say her creativity has no boundaries. She considers everything she does an art form, whether painting, performing or building a sense of community among her peers.”

“Alfred has changed me for the better and with each year I have attended the University, I have grown into a better student, artist, professional, family member and friend,” said Rimmel. “Each year has led to a new development and discovery for me.” Rimmel, who will earn a BFA degree with a minor in education and course work in psychology as well, was a studio intern at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh last summer, and has also completed internships at Hornell Concern for Youth and the Wellsville Creative Arts Center.

In addition to the Creative Arts Therapy Club, Relay for Life and Drawn to Diversity, she has been active in Spectrum and intramural sports.

Rimmel received honorable mention in the Student Innovative Leadership Award competition on campus; a Women’s Excellence in Leadership award; and a Student Presidential Leadership Award. She was named to “Who’s Who Among America’s Top College Students,” and received an award from the Alfred University chapter of the American Marketing Association for the “best on-campus advertisement.”

She is enrolled in the Honors Program, is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society and was crowned Homecoming queen in fall 2007.

She is a member of the American Art Therapy Association and the American Children’s Museum Association, and plans to pursue a graduate degree in art therapy.

Rimmel, a graduate of Hampton High School, is a daughter of Frederick and Janet Rimmel of Allison Park, PA.

When Woughter decided to “prod leaders at Alfred University into centralizing our various environmental initiatives into one coordinated effort,” she chose Nicholas Garofoli to spearhead the effort as an intern in her office. Woughter, who nominated Garofoli for the award, explained, “I had prior knowledge of Nick’s ability to think out of the box and to approach challenges in collaborative ways in order to reach interesting solutions,” Woughter wrote. “I was most impressed with Nick’s ability to work without constant supervision. Nick took the lead on our project, kept me appropriately informed, gave me great ideas that added to the goals and outcomes we were trying to reach, and expressed a strong need to have something tangible at the end of his experience… a finished product he could take pride in.”

Woughter cited Garofoli’s strengths as “making excellent use of self-directed opportunities, insatiable curiosity, and operating well in situations that are not familiar to him. He is sensitive to issues of diversity, privilege and cultural mores, and he interacts equally well with people of all ages and strata of society.”

Garofoli says he’s “shared Alfred with people on four different continents” during his time as a student. “My emphasis is always on the fantastic community that Alfred University is part of. At a bigger university, you could find a very similar education in the classroom and have just as much to show for it, on paper, but Alfred offers something else, something extra. At Alfred you have the opportunity (and subsequent responsibility) to be a part of a community.”

Garofoli, who will earn both his BFA degree with a concentration in mixed media from the School of Art & Design and a BA degree in philosophy from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, was involved in the effort to eliminate trays in AU’s dining halls to cut down on food waste. He worked with Green Alfred; assisted with the Focus the Nation event; conducted initial research into campus-wide recycling programs on other campuses; and undertook service learning research during his internship with Woughter’s office.

He has been a member of the University Judicial Board and the Peer Review Board, as well as vice president for the AU chapter of Habitat for Humanity. He has volunteered with Angel Food Ministries, and worked with Admissions as a campus tour guide, an art tour guide and an AU Ambassador. He worked with international students as an orientation guide, volunteered to help with Hot Dog Day, was a DJ for WALF radio, and a contributing writer for Fiat Lux, the student-run newspaper. He is a former member of the men’s varsity lacrosse team.

Garofoli received two international internship awards and was named to “Who’s Who Among American Colleges and Universities.”
He was a production assistant at NBC Universal during the summer of 2008; a production assistant for Pregnant Pictures, summer 2007; and head sculpture instructor at Appel Farms Arts Center, summer 2006.

Following graduation, Garofoli plans to work in Anan Cho, Japan, Alfred’s sister city, as an assistant language teacher.

A graduate of West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North, Garofoli is a son of Mary Jo Garofoli and Eric Harris, both of Plainsboro, NJ.

Along with a hand-crafted tile made by Wayne Higby, an internationally acclaimed artist and professor of ceramic art in the School of Art & Design at AU, Rimmel and Garofoli will each receive $5,000 in cash, thanks to an endowment created by Robert L. MacNeil Jr. of Wyndmoor, PA, a friend and business colleague of Marlin Miller, who is a 1954 alumnus of Alfred University as well as a member and former chairman of the Board of Trustees.

While Alfred University has for several years presented outstanding senior awards to the man and woman in each class selected by a campus-wide committee, in 2004 the awards were named in honor of Miller.