Students win high Ignatian award


With this academic year coming to a close, three students will graduate Loyola as Ignatian Award winners and take their places amongst the most highly regarded students at the university.

Biological science senior Carissa Marston, chemistry senior Justin Romaire and Mary DePartout, graduating with her masters in counseling, are the 2013 Ignatian Award winners. The award recognizes students for their contributions to both the university and to the community.

Marston, winner of the Outstanding Senior Woman award, said that she hardly expected to be nominated, let alone win the award.

“It was quite a shock to me to be selected out of a nominee pool of so many amazing and outstanding people,” Marston said.

Director of University Ministry Kurt Bindewald said that both the committee for the senior man and woman and the graduate council met on Friday, April 19. The council decided the winners for the 2013 Ignatian Awards for Outstanding Senior Woman, Outstanding Senior Man and Outstanding Graduate Student. Bindewald said the winners were informed the same day the council met.

Bindewald said the committee looked at different criteria when deciding who would receive the award. The credentials include students who are academically well-rounded, are involved in the university and have made contributions to the community.

“Ultimately what I asked the committee to think about was, of all of the applicants who we had been looking at, who are we most proud of to say is a graduate of Loyola,” Bindewald said. “Someone who most represents who we want a graduate of Loyola to be.”

Romaire, winner of the Outstanding Senior Man award, said his time as an Ignacio Volunteer in Belize in 2012 could have been one of the factors that put the award in his favor. Romaire said that he helped set up a baseball camp in Belize where children learn how to play baseball.

“I think that my service, not limited to but can certainly be attributed to my time in Belize, was a big factor in me being selected for the award,” Romaire said.

DePartout, winner of the Outstanding Graduating Senior award, felt she was qualified because of her involvement with an Ignatian wide student organization. DePartout is a founder of the organization Active Minds, which is dedicated to raising awareness and educating college campuses and combatting misguided stigmas about mental illness. DePartout has also worked as a councilor at Family Service of Greater New Orleans, helping families in need.

Bindewald said the awards will be given out during the Baccalaureate Mass on Friday, May 10.

Marston considered her entire time at Loyola to be an intense period of growth.

“Loyola has been one of the most influential factors in my personal growth,” Marston said. “I think in being a senior, it’s very easy to reflect on were I was freshman year and how I’ve progressed to become this very full person through the environment fostered at Loyola.”

Burke Bischoff can be reached at [email protected]