Aquinas started the second semester with a double header celebration with the Commissioning of the 16th Rector of the College, Sean Brito-Babapulle and a full Collegiate Dinner and Academic Awards Ceremony. The Vicar-general, Fr Dean Marin, officiated in the Commissioning of the new Rector and he was joined by the Deputy Chair of the Aquinas Council, Joanne Sawyer, Sean’s wife Sara Brito and Council member, Br Paul Kane.
The Collegiate Dinner and Academic Awards Ceremony celebrated the high achievers at Aquinas but also recognised that some students, for whom study does not come naturally, have also managed, through hard work and application, (plus the odd all-nighter), to get through. Academic Director, Dr Sarah Moller pointed out that one third of Aquinas students achieved a Distinction average or higher in the first Semester with over two thirds of students attaining a Credit average or higher. Dr Moller said, “This statistic reflects both the hard work put in by each student, and the huge, positive impact that our tutors make: juniors and seniors who tutored their peers in over 40 different subjects across the three universities”.
Once again, the outstanding results of Aquinas students were acknowledged. The Father James McInerney Prize for highest achieving first year student was won by Tahlia Reeves (Whyalla). The Fr Michael Scott Prize for the student achieving the highest results of all students was awarded to four students as they all attained straight High Distinctions! They were Abbey Latta (Walpeup) and Sophie Millard (Gladstone) both studying Physiotherapy at the University of South Australia, Amelia Smart (Crystal Brook), studying Psychology at Adelaide University and Ruben van Eeden (Millicent), studying Medical Science at Flinders University.
Individual faculty prizes were presented to: Amelia Smart for Arts; Tori Cooper (Mt Gambier) and Lara Falting (Loxton) for Business; Kayla Sanders (Hamilton) for Education; Michael Duffett (Hobart) for Engineering; Lilly Phillips (Gol Gol) for Nursing; Ruben van Eeden for Science; Abbey Latta and Sophie Millard for Allied Health and Lucy O’Dea (Crystal Brook) for Medicine.
Certificates for Notable Improvement were awarded to Marni Clark (Port Lincoln), Molly Giddings (Edillilie), Sophie Wilksch (Yeelana) and Ella Tansell (Port Lincoln).
To finish off the evening, as is tradition at Aquinas, when a student has achieved a degree in a previous semester, a hood is conferred. Emma Cole (Mildura) was presented with her hood for her Bachelor of Business from La Trobe University.