The 2022 Balanced Man Scholarship banquet was a huge success! This year’s awards were special to our chapter because of how competitive and competent the applicants were. We had an extremely large applicant pool of over 500 people. From this, our BMS committee chose twenty hardworking, dedicated young men. Finally, after the last round of interviews, five extraordinary students were selected as this year’s BMS finalists.
Eric Meade won the $100 scholarship for his experience as class president for five consecutive years, his honors status at UConn, and his history of leadership as captain of the track team. The $200 winner, Abhinav Baral is a well-mannered first-generation college student who started his own business in high school. Brian Cruz spent his time managing a small farm, creating a cryptocurrency mining operation, and honing a sound body from his involvement in three martial arts. Brian was the recipient of the $300 prize. Wisam Al-Tameemi earned the $400 scholarship for his summer program at Yale School of Medicine, high school high honors, and completion of the NHPS SOARS summer program all while his father assisted the American war effort overseas. Lastly, the BMS $500 grand prize winner, Bryan Lozano, showed our committee that he is the epitome of a balanced man. Bryan is confirmed for a summer internship with PwC, was recognized as a New Haven Promise Scholar, and showed us that he is an incredibly hard working man through his balance of multiple jobs and school.
These men are the best of the best at UConn, averaging a 3.88 GPA on a 4.0 scale, all while putting forth significant efforts in multiple other facets of their lives. We were lucky to have special guest speakers as well. These included Thomas Aquista (2022 graduate), Aiden O’Connor (2022 graduate), Dr. Jonathan Wharton (associate graduate school dean at SCSU), Dr. Sarira Motaref (Sigma Phi Epsilon faculty fellow), and Hunter Cox (Sigma Phi Epsilon Northeast Regional Director). These speakers truly encapsulated the significance of the Balanced Man Scholarship in their presentations.
Along with the Balanced Man Scholarship, we also awarded five brothers for their special contributions to our chapter. Zack Caporale won the Virtue Award for his contribution to the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. Sean Flaherty was awarded the Diligence Award for his devotion to the upkeep of our chapter house in Husky Village, and his extraordinary 3.97 GPA. Robbie du Toit won the Brotherly Love Award for his unique ability to make the chapter laugh and smile, and the formation of his committee dedicated to maintaining the mental health of our brothers. The Elmo Zumwalt Award was presented to Caleb Moulema for his devotion to the recruitment and member safety committees, and his admirable academic path. Caleb was recently accepted to a dual M.D./ Ph.D program at an Ivy League university. Finally, Nick Dilibero won the Brother of the Semester Award for his contributions to programming within the chapter, his recent election to Vice President of Programming, and his work as Secretary over the past year.
Our expectations were far surpassed by this year’s Balanced Man Scholarship banquet. We had extraordinary finalists, great guest speakers, near-perfect attendance, a beautiful venue at Hillel, and catering from Gansett Wraps. This would not have been possible without the extreme dedication and hard work of Will Servino and Jake Daignault. They not only organized and planned the whole event, but they also worked with the BMS committee to narrow down the applicant pool and pick finalists. They also performed multiple eloquent speeches during the banquet.
This year’s banquet once again provided exposure to the traditions and expectations at Sigma Phi Epsilon and helped five worthy students. Hopefully next year’s banquet will be even better!