University of Delaware seniors Elizabeth
Quartararo and Mark Rucci have been selected as the recipients of the
Emalea Pusey Warner and Alexander J. Taylor Sr. awards, respectively, as
the outstanding woman and man of the 2015 graduating class.
The awards are given annually by the UD Alumni Association to
recognize seniors, a man and woman, who most exemplify leadership,
academic success and community service.
Emalea Pusey Warner Award recipient Elizabeth Quartararo, of
Stamford, Connecticut, is a candidate for the honors degree with
distinction with majors in English and public policy and a minor in
Quartararo is the editor-in-chief of The Review, the UD
student newspaper, and helped lead the paper through a successful
fundraising effort as well as a print and award winning online
Her passion for journalism along with her interest in public service
and youth development led Quartararo to found her own non-profit
organization while a sophomore at UD. Project Lede, now a 501(c)(3)
organization, is an educational intervention program designed to provide
a journalism curriculum for underserved schools that is intended to
help empower middle school students and provide them with skills for
academic and social success. Project Lede currently serves four middle
schools in the Northeast.
This past fall, Quartararo, who holds a 3.93 grade point average, was
a finalist for the prestigious Marshall Scholarship and was selected as
an alternate for the New York region. She received a Global Scholars
Award in 2013 for a semester’s study in London and was selected to
attend the Clinton Global Initiative University in March 2014. She
served as a Munson Fellow in her junior year, mentoring 45 honors
freshmen in community-building and academic success, and received the
Woody Sprague Memorial Outstanding Fellow Award for that year.
Mark Bowden, distinguished writer in residence, noted in his
recommendation of Quartararo, “Here is a young woman of remarkable
talent and energy, determined to put her education and interests to work
helping not just herself, but others.”
Richard Jones, visiting professor of English and associate editor of The New York Times,
wrote, “Elizabeth is courageous and thoughtful, she doesn’t back away
from a challenge, and she has a moral and ethical compass that is firmly
pointed in the right direction.”
Mark Rucci, of Wildwood, New Jersey, will earn an honors degree this
spring with a major in public policy and a minor in legal studies. This
summer, he will earn a master’s degree in public administration as a
part of the University’s 4+1 BA/MPA program.
Rucci’s areas of interest include public education policy, American
politics and law. He has served as a Legislative Fellow on the Education
Committee in the Delaware House of Representatives, a judicial intern
in the Superior Court of New Jersey, a teaching assistant in the School
of Public Policy and Administration and a policy intern in the U.S.
Department of Education.
Rucci was named a David A. Plastino Scholar for his work on equity
disparities in American public schools and received the Henry R. Folsom
Award for his subsequent policy brief. He has studied abroad at the
Universidad de Granada, Spain, and volunteered in Nairobi, Kenya.
While at UD, Rucci served for two years as a student engagement
adviser and resident assistant with the Office of Residence Life and
Housing. He was also an appellate board officer with the Office of Student Conduct.
Rucci will be attending the London School of Economics and Political
Science in the fall to study rising global inequality and plans to
pursue a career in law and public policy.
Patricia Sloane-White, associate professor of anthropology, one of
the professors who recommended Rucci for the award, wrote, “He is a true
leader, a charismatic speaker and advocate, and serves as a shining
example of what a young man can accomplish both in his own community and
far beyond it.”
George Watson, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said, “Mark
epitomizes the true ‘triple threat’ in leadership, academic success and
community service that we seek to recognize with the Taylor Award.”
About the awards
Alexander J. Taylor Sr. (1875-1940) entered Delaware College in 1889
and graduated in 1893 as class valedictorian, with a baccalaureate
degree in civil engineering. Mr. Taylor was elected to the Board of
Trustees in 1927, reelected in 1932 and again in 1938. He served on the
Grounds and Buildings Committee and Executive Committee and was chairman
of the Finance Committee.
Emalea Pusey Warner (1853-1948) is best remembered on the University
of Delaware campus as a champion of education. In 1911, she became
chairperson of the State Federation of Women's Clubs' Committee on
Education and worked diligently toward the specific goal of establishing
a state-supported women's college. In 1914, she was appointed
chairperson of the Advisory Council of the Women's College and later
became the first woman member of the Delaware College Board of Trustees.
Both Warner Hall on the UD campus and Warner Elementary School in
Wilmington are named in her honor.
The Warner Award was first given in 1950, while the Taylor Award debuted in 1968.
Recipients are recognized with a $2,500 scholarship, are honored at a
luncheon and lead the alumni delegates’ procession at Commencement,
which this year will be held Saturday, May 30, at Delaware Stadium.
About the UD Alumni Association
All University of Delaware graduates are automatically granted
membership in the UD Alumni Association (UDAA) upon graduation and are
inducted with a pinning ceremony at Commencement. The UDAA is proudly
dedicated to engaging the entire alumni community by fostering a
tradition of lifelong loyalty and commitment to the University.
The UDAA provides exceptional value and ongoing support to alumni
worldwide by expanding benefits available to alumni, supporting regional
and affinity club events, recognizing alumni and their accomplishments