Four CCSU students earned 2021 Henry Barnard Distinguished Student Awards from the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities Foundation. This year’s award recipients are Veronical Heigel of Plantsville, Megyn Jasman of Cheshire, Sarah Ulrichsen of Warren, and Johanna Zukowski of Plainville.
“Our Barnard Award recipients are exemplary students and outstanding community members,” says CCSU President Zulma R. Toro. “They have held themselves to high academic standards, demonstrated leadership on campus and off, and have shown a dedication to service in the various communities to which they belong.”
Every spring, the CSCU Foundation recognizes 12 seniors from Connecticut’s four state universities with the Barnard Award. The award is named for Henry Barnard, who was Connecticut’s first superintendent of schools and served as principal of what later became Central Connecticut State University. Barnard became the first U.S. commissioner of education in 1867.
To be considered for the award, a student must have a minimum 3.7 GPA and a record of significant community service. The students are nominated by their respective universities and presidents and must submit a personal essay and other materials to be considered for the award.
Veronica Heigel graduated in December of 2020, having completed the requirements for a double major in Accounting and French in three and a half years, while maintaining an overall GPA of 3.96. She is the recipient of the Frank D. Cannata Scholarship, which recognizes the student with the highest four-year GPA in Accounting, and the Michael J. Witty Scholarship, which is awarded to students who demonstrate special ability and interest in taxation. She also received three scholarships from the Modern Languages Department, as well as its Award for Excellence in Language Studies.
Heigel made her mark on the campus community through multiple leadership positions, including terms as president of the Accounting Society and treasurer of the French Club. Heigel also was inducted into three academic honor societies: Alpha Mu Gamma (French); Beta Alpha Psi (Accounting), for which she served as chapter treasurer; and Beta Gamma Sigma (Business).
Her service to the community includes tax preparation for members of the public through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and teaching kindergartners about financial literacy as a volunteer with Junior Achievement. An aspiring Certified Public Accountant, she completed two audit internships at leading accounting firms and intends to pursue a master’s degree in Accounting.
Megyn Hazel Jasman is a Psychological Science major with a minor in Sociology and a passion for research. She has twice presented her research projects at annual conferences of the Eastern Psychological Association. She also completed an independent study titled “The Relationship Between Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms from Campus Mass Shootings & Physical Health,” which garnered an Outstanding Research Award in Psychological Science. She has received the Shanette Washington Distinguished Service to the Department Award multiple times.
Megyn has served as a peer tutor in the Psychological Science Department and later became a co-lead tutor tasked with training other tutors and assisting faculty.
Dance has been a passion for Jasman since childhood, and she is a member of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts and a dancer with CCSU’s Dancentral Dance Company.
During her summer breaks, Megyn worked as a mentor and group leader for Cheshire Parks and Recreation’s Therapeutic Summer Camp for children with disabilities. She also has volunteered with the Children’s Miracle Network and Best Buddies.
Sarah Ulrichsen has excelled on many fronts: as an Honors Program scholar, as a competitive equestrian, as an environmental advocate, and as a community volunteer. She will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Biology with a concentration in ecology, biodiversity, and evolutionary biology.
Inducted into the Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society in her freshman year, Ulrichsen has been recognized on the Dean’s List every semester and on the President’s List twice. Her honors thesis, titled “Stewards of our Public Lands,” addresses the impact that outdoor recreation activities have on ecosystems. It focuses specifically an area of Montana, where Ulrichsen had a summer job working as a horseback trail guide in Glacier National Park.
Ulrichsen is the president of the CCSU Equestrian Team and has served as Western Team captain since her sophomore year. She was an Interscholastic Horse Show Association Western Horsemanship national qualifier in the spring of 2020. Putting her riding skill to use for the benefit of others, Ulrichsen was a volunteer “sidewalker” for the Hospital for Special Care’s Manes and Motions Therapeutic Riding Center, where she assisted with weekly horseback riding lessons for participants with special needs.
Her other volunteer efforts include serving as a classroom aide in at Warren Elementary School; organizing community fundraisers; and collecting, delivering, and serving food at local homeless shelters.
Johanna Zukowski has earned a place on the Dean’s List every semester and on the President’s List twice. Majoring in Political Science and Philosophy, she is the founder and president of the Political Science Club and a member of the Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science National Honor Society.
Zukowski has been a Student Government Association senator since her freshman year and is the chair of SGA’s Academic Affairs Committee. She has also served on the Public Affairs, Internal Affairs, Faculty Senate Curriculum, and Faculty Senate Academic Integrity committees. She has been an Arts & Sciences Advising Place peer mentor and a performing member and officer of the A Cappella Society.
Zukowski was an intern with the Office of the Secretary of the State of Connecticut from January to July 2020. Among other efforts there, she provided research and developed a plan to adapt federal and local elections to abide by new COVID-19 restrictions. She plans to attend law school and has a particular interest in civil rights, civil liberties, and constitutional law.