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Academic Awards 2018

academic excellence pyramid


Academic Awards

An Otis education is widely known for its academic rigor and educational excellence.  The College recognizes the highest level of achievement with the Valedictory Award, Academic Excellence Awards, Distinction in Studio Awards, and Honors.

2018 Valedictory Award

Fashion Design major Jinny Song has been named Valedictorian of the Class of 2018. This award is bestowed annually on the member of the senior class whose work represents the pinnacle of academic excellence. This graduate wears a special medallion and gives an address at the Commencement ceremony. Jinny was chosen for her consistently stellar academic performance throughout her Otis College career and the exceptional quality of her work, which harnesses the history, language, and attributes of Art, while disrupting expectations in surface treatment, symmetry, and material and complimenting the body. 


jinny song valedictorian

Born in Seoul, South Korea, Jinny moved to China within 3 months of her birth. At age five she accompanied her mom to California with a calling for a life in the Arts. Embracing her rich cultural background and a relentless desire to attend college, she assumed all financial burden of higher education while forging forward in accepting and accelerating within the challenging major she chose. Recently, with a penchant for primary colors, she created an eclectic and quirky collection under Chris Chang that experimented with transparency, while continuing to explore both women’s and menswear. With Libertine’s Johnson Hartig as a mentor, she also focused on a collection that made allusions to Extra-terrestrials, taking inspiration from 1960’s Japanese sci-fi films. Jinny has received numerous recognitions while at Otis College, including the prestigious Vera Campbell Scholarship, the Disney Scholarship, the Newberg Scholarship, the Group Scholarship, a Nike Scholarship, and the Jack Hanford Scholarship. She was also the winner of the 2017 Disney Design Challenge, and the 2017 Thimble Award for her Universal Silver Screen Monsters design that was featured in Bisous Magazine. Among her future goals is to take her love of Art in Fashion, over-saturated hues, and embrace of the unconventional to Europe in order to further her education. 

A dedicated student, generous colleague, and extraordinary talent, Jinny truly embodies the aspirations of the College. Samples of her work may be seen at

2018 Academic Excellence Awards

The Academic Excellence Award is the highest honor given to graduating students in a major program. Selections are made by program leaders and faculty, and affirmed by the College’s academic awards committee. Criteria include a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher (for undergraduates), quality of work, personal character, and contributions to Otis and the larger community. These students wear a special purple cord at the Commencement ceremony.



The 2018 Academic Excellence Award recipients are:
Juan Ignacio Febres-Cordero Pittier, Architecture/Landscape/Interiors
Charles Kendall, Communication Arts with an emphasis in Illustration
Jacob Witt, Communication Arts with an emphasis in Graphic Design
Mollie Luria-Roberson, Digital Media with an emphasis in Motion Design
Francis Genares, Digital Media with an emphasis in Animation
Anna Solomko, Digital Media with an emphasis in Game and Entertainment Design
Jinny Song, Fashion Design
Yeltsin Penado, Fine Arts with an emphasis in Painting
Daniel Cope, Fine Arts with an emphasis in Sculpture/New Genres
Pamela Ramos Ramírez, Fine Arts with an emphasis in Photography
Grayson Hild, Product Design  
Sahad Susette Rivera Sonda, Toy Design
Nathan Gulick, Graduate Fine Art
Maria Jose Balvanera, Graduate Graphic Design
Anna Ayeroff, Graduate Public Practice
Newton Garner, Graduate Writing

2018 Distinction in Studio Awards

Architecture/Landscape/Interiors Awards for Excellence in Design 2017-2018
Marion Mayfield - Studio 1, Fall 2017
Eliana Ramirez - Studio 2, Summer 2017
Alexis Maher - Studio 2, Spring 2018
Daniel Liu - Studio 3, Summer and Fall 2017
Trista Su - Studio 4, Spring 2018
Pinky Lam - Studio 5A, Fall 2017 
Wei Qiu - Studio 5B, Fall 2017 
Shared: Juan Febres-Cordero & Wei Qiu - Studio 6A, Spring 2018
Luciana Romero - Studio 6B, Spring 2018

Communication Arts Distinction in Studio Award 
Chloe Kim – Illustration
Jessi Hita, Illustration
Francis "Nick" Saele - Graphic Design
Steven Galekovic - Graphic Design

Digital Media Distinction in Studio Award 
Patrick Ward
Mollie Lurie-Roberson
Zoe Lin

Fashion Design Distinction in Studio Award
Fashion Design 2018 Distinction in Studio Awards - William Wang

Fine Arts Distinction in Studio Awards
Michael Gross: Distinction in Painting
Patsy Pitts: Distinction in Sculpture/New Genres
Joshua Kim: Distinction in Photography

Product Design Distinction in Studio Award

Isabella Labriola
Heuiwoo Lee
Rayph Cosford
Javier Diaz

Stefan White
Sabrine Mengerink
Tatiana Stewart
Amanda DaSilva
Jackie Phongmai

Ashley Peng
Colin Yoon
Chi Sun
Colin Yoon
Jacob Kim


MFA Graphic Design Distinction in Studio Award 
Frankie Hermesma
Pilar Castillo

MFA Fine Art Distinction in Studio Award 
Deborah Adams-Welles - Fine Art
Lorenzo Baker - Fine Art
Mark Farina - Public Practice

Honors List
An honor given to graduating seniors (Undergraduate only) who achieve a 3.5 GPA or higher as of Spring semester. See this year's list here.
Dean's List

Students whose cumulative grade point average is 3.5 or higher earn a place on the Dean's List. 

Academic Awards Archive