Skip to content

53 students inducted into Gold Key Society


Stephanie Bailey '16 receives a certificate inducting her into the Gold Key Honor Society on April 27 in the Semel Theater. 

Fifty-three students, along with faculty members Tulasi Srinivas, Aaron B. Daniels, and Mary Kovaleski Byrnes, were honored during the Gold Key Honor Society ceremony on April 27 at the Semel Theater.

Students inducted into the society are juniors who are graded in the top 5 percent of their class and seniors who are in the top 10 percent.

“For all the students who are being inducted into the Gold Key today, I want to offer my heartfelt congratulations to you,” Emerson President Lee Pelton said.

Each academic year, the Gold Key Honor Society selects two faculty members—one who is full-time, another who is part-time—who consistently receive high Teacher/Course Evaluation ratings. Srinivas, who is full-time, and Daniels, who is part-time, were also selected based on the number of nominations and other positive feedback the society received. Srinivas and Daniels received stipends of $1,500 and $1,000 respectively.

For the first time ever, this year the ceremony included the presentation of the Emerson College Alumni Award for Teaching Innovation, which went to Kovaleski Byrnes, senior lecturer in the Writing, Literature and Publishing Department, who is also a 2010 MFA alumna. In addition to having her poems, essays, and travel pieces published in numerous outlets, Kovalseki Byrnes coordinates the EmersonWRITES program, a free creative writing program for Boston Public School students.


Mary Kovaleski Byrnes, lecturer in Writing, Literature, and Publishing, gives brief remarks as Chief Academic Officer Michaele Whelan, President Lee Pelton, and Helaine Miller '55 look on. 

“I’m extremely grateful to everyone at Emerson,” Kovaleski Byrnes said, after receiving her recognition from Pat Peyton Martell ’84, president of the College Alumni Board. “It’s an honor and a privilege to work here.”

Former Emerson Trustee Helaine Miller ’55 presented the Helaine and Stanley Miller Award for Outstanding Teaching to Srinivas, an anthropologist and associate professor in the Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies.

“I think the reason I do teaching is not for wonderful awards like this or even my salary,” Srinivas said. “At the end of the day, I do it because it’s an addiction. And like all addictions, there’s a high.”


Associate Professor Tulasi Srinivas at the Gold Key Honor Society Induction Ceremony.

Srinivas, who said both of her parents and her sister are college professors, said she gets pleasure out of seeing “a student when they’re four steps ahead of you.”

“With every semester, I found that as I learn and as I teach, it not only makes me more adept as a teacher, it makes me come back for more,” she said. “I place that solely in the hands of the students.”

Former Trustee Alan L. Stanzler presented Daniels, a mental health counselor and psychotherapist who teaches part-time in the Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies, the Alan L. Stanzler Award for Excellence in Teaching.


Faculty member Aaron Daniels speaks at the Gold Key Honor Society Induction Ceremony.

Daniels said he was grateful that his students were able to show vulnerability in class discussions, because “if we are trying to grow, we are going to have to be vulnerable.”

“If we’re not vulnerable, we can’t talk, we can’t aspire, we can’t be outraged, and thus, we can’t change,” he said.

Dinesh Mohnani ’15, the president of the Gold Key Honor Society and treasurer of the student organization Emerson International, is from the Philippines and explained how, during this year’s harsh winter, “I questioned why I chose to leave the tropics to come here and study.”

“Then, I’m at a ceremony like this, where I’m reminded of all the wonderful and golden people who surround me at Emerson every day,” Mohnani said. “This is a celebration of all of us, a celebration of the things we’ve learned, the work we’ve done, and the people we’ve become.”


Dinesh Mohnani '15 addresses the Gold Key Honor Society. 

Michaele Whelan, chief academic officer, opened the Gold Key ceremony by providing some history of the honor society, which began in 1973.

“At the time it was founded, its purpose was to foster leadership among the Emerson student body, to create an awareness of the traditions and history of the College and to serve Emerson at all times,” Whelan said. “Membership was recognized by a gold blazer with the official emblem of the key in black and gold. At the 1973 installation of the Gold Key members, [former Emerson dean] Dr. Richard Pierce stated, ‘The emphasis of Gold Key is upon personal responsibility, personal challenge, and personal achievement.’”

The senior class students inducted into the Gold Key Honor Society are:

·      Briana Adams

·      Anna Aksenova

·      Christina Catucci

·      So Choi

·      Ashley Cunningham

·      Chelsea Evered

·      Marlee Galper

·      Isaac Gilbert

·      Lauren Kelly

·      Holly Kirkman

·      Amber Layne

·      Elizabeth LeMay

·      Ashlyn Lillibridge

·      Kinsey Minschke

·      Julia Moreira

·      Caroline Pallotta

·      Seonjoo Park

·      Lucy Sandler

·      Lauren Scovel

·      Audrey Seraphin

·      Andrea Torres

·      Madeline Torres

·      Jessica Tully

·      Susannah Wilson

The junior class students inducted into the Gold Key Honor Society are:

·      Stephanie Bailey

·      Madeline Bilis

·      Courtney Burke

·      Jamie Carty

·      Jennifer Currier

·      Diana Diloreto

·      Amanda Eberhardt

·      Maria Garcia

·      Samantha Grader

·      Charles Greenwald

·      Michaela Halnon

·      Belinda Huang

·      Morgan Kennedy

·      Nicolas Levesque

·      Olivia Light

·      Daniel Lyerly

·      Kirsten Lyons

·      Taylor McMahon

·      Shannon Miller

·      Audrey Morra-Wurst

·      Casey Nugent

·      Madeline Poage

·      Giulia Rho

·      Tayllar Righini

·      Megan Shuffleton

·      Gabriele Urbonaite

·      Kayla Van Fleet

·      Zoe Weston

·      Alexandra Wysota

·      Sara Zatopek

(Visited 89 times, 1 visits today)



Leave a Reply