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Published May 02, 2019
Two students from Green River were finalists for the University of Wyoming’s highest honor as top graduating seniors.
John David (J.D.) Richardson and Savannah Hook were among 11 students nominated for the Rosemarie Martha Spitaleri and Tobin Memorial Award, which recognizes the most outstanding graduates from the 2018-19 undergraduate class.
The award is based on academic excellence and achievement, service to the university, participation and leadership in the community and campus activities, and citizenship qualities.
Jess Fahlsing, from Rock Springs, and Dylan Rust, of Green River, were the recipients of the Rosemarie Martha Spitaleri and Tobin Memorial Award. The announcement was made at the Friday, April 26, luncheon at the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center.
Richardson is majoring in political science with minors in public law and honors.
He describes his time at UW as a commitment to success.
“The moment I entered my collegiate studies, I was no longer representing just me; I was representing those around me, my family and, most importantly, the institution that gave me the opportunity to learn and grow,” Richardson says. “Therefore, when it came to my studies, I persevered -- regardless of burnout, workload or difficulty -- with that sentiment in mind.”
One of his nominators gives credit to Richardson for never taking the easy way out during his time as a UW student.
“J.D. could consistently be relied on to get to the heart of an issue rather than simply hitting the highlights,” the nominator says.
Another nominator applauded Richardson for his ability to solve problems.
“J.D. is thoughtful and possesses great insight,” the nominator says. “I have never found J.D. to jump to conclusions or parrot common slogans. He thinks deeply, analyzes critically and articulates his ideas clearly.”
Hook is majoring in environment and natural resources and English with a minor in honors.
Hook is a first-generation college student and granddaughter to immigrants. She says she is not taking her UW undergraduate education for granted.
“During my undergraduate experience, I have tried continuously to take advantage of leadership and character-building opportunities,” Hook says. “My grandparents came to America because of what the country offers to citizens. I continue to act and serve in a manner that upholds the values of quality communities in America and focus on the ways my interests can align with being an active and contributing citizen.”
A nominator commends Hook for her kind personality and is hopeful for Hook’s future.
“Savannah is next-level smart and already accomplished,” the nominator says. “Beyond that, she is kind, caring, open-minded and thoughtful. Savannah is exactly the person I envision taking on her generation’s environmental challenges -- she is someone who will think beyond the obvious and who will strive for inclusion in all its forms.”