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Introducing Adelphi’s Prestigious Panthers and Spirit Court of 2023

By Lizz Panchyk

Adelphi celebrated its seventh annual Spirit Weekend on Oct. 15. Among the many activities held, one that has become a beloved tradition in itself is the naming of the Prestigious Panthers and Spirit Court.

Spirit Court and Prestigious Panthers at Spirit Weekend from left to right: Adam Ayrosa, Amanda Pincus, Lucia Lu, Michelle Sarker, Jolisa John-Lynch, President Christine Riordan, Callum Ferguson, Khamkay Inthavong, Kennie Dionisio, Melissa Garber and Sophie Breslow.

Although the events have changed over the past seven years, the principle of Spirit Weekend has stayed the same: recognizing and celebrating students who represent the best of Adelphi in terms of academic excellence, creativity, global awareness, community involvement and Panther pride.

“I believe applying for and competing for the Prestigious Panther Award help students develop essential career readiness skills such as self-presentation, communication and prioritization,” said R. Sentwali Bakari, PhD, vice president for student affairs. “It can also encourage students to reflect on their experiences and articulate the impact of their leadership experience on campus and within the greater community.”

After postponements due to rain–and much anticipation–the Prestigious Panthers and Spirit Court were finally announced on Oct. 15. The Prestigious Panthers are:

  • Adam Ayroso, a biology major in the Joint Degree Program with SUNY Upstate Norton College of Medicine and a member of the Adelphi Honors College. He is on the executive board of the Honors College and Biology Club, respectively, an Honors College Biology Summer Research Fellow, peer academic tutor in the Center for Academic Support and Enrichment, and a member of the Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society.

  • Sophie Breslow, a social work major and in the Tri Delta sorority, a Bridges to Adelphi peer mentor, National Society of Collegiate Scholars inductee, and a member of Gamma Beta Phi National Honor Society.

  • Khamkay Inthavong, a management and international studies major with a minor in Spanish and human resource management. She is also the public relations officer for Levermore Global Scholars and a member of Omicron Delta Kappa and HerCampus.

  • Lucia Lu, a biology major who is a resident assistant, chemistry lab teacher’s assistant and Global Medical Brigades public relations officer.

The Spirit Court of 2023 is:

  • Kennie Dionisio, a computer science major with a minor in communications. He is president of the Class of 2024, co-features editor of The Delphian, Jaggar Community Fellows intern at North Shore TV, Peer Assistant Leader, Commuter Assistant and president of the Asian Students Intercultural Alliance, among other activities.

  • Callum Ferguson, an ethics and public policy major and Levermore Global Scholar. He is a recipient of the 2023 Bhise Global Learning India Study Trip and a resident assistant.

  • Melissa Garber, a psychology major in the Honors College with a minor in theater tech and design. Her activities include serving as vice president of Psi Chi International Honor Society, event coordinator of the Psychology Club, and Peer Assistant Leader.

  • Jolisa John-Lynch, a health science major with a minor in African, Black and Carribean studies. She is president of Black Students United, a Peer Assistant Leader, Commuter Assistant, assistant in the Office of Residential Life and Housing and a volunteer for Panther Pantry.

  • Amanda Pincus, a psychology major in the Scholar Teacher Education Program (STEP) and a minor in child and family studies. She is president of the Panhellenic Council, president of the Omicron Delta Kappa and a National Residence Hall Honorary.

  • Michelle Sarker, a health sciences major with a minor in marketing. She is president of the South Asian Student Association, a Peer Assistant Leader, Commuter Assistant, a First-Year Community Action Program leader, a member of Gamma Beta Phi and a Levermore Global Scholar.

“Serving as a Prestigious Panther is about fostering a culture of open dialogue and improvement,” said Inthavong. “It means being a beacon to those who aren’t seen or represented as much and providing an outlet where every voice can be heard and where we can work together to better our campus.”

Ferguson said, “Spirit Court to me means representing my communities and encouraging others to do what they desire.”

Bakari said both recognitions are important because they validate students’ leadership development and commitment to being involved and engaged in the vitality of campus life. “It acknowledges their contributions to the campus community, which elevates their visibility, reputation and academic and professional success, thus making them exceptional representatives of Adelphi University and the clubs, organizations and diverse communities they represent.”

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