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UD Alumni Association names recipients of Warner, Taylor student awards

​Seniors Linda (Ellie) Halfacre and Micah Petersen have received UD's most prestigious student awards.

Graduating seniors LInda (Ellie) Halfacre and Micah Petersen have been named the 2017 recipients of the Emalea Pusey Warner and Alexander J. Taylor Sr. Outstanding Senior Awards from the University of Delaware Alumni Association (UDAA), the most prestigious student awards at UD.

Halfacre and Petersen, both students in the College of Arts and Sciences, will be recognized on Saturday, June 3, during Alumni Weekend, at the UDAA Awards Ceremony, to be held at 5 p.m. in Gore Recital Hall of the Roselle Center for the Arts. The event will also recognize the winners of this year's Outstanding Alumni Awards and Alumni Wall of Fame Awards.

The Emalea Pusey Warner and Alexander J. Taylor Sr. Awards annually honor an outstanding woman and man, respectively, of the senior class. Recipients must demonstrate leadership, academic success and community service. Students must also have a cumulative index of 3.0 or better at the end of the first semester of their senior year.

Emalea Pusey Warner Award recipient Linda (Ellie) Halfacre will be graduating with a bachelor’s degree in international relations and public policy. An Honors student, Halfacre is a Eugene du Pont Distinguished Memorial Scholar, funded by the Unidel Foundation.

While on campus, she was a victim advocate who offered immediate, confidential crisis assistance to survivors of sexual assault and implemented a domestic violence public awareness poster campaign. She was an active student senator with the Student Government Association and the founder and president of the Red, White and Blue Hens group, which planned and executed local voter engagement initiatives.

The recipient of the Alexander J. Taylor Sr. Award, Micah Petersen will earn double undergraduate degrees in Chinese studies and international relations and a concurrent master’s degree in geography. Petersen will study in Beijing’s Tsinghua University, one of China’s premier institutions, beginning in August as a Schwarzman Scholar.

He is an Honors student, Eugene du Pont Distinguished Memorial Scholar, funded by the Unidel Foundation, and the recipient of several prestigious scholarships and grants. As a student, he was actively involved with Army ROTC and will commission as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army following graduation this May. Petersen is the founder and CEO of Reviresco Inc., a 501c3 organization that exists to educate and empower society to engage with veterans by going beyond saying “thank you for your service.”

UDAA Outstanding Alumni Awards

The Outstanding Alumni Awards are presented annually to an alumnus and alumna in recognition of their exemplary work on behalf of the University of Delaware and/or the UDAA. This year, the University honors Alan L. Brayman and Darelle Lake Riabov.

Alan Brayman received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from UD in 1973 and went on to earn his master’s degree in business administration from Shippensburg University. After a term as a member of the UD Alumni Association Board of Directors, Brayman became the UDAA’s 27th president. He remains engaged with UD as a member of the Lerner College Alumni Association. He and his wife, Joann, also volunteered with the UD Parent and Family Leadership Council while their children attended UD.

Darelle Lake Riabov earned a bachelor’s degree in home economics education from UD in 1973. The quintessential UD cheerleader, Riabov has always made time to give back to her alma mater. She served as the 28th president of the UD Alumni Association and remains involved as a member of the nominating committee. She currently serves as a VAST team member and Hen Hatch judge and is the vice chair of the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Advisory Council.

UDAA Alumni Wall of Fame Awards

The Alumni Wall of Fame Award recognize outstanding professional and public service achievements by UD graduates. This year, the UDAA honors Ann Massey Badmus, Richard J. Gannon, Elizabeth Anthony Mattey and Paul M. McConnell.

Ann Massey Badmus received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from UD in 1984 and went on to earn her law degree in 1989 from Widener University School of Law. She is currently a partner in the Immigration Law Section of Scheef and Stone LLP. Badmus is a nationally recognized immigration lawyer and a sought-after speaker on immigration law. She has published numerous articles, hosted a television program, been interviewed on the national and local radio and written a book on immigration for physicians.

Richard J. Gannon earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from UD in 1987. As a student, Gannon was the first football player in UD history to set 21 school records. After graduation, Gannon entered the 1987 NFL draft and was selected by the New England Patriots. He achieved his greatest successes with the Oakland Raiders, including an appearance in Super Bowl XXXVII. When Gannon retired from football, he joined CBS as an NFL analyst. In addition to his CBS duties, Gannon is a highly-regarded sports analyst and co-host of The Sirius Blitz on Sirius XM NFL Radio.

Elizabeth Anthony Mattey received a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1977 and her master’s in nursing in 1994 from UD. Mattey is the lead school nurse in the Brandywine School District, having worked as a school nurse for 30 years. She is the president of the National Association of School Nurses, which serves almost 17,000 school nurses around the country. She is also currently a member of the Professional Advisory Board for the Epilepsy Foundation in Delaware and a past president of the Delaware School Nurse Association. 

Paul M. McConnell received his bachelor’s degree in political science from UD in 1974. He is the founder of McConnell Development Inc., McConnell Johnson Real Estate and 1313 Innovation. McConnell has developed office, residential, commercial and industrial properties, totaling over 5 million square feet in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. 1313 Innovation was the first community-based mobile tech innovation center, a collaborative environment for professionals and students. In 2015, 1313 Innovation hosted more than 100 events, including the Tech2Gether conference, the anchor event of the first Delaware Innovation Week, highlighting local entrepreneurs, start-up companies and showcasing emerging technologies.

Article by Nadine Sabater; photo by Kathy F. Atkinson

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LInda (Ellie) Halfacre and Micah Petersen have been named the 2017 recipients of the Emalea Pusey Warner and Alexander J. Taylor Sr. Outstanding Senior Awards.

​Linda (Ellie) Halfacre and Micah Petersen have been named the 2017 recipients of UD's most prestigious student awards.

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Outstanding seniors
  • Department of Languages, Literatures & Cultures
  • Jastak-Burgess Hall
  • University of Delaware
  • 30 East Main St.
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-2591