Notre Dame College Recognizes Five Graduates with Awards at 94th Commencement

Notre Dame College has honored five graduating students—representing international and adult populations, in online and on-campus degree programs, who are the first in their families’ to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees—with its annual commencement awards in 2018.

The College recognizes an art major and budding art therapist with its Sr. Mary Agnes Bosche Award, an international student of business with a commitment to campus ministry with the Notre Dame Mission Award and a first generation bachelor’s degree graduate in education who moved to the U.S. from Ukraine with the Sr. Mary LeRoy Finn Award during 2018 undergraduate ceremonies.

Two scholars, and now double alumnae, receive the St. Catherine of Alexandria Award at the Notre Dame graduate commencement program this year: an adult student and working nurse who became the first to complete the College’s new online Master of Science in Nursing program and a first generation master’s degree student in education.

Notre Dame will bestow the customary graduation accolades during its 94th commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 5, in Regina Auditorium on the Notre Dame campus.

Bosche Award

Kayla Holcomb, who graduated from Notre Dame in May with a Bachelor of Arts in studio art with a psychology track in pre-professional art therapy and a 3.9 GPA, has been named the 2018 Bosche Award winner.

Holcomb has served as president of the College’s Art Club for three years, not only hosting meetings of the student organization but also coordinating the annual Notre Dame All Student Juried Art Show and other creative College-sponsored activities and events. She curated a solo show of her art works on campus this spring.

She also volunteered at Akron Children’s Hospital of the Mahoning Valley, working on crafts with a child receiving treatment.

Holcomb plans to attend graduate school to pursue a license in art therapy.

The Bosche Award, first bestowed in 2006, is presented each year to a traditional undergraduate who embodies the qualities of trustworthiness, a commitment to excellence and selfless service to the College and larger community.

Mission Award

Julio Rosales earned a Bachelor of Arts in international business with a minor in economics and received the College Mission Award in 2018.

Rosales developed as a leader in spiritual activities on and off campus, even receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation while at Notre Dame.

A transfer student from Venezuela, Rosales came to the College, in part, to play baseball. After a year as a player, he faced issues with NCAA transfer eligibility, so then worked as a student assistant for the team. While English is not his first language, he earned a 3.7 GPA and served as a tutor in the campus Dwyer Learning Center.

Rosales regularly participated in weekly Mass and acted as a student leader for Christian fellowship gatherings at the College. He also volunteered with the Kidz Club after-school program at Garfield Memorial Church near campus and at the Catholic Worker Drop-in Center in Cleveland.

The College Mission Award, first bestowed in 2015, recognizes a graduating student who displays care for others, commitment to spiritual or religious traditions, dedication to global issues and personal growth made possible through his or her education.

Finn Award

Yana Panasyuk earned her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Notre Dame in December 2017 with a 3.9 GPA. She was honored with the 2018 Finn Award.

A first generation bachelor’s degree graduate, Panasyuk’s family moved from Kiev, Ukraine, to the United States and settled in Cleveland when she was 2 years old.

Panasyuk has been employed as a long-term substitute at Chardon Hills Magnet School in Euclid since March. She also worked for five years as a pre-kindergarten substitute teacher at Lyndhurst Childhood Enrichment Center and served as a summer camp counselor there.

She previously earned an associate’s degree in early childhood education from Lakeland Community College.

The Finn Award honors the achievements of an adult student, who attains a minimum 3.5 GPA, demonstrates leadership and exhibits the characteristics inscribed on the custom-made Wisdom Bowl presented to them: “Scholarly, Catalyst, Diligent, Resilient.”

St. Catherine Award

Two Notre Dame master’s degrees graduates, one online and one on campus, have been selected for the St. Catherine of Alexandria Award for 2018.

Jacqueline Denson, the first graduate of Notre Dame’s Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) degree, and Martha Nagbe, who earned a Master of Education degree this year, accepted their awards and gave commencement speeches during the College’s graduate ceremony in May.

Both recipients are now double alumnae of Notre Dame. Denson earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) from the College in 2010, while Nagbe completed her bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, in education at Notre Dame in 2016.

Denson, a first generation adult student and working nurse, has been employed with the Cleveland Clinic since 2010. She completed her online graduate degree in December 2017

While working toward her master’s degree, Nagbe has served as a graduate assistant with the women’s basketball team at Notre Dame. She also is the first in her family to receive undergraduate and graduate degrees.

The St. Catherine of Alexandria Award, named for the patroness of the National Catholic College Graduate Honor Society Kappa Gamma Pi, is presented to graduating master’s degree students who aspire to attain knowledge in the face of adversity and demonstrate leadership, scholarship and service.

April 2018


About Notre Dame College

For almost a century, Notre Dame College has educated a diverse population in the liberal arts for personal, professional and global responsibility. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College has grown strategically to keep pace with the rapidly changing needs of students and the dramatic changes in higher education. But it has never lost sight of its emphasis on teaching students not only how to make a good living but also how to live a good life.

Today, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master's degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. Notre Dame College offers NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic programs for men and women and is located in a picturesque residential neighborhood just 25 minutes from the heart of Cleveland. Hallmarks of the Notre Dame experience include stimulating academics, personalized attention of dedicated faculty and staff, and small class sizes.

Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road in South Euclid. For further information contact Brian Johnston, chief communications officer, at 216.373.5252 or


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