Educating a diverse population in the liberal arts

For personal, professional and global responsibility

In the tradition of the Sisters of Notre Dame

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Three graduates in the Notre Dame College Class of 2020 were honored for their academic achievement and campus leadership.

Jessica Stout, who graduated summa cum laude with majors in biology and chemistry and a GPA of 3.99, has won the Sr. Mary Agnes Bosche Award. Medely Gardner, who completed a Bachelor of Arts in business management while working full time as assistant director of student accounts at the College, received the Sr. Mary LeRoy Finn Award, and Alana Norris, who earned a Master of Arts in national security intelligence studies, has been recognized with the St. Catherine of Alexandria Medal.

The Bosche Award is presented to a traditional undergraduate student in the graduating class who demonstrates honesty and trustworthiness and a commitment to excellence and selfless service to Notre Dame and the larger community. The Finn Award is conferred upon an adult undergraduate who has demonstrated academic excellence and leadership qualities both inside and outside the classroom and has a minimum 3.5 GPA. The St. Catherine Award is presented to a master’s degree candidate who exemplifies the high ideals of Catholic education.

Jessica Stout

Stout graduated with the Notre Dame Honors Scholar distinction on her degree and was a Choose Ohio First STEMM Scholar. Her integrity and work ethics were highlighted by many academic awards and honors from the biology and chemistry departments.

At the College, she conducted independent research in the laboratories of three different faculty members. She also has volunteered in the emergency department of Akron Hospital and University Hospital. She will be attending medical school in the fall.

In addition to her scholarship, Stout served as a peer-tutor at Notre Dame helping her fellow undergraduates in subjects such as chemistry, physics and biology. She served with the Science Olympiad in Northeast Ohio, a program that serves area Catholic elementary-school students.

Stout also participated in a Guatemala immersion trip sponsored through the College’s Campus Ministry Office and excelled on the NCAA Division II basketball court as a member of the Falcons’ women’s basketball team, where she earned All-Mountain East Conference Honorable Mention honors.

The recipient of the Notre Dame Bosche Award is selected based on his or her embodiment of the qualities evident in the life and service of Sr. Mary Agnes Bosche, SND. The College president and administrative staff choose the recipient from the graduating class.

Medely Gardner

A wife, mother and first-generation adult student, Gardner earned her bachelor’s degree while working full time at the College. As she was completing her own academic requirements, her husband was finishing work on his doctorate and their children were being home-schooled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. She credits the grace of God for helping her find a way to balance her family, her education and her employment.

A native of Waltham, Mass., Gardner next plans to pursue an MBA at Notre Dame.

The Sr. Mary LeRoy Finn Award is conferred upon an adult student who has demonstrated academic excellence and leadership qualities both inside and outside the classroom. The recipient also must embody the characteristics inscribed on the custom-made award presentation bowl: “Catalyst, Diligent, Scholarly, Spiritual, Resilient.”

Alana Norris

Norris earned her master’s degree in national security and intelligence studies from Notre Dame in 2020. She is now a double-alumna. She first graduated from the College in 2016 with magna cum laude honors and a bachelor’s degree in history.

While working on her graduate degree, Norris joined the College’s staff as a full-time administrative coordinator for the Notre Dame Finn Center for Adult, Graduate and Online Students. She completed her graduate degree with one of the highest academic records in the history of the program.

The St. Catherine of Alexandria Award is presented to outstanding master’s degree candidates in the graduating class. The recipients are chosen by the graduate faculty based on leadership, scholarship and service to and support of the College and community-at-large. This prestigious award is sponsored by Kappa Gamma Pi, the National Catholic College Graduate Honor Society, in honor of Frances Burger Noetzel, a Notre Dame College graduate from the class of 1941.

July 2020

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