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Two Graduates from the Class of 2024 Honored at Commencement

By June 3, 2024Academics

The recipient of this year’s Spirit Award is Breanna Marchewka.

Bre has been an active member of the Villa community since she first stepped foot on campus four years ago.

As a Student Ambassador, Bre worked closely with the Admissions team to help welcome Future Vikings and their families to campus. She led campus tours, offering personal details from her own experiences that helped prospective students picture themselves learning and growing on Pine Ridge Road. Bre has held down two jobs, all while keeping up with her full-time course work.

As the College’s Athletic Facilities Assistant, Bre helped the Athletics leadership team prepare for game days and other events. Her hard work continues off campus. She works at Delta Sonic; she has been promoted three times in nearly six years of employment. Bre is always the first student to offer to assist with after-hours events, like the American Advertising Awards, VillaCon, networking events, and others.

She has proven herself to be reliable, conscientious, and professional. All of this is sure to serve her well in the future. As a senior, Bre began an internship with the Buffalo Bisons’ Marketing and Promotions team. There, she is responsible for all pre-game giveaways, first pitches, National Anthem singers, t-shirt tosses, post-game entertainment, and more. Because fan engagement is one of her top responsibilities, she is one of the first faces you see upon entering Sahlen Field.

Bre graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and certificates in Human Resources, Marketing, and Sports Management. She will continue her internship with the Buffalo Bisons throughout the summer before beginning her search for a full-time job in the marketing field.

The recipient of this year’s Blessed Mary Angela Award is Alyssa Kita.

Named after the foundress of the Felician Sisters, the Blessed Mary Angela Student Award is awarded annually at Commencement to the most outstanding graduate of Villa Maria College. The award is selected by the President of the College and his cabinet, based on nominations from faculty and staff. Recipients embody the mission and values of Villa Maria College, demonstrated through outstanding achievement in academics, leadership, and service to both the college and local community.

The recipient of this year’s Blessed Mary Angela Award is Alyssa Kita. Described by her faculty as “absolutely outstanding” and “a model student in every way possible,” Alyssa made the most of her time as a student at Villa Maria College. A Dean’s List scholar, Alyssa’s success extends beyond the classroom. In addition to being named the Outstanding Student in Interior Design in 2024, a jury of local professionals named her the first-place winner of the 2024 Hyatt’s Distinguished Student of the Year Award.

Her talent as a designer has been recognized off campus, too. She was a semi-finalist in this year’s American Society of Interior Designers’ Portfolio Design Competition and was selected for the coveted Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center Senior Internship.

Last year, Alyssa played a critical role in the successful completion of the 2023 Junior League of Buffalo’s Decorator Show House. She managed almost every aspect of the design, including fabrication, installation, and promotion of the space.

Alyssa’s hard work has also been recognized outside of Western New York. She was the only student panelist selected to participate in the New York Eleven Plus’ panel discussion, “Paths to Professionalism” held in April 2024 in New York City. She was selected from an impressive pool of applicants that included students from every Interior Design program in New York State. She participated in the panel alongside industry professionals with years of experience. New York Eleven Plus also selected her work for inclusion in their Port Authority Exhibit in both 2023 and 2024.

Most importantly, Alyssa embodies the College’s mission and values. She is kind, personable, honest, hard-working, bright, and always does the right thing. She carefully considers all feedback and advice offered to her, allowing each of her projects to make her a stronger interior designer.

Alyssa graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design. She is currently employed by Inspired Space Design in the City of Buffalo, and has been pursued by many other industry professionals. Her immediate plans include studying for her NCIDQ certification, and her long-term goal is to build her own interior design business. Her confidence and professionalism are sure to serve her well as she embarks on the next phase of her life.