May 11, 2011

Perrella Named Dean Williamson Award Winner

Senior Catherine Perrella

DURHAM, N.H. – Senior Catherine Perrella (Bedford, N.H.) of the women's track & field team was named the 2011 recipient of the University of New Hampshire's Dean Williamson Award, announced by the Student Awards Committee on Tuesday.

The Dean Williamson Award is presented annually to "that senior who has been outstanding and well-rounded in extracurricular activities, scholarship, athletics, and loyalty to the University." Perrella truly embodied the spirit and characteristics of the Dean Williamson Award, as her success both in the classroom and on the field was only surpassed by her commitment to the well being of her peers and the community.

Perrella has participated in the indoor and outdoor America East Conference Championships, New England Championships and Eastern College Athletic Championships throughout her four-year career. As a middle distance competitor, Perrella was a member of the 2010 America East Indoor Champion distance medley relay team and was also selected to the All-Conference Team for her efforts.

Perrella will be graduating this month with a degree in economics and is currently carrying a 3.80 cumulative grade point average. A member of the honors program, Perrella was the recipient of numerous academic awards, including the Dean's List Highest Honors and the Presidential Scholar Award. She is also a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society, the Omricon Delta Epsilon International Economic Honor Society and was named to the America East Commissioner's Honor Roll.  

In addition to a lofty list of athletic and academic accolades, Perrella has consistently demonstrated the essence of a well-rounded individual through her involvement in several extra-curricular activities. She is a co-founder and three-year executive member of CommUNHiversity, a student organization with the intent to gain a sense of community on the UNH campus primarily by starting traditions and working closely with all aspects of the UNH community.

She also spent her senior year as a tutor for student-athletes and was a student member on the Honors Student Advisory Board for two years. Her other extra-curricular activities have included volunteer work at the Manchester MS Walk, the UNH Freshman Camp, and UNH Student Graduation.   

In perhaps Perrella's greatest display of community outreach, she has decided to undergo the procedure to make a bone marrow donation, which may help save the life of a patient suffering from leukemia, lymphoma and other life-threatening diseases. Perrella is set to begin the multi-week treatment process of extracting bone marrow this week, which means calling her collegiate track career short and forgoing this weekend's New England Championships.

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