Rodriguez, Sandefur win Outstanding Student Award

Lydia Sandefur

Aleija Rodriguez and Lydia Sandefur were the joint winners of the Outstanding Student Award, a first for two Middle College students.
“I’m not sure, but I think this may be the first time they’ve had two,” Rodriguez said. “I’m pretty certain we’re the youngest ever.”
Rodriguez said he was incredibly excited and went on to extend his thanks to the college and the Middle College.
“This has just been an amazing experience,” he said. “For it to culminate here means a lot to me, and I’m sure it means a lot to Lydia, but I’ll let her speak for herself.”
Sandefur also extended her thanks to the college and the Middle College.
“And of course to the Writing Fellows and the Agora both, as they have opened up a love of writing within me that I did not know existed,” she said.
The ceremony occurred on April 17. The honor is awarded to the most outstanding students by the Faculty Association.
Professor of Speech Mark Bergmooser presented the award as president of the Faculty Association. He singled out Rodriguez and Sandefur as being inquisitive, mature, and helpful to their peers.
“I’m truly honored to have even been nominated in the first place,” Sandefur said. “The fact that I actually won it is mind-blowing. It’s just crazy.
“And that I’ve won it with someone who I’ve known for the last five years, gone to school with the entire time… It’s just kind of wild to think of how far we’ve come since we were little tiny ninth graders.”
Rodriguez echoed her sentiments.
“I just couldn’t be happier with how my entire career here has turned out,” he said. “I can’t wait to see where the college goes from here and where I go. I’m just excited for the future!”