2009 Award Recipients

Kyriaki Ades – Kyriaki is a Lake Forest College student majoring in Biology and Mathematics. In high school she was recognized as an Illinois State Scholar and received the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics Award and the Principal’s recognition awards for excellence in Mathematics, Social Studies and Physical Welfare. Pursuing her passion for helping others, Kyriaki was also a teaching assistant as well as a tutor at the Literacy Center.

Denise Alexopoulos – After she earns her undergraduate degree in Biology from Loyola University, Denise plans to attend the Illinois College of Optometry. Her academic honors include the Shephard Wall of Fame Award, Illinois State Scholar and National Honors Society. She is interested in music and dance and has directed and choreographed high school productions.

Ashley Alman – Ashley attends Duke University where she studies Political Science. She graduated first in her class from Boca Raton Community High School, was an AP Scholar and National Merit Commended Scholar. In addition, she has received the Prudential Spirit of Community Award in recognition of her volunteer efforts. She is an active parishioner at St. Mark Greek Orthodox Church and has recently been involved with GOYA and received recognition at the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival.

Katherine Anoyiannakis – Katherine attends Grand Valley State University studying Psychology, and plans to earn her PhD. She attended South Lake High School and the Macomb Mathematics Science Technology where she received the President’s Award for Educational Excellence, Michigan Promise Scholarship, Ground Valley Award for Excellence, Order of AHEPA District #10 National Education Foundation Scholarship, AHEPA Omega #371 Scholarship, and The South Lake National Honor Society Scholarship.

Alexa Arvanitis – Alexa is a senior at the University of Florida majoring in Business Administration with minors in Greek Studies and Communications Studies, Alexa plans to attend law school and specialize in International Law. She has been recognized on the Presidents Honor Roll and the Dean’s List every semester and is a member of several honors societies. Alexa volunteers as a note-taker for disabled students and as activities director at Vacation Bible School.

Alexandros Athanasakopoulos – Alexandros is a graduate of Bloomington Jefferson High School. He currently attends Iowa State University and is pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He aspires to discover a new form of transportation that is more efficient and affordable than automobiles. Throughout high school, Alexandros worked part-time, was member of the National Honor Society and volunteered in his community.

Sophia Bairaktaris – Sophia is a student at Loyola University in Chicago where she is majoring in Journalism and Political Science with a minor in Women’s Studies. She has made the Dean’s List twice and was inducted into the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She serves as the Public Relations officer for Loyola’s Hellenic Student Association. She has had articles published in the Greek Star, The Loyola Phoenix and U4U Magazine. She plans to become an attorney specializing in child advocacy and family law.

Julia Black – Julia is studying at Berkeley University with a major in International Relations and ultimately plans to attend medical school. During her high school career, she maintained a GPA above 4.0 and earned awards such as the Presidential Award for Educational Excellence and was a National Merit Scholar semifinalist. Julia has volunteered extensively with emotionally disturbed children at St. Vincent’s School for Boys and co-founded SummerAde, an organization that pairs volunteer aides with special education students during a week of summer camp.

Charles Blougouras – Charles is a student at Bentley University and is pursuing a double major in Business Administration and Earth Environment and Global Sustainability. After completing his freshman year, he was recognized on the President’s List and the Dean’s List. During his high school career he made the Honor Roll all grading periods during all 4 years. He is an active member of his local church and frequently volunteers at his parish’s philanthropic programs.

Sam Caldis – Sam attends the University of Minnesota with a double major in Greek and Latin Studies and minors in Classical Civilizations and Medieval Studies. He intends to pursue post-graduate work in Byzantine Studies. Sam has been named to the Dean’s List every semester and recently received an undergraduate fellowship for the Classical and Near Eastern Studies Department for travel study in Greece. He is involved in the University of Minnesota Classics Club, Eta Sigma Phi-National Classics Honorary Fraternity, and the National Residence Hall Honorary Committee.

Athena Carapanos – Athena is studying at the John F. Kennedy University with a major in Psychology, and has been recognized as a Dean’s List Honor Student. After completing her undergraduate studies, she plans to pursue a doctoral degree in Psychology and aspires to pursue a career in psychological research and teaching. She has been a volunteer for Greek TV in San Francisco and for Tony LaRussa’s Animal Rescue Foundation.

James Comninellis – After he completes his studies in Medieval History at the University of Missouri, James plans to continue his studies and become a university professor. In addition to being a distinguished member of the Honors Program, he has received the University of Missouri Chancellor’s Scholarship, the James Stevick Memorial Scholarship, and the Mary Houston Liberty Scholarship. James volunteers extensively for the Missouri Jackson County Juvenile Court. James studies the violin.

Maria Constantinides – Maria is majoring in Nursing at Southern Illinois University and has been on the Dean’s List every semester. In addition to volunteering in her community, she is a member of the Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority, Student Nurses Association and is employed by university housing as a resident assistant. Upon completion of her undergraduate degree she intends to become a nurse practitioner. Her professional aspiration is to work with the elderly and she is interested in providing care for terminally ill patients through hospice care work.

Sable Diakos – Sable is studying at St. John’s University with a major in English and a minor in Sociology. Her professional goal is to become a trial attorney. She is a member of Phi Eta Sigma, the National Freshman Honor Society, and has been on the Dean’s List every semester. Her passion is traveling around the world and immersing herself in new cultures. She participated in a study abroad in France, Italy and Spain during the spring 2009 semester. She frequently volunteers with cancer research fundraising campaigns and her primary focus is to raise awareness on pancreatic cancer.

Amanda Efthimiou – Amanda is a Presidential Academic Scholar at The George Washington University and is in the University Honors Program. She is majoring in Art History with a minor in Sociology. In high school, she was president of the French Honors Society and member of the National Honors Society and Thespian Society. Amanda is a member of the Maids of Athena, Washington D.C. chapter. She speaks four languages: English, Greek, French and Portuguese.

Marisa Falakos – Marisa is a Pre-Pharmacy and Biochemistry student at Saint Xavier University. She has been recognized by the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and has also received the National Honors Merit Scholar Award. She is an active member of Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church and additionally volunteers as a bible study camp counselor in the summer. In recognition of her dedication to community service, she has received the Cook County Sheriff’s Community Service Award. She is fluent in Greek and Spanish.

Kyle Feagin – After he completes his studies in Chemical Engineering and Pre-Dental Studies at the University of Alabama, Kyle plans to pursue continue his education to become an Orthodontist. Kyle has received many honors including the University’s President’s List, the Dean’s List as well as membership to honor societies such as Sigma Alpha Lambda, Phi Eta Sigma and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. He is part of the University Honors Program, Chemical Engineering Honors Program as well as the International Honors Program. Kyle is most passionate about chemistry and music.

Katherine Georginis – Katherine is studying at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a major in Food Science and Human Nutrition and her dream is to pursue a career in medicine. She graduated high school with high honors and was on the Dean’s List, Illinois State Scholar and AP Scholar. Katherine is involved in community service, devoting much of her time to the Special Olympics and Habitat for Humanity.

Constantine Giannaras – Constantine is pursuing a double major in Electrical Engineering and Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago. During his academic career he has been recognized as Illinois State Scholar and has received High Honors, Highest Honors and the Prairie State Achievement Award. He has volunteered for the Sunrise Assisted Living Community as well as Habitat for Humanity and has been active in many academic clubs.

Ellen Goleas – Ellen is in her junior year at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign with a major in English and minors in German and Linguistics. She loves to read and study languages and has taken private lessons in Modern Greek. She has made the Dean’s List every semester and has taken a variety of courses on many disciplines. Her professional aspiration is to become an editor at a publishing firm, editing the books and anthologies she has always loved to read.

Michael Graham – Michael is pursuing his dream of becoming a physician through the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine BS/MD program. He will obtain his undergraduate degree through this program at Youngstown State University. His high school career and achievements include graduating Valedictorian, National Honor Society member, four-year member of Student Council, Buckeye Boys State delegate, and captain of both the varsity football and basketball team.

Thomas Hatzilabrou – Thomas is a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, majoring in Biological Sciences with a minor in Chemistry. Upon completion of his Bachelor’s degree, Thomas hopes to pursue a medical degree. He has an avid interest in the medical field, having completed over 80 hours of volunteer service at Central DuPage Hospital. He is a six-time member of the Dean’s List and a member of Phi Eta Sigma, Pitt Golden Key, and the National Honor Society. Thomas speaks Greek fluently and is an active member of his church and AHEPA.

Kristina Hauptmann – Kristina attends Ohio University and is majoring in Journalism and French. She writes for The Post at Ohio University and wishes to pursue a career as either a high school publications advisor or as a foreign correspondent. She has made the Dean’s List for both years in college. She has earned multiple awards in the past two years, including two scholarships and a grant to study abroad in France.

Cynthia Housianitis – Cynthia is enrolled in the Teacher Preparation Program with an emphasis on Elementary Education at Old Dominion University. She graduated high school with honors, the Governor’s Seal of Academic Excellence and the Virginia Beach City Public School Future Teacher Award and Employment Contract. She is a volunteer at Vacation Bible School and teaches kindergarten at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church.

Christopher Howell – After he completes his undergraduate degree in History from the University of California at Riverside, Christopher wishes to pursue a career as a university professor. In addition to being an Honors Student he is also a talented writer and has been selected to present his essay at the Honors Conference at the University of California, Irvine. In addition to his academic work, he studies music and plays the piano and guitar.

Kalissa Kakouros – Kalissa is a Biology and Pre-Medicine major at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her professional goal is to become an oncologist. At Young Magnet High School, she was a Principal’s Scholar and on the Honor Roll. She was an active member in Future Business Leaders of America, Key Club, Habitat for Humanity and founded the Hellenic Club at her high school. She has volunteered at the National Hellenic Museum and as a chemistry tutor.

Panagiotis Karahalios – Panagiotis is a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is majoring in Pre-Law with a minor in Political Science. Upon completing his undergraduate work, he plans on attending law school. Panagiotis has received the President’s Education Award for Academic Achievement and has been recognized as Illinois State Scholar. He has is a member of GOYA and the International Thespian Society.

Panagiota Karas – Panagiota attends the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, double majoring in Journalism and International Studies and pursuing a certificate in leadership. She is president of Northwestern’s Hellenic-American Student Union and is involved in the Sign Language Club and Dance Marathon benefiting HIV/AIDS and pediatric cancer. Her work has appeared in Greek Circle magazine, Current by Newsweek and the Chicago Sun-Times.

William Kavadas – William is majoring in Urban and Regional Planning at California State Polytechnic. His career goal is to work for the Los Angeles transit authority as a planner and wants to help build a model transit system for the city. William first took a college course in Physical Geography at age 11. In high school William received distinctions such as the AP Scholar Award, Principal’s Honor Roll and the California Scholarship Federation Award.

Lauren Kottis – Lauren is a junior at Duke University studying Mechanical Engineering, Energy & the Environment and Physics. She serves as co-president of Duke Habitat for Humanity, as an Assistant Director of the Project BUILD community service program, and as a member of Engineers Without Borders. She aspires to a career focused on international development, alternative fuel research and green architecture.

Pia Kurkuvelos – Pia is a sophomore at Harvard College and is pursuing a degree in Psychology and Neuroscience and will attend law school upon graduation. She is a member of the Harvard Hellenic Society and participates in the intramural sports program. She devotes her free time to studying European History and Renaissance Art. Pia also volunteers as a Camp Counselor at the Metropolis of Boston Greek Orthodox Camp.

Natalie Lalagos – Natalie attends Illinois Wesleyan University where she is pursuing a degree in secondary English Education. She has received national and regional recognition from Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for her work as a writer. Natalie has also received academic distinctions as AP Scholar, Illinois State Scholar and National Honor Society. She has participated in competitive gymnastics for nine years and also acts as a gymnastics coach.

Daphne Lambropoulos – Daphne attends the University of Michigan with majors in Anthropology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She plans to attend medical school and become a pediatrician. She has received the Sophomore Honors pin and won the Contexts for Classics Translation Award for her English translation of two poems in Modern Greek. She is the Cultural Chair of the University’s Hellenic Association and a Sunday school teacher at St. Nicholas Church. Daphne plays the viola in the University Symphony Orchestra.

Alexander Mangos – Alexander is majoring in Chemical Engineering at Tufts University. In addition to his passion for science and mathematics, he devotes his time to music and the theatre. He has received academic distinction as a member of the Spanish National Honor Society. Alexander has been on stage in 12 different musicals, and has had the opportunity to act as music director in two other productions. He also participated in high school Chorale and directed the a capella group.

Alexander Morelli – Alexander is a freshman at Harvard University. He has a life-long dream of becoming a movie director, and is currently considering majoring in Film/Video Production. Additionally, he has strong interests in architecture, history, and music. In high school he volunteered regularly as a reading partner at the Boys and Girls Club and in the children’s department of the local library. He was also elected vice-president and secretary of the National Honor Society and served as captain of his school’s debate team.

Stelios Papadopoulos – After he completes his studies in Neurology, Physiology and Behavior at the University of California, Davis, Stelios plans to attend medical school and pursue a specialty in neurology. He finished his first year on the Dean’s List and joined a professional fraternity. He has been an active member and volunteers at his church and has participated in GOYA serving in all officer positions. His musical talents include Piano, Clarinet, French horn and Xylophone.

Theodora Papastratakos – Theodora is majoring in Speech and Hearing Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In high school, she was named Illinois State Scholar, and inducted to the National Honors Society and the Tri-M Music Honors Society. Theodora enjoys playing piano and violin and has received several awards on the high school’s Symphony Orchestra. Theodora volunteers as an assistant church school teacher, basketball coach for children and for Habitat for Humanity.

Georgios Parapouras – Georgios is a student at California State University in Long Beach. He has been on the Dean’s List for five semesters. He is majoring in Business Administration and Marketing and his future academic plans include a specialized Masters degree program for movie executives and producers. His major career goal is to work as an executive in the movie industry and eventually own his own production company. His passion is cinema and travel.

Matthew Polites – Matthew is attending Washington University and is majoring in Mechanical Engineering. While in high school, he was on the Honor Roll all eight semesters. He was a member of the National Honor Society and attended the National Youth Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. Matthew participated in varsity wrestling and baseball; during the 2009 spring baseball season, Matthew received Academic All-Conference Honors.

Stamatia Ress – Stamatia is a student at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and is majoring in Advertising with a concentration in Psychology and minors in Spanish and Women’s Studies. She wishes to pursue a career in public relations and community health education. Salutatorian of her high school class, Stamatia was inducted to the National Honors Society and the Hispanic Honors Society.

Samantha Rose – Samantha is studying at Oral Roberts University and is double majoring in International Business and Spanish. She has been recognized on the President’s List and the Honor Roll for several semesters. Samantha has volunteered at the Children’s Hospital Outreach, Fall Outreach, and for the Puerto Rico Mission Trip. She is a member of the Spanish Club and Accounting Club.

Anna Salapatas – Anna is in the Pre-Medical program and is planning to follow that curriculum with a major in Biology at Loyola University. Her career goal is to become a fertility specialist. In high school she was in the Double Honors program and was awarded the President’s Education Award. Anna has also been awarded superior ranking in the Piano State Competition and has a black belt in martial arts.

James Schooley – James is pursuing a biology degree in the Honors Program at The Ohio State University where he has been accepted into the Early Admission Pathway to the OSU College of Medicine. He is a National Merit Finalist, a National AP Scholar, and was inducted into the Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society. He is President of Sigma Epsilon Phi, a campus fraternity for Greek Orthodox students founded in the 1930s, is a member of the Sigma Chi social fraternity, and is active in Orthodox Christian Fellowship. He volunteers as a basketball coach, camp counselor and mission worker.

Leo Skiadopoulos – After he completes his major in Biology at Loyola University, Leo wishes to pursue a career in Medicine. He has received the Gold Medal for Spanish and the Bausch and Lomb Medal for Science and was an Illinois State Scholar. He was involved in the National Honor Society, Modern Language Honor Society, Math Team and Scholastic Bowl.

Shelby Stavretis – Shelby attends Butler University and is majoring in Chemistry. She plans to pursue a doctoral degree in Chemistry. Shelby intends to become a medical researcher and develop new treatments and medicine for cancer patients. She has received achievement awards in Chemistry, Spanish Science and Literature. Shelby enjoys learning about other cultures and would love to travel around the world someday.

Sydney Thayer – Sydney is an honors Biomedical Engineering major at University of Southern California and has been pre-admitted to the University’s Keck School of Medicine. Her goal is to become a physician and work with Doctors Without Borders. Salutatorian of her senior class, she received the Girl of the Year Award and was the first female to win her school’s Scholar-Athlete Award. Her favorite extracurricular activities include performing in theatre productions, playing sports and spending time with her family.

Nicolette Theotikos – Nicolette is a student at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign with a major in Psychology and minor in Business. She plans to attend medical school, become a psychiatrist and start her own firm. In her free time she enjoys dancing, running and playing the guitar. Her academic distinctions include: the National Honors Society, Illinois State Scholar, English Department Student of the Quarter, President’s Award for Educational Excellence and making the Honor Roll all four years of her high school career.

Peter Tzioumis – Peter attends Tulane University pursuing a major in Business while also completing the Pre-Medicine track to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a doctor. He graduated with Highest Honors from Mount Prospect High School and was named National Merit Commended Student and member of the National Honor Society. His interests include playing basketball, baseball and traveling.

Samantha Valsamis – After she completes her undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Samantha plans to pursue her career goal of becoming a school psychologist. A few of her academic distinctions include: the Dean’s List, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Alpha Lamda Delta Honor Society, Phi Eta Sigma Honors Society and Psi Chi National Psychology Honors Society. In addition to speaking Greek, Italian and Spanish, Samantha has studied dance for the last 15 years.

Maryann Vlahos – Maryann attends Columbia College and aims to be Pre-Medical student. She serves on the sponsorship committee for the Columbia Community Outreach Program and is treasurer of the College’s Greek Society. Outside of school, she has served as leader of the Byzantine choir and has founded and participates in the Archangel Michael Blood Drive. This year, Maryann received recognition by the Hellenic Medical Society, Society of Kastorians Omonoia, Greek Orthodox Choir Federation, and Renfrew Foundation.

Athena Xides – Athena is majoring in Pre-Pharmacy at the University of the Pacific and her career goal is to become a Pharmacist. During her high school career, Athena took classes in a local community college and the University of California Berkeley and was inducted to the California Scholarship Federation and the French Honors Society. Athena volunteers for Habitat for Humanity and the SF Food Bank. Her musical talents include playing the piano and flute.

“A nation’s treasure is in its scholars.”