Disclaimer: Alex Viveros is the current investigative editor and science editor of The Tufts Daily. He also has served on the Daily’s Managing Board, ultimately as editor in chief. Viveros was not involved in the reporting, writing or editing of this article.
The Tufts University Alumni Association held its annual Senior Awards Ceremony on April 5 in the Cabot ASEAN Auditorium of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy to honor the accomplishments of 12 seniors.
This year, Amma Agyei, Amber Asumda, Emma Downey, Claudia Guetta, Olif Soboka Hordofa, John Cioci Lazur, Ellie Murphy, Joslin “Jos” Regalado, Christian Senecal, Alejandro “Alex” Viveros, Lidya Woldeyesus and Ariel Zedric received awards.
Associate Director of Student and Young Alumni Engagement Joda Glossner, who is also the office of alumni engagement’s liaison to the Awards Committee, discussed the significance of the awards in an email to the Daily.
“Each year since 1955, the Tufts University Alumni Association (TUAA) has recognized six to 12 members of the Senior Class for their academic achievement … , campus and community participation, and outstanding leadership,”Glossner wrote.
The Awards Committee co-chairs — Peter Brodeur, Peter Bronk and Maria Madison — wrote in an email to the Daily that the senior nominations are received throughout the year from across the Tufts community.
“The awardees represent the diversity of academic interests, achievements, leadership and, perhaps most at the heart of being a Jumbo, giving back to community and working to make a better world,”Brodeur wrote.
Agyei is majoring in biomedical engineering and serves as the first Black female Tufts Community Union Senate president.She previously served as an Africana community senator, the Black Student Union president, an Africana Center peer leader and a SQUAD pre-orientation coordinator. She has also served as a teaching assistant.
Agyei told the Daily in an interview that she has learned many lessons from her time as a Tufts student.
“I'm not scared to hold a leadership role, because I feel like I’ve just held so many and also [in] very different areas,” Agyei said. “I feel like I’m so much better at time management and also knowing when to say no to certain things.”
Agyei will attend the Tufts Graduate School of Engineering for mechanical engineering.
Asumda is majoring in international relations and minoring in entrepreneurship for social impact.She chaired the first annual Black Womyn’s Empowerment Conference, was a Building Resilience in Immigrant Communities student fellow,a Tisch Scholar, an Africana Center peer leader and a UN Millenium fellow. Asumda is also a Diversity Admissions Council member and a Tufts University Social Collective executive co-coordinator.
Asumda discussed her adjustment to Tufts in an interview with the Daily.
“In the beginning, I didn’t really know if I belonged at Tufts,” Asumda said. “But throughout the pandemic, throughout my time at Tufts, … I’ve been able to have the resources to … promote and help the communities I care most about.”
After graduation, Asumda hopes to attend law school and become a practicing attorney in the field of international law.
Claudia Guetta, who is majoring in community health and sociology,has been involved in many social justice organizations and is a program coordinator for the Tufts University Prison Initiative of Tisch College. She is also a teaching assistant at MCI-Concord with the MyTERN re-entry program.
Guetta reflected on the sense of community she has found at Tufts.
“A big thing throughout all of my work and time at Tufts has been realizing how important community is to me,” Guetta said. “When we’re in community, and you have all of these different parts making up the whole, you can just do so much more and have so much more impact. And I think the senior awards are a way of recognizing community.”
After graduation, Guetta will attend the Tufts University School of Medicine and hopes to keep engaging with the intersections between medicine and the carceral system.
Olif Hordofa is double majoring in mechanical engineering and math.He has been involved in organizations such as Tau Beta Pi, an engineering honor society, and has been on the boards of the National Society of Black Engineers, the Engineering Students Council and the Math Society. He was also a founding member of the Eritrean-Ethiopian Student Association.
Hordofa told the Daily in an interview that Tufts has helped him navigate the world and his academics.
“Tufts has offered me that navigation toolkit of coexisting with people and depending on others, helping one another and just this spirit of Ubuntu, which is, ‘I am because we are … I am my brother’s keeper,’” Hordofa said. “That spirit is something that I think Tufts cultivated in me.”
After graduation, Hordofa will be working in the Fusion Rotation Program at Applied Materials and hopes to one day return to school for his Ph.D.
Lazur, who is majoring in anthropology, has been involved with the Interfaith Student Council, the University Chaplaincy and the CAFE pre-orientation program during their time at Tufts. Lazur also participated in the Tufts Summer Scholars program, and they are currently working on a senior capstone on Tufts’ Universalist history.
Lazur told the Daily that their research on the school’s ethical and religious leadership has made them feel more connected to Tufts.
“I feel like I have really dug myself in at Tufts. I feel very meshed in the institutional history and have really tried to understand a lot about this school, so it’s a nice way to recognize that work,” Lazur said. “I’m really excited to be part of the alumni community and be able to reflect on the school that way, too.”
This summer, Lazur will be a co-coordinator for CAFE and hopes to work in student affairs or religious leadership development.
Regalado is majoring in sociology, with a focus on social inequalities and social change, and minoring in dance. At Tufts, Regaladohas been involved with ENVY and Roti and Rum, served as a peer leader for the FIRST Resource Center, was a BLAST scholar and worked at the Edwin Ginn Library. She was also a research assistant in the DICE Lab.
Regalado hopes to work to provide college access to historically marginalized communities or in youth civic empowerment and engagement.
Regalado said that it was an honor to receive a Senior Award.
“It was more about knowing that there was a whole group of people who were impacted by me as a person or in the work that I did, that felt motivated enough to write letters of support for me that convinced a group of alumni to then choose me is I think what matters the most to me”Regalado explained.