Student Awards—Current Recipients

2024 Award Recipients

President's Award for Leadership

Meredith Raasio with the President's Award

Marielle Raasio

B.S., Policy & Community Development

The President's Award for Leadership recognizes a student who embodies our leadership value statement: "We inspire the leadership needed for all individuals to boldly push everyday boundaries while serving others."

Recipient's Bio

Marielle Raasio is a junior studying Policy & Community Development with a minor in public health. Marielle has made an incredible and lasting impact on Graduate Language Assessment and Support, where she has displayed initiative and innovation as the GLAS Lead Coach. Through her empathetic and focused approaches to tutoring, Marielle has helped dozens of students from around the world grow their English language speaking and listening abilities. 

This impact goes beyond pedagogical development. She educates herself on the resources on campus and in the community and builds discussions of those services into the language sessions she provides. This cultivates familiarity, comfort, and confidence that benefits our international graduate students. Marielle has also made it a priority to foster those relationships outside of the classroom. She has hosted dance and dinner parties, led winter break adventures for students who don’t have transportation, and helped connect students with other community members who speak their native languages.

Marielle also supported five other coaches by being reliable and timely when answering questions and sharing resources with them. She actively sought out feedback and opportunities to develop her professional leadership skills, which in turn she shared with others. She has volunteered to lead weekly Coach Education Meetings on language and pedagogy and sought out new technology that can support the program. 

In addition to her position in GLAS, Marielle has worked as a lifeguard and Water Safety Instructor at the Student Development Complex pool, supported grant writing at the Keweenaw Area Community Foundation as an intern, and aided with community development projects in the Western UP Planning and Development Region. These leadership roles opened her eyes to the high-need, low-visibility populations in her local and global communities which, in turn, pushed her to get involved with global leadership on campus. She joined the Global Community Engagement Conference Planning Committee at Michigan Tech this past fall and is working with the Keweenaw Community Foundation to better engage campus entities with local organizations.

In reflecting on her leadership journey, Marielle shared, "My mom reminds me at least once a week that leadership doesn’t have to be loud. In fact, some of the most powerful leaders are quiet — the ones behind the scenes. Powerful leaders set the stage of success for others and help them up onto that stage. Powerful leaders are those who empower others to become the movers, shakers, and change-makers of our time." It is clear that Marielle's behind-the-scenes leadership has left an indelible mark here in the Keweenaw.

Provost's Award for Scholarship

Abraham Stone poses with the Provost's Award
Abraham Stone

B.S., Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

The Provost's Award for Scholarship is given to a senior who best represents student scholarship at Michigan Tech. This outstanding student is considered excellent, not only by academic standards, but also for participation in research, scholarship activity, levels of intellectual curiosity, creativity, and communication skills. 

Recipient's Bio

Abraham is an Ecology and Evolutionary Biology student who has achieved high levels of academic success in terms of both classroom participation and depth of involvement in research. According to one nominator, he “…accomplishes all with humanity, humility, and positive energy.”

Beyond his excellent academic record, Abraham has been extraordinarily proactive in acquiring research experience. Currently, he has two pending research proposals, one internal proposal to the GLRC as co-PI, and a proposal to the Michigan Sea Grant as PI. Abraham has been a PI on 6 awarded proposals (Ecosystem Science Center (3), Garden Club, and SURF (2); in addition, he was a co-PI on a Michigan Space Grant Consortium grant. Through this work he has co-authored 5 outreach publications for news outlets, the MI DNR and MTU; co-authored or presented two invited oral presentations; and been the lead author on 5 research posters (3 at MTU and 2 at conferences in other states), winning 3rd place at the Natural Areas Conference. 

Abraham is also active in regional groups focused on sustainability and food sovereignty. He has attended 8 research and outreach conventions and was even invited to be a panelist at two outreach summits, one in Marquette and one on sustainability at MTU. He is a leader in developing the Portage Lake seed library and seed swap.

His creativity and intellectual curiosity are exceptional, and he serves as a role model for other students.

Dean of Students Award for Possibilities

Madison Mattila poses with her award plaque
Madison Mattila

B.S., Accounting and Management Information Systems

The Dean of Students Award for Possibilities recognizes a student who embodies our possibilities value statement: "We inspire the exploration and creation of all possibilities through innovative use of our skills and knowledge."

Recipient's Bio

Madison explores and creates possibilities through her countless involvements on campus and in the community. She currently serves as the President of Kappa Sigma Iota (the Accounting Club), the College of Business representative and Public Relations chair of Undergraduate Student Government, and Vice President of the Women's Golf Club. She is also engaged in academic pursuits such as the Applied Portfolio Management Program and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. In addition to these on-campus commitments, Madison maintains a management position with MTU's Portage Golf Course, coaches Girls Soccer at Houghton High School, and serves as a Big Sister for Big Brother Big Sisters of America. Madison is extraordinary in her willingness to push her own boundaries, but even more impressive is her willingness to support the growth and impact of others.

Following the College of Business Etiquette Dinner, Madison seized a new opportunity. She recognized that the business field often requires a bit of golf, so she created a program for students to learn the sport. After connecting with Professor Roger Woods on the idea, Madison took it upon herself to create the marketing plan for the event, book and organize attendees onto tee times, and identify mentors from men’s and women’s leagues at the golf course to send out with students. Students walked away with not only a better understanding of the sport, but also a new connection with their golf mentor.

Madison also seized opportunities within Kappa Sigma Iota. Her peers shared that they often didn't feel seen at the Career Fair. To address this concern, Madison worked to compile a list of company connections held by club members, including alumni who have gone on to work for them and current students who have committed jobs with those companies. This allowed accounting majors to see all the opportunities and understand that no public accounting firm was out of reach to them as a product of attending Michigan Tech.

In reflecting on her experiences, Madison shared, " '“Opportunities don’t happen, you create them,' is a quote that I embody as I decide what to take on as a student leader. The possibilities that I’ve created for others have taught me invaluable lessons and empowered me as an individual. As I wrap up my college career and move into a new chapter of life, I will always hold spreading joy, resources, and opportunities dear to my heart.

William and Josephine Balconi Community Service Award

Micaela Geborkoff poses with the Balconi Award
Micaela Geborkoff

B.S., Medical Laboratory Science

The William and Josephine Balconi Community Service Award is presented to a student who demonstrates community service with lasting and meaningful impact during their time at Michigan Tech, regardless of background or area of study. 

Recipient's Bio

Micaela is a junior studying Medical Laboratory Science. Her interest in the medical field has been the foundation of much of her service work while enrolled at Michigan Tech. 

As an active volunteer EMT with MTU EMS, she has shown an unwavering dedication to helping other community members in health crises. She has completed 147 on-call hours and 248 clinical volunteering hours. Notably, Micaela has undertaken volunteer clinical rotations at Aspirus Laurium Hospital Emergency Room and Mercy EMS in Hancock, further showcasing her strong commitment to hands-on experience in her chosen field. In addition to her contributions to emergency medical services, Micaela is the current President of the MTU Well-Being Advocates, where she also has demonstrated exceptional leadership. Despite her busy schedule, she has volunteered 20 hours, contributing to initiatives aimed at promoting wellness and mental health awareness on campus. As a PAWS (Peer Awareness for Well-Being and Support) member, Micaela is undergoing additional education to better support those struggling and advocate for mental health awareness.

Micaela has also been an invaluable volunteer member in the Werner research lab where she tests chemical probes on fruit larvae. She has demonstrated an exemplary work ethic and passion for her field. Notably, her efforts have resulted in four co-authorships in highly reputable journals, a testament to her exceptional skills and commitment to scholarly pursuits. Her dedication to her peers and community is also apparent in her paid employment. She has worked as a Biology Learning Center Coach, Graduate Language Assessment and Support English Language Coach, and a Summer Youth Program teacher. 

Following her graduation, Micaela hopes to continue to serve others as a physician.