University names valedictorian, salutatorian for 2019 commencement ceremonies
Observer Staff Report | Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Seniors Sofia Carozza and Annelise Gill-Wiehl will be valedictorian and salutatorian of the 2019 Notre Dame graduating class, respectively, the University announced in a press release Wednesday.
The two were chosen following an application process that invites the top three students of each school in the University with the highest grade point average to submit faculty recommendations and a draft of their commencement speech. The press release said a selection committee chose the finalists who were then approved by University President Fr. John Jenkins.
A native of South Bend and a graduate of Saint Joseph High School, Carozza is a neuroscience and behavior major with a supplemental major in theology as well as a minor in philosophy, politics and economics. Carrying a 4.0 grade point average, Carozza is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar, a Glynn Family Honors Scholar and a de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture Sorin Fellow, the press release said.
Over the course of her time at Notre Dame, Carozza has been involved with the Institute for Advanced Study, ND Students for Worker Justice, Show Some Skin and Baraka Bouts, the press release said. The statement said Carozza is fluent in Italian, conversational in Spanish and is a classically trained harpist. She was named a recipient of the Marshall Scholarship in December, which will allow her pursue a master of philosophy in basic and translational neuroscience and eventually a doctorate at the University of Cambridge in England.
In the community, Carozza is also a mental health coach for at-risk youth and is involved with heading an exercise program at the St. Joseph County Juvenile Justice Center. During her summers, she has tutored disabled children in Paraguay at the National Institute for International Studies at Notre Dame, conducted neuroscience research at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and studied toxic stress at the ChildWise Institute in Montana.
Hailing from St. Louis, Gill-Wiehl is an environmental engineering major with a minor in international development studies. A member of the Chi Epsilon civil engineering honor society and Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society, Gill-Wiehl has performed research at the University through the Kellogg Institute and the Atmospheric Chemistry and Aerosol Modeling Group on topics such as environmental sustainability and infrastructure, the release said.
On campus, Gill-Wiehl is involved with Kellogg Institute International Scholars, NDSEED and student government, in addition to serving as co-president of GlobeMed. She is also a member of both the Chi Epsilon civil engineering honor society and the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society. She is also conversational in Swahili.
Gill-Wiehl has been recognized for work at Notre Dame in the past with the Rev. Thomas A. Steiner Award in the College of Engineering for excellence and commitment to engineering and to the common good as well as the John W. Gardner Student Leadership Award for exemplifying the ideals of the University through outstanding volunteer service beyond campus, the release said. Gill-Wiehl plans to attend the University of California, Berkeley to pursue a doctorate in energy resources.