Robert Logan Nugent Award
The Nugent Award was established by the Alumni Association and named in memory of Robert Logan Nugent who was the University of Arizona Executive Vice President when he died in June 1963.
Candidates should have a record of accomplishments that exemplify the high ideals of Dr. Nugent, such as active and enthusiastic participation and service in community and University endeavors.
2023 Outstanding Senior Award Recipients:
Hillary Schiff is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and a Bachelor of Arts in French summa cum laude with honors. She was born in Australia, and grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado alongside her older brother Justin.
Seeking to explore a career in science, she began researching allergic asthma drug development in Dr. Scott Boitano’s lab in the spring of her freshman year. This work culminated in a first- author paper, and served as the basis of her honors thesis. In addition to science, Hillary has a passion for mentorship and communication. During her sophomore year, she became a General Chemistry preceptor as well as a Chemistry and Biochemistry (CBC) peer mentor. She also worked as a news reporter for the Daily Wildcat, publishing 24 articles.
Hillary’s decision to pursue medicine was shaped by her experiences volunteering in the local Tucson community. Initially inspired by witnessing her grandmother’s health struggles, she continues to see her grandmother in the patients she serves. Hillary spends her Sundays volunteering at the WORKship Project at the Z Mansion, an outreach program serving the local population experiencing homelessness. Through the Patient Experience (PX) program, she also had the opportunity to volunteer at Banner University Medical Center, ensuring patient comfort alongside healthcare professionals. Hillary is grateful for these experiences in service and patient-care that have impacted her view of healthcare disparities, and have shaped the kind of physician she aspires to be.
She is a recipient of the Galileo Circle Scholarship and the Dean's List with Distinction.
Following graduation, Hillary is excited to attend University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine pursuing an M.D. as part of the class of 2027.
Kristijan Barnjak is graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy Politics Economics & Law, a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy with an emphasis in Ethics. Kristijan was raised in Seaford, New York by two loving parents, Zdenko and Laura. He has three younger sisters, Sophia, Paulina, and Gabriella.
Kristijan found community at the St. Thomas More Newman Center during his freshman year. In his sophomore year, he joined the Transformation Team and led a small group Bible study.
Kristijan later became a student minister as a junior and helped bring new students to the Newman Center as a member of the outreach committee.
In the Spring 2020 semester, Kristijan joined the Daily Wildcat’s news desk. During the COVID- 19 pandemic, he wrote recaps of the University’s weekly COVID-19 updates in which he
highlighted public health metrics and summarized the university’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts. Kristijan also reported on ASUA, the university’s student government, and their initiatives to keep public transit free and promote food security for students. As a junior, he became the news desk editor and a copy editor. Then as a senior, he was appointed editor-in-chief during the Fall 2022 semester.
Kristijan has been a Resident Assistant at Árbol de la Vida residence hall since Fall 2021. He became a lead resident assistant in his senior year and was inducted into Rho Alpha Sigma, a national honorary for resident assistants.
Under the supervision of Saura Masconale, Associate Director of the Freedom Center, Kristijan completed his honors thesis in P.P.E.L. He researched state anti-boycott laws passed in reaction to commercial boycotts of the firearm and energy industry as part of corporate ESG initiatives. The thesis analyzes the laws’ implications for First Amendment protections of the freedom of expression.
Kristijan was awarded the Gerald J. Swanson Endowed Scholarship for Undergraduate Excellence in Economics in his junior and senior years. He received the Ancient Greek Language Summer Scholarship from the Department of Religious Studies and Classics to study Ancient Greek during summer of 2021.
Kristijan will attend law school following graduation. Inspired by his economics education, Kristijan hopes to practice antitrust law after obtaining his J.D. His dream is to become an antitrust attorney for the Department of Justice.