4 students hanging out at the Illini Union outdoors on a warm day

James Scholar Honors Program

Challenge yourself to impact the future.

Award Winners for 2020-2021

Senior Research Award: Shivali Shukla

Shivali dedicated her research through the James Scholar program to investigating higher education within the U.S. prison system. By conducting one-on-one interviews with people who were formerly incarcerated and educated in prison, Shivali was able to eventually transfer her research report into a full book. The book contains personal testimonies, as well as an in-depth analysis of multiple aspects of education within the prison system, and truly highlights Shivali’s commitment to research.

Senior Community Service Award: Paige Valente

Paige dedicated her time as a Spanish tutor at the International Prep Academy in Champaign. This was part of Student Opportunities for After-School Resources. She taught math, reading, and helped with homework. She worked with parents and teachers on child literacy development. This contributes to her career goals as be believes volunteering has allowed her to holistically approach patient care with respect and compassion for bilingual individuals while recognizing language barriers.

Senior Leadership Award: Karina Chhatwani

Karina demonstrated her commitment to leadership through community outreach, collaboration with classmates, and innovative project ideas. She is truly a role model for every James Scholar.

Mentor Award: Dr. Steven Petruzzello

AHS James Scholars want to recognizes Dr. Steven Petruzzello for his work with James Scholars, the AHS community, and the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign community. Dr. Petruzzello is a Professor in Kinesiology and also oversees his Exercise Psychophysiology Laboratory. The lab focuses on the things that make people decide to be physically active or not, as well as how physical activity makes people feel. Students who have worked with Dr. Petruzzello for their James Scholar projects have learned so much and gained valuable experience. Thank you Dr. Petruzzello for everything you have done for the community!