College Student of the Year Winners

2020 Winner

Juliana Good of the University of NH (UNH) in Durham

Since Juliana Good’s first week at the University of NH with the Pre-Orientation Volunteer Experience in Service (PrOVES) program, they have used their love of service to volunteer for meal distribution prep at The Waysmeet Center, participate in several days of service coordinated through UNH, and given their time to various organizations on campus to help them ensure their events are accessible to the disabled community. As a senior at the University, Juliana has been working for the Changemaker Collaborative as a changemaker coach and a Social Venture Innovation Challenge consultant. They are an honor student who has received a number of academic awards and earned a number of accomplishments with the UNH Symphony Orchestra. During Juliana’s sophomore year at UNH, they began losing their hearing. They are now about 60% deaf in both ears, and are continuing to lose their hearing. This experience has led them to become an advocate for the disabled community. Juliana works to make New Hampshire a better place for disabled people to live, work, and enjoy all the beautiful spaces our state has to offer. To help accomplish this, they have worked with UNH’s Accessibility Services to provide signs leading to wheelchair accessible entrances for buildings around campus. 

2019 Winner

Isabella Proia of Southern NH University in Manchester

Isabella Proia is a remarkable New Hampshire resident both in the classroom and in her community. A junior at Southern New Hampshire University, Isabella has an impressive number of academic achievements and received a number of accolades during her tenure at SNHU. Outside of the classroom, Isabella is passionate about making an impact in her community. In three short years, she has volunteered with more than 10 community organizations: she lead the effort that raised almost 9,000 pounds of food for the NH Food Bank, supervised 25 peers engaged in civic engagement efforts in Manchester; and finally, she coordinated a fundraising effort that raised $31,000 for the American Society for Suicide Prevention – putting SNHU as the third highest fundraising college in the nation for that effort. When asked to describe Isabella in short, her nominator wrote, “Izzy has made Manchester her community. When asked why she is passionate about service, Isabella said, “I was given privilege and if you’re not using it to help others, then you’re wasting it.” Community and active citizenship are at the core of who Izzy is.”

2018 Winner

Cassandra Bates of Plymouth State University in Plymouth

Cassandra Bates is a recent graduate of Plymouth State University majoring in Youth Development and Education. While attending school full-time, Cassandra had an AmeriCorps work experience, coached volleyball at a New Hampshire high school and took on the role of an Administrative Community Advisor. Additionally, she found time to fundraise and create events for organizations such as Voices Against Violence and the Humane Society. She maintained a 3.82 GPA and earned such accolades as making the President’s or Dean’s list each semester, was an inductee to PSI (sigh) CHI (k-eye), the psychology honors society, and was nominated for Plymouth State University’s Top 20 Senior award. Her nominator said, “one look at her resume and you would think that she is a woman at a midpoint in her career – and she is only 22! She is well-defined by her experiences, bringing together strong qualities in professionalism, customer services, youth development and advocacy.”

2017 Winner

Jack Hamilton of the University of New Hampshire (UNH) in Durham

Jack Hamilton is a sophomore at the University of New Hampshire majoring in Computer Science holding a 3.83 GPA while maintaining work in the Honors Program. Outside of class, Jack competes in the NASA robotics competition, participates on the shooting, soccer, and broomball teams, and is part of the UNH International Cafe club, working to bridge the gap between international and American students. He is involved in social and cultural outreach programs and has traveled to the Dominican Republic multiple times to help disadvantaged school children and their communities. Jack held an internship at SilverTech in Manchester during winter break of his freshman year. His nominator said, “while many talk about social issues and problems, Jack takes action and is a responsible citizen who will provide a role model to others throughout his academic years and beyond.”

2016 Winner

Amelia Keane of the University of New Hampshire Manchester (UNHM)

As a Biology major at the University of NH Manchester, Amelia Keane holds a amelia-keane3.89 GPA and is looking to be part of the public health sector after graduation. She is actively involved in campus activities serving as a biology program mentor, a member of the Committee for Student Collaboration and the Committee for Veterans and Student Affairs, and began the first environmental club on campus, implementing a campus-wide recycling and sustainability program.

One of her recommendations stated, “Amelia’s sincere passion, leadership and tireless efforts; the clubs and activities she has been a part of have made a tremendous impact on the campus already and we know they will continue to pay dividends!”

2015 Winner

Alicia Frazier of Southern NH University (SNHU)

Alicia_FrazierAs a psychology and child development leadership major at SNHU, Alicia Frazier from Candia currently has a 3.87 GPA. She is involved on campus and in the community in many ways including: as an employee in the president’s office, admission’s office tour guide, honors student council, a participant in Business NH Magazine’s “Young Reporter’s Project,” and has had three internships.

One of her letters of recommendation stated, “Alicia gives me great hope for the future of our universities and schools,” and another, “from her first semester, Alicia’s warmth, passion, and desire to help others stood out. She is such an unpretentious leader, I’m not sure she fully realizes the impact she is having on our campus and on those around her.”

2014 Winner

Ian Gagnon of the University of New Hampshire (UNH) in Durham

Ian is an engineering major at the University of NH with a 3.88 GPA. IanGagnonHe is a member of Engineers Without Borders, a tutor on campus, is a student representative on two advisory boards, co-founder of a business, an intern in UNH’s Center for Ocean Renewable Energy and in his free time, Ian competes with the ski racing club. In addition, Ian has received the university-wide presidential scholarship, two engineering awards, and received his Eagle Scout badge in 2008. As one of his references said, “Ian is a great mixture of intellectual depth, scientific curiosity, and demonstrates a sincere desire to help others.”

2013 Winner

Christopher “CJ” Destramp of Southern NH University (SNHU)

CJDestrampCJ is in the three-year honors program in business administration at Southern NH University. He is the President of two campus organizations, the Presidential Ambassadors and the Delta Mu Delta Honors Society, and is a Communications Intern at Dyn.  In addition to excelling at his studies, graduating high school in the top 10% of his class and even earning a 4.0 GPA this past spring semester, CJ is also a musician playing in the SNHU Community band, has volunteered with Capital Region Food Program, and as one of his references said, “CJ has the charisma and passion for success that every employer is looking for; this is something you cannot teach in any college course. This combination of intelligence, leadership and character will enable him to advance in any career path he should choose to enter.”

2012 Winner

Andrew Burger of the University of New Hampshire (UNH) in Durham

The winner of the inaugural College Student of the Year award doesn’t Andrew_Burgerhave perfect grades but that isn’t to say he won’t be doing phenomenal things when he graduates. How do we know that? Because he’s doing extraordinary things already. A senior at the University of NH in Durham in 2012, this college student launched a business,, which connects students with potential employers. The goal? To keep graduating seniors in the state. This start-up star receives office space and support from the NH Commercialization Center in Portsmouth, and he was recently a runner up for the Holloway Prize. When he’s not working his business or studying at school, he volunteers at the Concord Boys and Girls Club Camp. In fact, he has donated more than 800 hours there during the past two summers. If you think he’s impressive now, just wait. This college student of the year has a bright future!