April 19–23, 2021

Honors Recognition

The virtual 2021 Honors Recognition event proudly recognizes Cal Lutheran’s many academically outstanding students. 

Students who have received the following honors are listed: Provost’s Award for Academic Excellence, Scholastic Honor Society, University Honors, Departmental Honors, Departmental Distinction, President’s List, Dean’s List, Undergraduate Research Fellowships, and endowed Scholarships and Awards. 

We are also proud to recognize faculty who are doing outstanding work in support of our students. President Varlotta is announcing the 2021 President’s Award for Teaching Excellence recipient, and faculty who are being promoted and elected to tenure are listed. 

In addition, the 2021 Outstanding Alumni Award recipient, Jane Lee ’78 Winter, reflects on how Cal Lutheran has influenced her passion to make the world and her community a better place.

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Congratulatory Remarks

Leanne Neilson, PsyD
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Awards & Honors

Provost's Award for Academic Excellence

The Provost’s Award is presented to the graduating senior(s) with the highest level of academic achievement as measured by the cumulative GPA earned over all college work completed. (Traditional Undergraduate students must have completed at least 60 units at Cal Lutheran.)


President's Award for Teaching Excellence

In keeping with the high esteem for teaching we have at Cal Lutheran, the Faculty Affairs Awards Committee considers an exemplary set of nominees with at least five years of full-time teaching experience plus a sustained record of success in areas of student engagement. The Awards Committee vets all nominations through colleagues, chairs and deans, and three years of teaching evaluations. From this process, three finalists are recommended to the President, who chooses the award recipient.

Rafaela Fiore Urízar, PhD

Rafaela Fiore Urízar, PhD

Associate Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies
Chair of the Department of Languages and Cultures
College of Arts and Sciences




Lori E. Varlotta, PhD


Rafaela Fiore Urizar, PhD
Award recipient

Outstanding Alumni Award

Each year, the Cal Lutheran Alumni Board of Directors recognizes achievements that have brought honor and distinction to the university. The Outstanding Alumni Award is given to a Cal Lutheran graduate with a distinguished record of career achievements or humanitarian endeavors dedicated to social reform.

Jane Lee Winter

Jane Lee ’78 Winter


Candice (Cerro '09) Aragon
Chair, Alumni Board of Directors


Jane Lee ’78 Winter
Award recipient

More Awards & Honors

Click the title for each award to view the recipients.

Scholastic Honor Society of Cal Lutheran

The Scholastic Honor Society consists of upper division students who have demonstrated a high degree of academic excellence. Traditional Undergraduate students with at least 60 credits completed at Cal Lutheran and a GPA of at least 3.9. No more than five percent of the students from each graduating class are invited to participate.

University Honors

Students complete five courses in the University Honors Program curriculum to graduate with University Honors, and those who maintain a Cal Lutheran GPA of 3.5 or higher receive University Honors with Distinction.

Departmental Honors

Departmental Honors students conduct a several-semester long research project or creative endeavor, and report their work in a senior thesis or exhibition.

Departmental Distinction

Each year the faculty nominate students for Departmental Distinction who have exhibited an unusually high degree of excellence within their major.

President’s List Spring Semester 2020

The President’s List recognizes traditional undergraduate students who earned Dean’s List in the Fall 2019 semester and/or whose GPA for the Spring 2020 semester was 3.6 or above with enrollment in 9 or more graded credits.

Dean’s List
Fall Semester 2020

The Dean’s List recognizes traditional undergraduate students (enrolled for 12 or more graded credits per semester) who earn a GPA of 3.6 or higher.

Dean’s List 2019-20 Bachelor’s Degree for Professionals Program

The Dean’s List recognizes Bachelor’s Degree for Professionals students (enrolled for 24 or more graded credits per academic year) who earn a GPA of 3.6 or higher.

Undergraduate Research Fellowships

The Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship is dedicated to supporting scholarly projects by undergraduates, in every discipline—from the humanities and the arts to math and the natural sciences. During the summer, various programs provide fellowships to allow students to engage in full-time original research and creative projects with a faculty mentor. Students who received Undergraduate Research Fellowships in Summer 2020 are listed.

Scholarships and Awards

Cal Lutheran and our students have been fortunate to be the beneficiary of generations of individuals, families, and foundations whose generous gifts have helped to provide scholarships and awards for some of our most deserving, driven, and talented students. Scholarships and Awards for the 2020-21 academic year are listed.

Faculty Promotions and Election to Tenure

Upon recommendation of the Appointment, Rank and Tenure Committee, the Provost, and the President, the California Lutheran University Board of Regents has recognized these faculty members by advancing them in rank and/or electing them to tenure effective Fall 2021.

Special Music

Cinema Paradiso

Please enjoy this performance by the Cal Lutheran String Symphony, directed by Yoshika Masuda.


View the full Honors Recognition Program, and download a copy to keep for yourself.

Download the Honors Recognition Program

Click the full screen button in the lower-right corner of the player to view larger.