ECU News Services

youtube twitter facebook rss feed

Three graduates to receive 2009 Robert H. Wright awards

GREENVILLE, N.C.   (May 4, 2009)   —   Three graduating seniors at East Carolina University will receive the 2009 Robert H. Wright Alumni Leadership Award, which recognizes academic achievement, service and leadership qualities.

This year’s recipients are Joel Funmilola Banjo-Johnson of Winterville, Dianna Andreea Gliga of Jacksonville and Stefanie Marie Wethington of Greenville.

“These three students have distinguished themselves with their exceptional academic and leadership performance. We are proud to highlight their accomplishments and hold them up as examples to the Pirate Nation,” said Paul J. Clifford, president of the East Carolina Alumni Association.

Joel Funmilola Banjo-Johnson, originally of London, England, will graduate with a double major in broadcast journalism and German. She has been recognized as an Emerging Leader of the Year, an Outstanding Student Leader of the Year, a lifetime member of Phi Kappa Phi and an Outstanding German student. She has received an American Legion Award for Scholastic Excellence, an Academic Excellence Award and Meritorious Service Award through the Air Force ROTC program.

Banjo-Johnson served in leadership roles for a number of campus organizations, including Legacy Endeavors, Student Government Association, Delta Phi Alpha National German Honor Society, African Student Organization and the National Broadcasting Society. She has also been featured as a soloist in St. Cecilia's Choir. She volunteered for March of Dimes, Adopt-a-Highway, as a "Big Sister," and as a tutor. After graduation she plans to attend graduate school at ECU.

Diana Andreea Gliga will graduate with a major in biology and minor in Spanish. She is a two-time recipient of the following scholarships and awards: East Carolina Alumni Association Scholarship, ECU's Mary Caughey Helms Scholarship, the President's Volunteer Service Award from ECU's National Society of Collegiate Scholars chapter, and the Scholar Promise Award, in addition to other honors.

Gliga participated in a number of campus organizations, including Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society, Golden Key International Honor Society, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, the American Medical Student Association, the Pre-Pharmacy Organization and the NC Rural Health Student Coalition. Her volunteer efforts helped the Tar River Clean-Up, the Primary Care Physician Shadowing Program, St. Jude Children's Hospital, the Grimesland Clinic and American Red Cross Blood Drives. After graduation she will enroll in UNC-Chapel Hill's Eshelman School of Pharmacy.

Stefanie Marie Wethington, originally of Corinth, Maine, will graduate with a double major in communication and English. During her time at East Carolina, Wethington has balanced the responsibilities of a full-time student and part-time employee with married life.

She received the Golden LEAF Scholarship and interned for the United Way of Pitt County. She participated in Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Golden Key International Honor Society, and Phi Kappa Phi honor Society. She also participated in a Leadership Reading Circle that focused on leadership in literature. Prior to becoming an ECU student, Wethington was a teller, then relationship banker with BB&T. After graduation she plans to attend graduate school at ECU.

The Robert H. Wright Alumni Leadership Award recipients were selected based on academic performance, service to the university and community and recommendations. They will be recognized on May 8 at a tribute lunch for graduating seniors and their families, and at the commencement ceremonies that evening.


Contact: Jennifer Watson | 328-4902