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A Tradition of Honoring Excellence 

2021  Outstanding Senior Man and Outstanding Senior Woman


Each spring, the SMU Mothers’ and Dads’ Clubs enjoy the privilege of selecting and honoring two graduating seniors as the “Outstanding Senior Man” and “Outstanding Senior Woman”. The nominees for this award are selected by the Deans from their respective schools based on their academic achievement, community service, campus involvement, proven leadership qualities, and be of strong personal character.


The 2021 recipients of the Outstanding Senior Woman and Outstanding Senior Man Awards, Alysia Giakoumas and Michael Rainey, epitomize a tradition of recognizing the best of the best among our many fine undergraduate students. 

Outstanding Senior Woman

Alysia Giakoumas

Meadows School of the Arts

Alysia is from West Palm Beach, FL and is graduating with a BFA in Theater with a concentration in Acting. She has worked as a Teaching Assistant for the Meadows School, and as an  Ensemble Captain with the Dallas Theater Center.  She has volunteered for the African American Museum, the Cesar Chavez Learning Center, Crum Commons and The Big Event, and she is also a Meadows Ambassador for Prospective Students.  She has received the Meadows Artistic Scholarship and the Meadows Exploration Scholarship.

Outstanding Senior Man
Michael Rainey
Lyle School of Engineering

Michael is from New Orleans, LA by way of Cypress, TX and will graduate with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a BA in Chemistry.  He was selected for the Lyle School Undergraduate Research Fellow; served as President and other board positions for Theta Tau (Engineering Fraternity); was a Grand Challenge Scholar for the National Academy of Engineering; held the position of Engaged Learning Fellow with SMU’s Office of Engaged Learning; and was selected as a Rosenberg Summer Surgical Fellow where he spent many hours in the operating Room at Houston Methodist Hospital.  During his time at SMU, he was also able to participate in a number of community service events, like Relay for Life, Dallas Ramps, Habitat for Humanity and others. 

2021 Award Finalists Selected by Their Respective Schools: 

Cox School of Business

Zubair Benyacoub

Zubair is from Richardson, TX and will graduate with a BBA in Finance with minors in Public Policy & International Affairs and Arabic.  He is a member of the University Honors Program, the Robert S. Hyer Society, Alpha Chi and Beta Gamma Sigma.  Zubair was selected for the President’s Scholar Program, the EnCap & LCM Alternative Assets Management Center Program (AAMC) and the HCM Tower Scholar Program.  While involved with the AAMC, Zubair was selected as a Don Jackson Fellow was awarded first place on the final presentation. 

Aysegul Ates

Aysegul is from Izmir, Turkey and will graduate with a BBA in Finance and a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies.  She has been a fellow with the Centerbridge Partners Founders Fellowship, a Portfolio Manager for the Mustang Spindletop Investment Fund, and an International Senator with the SMU Student Senate.  She is a member of the Finance Club, BBA Energy Club, Women in Business, Birdwell Center Reading Group, and is also a Peer Coach. She was also accepted into the EnCap & LCM Alternative Assets Management Center Program, was nominated for the Don Jackson Center Fellows Program and was selected as a Kyle Miller scholar.

Zackary Scornavacco

Zac comes to SMU from San Diego, CA and graduates with a BBA in Finance as well as a BA in Corporate Communication and Public Affairs and Political Communications.  Among his many honors, Zac is a Hunt Leadership Scholar, Kemper Scholar, Hilltop Scholar, Bauer Scholar, Murray Case Scholar, Stan Levenson Scholar and SIOR Scholar.  He was also accepted into the highly selective EnCap & LCM Alternative Assets Management Center Program (AAMC).  During his time at SMU, Zac served with the SMU Residence Life and Student Housing as a Residential Assistant.

Isabel Costian

Isabel comes to SMU from Richardson, TX and will graduate with a BBA in Marketing as well as minors in Advertising, Arts Management and History.  She is a Hunt Leadership Scholar, a Bridwell Scholar, Crum Foundation BBA Scholar, Redman Foundation Scholar and a Jim Davidson Memorial Scholar.  She is also a member of the University Honors Program.  She is the Digital Communications Chair for Program Council, the V.P. Of American Marketing Association Affairs, a BBA Marketing Association, the Commuter Ambassador for the Boaz Residential Commons and the Public Relations Digital Marketing Officer for Alternative Breaks.

Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences

Jared Burleson

Jared is from North Richland Hills, TX and will graduate with a BS in Physics, a BS in Pure Mathematics and a minor in Chinese.  During his time at SMU, Jared has excelled in the classroom and has been recognized by many academic, research and professional groups including:  President’s Scholar, Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, Robert S. Hyer Scholar (Physics), Physics Department Scholarship Award, Jeff Chalk Award (Physics), Schwarzman Scholarship, selected for the NSF-REU Program at UM-CERN, Hamilton Undergraduate Research Scholar, US ATLAS SUPER Program Award, and others.  Along with his exceptional academic record, Jared found time to volunteer at a community food bank, serve as the president for the SMU Chapter of Society of Physics Students and a member of the SMU Meadows Chorale.

Lamisa Mustafa

Lamisa is from Carrollton, TX and will graduate with a degree in Human Rights with a concentration in Public Policy, a degree in Sociology, and a degree in Public Policy and a minor in French. She is a semi finalist for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, an SMU Distinguished Scholar, a member of the SMU University Honors Program, Phi Beta Kappa, Robert S, Hyer Honor Society, Alpha Kappa Delta and the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Ft. Worth Global Young Leaders.  She is an Administrative Director and Student Liaison with the SMU Human Rights Council, the Co-President of the SMU Feminist Equality Movement and a Student Consultant with the office of Academic Engagement and Success. 

Marcelo Sanabria

Marcelo joined the SMU community from San Jose, Costa Rica.  He will graduate with a BS in Biology, a BS in Economics, and minors in Italian Area Studies and Neuroscience.  Marcelo is on the Honor Roll with High Distinction, a Dean’s Scholar, IB Scholar, SMU Discovery Scholar and Lyle Scholar.  His numerous awards and honor societies include Alpha Epsilon Delta Health Preprofessional Honor Society, Alpha Chi National College Honor Society, Mortar Board National Honor Society and others.  During the summers, Marcelo traveled back to Costa Rica to volunteer at clinics and the Costa Rica Public Health Care System.  Marcelo has also found time to participate in community involvement with Relay for Life and Habitat for Humanity.

Sriya Reddy

From Plano, TX, Sriya is graduating with a degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Corporate Communications and Public Affairs as well as a degree in History.    During her time at SMU she has worked on the Daily Campus as an Editorial Board Writer, an Engagement Editor and the Editor in Chief.  She has participated in study abroad, Mustang Heroes, HerCampus, the Indian Student Association Bhangra Blitz and was a Connect Program Mentor.  She was also an SMU Fellow for the Dallas Morning News and was a research assistant for the Voices of SMU Oral History Project.

Lyle School of Engineering

Austin Modoff

Austin hails from Austin, TX and graduates with a BS in Electrical Engineering and a BS in Mathematics.  His awards include:  selection to the Honor Roll,  IEEE Eta Kappa Nu and Tau Beta Pi Honor Society.  While maintaining high academic standards, Austin also served as an Ambassador, Tour Guide and Tutor with the Lyle Engineering Office of Recruitment and Retention.  He held the position of Vice President for Crum Commons during his time at SMU and also found time to volunteer to create meals to help feed homeless and needy individuals in the Dallas area through Feed the City and encouraged participation from his friends and others.

Daniele Farren

Daniele is from Longview, TX and will be graduating with degrees in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics.  While at SMU, she has been a student ambassador for the Lyle Office of Recruitment and Retention, she was the President of Lyle Ambassadors, a member of the student advisory board, and Director of Scholarship for the Delta Gamma Fraternity.  She is an SMU Distinguished Scholar, a Lyle Undergraduate Scholar, Engineering Scholar, Texas Engineering Foundation Scholar, Gregg County Bar Association Scholar, and a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society.

Morgan Muir

From Cedar Park, TX, Morgan graduates with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Mathematics Minor. She is a member of the Society of Women Engineers and has held several positions within the organization including Membership Chair, Treasurer, Vice President of External Affairs. She served as the President of the Society of women engineers for the 20-21 school year.  Morgan has also served on the #BlackatSMU Lyle Task Force which was created to improve the Black Experience at Lyle.  She served as the Student Culture Committee Co-Leader, creating and leading meetings within the task force.

Meadows School of the Arts

Anthony Gaetjen

Anthony comes to SMU from Plano, TX and joined a highly competitive theatre program.  He will graduate with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Theatre and has experience on stage as well as stage management and playwriting.  While at SMU, Anthony was selected for the WarnerMedia Rotational Internship and was able to experience the pre- and post-production aspects of the television industry.  He has playwriting credits, stage management credits and acting credits including:  Montgomery, The Gingerbread House, The Diary of Anne Frank and others.

Sriya Reddy

Sriya is a double nominee from the Meadows School of the Arts and the Dedman College of Humanities and Science.

Ryan Hanger

Ryan is local to Dallas and will graduate with a Bachelor of Music, Vocal Performance and a BBA in Management.  He is a BBA Scholar, a Dean’s Scholar and recipient of a National Merit Scholarship and Meadows Artistic Scholarship.  Ryan served as a Student Ambassador for the Meadows Ambassadors for Prospective Students.  He held the position of Music Director for the Southern Gentlemen a capella singing group but also had time to volunteer with vaccine distribution.

Simmons School of Education and Human Development

Watson Jackson

Watson comes to us from Atlanta, GA and will be receiving multiple degrees:  A BS in Applied Physiology and Sport Management, a BBA in Finance with minors in History and European Studies.  He is in the Hunt Leadership Scholar Program and the EnCap & LCM Alternative Assets Management Center Program (AAMC) as well as a BBA Scholar.  Watson’s other academic honors include:  University Honors, Honor Roll with High Distinction, Hyer Honor Society and Beta Gama Sigma Society.  Watson stays engaged with the community through Readers2Leaders, Global Education, and Daystar Ministries, Camp Hopetown.

Dareth Douglass

Dareth comes to SMU from Columbus, OH and is graduating with a BBA in General Business and a degree in Applied Physiology and Sport Management. As a Division 1 Athlete, she was able to accomplish much in her limited time.   She is an SMU Distinguished Scholar and an SMU Pre Law Scholar and has been accepted to the Dedman School of Law upon graduation.  Dareth is the Personnel Chair for the Chi Omega Fraternity, a Wish Granter for the Make a Wish Foundation, and an athlete on the SMU Women’s Track and Field Team.  She was also a nominee for the Larrie and Bobbi Weil Undergraduate Research Award. 

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