Tower of Excellence Award Finalists Announced

The TOWER of Excellence Award is the most prestigious non-academic award given at Walsh University.  It is presented to the senior who had during his/her Walsh years displayed outstanding leadership qualities, exemplary interest in co-curricular and extracurricular work, and social and moral behavior that fulfills the mission of Walsh University. Carefully screened by the University according to these strict criteria, the TOWER of Excellence laureate reflects the core values of: 

  • Talented Leadership (Demonstration of Leadership Activities and Qualities)
  • Outstanding Service to the Campus and Community
  • Walsh Commitment
  • Ethical, personal and spiritual integrity (character)
  • Responsible extra-curricular distinction  

The 2020 nominees were: 

  • Kwami Adoboe-Herrera
  • Joshua Billman
  • Alex Branham
  • Bradley Caston
  • Myles Cornwall
  • Madison Cox
  • Andrew Czech
  • Frederick Del Guidice
  • Carolyn Dreyer
  • John Fallon
  • Keenan Fentress
  • Dylan Garver
  • Mikayla McClanahan
  • Brandyn Neal
  • Jacqueline Noelker
  • Laura O'Meara
  • Kate Shannon
  • Allison Stump
  • Liza Yoder
  • Andrew Zmecek

Congratulations to this year’s finalists:  Alex Branham, Fred del Guidice, John Fallon, Jacqueline Noelker and Kate Shannon.

The 2020 TOWER Award Winner will be announced to the university community after April 15. Please join us in congratulating our outstanding student leaders! 



Alex Branham

Alex Branham has made the most out of his time at Walsh University. An Accounting major with a Theology minor, Alex is a member of the Blouin Global Scholars Program. He also earned direct admission to Walsh’s BA/MBA program and is expected to complete his Master of Business Administration (MBA) in May 2021.  

Alex received a four-year academic scholarship and has earned a place on the Dean’s List multiple semesters during his Walsh tenure and was inducted into the Sigma Beta Delta Honor Society in Spring 2018.

Outside of his studies, Alex has been actively involved on campus, with positions including admissions Cavalier Guide (2016-2017), Finance Department intern (2018-2019), Campus Peacemaker (2019-Present) and Career Representative within the Career Readiness and Development Center (2019-Present). In 2019, Alex was selected by his peers as Walsh University Homecoming Prince.

Alex also found ways to express his deep Catholic faith and his Accounting knowledge while honing his leadership skills through his roles as Treasurer for both the Student Alumni Association (2018-Present)  and the Institute of Management Accountants (2018-Present), as well as Praise and Worship Team Leader (2018-Present) and AGAPE Retreat Co-Director (2019).

As a Blouin Global Scholar studying food sustainability, Alex has participated in immersion programs in Tanzania (2017) and Italy (2019) with his cohort. He also traveled to Italy, Bosnia/Herzegovina and France in 2019 through Walsh’s President’s Pilgrimage.

Many of Alex’s volunteer efforts are also tied to his faith and to the issue of food insecurity. Since 2018, he has served as a Sunday School Teacher at St. Mary/St. Benedict Parish in Canton. He is also a longtime volunteer at the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank as well as the Beverly-Waterford Food Pantry in his hometown of Waterford, Ohio. In addition, Alex presented on local and global hunger issues at the 2017 Summit Squared national conference, which was hosted at Walsh University.

Additionally, Alex has participated in numerous clubs and activities at Walsh such as Campus Ministry, Cav Bash, Dance Marathon, Discover Retreat, intramural sports and more.  

“Walsh has truly shaped me into the individual that I am today, and I am forever grateful for the time spent here,” Alex said. “My hope is that I have impacted Walsh in just the slightest way during my time here, especially because it has impacted me forever.”



Fred del Guidice

Throughout his four years at Walsh University, Fred del Guidice has a double major in Theology and Philosophy, while also balancing campus employment and participation in dozens of activities and organizations both on and off campus. 

Fred has gained professional experience as both an intern and office assistant with Campus Ministry (2017-Present), a catering employee with Sodexo (2016-Present), an intern in the Office of Strategic Initiatives (2019) and the Office of Mission Implementation (2018-2019), a production manager for The Prodigal Father Live (2019), and a team leader for the Cavs Crew (2017-2019). He also served as an intern at the Catholic Charities Office of Life and Justice in Toledo, Ohio, and was a Forge Fellow through the Forge Leadership Network in Dayton, Ohio. 

In 2017, Fred led a team of students in developing a program of Eucharistic Adoration on Walsh’s campus. What began as one holy hour per week has since expanded to include over 50 hours of Eucharistic Adoration each week. 

Since 2016, Fred has lent his vocal talents to both the Walsh University Chorale and the Walsh University Chamber Singers. He is also a founding member of Coopers Troopers, a 12-voice a cappella ensemble that travels to various concerts and university functions. 

In 2018, he traveled with the Walsh Chamber Singers to Italy, where they performed in Rome, Netuno and Castel Gandolfo. Fred’s international experience also includes two Walsh University President’s Pilgrimages to Italy, France and Bosnia/Herzegovina (2017 and 2018) and the Israel Passages Trip with Forge Leadership Network (2017). 

Most recently, Fred has been involved with numerous on-campus activities including the Hoover Hop Dance Committee (2017-Present), Vocare Men’s Priestly Discernment Group (2016-Present), Cavs for Life (2019-Present), the Brotherhood (2016-Present), Liturgical Ministries (2016-Present) and Campus Ministry Club (2016-Present). He is a member of the Phi Sigma Tau Philosophy Honors Society and the Theology Honors Society. Fred is also a past member of the Cavalier Pro-Life Commission (2018) and the Walsh Intramural Soccer Team (2016 and 2019), and he co-hosted the Money for Monica fundraiser (2019). 

“For me, being a student at Walsh is not coincidental or commonplace. Studying at Walsh is not merely what I do but it has become who I am. Being a Cavalier means something extraordinary because it means adopting a mindset and an attitude,” Fred said. “It means realizing that we are all children of God and our goal is to seek the goodness, truth, and beauty of God in all that we think say and do. It means that we seek to develop our talents and then share them with others. For me personally, my experience at Walsh has helped me to become a young man who pursues excellence in all he does and seeks to become a true leader who serves others in all that he does.”  



John Fallon

John Fallon is a senior Blouin Global Scholar majoring in Communications and Professional Writing. He has consistently earned Dean’s List honors throughout his time at Walsh while staying involved with campus activities such as the Peacemakers (2018-Present), Special Olympics Basketball (2017 and 2020), the Brotherhood (2016-Present), and the AGAPE Retreat Leadership Team (2017-2019).

In addition, John has gained professional experience as an Admissions Representative at Walsh University, where he serves as the primary contact for prospective homeschool students, students from Newman Guide high schools and students from Summit Country high schools. He also coordinated communications as an intern with the Stark County Food Council (2019) and outreached to alumni and donors as a Walsh University Cavathon Caller (2018-Present).

As a Blouin Global Scholar focused on food and sustainability, John has traveled with his cohort to Italy (2019) and Tanzania (2017).

“My academic, personal and spiritual experience at Walsh has been fantastic, and I want students to have the opportunity to take part in that experience,” John said. “I believe my experience at Walsh has embraced the criteria that is set forth by the TOWER of Excellence award, and I am extremely humbled to have been nominated for consideration.”



Jacqueline Noelker

Jacqueline Noelker is a senior Blouin Global Scholar preparing to graduate with an Education: Intervention Specialist degree. She has earned Dean’s List honors consistently since 2017 and was awarded Walsh University’s Gold Servant Leadership Award (2019) and Silver Servant Leadership Award (2018), in addition to being nominated for a Walsh Women of Distinction Award (2020). Jacqueline traveled with her Blouin cohort to Italy (2019) and Tanzania (2017), where they furthered their study of hunger and food sustainability.

Among her volunteer efforts, Jacqueline serves on the Board of Directors for the Community Meal Center (2013-Present) in her hometown of Hamilton and is actively involved with Love Our Community (2020-Present) in North Canton. She also attended Night to Shine (2017-2019), an annual prom for adults and children with disabilities, and coordinated a similar event, Cav Bash, at Walsh in 2020.

Professionally, Jacqueline serves as the manager of the David Center reception desk and receptionist for the Walsh Career Center since 2017. She is also a Campus Ministry intern and severed as co-director of the AGAPE Retreat and director of the Flourish Retreat for Walsh students.

Additional leadership and activities include Walsh University Student Government Senate Chair (2019-Present), Coordinator, ARISE Women’s Ministry (2019-Present), International Ambassador (2018-Present), IGNITE Board Member (2018-Present), Dance Marathon (2018-2020), Bible Study Leader (2019-Present) and JV Volleyball (2018).

“During my time at Walsh, I feel as though I have embraced the Brothers’ Legacy by being more than a student and challenging myself to embark on a similar journey of the unknown; immersing myself in many opportunities to grow in faith, community, and academics,” Jacqueline said. “I will always remember the sacrifices, commitment, and faith the Brothers have given to this University.”



Kate Shannon

Kate Shannon will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Biology: Pre-Physical Therapy. She is a member of Sigma Zeta, an academic scholarship recipient and has consistently earned Dean’s List honors.

Professionally, Kate has completed more than 50 hours shadowing in inpatient and outpatient experiences at Akron Children’s Hospital (2019), Lake West Hospital (2018) and Cardinal Physical Therapy (2017). She also works as an Orientation Coordinator (2017-Present) and a Resident Assistant (2018-Present) at Walsh University, and previously interned with the volunteer choir at St. Paul Catholic Church in North Canton (2017-2018).

Kate’s community service efforts include volunteering with Delay the Disease (2017-Present), Lake Elementary School (May 2017-Present), Operation Orange with the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank (2018-2019), MLK Day of Service (2018-2019), and the Walsh University Fit Family 5K (2017-2018).

Throughout her time at Walsh, Kate also has participated in a number of activities including ‌Pre-Physical‌ ‌Therapy‌ ‌Club‌ ‌(President),‌ ‌Science‌ ‌Club,‌ ‌Orientation‌ ‌Leader,‌ ‌Agape‌ ‌Retreat‌ ‌Core‌ ‌Team member,‌ ‌Student‌ ‌Leadership‌ ‌Summit‌ ‌2018,‌ ‌Choir,‌ ‌Church‌ ‌Band,‌ ‌Intramural‌ ‌Sports (Ultimate Frisbee, Basketball, Volleyball, Dodgeball, Bowling), Campus‌ ‌Ministry‌ ‌Club and ‌Bible‌ ‌Study‌.

“These past four years have been monumental in my growth and personal development, and I could not be more grateful for the opportunities and experiences that Walsh has offered me,” Kate said. “After reflecting on my time here, I know that I am so fortunate to be a part of such an outstanding organization and no matter where I go, Walsh will always be Home.”