Student of the Year 2014

Berkeley College Honors Manhattan Resident for Academic Excellence and Volunteerism Despite Personal Loss

Sharla Natasha Hanley of Manhattan, NY, received the 2014 Robert Maher Outstanding Student Award at the Berkeley College Commencement ceremony held Friday, April 25, at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, NJ.

The Robert Maher Outstanding Student Award is presented annually to a member of the graduating class who has met high standards of academic excellence while overcoming personal, professional, or financial obstacles. Students are nominated for the award by Berkeley College faculty and staff.

“The highest honor bestowed upon a Berkeley College graduate is the Robert Maher Award,” said Dallas Reed, PhD, Berkeley College Vice President, Student Development and Campus Life. “Sharla personifies what defines our students – the perseverance to succeed in graduating with an exceptional academic record against all odds. She embraced the full college experience while coping with the loss of her daughter, Elizabeth, who passed away due to leukemia.”

Dr. Reed added that despite personal struggles, Ms. Hanley put forth tremendous effort in assisting other students and staff, and embraced the Berkeley College value of community service.

Ms. Hanley was born in the Caribbean nation of St. Kitts and Nevis, and raised in St. Thomas. Her family came to live in the United States when she was 12 years old. While attending Berkeley College in Midtown Manhattan, Ms. Hanley served as an executive member of the Campus Activities Board, participated in new student orientation, student programming, and leadership retreats and activities. Through the Berkeley Cares program she logged more hours of community service than any other New York City student.

“I would love to leave behind a legacy of helping others as I graduate from Berkeley College,” said Ms. Hanley, whose long-term goal is to earn a Master’s degree in Social Work.

Sharla Natasha Hanley, recipient of the 2014 Robert Maher Outstanding Student Award 

Berkeley College honored Sharla Natasha Hanley of Manhattan, NY, with the 2014 Robert Maher Outstanding Student Award during the Commencement ceremony Friday, April 25, at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, NJ. Left to right are Dario A. Cortes, PhD, President of Berkeley College; Dallas Reed, PhD, Berkeley College Vice President, Student Development and Campus Life; Ms. Hanley and Kevin Luing, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Berkeley College.

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