17th annual Gael Awards celebrate student excellence


photo from Iona.org

Recipents of commencent awards of the 17th Gael Awards pose for a picture.

Jocelyn Arroyo-Ariza, News Editor

What has been affectionately referred to as Iona’s Oscars, the 17th annual Gael Awards returned to a fully in-person setting for the first time since the start of the pandemic on April 25. The award show was held in the Hynes Athletic Center. The invite-only event opened its doors at 5:30 as students rushed from class, where they were able to enjoy some refreshments.  

The Pipe Band, the Iona Players, the Iona Dance Team, the Black Student Union Dance Team and the Irish Step Team all performed between awards to much fanfare.  

Awards were given to clubs/organizations and individuals who work hard throughout the year and were committed to making the Gael experience more enjoyable.  

Some notable awards include the Organization of the Year, which went to Model United Nations, RA of the Year, which went to Claudia Marcelin ’22, and Gael of the Year, which went to Chyanne Blakely ’22. 

The biggest awards of the night went to four seniors – Chyanne Blakely (Joseph E. Powell Award), Courthney Normil (Sullivan Award), Katie Feeney (Julia Friedman Award) and Maeve Ellen Wydan (Mildred Squires Award).  

It was also a break from the stress of the final weeks of classes. Though it was a Monday, students were able to enjoy each other’s company. After the awards ceremony concluded, many stood in line to take photos at the photobooth with fellow members of their organizations and friends.