Neftali Torres of Hartford was honored at the University of Hartford's 53rd annual Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 16, with the John G. Lee Medal, which is given annually to a graduating senior from Greater Hartford who has excelled academically and demonstrated a deep commitment to the community.
Having maintained a 3.93 GPA (grade point average) as a civil engineering major in the University's College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture, Torres, who graduated from Hartford Public High School in 2006 and interned at the Metropolitan District Commission while at the University, was on the Dean's List and the President's List every semester of his four years at the University. He is a Hartford Scholar, a recipient of the Regents' Honor Award, and a recipient of fellowships from NASA's National Space College and Fellowship Program.
As president of the student chapter of Engineers Without Borders, Torres was part of a group that traveled to Abheypur, India, to assist in the installation of a rainwater harvesting system designed to provide villagers with clean drinking water.
"In helping others, I have acquired a great deal of knowledge and a strong sense of pride," Torres said of the trip. "People have helped me and I am giving back by helping other people. Community service is contagious."
Torres has also been an active member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Students in Free Enterprise, and Habitat for Humanity.
The Connecticut General Assembly honored Torres during its annual College Academic Day on April 14. Every year, state lawmakers recognize one outstanding student from each of Connecticut's public and private colleges and universities. The students are selected for the honor by their respective schools, based on academic achievement and extra-curricular involvement.
Chartered in 1957 with the mission to be a "private university with a public purpose," the University of Hartford offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in the arts, the humanities, business, engineering and technology, education, and the health professions. The University's student body of 7,300 represents 48 states and more than 40 countries. For more information, visit www.hartford.edu.