The Colby-Sawyer Award is given at Commencement to the senior who, in the opinion of the faculty, best exemplifies the ideals of the college in personal dignity, intellectual growth, contribution to campus life and constructive influence on other students.

Nichelle Cousin ’20

Nichelle Cousin, a sociology major from Cambridge, Mass., is a compassionate leader and role model both in the classroom and beyond.

Shortly after stepping foot on campus, Cousin realized her passion for helping others through her work as a peer mentor. As one of the college’s most reliable peer mentors, she worked tirelessly to help fellow students adjust to life in a new environment. Cousin was also a student ambassador and took immense pride in helping prospective students envision life at Colby-Sawyer during campus tours and discussions with their families.

Cousin was involved in several clubs and organizations on campus, including the African American Students Association and the Presidential Blue Key Society, and served as president of the Knitting Club. She also worked as an Advancement ambassador where she helped raise funds to ensure the financial viability of the college for years to come.

Originally from New Orleans, La., Cousin and her family moved to Massachusetts following Hurricane Katrina. And it was in her new home of Cambridge, Mass., where she chose to complete her internship requirement writing resource referrals, providing emotional support and leading group discussions on the concept of race and ethnicity at the Cambridge Women’s Center.

A Dean’s List student with a minor in legal studies, Cousin plans to pursue her Masters in School Counseling in order to continue helping others well into the future as a high school guidance counselor. Cousin said she credits Colby-Sawyer for inspiring her career path and providing the tools necessary to achieve her goals.

For more information on Commencement 2020, visit