34th Annual Student Leadership Awards celebrate student leaders

Student Leadership Awards / Photograph: Emily Linker
Student Leadership Awards / Photograph: Emily Linker

The 34th Annual Student Leadership Awards were held on April 11 honoring students and organizations for their hard work and dedication as well as their impact on the campus and the community.

With an opening performance by Wright State’s show choir, Surround Sound, the event started with an overtone of excitement.

Planned and coordinated by Melissa Guffey, assistant director of Student Activities, and Hannah Pigg, graduate assistant for Student Activities, many decisions had to be made as to who would win.

Student Leadership Awards / Photograph: Emily Linker
Student Leadership Awards / Photograph: Emily Linker

“We had nominations open on Engage [for students to nominate other fellow students and organizations]. There was a box to explain why that individual [or organization] was worthy of receiving that award. You could also add attachments. A lot of people [included] that individual’s resume or a letter of recommendation and even uploaded samples of their work. We took that and created packets of all the nominees and had different staff members and students rank a given category. We compiled those scores to select the winners,” said Pigg.

The Student Organization Awards were the first to be presented.

Debra Lamp, associate director of Student Activities, presented the Collaboration Award, won by the University Activities Board, and the Community Service Award, won by Miracle Makers.

Lindsay Miller, interim chief diversity officer, presented the Diversity and Inclusion Award to the Fraternity and Sorority Council.

Student Leadership Awards / Photograph: Emily Linker
Student Leadership Awards / Photograph: Emily Linker

Guffey presented the Student Organization Program of the Year Award and Student Organization of the Year Award. Program of the year was awarded to ‘67 Society and Raider Roundup. Organization of the Year was awarded to Black Women Striving Forward.

The Individual Awards were presented with wide smiles and a few happy tears.

Pigg presented the Building Bridges Award to Melissa Guffey and the Advisor of the Year Award to Mark Queen, community director. Only becoming an award this year, Guffey will be the first to receive the Building Bridges Award.

Eric Corbitt, Director of Student Union campus Recreation, presented the Distinguished Graduate Student Leader to Loghan Young.

Corbitt also presented the Rising Star Award to its 11 winners: Anna Baugham, Anna VanDeWiele, Anthony Genatempo, Asad Ali, Ashley Peeks, Cloe Snyder, James Curlis, Kara Combs, Logan Rex, Tori Flanigan and distinguished winner Adrian Williams.

Student Leadership Awards / Photograph: Emily Linker
Student Leadership Awards / Photograph: Emily Linker

Lamp also presented the awards for the Visionary Leadership Award and the Sustainability Leadership Award. The winners of the Visionary Leadership Award were Aaron Brautigam, Carolyn Breining, Ivan Mallett, John (Tyler) Rupert, Kaitlyn Ellison, Kendra Thibaut, Reilly Corbett, Seara Kim, Trent Fuller and distinguished winner Sarah Cavender.

The winners of the Sustainability Leadership Award were Adam Wightman, Ariel Ya’akov, Austin Rex, Collin Jones, Dana Reed, Evan Sumlin, Jacquelyn Smith, Katelyn Adams, Ryan Oates and distinguished winner Markayla Clayton.

Dr. Gary Dickstein, interim vice provost for Student Affairs, presented the Senior Leader Award to its winners: Brenna Childers, Daniel Palmer, Gina Gano, Hannah Hays, Holley Mapel, Jasmine Howell, Lauren Pelan, Maggi Hole, Sarah Christy and distinguished winner Doug Benedict.

If you are interested in one day earning a leadership award, whether it be individually or through an organization, and don’t know where to begin, get yourself out there.

“Get involved. The more you’re involved in the more it will set you apart from the crowd. I know people in the committee were looking for not just a list of the positions you have held but also what you’ve done with that position and how you have impacted others; it really focuses on how you as a leader have developed yourself and others,” said Pigg.

Student Leadership Awards / Photograph: Emily Linker
Student Leadership Awards / Photograph: Emily Linker

Networking, getting to know people and letting them get to know you and your experiences are great ways to build rapport.

“It’s helpful to find a mentor that you can sit down with and talk to them about your progression as a leader. That might also be someone who nominates you. Making those connections [is important],” said Pigg.

Looking at criteria that is required is another great step in earning yourself or your organization a well-deserved award.

Student Leadership Awards / Photograph: Emily Linker
Student Leadership Awards / Photograph: Emily Linker