From honoring student organizations and advisors, celebrating diversity, health, and wellness, highlighting contributions to spiritual life, and recognizing our unsung heroes, the 10th annual Student Leadership Awards celebrated many who have positively impacted the campus community.
The Office of Student Involvement emboldened the campus community to nominate students and student organizations for one or more of the awards. Recipients were announced during an in-person event on Tuesday, April 12, in Bayley Auditorium, part of the Barbara Deer Kuss Science Center.
“We are honoring student leaders, staff, faculty, student organizations, and departments that each and every day live out the mission and vision of the campus, and contribute to making not only our campus community, but our Springfield community a better, more inclusive place to live, work, and study,” said Melissa Guffey, associate director of student involvement.
Celebrating the value of learning outside of the classroom through student organizations, leadership development, and creating social change on campus and in the community throughout the 2021-22 academic year, committee members received numerous nominations for the scaled-back event as some awards had to be removed due to the nature of the programming and involvement challenges of this past academic year.
“Our students, faculty, and staff this academic year have truly exemplified the motto of Wittenberg,” said Jade Jones, director of student involvement. “The various events our campus departments and student organizations provided many opportunities for people to get connected and engaged. I cannot thank our student and campus partners enough for the vast amount of support they have contributed to this institution. I look forward to the next academic year.”
The event is sponsored by Student Involvement, Student Senate, the Interfraternity Council, and the Panhellenic Council. Nominations are gathered from across campus, and decided through an outsourced selection committee selected by Student Involvement staff to ensure impartial results.
The following is a list of this year’s winners:
- Student Organization of the Year Award: Union Board
- New Student Organization of the Year Award: Wittenberg University Student Education Association (WUSEA)
- Program of the Year: Super Sibs Saturday Carnival
- Student Leader of the Year Award: Lanai Stevenson ’24 of Dublin, Ohio; Braeden Meier ’22 of Owatonna, Minnesota; Jonathan Golden ’24 of Weirton, West Virginia; Lillyan Gaertner ’22 of Cable, Ohio; and Maddie Engelau ’23 of Columbus, Indiana
- Social Justice Leader of the Year: Satta Sheriff ’23 of Monrovia, Montserrado
- Celebration of Diversity Program of the Year: Spoken Word event featuring Kyla Jenee Lacey and presented by Concerned Black Students and Union Board
- Contributions to Religious and Spiritual Life Award: Maddy Marsengill ’23 of Sylvania, Ohio
- Emerging Leader of the Year Award: Jasmine Evans ’25 of New Carlisle, Ohio; and Sophia Thompson ’25 of Marion, Ohio
- Greek Chapter of Excellence Award: Alpha Delta Pi
- Greek Leader of the Year: Lizzy Cefaratti ’22 of Lebanon, Ohio, Alpha Xi Delta
- Contributions to Community Living Award: Karen Balliet, circulation administrative assistant, OhioLink
- Richard R. Scott Faculty/Staff Supporter: Joi Garrett Scales, associate director, career operations and student employment
This year’s judges have a variety of backgrounds and experiences and volunteered to read more than 50 student leadership award nominations, all while managing full-time jobs as higher education professionals. Judges included Doug Benedict, assistant director for Esports at Radford University; Hannah Harshman, career content writer for Indeed.com, Melissa Mick, program manager, community-based experiences at Case Western Reserve University; Blake Bonkowski, academic adviser, Oakland University; McKenna Smith, student service program manager, Wright State University; Kristin McDonough, associate director of student affairs, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan; Colton Janes, assistant director academic services, University of Nebraska, Omaha; Hunter Pemberton, associate director of organizational growth, Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity; Stacy Rowan, assistant director of fraternity & sorority life, University of Alabama Birmingham; Nathan Wehr, director of fraternity and sorority life, Eastern Illinois University; Jay Reeves, student success manager, Purdue Global; Cayla Maurer, director of TeamWorks Scholars, Ivy Tech Community College; and Kimberly Kuspa, associate director of accountability, Sigma Chi Fraternity.