Campus Leaders Recognized During Student Life Awards Ceremony

By Blake Silberberg ’13
Univ. Communications

Each spring the Office of the Dean of Students recognizes undergraduate students who have made significant contributions to campus life. Nominated by faculty, staff, and peers, Student Life Award recipients represent diverse interests, talents, and accomplishments. Winners are selected on the basis of their leadership and engagement in campus life and positive influence on peers, all of which help the community become stronger now and in the future.

Sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Students and organized by the Rochester Center for Community Leadership, the 2013 awards recognized 17 individuals and 3 organizations. “I think the winners represent a large demographic that follows their passions and gives back to others in all sorts of ways,” said Ed Feldman, associate director of leadership programs at the Rochester Center for Community Leadership and chair of the selection committee.  He added that he felt inspired by the winners whose “values center around an inherent desire to better themselves and in return make a positive social change in the campus and Rochester community.”

The Douglass Leadership House, this year’s winner of the Outstanding Student Organization Award, is a first year organization. Named after Rochester icon Frederick Douglass, the mission of the Douglass Leadership House (DLH) is to celebrate and raise awareness of the black experience including its culture, politics, history, and Diasporic roots. The organization helped host numerous events on campus, including a lecture featuring author Jeanne Theoharis, who spoke about her book, The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks, in March.

Neuroscience major Kory Buresh ’13  was this year’s recipient of the Seth H. & Harriet Terry Prize, an award given to a male member of the senior class “who, by his industry, character, and honorable conduct, has done the most for the life and character of the undergraduate community.” Buresh and Sam Tramontano ’13 are co-creative directors of this year’s ArtAwake planning committee this spring. Together, they worked closely with advisor Stacy Fisher and the other student directors to iron out the legal and logistical details of planning the art and music festival. Buresh also is an RA, a member of the men’s club volleyball team, and was co-chair for College’s Against Cancer’s “Think Pink” week. Buresh was very surprised and honored to have won the award: “It’s actually a really nice feeling,” he said. “I’ve always felt as though I was an active member of the student body and it’s cool to know that others have recognized the things I do.”

The 2013 Student Life Award recipients are as follows:

Individual Awards:

Andrew Fried Prize: Pedro Vallejo Ramirez

Established by friends and family in 1961 in memory of Andrew Norman Fried, class of 1961. This prize is awarded to the man who, upon completion of his freshman year, has shown outstanding qualities of character, superior moral judgment, and interest in serving his fellow students.

Pedro-Vallejo-Ramirez

Delno Sisson Prize: Oluwatobi Abubakare

In 1957, this award was established by a gift from Delno Sisson, class of 1966. This prize is awarded annually to the freshman who has shown the most improvement not only in academic work, but also in adjusting to college life and the student body.

Oluwatobi-Abubakare

Award for Freshman Leadership: Samantha Lish

This award recognizes an exceptional man or woman of the freshman class who has motivated his or her fellow classmates to become actively involved in the campus community.

Samantha-Lish

Eli & Mildred Sokol Prize: Justine King

This award was established in 1985 by a gift from Eli and Mildred Sokol, class of 1933. This prize is awarded to a sophomore who has emerged as a leader who can be expected to contribute significantly to the welfare of his or her fellow students in the next two years.

Justine-King

Award for Campus Contributions: Annalise Baird (SR) and Jonathan Johnson (JR)

Two awards, one each presented to a junior and senior class member who has made significant contributions to the University community, including, but not limited to, campus life, academic achievement and leadership, and community service. The award winner will have promoted and demonstrated excellence in all aspects of their college experience.

Annalise-Baird

Jonathan-Johnson

Seth H. & Harriet Terry Prize: Kory Buresh

Established in 1928 as a gift from Seth H. Terry, class of 1883, in memory of his parents. This award is given to the male member of the senior class who, by his industry, character and honorable conduct, has done the most for the life and character of the undergraduate community.

Kory-Buresh

Percy Dutton Prize: Oladoyin Oladeru

This prize was established in 1946 as a gift from Percy Dutton. This award is given to the male member of the graduating class who has excelled in “wholesome, unselfish and helpful influence” among his fellow students.

Oladoyin-Oladeru

Award for Outstanding Fraternity and Sorority Leadership: Kyle Coapman

This award recognizes the positive contributions fraternities and sororities make to the campus community. It is awarded to a fraternity or sorority member who has led with integrity within their fraternal organization while also making significant contributions to the greater campus community.

Kyle-Coapman

Simeon Cheatham Award: Melissa Gaitan

Established in the 1970s by the Office of the Dean of Students to recognize outstanding University of Rochester students. This award is given to a student who has outstanding qualities in devotion to community service and to growth and development of children.

Melissa-Gaitan

Rob Rouzer Award for Excellence in Student Government Leadership: Michael Dymond

Established in honor of his 28 years of service to the University of Rochester, the Rob Rouzer Award is conferred annually to a student affiliated with either of the three branches of the Students’ Association Government who has shown immense integrity and perseverance in striving to improve student life and welfare.

Michael-Dymond

Logan Hazen Award for Outstanding Contributions to Residential Life: Cathy Christian

This award is given annually to the student who has “made significant contributions to the community and experience of students living in undergraduate residence halls. This student, through his or her actions, leadership, and innovation has promoted community through respect, fairness, and inclusion.”

Cathy-Christian

Award for Athletic Leadership: Jon Richardson

This award recognizes the positive contributions athletes make to the campus community. It is awarded to a student athlete who has demonstrated leadership within their club or varsity sport while also making significant contributions to other aspects of campus life.

Jon-Richardson

Presidential Award for Community Service: Alyssa Abel

Established by the Dean of Students in 1990 to recognize University students who are committed to community service. Given to a senior for outstanding participation and leadership in service to the community beyond the campus, this award recognizes a student who has worked selflessly and effectively in addressing social causes.  Areas of focus include, but are not limited to, improving literacy, reducing hunger and hopelessness, providing legal or medical assistance to the needy, and serving as a mentor.

Alyssa-Abel

Entrepreneurship Award: Marissa Balonon-Rosen

The award for entrepreneurship is given to a student, or group of students, who has turned an idea into a venture that benefited others. The recipient will have demonstrated individual initiative and knowledge through awareness of markets and attention to the needs of others.

Marissa-Balonon-Rosen

Michael Lowenstein Memorial Award: Makia Green

This award, named for Michael Lowenstein, class of 1960 is presented to the University of Rochester River Campus undergraduate who deepens student, faculty, and community awareness of existing social, racial, or political inequities. This undergraduate through his/her words and actions has endeavored to promote the ideals which Michael cherished. Michael sought to give a fresh view of things around us, to focus upon issues, to probe deeply using fact and objectivity and to open a dialogue with the community to find some answers. (Not pictured.)

The Communal Principles Award: Kelly Scull

Established by the Office of the Dean of Students during the 2011-2012 academic year, this award is given annually to the student(s) or organization that best promote(s) the Communal Principals, as adopted by The College. These principles include Fairness, Freedom, Honesty, Inclusion, Respect, and Responsibility. One of these six principles will be highlighted annually and the recipient will have demonstrated qualities that exemplify the principles and/or created programming and activities related to this year’s Communal Principle – Responsibility.

Kelly-Scull

Student Organization and Programming Awards

Excellence in Programming: Undergraduate Religion and Classics Council

This Excellence in Programming Award recognizes a student organization or group, either formal or informal, for its exceptional creativity, planning, and execution of a University program. Criteria upon which decisions are based include appeal to a broad cross-section of the University community, originality, and participation by members of the organization during all phases of the effort.

Members-of-the-Undergraduate-Religion-and-Classics-Council

Outstanding Student Organization Award: Douglass Leadership House

Awarded to a student organization that has gone beyond the bounds of their membership by helping to create a positive campus environment for all students.

Members-of-the-Douglass-Leadership-House

Award for Excellence in Creative Co-sponsorship: Eastman Welcome Weekend

This award recognizes a program that was co-sponsored by a minimum of two organizations or groups. The cosponsored program should have been a new effort, one that brought together different facets of campus, and which served to build and strengthen the campus community.

Eastman-Welcome-Weekend

Greek Leadership Association Honors Four at Rochester

Three undergraduates and one fraternity at the University of Rochester were honored with four awards at the Northeast Greek Leadership Association (NGLA) Conference, held in Hartford, Conn., last month. The NGLA provides opportunities for learning and leadership to members of fraternities and sororities throughout the northeast region.

Three students from the University, Kyle Coapman ’13 of Delta Upsilon Fraternity, Harini Morisetty ’13 (T5) of Delta Phi Omega Sorority, and Kelly Scull ’14, Sigma Delta Tau Sorority, were recipients of the Greek Leaders of Distinction Award. This award recognizes students who exemplify the ideals of their fraternity or sorority within their daily lives. Nominees were judged on several criteria, including leadership, scholastic and academic achievement, character as displayed through fraternity or sorority membership, and service to the University, to the individual’s organization, and to the fraternity and sorority community at large.

Sigma Phi Epsilon also was recognized with the Amy Vojta Impact Award for Philanthropy & Service; which recognizes programming and initiatives that made an impact on a chapter. The fraternity was honored for their work planning and organizing the 19th Ward Spelling Bee.

The annual event is a partnership between Sigma Phi Epsilon, the 19th Ward Community Association, Rochester City School District, Rochester Area Community Foundation, and University of Rochester Admissions Office. Throughout the academic year students in grades three through seven receive spelling bee support in their respective schools and attend monthly sessions where members of Sigma Phi Epsilon tutor them in preparation for the preliminary and the final rounds. Students’ hard work culminates with the final round, held in the spring. Prior to the competition students and their parents also have the opportunity to explore the River Campus and engage with members of the University community.

“By bringing students to our school and showing them what they are capable of, we believe that we intrinsically motivate them to learn and reach their full potential,” wrote Jonathan Macoskey ’15, Sigma Phi Epsilon president, in a letter nominating the fraternity for the award. “We hope that as these students near the end of high school, this event’s impact will be visible; encouraging the pursuit of higher education at a young age will hopefully aid in increasing high school graduation rates in the city of Rochester.”

Winners for each grade level receive a $500 scholarship given upon high school graduation and intent to attend college.

Campus Leaders Recognized During Student Life Awards Ceremony

Univ. Communications – Each spring the Office of the Dean of Students and the Rochester Center for Community Leadership recognize undergraduate students and organizations that have made significant contributions to campus life. Nominated by faculty, staff, and peers, Student Life Award recipients represent diverse interests, talents, and accomplishments.

This year, the awards, also known as the Rockys, were presented to 18 students and four organizations.  “I think the winners represent a large demographic that follows their passions and give back to others in all sorts of ways,” said Ed Feldman, associate director of leadership programs at the Rochester Center for Community Leadership and chair of the selection committee.  He added that he felt inspired by the winners whose “values center around an inherent desire to better themselves and in return make a positive social change in the campus and Rochester community.”

Friends, family, and colleagues of the honorees were invited to an intimate awards reception, which was also attended by University administrators and campus leaders. All the winning students and organizations received engraved glass trophies and certificates.

Awards ranged from recognizing leadership in the freshman class, athletics, Greek life, and student government. There also was an award given to an outstanding transfer student.  New this year was the Communal Principles Award, recognizing a student for the promotion of fairness, freedom, honesty, inclusion, respect, and responsibility on campus.  One of these six principles will be highlighted annually. This year’s recipient, Jay Liriano ’12 was selected for demonstrating qualities that exemplify the Communal Principle of Respect in his leadership as president of the Lambda Upsilon Lambda fraternity.

The Ballet Performance Group was honored as the Outstanding Student Organization.  The 90-member dance group was nominated by Lydia Crews and Wilson Commons Student Activities. Among its performances and programs this year were the Uncommon nights during orientation, a benefit show for Golisano Children’s Hospital, and an alumni reunion performance. BPG, who took first place at the DU Dance for Charity, also collaborated with the Eastman musicians, incorporating live music in its performances. During Meliora Weekend, BPG usually performs with two other dance groups, but they enhanced this year’s program and collaborated with six other dance groups for the “Diversity of Dance” production. In addition, BPG started a new community outreach program called “Dare to Dance.” Members went to Rochester’ Francis Parker School 23 to teach different styles of dance as an after school program.  At the end of the semester, the elementary school students had the opportunity to perform on stage in Strong Auditorium at BPG’s show.

“The award is reflective of the culmination of efforts from the group’s recent history,” said Laura Chess ’12, BPG’s president and a biomedical engineering major. “It was of course a fantastic surprise, though I believe the group was more than deserving.”  With all of its new programs, Chess hopes that BPG will continue to be a vibrant and inclusive community on campus. The group strives to give all students who are passionate about dance a chance to participate and help shape the programming.  “I’m excited to return and see how the group continues to develop after I’m gone,” Chess added.

Another student honored was economics and political science major Nathan Novosel ’12. As the recipient of the Seth H. & Harriet Terry Prize, he was recognized for his “industry, character and honorable conduct, having done the most for the life and character of the undergraduate community.”  Novosel, who received the Award for Athletic Leadership last year, has been one of the three captains for the Men’s Basketball Team for the past two years.  Novosel also is the vice president of the College Democrats, head captain of the Saint Sebastian Society (a community service group of varsity student athletes which is part of the Catholic Newman organization), a member of the Varsity Student Advisory Committee, the Alexander Hamilton Institute, and associate justice for the All Campus Judicial Council.

“One of my lifetime goals is to get involved in politics and work with public policy and some way,” said Novosel. “So, especially with the AHI and the College Democrats, I’ve really tried to just inform students and to get people more politically active. And that’s not necessarily going out and campaigning, more of just reading a newspaper every day or having a professor panel where we go in and talk about an issue.”

Novosel has started an inequality seminar with the AHI which engages students in discussion and analysis of socioeconomic problems in America.  He will participate in the Teach for America program in Washington, D.C. after graduation, before preparing to apply to law school.

Sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Students and organized by the Rochester Center for Community Leadership, the 2012 Student Life Award recipients are:

Andrew Fried Prize: Mehr Kashyap  ’15
Established by frienda and family in 1961 in memory of Andrew Norman Fried, class of 1961. This prize is awarded to the man who, upon completion of his freshman year, has shown outstanding qualities of character, superior moral judgment, and interest in serving his fellow students.

Delno Sisson Prize: Taylor Watson ’15
In 1957, this award was established by a gift from Delno Sisson, class of 1966. This prize is awarded annually to the freshman who has shown the most improvement not only in academic work, but also in adjusting to college life and the student body.

Award for Freshman Leadership: Humma Sheikh ’15
This award recognizes an exceptional man or woman of the freshman class who has motivated his or her fellow classmates to become actively involved in the campus community.

Eli & Mildred Sokol Prize: Kelly Scull ’14
This award was established in 1985 by a gift from Eli and Mildred Sokol, class of 1933. This prize is awarded to a sophomore who has emerged as a leader who can be expected to contribute significantly to the welfare of his or her fellow students in the next two years.

Award for Campus Contributions: Kyle Coapman ’13 and Lucas Piazza ’12
Two awards, one each presented to a junior and senior class member who has made significant contributions to the University community, including, but not limited to, campus life, academic achievement and leadership, and community service. The award winner will have promoted and demonstrated excellence in all aspects of their college experience.

Seth H. & Harriet Terry Prize: Nathan Novosel ’12
Established in 1928 as a gift from Seth H. Terry, class of 1883 in memory of his parents. This award is given to the male member of the senior class who, by his industry, character and honorable conduct, has done the most for the life and character of the undergraduate community.

Percy Dutton Prize: Trevor Baisden ’12
This prize was established in 1946 as a gift from Percy Dutton. This award is given to the male member of the graduating class who has excelled in “wholesome, unselfish and helpful influence” among his fellow students.

Transfer Student Award: Ahmed Faisal ’12
This award, recognizing the unique role of transfer students to the campus community, is given to a student who transferred with sophomore standing or above, and has completed a full year of study at the University. The recipient will have demonstrated a quick, successful, and seamless transition to the institution and will have taken full advantage of his or her time spent at the University.

Award for Outstanding Fraternity and Sorority Leadership: Neftali Morales ’12
This award recognizes the positive contributions fraternities and sororities make to the campus community. It is awarded to a fraternity or sorority member who has led with integrity within their fraternal organization while also making significant contributions to the greater campus community.

Simeon Cheatham Award: Brittany Lewis ’12
Established in the 1970s by the Office of the Dean of Students to recognize outstanding University of Rochester students. This award is given to a student who has outstanding qualities in devotion to community service and to growth and development of children.

Logan Hazen Award for Outstanding Contributions to Residential Life : Becky  Donnelly ’12
This Award is given annually to the student who has “made significant contributions to the community and experience of students living in undergraduate residence halls. This student, through his or her actions, leadership, and innovation has promoted community through respect, fairness, and inclusion.”

Award for Athletic Leadership: Jamie Bow ’12
This award recognizes the positive contributions athletes make to the campus community. It is awarded to a student athlete who has demonstrated leadership within their club or varsity sport while also making significant contributions to other aspects of campus life.

Presidential Award for Community Service: Emily Hart ’12 and Garrett Rubin ’12
Established by the Dean of Students in 1990 to recognize University students who are committed to community service. Given to a senior for outstanding participation and leadership in service to the community beyond the campus, this award recognizes a student who has worked selflessly and effectively in addressing social causes.  Areas of focus include, but are not limited to, improving literacy, reducing hunger and hopelessness, providing legal or medical assistance to the needy, and serving as a mentor.

Entrepreneurship Award: David Bendes ’11/KEY
The award for entrepreneurship is given to a student, or group of students, who has turned an idea into a venture that benefited others. The recipient will have demonstrated individual initiative and knowledge through awareness of markets and attention to the needs of others.

Michael Lowenstein Memorial Award: Alykhan Alani ’12
This award, named for Michael Lowenstein, class of 1960 is presented to the University of Rochester River Campus undergraduate who deepens student, faculty and community awareness of existing social, racial, or political inequities. This undergraduate through his/her words and actions has endeavored to promote the ideals which Michael cherished. Michael sought to give a fresh view of things around us, to focus upon issues, to probe deeply using fact and objectivity and to open a dialogue with the community to find some answers.

The Communal Principles Award: Jonell Liriano ’12
Established by the Office of the Dean of Students during the 2011-2012 academic year, this award is given annually to the student(s) or organization that best promote(s) the Communal Principals, as adopted by The College. These principles include Fairness, Freedom, Honesty, Inclusion, Respect, and Responsibility. One of these six principles will be highlighted annually and the recipient will have demonstrated qualities that exemplify the principles and/or created programming and activities related to this year’s Communal Principle – Respect.

Student Organization and Programming Awards

Excellence in Programming: Program: “Rochester’s Yellowjacket Invitational Mock Trial Tournament” Organization: Mock Trial
This Excellence in Programming Award recognizes a student organization or group, either formal or informal, for its exceptional creativity, planning, and execution of a University program. Criteria upon which decisions are based include appeal to a broad cross-section of the University community, originality, and participation by members of the organization during all phases of the effort.

Outstanding Student Organization Award: Ballet Performance Group
Awarded to a student organization that has gone beyond the bounds of their membership by helping to create a positive campus environment for all students.

Award for Excellence in Creative Co-sponsorship: Program: “Rock Out for Leukemia Research” Organizations: Vocal Point & Renaissance Scholars
This award recognizes a program that was co-sponsored by a minimum of two organizations or groups. The cosponsored program should have been a new effort, one that brought together different facets of campus, and which served to build and strengthen the campus community.

Article written by Maya Dukmasova, a Take 5 Scholar at the University of Rochester and an intern at University Communications. She majored in philosophy and religion and focused her Take 5 year on researching the way American media covers current events in the Muslim world. An aspiring journalist, Dukmasova has freelanced for Rochester Magazine, the Phoenix New Times, and the Daily News Egypt in Cairo. She also maintains two blogs, one devoted to culture and society in Russia (www.out-of-russia.com) and the other to photography (www.myorientalism.com).

Photos courtesy of J. Adam Fenster, University Communications.

Fraternity & Sorority Community Members Honored at Leadership Conference

Univ. Communications – Members of the University of Rochester’s fraternity and sorority community were recognized last month with three awards at the Northeast Greek Leadership Association Conference in Stamford, CONN. The NGLA provides opportunities for learning and leadership to members of fraternities and sororities throughout the northeast region.

University of Rochester award recipients included Lucas Piazza ’12 of Delta Upsilon Fraternity and Anna Richlin ’12 of Gamma Phi Beta Sorority, who received the Student Greek Leaders of Distinction Award. This award recognizes students who exemplify the ideals of their fraternity or sorority within their daily lives. The individuals were judged on several criteria, including leadership, scholastic and academic achievement, character as displayed through fraternity or sorority membership, and service to the University, to the individual’s organization, and to the fraternity and sorority community at large.

The Rochester fraternity and sorority community was also recognized with the Amy Vojta Impact Award; which was presented to groups that created an original program with an impact on the community. The Rochester community received the award in the area of multicultural initiatives and programming for the Greek-or-Treat event.

The community collaborated with a nearby city elementary school, bringing more than to the University campus to trick or treat on Halloween. Every fraternity/sorority (31 in total) purchased two bags of candy for the children and worked with the fraternities on the Fraternity Quad to provide the children with an opportunity to go trick-or-treating, engage in fun activities, and enjoy snacks and beverages.

According to Neftali Morales ’12, president of the Multicultural Greek Council, planning the Greek-or-Treat had several benefits, including building relationships with the elementary school. “This was key because of our interest to repeat this event for years to come,” Morales explained in a letter nominating Rochester for the award.

Morales also noted that the event created an opportunity for collaboration and conversation among the fraternities and sororities on campus. “The organizations were able to share what they offered on campus and these conversations led to a number of different co-sponsorships on the chapter-to-chapter level,” he said.

Article written by Audrey Kusasira, an intern in University Communications who is pursuing a Master’s of Science degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at the School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Photo courtesy of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs.

Student Leaders Inducted into National Residence Hall Honorary

Rochester Center for Community Leadership – The Office for Residential Life and Housing Services announces its first chapter of the National Residence Hall Honorary, the only nationwide organization that exclusively recognizes leaders in the residence halls. Membership is limited to 1 percent of the top student leaders at the College within residence halls.

Nineteen upperclass students were inducted on Jan. 17: Joseph Ciminelli, Akilah Collins-Anderson, Gabrielle Cornish, Vincent DeRienzo, Michelle Dick, Douglas Done, Ahmed Faisal, Kyle Fedorchak, Dongdong Han, Raquel Lopez, Anupa Manjunatha, Gerard Markham, Clay Monson, Kimberly Ornell, Kaitlin Pellicano, Yaritza Perez, Natasha Turner, Yu Xu, and Jiaqian Zhou.

Logo courtesy of www.nrhh.nacurh.org/