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Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014

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Leadership Awards Gala-1

Sharmaine Wilcox, center, was announced as the new student trustee during the 31st annual Leadership Awards Gala. Wilcox will serve a two-year term on the Ohio University Board of Trustees.

Photographer: Elizabeth Held

Leadership Awards Gala-2

Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis and First Lady Deborah McDavis socialize with student trustee Keith Wilbur during this year’s Leadership Awards Gala.

Photographer: Elizabeth Held

Leadership Awards Gala-3

Sarrita Cunningham, the mother of Amanda J. Cunningham, an Ohio University student leader who passed away in 2003, speaks during this year’s Leadership Awards Gala.

Photographer: Elizabeth Held

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Outstanding student leadership applauded at annual awards gala

Sharmaine Wilcox named new student trustee


An Ohio University tradition of recognizing the outstanding work of student leaders and student organizations continues this coming week with the University’s 31st annual Leadership Awards Gala, scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 2, in the Baker University Center Ballroom.

Established in 1983, the Leadership Awards Gala is designed to celebrate OHIO’s students and their outstanding demonstration of the University’s five core values – character, commitment, civility, community and citizenship. This annual leadership awards program is sponsored by the University’s Division of Student Affairs through a collaboration with the Career and Leadership Development Center.

Dozens of students and student organizations will be recognized during Wednesday’s event and will be presented with several awards, including:

  • The Charles J. Ping International Student Leadership Award
  • The Stonewall Leadership Award
  • The Women’s Issues Leadership Award
  • The Latino Heritage Achievement Award
  • The Blackburn-Spencer Achievement and Scholarship Awards
  • The Francine Childs Diversity Leadership Award
  • The Edwin L. Kennedy Leadership Awards for Outstanding Community Service
  • The Outstanding Programming Awards
  • The Rudy Leadership Award
  • The Pepsi Ohio University Campus Leadership Scholarship
  • The Outstanding Graduate Student Leader Awards
  • The Outstanding Senior Leader Award

Anyone from within or outside the OHIO community was invited to nominate a student or student organization for the awards, and students were also welcome to apply for the awards themselves.

Faculty and staff throughout the University reviewed the award nominations and determined finalists for each award. While the award finalists have been notified, the winners of the awards won’t be announced until the gala.

Another highlight of the gala will be the announcement of which OHIO student Gov. John Kasich has selected to serve as the University’s next student trustee. That student will serve a two-year term on the Ohio University Board of Trustees, replacing outgoing Student Trustee Amanda Roden.

Event organizers are expecting a full ballroom at the gala, and tables for the event have all been sold.

Leadership Awards and Scholarship Winners

The following awards and scholarships were presented at the 31st annual Leadership Awards Gala:

Charles J. Ping International Student Leadership Award – Omar Kurdi (undergraduate) and Nihal Said (graduate)

Stonewall Leadership Award – Jesper Beckholt

Women’s Issues Leadership Award – Tiarra Comer

Blackburn-Spencer Achievement Awards – Amber Alexander, Benjamin Braddock, Deneisha Franklin, Zainab Kandeh and Joshelyn Smith

Blackburn-Spencer Scholarship Awards – Abby Hill, Nasra Mohamed and Valerie Terrell

Latino Heritage Achievement Award – Celina Flores, Gabriela Clarke and Jolana Watson

Francine Childs Diversity Leadership Award ¬– Seaira Christian-Daniels

Edwin L. Kennedy Leadership Award for Outstanding Community Service (Student) – Claire Hall

Edwin L. Kennedy Leadership Award for Community Service (Organization) – Alpha Phi Omega Community Service Fraternity

Outstanding Programming Awards – Holocaust Remembrance by the Black Student Cultural Programming Board (spring semester 2013); Immersion Day by the French Club (fall semester 2013); Black Girls Rock by the Black Student Union (spring semester 2014); and Stoplight Party by Power Gamma (Outstanding Late Night Programming)

Pepsi Ohio University Campus Leadership Scholarships – Andrew Mlynarski, Brian Vadakin, Brittany Cumberland, Gabriela Clarke, Kaija Nealon, Melaina Lewis, Phoenix Crane, Sarah Welch, Sharaqaua Smith, Tiarra Comer, Tyler Daniels and Zainab Kandeh

Kerrigan Family Scholarship Award – Joe Emering

The Rudy Award for Outstanding Student Leadership – Zainab Kandeh

Outstanding Graduate Student Awards – Javad Anjum (doctoral) and Patricia Riley (master’s)

Outstanding Senior Leaders – Annabelle Morton, Claire Bens, Jackson Lavelle, Mary Kate Gallagher, Paige Elmlinger, Ryan Vollrath and Tessa S. Scott

John Newton Templeton Outstanding Senior Leader – Seaira Christian-Daniels