The Department of Campus Life is now accepting nominations for student awards to be presented at the 26th Annual Leadership Awards Gala on May 20. The gala honors students who exemplify leadership characteristics through outstanding character, citizenship, civility, commitment and appreciation of community.
Kevin Smith, assistant director of campus life for leadership and community service, said faculty and staff submitted more nominations than ever last year, and he's hoping for the same or greater interest this year.
"We have many unsung heroes here. This is their chance to not only be recognized, but to help shape our community through promoting their positive actions," Smith said. "It also is an opportunity for many of our traditional student leaders to shine."
Thirteen awards will be presented in categories ranging from promoting awareness of social causes on campus to showing leadership on women's issues. Some awards, such as the Outstanding Senior Leader Award and Pepsi Ohio University Campus Leadership Scholarships, go to multiple recipients.
Faculty, staff and students can find a full list of awards and place nominations on the Campus Life Web site through April 1. Students also may nominate themselves.
"It is important that we help recognize student leadership as it occurs in various contexts," Smith said. "More than positional leadership, which often gets the most recognition, we seek to help our students define leadership through their actions, whether in service, scholarship or positive engagement."
In preparation for this year's awards ceremony, the Department of Campus Life is soliciting personal stories of students' leadership experiences to highlight in a slideshow before the event begins. Selected profiles also may be included in a bound text that could be used for promotional materials and presentations.
"We are attempting to paint a picture of the student leader as leadership occurs on our campus," Smith said in explaining the idea behind collecting student stories. "We know it happens in various ways and in a myriad of contexts. We want to capture this from every angle. It is our hope that through a broader lens, our campus learns that leadership can become an unordinary practice for ordinary people."
Students interested in sharing personal experiences should submit them online by April 1.
-- Katie Ronske