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Award Recipients

2021 Award Recipients

Congratulations to this year's winners of the Leadership Awards! Click each student photo below to read their full bio.

Wendy-Marie Martin

Wendy-Marie Martin

Arnold Allyship Award

College of Fine Arts | PhD, Interdisciplinary Arts and MFA, Playwriting

"I am working to decolonize syllabi and create a more inclusive learning environment for current and future students. I created the Performance Corner for the International Women's Art Installation. And last fall, in collaboration with the LGBT Center, I co-produced the Trans [Plays] of Remembrance Festival, a global digital festival viewed in 14 countries."

Majed Zailaee

Majed Zailaee

Charles J. Ping International Leadership Award (graduate/international)

College of Arts and Sciences | Mathematics

"I have served in many positions at the Muslim Student Association where I pushed to open executive positions to women. In 2017, MSA elected its first female executive officer. I participated in 9 Islamic Geometry workshops in Athens, Columbus, and D.C. I am the cofounder and current president of the American Mathematical Society Graduate Chapter. I am also the former president of the International Student Union."

Laura Ndoigo

Laura Ndoigo

Charles J. Ping International Leadership Award (undergraduate/international)

Russ College of Engineering and Technology | Mechanical Engineering

"As president of Global Ambassadors, I have made OHIO strong by working with international student recruitment. Through Student Senate, I have worked on projects that advocate for international students. I have also led these organizations in events, marketing, and organization."

International Student Task Force

International Student Task Force

Edwin L. Kennedy Leadership Award for Community Service by an Organization

The International Student Task Force made OHIO strong by strengthening OHIO's mechanism for institutional response to the humanitarian crises imposed on international students by COVID-19. Through this initiative and inclusive partnerships, the task force helped to raise nearly $300,000 in financial support as well as food donations for over 300 international students.

Julianna Yates

Julianna Yates

Edwin L. Kennedy Leadership Award for Outstanding Community Service (Individual)

College of Arts and Sciences | Chemistry, Pre-medicine

"I am passionate about helping others achieve their full potential and participate in several different mentoring and tutoring experiences. I have encouraged peer learning and interactive discussions during Supplemental Instruction, PLTLs, and tutoring sessions. I am also a Lead Tutor, helping to train other tutors and help them improve their tutoring sessions."

Molly Davis

Molly Davis

Eyes of Freedom Award – Non-Veteran

College of Health Sciences and Professions | Community and Public Health

"Being a part of so many things that contribute to the strength of OHIO has shaped me into a better person. I have served in many leadership roles on campus and each one of them taught me something new. You can't sit back and wait for life – you have to chase opportunities and take leaps of faith. I am so thankful for my choice to attend Ohio University and the leadership experience I can take into my future career path."

Betty Miller

Betty Miller

Francine Childs Diversity Leadership Award

College of Arts and Sciences | Political Science Pre-Law

"My NAACP organization created #areyOUaware articles to raise awareness about events or issues facing the Bobcat community including COVID-19, racial inequality, the crisis between Israel and Palestine, and sexual assault. Our new podcast showcases opinions of young Black intellectuals speaking about the importance of voting, intersectionality, and culture."

Caylah Awls

Caylah Awls

Kerrigan Family Scholarship

College of Health Sciences and Professions | Applied Nutrition

"Being strong means having the ability to withstand great force or pressure, and college life is abundant with indescribable pressures. Throughout the years, I have educated students on healthy emotional and physical relationships, established a platform for students of color to seek personal development resources and social support, and inspired scholars to be leaders within the community."

Daniela Grijalva

Daniela Grijalva

Latino Heritage Achievement Award

College of Arts and Sciences | Latin American Studies, Political Science

"I have brought unique perspectives to the forefront of administrative agendas, and awareness to issues of allyship, active acts of inclusivity, diversity, and equity. Within the Inclusive Pedagogy Academy, the Sustainability Ambassadors, and other affinity groups on campus, I have challenged institutional norms at all levels and helped to create a more equitable space where everyone is visible and valued."

Isabel Alvarez

Isabel Alvarez

Latino Heritage Achievement Award

Russ College of Engineering and Technology

Computer Science

"As a student, I strengthen the merits of in-class discussions by providing input that is reflective of my unique individuality as much as possible. As a member of the community, I cultivate strong relationships with fellow Bobcats by providing a range of means to communicate. As a leader, I improve organizations by suggesting several means by which the goal can be achieved. I strengthen OHIO with my commitment to diversity."

Analee Davis

Analee Davis

Latino Heritage Achievement Award

College of Arts and Sciences | English (Writing and Literature), Spanish and European Studies

"I helped represent Latinxs with Undergraduate Admissions by giving tours, participating in multicultural events such as panels, and by even making a commercial with them highlighting what I do at Ohio University as a Latina woman. I also recently rejoined the Latino Student Union and serve as the Event Coordinator. I help plan events that highlight Latin American culture and shine a light on how diverse we all are."

Gabriela Grijalva

Gabriela Grijalva

LGBT Center Student Hart Award

College of Health Sciences and Professions | Social Work

"I make OHIO strong by advocating for and exemplifying the inclusion of people with all intersecting identities. I strive to utilize professional and personal development to enhance the ability of myself and others to make OHIO a better place for all students. I make OHIO strong by inspiring others to educate themselves on different demographic areas and by offering myself as a resource for my peers to refer their questions."

Andy Figueroa

Andy Figueroa

LGBT Center Student Hart Award

College of Fine Arts | Performance

"I've made OHIO strong by helping foster more than a safe space, but a braver space. I've worked these last few years with the School of Theater to set the precedent of an honest and caring space so we may discuss how to address microaggressions and how we want to better our theater department. I've also helped to program with the LGBT Center to support queer communities and their allies at OHIO."

Jennifer Ayarkwa

Jennifer Ayarkwa

Martha Jane Hunley Blackburn/Donald A. Spencer Achievement Award

College of Arts and Sciences | Spanish, Latin American Studies, Linguistics Minor

"As Vice President of the African Student Association, many of our general body members have expressed that even though they are not African, they always feel welcome in our meetings and appreciate the opportunity to learn about rich African cultures. After I was a Learning Community Leader, I continued to be a resource for my students. It takes a strong support system to get through college, and I am glad to be a part of it."

Nia Dumas

Nia Dumas

Martha Jane Hunley Blackburn/Donald A. Spencer Achievement Award

Scripps College of Communication | Journalism: News and Info

"I have not been afraid to challenge those who promote injustice. I also take pride in educating others on the harsh realities the black community faces and creating spaces where the black narrative can thrive. I am president of both NPHC and BSCC, I have made it my duty to be effective and serve the community. I also helped to create a biweekly podcast that focuses on the black community on college campuses."

Sedric Granger

Sedric Granger

Martha Jane Hunley Blackburn/Donald A. Spencer Achievement Award

Scripps College of Communication | Journalism News and Information

"This year I participated in two Athens community events – an anti-racism event last fall, and an MLK Day celebration this spring. During time for interracial dialogue and discussions, I was very vocal within those sessions in order to help alleviate race issues. Most notably, I gave a speech about Martin Luther King Jr.'s bravery while encouraging the City of Athens to exhibit the same level of bravery that King did."

Maya Meade

Maya Meade

Martha Jane Hunley Blackburn/Donald A. Spencer Achievement Award

Scripps College of Communication | Journalism

"I have made OHIO strong by being a welcoming student in the classroom, workplace, and Athens community. I have become more self-aware and rooted in my values that I have been able to share with others as a peer mentor, CLDC student ambassador, Reservations and Events Assistant, and John Newton Templeton Scholar. I strengthen the OHIO community by encouraging students and creating an inclusive environment."

Andrew Williams

Andrew Williams

Martha Jane Hunley Blackburn/Donald A. Spencer Achievement Award

Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine | Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine

"By serving on the HCOM Executive Committee, I helped to develop three strategic priorities pertaining to the college's commitment to a culture of dialogue and action in diversity, equity, and inclusion. These actionable items include a formalized annual training for employees, discovery, and integraion of best practices for an inclusive curriculum; and enhanced student training to address diversity and inclusion."

Faustina Mensah

Faustina Mensah

Outstanding Graduate Student Leader (Doctoral)

Patton College of Education | Higher Education

As founder and chair of the International Task Force, Faustina led student leaders to the frontlines and forged strategic partnerships to advocate and create public awareness towards addressing international students' challenges. Despite the severe hardships the pandemic has imposed on everyone, her efforts successfully brought the community together to provide rent and food for over 300 international students.

Amal Shimir

Amal Shimir

Outstanding Graduate Student Leader (Masters)

Center for International Studies | International Development Studies

Amal's involvement in Graduate Student Senate assisted with the fundraising event for international students during COVID-19 and she is continually voicing concerns and issues affecting graduate students including subsidizing health insurance. Amal is also part of the Real Talk About Big Questions Programming Sub-Committee, which is a leader in the current conversation about Diversity and Inclusion at OHIO.

Humanism in Medicine Club

Humanism in Medicine Club

Outstanding Programming Award for 2020-21 "Words of Encouragement Initiative"

The Humanism in Medicine Club hosted Art in the Park to create artwork and connections in a socially distant manner. They also began the Words of Encouragement Initiative to collect and distribute individualized notes of motivation and support amongst members of the Dublin HCOM community. These events have created an atmosphere of creativity, hope, and camaraderie amongst Dublin Bobcats.

Ebony Minds

Ebony Minds

Outstanding Programming Award for Fall 2020 "Black Women in Healthcare"

Ebony Minds made OHIO strong by serving as a pillar in the Black community during COVID and the tumultuous events impacting BIPOC Bobcats. They continue to uplift and interact with students, faculty, and administration during this uncertain time. The group has been under unprecedented pressure over the past year, advocating for all students and working to educate the community.

Alpha Phi Alpha

Alpha Phi Alpha

Outstanding Programming Award for Spring 2021 "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Silent March and Brunch"

Alpha Phi Alpha has created programs and provided vocal declarations as a means to advocate for social change, influence public policy, and achieve African-American equality on campus and in the world. They provide service and advocacy for the OHIO and Athens communities and lead the annual Martin Luther King Jr. silent march. This year the event also included the first-ever drive-up brunch.

Farah Chidiac

Farah Chidiac

Outstanding Senior Leader Award

College of Arts and Sciences | Sociology-Criminology

Farah established an inclusive astrology club for students to utilize astrology as a tool to better understand themselves and others. It is a safe space for a community of curious students to be vulnerable and connect. Farah also jump-started an organization called Giving Victims a Voice, which empowers students to amplify the rights and voices of victims and encourages those who have been victimized to seek justice.

Allison Shryock

Allison Shryock

Outstanding Senior Leader Award

College of Arts and Sciences | Environmental Studies, Geography

Allison spearheaded the campus-wide Environmental Justice Summit for the last two years and took on many other educational and sustainability-minded initiatives and projects to inform the student body about environmental justice and climate change. For the past four years, she has brought many diverse groups together to work on furthering sustainability initiatives at OHIO.

Suzy Aftabizadeh

Suzy Aftabizadeh

Outstanding Senior Leader Award

Honors Tutorial College

Spanish, Biology

Suzy advocated for renewed high standards for inclusivity, education, and respect as president of the Spanish Honors Society Sigma Delta Pi. Under Suzy's leadership, her organization held weekly virtual events while other organizations were inactive, such as a public art and poetry expos, a de los muertos celebration, and a colloquium for students to present research and projects.

Taylor Bradshaw

Taylor Bradshaw

Outstanding Senior Leader Award

College of Business | Marketing & Business Analytics

Taylor is the first student from OHIO to intern at the multinational consumer goods company Unilever. Since her experience, she has fielded emails, direct messages, and calls from more than a dozen fellow OHIO students asking for advice about internship and career planning. She even led mock case study interviews to help students prepare for placement and success with major companies.

Jalen Warren

Jalen Warren

Outstanding Senior Leader Award - John Newton Templeton Designation

College of Health Sciences and Professions | Exercise Physiology

As president of the student organization Minority Association of Pre-health Students, Jalen challenged the idea that MAPS was directed only toward pre-medical students. His work opened up resources, opportunities, and connections to empower students from all pre-health backgrounds while also creating a strong inclusive environment where everyone felt comfortable.

Faith Laughlin

Faith Laughlin

Rudy Leadership Award

College of Health Sciences and Professions | Applied Nutrition - Culinary Concentration

"I have made OHIO strong by amplifying the voices of LGBTQIA+ individuals, and low-income individuals living in rural Appalachia. Often when students come to Athens, they don't understand the tragedies happening in the community around them. I have helped to educate my peers about issues the community faces, and have shared my experiences in spaces where these identities aren't represented."

Luvina Cooley

Luvina Cooley

Stonewall Leadership Award (Individual)

Honors Tutorial College | Anthropology

"When I arrived at OHIO, I was met with a truly accepting and inclusive environment, and one of my goals has been to continue to build a positive community. I have been involved with Student Senate, the Center for Law, Justice, and Culture, and I have worked as a liaison between the LGBT Center and the Honors Tutorial College to plan inclusive programming to connect LGBTQ+ students."

Gene Dockery

Gene Dockery

Stonewall Leadership Award (Individual)

Patton College of Education | Counselor Education and Supervision

"Creating a more inclusive community in higher education is why I decided to pursue my Ph.D. in counselor education and supervision. I work hard to understand and acknowledge power structures on an individual, relational, and communal level by creating a space for dialogue and discussion that seeks to understand and interrupt established hierarchies in the classroom with my student and peers."

ALLIES

ALLIES

Stonewall Leadership Award (Organization)

ALLIES strives to fulfill its mission of creating a welcoming space of open dialogue for all students to foster acceptance and understanding on campus and to promote lifelong, intersectional allyship. ALLIES understands and works to emphasize the importance of making our community a more wholesome, safe, and inclusive space for everyone, thus unifying and strengthening our Bobcat family.

Tyra Huxley

Tyra Huxley

Student Affairs Employee Scholarship – Academic Excellence

Russ College of Engineering and Technology | Energy Engineering and Spanish

"I make OHIO strong by advocating for inclusivity and ensuring all Bobcats feel like they belong. I've made effort to connect with people that seem isolated and create an inclusive environment by having people share their pronouns when introducing themselves and encouraging the use of gender-inclusive language. I also led discussions about the importance of well-being, self-awareness, and mental health."

Jordan Schmitt

Jordan Schmitt

Student Affairs Employee Scholarship – Academic Excellence

Scripps College of Communication | Journalism - News and Information, Sociology

"I am a hard worker who collaborates well with other students. Through Variant, I work to empower students' creative work by sharing to our social media accounts. VRNT selects, is the latest project launched by John Pierron and myself that shares the work of other students and empowers their stories. Variant aims to represent inclusivity by showcasing all races, ethnicities, gender identities, and sexual orientations."

Jacob Levin

Jacob Levin

Student Affairs Employee Scholarship – Academic Excellence

College of Business | Business Management and Strategic Leadership & Psychology

"I make OHIO strong through my consistent empowerment of my residents. I meet with them to discuss goals, aspirations and make sure that the campus living environment is positive. That includes managing the physical space as well as the mental space that the residents occupy. I manage their conflicts and discomforts to limit the impact that negativity has on their ability to achieve."

Cassidy Dummitt

Cassidy Dummitt

Student Affairs Employee Scholarship – Excellence in the Workplace

College of Arts and Sciences | Political Science, Public Health minor

"Ohio University made me strong; it has encouraged me not only to continue my act of friendship and devotion to the ones I love, but it has opened my mind to the importance of self-care. Athens has given me space to speak my mind, have my voice be heard, and continuous motivation to pursue a goal that will eventually give back to the Athens community. I have great pride for being the first in my family to attend college."

Brooke Klopfenstein

Brooke Klopfenstein

Student Affairs Employee Scholarship – Excellence in the Workplace

College of Health Sciences and Professions | Exercise Physiology

"One definition of the word "strong" is "of great moral power, firmness, or courage". How do I do this in my daily life? I make OHIO strong by taking advantage of the opportunities that the University allows me. OHIO has brought out leadership skills that I did not know I possessed, and to repay the university I call home, I bring those skills into positions in Student Affairs, Women's Center, Sorority & Fraternity Life, and academics."

Samuel Carryer

Samuel Carryer

Student Affairs Employee Scholarship – Excellence in the Workplace

College of Arts and Sciences | Applied Mathematics and Physics

"I have made OHIO strong through empowering students and organizations. Working for Housing, I created meaningful and impactful relationships with residents. During my time as an RA and as an SRA, I hosted several events and promoted important Diversity and Inclusion values. As commissioner of SAC, I created several initiatives to allow student orgs greater access to SAC funds, especially during the Covid-19 era."

Lexi Jones

Lexi Jones

Women's Issues Leadership Award

College of Health Sciences and Professions | Child and Family Studies

"I have made OHIO strong by continuously finding ways to take my own experiences of trial and tribulation, and channeling that energy into creating tangible change. I developed an independent initiative, Project Mending Threads, in hopes to lessen the sense of humiliation and helplessness that survivors [of sexual violence] may experience."