Arts and Sciences students recognized for leadership, community engagement
Ten College of Arts and Sciences students were among 39 honored at Ohio University's annual leadership awards celebration on April 14, 2021.
These students "went above and beyond the call of duty to serve their communities, mentor fellow students, and lead with passion and compassion," said Florenz Plassmann, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Through leadership in clubs and activities and service on campus and in the community, these students helped foster a community committed to student success, diversity and inclusion, sustainability, and community engagement.
Their individual efforts make OHIO forever a welcoming community for the next Bobcats who follow in their footsteps to call Athens home.
Majed Zailaee, a graduate student in mathematics, received the Charles J. Ping International Leadership Award.
"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," he said. "I participated in nine Islamic Geometry workshops in Athens, Columbus, and D.C., and 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."
Julianna Yates, majoring in chemistry – pre-medicine, received the Edwin L. Kennedy Leadership Award for Outstanding Community Service.
"I am passionate about helping others achieve their full potential and participate in several different mentoring and tutoring experiences," she said. "I have encouraged peer learning and interactive discussions during Supplemental Instruction, Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL), and tutoring sessions. I am also a lead tutor, helping to train other tutors and help them improve their tutoring sessions."
Betty Miller, majoring in political science – pre-law, received the Francine Childs Diversity Leadership Award.
"My NAACP organization created #areyOUaware articles to raise awareness about events or issues facing the Bobcat community including COVID-19, racial inequality, and sexual assault," she said. "Our new podcast showcases opinions of young Black intellectuals speaking about the importance of voting, intersectionality, and culture."
Daniela Grijalva, majoring in Latin American Studies and political science, received the Latino Heritage Achievement Award.
"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," she said.
Analee Davis, majoring in English—literature and writing, Spanish, and European studies, received the Latino Heritage Achievement Award.
"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," she says.
Jennifer Ayarkwa, majoring in Spanish and Latin American studies with a linguistics minor, received the Martha Jane Hunley Blackburn/Donald A. Spencer Achievement Award.
"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 lommunity 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," she says.
Farah Chidiac, majoring in sociology-criminology, received the Outstanding Senior Leader Award.
She 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. She 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, majoring in environmental studies and geography, received the Outstanding Senior Leader Award.
She 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.
Cassidy Dummitt, majoring in political science with a minor in public health, received a Student Affairs Employee Scholarship – Excellence in the Workplace.
"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," she says.
Samuel Carryer, double majoring in applied mathematics and physics, received a Student Affairs Employee Scholarship – Excellence in the Workplace.
"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," he says.