Ohio University

Leadership Awards Gala Awardees

Though the University had to cancel the in-person ceremony for the 37th Annual Leadership Awards Gala in response to COVID-19, the incredible achievements of our students should not go unrecognized.

Below are those who were to be honored at this year's gala as well as just a glimpse of why they were selected for an award.

Jaelyn Bowman Profile Picture
Jaelyn Bowman
Blackburn/Spencer Achievement Award

She/Her/Hers

Instagram: jaelyn_olivia

Jaelyn Bowman is a student in the College of Health Sciences and Professions studying child and family studies. She is a peer advisor for the the Office of Global Opportunities and is also a peer mentor for the Office of Multicultural Student Access and Retention. She participated in the Kdard La Tente Consulting Project in Cambodia as well as the Global Community Engagement Program in Jamaica.

Shelby Burton Profile Picture
Shelby Burton
Blackburn/Spencer Achievement Award

She/Her/Hers

Instagram: bluestruca_

Shelby Burton is a student in The Scripps College of Communication pursuing a major in journalism. She has a wide range of professional writing experience including working as a writing intern for Ohio University Press to editing for Thread Magazine as well as serving as the editor in chief for The Mess. She is an Ohio University Learning Community leader and was an assistant senior art teacher through the McDonogh summer programs.

Londynn-Raw Caldwell Profile Picture
Londynn-Rae Caldwell
Blackburn/Spencer Achievement Award

She/Her/Hers

Instagram: lonni_rae

Londynn-Rae Calwell is a student in the college of Arts and Sciences studying environmental geography with a minor in meteorology. She is hoping to pursue a career in the United States Air Force. She is currently a forecaster for Scalia Lab and an ambassador for Ohio University's Climate and Sustainability.

DeMarje' Hogan Profile Picture
DeMarje' Hogan
Blackburn/Spencer Achievement Award

He/Him/His

Instagram: demarje_hogan

DeMarje' Hogan is studying communication studies in the Patton College of Education. He is a sophomore and first-generation college student. Hogan is on the BSCPB executive board, an opportunity that has helped him with public speaking, working with those he may not be familiar with and building professionalism. He hopes to be a sports counselor to serve as an outlet for kids seeking help.

KeShawn Mellon Profile Picture
KeShawn Mellon
Blackburn/Spencer Achievement Award

He/Him/His

Instagram: keshawndevon

KeShawn Mellon is a student in The College of Fine Arts pursuing a theater performance major. He holds many leadership roles including working as a Resident Assistant and serving as the president of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. He previously held the position of a Student Diversity and Inclusion Representative. He attended eight masterclasses on anti-racist theater and micro-aggressions, led two workshops on student spoken word poems for a performance protest, and organized and participated in two performance protests. He hopes to insight change and create safe spaces for students of color.

Olivia Ratcliff-Totty Profile Picture
Olivia Ratcliff-Totty
Blackburn/Spencer Achievement Award

She/Her/Hers

Instagram: Oliviaraine98

Olivia Ratcliff-Totty is a student in The College of Arts and Sciences studying psychology with minors in Spanish and sociology. She is the co-director of special events for The Black Student Cultural Programming Board and the secretary of Anointed Ministries. She is also a second-year Resident Assistant, as well as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

Diamond Allen Profile Picture
Diamond Allen
Blackburn/Spencer Scholarship

She/Her/Hers

Instagram: speak.up18

Diamond Allen is a student in the College of Arts and Sciences studying women's gender and sexuality studies and psychology.
Her experiences include serving as a Resident Assistant at Ohio University and a peer mentor for Links. Her aspirations include becoming a counselor and creating something meaningful for her community.

Feven Berhe Profile Picture
Feven Berhe
Blackburn/Spencer Scholarship

She/Her/Hers

Instagram: feven_berhe_

Feven Berhe is a student in the Scripps College of Communication studying communication studies and global studies. Her experiences include serving as a LINKS peer mentor, English tutor, president of Salaam Student Union, and vice president of Ohio University's African Students' Union. She aspires to work with non-profit organizations focused on youth development to provide underserved communities the resources to build and improve their social, cultural and economic capital.

Faith Brooks Profile Picture
Faith Brooks
Blackburn/Spencer Scholarship

She/Her/Hers

Instagram: fbyxo

Faith Brooks is a student in the Patton College of Education studying special education with a minor in communication sciences and disorders. She is on the executive board of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and she participates in services on campus such as volunteering at Passion Works and the Laurels Nursing Home. She plans to pursue a graduate program for speech language pathology and audiology to become a speech pathologist.

Destiniee Jaram Profile Picture
Destiniee Jaram
Blackburn/Spencer Scholarship

She/Her/Hers

Destiniee Jaram is a student in the College of Arts and Sciences studying journalism. She has worked as a public relations specialist for the Capital Campaign at Mount Zion Historical Preservation Society, a multimedia reporter at WOUB Center For Public Media, a columnist at The Post, with Appalachian Community Service with Rural Action, and as the event and media coordinator for the Ohio University LGBT Center. Her career aspirations are to use her privilege, platform and degree to give a voice to marginalized communities around the world.

Dareen Tadros Profile Picture
Dareen Tadros
Charles J. Ping International Leadership Award

She/Her/Hers

Dareen Tadros is a student in the College of Health Sciences and Professions studying public health and international development. She is the president of the graduate student senate and advocate for rights of graduate students at OHIO. Under her leadership, graduate student senate reduced general fees for next year and established new graduate awards. She hopes to establish a public health NGO in Palestine where she aims to develop the health sector and improve access to services.

Sierra Knavel Profile Picture
Sierra Knavel
Edwin L. Kennedy Leadership Award for Outstanding Community Service (Undergraduate)

She/Her/Hers

Sierra Knavel is a student in the Honors Tutorial College studying for her bachelors in mathematics. She has held many leadership roles including working as an OMSAR LINKS peer mentor, Learning Community leader, and helped facilitate HTC summer orientation. Her goal in her undergraduate career is to create a space where people of color and women feel comfortable and heard. She has completed over 100 hours of volunteering throughout Athens and lead an ACT Workshop at no cost for high-schoolers in the area so they could have the same opportunities as students in urban populations.

Ohio University MTNA Profile Picture
Ohio University MTNA
Edwin L. Kennedy Leadership Award for Outstanding Community Service(Organization)

Ohio University MTNA serves as an organization of collegiate music students who endeavor to create innovative music outreach programs for the Athens community. These ongoing programs include using the interdisciplinary arts to create a more wholistic concert experience in non-traditional concert settings and designing University concert experiences to be more accessible for children and families in Athens County.

Aishwarya Sharma Profile Picture
Aishwarya Sharma
Edwin L. Kennedy Leadership Award for Outstanding Community Service (Graduate)

She/Her/Hers

Instragram: sunnyprhr

Aishwarya Sharma is a student in the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine with biology concentration in pre-med and a political science concentration in pre-law. Her experiences include working as a research assistant at the Cleveland Clinic. She is also a member of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physician’s Education Committee and the president of the Student Osteopathic Medical Association.
As an Indian American and the first in her family to pursue medicine, she intends to use her cultural background, myriad of experiences and commitment to people as a guide toward becoming a competent and empathetic osteopathic family physician.

Henry Craver Profile Picture
Henry Craver
Eyes of Freedom Scholarship (veteran)

He/Him/His

Henry Craver is a student in the College of Arts and Sciences studying applied economics and history. He is a graduate assistant for the Ohio University Economics Graduate Department and he was a Water and Fuels Systems Maintenance Technician Journeyman in the U.S Air Force. He also received the Airman of the Year and Air Force Achievement Medal. He wishes to better the lives of people around him and he hopes to become an economist, researcher or lawyer.

Heather Lambert Profile Picture
Heather Lambert
Eyes of Freedom Scholarship (non-veteran)

She/Her/Hers

Instagram: heat_herlambert

Heather Lambert is a student in the Honors Tutorial College. She is the vice president of communication for the Student Social Work Association, a member of Ohio University’s Women’s Ensemble and plays in the University Concert Band. She was also a research assistant for OHIO's Social Work Department and volunteered at the Athens County Sheriff's office as an intern victim advocate. As vice president of communication for the Student Social Work Association, she works with members, coordinates speakers and volunteers with local agencies like Survivor Advocacy Outreach Program.

Aleah Cumberbatch Profile Picture
Aleah Cumberbatch
Francine Childs Diversity Leadership Award

She/Her/Hers

Instagram: aleah_lily

Aleah Cumberbatch is a student in the College of Arts and Sciences studying psychology. At the age of sixteen, she moved to America with her mother who came to pursue a Ph.D. Though she felt unprepared for life as a college student in another country, the support she received from loved ones and members of the OHIO community allowed her to have an experience unlike any other. She aspires to become a human rights attorney and use her knowledge of the legal system to advocate for the many marginalized and underprivileged groups in our communities.

Victoria Obeng-Adjei Profile Picture
Victoria Obeng-Adjei
John Newton Templeton Outstanding Senior Leader Award

She/Her/Hers

Victoria Obeng-Adjei is a student in the College of Arts and Sciences studying psychology. She was a lab manager for the Department of Psychology and an assistant resident director for Housing & Residence Life. She also held multiple chairs for the Minority Association of Pre-Health Students at. Her career aspirations are to work in higher education as a professor of psychology, where she can teach, advise, conduct research and provide students with opportunities that she found were not always available to her.

Cassidy Dummitt Profile Picture
Cassidy Dummitt
Kerrigan Family Scholarship

She/Her/Hers

Instagram: cassidydummitt

Cassidy Dummitt is studying political science in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is the first in her family to pursue a college degree, and she overcame a turbulent upbringing to do so through her strong work ethic and unending motivation. Dummit highlighted the perspective through which she has found success: "I have understood that life is unpredictable and can be very unfair. But life is equally as beautiful when you wake up each day with a grateful heart and pursue new opportunities."

Arianna Guerra Profile Picture
Arianna Guerra
Latino Heritage Achievement Award

She/Her/Hers

Instagram: ariannaguerraaa

Arianna Guerra is studying journalism and screenwriting and digital storytelling in the Scripps College of Communication. "I value Latinx history and representation because it’s my history, but my goal is to get others interested in hearing about my culture, even if it isn’t their own history. I hope to one day be able to stand in front of a classroom at Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and see a larger Latinx student body and to reassure them that they can reach their dreams whatever they may be, even if they don’t see anyone that looks like them in their profession."
 

Kevin Lockett Profile Picture
Kevin Lockett
Latino Heritage Achievement Award

He/Him/His

Kevin Lockett is studying global studies: war & peace and Spanish through the Center for International Studies. "When I discovered that my great-great-grandfather, Norman S. Minor, became the first African-American assistant prosecutor of Cuyahoga County, Ohio in 1930, I began to truly value my cultural heritage as a Black person living in the United States." Lockett works to be an advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves, and his goal is to become a human rights lawyer to continue this work.
 

Aurora Santiago-Flores Profile Picture
Aurora Santiago-Flores
Latino Heritage Achievement Award

She/Hers/Her

Instagram: aurora_santiagoflores

Aurora Santiago-Flores is studying community and public health and political science in the College of Arts and Sciences. As a Latina woman that was raised in Athens, there were barriers she had to overcome and stereotypes that she has broken out of. "An integral part of the way I was raised was how I’ve maintained my culture as a Latina woman while living in the Appalachian region. As a woman of color, I have found my voice through my community and organizational involvement here on campus."

Oumarou Abdoulaye Balarabe Profile Picture
Oumarou Abdoulaye Balarabe
Outstanding Graduate Student Leader (Doctoral)

He/Him/His

Facebook: Omar Balarabe

Oumarou Abdoulaye Balarabe is studying for his Ph.D. in students in higher education and student affairs. He is a first-generation college student who has consistently seized every opportunity to be involved wherever he finds himself. His goal is to become a professor "as a product of some particular teachers, both at OHIO and in Benin, whose works have shaped me, teaching is not just a career, but rather a calling to shape the generation which will contribute to shaping a just, peaceful, and sustainable world."

Habiba Mh Abdelaal Profile Picture
Habiba Mh Abdelaal
Outstanding Graduate Student Leader (Masters)

She/Her/Hers

Habiba Mh Abdelaal is a student in the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs studying public administration. She holds an M.A. in public administration and non-profit management and is currently a graduate assistant for the Women's Center at Ohio University. She previously earned an M.A. in communication & development and a women and gender studies certificate. She also studied textile sciences and engineering at the Helwan University in Cairo, Egypt. She served as a student ambassador for the Center of Diversity and Inclusion at Ohio University as well as a program manager at Harassmap in Cairo, Egypt. Through her myriad of knowledge and experiences, she hopes to empower and change the world for the better.

BobcaThon BobcaThon Profile Picture
BobcaThon
Outstanding Programming (Spring 2020)

BobcaThon has provided a large support system for families who utilize the Ronald McDonald House by engaging campus life, promoting awareness and fundraising yearlong. Since 2014, they've raised $343,532.17 with 500+ dancers and collaborated with on- and off-campus partners.

RISE, CRC Profile Picture
RISE, CRC
Outstanding Programming (Fall 2019)

RISE is welcoming of all people who are in recovery or are seeking recovery from addition or addictive behaviors, such as alcohol/drugs, self-harm, eating disorders, codependency, pornography, etc. Last semester RISE had its first Coffee and Canvas events, which included free coffee and cocoa, as well as painting with Bob Ross for students. It was a great stress relief before midterms and finals, and creative expression is often very helpful for those who are in recovery from addiction or addictive behaviors.

Ebony Minds Profile Picture
Ebony Minds
Outstanding Programming (Ongoing)

The mission of Ebony Minds is to educate students about the issues that African American people, specifically women, face both locally and nationally. They strive to unite all students through a variety of culturally enriching workshops and events. During the 2019-20 Academic Year, Ebony Minds hosted a number of programs on topics including mental health, Black women in writing, safety on Ohio University's Athens campus, living a healthy lifestyle, toxic masculinity/femininity and more.

Ashley Agle Profile Picture
Ashley Agle
Outstanding Senior Leader Award

She/Her/Hers

Instagram: ashleyagle

Ashley Agle is studying child and family studies. Her experiences include fundraising for the Ronald McDonald House serving as co-director of a dance marathon. She was a 'Tiny Tumbling' coach and a summer camp counselor as well. She said her involvement in BobcaThon and the Ohio University cheer team "made me a better person, expanded my leadership qualities, and provided me with memories I will cherish forever. It is important to remember to not give up or be discouraged by our failures."

Lynsey Booker Profile Picture
Lynsey Booker
Outstanding Senior Leader Award

She/Her/Hers

Instagram: lynseyy_

Lynsey Booker is a student in the College of Health Sciences and Professions studying exercise physiology. She is a program manager and the wellness specialist at WellWorks and is the co-founder of the Multicultural Fitness Expo held in Athens, Ohio. Her goal is to be in a position that emphasizes the importance of wellness to all individuals through means of either corporate wellness programming, physical therapy or research at institutions of higher learning.

Aissatou Boye Profile Picture
Aissatou Boye
Outstanding Senior Leader Award

She/Her/Hers

Aissatou Boye is a student in the College of Arts and Sciences studying sociology, criminology and African American studies. She is a present peer mentor for the Office for Multicultural Student Access and Retention and is a tour guide for Ohio University Admissions as well as a legal assistant in Downs Collins, PA. Her leadership includes a variety of roles including serving as the presidential leader of the Presidential Leadership Society and as president of Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity.

Garrett Dildine Profile Picture
Garrett Dildine
Outstanding Senior Leader Award

He/Him/His

Garrett Dildine is a student in the Honors Tutorial College studying environmental studies and civil engineering. His experiences include creating and managing One Page for One World (OPOW) and being selected for the Robe Leadership Institute as well as the American Society of Civil Engineers. He hopes to one day become a professor and be a globally engaged leader in water treatment technologies designed specifically for resource-poor communities.

Delaney Geitgey Profile Picture
Delaney Geitgey
Outstanding Senior Leader Award

She/Her/Hers

Instagram: delaney.geitgey

Delaney Geitgey is a student in the Honors Tutorial College studying biological sciences. She is affiliated with varying leadership roles ranging from serving as a BIOS ambassador for the OHIO Biology Department to a member of the Student Alumni Board. She was a research assistant for the Edison Biotechnology Institute and a volunteer at Ohio Health O'bleness Hospital. She wants to continue research through a graduate program.

Kendal Miller Profile Picture
Kendal Miller
Outstanding Senior Leader Award

She/Her/Hers

Instagram: kendal_alyse6

Kendal Miler is a student in the College of Health Sciences and Professions studying nursing. She has held many leadership positions at OHIO and has worked for Ohio University Housing & Residence Life as a resident assistant and for Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center as a student nurse assistant. She was the planning lead at The Purple Gala and serves on the Student Alumni Board. She hopes to positively touch as many lives as she can in her career.
 

Honesty Thomas Profile Picture
Honesty Thomas
Outstanding Senior Leader Award

She/Her/Hers

Honesty Thomas is a student in the College of Arts and Sciences studying English literature and writing. She is the president of Black Student Cultural Programming and she volunteers for Ohio University's Recruiting Society. She is also a Women to Women peer mentor and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. She wants to teach early childhood in an inner city school and to become the best leader she can be.

Winter Wilson Profile Picture
Winter Wilson
Outstanding Senior Leader Award

She/Her/Hers

Instagram: winterwilson

Winter Wilson is a student in the Honors Tutorial College studying environmental studies and journalism. She is currently a Cleantechnica writer. Her experience growing up in Appalachia inspired her views on climate change and how she can impact the world. "Through my work rewriting Appalachian narratives from ones of victimhood to ones of empowerment, I have learned the value of asset-based thinking mobilizing people for positive impact by recognizing individual motivations and passions."

Abby Jeffers Profile Picture
Abby Jeffers
Rudy Leadership Award

She/Her/Hers

Instagram: abb.jeff

Abby Jeffers is studying journalism in the Scripps College of Communication. Her experiences with autoimmune disorders led to her decision to become a journalist. "I learned that storytelling builds powerful connections, leading to both interpersonal empathy and societal change, and that experience motivated me to become a journalist and tell others' stories." She is on the Cats' Cupboard Steering Committee and produces a podcast series about gender and music.

Remington Burwell Profile Picture
Remington Burwell
Stonewall Leadership Award

He/Him/His

Instagram: Remingtoe_b

Remington Burwell is a graduate student working on a masters in plant biology. He has experience as a PACE Research Assistant and a research assistant and a teaching assistant in Ohio University's Biological departments. With varying roles in leadership such as serving as the LGBT Affairs Commissioner for the Graduate Student Senate and a group leader for Out Grads and Non Trads. His career aspirations are to"obtain my Ph.D. and become a professor at a research university. This position would allow me to mentor and educate other LGBT members in STEM, much like my current advisor, and allow me to continue my research in advancing plant systematics."

Mya Contillo Profile Picture
Mya Contillo
Student Affairs Academic Excellence

She/Her/Hers

Instagram: mcmariee23
Twitter: myamariee23

Mya Contillo is a student in the Patton College of Education studying integrated language arts. She works for the Career and Leadership Development Center and has first-hand experience with the FYrST Office, as a Learning Community Leader and as a Counselor for the Rotary Youth Leadership Award. "I would like to start my career as an English high school teacher because I am very passionate about both education and English. Later, I would like to work in higher education at a university because I love working with college students and the environment of a college campus."

Graham Garee Profile Picture
Graham Garee
Student Affairs Academic Excellence

He/His/Him

Instagram: grahamgaree

Graham Garee is a student in the College of Business studying accounting, business economics and business pre-law. He worked closely with Mistral in Dijon, France as a consulting intern to help "conduct research for a local French company interested in exporting their products abroad in order to ease their transition into global markets." He is also the class representative for the College of Business Honors Program. "Behind every great organization there is someone handling their finances, and I know I can use my education to impact our world."

Emilee Kerr Profile Picture
Emilee Kerr
Student Affairs Academic Excellence

She/Her/Hers

Instagram: emileek99

Emilee Kerr is a student in the College of Health Sciences and Professions studying social work. She also worked with Courageous Acres as a volunteer to help those with disabilities as well as the Borgen Project as a political affairs intern. She is the current facility supervisor at Ping Recreation Center. "I am continuously trying to gain more leadership skills and grow as an individual and professional by participating in personal development plans and by volunteering and interacting with community members. "

Alex Hiser Profile Picture
Alex Hiser
Student Affairs Excellence In the Workplace

She/Her/Hers

Alex Hiser is a student in the Scripps College of Communication studying visual communication and publication design. She works as a house manager in the Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium and is an active member in Sigma Delta Phi. "A leader is someone who actively broadens their knowledge, experience and understanding to help those around them. Leaders push boundaries that may be uncomfortable in order to expand their horizons. I’ve worked diligently to do this through my coursework, travel and work experience while attending Ohio University."

Sarah Lifer Profile Picture
Sarah Lifer
Student Affairs Excellence In the Workplace

She/Her/Hers

Instagram: sarah_nicholel

Sarah Lifer is a student in the College of Health Sciences and Professions studying child and family studies. She hopes to join the Peace Corps after college. She is currently a student ambassador for the Career and Leadership Development Center as a well as an activity leader for Tremble High School. "Working with students from every concentration, age and background has revealed the importance of service as a leader. Service has become the focus of my studies. With the Peace Corps being the current goal of my studies, I have had a growing interest in organizing a service project for my team of fellow student ambassadors."

Jillian Mueller Profile Picture
Jillian Mueller
Student Affairs Excellence In the Workplace

She/Her/Hers

Instagram: _jillianmueller_

Jillian Mueller is a student in the College of Business studying marketing and finance. She worked in an Integrated Business Cluster as a Copeland Associate and she also works with the Ohio University Housing & Residence Life as a resident assistant. She is hoping to inspire hope in others as a leader in her career. "I want to break down barriers while inspiring women worldwide to be confident and to join me at the top."

Claire McGee Profile Picture
Claire McGee
Women's Issues Leadership Award

She/Her/Hers

Instagram: claireemcgee

Claire McGee is a student in the College of Health Sciences and Professions studying public health and Spanish. "If I were telling my story, I would be sure to include my Outward Bound backpacking experience. In just two weeks, I was completely transformed through a series of physical and mental trials. I was pushed to my absolute limits, and celebrated when I realized that I was much stronger than I thought." Claires hopes to explore the overlap between innovation, entrepreneurship, and global development in Latin America and the Caribbean beyond her undergraduate degree.