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Students honored for contributions to campus culture

Extraordinary contributions to student life took the spotlight at the 2012 Student Life Leadership Awards Celebration, where more than 150 students were honored for their “positive and productive” impact on Lehigh culture.

“These exceptional young men and women are scholars, athletes, leaders, public servants, mentors and role models in the best sense of the words,” said Dean of Students Sharon Basso, who presided over the late afternoon ceremony in Packard Auditorium.

As the academic year draws to a close, Basso reminded the audience that the university is celebrating 40th anniversary of women at Lehigh, and said it was difficult to imagine a campus that did not include female students.

“The young women we honor today—and those who came before them—have deeply impacted and enriched the student experience at Lehigh, and we thank them for their valuable contributions,” she said.

Basso also recognized the family of Deborah Pearsall, a senior, former athlete and aspiring journalist, who died in late January after a brief illness. The Pearsall family was on campus to accept one award given to her posthumously, acknowledge another named in her honor (The Pearsall Prize), and attend the dedication of a tree planted in her memory.

The Pearsall Prize will be awarded annually to the female undergraduate who exemplifies Pearsall’s distinctive qualities: engaged leadership, inexhaustible optimism, a can-do spirit, integrity, courage, honesty, fairness advocacy, enthusiasm and “a commitment to do the right thing, regardless of whether it is a popular choice,” said Basso.

The inaugural Pearsall Prize was presented to Mary Nunley ’12.

Overcoming a learning disability

At the culmination of the nearly two-hour event, Provost Pat Farrell presented Pearsall’s brother, Chris, with the Bosey Reiter Leadership Cup, which is given annually to students who exhibit strong leadership and contribute to the best interests of the university.

Other recipients of this year’s Leadership Cup were Chris Lum ‘12, who led the Lehigh football team to a Patriot League Championship, and Taylor Kite ‘12, who held leadership roles in her sorority and the Panhellenic Council.

The prestigious University Service Award was presented by President Alice P. Gast to Jared Blacker ‘12, who, despite a learning disability, distinguished himself as a student, a leader and a mentor to fellow students.

Nominators described Blacker as “reliable, organized and hard-working.” One said, “There isn’t a better upperclassman for me to admire than Jared.”

For his contributions “towards the intellectual development of Lehigh students, as well as the identity development of our students with learning disabilities, we honor Jared today with the University Service Award,” Gast said.

The Melismatics, a mixed, a cappella student singing group, performed before the ceremony. Afterwards, violinists Taylor Bond ’15 and Sonoko Nakasato ’14 played at a reception in front of the Hittinger-Karakash Fountain outside Packard Lab.


Class of 1904 Award
Jarred S. Barnes
Daniel M. DePietro
Joelle M. Dorskind
Mary Grace Doyle
Seth D. Fortney
Monique N. Golden
Eric M. Goldstein
Anne Marie Kerchberger
Elizabeth A. Lucas
C. J. McCollum
Alison M. Morrow
LeVaughn M. Nesbitt
Rosemarie Roessel
Kyle J. Schwartz

Gender Equity Award
Tyler Evans
Noelle Smart
Jessica Monro  
Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority

Ujima Award
Eva Gathura
Kristian Schmidt

Service Above Self Award
Alissa Sperling
Stephanie Lin
Student Athletes for Social Change

Allegiance Award
Katelyn R. Larkin
Marcela Zablah
Matt Bronen

Residence Hall Association Character Award
Anne Marie Kerchberger
Elizabeth Lucas
Kyle Schwartz

Student Club/Organization of the Year
Tossing Not Throwing (T.N.T.)
LU’s Finest Step Team

Student Club/Organization Advisor of the Year
Joseph Manzo, Professor of Practice, Accounting Club

Student Senate Leadership Award
Jordan Eyal
Ann Giordano
Gena Levengood
Sara Wing

Outstanding Educational Programming Award
Vagina Monologues

Excellence in Entertainment Programming Award
A Cappella Invitational

Exemplary Cultural Programming Award
Spectrum’s Illusions Drag Show

Alumni Association Undergraduate Award
Jennifer Colquhoun
Victoria Herrmann
Chris Lum
Natalya Surmachevska

Alumni Association Graduate Merit Award
Wei Li
Sarah Stanlick Kimball

Graduate Student Life Leadership Award
Devin Donovan
Sarah Stanlick Kimball

Contribution to Student Life Awards
Cheryn Amo-Adjei
Perri D. Brendzel
Lauren N. Christman
Matthew Y. Chu
Sarah A. Glickstein
Samuel J. Hodges
Benjamin W. Hotz
Mayra Juarez Gutierrez
Carolina E. Mattsson
Dana M. Mendes
Jake Puzycki
Stephanie B. Riker
Ekomonbong I. Uko
Shannon Varcoe
Jonathan M. Witt

Student Life Leadership Award
Jana K. Basubas
Jared A. Blacker
Matthew R. Bronen
Sofia Covarrubias
Matthew A. Ennis
Richard J. Gilbert
Ann N. Girdano
Henry M. Greenfield
Taylor S. Kite
Leah J. Kulp
Katelyn R. Larkin
Chang Liu
Christopher M. Lum
Gina E. Mason
Angelica Matos
Mary L. Nunley
Bryan J. Postelnek
Alyson C. Ries
Arriel J. Rubinstein
Kadeem O. Samuels
William Si
Alissa R. Sperling
Jingchao Wu
Lauren M. Zell


The Emerging Greek Leader Award
Lindsay Meiman, Panhellenic Council
Dalisbeth Galvez, Multicultural Greek Council
Andrew Moodie, Interfraternity Council

The Outstanding Greek Man and Women of the Year Award
Robert Sobieski, Pi Kappa Alpha
Sara Santos, Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority

David Hellekjaer Memorial Award
Ainsley E. Timmel


Brian J. Lime Award
Jesus Garcia-Lopez
Matt Ennis

Vice Provost Award for Service
Matt Ennis


Best Director Award
Angelica Matos

Ralph Albert Thomas ’76 Leadership Award
Trevene Bell

Best Performance by a Group of Duo
The Latino Student Alliance


Lehigh University Gay and Lesbian Alumni Award for Continued Service
Will Valliere

Exemplary Leadership Award
Samantha Priester (undergraduate)
Aubrey DeCarlo (graduate)

Model Ally Award
Tyler Evans
Noelle Smart

Photo by Christa Neu

Posted on Friday, April 27, 2012
The memorial tree for Deborah Pearsall ’12, who died in January, was dedicated at the 2012 Student Life Leadership Awards Celebration. More than 150 students were honored at the ceremony. Pearsall posthumously received the Bosey Reiter Leadership Cup. The Pearsall Prize, established in her memory, was presented to Mary Nunley ’12.
“These exceptional young men and women are scholars, athletes, leaders, public servants, mentors and role models in the best sense of the words.”—Sharon Basso, dean of students
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