Community members gathered outside of Packard Lab for a reception that followed the awards ceremony.
The accomplishments of some of the university’s most remarkable students were recognized at the Student Life Leadership Awards ceremony, which was held April 25 in Packard Auditorium. The two-hour event—attended by more than 250 students, families and members of the Lehigh community—is held each year to honor students who shape the campus culture in positive and productive ways.
“These exceptional young women and men are scholars, athletes, leaders, public servants, mentors and role models,” said Dean of Students Sharon Basso in opening the ceremony. “They juggle rigorous academics with very busy and demanding schedules, yet they still manage to devote significant time and energy to a number of pursuits that positively impact the Lehigh experience for all students.”
Award recipients were selected from hundreds of nominations from professors, advisers, administrators and fellow students.
In presenting the prestigious University Service Award, President Alice P. Gast noted that those honored were not singled out merely for the number of activities they engaged in, or their prominence. Rather, she said, “it is a measure of the devotion and unselfishness with which you have given of your time and effort to help serve students.”
This year’s University Service Award winners were LeVaughn Nesbitt and Eric Goldstein.
For the second year, the university also conferred a Deborah Pearsall Prize, which was created in memory of Pearsall, a former athlete and Brown and White editor who died following a brief illness during the 2011-12 academic year.
Associate Dean of Students Allison Gulati said the award recognizes students who “exemplify the attributes that Debbie embodied throughout her life: engaged leadership; an inexhaustible optimistic attitude about challenges and opportunities; a can-do spirit combined with action; integrity; courage; honesty; fairness; advocacy; enthusiasm; and a commitment to do the right thing, regardless of whether it is the popular choice.”
This year’s recipients were Monique Golden and Elizabeth Lucas.
Kathleen Hutnik, director of Graduate Student Life, honored two graduate students who played pivotal roles in shaping the graduate community: Jill Burrows and Diana Guerrero.
Also recognized at the ceremony were faculty advisers who guide students through their journey at Lehigh, and give tirelessly of themselves to benefit others. This year’s recipients included Roger Simon, professor of history, for his long-standing support of Hillel; and several faculty advisers to Engineers Without Borders: Kristen Jellison, Mark Orrs, Rick Weisman and Dan Zeroka.
Following the ceremony, a reception was held in front of the Hittinger-Karakash Fountain outside Packard Lab.
A full list of the 2013 SLLA prizes and awards—including those that were presented at previous academic year-end events—follows:
Contribution to Student Life Award
Mayra Juarez Gutierrez
Student Life Leadership Award
Anne Marie Kerchberger
Graduate Student Life Leadership Award
Outstanding Educational Programming Award
Take Back the Night
Excellence in Entertainment Programming Award
Fire & Ice Winter Ball
Exemplary Cultural Programming Award
Student Club/Organization of the Year Award
Phi Sigma Pi
Student Club/Organization Adviser of the Year Award
For Engineers Without Borders: Kristen Jellison, Mark Orrs, Rick Weisman, Dan Zeroka
For Hillel Society: Roger Simon
Student Senate Leadership Award
Residence Hall Association Character Award
Alexandra “X” Yantzi
Service Above Self Award
Reading Rocks Program
Mary Grace Doyle
Alumni Association Undergraduate & Graduate Merit Awards
Mary Grace Doyle
Graduate Award Recipient: Jill Burrows
Deborah Pearsall Prize
Bosey Reiter Leadership Cup
University Service Award
Women’s Center Golden Sunflower Awards
Educator: Dana Gallant and Maria Larrimore
Women’s Center Ally: Monique Golden and Phi Sigma Pi
Emerging Greek Leader Award: Julie Prizer, Paul Oyefesobi and Kane Kuharik
Greek Woman of the Year Award: Kaitlin Slattery
Greek Man of the Year Award: Bo Johns
Office of Multicultural Affairs Awards:
Best Director: Chris Holguin
Ralph Albert Thomas ‘76 Leadership Award: Monique Golden and LeVaughn Nesbitt
Best Performance by a Duo or Group: Mu Sigma Upsilon
Volunteer Recognition Awards:
Brian J. Lime Award: Ashley Sciora
Vice Provost’s Award for Service: Dan Coviello
LGBTQIA Recognition Awards:
Continued Service: Gina Mason
Exemplary Leadership Award: Will Valliere
Outstanding Service to the Community Award: Sara Santos
Strive for Excellence Awards:
Community Recognition Award: Black Student Union
Award of the Night: Ralph Jean-Noel and Brenda Martinez
Photos by John Kish IV