Student Life Awards celebrate service and achievement

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The Malcolm Field Theatre played host to the 2018 Student Life Awards on Thursday, April 19.

Seniors Sandy Haddad and Jack Duly emceed the event, which celebrated excellence in the many functions of Student Life over the previous year.

The first award, SVSU’s Best New Organization, was given to the Sexuality and Gender Spectrum Alliance (SAGSA).

“When SAGSA was a finalist, I was so proud, but when we won, I was beyond ecstatic,” said Samantha Miller, SAGSA’s treasurer. “To have our organization recognized for what it is doing, bringing a safe place for people who are LGBTQ+, it means the world to me.”

The Rising Leader Award went to sophomore Ashley Reece, who is involved on campus as a resident assistant and is a member of Phi Delta Epsilon, Health Professions Association, Forever Red and several other groups.

The Excellence in Social Awareness Award went to Delta Sigma Theta for their promotion and programming centered around the “Me Too” movement.

Rustie Stebbins won the Cardinal in Shining Armor Award. Stebbins serves in the Pride Center, volunteers 15 hours each week at the Cardinal Food Pantry and is a member of the Student Social Work Organization.

The Outstanding Leadership Award was presented to the Student Nurses’ Association.

Jerry Harris won the Influential Leader Award for his involvement with the Organization of Black Unity (OBU), while the Outstanding Service Award was given to Peer Health Education and the Advisor of the Year award was given to Katrina Murrell, advisor of IMPACT.

Intramural Sports Coordinator Brady Duke and Club Sports Coordinator Haley Ludviksen, students who work in the Campus Recreation office, then took the stage to award students for their excellence in both club and intramural (IM) sports.

The Club Sport Athlete of the Year was given to Guy Soulliere from the club hockey team.

Next came the Eric Gilbertson Intramural Career Achievement Award, given to the most outstanding intramural athlete over the span of their career. Andrew Trombley, who has participated on 19 IM teams and played in over 150 games with over 100 wins, took home the award.

The final club sport award given was the Club Sport of the Year Award. The women’s club lacrosse team received the honor.

The Aaron Mowen Intramural Participant of the Year Award focused on the best IM athletes for the particular academic year. The winner of the new award was Evan Koshy.

Prior to the award being given, Duke recognized Mowen, the director of Campus Recreation, who is currently overseas fighting as a Marine, for his outstanding achievement in the Campus Recreation department.

Haddad, Student Life’s fraternity and sorority life coordinator, then turned the attention to Greek Life. The Outstanding Fraternity and Sorority Life Program of the Year was awarded to Alpha Kappa Lambda (AKL) for their Glo-Hard Paint Party, a Welcome Weekend event that hosted hundreds of students to kick off the school year.

AKL was also honored as the Outstanding Fraternity and Sorority Life Chapter of the Year moments later.

The Student Employee of the Year was presented by Bill Stec, Assistant Director of Career Services. Nine nominees were called to the stage to be recognized, before winner Alyssa Apley was announced as the winner.

Next came the Outstanding Philanthropic Award. The nominees combined to raise over $50,000 in the past year, and Cardinals for Special Olympics was named the award winner.

The Teresa M. George Red Pride Spirit Award was given to Duke, a management senior.

“For me, the night was exceptional and it was an honor just to be a finalist for two awards,” he said. “I will have to say that my highlight of the night, however, was the award for Aaron. The ovation the crowd gave was truly special, and I hope Aaron and the people close to him come to appreciate the honor upon his return.”

Send Silence Packing, an Active Minds program, was deemed SVSU’s best program for 2017-2018. This was Active Minds’ third straight year winning the award.

The Cardinal Nest Award was given to Valley Nights, while the Impact Award winner was Sandy Haddad, having the award presented to her by her sister, Nancy Haddad.

The final organization award of the night was the Student Organization of the Year. The award is the highest honor an SVSU student organization can receive. The Latino Awareness Association was this year’s winner.

“I was actually kind of surprised, because we were up against some incredible RSO’s,” said the organization’s president, Miguel Arias. “I am extremely grateful and proud of my organization for all the hard work they put in and to all the people who came out and supported us.”

The Merry Jo Brandimore Award for Excellence in Student Leadership was the final award for the evening, and was given to Alina Anderson, a senior education major from Kalamazoo, who has served as a resident assistant for three years, was a site leader for Alternative Breaks and works as a Senior Orientation Leader, among many other involvements.

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