Ceremony celebrates leadership; inaugurates new USG officers

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Kent State’s new senator for Undergraduate Studnt Government Colin Otubu (left) swore into his position at Wednesday evening’s Undergraduate Student Government Spring Leadership Awards on April 9, 2014.

Blair Donald

A new Undergraduate Student Government was sworn in Wednesday night as a part of the 36th annual Student Leadership and Honors Award Ceremony in the Student Center Ballroom.

The ceremony, sponsored by the Center for Student Involvement, began with the inauguration of the new USG, and was followed by the awards for student leaders.

Amish Patel, the outgoing executive director, gave a speech to recognize the outgoing members of the 2013-2014 USG.

“This was our full-time commitment, something we were really passionate about,” Patel said. “It was great to have so much support to do something that we loved.”

Winners List

The Advisor Excellence Awards, “given to an advisor(s) of a registered student organization who has been recognized by his or her organization as having done an outstanding job.”
Dr. Nicola Brasch, adviser to the Brasch Research Group
Taylor Police, assistant director of the Annual Giving Programs
David Dumpe, an associate professor of finance
Lindsay Marx, assistant director of residence services.

The Organization Excellence Awards, “given to registered student organizations for outstanding contributions to its members and the student body as a whole.”
Body Acceptance Movement
hacKSU
National Residence Hall Honorary: Black Squirrel Chapter
Face AIDS

The Service Excellence, “recognizes the commitment of student organizations to community service.”
The Catholic Student Association
Student Affiliates in the School of Psychology

The Cindy Bowlby award, “presented to a returning (non-graduating) student leader who has demonstrated excellence in his or her scholarship, leadership and integrity.”
Morgan Snyder, a senior integrated mathematics major
Michael DeFord, a junior aeronautics major
Shannon Wood, a junior communications studies major

The Distinguished Student Leader Awards, “awarded by the Kent State University Alumni Association to the student leaders who have demonstrated outstanding campus leadership during the course of his/her undergraduate studies.”
Amanda Bevington, a sophomore integrated mathematics major
Janece Schaffer, a junior and integrated health studies major,
Andrew Cappuzzeulo, a junior integrated mathematics major
Jason Ohlsson, a senior construction management major
Lauren Romick, a senior accounting major

The Melvin J Feinburg Outstanding Senior Award, “The senior selected for this award shall display superior scholarship, strong leadership, and constructive citizenship.”
Joseph Bizjak, a senior political science
Elizabeth Heibertshausen, a senior fashion merchandising major
Danielle Martin, a senior French translation major

The Manchester Cup Award, “presented to the senior whose contribution of leadership and citizenship has had the most far-reaching effect upon the University.”
Christine Francisco, a senior technology major
Christopher DeSanto Jr., a senior business administration major
Brenna Lynam, a senior nursing major

The Mary Manchester Award, “The senior selected for this award shall display superior scholarship, strong leadership, and constructive citizenship.”
Lauren Romick, a senior accounting
Allison Lenz, a senior mathematics major
Marcia Custer, a senior dance studies major

The Margaret Swanson Davis Award, “presented to the senior who has displayed outstanding scholarship, and whose contribution as an independent (non-Greek) has enhanced campus activities and residence hall living.”
Katilyn Fridley, a senior communication studies
Quintin Steele, a senior visual communication design major
Kyle Hovest, a senior communication studies major

The Eric Rackham Award, “presented to the senior who has displayed good scholarship and who has shown great interest and concern for the University.”
Joyce Ng, a senior english major
Kavitha Bagavandoss, a senior economics major
Kevin Heller, a senior conservation major

The Student Leader of the Year Award, for “students who have contributed significantly to the leadership of their organization and whose campus participation has been outstanding.”
Megan Corder, a junior public relations major
Andrew Rasner, a senior geography major
Danielle Melidona, a senior communication studies major
Amanda Pokorny, a senior integrated mathematics major
Megan Carrasco, a junior communication studies major
Amish Patel, a senior communication studies major
Jeremy Shaw, a senior biology major
Taylor Winter, a junior communication studies major
Jordan Ricks, a senior athletic training major

The Nancy and John Scott Leadership Award, Chosen by the vice president for enrollment management and student affairs from the recipients of the Student Leader of the Year Award. Awarded to the student who has “shown exceptional leadership through their organizational involvement and has had a positive and significant impact on the greater Kent community.”
Jeremy Shaw, a senior biology major

“I’ll keep it short because I don’t believe in saying goodbye to family, which is what the community at Kent State has become,” he said.

The outgoing USG members came onstage to be recognized by name and title. They could leave after “a successful year,” Patel said.

The inauguration of new members began with Marvin Logan, the new USG executive director, introducing all the new members of the USG by name and title. After all new members were sworn in, Logan gave his inaugural address.

“Your greatness will be measured in the legacy that you observe and the legend that you leave,” Logan said. “In recent weeks, we as leaders have been challenged by our constituents to be more. Be more visible, more vigilant, more transparent and more legitimate. ”

Logan also addressed the recent Daily Kent Stater articles about the disconnect between students and the USG and the issues student organizations have had with the USG’s budget.

“We must address this new call of action from our student body,” he said. “We must be better, we must be even more productive, we must be even more inspirational.”

Logan also mentioned increasing the transparency and the communication within and outside of the USG. He said the new members will work towards communicating with a larger audience and make more of an effort to fully address the needs of the student body.

Following Logan’s speech was the presentation of awards. Awards were given to outstanding student leaders and some student organization advisers.

Andrew Cappuzzello, a junior integrated mathematics major and a recipient of the student leader of the year award for his involvement in FLASHanthropy, said that it was nice to be recognized.

“We do put in a lot of work behind the scenes,” Cappuzzello said. “FLASHanthropy is something I’d definitely like to continue with in my future and even after I graduate. It was humbling to win.”

Lauren Romick, the former USG director of student advancement, won the Mary Manchester Award, which is awarded to a senior who displays “superior scholarship, strong leadership and constructive citizenship.”

“I was very excited, and I was very honored that people even nominated me for the awards,” she said.

“I’m actually very sad to say goodbye,” Romick said about leaving the USG. “It’s been an awesome experience, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Everybody has been so great over the years, and we’ve done a lot of awesome things.”

Lindsay Marx, adviser of the Kent Interhall Council and adviser of the National Residence Hall Honorary: Black Squirrel Chapter, was the recipient of the Advisor Excellence award which is “given to an advisor(s) of a registered student organization who has been recognized by his or her organization as having done an outstanding job.”

She said that she felt honored to be recognized.

“I was really excited. The students nominated me, so that was the best part, knowing that they are recognizing the work that I do for them. Being nominated was nice in and of itself, but winning was nice too,” Marx said.

The awards ended with closing remarks from Catherine Spisak, the master of ceremonies. The ceremony was sponsored by the Center for Student Involvement.

Contact Blair Donald at [email protected]