Office of Student Life

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Individual Leadership Awards Winners

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This page lists the individual award winners of 2020 Student Life Leadership Awards. Leadership Awards 2020 Program Booklet. For a listing of organization award winners, visit the Organization Winner webpage. Also be sure to check out the Leadership Awards highlight on @StudentLifeOSU on Instagram.

Outstanding First-Year Student Award | Outstanding Graduate/Professional Student Award | Stanley D. Gottsegen Leadership Award | Kaplan Humanitarian Award | Dr. Ellamae Simmons Award | Student Organization Indvidual Contribute Awards | Outstanding Student Life Employee Award | Outstanding Student Life Supervisor Award | Diversity Engagement Award | Boehm Holistic Wellness Award | Scarlet, Gray and Green Award | Edward S. "Beanie" Drake Award | Spirit of Ohio State Award | Outstanding Senior Award


Outstanding First-Year Student Award

The Outstanding First-Year Student Award is designed to recognize the efforts of first-year students on Ohio State’s campus. Award recipients have engaged in experiences both in and out of the classroom that have increased their responsibilities to the campus community. These students have demonstrated an ability to balance academics with their involvement and have shown promise for future leadership at Ohio State.

Angela Ciarochi

Angela is a first year Dance major from Mechanicsville, Virginia. Angela is a winner of this year’s First-Year Student Award. Within a month of starting her Buckeye journey, Angela became an Office Assistant with the office of Residence Life. She also serves as class representative for the class of 2023 within her department, providing a voice to needs and concerns to the faculty and administration on the behalf of her peers. Angela was also selected to be a dancer in the Dance Department’s Fall Concert. Through her involvements on campus this first year, she has become passionate about inclusion, wellness, learning, and community. Angela sees values that she sees as essential to her leadership style, and they are part of what make her an Outstanding First-Year student. Congratulations, Angela!

Andrew Pierce II

Andrew is a first year from Columbus studying Public Policy Analysis. Andrew is a member of the Mount Leadership Society scholars group and served as an On-Campus Living Area Senator within the Undergraduate Student Government. He pursued his role in USG, even though first year students do not normally serve as senators, because of his desire to advocate for his peers and create real change on campus. He addressed concerns from his peers about USG’s visibility by working on a weekly newsletter to his constituents. For Andrew, leaders are not defined by their titles, but their actions and by being accessible to those around them. He plans to continue getting involved in USG and other leadership experiences like the ones that have helped him become a winner of this year’s First-Year Student Award. Congratulations, Andrew!

Lauren Turner

Lauren is a first year Public Policy Analysis major from Columbus, Ohio. She is a winner of this year’s First-Year Student Award. Lauren dove head first into Ohio State before the semester even officially began, participating in R-Lead, an early arrival leadership program sponsored by the Office of Residence Life. She has also gotten involved with the Bluefish Swim School and undergraduate research. In R-Lead, she learned that needs to “lead her legacy,” step outside her comfort zone, and be a leader on campus, which she plans to continue doing throughout the remainder of her time at OSU. Lauren values her involvements as a way to find her place at Ohio State and be a part of something bigger than herself. Congratulations, Lauren!

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Outstanding Graduate/Professional Student Award

Among the highest honors conferred to graduate and professional students, this award recognizes those who have made outstanding contributions to Ohio State in leadership and service outside their academic program. To be selected, students must demonstrate their ability to balance scholarship with their leadership and involvement.

Raven E. Lynch

Raven is a Doctoral student within the College of Social Work student from Chillicothe, Ohio. Her PhD will be her third degree from Ohio State, also having received her B.A. in Psychology and Master’s of Social Work. Since starting at Ohio State in 2010, Raven has been an involved leader on campus and in this community. One of her most impactful experiences was serving as a Graduate Administrative Associate in Student Life Social Change, where she was able to be involved in community engagement projects that shaped the trajectory of her career in Social Work. Raven currently serves as the Social Work Delegate in the Council of Graduate Students and was also just recently elected Treasurer of CGS for next year, where she will continue to do the good work that helped her become a winner of this year’s Outstanding/Graduate Professional Student award. Congratulations, Raven!

Sam Trapp

A second year in the Higher Education and Student Affairs Master’s program from Medina, Ohio, Sam is a winner of this year’s Outstanding/Graduate Professional Student award. Sam has served as a Graduate Administrative Associate in Student Life Recreational Sports during his Master’s program. As a part of this role, he created and executed a series of leadership development workshops for staff, which he empowered a group of students to take over as facilitators with his guidance. His nominator describes him as a selfless leader committed to the growth and development of his students and peers, and one of his students praised how he combined reason and compassion to answer questions and address concerns. After graduation this May, Sam plans to continue working in higher education working with leadership development and career success programs. Congratulations, Sam!

Swee-Yang Ashley Yong

Ashley is a first year Master’s student in the Higher Education and Student Affairs Program. She is originally from Darien, Illinois and currently serves as a Graduate Administrative Assistant for Social Justice Engagement within the Student Life Multicultural Center. One of the primary parts of Ashley’s role involves facilitating Buck-Identity workshops for students, staff, and campus partners on issues related to social identity, privilege and power, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Her supervisor specifically praises her professionalism, composure, and commitment to educating the Ohio State community. All of these qualities demonstrate exactly why Ashley is a winner of this year’s Outstanding/Graduate Professional Student award. Congratulations, Ashley!

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Stanley D. Gottsegen Leadership Award

First awarded in 2006, the Stanley D. Gottsegen Leadership Award recognizes one student leader each year who has demonstrated outstanding involvement in co-curricular activities with a monetary award of $1,000. Students must be undergraduate juniors or seniors involved in one of the following organizations: Undergraduate Student Government, Ohio Union Activities Board, Greek Governing Councils, Makio or Ohio Staters, Inc. Stanley D. Gottsegen graduated from Ohio State in 1954 with a BS in Business Administration. During his time at Ohio State, Mr. Gottsegen was involved in a wide variety of campus activities and programs. He served as Secretary for Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, Chairman of the 1952 Dad’s Day events, Secretary-Treasurer for the Fraternity Council, President of the Ohio Student Party Association and Vice President of Sphinx. Additionally, he was involved with Fraternity Affairs, Makio and May Week Committee, Ohio Staters, Inc., Ohio State Sesquicentennial Committee, Student Senate and Sundial.

Charita J. Dailey

A winner of both the Stanley D. Gottsegen Leadership Award and Outstanding Senior Award this year, Charita is a senior Psychology major originally from Omaha, Nebraska. Charita has made a point to incorporate inclusive perspectives in her leadership roles. In her role as the Director of Operations for the Ohio Union Activities Board, she has worked toward creating opportunities for minoritized students to see their identities positively represented on a large scale. After graduation, Charita plans on attending graduate school to study educational psychology and work toward eliminating barriers in the college admissions process for minoritized students. Congratulations, Charita!

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Kaplan Humanitarian Award

The Kaplan Humanitarian Award was first awarded in 1961 to honor Rabbi Harry Kaplan who served as director of the B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundation for 34 years and whose love for all people personified what has helped make Ohio State a world-class leader in higher education. This award is given each year to acknowledge students whose efforts, on behalf of intercultural, interfaith and/or interracial understanding, have made a distinctive contribution toward achieving the ideas for what Rabbi Kaplan stood.

Roaya Higazi

A third year City and Regional Planning Major from Pickerington Ohio, Roaya is this year’s Kaplan Humanitarian Award winner. Roaya has found her home at Ohio State within the North and South Sudanese Association, and as the Outreach Chair this year has planned several impactful programs, including the second annual Sudanese Cultural Night which informed the Ohio State community about Sudanese traditions while also raising money for the Buckeye Clinic in South Sudan. She has served as the Vice Chair of Diversity and Inclusion within the Undergraduate Student Government this year, and was just recently inducted as the new president of USG. After graduation, she plans to pursue graduate education and study the intersection of urban studies and law. Congrats, Roaya!

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Dr. Ellamae Simmons Award

Born in 1918 in Mount Vernon, Ohio, Dr. Ellamae Simmons dreamed of becoming a physician. Throughout her life, she experienced racism and sexism on a frequent basis as a Black woman. She was initially denied from Ohio State’s nursing program because of her race but ended up joining the Red Cross and served in the U.S. Army Nursing Corps for more than three years during World War II. Following the war, she applied again to Ohio State and was accepted to the Biological Sciences program. Dr. Ellamae Simmons went on to earn her Masters in Social Work from Ohio State, and her medical degree from Howard University. This award recognizes students who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and service – with particular regard to issues at the intersection of race and gender.

Jadelyn Cheng

Jadelyn Cheng is a senior Pharmaceutical Sciences major that used her leadership position in Ohio Staters, Inc. to create a more positive campus climate for minoritized students looking for a place to call home and find an organization to connect to. As Recruitment Chair, Jadelyn served as a welcoming face to fellow students of color that were searching for a place to belonging and took lead on a project to create an art installation that contained the lyrics of Ohio State’s alma mater in a variety of languages. This project was a collaboration between Ohio Staters, Inc., the Center of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, and the Ohio Union and resulted in over fifteen languages translated then placed in Union to represent the diverse campus community. By unifying the multicultural presence on campus in an art installation, Jadelyn hopes the work reminds community members that Ohio State is for all, not just some, and it is this that has helped her become this year’s Dr. Ellamae Simmons Leadership Award winner. Congratulations, Jadelyn!

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Student Organization: Individual Contribution Awards

This award recognizes those students, faculty, and staff who have made extraordinary contributions to a student organization through their involvement, leadership, and dedication to the organization and its mission. Recognizing that organizational success requires individual contribution in a variety of formats and at all levels, this award is presented in four different categories:

Outstanding Advisor

Ivory Levert

A Program manager for the Peer Access Line in the Student Wellness Center, Ivory is this year’s Outstanding Student Organization Advisor for her work as the advisor of Buckeyes First, a new student organization at Ohio State. As advisor, Ivory has gone above and beyond the bounds of her role and has tirelessly worked with organization officers to build the organization from the ground up which has resulted in the creation of a supportive and welcoming environment for first-generation students on campus. Buckeyes First members value Ivory’s commitment to their development and success and are grateful for all of her contributions and care. Through her support, Buckeyes First was also recognized as an Outstanding New Student Organization this year Congratulations, Ivory!

Outstanding New Member

Claire Burton

A Marketing major from Wapokaneta, Ohio, Claire is winning this year’s Outstanding Student Organization New Member for her work in of Ohio State’s Student-Alumni Council where she has served as the organization’s Digital Ambassador for the past year. In this role, she is responsible for the strategic management of SAC’s social media platforms. Claire’s meticulous preparation and strategic approach to this role has led to more online engagement with larger student and alumni populations than ever before. Her strong marketing knowledge and design skills have SAC in solidifying a well-branded online presence that clearly communicates a love for the university and the value of remaining engaged as loyal alumni. Through her work this year, Claire has demonstrated that she is not only an individual contributor but also someone who wants to do everything she can to empower others to succeed. Congratulations, Claire!

Fiona Chambers

Fiona is an Health Sciences major from Olmsted Falls, Ohio. She has been recognized as an Outstanding Student Organization New Member for her work in Ohio Staters, Inc. St. As a new member, she has already co-chaired two projects which both fit directly within the goals of the organization and has also reinvigorated their recruitment process. She is always among the first to volunteer her time and energy toward the completion of projects and planning and approaches every task with creativity, mindfulness, kindness, and positivity. Her recommender writes that Fiona is the kind of member that every organization wants to have-- she speaks up when she has an idea and comments on others while providing both positive and constructive criticism when necessary. Congratulations, Fiona!

Outstanding General Member

Jacob Chang

Originally from Nanjing, China, Jacob is a Political Science and Psychology major. He has won the Outstanding Student Organization General Member award this year for his work in the Undergraduate Student Government. While navigating the transition of arriving at Ohio State as an international student, Jacob still pursued a role in USG to advocate for the international student experience. Jacob has worked with senators to sponsor legislation and policies that would directly benefit international students. Jacob has gone out of his way to build relationships with key international student-serving student organizations and collected input from 400+ international students on their experiences. Jacob also ran the newly branded #EmbraceTheDifference initiative. Congratulations, Jacob!

Elizabeth Painter

Elizabeth is a third-year studying Political Science. She is originally from Broadview Heights, Ohio. She has won the Outstanding Student Organization General Member award this year for her work in the Undergraduate Student Government. Elizabeth consistently embodies USG’s value of advocacy, advocating directly to congress members in Washington D.C., with Ohio State faculty, and within USG. As a campus change student, she also pays a particular eye to advocating for the needs of regional campus students. Elizabeth goes out of her way to build relationships with those within the organization, selflessly offering her time and energy to assist people on personal and organizational goals. As a member of the Government Relations committee, she has never turned down the opportunity to volunteer on a project and always brings her kindness and passion to her work. Congratulations, Elizabeth!

Joey Ricchezza

Joey is a Pharmaceutical Sciences major from Sewell, New Jersey. He has won the Outstanding Student Organization General Member award this year for his work in the Undergraduate Student Government. His nominator says that he embodies USG’s values of innovation, integrity, representation, empowerment, and advocacy. In his first year with the organization, he has worked hard on issues related to transportation, including getting students free bussing to the airport and discounted flights for out of state students. Despite facing many challenges, he has persevered and served as an outstanding member of the USG general body, exemplifying that leadership has nothing to do with a title as he serves as a role model to his peers. Congratulations, Joey!

Outstanding Positional Leader

Starr Jiang

A winner of both the Outstanding Student Organization Positional Leader and Outstanding Senior awards this year, Starr is a Senior Neuroscience major from Sylvania, Ohio. Starr has dedicated his time to neuroscience awareness and education. As President of Buckeyes Raising Awareness in Neuroscience (BRAIN), Starr has supported his team as they have collaborated with campus and local partners to help brain injury survivors return to normalcy and equip them with skills and support structures to thrive in various aspects of their lives. A leader that is dedicated to supporting member development in his organization, he continuously looks for opportunities to delegate and give his peers more opportunities to develop their agency. Following graduation, Starr plans on becoming a physician that provides multifaceted positive impacts through patient care, research, and health care policy and management. Congratulations, Starr!

Praneethkumar Madhu

Praneethkumar is a senior from Dublin, Ohio studying Neuroscience. He is being recognized for the Outstanding Student Organization Positional Leader for his work in Hindu Youth for Unity, Virtue and Actions. As the president of the organization, Praneeth has transformed the organization to create committee roles, expand the executive board, and created structure for engagement in the organization that will last after he graduates. Under his leadership, the organization tripled in size, and raised their average event attendance from 70 to over 250 people. He embodies the leadership, strength of character, and penchant towards selfless service that Hindu YUVA exemplifies. Under his leadership, the organization has cultivated goals, leadership structure, and a friendly culture that will allow the organization to thrive. Congratulations, Praneeth!

Molly McCann

Molly is a Psychology major from Cleveland, Ohio. She is being recognized for the Outstanding Student Organization Positional Leader for her work in the Student-Alumni Council. Serving as president of SAC this year, Molly has put her all into the organization, exceeding the expectations of the role of president. She has been at almost every event put on by, or even promoted by, SAC. She works to build a personal relationship with each member of SAC and role models that you get back whatever you put in to the organization. She also uses her voice on the Board of Directors for the Alumni Association to advocate for Ohio State students. One notable accomplishment is that Molly has worked with the VP of Finance to establish an endowment fund that will sustain SAC financially. Congratulations, Molly!

Sri Vidya Uppalapati

Sri Vidya is a third year from Beachwood Ohio studying Public Policy Analysis. She is being recognized for the Outstanding Student Organization Positional Leader for her work in the Undergraduate Student Government. This year, Sri Vidya has transitioned from Deputy Chief of Staff to Senior Director of Operations, a role that the current USG administration has worked to strengthen to specifically play to Sri Vidya’s strengths as a leader. Sri Vidya has not only met, but exceeded, these elevated expectations for her role, building not only strong relationships within the organization, but strong structures for better connection and effectiveness that USG will maintain for future administrations. She balances many involvements across campuses, and leverages them to make her a better leader and role model for USG, and she embodies USG’s value of innovation. Congratulations, Sri Vidya!

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Outstanding Student Life Student Employee

On-campus student employment is one of many ways for students to get involved at Ohio State and build skills that will serve them throughout their lifetimes. Sponsored by Student Life Human Resources, this award is selected based on nominations received from supervisors or co-workers, and recognizes the contributions of student employees in Student Life offices. Recipients have gone above and beyond their basic job responsibilities and made significant contributions to their offices.

Andrea Carolina Castillo-Beroes

A Health Sciences major from Cincinnati, Andrea is a winner of this year’s Outstanding Student Life Student Employee award. Andrea has a huge passion for contributing to the extraordinary student experience through her work for the Department of Recreational Sports as a Lead Facilitator for the Emerging Leaders Institute. In her role, she mentors current peer facilitators and provides feedback based on their facilitation material to further their skill development. Recreational Sports values her enthusiastic personality which allows her to connect with many professionals and students, as well as her willingness to jump into new situations and try new things for the advancement of the team. Congratulations, Andrea!

Amy Chen

As an Administrative Assistant in the office of Off-Campus and Commuter Services, Amy Chen is truly dedicated to creating the extraordinary student experience for each student she comes into contact with. Amy is a Marketing major from Cleveland. She is invested in ensuring each student has the information and resources necessary to be successful and has a passion for supporting those around her, whether that be customers, stakeholders, or her peers. Her team really values Amy's leadership style, positive disposition, ability to persevere regardless of the obstacles set in her path, and willingness to help anyone that needs her, and these qualities helped her become an Outstanding Student Life Student Employee. Congratulations, Amy!

Taylor RayAnn Dewey

Taylor is being recognized as an Outstanding Student Life Student Employee for her work as a Facility Manager for Recreational Sports where she constantly promotes service and excellence. Taylor is a Health Sciences major from Jamestown, New York. She is a team player who is always the first to volunteer to take on additional tasks and learn new skills that she knows will ease the workload of those around her. In addition to providing exemplary customer service and maintaining a clean facility, Taylor manages the creation of the entire staff schedule for each semester and every break and has a heavy hand in the recruitment and training of new staff members. She is a genuine, hardworking person who can be counted on for anything. Congratulations, Taylor!

Elijah Gardner

Elijah is Anthropological Sciences and English double-major from Columbus and an Administrative Assistant in Off-Campus and Commuter Student Services where he pairs his duties of customer service and program planning with acute attention to detail as well as patience and kindness – treating each person as an individual and taking care to attend to their specific needs. Elijah has pushed himself out of his comfort zone consistently to best support the OCCSS team and organization, while also further developing his own skills. His level of commitment to further developing his personal and professional skills as well as his commitment to his peers has been unwavering – he is truly the epitome of a team player and an Outstanding Student Life Student Employee. Congratulations, Elijah!

Andrea Prokup

Andrea’s positive influence is felt throughout the Student Life Facilities Administration office, making her an Outstanding Student Life Student Employee winner this year. As a Student Manager, she creates the extraordinary student experience by serving as a role model for responsibility and dependability and setting a standard for others in handling challenges on the job. Her positive approach to all facets of being a student manager ensures that the many callers and visitors are greeted appropriately, in a professional manner and that they receive prompt and courteous service. She is also dedicated to supporting her team and is willing to jump in and assist in whatever role is needed, showing a commitment to both her peers and the full-time staff. She is an Environment, Economy, Development, and Sustainability major from Waterville, Ohio. Congratulations, Andrea!

Elizabeth Stevens

A Public Management, Leadership, and Policy major from Dublin, Ohio, Elizabeth constantly goes above and beyond in her role as a Student Facility Coordinator for the RPAC. She is devoted to providing a positive and inclusive culture among her fellow student staff as she works with a team containing many different cultures, abilities, and personalities and does an amazing job at uniting students to accomplish the team’s mission while learning from one another and expanding their scope. Elisabeth contributes to the extraordinary student experience by making sure that her team feels valued and validated so that they are able to serve others to the best of their abilities. Congratulations, Elizabeth!

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Outstanding Student Life Supervisor

Student Life staff who supervise students use employment as a means to teach leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving. Sponored by Student Life Human Resources, this award recognizes these supervisors have gone above and beyond in their efforts to use campus employment as a means to develop student leadership.

Magdalena Gracia

Magdalena is being recognized as an Outstanding Student Life Supervisor for her work as the Hall Director of Bowen House. She serves as a support to the residents and student staff in her building and has often become a teacher, a mentor, and a friend to those she works with. Magdalena encourages students to develop commitments to inclusion, have the courage to carry out one’s convictions, and having compassion for those you are working with. As a supervisor, Magdalena has created a culture of trust and responsibility where employees feel safe, comfortable, and welcome to take risks, make mistakes, and keep growing. Congratulations, Magdalena!

Marisa Lally

Marisa serves as Program Manager in Off-Campus and Commuter Student Services (OCCSS) and makes a positive impact on the off-campus student experience while also helping to make positive strides in the quality of housing off-campus. Marisa is an Outstanding Student Life Supervisor this year because she makes a positive impact on the OCCSS student staff each and every day by contributing to the development/growth of many student leaders, offering to review cover letters/resumes, practicing mock interviews, helping to prepare students for future academic/professional careers, and much more. She continuously ensures that she puts student leaders first and truly supports all aspects of their professional journey. Additionally, she also takes time out of her busy schedule to further inform her work through professional development opportunities so that she can effectively support the student team. Congratulations, Marisa!

Karen P. Narwicz

Karen is the Director of Conference and Business Development in the Ohio Union. In her role, Karen cultivates, oversees and directs high-impact corporate, university and conference events for the Ohio Union while ensuring an extraordinary client experience and oversees a team of student employees that assist in the event planning process. Karen truly cares about the success of her student staff and fosters the development of communication, managerial, and analytical skills in the work that they do. A solution-oriented problem-solver, Karen has cultivated an environment of trust where her team has been able to learn the importance of staying positive and cultivating meaningful relationships, and this is why she is an Outstanding Student Life Supervisor. Congratulations, Karen!

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Diversity Engagement Awards

Sponsored by the Student Life Multicultural Center, this award is presented to students that have demonstrated a significant commitment to fostering intercultural impact as part of ongoing efforts to create a globally engaged citizenry among students at The Ohio State University. The award recognizes efforts put forth by students to encourage a deeper understanding of diversity and social justice and create intercultural understanding.

Mia Cai Cariello

Mia is a Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies major from Columbus that has served in leadership roles on campus that have been responsible for creating and developing unique programming that addresses the needs of all women-identifying students on Ohio State’s campus. Mia is one of the founding members and current President of Take Back the Night at Ohio State which seeks to fight against sexual violence in all forms. In her role, Mia fostered an environment and culture that centered the experiences of women of color on the issue of sexual violence and illustrates the concept of “women of color” as a term of solidarity. Mia continuously implements intersectionality theory and praxis in all that she organizes and has a deep understanding that in order to make change, the best strategy is to recognize the shared struggles across identities and fight for each other so that she can make sustainable change in the world. All of this work has helped her become this year’s Diversity Engagement Award winner. Congratulations, Mia!

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Boehm Holistic Wellness Award

Sponsored by the Student Life Wellness Center, this award is presented in both individual and organization categories. The award recognizes Buckeyes who have promoted holistic wellness through leadership.

Annie Nicholas

Annie is a Senior studying Neuroscience and, as this year’s Boehm Holistic Wellness Award winner, has incorporated the values of holistic wellness in many of her leadership pursuits. Since 2017, Annie has volunteered as an HIV/STI Test Counselor in the Student Life Student Wellness Center (SLSWC) which provides free, walk-in testing services to all students at The Ohio State University. She was interested in the position as a way to educate peers about sexually transmitted infections and encourage them to be proactive about their sexual health. Currently, Annie serves as the SLSWC Lab Manager where she is part of a three-student team that coordinates the daily operations of the HIV/STI testing program. As the most senior member of the team, Annie truly cares for the holistic wellness of her volunteer cohort, and is considered a friend in addition to supervisor for many students volunteering with the program. After graduation, she plans on attending medical school to study neurosurgery. Congratulations, Annie!

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Scarlet, Gray, and Green Student Leadership Award

The Scarlet, Gray, and Green Student Leadership Award was established in 2011 by the Office of Student Life and the President’s and Provost’s Council on Sustainability. The award is now presented each year by the Energy Management and Sustainability group within Facility Management and Logistics. This award recognizes undergraduate, graduate or professional students who have shown outstanding leadership in furthering sustainability efforts at The Ohio State University. Candidates are evaluated based on demonstrated leadership, scale of environmental impact, creativity and innovation and measurable results.

Alyssa Barbuto

 Alyssa, a winner of the Scarlet, Gray, and Green Leadership Award, is a fourth-year Environment, Economy, Development, and Sustainability (EEDS) major specializing in International Development. Alyssa currently serves as the Director for Sustainability for the Undergraduate Student Government where she leads a committee of more than 50 general members in creating educational and entertaining sustainability programming such as the 2019 Sustainable Fashion Show and 2019 Sustainable Business Expo. In addition to her role in USG, Alyssa also sits on the President and Provost Council on Sustainability where she advises decision-makers at the University on student concerns regarding university-wide programs and policies that affect sustainability efforts. Congratulations, Alyssa!

Trace Eberhardt

Civil Engineering major and Scarlet, Gray, and Green Student Leadership Award winner Trace has had a lot of involvement with major sustainability efforts on Ohio State’s campus. For two years, Trace has served as the chair for the annual Dump and Run event that is sponsored by the Students for Recycling student organization. During Dump and Run, Ohio State residential students are able to donate items unwanted items when they are moving out that will later be resold to students moving into residence halls the following semester. In his role, Trace has collaborated with Goodwill Columbus, supported a team of 50 student volunteers, and coordinated the logistics for this event with Student Life resulting in more than 20,000 pounds of clothing being diverted from landfills and achieving a waste diversion rate of 71%, more than doubling the University's diversion rate of 35%. Congratulations, Trace!

Hailey Hayes

A fourth-year Environmental Science major specializing in Water Science, Hailey has worked toward Ohio State University becoming a more sustainable campus in a variety of capacities. As the President of Students for Recycling, Hailey has supported the organization’s leadership team as they worked on sustainability initiatives to reduce waste and educate on proper recycling methods and techniques. Hailey also serves as a Sustainability Lead in the Office of Student Life Energy Management and Sustainability. In this role, she supports a Sustainability Cohort that is composed of students on Residence Hall Advisory Councils that are tasked with putting on sustainability-related programming in the halls. Hailey plans on further developing the leadership skills she has cultivated in her roles on campus as she works toward becoming an environmental scientist. All of this has made her a winner of this year’s Scarlet, Gray, and Green Student Leadership Award. Congratulations, Hailey!

Melina Mallory

Melina is an Environmental Science major, specializing in Water Science that serves as a Zero Waste Supervisor on the Ohio Stadium’s Zero Waste Team, a role that has helped her win this year’s Scarlet, Gray, and Green Student Leadership Award. In her role, she manages a team of 14 students and fearlessly leads them through the tailgate lots to help educate fans, decontaminate, and recycle correctly to help the University reach its goal of becoming zero waste by 2025. Constantly going above and beyond what was in her job description, Melina sought to improve the program even outside of home football games and through her efforts was able to lead a team to help divert an estimated average of 3.10 tons of waste away from the landfill. Melina is a passionate leader who constantly puts her team’s safety first and inspires all around her. Congratulations, Melina!

Jayson Velazquez

Jayson is an Environment, Economy, Development, and Sustainability major with a Specialization in Community Development that is extremely passionate about understanding and implementing solutions to combat urban environmental injustices that disproportionately impact lower-income communities of color. As an Inclusion and Outreach Coordinator for the School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR), he works to enhance academic advancement, professional development, and networking opportunities for students of color. This position has allowed him to coordinate programming that celebrates minoritized students, work alongside faculty to emphasize SENR’s commitment to diversity and inclusion in the faculty hiring and tenure processes, and promote the use of non-Western environmental practices and movements in the classroom. He is a winner of this year’s Scarlet Gray, and Green Student Leadership Award. Congratulations, Jayson!

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Edward S. “Beanie” Drake Scholarship Award

The Edward S. “Beanie” Drake Student Leader Endowment Fund is an annual scholarship that provides funds to enable deserving student leaders to participate in campus activities when financial need might otherwise make it impossible for them to do so. The “Beanie” Board of Directors is made solely of current students that solicit these funds from other students and student organizations, making this unique scholarship directly from students for students.               

Glenis Tocaj

Glenis is a first-year student majoring in Biochemistry from Cleveland, Ohio. He is pursuing a pre-medicine track to fulfill his dream of becoming a physician. He moved to the United States three years ago from a small country located in the heart of Europe called Albania. His parents sacrificed everything to provide a better future for him and his two brothers in the land of opportunities. Glenis is currently part of the pre-health club at OSU (Alpha Epsilon Delta), where he will volunteer in the Physician’s Free Clinic. In addition, Glenis joined the Mirrors Honors Society, where he will volunteer for the James Medical Center every week, thus helping the community. Finally, Glenis was chosen as part of the ASC Honors Student Subcommittee, reflecting the experience of current honors students and giving suggestions in improving the honors program at OSU. Congratulations, Glenis!

Lidia Garcia

Lidia is a 3rd year at OSU seeking a dual degree in Women’s Gender and Sexuality and Public Affairs from Columbus, Ohio. Lidia is involved in PerformancerUS, a Latinx student group focused on performance using the Spanish language, latino culture and dance. As part of PerformancerUS Lidia has had the opportunity to share her heritage through oral history in New Mexico, Ohio and new cities. Lidia is the president of S.C.O.P.E., a student organization dictated to first generation immigrant students on Ohio State campus.  Aside from S.C.O.P.E. and PerformancerUS, Lidia is active as a Buckeyelink Mentor and Advisory Board Member. Lidia works to instill leadership, resilience and a welcoming environment to all students who are often misrepresented. Congratulations, Lidia!

Octavion Spears

Octavion is a third-year student specializing in Chemistry and Criminology from Chicago, Illinois. Octavion is a dedicated member to the Chemistry club, as well as the Ohio Innocence project at OSU, where he observes, discusses, and learns about the justices and injustices that occur with the criminal justice system from various members of the system. He currently satisfies the leadership roles as a resident advisor at The Residence on 10th and is a research assistant for two graduate students.  The project he works on studies the direct and indirect impacts of police violence on Black women. Octavion is also involved in the community through his volunteer work at the Boys and Girls club in Columbus, where he helps with activities and snacks, serves as a mentor, and a tutor. During the summer of 2019, Octavion interned with the Chicago Police Department where he engaged in administrative work, attended professional meetings, and rode along on daily patrols. Congratulations, Octavion!

Andrea Edland

Andrea is a third-year, first generation student studying World Politics from Stavanger, Norway. She is passionate about improving the international student experience and bridging the gap between international and domestic students. This is expressed through her involvements with Global Leadership Initiative, first as a cohort member and later as the VP of Project Development, and as the European representative for the International Student Council. Additionally, Andrea works as a Resident Advisor where she is also the Inclusive Excellence coordinator. Next year, her plan is to further serve the Columbus community through working as a swimming instructor and volunteering at pantries to de-stigmatize food insecurity. Congratulations, Andrea!

Lily Johnson

Lily is a second-year student pursuing a major in Marketing from Powell, Ohio. Lily enjoys the world of business and is passionate about giving back to her community. Every week, Lily volunteers at North Central Mental Health Services to answer the Suicide Hotline calls. She completed extensive training on suicide prevention and crisis management and has now worked over 100 hours of overnight shifts. One of her main involvements at Ohio State is with a professional business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi, where she serves as the Vice President of Alumni Relations. Lily additionally serves as the Vice President of Marketing on the Undergraduate Business Council and as a team captain for BuckeyeThon. Outside of school, Lily loves to hang out with friends and try new things because friendship and learning are two of her most important values. Congratulations, Lily!

Peter Moore

Peter is a first-year student from Westerville, Ohio studying Biochemistry on a pre-medicine track at the Ohio State University. Peter has been conducting research with the biochemistry department at Ohio State since his sophomore year of high school. He has logged over two hundred hours in the lab, and he is working toward publishing his research. In addition, Peter is also a member of the Mount Leadership Society Scholars Program at Ohio State, where he focuses on a commitment to leadership and community through service work. Peter is also a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity at Ohio State where he has formed lasting relationships and participates in multiple service projects and fundraisers. Peter is also determined to help implement a program at the Ohio State University that offers high school students with the opportunity to gain experience in a college research lab, preparing them for their undergraduate years. Congratulations, Peter!

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Spirit of Ohio State Award

The Spirit of Ohio State Award recognizes students and student organizations that strongly represent the values, traditions, and spirit of Ohio State through their engagement in and commitment to the campus community.

George Oshiotse

This year’s Individual winner for the Spirit of Ohio State Award is George, a Neuroscience major from Milford, Ohio. George embodies Buckeye spirit through his commitment to the Ohio State and Columbus community, always pushing himself towards excellence while trying to support and better those around him. As a Junior Executive Board member of Nu Rho Psi (National Honor Society for Neuroscience), George launched an initiative to collaborate with a local high school to provide workshops and information for students dealing with brain health challenges as well as those with financial challenges about completing the FAFSA process. He also won first place in the Chronic Brain Injury Category at the Brain Health Hackathon last year for a project that helps determine if a medical incident actually requires a distress call, an issue that leads to wasting billions of dollars in resources and places a financial burden on patients. His passion for brain health makes him driven to make sure that “no one’s disease has to define who they are,” and he plans to pursue his passion after graduation and become a physician. Congratulations, George!

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Outstanding Senior Award

The final award we will recognize is the Outstanding Senior Award. Each spring, The Ohio State University recognizes seniors who have made significant contributions to the University and community. To receive this recognition, students must have demonstrated exemplary scholarship, leadership and service over the course of their college careers. More than a grade point average, scholarship includes contributing to the academic life of the University. Leadership may be a concentrated effort to make a difference in one facet of the University, or through responsibilities in more than one organization. Service involves working in partnership with communities to make positive social change. This award is given to less than 1% of Ohio State’s graduating seniors.

Margaret Ash

Caring for others and the community comes easy to Maggie, an English major from Canton, Ohio and a winner of this year’s Outstanding Senior award. Maggie has been involved with the Undergraduate Student Government since her freshman year and has served in a variety of roles where she has collaborated on projects and initiatives focused on enhancing the Ohio State student experience. Those experiences have taught Maggie the great importance of service and community and have ultimately led to her decision to attend law school and participate in a dual degree program with a Master’s in Public Administration where she can continue to promote the power of active citizenship. After Ohio State, Maggie will continue to believe in the power of human stories and hope to understand them, as well as elevate voices that are often left unheard. Congratulations, Maggie!

Matthew Bonner

A Marketing, Logistics Management, and History major from Wyoming, Ohio, Matthew is a winner of this year’s Outstanding Senior aware. Matthew found his outlet for leadership through his involvement with the Ohio Union Activities Board. Most recently as President for OUAB, Matthew fostered the success of his fellow leadership team and general body members. His recommender celebrates his commitment to creating experiences for his peers and community that are nothing short of extraordinary. Following graduation, Matthew plans on working for Procter and Gamble in Cincinnati where he will be leading teams that focus on cutting edge sustainability initiatives and marketing campaign activations. He plans on being a lifelong resource for OUAB members and all Buckeyes, as he hopes to give back to an organization and university that has given him so much. Congratulations, Matthew!

Thomas Bowles

Thomas is a Public Affairs major from Westlake, Ohio and a winner of this year’s Outstanding Senior award. Thomas cherishes the experiences and opportunities that he was able to be part of at Ohio State as they fostered his dedication to servant leadership and public service. In the summer of 2019, Thomas served as a John Glenn Fellow through the Washington Academic Internship Program where he was able to advocate on behalf of Ohioans and gain a deeper understanding of public policy issues. After graduation, thomas plans on working the Presidential campaign for the Democratic Party nominee and afterward attending graduate school where he will seek a dual degree in Law and a Masters of Higher Education or Education Policy. Thomas cherishes Ohio State for empowering him with the skills and confidence necessary to serve his community. Congratulations, Thomas!

Caleb Costa

Cal is a winner of this year’s Outstanding Senior award. A World Politics major from Columbus, Cal counts his involvement with Student Philanthropy Council as one of his most meaningful Ohio State experiences. As President of SPC, Cal supported his team as they engaged with the Ohio State community and demonstrated the importance of consistent use of time, talent and treasure to positively affect others with their Speaker Series. In addition to being an exceptional leader, his recommender praised him as an outstanding student, a devoted intern, and a well-rounded individual. Building on his experiences, Cal plans on pursuing post-graduate opportunities that combine his commitment and love for Philanthropy with an intellectual thought process that will push him toward truthful discovery. Congratulations, Cal!

Charita J. Dailey

A winner of both the Stanley D. Gottsegen Leadership Award and Outstanding Senior Award this year, Charita is a senior Psychology major originally from Omaha, Nebraska. Charita has made a point to incorporate inclusive perspectives in her leadership roles. In her role as the Director of Operations for the Ohio Union Activities Board, she has worked toward creating opportunities for minoritized students to see their identities positively represented on a large scale. After graduation, Charita plans on attending graduate school to study educational psychology and work toward eliminating barriers in the college admissions process for minoritized students. Congratulations, Charita!

Julia Dennen

A Public Management, Leadership, and Policy major from Gurnee, Illinois, Julian has dedicated her time to the student experience through her work with the Undergraduate Student Government where she developed the values of integrity and empowerment. Julia has served in a variety of roles over her four-year involvement with USG and most recently served as the Vice President where she advocates on behalf of undergraduate students regarding issues pertaining to all aspects of the student experience. Julia will remain dedicated to promoting leadership and civic engagement that is centered around service, integrity, and kindness, all qualities that make her worth of this year’s Outstanding Senior award. Congratulations, Julia!

Riley Evans

Riley, a Pharmaceutical Sciences major from Washington Court House, Ohio and a winner of this year’s Outstanding Senior award, thinks of his time with Ohio Staters, Inc. as having the most tremendous impact on him during his time as Ohio State student. In Ohio Staters, Riley studied the rich history and tradition of The Ohio State University and Ohio Staters, Inc. where he developed a strong sense of Buckeye pride and continued the legacy of student service and servant leadership. After graduation, Riley will continue in the tradition of serving others as he earns his Doctor of Pharmacy at the Ohio State University College of Pharmacy. He aspires to be a community pharmacist in a small Southern Ohio community where he can provide greater access to healthcare and serve his community. Congratulations, Riley!

Oumou Fofana

A Biochemistry major from Columbus, Oumou is a winner of this year’s Outstanding Senior Award. Oumou is dedicated to giving back to the community through her involvement with organizations such as the Muslim Student Association. Oumou became involved with Project Downtown, a collaboration between MSA and Trinity Episcopal Church that packaged and delivered meals to the homeless population in Downtown Columbus. Oumou eventually served as Director of Project Downtown and worked with her MSA team to provide an even greater supply of goods for those in need in the local community. Oumou plans on becoming a physician that will advocate on behalf of her homeless patients. Congratulations, Oumou!

Kathleen Greer

A History and German double major from Hudson, Ohio, Kate thinks fondly on her time in the Undergraduate Student Government as a four-year effort in improving the climates surrounding academics, wellness, inclusivity, and affordability on campus. She currently serves as the Student Body President works to serve her peers by helping them advocate for their wellbeing to both administrators as well as elected officials. A champion for the extraordinary student experience, her work in USG has impacted her future by helping her realize that she would like to spend the rest of my life in higher education. After graduation, Kate plans on pursuing a Ph.D. in Modern European History and eventually working at a university as a professor to help mentor and support individual students, while fighting for overall accessibility and equity in the world of higher education. She is a winner of this year’s Outstanding Senior award. Congratulations, Kate!

Lei Guo

Outstanding Senior Lei has served on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the Undergraduate Student Government -- a group she currently chairs -- since her second semester at Ohio State. An international student from Guangzhou, China, Lei has worked with fellow Committee members and campus partners on important initiatives such as gender-inclusive housing options and the expansion of prayer spaces on campus to continue to make the campus environment inclusive and welcoming for more Ohio State community members. After Ohio State, Lei plans on beginning a career in human rights advocacy that specifically address issues of racial, ethnic, and gender equity. Congratulations, Lei!

Sofia Yazmin Herrera

A Public Health major from Milwaukee Wisconsin, Outstanding Senior Sofia found a home in the Latino Student Association. Sofia served on the organization’s executive board as the Vice President of Membership and President, respectively, where she was part of a welcoming community where Latinx students felt celebrated and valued. Specifically, Sophia worked toward educating her peers on the experiences of Afro-Latinx students on the Ohio State campus and bringing awareness to the cultural nuances within the Latinx diaspora. With plans of pursuing a dual MD/MPH degree, Sofia cannot wait to work toward finding solutions to health disparities in marginalized communities to improve their health and longevity. Congratulations, Sofia!

Starr Jiang

A winner of both the Outstanding Student Organization Positional Leader and Outstanding Senior awards this year, Starr is a Senior Neuroscience major from Sylvania, Ohio. Starr has dedicated his time to neuroscience awareness and education. As President of Buckeyes Raising Awareness in Neuroscience (BRAIN), Starr has supported his team as they have collaborated with campus and local partners to help brain injury survivors return to normalcy and equip them with skills and support structures to thrive in various aspects of their lives. A leader that is dedicated to supporting member development in his organization, he continuously looks for opportunities to delegate and give his peers more opportunities to develop their agency. Following graduation, Starr plans on becoming a physician that provides multifaceted positive impacts through patient care, research, and health care policy and management. Congratulations, Starr!

Serena Kaul

A champion for women’s health and reproductive rights, Serena has worked tirelessly to support and empower those that have been historically marginalized, helping her become an Outstanding Senior. Serena worked to establish a clinic within THREE, a local women’s respite center, to bring healthcare providers and services directly to the populations that need them most. In this role, she learned the many intricacies of non-profit work and the importance of serving with empathy and compassion. Serena plans on continuing to serve the community after graduation by working as a Clinical Research Coordinator in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Cincinnati for a year and eventually becoming a physician that will open up a community health center that serves women who have been affected by trafficking. Congratulations, Serena!

Matthew Klopfenstein

Matthew is an Agricultural Engineering major from Haviland, Ohio and is a member of the Quarter-Scale Tractor Student Design Team, a group of undergraduate students that design, build, test, market, and compete with custom-built tractors on an international level. Matthew has been involved with the team since his freshman year and has served in a variety of leadership roles where he has emphasized the importance of scholarship, teamwork, and perseverance. Following graduation, Matthew plans on working for CNH Industrial in Burr Ridge, Illinois as a hydraulic engineer. He thanks Ohio State’s student organizations for developing him as a leader, public speaker, and citizen, and is truly an Outstanding Senior. Congratulations, Matthew!

Anthony Bryan Long II

Anthony serves as the Chair of the Council on Student Affairs takes up issues that affect all aspects of the life of a student at Ohio State. In this role, he serves as the representative of all Ohio State students and has collaborated on initiatives and projects to promote student advocacy and success, such as managing the revision process for the University’s Student Code of Conduct. His recommender writes that he is a service-oriented leader that holds a deep commitment to fairness and inclusion. Following graduation, Anthony plans on attending law school and further developing the advocacy and policy management skills he developed during his time at Ohio State. Congratulations, Anthony!

Imran Nuri

Imran is a Columbus native that is studying Business with a specialization in Marketing. Imran served on BuckeyeThon’s Executive Board for two years as Executive Secretary and President, respectively, and has worked to fulfill the organization’s mission of uniting Ohio State community to make a difference For The Kids. In those two years, he directly contributed to the strategy creation, big picture conversations, and activation of BuckeyeThon to raise over $3.3 million in two years, 100% of which has been donated to Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s hematology, oncology, and BMT department. His recommender shares that they were consistently impressed with Imran’s insight into a variety of complex dilemmas facing the world and cannot wait to see him continue to succeed post-graduation! Congratulations, Imran!

Madeline Perry

Outstanding Senior Madeline is a member of the University’s Suicide and Mental Health Task Force Implementation Team that works to strengthen the current profile of mental health resources on campus. Madeline has served as a liaison between the undergraduate student body and administrators where she has co-created the Buckeye Peer Access Line (PAL), established a faculty network to increase mental health support in the classroom, increased the number of embedded counselors in certain disciplines and offices, and much more. Upon graduation, Madeline will be moving to Washington, DC to begin her career as a forensic accountant for the federal government. Congratulations, Madeline!

Abu Rogers

Abu is a Biochemistry major from Freetown, Sierra Leone. Inspired by his uncle who worked selflessly during the Sierra Leone Ebola outbreak, Abu dedicated his life to becoming a physician and use his passion for understanding the science of diseases to serve fellow humans. Currently, he serves as the Lead Undergraduate Volunteer at the Columbus Free Clinic where he oversees a team of 40+ undergraduates that perform logistical and administrative work. His recommender speaks fondly of Abu’s passion for bettering the lives of those around him and believes that is what will allow him to excel both in his career as a future physician and compassionate member of society. He is one of this year’s Outstanding Senior award winners. Congratulations, Abu!

Chloe ten Brink

Chloe is a Psychology major with minors in English and Game Studies from Loveland, Ohio, that has served in leadership positions that serve a variety of interests and student populations. Chloe found a home at Ohio State in the Buckeye Gaming Collective which falls at the intersection of her interests in social media engagement and eSports gaming. Involved since the organization’s infancy, Chloe runs the analytics and engagement efforts on BGC’s social media pages and her work has supported the expansive growth of BGC on social media, as well as the establishment of an award-winning Buckeye gaming community. Chloe will continue to pursue her passions post-graduation as the Director of Media Content and Co-Player Management for eSports company Rogue. She thanks Ohio State for all of the wonderful opportunities that allowed her to pursue her dreams and is an Outstanding Senior this year. Congratulations, Chloe!

Asher Warchal

A Social Work major from Hilliard, Outstanding Senior Asher thinks of their involvement in Buck-I-SERV as their most impactful experience during their time at Ohio State. Asher has been on nine alternative breaks, four of which they led, and served as a Board Member for two years as well as the head of the Marketing Committee in their last year. In Buck-I-SERV, they got comfortable at facilitating dialogues, giving presentations, or facilitating discussions regarding social justice topics which are all skills that will be utilized as they continue to foster their passion for service. After graduating from Ohio State, Asher plans on participating in the AmeriCorp and PeaceCorp programs to continue being an active agent of positive social change. Congratulations, Asher!

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