Office of Student Life

Student Activities

Organization Leadership Awards Winners

Leadership Awards 2021 banner with masquerade branding and theme

This page lists the organization award winners of 2021 Student Life Leadership Awards. Feel free to review the complete For a listing of individual award winners, visit the Individual Winner webpage. Also be sure to check out the Leadership Awards highlight on @StudentLifeOSU on Instagram.

Outstanding Diversity Program Award | Boehm Holistic Wellness AwardStudent Organization Excellence in Member Development | Student Organization Excellence in Organization Operations | Student Organization Excellence in Community Engagement | Oustanding Student Organization Program | Outstanding New Student Organization | Oustanding Student Organization | Spirit of Ohio State Award

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.

The Society of Women Engineers 

The mission of Ohio State Society of Women Engineers is to empower female engineering students to achieve their full potential while in college and prepare them for their careers post-graduation. With over 250 active members, SWE is the largest engineering organization on Ohio State’s campus. SWE works hard to ensure their programs will promote wellness for their members, especially given the academic rigor of the Engineering program at OSU, and they have worked harder towards that goal during the pandemic. This year, they have developed and piloted a wellness program for the organization. This includes a SWEFit social media presence to share Physical wellness opportunities, focusing on a different aspect of wellness each month, and developing a 7-event Career Confidence series. They have hosted programs throughout the year that focus on all 9 dimensions of wellness and are truly modeling holistic wellness for their members.  

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Outstanding Diversity Program

Sponsored by the Student Life Multicultural Center, these awards are presented to students and student organization programs 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 awards recognize efforts put forth by students to encourage a deeper understanding of diversity and social justice and create intercultural understanding.

Association of Computing Machinery - Women's Chapter 

The Association of Computing Machinery Women’s Chapter (ACM-W) is an organization dedicated toward empowering women in computer science and technology. They are being recognized for the TechnoFashion Design Challenge in partnership with Cool Tech Girls, a virtual program that gave young female students around Columbus exposure to electronic sewing and Arduino programming. The purpose of this program was to encourage women students to pursue STEM careers and increase diversity in engineering, as well as address the lack of hands-on STEM education due to COVID-19. The program combats the lack of women in technology by helping the girls participating to expand their confidence and knowledge base in STEM. ACM-W is a leading organization in the College of Engineering that pushes for diversity, collaboration, and a community impact.  

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Student Organization Excellence Awards

In many respects, the success of student organization programming contributes to “Creating the Extraordinary Student Experience at Ohio State.” The excellence awards are designed to recognize student organizations whose work over the past year demonstrates notable accomplishments success in Member Development, Organization Operations, and Community Engagement, the three domains within the Student Organization Success Framework.

Student Organization Excellence in Member Development

Association of Computing Machinery - Women's Chapter 

The Association of Computing Machinery Women’s Chapter (ACM-W) is an organization dedicated toward empowering women in computer science and technology. Members of ACM-W strive to create a network of women and allies that will help learn, support, and lead together. This past year, ACM-W sponsored 37 students to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration— the largest gathering of technical women in the world with over 28,000 attendees. They provide members with a series of leadership and professional development opportunities through their robust outreach programs with local organizations both on and off campus where members teach young girls basic programming concepts. This year, they recruited volunteers for their TechnoFashion Design Challenge program, where they taught young girls how to electronically sew and use Arduino circuit boards. Overall, ACM-W is a leading organization in the College of Engineering that pushes for diversity, collaboration, and a community impact.  

Hindu Youth for Unity, Virtues, and Action 

Hindu Youth for Unity, Virtues, and Action (Hindu YUVA) members strive to provide a platform to practice and promote Hindu Dharma, or the Hindu way of life, by building a community of individuals who are inspired to enact social change in their local communities. Fundamental to Hindu YUVA programming is the development of a positive character. This year, members implemented a “Sewa Diwali” initiative where they raised over 8000 pounds of food for local food pantries to combat food insecurity resulting from the pandemic. In order to continually remember their mission, Hindu YUVA members recite Sanskrit shloka after every meeting that translates to “May all be happy, may all be free from illness, may all see what is auspicious, many no one suffer; peace, peace, peace.”  

The Society of Women Engineers 

The Ohio State Society of Women Engineers (SWE) maintains a mission to empower female engineering students and prepare them as leaders for their careers post-graduation, normalize the image of women in engineering, and demonstrate the value of diversity and inclusion. OSU SWE is the largest student organization in the College of Engineering and is made up of 270 active members and 400 total members, 20 of which are officers, and 27 of which are chairs. In developing members within this large organization, SWE leaders provide many workshops for officers and chairs that address strategic planning, operations training, giving and receiving feedback, and financial management. In response to the pandemic, SWE leaders have hosted frequent virtual hangouts and involved members have run for elected officer positions or applied for chair roles later in the year. Many of these members have also taken on mentoring roles in their Big-Little program, which further builds their confidence and develops them as leaders both within and outside of SWE. The network of connections formed between officers, chairs, and members has helped create a positive cycle of reinforcement that allows all students involved in SWE to grow as leaders, regardless of their year or formal title.  

Student Organization Excellence in Organization Operations

Ohio Union Activities Board 

The mission of the Ohio Union Activities Board is “to provide diverse programs and events that are educational, entertaining, and thought-provoking for the students of the Columbus campus. OUAB strives to create a fun, accessible, and challenging environment for its members that empower each member to change and shape the lives of fellow students while strengthening their own leadership skills and fostering personal growth." OUAB seeks to create challenging and unique programming opportunities for all Ohio State students. Throughout the 2020-2021 academic year, OUAB has maintained effective programming and governance even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, pivoting their programming processes to create an innovative and exciting calendar of virtual programs for students. This organization committed themselves to remaining a top-tier organization this year by continuing to be fiscally responsible, promoting member retention, and remining devoted to diversity and inclusion efforts.  

Society of Women Engineers 

The mission of Ohio State Society of Women Engineers is to empower female engineering students to achieve their full potential while in college and prepare them for their careers post-graduation. With over 250 active members, SWE is the largest engineering organization on Ohio State’s campus. Through outreach programs in the community with local schools and service organizations, SWE has remained committed to operating throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. They have accomplished this by creating opportunities for their members to engage virtually with one another, developing trainings for their executive board, and presenting with other student organizations at conferences. Their executive board wrote a strategic plan at the beginning of the year, including Key Performance Indicators, that have used that strategic plan to guide their programs and plans this year, as well as planning for the future.  

Association of Computing Machinery – Women's Chapter 

The Association of Computing Machinery — Women’s Chapter is an organization dedicated toward empowering women in computer science. Their mission is to engage students in activities that improve the working and learning environments for women in the technology field. ACM-W has served as model organization by striving to connect with their members despite the virtual setting or the 2020-2021 academic year.  ACM-W hosted events with other organizations, met with the Dean of Engineering to discuss racial equity, and created opportunities to engage with the larger Columbus community. Their exceptional budget stewardship allowed them to sponsor 37 students to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration this year, one of the largest gatherings of technical women. They have also worked toward financial stability by developing a leadership role focused on community sponsorship.  

Student Organization Excellence in Community Engagement

ENCompass: Empowering Neighborhoods of Columbus 

ENCompass: Empowering Neighborhoods of Columbus aims to empower Columbus residents with social resources to combat the negative health impacts associated with low socioeconomic status. ENCompass’s volunteers provide Columbus residents with connection to resources such as furniture banks, dental care, and rent and utility services. The partners with Nationwide Children’s Westside and Northland Primary Care Centers, Gethsemane Food Pantry, Ohio State OB-GYN clinic, Neighborhood Services Inc., La Clinica Latina, Noor Clinic, Total Health and Wellness Center, and the Hilltop Library. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they have shifted to virtual consultations to continue supporting the greater Columbus community throughout the public health crisis. ENCompass distinguishes itself from other organizations by its commitment and congruence with values ingrained in us as Buckeyes: “Education For Citizenship”.  


Nursing Students Promoting Initiatives to Reinforce Equality (NSPIRE) seeks to raise public awareness and provide education about health care inequities in under-served populations. NSPIRE believes that one of the best ways to ensure Ohio State is graduating classes of strong patient advocates is to take initiative and start the process early on in their education. The organization’s motives are rooted in community service as they provide opportunities for growth and development by learning from diverse populations. Running foot clinics at St. Sophia Orthodox Church and mom and baby clinics at the YWCA, The members of NSPIRE work to provide equitable opportunity to underprivileged citizens. Even in the face of a global pandemic, the members of NSPIRE remain committed to supporting marginalized populations throughout the city of Columbus.  

*Society of Women Engineers 

The mission of Ohio State Society of Women Engineers is to empower female engineering students to achieve their full potential while in college and prepare them for their careers post-graduation. With over 250 active members, SWE is the largest engineering organization on Ohio State’s campus. Through outreach programs in the community with local schools and service organizations, SWE engages the young student community by showcasing how women can be leaders in the engineering field. SWE also acknowledges the need to support marginalized communities and student populations and does this by hosting fundraisers for organizations such as Black Girls Code, the Equal Justice Initiative, Feed America, and Take Back the Night.  

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Outstanding Student Organization Program Award

Ohio State student organizations host thousands of events throughout the academic year, contributing not only to the extraordinary student experience of their own members, but the to the campus community as well. Outstanding programs promote the mission of the organization, meaningfully involve members in the planning and execution of the event, and make a lasting impact on membership and/or the campus community. Successful programs will align with the Programming outcome in the Student Organization Success Framework.

Association of Computing Machinery – Women's Chapter 

The Association of Computing Machinery Women’s Chapter (ACM-W) is an organization dedicated toward empowering women in computer science and technology. Members of ACM-W strive to create a network of women and allies that will help learn, support, and lead together. ACM-W started the Big-Little Bit Mentorship Program in Fall 2020 to foster connection between upperclass and underclass students. Big-Little Bit pairs competed in challenges for bit-points, which allowed the members to connect and be celebrated. The challenges resulted in greater engagement and communication throughout the year, as well as better connection between members during COVID-19.  

Hindu Youth for Unity, Virtues, and Action 

Hindu Youth for Unity, Virtues, and Action (Hindu YUVA) members strive to provide a platform to practice and promote Hindu Dharma, or the Hindu way of life, by building a community of individuals who are inspired to enact social change in their local communities. Fundamental to Hindu YUVA programming is the development of a positive character. They are being recognized for their work on Diwali Week. Diwali Week consisted of The Festival of Lights, a collaboration with OSU Hillel, a Game Night, a collaboration with Snehalaya at Ohio State, and Hindu YUVA’s weekly general body meeting featuring the story behind Diwali. In addition to allowing members to develop event planning skills, Diwali week allowed attendees to celebrate Diwali in a different way and learn more about the celebration the Hindu way of life.  

Society of Women Engineers 

The mission of Ohio State Society of Women Engineers is to empower female engineering students to achieve their full potential while in college and prepare them for their careers post-graduation. They are being recognized for their SWE Movie Night, a social and community service event designed to help members relax and connect before Spring Break will giving back to the community. The organization provided a showing of the movie Hidden Figures and crafted fleece blankets for the Ronald Mcdonald House. As SWE is focused on promoting women in engineering and normalizing the image of women in STEM fields, reflecting on the important work of the Black women engineers depicted in the movie aligned with the organizations purpose. As a large organization of over 200 members, this even also allowed members to get to know each other while giving back to the community. 


The mission of TEDxOhioStateUniversity is “ideas worth spreading.” TEDxOhioStateUniversity seeks out potential speakers affiliated with Ohio State University in some way (students, staff, alumni, etc.) who have ideas that challenge the way people think, allow people to see issues from new perspectives, or introduce something unique altogether. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, TEDx worked hard to redevelop their annual TEDx event to make it accessible virtually. The production of their Horizons Main Event (2021) resulted in 12 speakers engaging their audiences virtually. TEDxOhioStateUniversity remains committed to challenging thoughts and opinions even throughout the 2020-2021 academic year.  

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Outstanding Student Organization

Ohio State believes in the value of student organizations and their impact on the students involved. Student organizations provide an opportunity for students to work toward a common mission, build friendships and develop leadership. This award recognizes student organizations that make extraordinary contributions to campus and their members through membership development, programming, commitment to academics, and/or active citizenship. We recognize that the achievements of established student organizations and new student organizations differ, yet both contribute to campus involvement. Therefore, this award is granted in two distinct categories; Outstanding New Student Organization and Outstanding Overall Student Organization.

Outstanding New Student Organization

Power in Neuroscience 

Power in Neuroscience’s mission is to establish and fortify long-term service and neuroscience projects that educate, empower, and connect high school students from low-income backgrounds, underserved communities, and with disabilities. On top of connecting with faculty from the College of Arts & Sciences and College of Medicine, Power in Neuroscience is on its way to expand to further outreach beyond the Columbus area. Their proudest accomplishment was being able to host a meaningful neuroscience EXPO for over 100 attendees, including students from low-income backgrounds. Through the expo, these students could directly speak with instructor assistants from the OSU College of Medicine and practicing neurosurgeons who could share insight into becoming a medical professional. Power in Neuroscience members plan to continue connecting students with other programs like high school summer research, professional development, and more EXPO-style events in the field of neuroscience in the following year.  

Korean Graduate Student Association 

The Korean Graduate Student Association (KGSA)’s mission is to bring people together and build a diverse community by directly engaging OSU graduate students with modern Korean cultures. Students in KGSA connect with graduate students by serving as a bridge between Korean cultures, American cultures, and other international cultures represented at OSU. This past year, KGSA supported prospective Korean Graduate students by developing a communication online channel through ‘GoHackers’ which is the biggest online study-abroad community in South Korea for prospective Korean graduate students. In part because of KGSA's efforts, over 95% of prospective students using GoHackers accepted their admissions offer to attend OSU during the 2020-2021 academic year. Members of KGSA kept in touch with these students by providing US-visa updates based on the COVID-19 situation, school registration and housing contracts, and made welcome guides to resolve issues related to off-campus housing, phone, internet, settling into Columbus.  

MindVersity at The Ohio State University 

MindVersity is intent on bridging the gap between access to mental health care and students of color and LGBTQ+ students at OSU. To work toward this mission, MindVersity members are building a peer support network of culturally competent peer advisors, providing resources to those in the campus community who need access to proper mental health care, and educating students community on mental health here at OSU. In their time as a new organization, members of MindVersity have established a strong meeting and programming calendar, virtually hosted faculty from the Psychology Department and clinicians from Counseling and Consultation Services, collaborated with other student organizations such as CHAARG, and rapidly expanded their social media presence. They plan to expand their peer support network in the following year as the organization continues to grow.  

Outstanding Overall Student Organization

Alpha Phi Omega 

Alpha Phi Omega is a co-educational fraternity and service-based leadership development organization based off of the three foundational pillars: leadership, fellowship, and service. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the 200+ members of Alpha Phi Omega have remained dedicated and diligent in order to leave a positive impact on the OSU and Columbus communities. In the last year, about 50% of Alpha Phi Omega members chose to go beyond their required 15 service hours per semester, with some even reaching 100+ service hours in a single semester. Even with the reduced required number of service hours per semester in order to account for the added stress of the pandemic, Alpha Phi Omega members have managed to complete over 1,700 service hours (thus far) this year. Moving forward, members of Alpha Phi Omega hope to further prioritize member development and cross campus partnerships toward a more collaborative approach to service-based leadership.  

FIRST Alumni & Robotics at Ohio State 

For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology’s (FIRST) mission is to inspire PreK-12 students to be engaged in science and technology through mentor-based programs. Founded in 1996, FIRST Alumni & Robotics at Ohio State (FROS) focuses on supporting FIRST teams and events locally and throughout the state of Ohio. Many current FROS members are alumni in FIRST programs who are interested in inspiring the next generation of students to become STEM-focused leaders. Over the year, they have supported local primary and secondary school teams by providing them with resources including tools, materials, and student mentors, and sponsorships. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, FROS also successfully hosted three official FIRST events for K-12 robotics participants in January 2021. Members of FROS hope to keep engaging with international FIRST teams to promote student mentorship in science and technological fields.  

Food Recovery Network 

Members of the Food Recovery Network lead by the motto “Fight Waste, Feed People.” Recognizing food insecurity in Columbus, the student leaders coordinate the collection of food from Ohio State dining facilities and franchise restaurant locations in the city that would otherwise be wasted, and provide meals to those who are in need in Columbus. Innovating along their primary charge, Food Recovery Network members have also developed an app to improve food pickup efficiency and invested in a zero emission Nissan Leaf to ensure that their operations are sustainable. The Food Recovery Network has redirected over 10,000 pounds of food in one semester alone through its daily food pickups, providing over 1500 meals to the Columbus community. These leaders have not only managed continue their daily operations, but also expanded the organization more than ever before during the past year.  

Student Community of Progressive Empowerment 

Student Community of Progressive Empowerment’s (SCOPE) mission is to support and serve students who are undocumented or of DACAmented (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) status. SCOPE is not only a one-of-kind organization on campus but the only and first student organization in the State of Ohio to be dedicated to undocumented students. To work toward this goal, members of SCOPE spent the year collaborating with campus partners to offer students resources and ways to cope with stress, career aspirations, and career decisions. SCOPE members collaborated with the Latinx Student Association and Transracial Adoptees at Ohio State during Community Week to highlight the Citizenship, Community and How to Help program and raise awareness of the Adoptee Citizenship Bill that would allow citizenship to transnational adoptees who were not naturalized upon being adopted by U.S. citizens. Members of SCOPE anticipates working in solidarity with NativeOSU to co-host additional programs on culture engagement and social justice.  

Undergraduate Student Government 

The mission of Undergraduate Student Government (USG) is to “dedicate itself to the betterment of higher education and student life. It shall be accessible to undergraduate students while being attentive to and a voice for undergraduate concerns.” Undergraduate Student Government has been consistent with this charge during the university’s shift to remote learning over the last year. One of USG’s first events during Fall semester was a Return to Campus Town Hall, where they gathered leaders within the Office of Academic Affairs, Student Life, Dining Services, and Residence Life to directly answer student questions regarding the safe return to campus. However, USG also maintained an awareness for student support in consideration of the transition back to campus. This year, wellness was USG’s number one priority which was reflected in the creation of Recess Week: a partnership between USG, Student Life, Counseling and Consultation Services, and the Student Wellness Center to encourage the university community to take an academic break and prioritize peer wellness.  

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Spirit of Ohio State

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.

Ohio Staters, Inc. 

Buckeye Spirit is at the core of Ohio Staters’ mission and values, evident in their purpose statement which reads “faculty, staff, and students promoting the welfare and traditions of Ohio State University.” This past year, Ohio Staters, Inc. hosted Global Carmeny, a physical art installation in the Ohio Union. The piece displayed the music and lyrics of our beloved Carmen Ohio translated in the thirteen most commonly spoken languages on campus all displayed together so that students from a diverse range of backgrounds can enjoy Carmen Ohio in their native tongue. Some of their current projects include the Presidential Portrait Project for Dr. Johnson, Buck-I-Create, MaskMaker, and new workshops for the First Year Success and Second-Year Transformational Series, and distributing masks by graduating class with designs submitted by students.  

Student COVID Alliance at the Ohio State University 

The Student COVID Alliance at the Ohio State University’s mission is to support fellow students living in quarantine and isolation housing at the university. Over the Fall ‘20 semester, members of this organization quickly mobilized to assemble and deliver personalized care packages to students with games, puzzles and other activities and break up the monotony of quarantine and isolation.  Their nominator said, “their enthusiasm, commitment to the cause, and positive spirit bring a light to our campus in an incredibly challenging time. […] These students found a way to instantly make a difference and seems to have no plans of slowing down.” As leaders at OSU continue to respond to the pandemic and keep Buckeyes safe and healthy, the Student COVID Alliance will continue supporting the university and members of the student body.  

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