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Purdue Northwest Pioneer

Student leaders, faculty members recognized

Brooke Regier, Staff Writer

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Leaders from student organizations were recognized at the annual Student Recognition Banquet on April 7 in the DSSAC on the Westville campus.

Caitlyn Swan, sophomore elementary and special education major and president of Circle K, presented a number of awards to the members of Circle K, a student lead volunteer based club. Swan said she is proud of her club for their efforts to work hard despite the challenges.

“We were kind of under the weather this year. We only had 10 active members, but the 10 that we had worked so hard. We even made it to all three of the district events this year which was great,” Swan said.

Kylie Smolar, sophomore political science major, was presented with the Student Employee of the Year award for her work in the New Student Orientation department.

“This award is an extension of an amazing department. It is not just me, it is a collaboration with all my coworkers and I am very thankful,” Smolar said.

A few students received more than one award. Rachel Rodgers, a senior business management major, received three different awards. Rodgers received the Outstanding Leader Award, the Most Dedicated Award and the Above and Beyond Award. Rodgers is most proud of her experience with College Improv.

“I’ve been with it pretty much since the start so watching it grow and being able to work with the club and making people’s’ lives better has been amazing,” Rodgers said.

The College Improv club donates all the proceeds of their improv shows to three local charities.

“Helping the community has been my favorite part about [College Improv],” Rodgers said.

Cody Dallas, Student Life Coordinator, and Amanda Champlin, the Office of Dean of Students and Student Organization and Leadership Coordinator, worked together to plan the banquet.

“I think [this event] was awesome. It’s really nice to see so many students get recognized,” Dallas said.

Alejandra Gamez, senior biology major and the president of Unidos, a club aimed at unifying the university’s students through Hispanic heritage, was awarded the Leader of the Year award.

“I am very proud of my club. I feel like I didn’t do much without them. [I won] this because they all thought I could,” Gamez said.

Chancellor Thomas Keon gave the closing remarks for the banquet and encouraged the students to continue improving themselves, their clubs and the school. Keon recognized the successful year it has been for the student-lead organizations and PNW.

“It’s a great opportunity for everybody to get together at the end of the year to recognize all the efforts of everyone that have been engaged with student life and student activities on campus,” Keon said.

The Spanish Club was awarded Student Organization of the Year and Neil Nemeth, Ph.D and advisor for the PNW Pioneer, was named Advisor of the Year.

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