Decoration for dedication

Students, organizations receive recognition


Brooke Sotelo

Lori Feldman, adviser for Women in Business and associate vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, accepts the award for Student Organization Adviser of the Year.

The achievements and successes of leaders were the major themes of the Student Recognition Banquet on April 13 at the Great Hall in Westville, where students were honored for their dedication in student organizations and advisers were recognized for contributing to Student Life.

Chancellor Thomas Keon said a university is not only meant to educate students, but also to make a difference in the community through leadership.

“It does not matter the number of activities you are involved in. The real strength is in how you touch others,” Keon said. “The fact that you make a difference and discover yourself on that journey is significant.”

Lori Feldman, associate vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, won Student Organization Adviser of the Year for advising Women in Business.

Neil Nemeth, associate professor of communication and The Pioneer’s adviser, presented the award as last year’s winner.

Feldman said she is grateful for her students.

“I say this from my heart that it is a privilege to serve the students here. I am humbled to be here,” Feldman said. “Thank you for your hard work, and I am very appreciative.”

Anna Duley, SGA vice president, won the Outstanding Student Organization Student Leader award.

“Thank you so much for all of your support. I am thankful and grateful to be here,” Duley said.

Spanish Club won Social Organization of the Year for the second year in a row. This award comes with a $500 prize to the organization donated by Purdue Federal Credit Union. The club donated more than $800 to support relief efforts for the earthquake in Mexico and the hurricane in Puerto Rico in 2017.

Santino Diaz, vice president of Spanish Club, said the organization cares deeply about the community.

“I want to thank all members of the Spanish Club who give their time to this organization so that we can make a difference,” Diaz said.

The American Sign Language Club won for Departmental Organization of the year, with over active 120 active members. This award also included a $500 prize donated by Purdue Federal Credit Union.

Alexandra Kutsor, graduate student, won Student Employee of the Year for her work as a graduate teaching assistant and in the Writing Center.

Rick Rickerson, laboratory administrator in the College of Technology and training coordinator in Commercialization and Manufacturing Excellence, won Student Employment Supervisor of the Year.

“I have been here for 14 years. Students come and go and I am always asked why I am still here. I stay for the students. They are wonderful, young, talented people and I am humbled. Thank you,” Rickerson said.

Duley announced that SGA’s president-elect and vice president-elect would be Riley Owens and Dustin Thibideau, respectively.

Thibideau, CHESS senator in Hammond, won SGA’s Extraordinary Leader Award. James Schooley, CHESS senator in Westville, won SGA’s Emerging Leader Award, which is given to a first-year SGA member who shows initiative, potential and adjusts quickly to the many responsibilities of the organization. Schooley and Evan Fus, College of Technology senator in Hammond, both won SGA’s Outstanding Senator Awards.

“I am very grateful for winning the award that symbolizes the dedication and initiative when a challenge arises,” Fus said. “I believe that every SGA senator has been outstanding this year for being the first unified SGA.”

Sixteen students won Above and Beyond awards. Cody Dallas, coordinator of Student Organization & Leadership, said all students who won showed traits of leadership, dedication, commitment and creativity.

“They consistently go the extra mile with their enthusiasm and encourage others to follow their example,” Dallas said. “Selflessly, their only goal is the success of the organizations they are a part of.”

Other student organizations, such as the National Society of Black Engineers, Spanish Club and Revive campus ministries recognized members and their organization through awards and speeches. The Ranting Llamas Improv Club presented stuffed llamas to members in recognition of their work in the organization.

Additionally, students won awards from the National Residence Hall Honorary and the Residence Hall Association, and student ambassadors and new student orientation leaders also received recognition.

Carmen Panlilio, vice chancellor for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, said students are the reason for the university.

“Even after you graduate you are still part of PNW,” Panlilio said.

Brooke Sotelo
Anna Duley, winner of the Student Organization Student
Leader award, did not know she was nominated.
Brooke Sotelo
Rick Rickerson accepts the Student Employment Supervisor of the Year award at the Student
Recognition Banquet on April 13.