High-achieving students and organizations that have enhanced the lives of both the campus and local community were honored at the inaugural President’s Student Leadership and Service Awards on May 3 in the Loker Student Union.
Marco Dowell, director of the Office of Student Life who presided over the event, says that the students who were honored “represent some of the best of the best and I am confident that those students have much success in their futures.”
“Just about any job announcement will indicate the need for some level of leadership experience, capabilities or skills,” he says. “Getting involved in leadership experiences while in college allows our students to add to the sum of their parts and to grow and expand their leadership tool belt. We applaud those students who [explore] college for all it has to offer and who give much as they can, inside and outside the classroom.”
In addressing students, faculty and staff present, President Mildred García praised the honorees as the university’s “points of pride.”
“By becoming involved in leadership and service at CSU Dominguez Hills, you are taking advantage of the opportunity to have the most well-rounded educational experience possible,” García said.
The award for Advisor of the Year was presented to Maurice Claybrook, a lecturer in Africana studies, who also serves as the advisor for the Organization of Africana Studies (OAS). This spring, he prepared a team of students to attend and present research at the annual conference of the National Council for Black Studies.
OAS and the Anthropology Club were recognized with an award for Outstanding Academic Achievement by a Student Organization. OAS was commended for its members and their efforts to balance their academic responsibilities with community service. The Anthropology Club provides an active outreach to the state’s community colleges through its online journal that highlights the department’s students and achievements as a recruitment tool for CSU Dominguez Hills.
Three students were honored with the Presidential Award for Personal Perseverence. Graduating seniors Chiana Ghant, Mary Claire Lanski, and Todd Matsubara were lauded for their determination to fulfill their academic duties despite great personal and familial challenges.
Espiritu de Nuestro Futuro and Sigma Lambda Beta were given the spotlight with the Outstanding Student Organization Award. Espiritu’s focus is to support undocumented and AB540 students. Sigma Lambda Beta was commended for its efforts in educating fellow students on a variety of social topics including homophobia, assisting the needy with clothing, aid for Japan in the wake of the tsunami and earthquake, and the dangers of texting while driving.
Mauricio Amaral, Ashley Ann Clark, Jose Collazo, and Manuel Diaz were honored by President García with her final signature award for the evening, the Outstanding Student Award. The winners were recognized for their excellence in academic performance with a GPA of 3.5 or higher, exemplary service in community leadership on- and off- campus, and a commitment to the diversity and mission of the university.
García underscored the importance of students gaining leadership experience to prepare for a global workplace and society, and encouraged them to continue to serve as role models for the next generation of students.
“We are proud to be one of the most diverse public universities west of the Mississippi, and your roles as leaders are even more important as you bring your own cultural background and experiences to your work, to your community, and to your nation, which is becoming increasingly more diverse every day,” she said. “You also serve as role models for other students and for your communities. We need you to continue to be those role models as you prepare other leaders for the future.”