Outstanding students and organizations for 2019-20 honored by Student Affairs
The Division of Student Affairs honored outstanding students and organizations for the 2019-20 academic year virtually during the week of April 20-24. The award winners were announced on the Student Affairs Instagram account each day.
“Congratulations are in order to all of these outstanding students and organizations,” said Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Chris Miller. “Each individual and group has made an impact on the Clemson experience in a unique way and we cannot thank them enough for their contributions to the university community.”
Almeda R. Jacks Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award
Presented in honor of Clemson’s former vice president for Student Affairs. It is given to the best “all around” junior or senior who upholds Clemson’s core values, maintains high scholarly achievement and who shows a cross-section of involvement in university departments, clubs or organizations.
2019-20 recipient: Jennifer Cabezas
Senior microbiology major
Past president of the Latinos Unidos at Clemson University (LUCU)
Currently mentors LUCU executive board, serves on the Commission on Latino Affairs, undergraduate teaching assistant with the Clemson Light Imaging Facility and is a mentor within the College of Science
On track to graduate in May 2020
Walter T. Cox Graduate Student Award
Presented in memory of the 10th university president and longtime vice president for Student Affairs. It is given to a first-year graduate student employed by the Division of Student Affairs. The recipient must show ongoing excellence as a member of the community through his or her leadership, support of the holistic academic experience and commitment to diversity and acceptance.
2019-20 recipient: Andrew Raposo
First-year graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in counselor education with an emphasis in student affairs
Graduate assistant in the Center for Student Leadership and Engagement
Advises student programming board, TigerLive Entertainment
Participated in Alternative Break Program in Fall 2019 and is a member of the Survivor Summit committee, which advocates for survivors of sexual assault
R.C. Edwards Outstanding Graduate Student Award
Presented in memory of the longtime president best known for leading Clemson from an all-male military college to a major coeducational and integrated university. It is given to the best “all around” graduate student with high scholarly achievement and someone who contributes to the Clemson community through leadership in university and/or community organizations.
2019-20 recipient: Bridget Blood
Pursuing a Ph.D. in forest resources
Has co-chaired Graduate Student Government’s travel grants committee, which distributes roughly $190,000 per year to graduate students participating in professional events
Secured a $20,000 grant from the U.S. Forest Service to study shortleaf pine in January 2020
Co-teaches the Invasion Ecology Creative Inquiry, which leads undergraduates into the field to conduct real-world research about invasive plant species
Rising Star Award
Presented to a first- or second-year student with a minimum 3.0 GPA who is currently involved in leadership or service activities and is actively pursuing future leadership roles at Clemson University.
2019-20 recipient: Roann Abdeladl
Sophomore health science major
Educational outreach chair for the Student Funding Board, which allocates the activity fee disbursements for organizations and clubs
Serves as treasurer for the Muslim Students Association and coordinated an educational booth for World Hijab Day in Greenville, South Carolina
Matt Locke Award
Presented to a student for outstanding leadership with regard to service and devotion to humankind and Clemson University.
2019-20 recipient: Ashni Bhojwani
Senior psychology and criminal justice major
Named a Truman Scholarship recipient, the premier graduate fellowship for public service leadership; she is only the third Clemson student to ever receive the honor
Interned with the Campaign for Youth Justice, a nonprofit that works to end prosecution, sentencing and incarceration of United States youth, in the summer of 2019
Plans to pursue a law degree following graduation
Outstanding Commitment to Service
Presented to an organization that has demonstrated outstanding service to Clemson University and the surrounding community, promoted the public good, demonstrated innovation, creativity or a new kind of engagement, and created a valuable learning experience for students.
2019-20 recipient: Alpha Tau Omega
Has raised nearly $20,000 in support of Samuel J. Cadden Chapel and more than $50,000 for Upstate Warrior Solution over the past two years; set an Interfraternity Council philanthropic record through its Upstate Warrior fundraising efforts
Takes part in annual highway cleanup and engages ClemsonLIFE through field days and mentoring activities
Won the 2019 Homecoming float competition in collaboration with Alpha Phi and Gamma Phi Beta
Outstanding Program of the Year
Presented to a registered student organization whose program demonstrated creativity, ingenuity, organization and left a positive impact on the campus community.
2019-20 recipient: Spirit blitz (Central Spirit)
Raised awareness for non-revenue varsity athletics programs during the week of Feb. 9-16
Utilized social media, campus digital network, local websites and collaborated with Clemson Athletics and IPTAY to provide incentives for attendance
Tiger Pride Award
Presented to an organization that has outstanding participation in campuswide events and contribution to the development of its members.
2019-20 recipient: TigerLive Entertainment
Planned and executed a live music performance featuring JOHNNYSWIM in Memorial Stadium during Tigerama 2019
Collaborated with multiple campus partners to put on a silent disco in the Barnes Center in February
Hosted an anti-gun violence activist and Parkland shooting survivor in collaboration with Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and Clemson University Police Department (CUPD)
Aided in Black History Month, LGBTQ+ Pride Week and Women’s Celebration Month events
Undergraduate Student Organization of the Year
Presented to a registered undergraduate organization that has made a significant effort to further its purpose through contributions to Clemson University and the local community. The award recognizes the organization that has demonstrated consistent flexibility, initiative, creativity and perseverance through their activities and programs. The organization also embodies the Clemson spirit through its commitment to leadership development, collaboration among groups and programmatic efforts to enhance the quality of campus life.
2019-20 recipient: Muslim Students Association
Successfully hosted events such as Islam Awareness Night, with more than 200 attendees
Also held a Taste of the Middle East, which brings in traditional foods and artifacts to educate Clemson students and community members about the Muslim faith
Saw more than 150 students, faculty and staff participate in World Hijab Day, which offered a chance to learn about Muslim students in a fun and inviting way
Graduate Student Organization of the Year
Presented to a registered graduate organization that has made a significant effort to further its purpose through contributions to Clemson University and the local community. The award recognizes the organization that has demonstrated consistent flexibility, initiative, creativity and perseverance through their activities and programs. The organization also embodies the Clemson spirit through its commitment to leadership development, collaboration among groups and programmatic efforts to enhance the quality of campus life.
2019-20 recipient: Clemson Indian Student Association
Successfully plan and organize five events celebrating the major festivals of India each year; these events showcase talents, authentic Indian food, dancing and music and are attended by hundreds of graduate and undergraduate students each year
Provides support to incoming international students through roommate identification, orientation, course registration and more
Advisor of the Year
Presented to a student organization advisor that has provided excellent service, support and guidance to the organization(s) to which they advise. The recipient is actively involved as the organization advisor in helping and guiding the students and organization as a whole to be successful and fulfill their mission and goals.
2019-20 recipient: Ciera Durden
Serves as the associate director for multicultural community development in the Gantt Center
Works with the Clemson Rainbow Fellowship and attends all executive meetings, multiple events and advises the group on decisions and policies
Assisted in crafting a mentor handbook and training session and helped revamped Ally Training program
CONNECTIONS Senior Peer Mentor of the Year
Presented to a member of the CONNECTIONS leadership team who goes above and beyond to plan and facilitate programs for students, leads by example and fosters a sense of community within the program.
2019-20 recipient: Vanessa Gonzalez
Senior psychology and women’s leadership double major
Has forged deep relationships with mentees and other mentors in CONNECTIONS
Has served as a mentor within the program since her sophomore year
CONNECTIONS Mentor of the Year
Presented to a CONNECTIONS mentor who is dedicated to the program, shows great consistency and demonstrates a support for the transition and success of first-year students.
2019-20 recipient: Camryn Hubbard
Sophomore biochemistry major
Consistently attends CONNECTIONS events and supports mentees by providing energy and a positive spirit
Creates a welcoming environment for all program participants
CONNECTIONS Mentee of the Year
Presented to a first-year CONNECTIONS student who exemplifies leadership, academic excellence and who displays a love for fellow program participants.
2019-20 recipient: A.J. Sanders
Freshman general engineering major
Described by others as “hard working” and “involved on campus”
Displays a willingness to help others and energy toward peers within his living-learning community
Outstanding Student Veteran
Presented to an enrolled student veteran who has had a remarkable impact on Clemson’s campus and veteran services, displayed admirable leadership to their veteran and military-connected peers, and furthered the mission of Military and Veteran Engagement by creating a purposeful, engaged and veteran-inclusive campus at Clemson.
Fall 2019 recipient: Pat Harrison
Senior parks, recreation and tourism management major
Volunteered to host the fall tailgate, a fun and supportive event for student veterans and their families
Engaged fellow student veterans in and out of the classroom to make them feel connected to campus
Spring 2020 recipient: Eric Suttles
Graduate student in parks, recreation and tourism management
Served in Clemson’s Student Veterans of America (SVA) chapter and with Team River Runner, a watersports-based student organization
Volunteered in the Student Veteran Center during Spring 2020 by navigating the VA benefits system for students