May 20, 2021

Students honored at Yellowjacket Student Excellence Awards

The ceremony took place virtually May 5

University of Wisconsin-Superior students were honored for their hard work and dedication during the 2020-21 academic year during the Yellowjacket Student Excellence Awards ceremony, which took place virtually May 5.

“Obviously, this is not the way we hoped to end the academic year, but we still have a lot to celebrate, even if we can’t be together in person,” said Allison Garver, assistant director of student involvement.

Madison Hale, Amber Heidenreich and Sarah Tapper were named the recipients of the Chancellor’s Leadership Award. This award is given to members of the graduating class who are committed to personal growth and have made a positive contribution to their peers, campus and community.

Jessica Smith was announced as the Newman Civic Fellowship Recipient. Students selected for the fellowship are leaders on their campuses who demonstrate a commitment to finding solutions for challenges facing communities locally, nationally and internationally.

The Department of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion presented several awards during the ceremony, including:

Ines Benkhefallah and Morgan Sanders were presented Office of Intercultural Success Student Leadership Awards. The award is presented to a student who has demonstrated a passion for increasing diversity and inclusion through leadership.

The First Nations Center Student of the Year Award was presented to Nellie Barri and Skyler Van Loo. This award is presented to a student who has worked tirelessly to promote cultural diversity and awareness regarding First Nations and Indigenous cultures within the office as well as working with the Native Nations Student Organization to help support Indigenous students through outreach and programming.

Wesley Kratz-Gullickson received the Gender Equity Resource Center Student of the Year Award. The award goes to a student for their initiative to go above and beyond expectations in advancing and supporting people of minoritized gender and/or sexual identities.

Awards for Veteran and Non-Traditional Student of the Year went to Ryan Lovaas and Samuel Zurian. This recognizes a student for perseverance, positivity, and being tenacious in achieving their goals.  

EDI Outstanding Leadership Awards were presented to Archie Gjerdrum, Sudarshan Choudhury, Desiree Armas Castillo, Morgan Richardson, Madison Hale and Jessica Smith. These awards are presented to students that are dedicated to playing an active part in promoting diversity and inclusion at UW-Superior. These students are committed to creating environments where all people are welcome, regardless of background and/or identity. As leaders on our campus, recipients of the EDI awards go out of their way to enhance and promote the spirit of UW-Superior through their everyday work as well as their extracurricular involvement.

Student Involvement also presented awards to multiple organizations and students.

“All faculty, staff, and students were encouraged to submit nominations for these awards and the recipients were selected by a staff committee representing multiple areas of campus,” said Garver. “Just to be nominated for a Student Involvement Award is a great accomplishment and all nominees should be incredibly proud.”

The Nemadji Review received the Evolving Student Organization Award, which honors a recognized student organization that has demonstrated significant growth in the areas of membership development, program development or overall campus involvement in the past year.

 The Promethean student newspaper received the Inclusive Excellence Award. This award goes to a recognized student organization that has raised awareness around issues of diversity and inclusion as well as promoted a space for open and honest dialogue on topics related to diversity.

The Program of the Year Award was given to the UWS Chapter of Music Teachers National Association. This recognition goes to a student organization program or event that has promoted student engagement, built a sense of community and enriched the lives of the campus and community through a student-initiated, directed and implemented program.  

The Advisor of the Year Award goes to a faculty or staff advisor of a student organization that has shared their professional knowledge, assisted the organization with setting and achieving goals, and encouraged the growth and development of its student leaders. This honor was awarded to Ms. Julie Gard, professor of writing and associate director of the writing center.

Jessica Borntrager and Kayla Antos were recognized with the Community Service Award, which is presented to individuals who demonstrate UW-Superior’s culture of care and set an inspiring example of leadership and service.

The Outstanding Emerging Leader Award is presented to individuals who have shown significant and progressive growth in their leadership skills and abilities. They serve as positive role models for their peers and the campus community and show potential to take their leadership to the next level. This year’s recipients of the Outstanding Student Leader Awards were Rachel Prost and Augusto Vladusic.

Awards for Outstanding Emerging Leader went to Michael Michelizzi, and Jordan Stish. Individuals nominated for the award have shown continuous involvement and leadership in campus activities, while being consistent and effective in implementing their leadership skills.  

“I’d like to offer another congratulations to all the students, advisors, and student organizations that were nominated for Student Involvement Awards this year,” said Garver. “Your contributions to the UW-Superior community are immeasurable, and all of us in the Department of Student Involvement cannot thank you enough for all that you do.”



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