Students, Campus Groups, Faculty, and Staff Recognized for Contributions

April 26, 2010

Students, Campus GroupsThe Math Club was named outstanding club of the year. Monika Vo, third from left, is the club advisor and associate professor of mathematics. She was also honored as SGU’s choice of outstanding faculty member.

At the end of each academic year at the main campus, the Division of Student Services, in cooperation with the Student Government Union, works with the campus community to come together and recognize people who have enriched life and study at Saint Leo in one way or another.

The Division of Student Services, for instance, chooses to honor seven individuals or groups for their contributions to campus life. The awards align with Saint Leo’s core values, which reflect the Catholic Benedictine values of the university’s founders.

Graduating senior Sarah Holz was chosen as the outstanding representative of the Benedictine value of personal integrity. Another senior, Vernon Davis, was selected as the person most representing the value of respect for all persons.

Student Government Union and Campus Activities Board were recognized for upholding the value of community stewardship. Jenniffer Duffey was honored for representing the value of campus community.  

Sophomore and resident assistant Amanda Cassar was selected as the outstanding representative of the value of responsible stewardship.

Two named awards go to graduating seniors.

Jessica O’Keefe, the SGU president, was chosen to receive the Abbott Marion Bowman Activities Award for her high level of leadership and participation in extracurricular activities.
Nicholas Bliesner, who has assisted the university in advocating for the continuation of a state tuition-grant program for Florida students, was chosen for the John I. Leonard General Excellence Award. The honor is given to the senior who best combines the qualities of character, scholarship, service, leadership, and general excellence.

The Student Government Union also directs two awards specifically to graduating seniors who have studied at Saint Leo for four years. Sarah Shirina, a leader and participant in SERVE alternative spring break trips and other activities, was given the Rebecca L. Buller Award for unsurpassed leadership, service, and integrity. Chelsea Shoemaker, who served as president of the Samaritans Club and as a resident assistant, was given the Tobey Award for her strength of character and dedication to service and leadership. 

On a sad note, the late Sister Germaine Bevans, O.S.B., a former university trustee and prioress of Holy Name Monastery, was posthumously honored with the Lonzo Helton Award for the individual (specifically not a student) who best demonstrates passionate service and outstanding dedication to the values of Saint Leo University. The Sisters of the Holy Name Monastery accepted the award on her behalf.

Among the student population, Vernon Davis and Erin Lucas were selected as the outstanding male and female students among the senior class. Maria Acosta and Oscar Redden were named outstanding juniors.

 Amanda Cassar and Devan “DJ” Jones were selected as the outstanding sophomores. Amanda Altu and Michael Gincel were named the outstanding freshmen.

SGU’s outstanding faculty member award went to Monika Vo, associate professor of mathematics. Robert Sullivan, executive director of campus security and safety, was given the Dr. Robert Ackerman Outstanding Administrator Award. Liz Smith, from the university’s Student Financial Services department, was selected for the Beth G. Evan Outstanding Staff Member Award.

The Math Club was named the outstanding club or organization. The club sponsors contests for the entire campus relating math to everyday life, among other activities. Graduating senior George Smith was named outstanding club officer for his leadership of the Communications Club.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon was named the outstanding fraternity, and its advisor, religion and theology member Randall Woodard, was named outstanding advisor. Sigma Sigma Sigma was named the outstanding sorority.

Two resident assistants, a male and female, are annually selected for recognition of excellent work. This year the honors went to Andrew VanGuilder and Cedricka Carver. Both are juniors.

A separate recognition went to a student employee. A diverse panel of university employees selected Rhone Francis, student worker in the Tallahassee office, for the Saint Leo University Student Employee of the Year Award. The National Student Employment Association works each year with institutions to recognize dedicated, professional student workers with this honor.