Excellence in Student Life Awards
The Excellence in Student Life Awards honor the most outstanding students, student organizations, faculty, and staff members at GW. Offices from across campus come together to present more than 20 awards during GW's largest celebration of student life. The Excellence Awards serve as an important campus tradition as well as an amazing opportunity to recognize those who have significantly enhanced student life at the George Washington University.
Each of the awards provides deserving nominees with recognition of their passion and dedication to improving the GW community. Some of the awards include monetary rewards and scholarships. Winners will be announced at the 32nd Annual Excellence in Student Life Awards Ceremony on April 19, 2017 at 8pm in Lisner Auditorium - the entire GW community is welcome to attend. Award nominees and a guest will be invited to join us for the Nominees' Reception prior to the event.
Thank you for taking the time to recognize the great accomplishments in student life at GW over the past year.
Questions? Contact Anne Graham, Assistant Director of Student Involvement, at 202-994-0177 or email@example.com.
The Awards: 2017 Winners and Nominees
See below for award descriptions and 2017 nominees.
- Baer Award for Individual Excellence (Kate Bell, Austin Hansen, Iman Lee, Kalpana Vissa, Anna Wadhwani)
- Class of 2005 9/11 Memorial Scholarship (Liliana Luevano)
- Class of 2009 University Pride Award (Jocelyn Lobos)
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award (Thomas Falcigno, Abeke Teyibo, Kayla Williams, Carlo Wood)
- Graduate Award for Individual Excellence (Tyler Wu)
- Honey Nashman Spark a Life Award for Faulty Member of the Year (Dr. Samuel Goldman)
- Joint Committee of Faculty and Students Scholarship for Undergraduate Leadership Development (Carolina Fuentes, Laura Gomez Cadena, Samantha Lumpkin, Desiree Perez, Maria Silva, Priyanka Walimbe)
- Manatt-Trachtenberg Prize (Kayla Williams)
- Marc A. Zambetti Award (Stephanie Ishoo)
- Mount Vernon Award (Dinal Jayasekera)
- Outstanding Student Service Award (Individual (Lydia Johnson)
- Resident Advisor of the Year Award (Olivia Garcia)
- Robert A. Chernak Spark a Life Award for Staff Member of the Year (Renee Kashawlic)
- Student Employee of the Year Award (Morgan Kurtz, Alexandra Rosenberg)
- Student Organization Officer of the Year Award (Madelaine Daley)
- Wall of Fame Award (Thomas Falcigno, Christina Giordano, Gabriela Madrid, Harry Knabe, Anne Scammon)
- Excellence in Diversity Award (South Asian Society)
- Learning Through Action Award (International Affairs Society)
- Outstanding Student Service Award (Group) (Alternative Breaks)
- Pyramid Winner for Student Organization of the Year (Feminist Student Union, Women in Business, Dance Marathon)
- Students' Choice for Performance Group of the Year (The GW Vibes)
Baer Award for Individual Excellence
Awarded to graduate or undergraduate student(s) with a minimum 3.0 GPA who have enhanced student life and demonstrated themselves as a positive member of the GW community.
The Baer Award for Individual Excellence is a prestigious award developed in honor and memory of David A. Baer, a member of the class of 1910, for his involvement in and support for the University’s extra-curricular program. This award will honor those students who have demonstrated integrity and commitment in their overall conduct as members of the campus community. Recipients of the Baer Award have taken it upon themselves to make our community stronger and pledged to enhance student life through a variety of involvements. Additionally, these individuals exhibit competent scholarship (a minimum of a 3.0 GPA) in pursuit of their academic objectives.
|Reem Al Shabeeb|
|S. Umar Husain|
|Kenneth Josephine Stesin|
|Aubrianna L. Mierow|
|Karin Tovar Cardenas|
Class of 2005 9/11 Memorial Scholarship
Awarded to a rising senior with demonstrated commitment to serving the public. Preference is given to first responders or military members.
The Class of 2005 9/11 Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to one rising senior each spring to be applied to the cost of tuition in $2,500 in their senior year. Those seeking this scholarship should have a demonstrated commitment to serving the public good and helping others in their time of need. It is the desire of the Class of 2005 (but not a prerequisite) to give preference to candidates that have volunteered or worked as first responders, or have participated in some form of military service. Candidates may be self-nominated or nominated by a peer, faculty or staff member. All candidates must have two full, remaining semesters as a full time students.
|Jarrett L. Cooper|
Class of 2009 University Pride Award
Awarded to a graduate or undergraduate student who has contributed to a culture of philanthropy and voluntarism among GW students. Non-senior nominees preferred.
The Class of 2009 University Pride Award recognizes a civically and philanthropically engaged student. This individual demonstrates a genuine passion and affinity for The George Washington University and frequently engages in service and philanthropy at GW and beyond. A great nomination for this award shows that the nominee gives back to the GW community with their time and talent and contributes to the development of a culture of philanthropy and voluntarism among GW students. The winner will receive a textbook stipend for the GW bookstore. This award is funded by the Class of 2009 Senior Class Gift. A non-senior nominees preferred, so the winner can take full advantage of the textbook stipend.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award
Awarded to undergraduate student(s) who exemplify the values of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr through leadership, scholarship, and service.
The George Washington University (GW) honors the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by acknowledging outstanding members of the GW student community who exemplify the values embodied in Dr. King’s legacy -- scholarship, service, servant leadership, peace, non-violence, diversity, inclusion, integrity, spiritual growth, ethical reflection. The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award is one of the most prestigious honors offered by the university. Undergraduate students honoring Dr. King’s legacy through exceptional leadership, scholarship, service, research, actions, and deeds in service to the university and/or the greater Washington DC communities are eligible.
|Thomas A. Falcigno|
|Melissa Ingrid Lawrence|
|Xavier L. Richie|
|Parth D. Taparia|
Graduate Award for Individual Excellence
Awarded to a graduate student who has strengthened the graduate student community through scholarship, work, involvement, or advocacy on campus or in the Washington, DC community.
The Graduate Award for Individual Excellence recognizes those students who best exemplify the four-part mission of the graduate, distance, and professional student experience (to provide GW graduate students with consolidated and useful information, educational opportunities, support of community events and effective advocacy in the interest of strengthening our community) through their work and efforts in the campus and/or Washington, DC community. This award is only open to graduate students. Candidates may be self-nominated or nominated by a peer, faculty, or staff member. A graduate student worthy of the Graduate Award for Individual Excellence could be defined by their work, scholarship, and extracurricular activities. Criteria is described in greater detail within the nomination form.
|Thomas C. Gallagher, Jr.|
|Justin C Oparaugo|
|Karin Tovar Cardenas|
Honey Nashman Spark a Life Award for Faculty Member of the Year
Awarded to a faculty member who has significantly impacted and inspired a student or student organization.
The Honey Nashman Spark A Life Award for Faculty Member of the Year will be granted to one faculty member who has significantly impacted the holistic development of a student or registered student organization, thus causing a “spark” of inspiration. Individuals eligible for this award are faculty members who have formed apositive mentoring relationship which has measurably impacted the development of the student or registered student organization and the contributions they make to the GW and/or Washington, DC communities. A great nomination includes a faculty member who has played a vital role in the success of a student or a student organization. For example, they may have helped and supported a student or a student organization through crisis, or helped facilitate change within an organization that strengthened the organization, or they helped an organization reach a benchmark of success or achieve a sought-after goal.
|Dr. Samuel Werby Goldman|
|Douglas F. Nixon|
Joint Committee of Faculty and Students Scholarship for Undergraduate Student Leadership Development
Awarded to undergraduate students who have demonstrated exceptional scholarship, leadership, and contributions to the GW community through involvement.
The Joint Committee of Faculty and Students, in conjunction with the Senior Vice Provost and Senior Vice President for Student and Academic Support Services, is pleased to announce the 2017 Undergraduate Scholarships for Student Leadership Development. The scholarships, of $3,000 each, are to be applied to University related costs, such as tuition, books, University housing, and food service. They are designed to recognize undergraduate students who have the potential to demonstrate exceptional leadership based on their contributions to date, particularly to student organizations and campus activities.
|Laura Gomez Cadena|
Awarded to a graduating senior who significantly challenged the social and intellectual conscience of the University while demonstrating leadership, integrity, and goodwill.
The Manatt-Trachtenberg Prize was established in 2004 by Ambassador Charles Manatt, Emeritus Trustee of the University and Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, President of The George Washington University from 1988 to 2007, to honor the graduating senior who most significantly challenged the social and intellectual conscience of The George Washington University while displaying leadership, competence, integrity, and goodwill in carrying out University responsibilities. The prize will include a modest cash award.
|Reem Al Shabeeb|
Marc A. Zambetti Award
Awarded to a graduating senior who has contributed to the success of GW’s Intramural Sports Program through positive participation and good sportsmanship
The Marc A. Zambetti Award was created in honor of its namesake. Marc was a member of the class of 1985 and an active participant in the Intramural Sports program while a student here at GW. Marc was tragically killed when the freeway upon which he was traveling collapsed during the earthquake that rocked the San Francisco Bay area on October 17, 1989. The purpose of this award is to recognize a graduating senior participant (player/employee) in the Office of Campus Recreation's Intramural Sports Program. This senior is one that contributed to the success in the Intramural Sports Program at GW and represented good sportsmanship during his/her/their time in the Office of Campus Recreation's Intramural Sports Program.
Mount Vernon Award
Awarded to a student resident or former resident of the Mount Vernon Campus who has demonstrated a commitment to the Mount Vernon Campus community while maintaining a high level of academic achivement.
The Mount Vernon Award is presented to a current undergraduate student who demonstrates the spirit and legacy of the Mount Vernon Campus and that of its founder, Elizabeth Somers, through many facets of their involvement at The George Washington University. These include (in order of importance): Pride in and appreciation for the Mount Vernon experience; Being a supportive, contributing member of the Mount Vernon Campus community through continued dedication to the MVC campus; Involvement in current affairs of the Mount Vernon Campus, overall GW Community and the city, all while maintaining a high level of academic achievement. Students eligible for this award must be current or former Mount Vernon Campus residents. Nominations by staff, faculty, and peers as well as self-nominations are encouraged and will be accepted. Candidates must be in good academic and disciplinary standing and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 as of the Fall 2015 semester.
|Dinal Sanjana Jayasekera|
Outstanding Student Service Award (Individual)
Awarded to an undergraduate or graduate student who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to supporting the needs of our University community and beyond through service.
Recipients of the Outstanding Student Service Award – Individual will have exhibited exceptional commitment to supporting the needs and interests of our community locally, nationally, and/or globally through direct community service, as well as, share his/her/their passion with The George Washington campus community. To be eligible the individual must by a current undergraduate or graduate student at the George Washington University during the 2015-16 academic year and in good standing with the University (no academic or disciplinary probation).
Residential Advisor of the Year Award
Awarded to a current Residential Advisor who has demonstrated excellence in their role and had a positive impact on the community they serve.
Every year Residential Advisors contribute to the experience of thousands of residential students. The Residential Advisor of the Year Award recognizes the best of that group for their skills and contributions throughout the year. The Residential Advisor of the Year is one who has created a strong community amongst their residents, meaningful mentoring relationships and campus connections. Most importantly, the Residential Advisor must have made a positive impact on the community they serve. All current Residential Advisors are eligible. Nominations may be made by staff, faculty, and/or students of the GW community.
|Yona Weissman Fabra|
Robert A. Chernak Spark a Life Award for Staff Member of the Year
Awarded to a staff member who has significantly impacted and inspired a student or student organization.
The Robert A. Chernak Spark a Life Award for Staff Member of the Year will be granted to one staff member who has significantly impacted the holistic development of a student and/or registered student organization, thus causing a “spark” of inspiration. Individuals eligible for this award are staff members who have formed a positive mentoring relationship which has measurably impacted the development of the student and/or registered student organization and the contributions they make to the GW and/or Washington, DC communities.
|Ellen Carter Woodbridge|
|Marva Gumbs Jennings|
Student Employee of the Year Award
Awarded to a undergraduate student employee and a graduate student employee who have made valuable contributions to the GW workforce while successfully managing academics and involvement.
Over the years student employees have made valuable contributions to the GW workforce. Often these employees manage full-time academic schedules and participate in campus activities in addition to working part-time. The commitment these students make in balancing the responsibilities of work and school deserves special acknowledgement. We invite you to nominate your student employee for the GW Student Employee of the Year Award. The GW Student Employee of the Year is entered into a regional competition of the National Student Employment Association. This award recognizes student employees who have made outstanding contributions to their employers. If you have a student employee whom you feel is worthy of special recognition, we encourage you to nominate him/her/them. The student you nominate should have worked for you for a period of at least six months, and be a full-time, undergraduate or graduate student at GW. Please note that the nominee will be evaluated on the qualities of reliability, quality of work, initiative, professionalism, and contribution to employer as indicated on the nomination form.
|Isvita Hemant Marfatia|
|James (Trey) Johnston|
|Mary Kate Kosciusko|
|James "Jimmy" LaFaso|
|Nathaniel San Nicolas|
|Dinal Sanjana Jayasekera|
Wall of Fame Award
Awarded to student, staff, or faculty that have made a significant contribution to student life at GW.
The GW Wall of Fame is dedicated to the GW community members who have provided leadership and service to the George Washington University community. Any student (graduate and undergraduate), staff, or faculty member who has made a significant contribution to student life at GW may be nominated. A significant contribution is defined as a measurable, positive impact that benefits the student life experience at GW. A great nomination includes specific examples of the impact this individual has made to the GW community.
|Reem Al Shabeeb|
|Alexis Janda Knott|
Excellence in Diversity Award
Awarded to two student organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to diversity and inclusion through programming and membership.
The Excellence in Diversity Award honors two registered student organizations who have demonstrated a significant commitment to Diversity and Inclusive Excellence throughout the year. This commitment will be measured based on the following criteria: Programmatic partnerships with organizations whose membership reflects diversity; The organization membership and hierarchy of your organization that reflects diversity; Programs that teach, support, or practice a commitment to diversity, underrepresented communities, diversity training, and/or social justice; Support for national cultural heritage celebrations on campus; Procedural changes in the organization that mark newly discovered diversity opportunities or reflect an historical approach to honoring diversity within the organization; A demonstrated want to explore and appreciate the many cultures of GW through their actions, deeds, membership, and service choices in their contribution to GW.
|Indian Students' Association|
|InterVarsity Christian Fellowship|
|Lambda Pi Chi Sorority, Inc.|
|Organization of Latino American Students|
|Sigma Psi Zeta Sorority Incorporated|
|South Asian Society|
Learning Through Action Award
Recognizes student organizations or university programs/departments that excel in the use of experiential education as a process to make a positive impact on the GW community and student experience.
The Learning Through Action Award has been created to registered student organizations and/or university programs that excel in the use of experiential education in their co-curricular events and/or organizations. Experiential education is defined as a process through which a learner constructs knowledge, skill, and value from direct experience and reflection. Great nominations will illustrate the application of experiential learning to a specific event, program, and/or involvement with a registered student organization. Further, the nomination will highlight how this experience has made a measurable, positive impact on the GW community and student experience.
|Buff and Blue Hat|
|Career Ambassador program in Center for Career Services|
|International Affairs Society|
|Lemonade Day DC 2017|
|Politics and Values|
Outstanding Student Service Award (Group)
Awarded to a student organization, academic residential community, service-learning course, or athletic team that has demonstrated a significant commitment to supporting the needs of our University community and beyond through service.
Recipients of the Outstanding Student Service Award – Group will have exhibited exceptional commitment to supporting the needs and interests of our community locally, nationally, and/or globally through direct community service, as well as, share its passion with The George Washington campus community. To be eligible the group must be a registered student organization, an academic residential community, a service-learning course, and/or an athletic team during the 2016-17 academic year and in good standing with the University.
|Circle K International|
|GW Alterantive Breaks|
|GW Dance Marathon|
Pyramid Winner for Student Organization of the Year
Awarded to a student organization that has made significant contributions to GW student life through programming, initiatives, or advocacy.
The Pyramid Award for Student Organization of the Year was named in recognition of the Pyramid Honor Society, which was created in the early 1900’s to form a group of students who represented the University by their activities and interests. This award honors registered student organizations and their distinguished level of contribution to the GW community through planned events and programs, both on and off campus. Student organizations which receive this award are recognized by their exceptional success in motivating and organizing fellow students to enhance campus life; and by their collaborative efforts with other organizations or departments to achieve objectives to improve student life. Please note that social Greek organizations are not eligible. (Awarded to a registered student organization)
|African Student Association|
|Feminist Student Union|
|Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad, Lambda Pi Chi Sorority, Inc.|
|National Society of Black Engineers|
|Organization of Latino American Students|
|Public Health Student Association|
|Roosevelt Institute at GW|
|Saudi Student Association|
|South Asian Society|
|Student Theater Council|
|Students Against Sexual Assault|
|Women in Business|
|Women in STEM|
|WRGW District Radio|
|Young America's Foundation|
Student Organization Officer of the Year Award
Awarded to student organization officers who have made a meaningful and lasting impact on their organization and have a demonstrated affinity for the GW community.
Student organizations depend on their officers to help define the missions of their groups, build plans to achieve their goals, and provide encouragement and motivation to members while also managing expectations and providing important oversight. From presidents and treasurers, to vice-presidents and membership chairs, all officers can have an incredible impact on their organization. In 2016, The George Washington University will recognize these individuals for the first time with the Student Organization Officer of the Year Award. Nominations can be for current or immediate past (term ended during this academic year) officers from any student organization registered with the Center for Student Engagement. Nominees should be officers who have served in their role starting no earlier than January 2016 and no later than November 2016. Nominations should clearly outline how the officer being nominated had a direct impact on their student organization that is meaningful and lasting. Nominees should also have a strong affinity to their organization and the George Washington University in general. Finally, nominees should have proven leadership skills and qualities.
|J. Andrew Carlander|
Students' Choice for Performance Group of the Year
Awarded to registered student performance organizations that have enriched the GW community through a commitment to artistic, diverse, educational, and entertaining performances.
Students’ Choice for Performance Group of the Year is an award to be presented to a registered student organization dedicated to the performing arts or to cultural awareness through performing arts. The purpose of the award is to recognize groups who demonstrate a strong commitment to promoting performing arts at the George Washington University by producing artistic, diverse, educational, and entertaining programming that enriches the GW community. The selection committee will choose the top groups from the nominations submitted and those groups will be invited to perform during the Excellence Awards Ceremony on April 19, 2017 at 8pm in Lisner Auditorium and will be voted on live by the audience during the show in order to determine a winner. The performance group with the highest votes will win this award.
|Balance: The GW Ballet Group|
|Forbidden Planet Productions|
|Generic Theatre Company|
|Sons of Pitch|
|Student Musicians Coalition|
Excellence in Student Life Through the Years
Check out the previous winners from the Excellence in Student Life Awards on our Wall of Excellence on the B1 level of District House and the Wall of Fame on the fifth floor of Marvin Center.
Photos from our 2016 Celebration of Excellence in Student Life (photos by Aaron Hedquist, Class of 2016):