Dare to lead? Students who shape campus life

Students who have committed their time and energy outside of the classroom to the development of WSU Vancouver were honored at the Student Leadership Award Program April 16. Recognized for their contributions to the university and community, Nancy Youlden, vice chancellor of student affairs, called the students an integral component of campus life and operations at the event. Four awards were distributed highlighting specific accomplishments of students in the categories of Humanitarian, Emerging Leader, Club of the Year, and the Student Leadership Award.

A committee of staff, faculty and alumni decided the four award recipients after a thorough application and nomination process. The Humanitarian Award honors students who have contributed to the community with their “time, actions and dedication,” the Emerging Leader Award recognizes students who have made strides in leadership during their first year enrolled, the Club of the Year Award is given to a club that has “actively engaged in campus life and promotes student involvement” and the Student Leadership Award recognizes a student who embodies positive attributes of leadership and contributes to campus life.

Steve Roberts, a senior majoring in business administration, received the Humanitarian Award for his extensive work with veterans and the Veterans Interest Group club. Roberts, a veteran himself, works to help service men and women transfer into student/civilian life.

Terri McReynolds, a junior majoring in human development, won the Emerging Leader Award for her foundation of the Transfer and Non-Traditional Students club (TNT) and her commitment to the Student Media Board as the Vice Chair.

In response to receiving the Emerging Leader Award, McReynolds said, “I am pleased and honored to be chosen as the Emerging Leader of the Year for 2013. There are so many student leaders here at WSU Vancouver. In fact there are nearly 3,000 of us. We all lead and inspire each other, even when we think we’re not. That’s what leadership is to me, inspiring and encouraging everyone to be their best. Classmates, faculty and staff, you all have inspired me to be more than I ever thought I could be. Thank you.”

The 2013 Club of the Year Award was presented to the Cougar Pride Club for their extensive work with the lesbian, gay, transgender, queer and allies’ community (LGBTQA).

The Student Leadership Award was given to Audrey Miller, a graduate student in the masters of public affairs program. Miller has served the campus for over four years filling multiple roles in ASWSUV, including President. She is currently the editor-in-chief at The VanCougar.

“My involvement over the years has helped me grow as a person. I have seen myself do things that I never thought possible and I have pushed myself to do things I did not think I could do. Being involved and working with other students has been one of the best decisions I have ever made,” said Miller.

The theme of the event was servant leadership. Chancellor Mel Netzhammer gave the keynote address and discussed servant leadership through the event’s quote by Lao Tzu, “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” Netzhammer said that the best leaders help facilitate the leadership of others, “This is what makes our student leaders on campus so great.”

The event also recognized ASWSUV, the Peer Mentors, Registered Student Organizations (clubs), Student Affairs Interns, Student Ambassadors, KOUG Radio, Salmon Creek Journal, The VanCougar, the Student Media Board and Supplemental Instructors. For information about becoming involved on campus or the Student Leadership Recognition Program, visit the Office of Student Involvement in the Firstenburg Student Commons.

Photo Credit: Laura Evancich

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