News Releases

Lander students honored for co-curricular service

June 05, 2013
Lander University recently recognized its co-curricular standouts for the 2012-13 academic year, presenting the top students and student organizations with special awards for service at the university's annual Student Life Awards ceremony, held at the conclusion of the spring semester. 

President's Award
Pictured, from left, are Lander University President Dr. Daniel Ball and Lander President's Award recipient Rhett Sapough, of Barnwell. 
Lander President Daniel Ball presented business administration major Rhett Sapough, of Barnwell, with the prestigious President's Award, given annually in recognition of unique exemplification of the ethic of service to the university community. 

In his four years at the university, Sapough was involved in numerous organizations, including the Student Government Association, the Lander University Professional Business Society and the Presidential Ambassadors program. In describing why Sapough was deserving of the award, one nominator wrote, "(Rhett) is a very honest person who possesses morals, ethics and integrity. He cares about people and he has no problem communicating his thoughts and ideas on how he can make Lander a better school for prospective students, as well as currently enrolled students."

Man and Woman of Year
Pictured, from left, are: Ashley Vertefeuille, of Archdale, N.C., Lander University's Laura Lander Woman of the Year; and Ryan Hewitt, of Florence, Samuel Lander Man of the Year.
The Samuel and Laura Lander Man and Woman of the Year Awards were presented to Ryan Hewitt, of Florence, and Ashley Vertefeuille, of Archdale, N.C. Named after Samuel and Laura Lander, the awards recognize senior students who demonstrated the true spirit of Lander and encouraged others to pursue excellence in all aspects of collegiate endeavors. Recipients should also have exhibited high aspirations and noble humanitarian qualities of character in all aspects of campus life. 

Hewitt, a mass communication and theatre major with theatre emphasis, balanced studies with numerous extracurricular involvements, including serving as president of the Lander chapter of Alpha Psi Omega, the theatre honor society. He also served in many theatre productions on campus and in the community, and he earned recognition from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Said Hewitt's nominator, "Ryan truly set the bar several notches higher for academic pursuits, extracurricular involvements and community service for future graduates... He is a man of action, a man of conviction, and most importantly, a genuinely likeable guy."

Vertefeuille's nominator described her as, "the embodiment of what a Lander student should be. She has found the balance of academics, service and social activities ... Ashley's time here at Lander hasn't simply been to achieve the degree, she has made a positive impact on Lander University and its community." In addition to service in the Greek community and with numerous student organizations, Vertefeuille served as a Presidential Ambassador, a position that put her in contact with prospective students and their families. "She is one of the best recruiting tools Lander could have, as she is one of its strongest advocates," the nominator said. 

Harkness Diversity Award
Pictured, from left, are: Ryan Hewitt, of Florence, recipient of Lander University's James "Curtis" Harkness Diversity Award; and Randy Bouknight, Lander Vice President for Student Affairs.
Hewitt also received the James "Curtis" Harkness Diversity Award, named after the Lander alumnus who served as team captain of the 1982-84 Lander men's basketball team and later worked in Student Affairs, developing diversity programs and trainings that had a positive influence on many students. The award recognizes a junior or senior who has typified model citizenship, outstanding student leadership, high academic achievement and has been the most effective in advancing the concerns of multicultural students.

 The H. Randall Bouknight Greek Man of the Year Award went to elementary education major Lorenzo Myers, of Hampton, while the Greek Woman of the Year Award was presented to Seneca resident Erin Garland, a nursing major.  

Greek Man and Woman of the Year
Pictured, from left, are: Erin Garland, of Seneca, Lander University Greek Woman of the Year; Randy Bouknight, Lander Vice President for Student Affairs; and Lorenzo Myers, of Hampton, Lander's H. Randall Bouknight Greek Man of the Year. 
Named in honor of Lander Vice President for Student Affairs Randy Bouknight, the Greek Man of the Year award is presented to a junior or senior who is a member of one of the five male Greek chapters and who has demonstrated a commitment to noble leadership as a Greek man. A Presidential Ambassador and 2013 Homecoming King, Myers has worked diligently as president of Kappa Alpha Psi to increase membership and promote a positive image on campus. As one nominator said, "The student body perceives him as a hardworking but fun individual." Another nominator described Myers as epitomizing "the ideal Greek image through his positive daily deeds on campus."

The Greek Woman of the Year Award is presented to a junior or senior student in one of the six female Greek chapters and who has demonstrated a commitment to excellence in Greek life. In addition to serving as a Presidential Ambassador and Expo leader, Garland served as the president of Phi Mu and was described by her nominators as "an outstanding young lady with wholesome values and goals," and "a great role model" for the women in Phi Mu and the Lander community in general. "Erin is a 'people person' and relates well to fellow students, staff, administration and faculty," her nominator wrote. 

Other awards presented at the ceremony were:

Organization of the Year
Receiving the American Democracy Project's Student Organization of the Year for Civic Engagement Award was Alpha Tau Omega. Accepting the award on behalf of Alpha Tau Omega are, pictured front row, from left: Cameron Bagwell, Alex Wade and Kenneth Calliham. Second row, from left: Derek Young, James Calliham, James Ivey, Bradley Beck and Barrett Lollis.
American Democracy Project Student Organization of the Year for Civic Engagement: Presented to Alpha Tau Omega in recognition of their efforts to raise funds for cystic fibrosis, the food bank and the Salvation Army, as well as their many hours spent in service to the campus and surrounding community. 

Ambassador Award
Receiving the Lander University Presidential Ambassador of the Year awards were Kenneth Roach II, of Camden, pictured second from left; and Janza Walker, of Inman, pictured second from right. Also pictured are Jennifer Mathis, Dean of Lander's Enrollment Services, left, and Rodney Jones, Lander Admissions counselor. 
Presidential Ambassador Awards: Presented to Kenneth Roach II, a sociology major from Camden, and Janza Walker, of Inman, a business administration major with accounting emphasis. The awards recognize outstanding leadership, superior work ethic, and service above and beyond the expectations of the Presidential Ambassador program. Recipients should demonstrate enthusiasm, friendliness, courteousness and the ability to work well with others. 

Partners in Health Care Award
Pictured, from left, are: Lander University Police Department's Lt. Greg Allen, recipient of the Partners in Health Care Award; and Kim Shannon, Director of Lander's Student Wellness Center.
Partners in Health Care Award: Presented to Lt. Greg Allen, with the Lander University Police Department. The Partners in Health Care Award recognizes individuals who have assisted the Wellness Center in contributing to the health and well-being of Lander's students. Allen was described as a person of "genuine character" who goes above and beyond to build trust with students. He is "concerned about the well-being of our students and makes every effort to improve their lives," his nominator wrote. 

RA of the Year
Lander's Ashley Esposito, of Charleston, pictured second from left, was named Lander University Department of Housing & Residence Life's RA of the Year. Pictured with Esposito, from left, are: Randy Bouknight, Lander Vice President for Student Affairs; and Residence Life Coordinators Jalysa O'Conner and Demario Watts. 
Resident Assistant of the Year Award: Presented to Ashley Esposito, an environmental science major from Charleston. Esposito has been an RA for three years, serving as Head RA of Chipley Hall for the past two. She was chosen for the award by her peers, who described her as "friendly, helpful and dedicated to the job." 

Campus Rec Employee of the Year
Pictured, from left: Lander University Vice President for Student Affairs Randy Bouknight, and Lander Campus Recreation Student Employee of the Year Award recipient LaShonda McGregor, of Clinton.
Campus Recreation Student Employee of the Year Award: Presented to LaShonda McGregor, a special education major from Clinton. The award is presented to the individual who goes above and beyond in their job responsibilities for the betterment of students and the Lander community. During the past year, McGregor worked as a group exercise instructor for the Department of Campus Recreation, teaching up to eight Zumba classes per week. Her supervisors described her as having "shown a true passion for group exercise and especially Zumba. She has created a nice Zumba-following here on campus and will be hard to replace."

Alpha Kappa Alpha
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. received Lander University's 2012-13 Community Impact Award and the Excellence in Programming Award. Accepting the awards for Alpha Kappa Alpha are, pictured front row, from left: Sharae Walker, Rayshawn Trapp, Meagan Smalls and Brooke Montgomery. Back row, from left: Janza Walker, Jacinda Mattison and Teraya Dingle. 
Community Impact Award: Presented to Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., recognizing the campus group that, through service to the community, has reflected ideals of good citizenship. The recipient group must have demonstrated support for Lander, Greenwood and the greater community. Among its community service events, the Lander chapter of AKA holds an annual breast cancer awareness walk and also collects canned goods to donate to the local soup kitchen. Members also perform community service with Connie Maxwell Children's Home, United Way and other nonprofit organizations. 

Excellence in Programming Award: Presented to Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., in recognition of the group's exceptional creativity, planning and execution of a university program. Award criteria include appeal to a broad cross-section of the university community, originality and participation by members in all phases of the effort. Among the programs organized by the Lander chapter of AKA were "Let's Talk Greek," "How to be Safe," "Women in Business," "Say No to Smoking and Drinking," "Greeks Learning to Avoid Debt," and "Pink Goes Red: A Cardiovascular Program."

Adviser of the Year
Lander Admissions Counselor Rodney Jones, pictured second from right, received the Adviser of the Year Award. Pictured with Jones are, from left: Laura Williams, Lander Assistant Director of Student Activities; and Delta Sigma Theta sisters Jalissa Oaks and Rhia Macklin. 
Lander University Adviser of the Year Award: Presented to Rodney Jones, an admissions counselor with Lander's Office of Admissions. Jones is the adviser for Presidential Ambassadors, Minorities on the Move, IMPACT and several Greek organizations on campus. His nominators describe him as constantly showing "selflessness, knowledge, and the will to go above and beyond to raise the bar of the organizations he advises and the students in those organizations."

Organization of the Year
Gamma Phi Beta received the Lander University Student Organization of the Year Award. Accepting the award on the organization's behalf are, pictured from left: Rebecca Pryor, Victoria Richards, Jordan Ashley, Sarah Biggers and Meghan Lee.
Lander University Organization of the Year Award: Presented to Gamma Phi Beta Sorority, recognizing the student organization which, through its activities and projects, has had the most significant positive influence on Lander and the surrounding community. The award is based on the number and quality of campus events held, the amount of community service performed, involvement with campus events, and the initiative to further advance the education of Lander's students beyond the classroom. According to their nominator, members are "dedicated, dependable young women, who are always eager to volunteer their time and willing to share their experiences, proving to be true sisters to Gamma Phi Beta and remarkable students to Lander."

New Student Leader
Pictured are Lander University New Student Leader Award recipient Courtney Wilson, of North Augusta, left, and Lander Director of Student Activities Shelby Dominick Reed. 
New Student-Leader Award: Presented to Courtney Wilson, of North Augusta, a psychology major. This award recognizes first-year freshmen or transfer students who have been actively involved in contributing time and energy to learning leadership and serving the Lander community. Wilson has been involved with the University Program Council and served as a leader with Lander's Got Talent and the Recycled Fashion Show, a clothing-drive for the Bowers-Rodgers Home. "It's a breath of fresh air to see a freshman student not only so involved, but to personally step in and take over as a leader. The sky is the limit for Courtney Wilson," wrote her nominator for the award.

Transfer Student Award
Pictured are Lander University Transfer Student Award recipients Diomi Gordon, of Honea Path, left, and David Michael Waldrop, of Laurens, right; with Lander Director of Student Activities Shelby Dominick Reed, center. Corrie Woods, not pictured, of Leavenworth, Kans., also received the award. 
Transfer Student Award: Presented to Diomi Gordon, a mass communication major from Honea Path; David Michael Waldrop, a history-secondary education major from Laurens; and Corrie Woods, a music major from Leavenworth, Kans. The Transfer Student Award recognizes the unique role of transfer students to the campus community, and is given to students who transferred with sophomore standing or above and have completed a full year of coursework at Lander. The recipients must have demonstrated a quick, successful, seamless transition to the institution and will have taken full advantage of his or her time spent at Lander. Gordon, Waldrop and Woods have each been heavily involved in campus organizations and programming, and nominators described all as being excellent role models for future students. 

Williams Unsung Hero
Kayla Price, of Abbeville, received Lander University's Betty Williams Unsung Hero Award, named in honor of Lander alumna and former university librarian Betty Williams. Pictured are Price, left, and Williams. 
The Betty Williams Unsung Hero Award: Presented to Kayla Price, of Abbeville, a business administration major with accounting emphasis. Named in honor of Lander alumna and former librarian Betty Williams, the award is presented to students who, through their behind-the-scenes involvement in student life, have exemplified a commitment to enhancing Lander campus life. Price has served as president of the campus FCA organization, and her award nominators described her as a positive influence on campus. "Kayla has a passion to see this campus change for the positive. Through all of this, Kayla has kept a high GPA, worked countless hours, been a leader at her church and been a wonderful friend. She is a living example of true leadership and hard work."

Hall of Leaders
Selected for the Lander University Hall of Leaders are, pictured front row, from left: Torah Speach, of Greenwood; Rayshawn Trapp, of Blair; Kayla Price, of Abbeville; and Janza Walker, of Inman. Back row, from left: Ryan McNulty, of Jacksonville, Fla.; Lindsay Blanton, of Gaston; Rhett Sapough, of Barnwell; and Ryan Hewitt, of Florence. Michael Shea, of Columbia, not pictured, also received the award. 
Hall of Leaders: Presented to a select group of seniors who have demonstrated outstanding involvement with campus life and extracurricular activities, and who, through this service, have exemplified a commitment to the positive enhancement of the Lander campus. Students selected for this award have given selflessly of their time and leadership to campus organizations, have made a significant contribution to the campus community, and have encouraged and motivated others in their organizations. Receiving the Hall of Leaders Award for 2012-13 are:
  • Lindsay Blanton, of Gaston, mass communication and theatre;
  • Ryan Hewitt, of Florence, mass communication and theatre;
  • Ryan McNulty, of Jacksonville, Fla., political science; 
  • Kayla Price, of Abbeville, business administration with accounting emphasis;
  • Rhett Sapough, of Barnwell, business administration with accounting emphasis;
  • Michael Shea, of Columbia, mass communication and theatre;
  • Torah Speach, of Greenwood, business administration with management/marketing emphasis;
  • Rayshawn Trapp, of Blair, elementary education; and
  • Janza Walker, of Inman, business administration with accounting emphasis.