Lander University recently recognized numerous students for their co-curricular service during the 2017-2018 school year at the university's annual Student Life Awards ceremony, held at the Finis Horne Arena.
"Participation in student organizations, campus activities, Greek life, leadership programs, recreational and community service programs are just a few examples of how our students are gaining important skills that add to their employability after they graduate," Lander Vice President for Student Affairs Randy Bouknight said.
Bouknight, who is stepping aside as chief of Student Affairs after 46 years of service, was himself honored at the conclusion of the ceremony.
Lander University President's Award: Ananda Cloud, of Heath Springs. The President's Award is given annually in recognition of unique exemplification of the ethic of service to the Lander and Greenwood communities. Cloud, a criminology major, has contributed to numerous programs throughout her career at Lander. A presidential ambassador and president of the Bearcat Nation spirit club, she has also been an active member of the Lander chapter of Habitat for Humanity.
Samuel and Laura Lander Man and Woman of the Year: Santos Pagan Jr., of Greenwood, and Rebecca Snelgrove, of Starr. Named after Lander founder Samuel Lander and his wife, Laura, the awards are presented to a man and woman "who have exhibited high aspirations and noble humanitarian qualities of character in all areas of campus life." Pagan, who was described as an active orientation leader, presidential ambassador and University Program Council vice president, was also praised for his service to Habitat for Humanity and the Miracle League. Snelgrove, an orientation leader, presidential ambassador and resident assistant, is a member of Alpha Chi Honor Society and Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society, and serves as a volunteer with the Humane Society, Habitat for Humanity and Greenwood Soup Kitchen. "She excels academically, and she has been an exceptional member of student life," her nominator wrote.
Student Government Member of the Year: Madison Marriott, of Lexington. Marriott served as SGA secretary during the 2017-2018 school year and will serve as president next year. Her nominator wrote that she "has shown exceptional leadership and demonstrated excellent communication skills in carrying out her duties in a timely and efficient manner." When another officer had to step aside, Marriott "stepped forward, accepted the challenge and accepted the additional responsibilities. She has done everything that anyone could ask of someone representing Lander students."
Presidential Ambassador Awards: Haley Histon, of Greenville, was named presidential ambassador of the year, and Meg Lacombe, of Lady's Island, was named superior senior. Emma Jetty, of Statesville, N.C., and Reiney Sanders, of Greenville, were named newcomers of the year. 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, courtesy and the ability to work well with others.
Link 101 Outstanding Students: Students recognized for excellence in Link 101, required of all Lander freshmen, include Brianna Haddon, of Abbeville; Cassidy Pridemore, of Union; Ashleigh Burton, of Iva; Learnmore Jeremia, of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe; Amir Hay, of Blackville; Jada Dix, of Florence; Kaitlyn Byrum, of Lexington; Makensie Wilson, of Inman; Jasmine McCarroll, of Greenville; Caitlin Hill, of Abbeville; Oscar Gutierrez, of Ninety Six; and Codrin Cobzaru, of Iasi, Romania.
Receiving the Partners in Health Care Award was Self Regional Healthcare's Behavioral Healthcare Team. "There are times when our students struggle, and they need a higher level of care than we can provide. Self Regional Hospital has been a resource for these students," the nominator wrote.
University Program Council Member of the Year: Cam Davis, of Rock Hill, was recognized for leading a team of students in producing what the nominator called "some really amazing programs" for Lander's student body.
Campus Recreation Intramural Athlete of the Year: Sam Kirkland, of Greenville. Kirkland "came in clutch for his team no matter which sport he played in," the nominator said.
Campus Recreation Student Employee of the Year: Brandon Bowers, of Lancaster. Bowers was described as "an employee we knew we could rely on. He gave his best effort every single day."
Campus Recreation Intramural Team of the Year: Team "Trapaholics." This award is conferred upon a team displaying athletic excellence, outstanding achievement and excellent sportsmanship throughout the year.
Resident Assistant of the Year: Ayana Gilliard, of McClellanville. Gilliard, who has won the award previously, "goes out of her way to help others. She works extremely well with her residents and fellow RAs. This RA is simply the best," the nominator wrote.
Greek to Grad Recognition: Greek organization members recognized for outstanding participation in Lander's Greek to Grad professional development program included fall 2017 participants Brittany Way and D'Asia Wideman, and spring 2018 participants Dalis Giles, of Greenwood; Lauren Kesler, of Anderson; Alejandro Fonseca, of Columbia; Wesley Hamilton, of Irmo; Savannah Ange, of Cheraw; Shakeria Williams, of Leesville; Ti'Mani White, of Columbia; Dallas Thompson, of Blythewood; Cierra Blair, of Bennettsville; Kenya White, of Greenwood; Marissa Briggs, of Columbia; Reyonia Whipple, of Brunswick, Ga.; Ajadae Williams, of Bamberg; and Akaysha Murray, of Beaufort.
Greek Leader of the Year: Madison Marriott, of Lexington. This award is presented to a junior or senior Greek member who has demonstrated a commitment to excellence in fraternity and sorority life. Marriott "will represent Beta Tau Alpha and the Greek community well as next year's student government association president," the nominator said.
Organization Advisor of the Year: Dr. Daniel Kavish, Sociology Club. The award is presented to a faculty or staff member for voluntary involvement in co-curricular advising activities. Kavish was described as "a true asset to his organization and the Lander family as a whole. He is always available to help in any situation."
Student Organization of the Year: Sociology Club. Through its activities and projects, the Sociology Club was said to have had the most significant, positive influence on Lander and the surrounding community of all Lander's recognized student organizations.
New Student Leader Award: Christina Welmaker, of Taylors, and Learnmore Jeremia, of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, were honored as first-year or transfer students "who have been actively involved in contributing time and energy to learning leadership skills contributing to the Lander community."
Transfer Student Leader: Tammy Mann-Kullnat, of Greenwood. A member of the Sociology Honor Society and political science organization, Mann-Kullnat also holds leadership positions in Blue Key Honor Society, the criminal justice honor society, and the Sociology Club.
James 'Curtis' Harkness Diversity Award: Donald 'DJ' Stroud, of Latta. Named after Lander alumnus Curtis Harkness, who served as captain of the 1982-84 Lander men's basketball team and later worked in student affairs, the award recognizes a junior or senior who has exemplified model citizenship, outstanding student leadership and high academic achievement, and who has been effective in advancing the concerns of multiculturalism. An Honors College student as well as a Residence Life Council and SGA member, Stroud also serves as president of Lander's Spectrum organization.
Betty Williams Unsung Hero Award: Lindsey Loparo, of Anderson. Named for Lander graduate and former Lander librarian Betty Williams, the award is presented to a student who has demonstrated a commitment to enhancing campus life through behind-the-scenes involvement in student life. An SGA, Zeta Tau Alpha and Blue Key Honor Society member, Loparo also serves as vice president of public relations for Lander's Panhellenic Council.
Receiving the Hall of Leaders Award, presented to a group of seniors who have demonstrated outstanding involvement with campus life and co-curricular activities, were Dillon Bridwell, of Woodruff; Ananda Cloud, of Heath Springs; Shannon Desantis, of Marietta, Ga.; Alejandro Fonseca, of Columbia; Paige Fowler, of North Augusta; Christina Franklin, of Greenwood; Blair Harmon, of Saluda; Donald 'DJ' Stroud, of Sellers; and Jessica 'Haven' Wood, of Hodges.