Lander University Recognizes Student Leadership at Student Life Awards
Monday, Apr 29, 2019
Mickayla Crumley and Boyd Yarbrough
Pictured, from left to right, are Lander University President’s Award recipient Mickayla Crumley, of Piedmont; and Vice President for Student Affairs Boyd Yarbrough. Crumley was recognized as this year’s recipient during Lander’s Student Life Awards on Wednesday, April 24. Photo by Laura Brown.

Photo Gallery of All Winners

Lander University celebrated student leaders and co-curricular activities during the 2018-19 school year as part of the annual Student Life Awards, hosted by the Division of Student Affairs, on Wednesday, April 24. “Co-curricular activities afford students an opportunity to be active in their communities and expand learning beyond the classroom,” said Dr. Boyd Yarbrough, vice president for Student Affairs. “Ideally, such prospects help students to excel academically, as well as be better prepared for the next stage of their lives.”

President’s Award: Mickayla Crumley, of Piedmont. Dr. Yarbrough praised Crumley as “an excellent example of student leadership at its finest. As a Lander University Orientation Leader, she is a student leader our incoming freshmen seek for accurate answers and guidance.” Crumley was also recently accepted into Clemson University’s Master of Education in Student Affairs program, and received a highly competitive graduate assistantship, which will provide her with a full scholarship for the program.

Samuel and Laura Lander Man and Woman of the Year: Jake Powell, of Mauldin; and Haley Histon, of Greenville. Named in honor of two individuals who demonstrated the true spirit of Lander University, these awards recognize one male and one female student who exhibit high aspirations and noble humanitarian qualities of character throughout all areas of campus life.

Presidential Ambassador Awards:

  • The Presidential Ambassador Newcomer of the Year: Jake Powell, of Mauldin; and Zack Woods, of Greenwood.
  • Presidential Ambassador of the Year: Emma Jetty, of Statesville, N.C.
  • The Presidential Ambassador Superior Senior: Haley Histon, of Greenville; and Brandon Teal, of Cheraw.

These awards recognize outstanding leadership, superior work ethic, and service that goes above and beyond the expectations of the Presidential Ambassador program. Recipients have demonstrated enthusiasm, friendliness, courteousness and the ability to work well with others.

2019 Orientation Leaders:

  • First-year orientation leaders: Taylor Gordon, of Ridge Spring; Jade Harris, of Gilbert; Matthew Heidenreich, of Fort Mill; Karla Luevano-Santana, of West Columbia; Sebastian Jones, of Aiken; Noah Kelly, of Pickens; Tamauria Mattison, of Anderson; Nydia McCullough, of Greenville; Aubrey Mitchum, of Sumter; Dana Moore, of Lexington; Ryan Murdock, of Blackville; Abigail Stewart, of Aiken; Takiya Peppers, of Clemson; Tanner Turner, of Salley; and Rashiekqua Thompson, of Columbia.
  • Orientation leaders returning for a second year of service: Courtney Brink, of Spartanburg; J’Nia Cohen, of Spartanburg; Anna Gray, of Chapin; Makaylyn Helms, of Williamsburg, Va.; Benjamin Miles, of Greenville; and Jada Stokes, of Greenwood.
  • Orientation leaders returning for a third year of service: Madison Copeland, of Bishopville.

Student Government Association Member of the Year: Ramon Izquierdo, of Newberry. Izquierdo is a freshman senator for SGA and was chosen by officers of the executive council based on his dedication to the organization. Dr. Yarbrough said Izquierdo “is eager to learn and is always the first to volunteer and help when needed.”

Greek Man and Woman of the Year: Jared Burgess, of West Columbia; and Danielle Greer, of Greenville. These awards are presented annually to individuals in one of Lander’s Greek organizations who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in Greek Life.

New Student Leader: Caroline Shuba, of Simpsonville. The New Student Leader award recognizes first-year freshman or transfer students who have been actively involved in contributing time and energy to learning leadership skills and contributing to the Lander community. “Although she is only in her first year at Lander, her presence is widely known, as well as impactful,” said Cindy Dysart, executive director of Student Affairs business operations. “She consistently strives to help other people, to better herself and to make a sustainable difference.”

Transfer Student Leader of the Year: Monzy Wiggins, of Lizella, Ga. Recognizing the unique role of transfer students to the campus community, this award is given to a student who transferred with sophomore standing or above and has completed a full year of coursework at Lander. “Between studying for classes, making sure his grades are up to par, and going to practice as well as cross country meets, [Wiggins] manages his time very well,” said Dysart.

Betty Williams Unsung Hero Award: Shameia Rosier, of Pelzer. The award is named after Betty Williams, a Lander College graduate and former librarian at Lander. It is presented to a student who has exemplified a commitment to enhancing campus life through their “behind the scenes” involvement in student life.

James Curtis Harkness Diversity Award: Courtney Cannon, of Mauldin. James Curtis Harkness was a captain of the 1982-84 men’s basketball team and later began a career in student affairs. This award recognizes a student who has exemplified model citizenship, outstanding student leadership, high academic achievement and has been most effective in advancing the concerns of multicultural students.

Resident Assistant of the Year: Lizzie Singletary, of Pamplico. This award is presented annually to the RA who goes above and beyond in engaging students through personal contact, community events and connecting them to campus resources.

LINK Students of the Year: Jennifer Flora, of Clover; Brianna Osborn, of Latta; Skylar Brown, of Williston; Morgan Ferqueron, of Hodges; Kailee Ellis, of Summerville; Katie Abare, of Greenville; Elizabeth Hanan Taylor, of Darlington; Madison Ranalli, of Walhalla; McKenzie Michelson, of Sumter; Damiya Todd, of Anderson; Kaylee Baggott, of Moncks Corner; Hannah Funk, of Easley; Ramon Izquierdo, of Newberry; Xavier Sullivan, of Aiken; Cody Funderburk, of Ruby; Eryn Smith, of Pickens; Kerah Phillips, of Honea Path; Asher Hamilton, of Greenwood; and Tinotenda Viga, of Greenwood. According to Dr. Mark Pilgrim, director of the LINK program, each of these students was chosen by a LINK faculty/staff member.

University Program Council Member of the Year: Tatiana LeGrand, of Columbia. Director of Housing and Residence Life Zach Helms noted that LeGrand always took initiative within the organization and consistently followed through with set goals. “She was early to meetings, stayed late and always had everything done before the deadline,” said Helms.

Civility Champion Award: Brittany Brigmon, of Hopkins. This award is given annually to a student who has strived to maintain the standards of academic integrity and personal character, exemplified respect for all persons, valued diverse opinions and encouraged collaboration, and expressed genuine concern for individuals through acts of kindness and compassion. Academic Success Advisor Tyler Kowalski praised this year’s recipient for her work in the Academic Success Center, stating that she “spends countless hours each week helping other students attain their goals.”

Campus Recreation Awards

  • Campus Recreation Student Employee of the Year: Anna Chamness, of Charleston.
  • Intramural Athletes of the Year: Santos Pagan, of North Augusta; and Adrianna Ray, of Lancaster.
  • Intramural Team of the Year: The Trapaholics.

The recipients of these awards demonstrated ability, motivation and an extraordinary attitude, according to Executive Director of Student Life Matthew Gilstrap and Director of Campus Recreation Scott Lotze.

Hall of Leaders: Sydney Shepard, of York; Lee Phillips, of Greenwood; Libby Bergmann, of Beaufort; Madison Pfaff, of Chapin; Chasten Beck, of Blountsville, Ala.; Rebecca Stephens, of Easley; Haley Histon, of Greenville; Madison Marriott, of Lexington; and Savannah Ange, of Cheraw. This award is presented to a select group of seniors who have demonstrated involvement with campus life and extracurricular activities, and who, through this service, have exemplified a commitment to the positive enhancement of the Lander campus.

Community Impact Award: Niaget Butler, of Greenwood; Marcus Green, of Greenwood; Sarah Heming, of Camden; Ashlei Kilgore, of Greenville; Alex Lybrand, of Batesburg-Leesville; Essence Mealing, of Edgefield; Danielle Rhinehart, of Anderson; Ciara Rowe, of Chapin; Tinotenda Viga, of Greenwood; and Rachel Marrah, of Greenville. This award recognizes an outstanding group for their involvement in community service during the current academic year. In addition to an ongoing collaboration with the Greenwood Parks and Trails Foundation, a team of students has dedicated holiday breaks to helping with hurricane disaster relief. Sponsored by Ann Butler, instructor of biology, this team has taken trips to Panama City, Fla., and New Bern, N.C., to rebuild homes impacted by hurricanes and flooding.

Advisor of the Year: Katie Whatley, administrative assistant for Lander’s College of Education and advisor for Gamma Phi Beta. This award recognizes a Lander University faculty or staff member for his or her significant voluntary involvement in co-curricular activities for advising, guiding and support of the organization and its members. In her nomination, Whatley was described as an asset to Gamma Phi Beta, helping the organization make great strides in working with Connie Maxwell Children’s Home, participating in homecoming festivities, and volunteering with United Way and the local school districts.

Organization of the Year Award: Lander Miracle. According to Director of Career Services Amanda Morgan, this organization raises money and awareness for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in Greenville.

Excellence in Programming: Spill the Tea. According to Director Housing and Residence Life Zach Helms, this organization uses their creativity to impact a wide variety of people. The acronym “TEA” stands for Truth, Empowerment and Awareness. “As such,” said Helms, “these ideals have been a focal point in every event the organization has hosted.”

Why Denim?

The ceremony was decorated with a touch of denim, in recognition of the Denim Day festivities held earlier that afternoon, which sought to raise awareness of acts of sexual violence on college campuses. “Tonight’s theme is a symbol of protest against the attitudes toward sexual abuse, assault, harassment and rape,” said Evelyn Glenn, a counselor for Lander’s Wellness Center and chair of the Denim Day Planning Committee. “We are proud to see the Lander community wear denim with a purpose as we celebrate the many accomplishments of our outstanding students.”