Inaugural MU Student Leadership Awards Ceremony held virtually

MANSFIELD, Pa. – Mansfield University students and organizations were honored during the inaugural Student Leadership Awards Ceremony held virtually on Tuesday, April 27. 

The Student Leadership Awards showcased Mansfield University students that stood out during the 2020-21 academic year. These individuals and groups displayed a passion, ability, and overall commitment to influence others in a positive way towards achieving student success. 

MU faculty and staff recorded video presentations for each award, announcing the recipients who accepted through self-produced video. The virtual presentation premiered Tuesday morning on YouTube. 

The Awards Ceremony was a product of the Office of Student Life and Living, the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership, the Student Government Association, and the Student Leadership Awards Selection Committee. Anyone in the campus community could nominate a deserving student or organization for the 12 available awards. 

The list of awards and recipients are listed below: 

Emerging Leader Award – Patrick Murphy (Depew, N.Y.) 

The Emerging Leader Award recognizes a first- or second-year student who has contributed significantly to the Mansfield community through their involvement in a campus organization, athletic team, residence hall, or a community service program. The nominee must also show significant potential for continued leadership and civic engagement. 

Patrick is an SGA senator, member of the SGA Committee on Finance, a member of the Music Student Advisory Council, and Vice President of PCMEA. Peers and professors noted Patrick’s natural leadership ability and enthusiasm for everything he’s involved in.  

Student Leader of the Year Award – Tony Mastroianni (Tunkhannock, Pa.) 

The Student Leader of the Year Award recognizes a student who has demonstrated excellence in academic growth and achievement, as well as excellence in campus and community engagement and has contributed to the campus community through their leadership and participation in campus programs, organizations, and activities. 

As the past SGA President, Tony effectively led student government through a virtual environment and is a Resident Assistant in Spruce Hall, creating a variety of programming for students. He is a strong advocate for his fellow students and displays a collaborative style of leadership. Tony is also involved in numerous boards and committees across campus.  

Unsung Hero Award – Sarah Hart (Wellsboro, Pa.) 

The Unsung Hero Award recognizes a student who works behind-the-scenes of a student group or the local community. This award is given to a student who consistently gives their all, going above and beyond the call of duty on a regular basis without expectation of recognition. 

Sarah serves as a Student Trustee, Treasurer of SGA, Chairperson of the Committee on Finance, and writes for The Flashlight. These leadership roles operate behind the scenes and require a tremendous amount of effort to be done effectively. She was nominated by her peers for the hard work she puts in without seeking recognition. 

Student Organization of the Year Award – WNTE 89.5 

The Student Organization of the Year Award recognizes the consistent, positive impact on the campus community by a recognized student organization including the noteworthy achievements during the year by the student organization. This organization will have made a positive contribution to campus life. 

WNTE has overcome the challenges of the pandemic to expand its offering of music and entertainment to campus and the community with nearly 40 hours of live DJ shows each week. The student radio station also played live music nearly every week during dinner at Manser Hall and has been quick to fill in at events when needed.  

The Creed Award – Zhamya Hampton (Philadelphia, Pa.) 

The Creed Award recognizes an individual student or student group who most widely represents leadership and Mansfield’s four core values of Character, Scholarship, Culture, and Service. 

Zhamya, a Resident Assistant and past Vice President of SGA, is described by peers and faculty as being a true inspiration who always rises to the occasion with positivity and grace. She has been involved with many of the large events on campus and has also developed programming as an RA in Spruce Hall. Through her work and dedication to MU, Zhamya embodies the four tenets of the Mansfield creed. 

Community Impact Award – Shae Marx (Stroudsburg, Pa.) 

The Community Impact Award recognizes the effort of an individual student or student group in the development of an ongoing or one-time community service project or program that benefits Mansfield University or the local community. 

Shae initiated a community outreach program called “STEM with Shae” for K-12 students whose schools closed during Covid. In partnership with the local BLaST Intermediate Unit, Shae prepared videos of experiments kids can do at their homes and interviewed local scientists and researchers to engage students. She was also recently elected Vice President of SGA. 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leadership Award – Geneva Murray (Philadelphia, Pa.) 

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leadership Award recognizes an individual student or student group for their demonstrated commitment to issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice at Mansfield and in the local community. 

Geneva serves as president of the Black Student Union and has kept the group active and engaged during the challenges of the pandemic. She also delivered a passionate speech during the Black Lives Matter Unity March in September. Geneva was recently elected student body President. 

Program of the Year Award – Student Government Association’s Wellness Week 

The Program of the Year Award recognizes innovative and outstanding achievement in the planning and presentation of a program or event by an individual student or student group. 

SGA helped students feel supported and promoted well-being through programming as part of the university’s Wellness Week. SGA organized a build-a-bear workshop, the distribution of self-care packages, and a make-a-succulent program which were all well received by students.  

Outstanding Collaboration Award – Mountaineer Sprint Football with the American Cancer Society 

The Outstanding Collaboration Award recognizes student group(s) that have best demonstrated their collaborative efforts in planning and executing a program and/or event with another student group, campus office, or with faculty/staff. 

Throughout the month of October, the Sprint Football program partnered with the American Cancer Society and faculty member Dr. Kristen Long to learn about various forms of cancer and to raise awareness for cancer research. The team held a 5K walk during Homecoming in support of ACS and to honor loved ones who’ve fought cancer. Sprint Football also encouraged other teams to participate in an ice bucket challenge. 

Innovation Award – Rotaract Club 

The Innovation Award recognizes an individual student or student group that has displayed innovation and/or fostered creativity through their program/events, in relation to recruitment, marketing, outreach to campus community, use of resources, officer training, event planning, and/or sustainability. 

The Rotaract Club has been innovative in their outreach to campus and the community having a presence both in-person and online. Their kindness rocks program brought joy throughout the pandemic with handmade, painted rocks spread around campus with positive and encouraging messages. 

Student Employee of the Year Award – Patricia Wattles (Westfield, Pa.) 

The Student Employee of the Year Award recognizes a student employee who goes above and beyond to demonstrate leadership in support of their department/office. 

Patty is an integral part of the Library stacks team and always has a positive attitude that takes her customer service skills to the next level. She was promoted to a leadership position after just one year of employment and has been a primary trainer for new hires.  

Peer Educator Award – Larry Anderson (Corning, N.Y.) 

The Peer Educator Award recognizes an outstanding student educator who shows leadership in helping support classroom centered activities by meeting with students to clarify and review concepts taught in the classroom. 

Larry, a Vietnam Veteran, volunteered to mentor social work students who were having difficulty in class and served as a team leader in a semester-long community assessment project. Larry has shown kindness and a willingness to help others in his time as a student at MU.