Allegheny Honors Students and Organizations for Outstanding Leadership

Allegheny College on Tuesday, April 18, honored dozens of students and student-operated organizations for their leadership on the campus and in the Meadville community during the past academic year.

Students and groups were nominated for the Annual Leadership Awards and Cornerstone Awards by community and campus sponsors and were chosen by selection committees that include faculty and staff. Awards were presented by Allegheny President James H. Mullen, Jr. and members of the College’s administration.

“The leadership in this room has made a significant impact on this campus, in the Meadville community and beyond,” Mullen said. “It is truly inspiring to hear about everything our students accomplish while balancing school, work and life.”

The students honored for their leadership and a brief description of their accomplishments and awards follows:

Judith Carrillo ’20 received the Emerging Leader Award, given to an outstanding first-year student or transfer student who has made noticeable contributions to student life on campus. Carrillo, a Bonner member of Creating Landscapes for Youth and Families, assisted with many creative educational and multicultural youth programs.

Zafirah Abdulrahoof ’17 and Merryn Spence ’19 received the Innovation Award, which is presented to students who have demonstrated innovative and creative leadership in a single event or an ongoing basis. Abdulrahoof planned and implemented the Community Garden at Wesbury Retirement Community in Meadville and is currently working on a proposal for a dog park. Spence was honored for her work at the Meadville Neighborhood Center.

The Student Alliance for Prison Reform received the Outstanding Organization Award, given to a group that has made positive contributions to the campus community. The alliance sponsored a number of events throughout the year, including an informational session on solitary confinement, hosted documentary screenings, and participated in the Alliance for Justice campaign.

Joshua Cohen ’18 received the Helping Hand Award, inspired by Brian Grogan ’99. The award is presented to the student that exemplifies the ideals by which Grogan lived his life: leadership, commitment, spirituality, respect for others and personal sacrifice. Cohen works with organizations from all aspects of campus life — including Hillel, Phi Delta Theta, the Ice Hockey Club, and as an intern for Religious Life — opening up opportunities for others.

Kierra Price ’18 and Samantha Samakande ’17 each received the Inspiration Award, established to honor Paraskevi Mavrogeorgis ’97. This award is presented to students who inspire, educate and empower others through personal passions and interests. Price worked at Second District Elementary School with Operation Read. Samakande worked at Women’s Services of Meadville.

Yemi Olaiya ’17 was presented with the Justice Award, inspired by Roy Cerise, a former employee and member of the Allegheny community. The award is presented to a student who has shown a commitment to the advancement of justice in the Meadville community.

The Men of MOCAA (Men of Color Advancement Association) received the Community Building Award. The award was inspired by Paula Coyle ’80, a former employee and lifelong friend and supporter of the College. This award is presented to a group that has made efforts to enhance the sense of belonging and community on campus. The group was honored for its significant contributions to connecting men of color with mentoring, wellness and professional-development initiatives.

Kaelin Clogan ’17 received the Ethical Leader Award, which is presented to a student who demonstrates honesty and integrity in their decision making, and is awarded to a value-based student leader who is consistent in all aspects of his or her life. Clogan was a senior advisor for Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a lacrosse co-captain and a camp counselor.

Baneen Al-Akashi ’19 and the student group Sustained Dialogue were presented with the Bridge Award, given to individuals and groups who are strongly committed to improving cultural understanding and have bridged the many cultures represented on campus.

Andrew Nunn ’16  received the Outstanding Community Service Award, presented to an individual who has been instrumental in advancing Allegheny’s commitment to service. Nunn was an educational intern placed at Maplewood Junior/Senior High School with a seventh-grade math class. Nunn brought his City Year experience to his internship to effectively work with and impact students. He also served as a Bonner volunteer with the United Way of Western Crawford County.

Angela Mauroni ’17 received the Scholar/Leader Award, presented to a student who has exemplified a balance of personal academic excellence and meaningful leadership involvement in the community. Mauroni is a member of the Student Alliance for Prison Reform, serves as a Center for Political Participation Fellow, is a member of Kappa Alpha Theta where she served as scholarship chair, and is also a co-editor of The Campus student newspaper.

Allen Baugh, Jr. ’18 and Susan Campbell ’18 each received the Dean’s Award on behalf of Dean of Students Kimberly Ferguson. The award is given to students who best exemplify the values of the Leadership Program through significant contributions to the college community.  Baugh is a track and field captain, a student leader for Brother to Brother, serves as a resident advisor, and helped re-activate Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Campbell has been highly involved as a resident advisor, works as a teaching assistant, has participated in multiple Alternative Spring Break programs, and serves as a member of the Allegheny Student Government Sustainability Committee.

Cornerstone Awards also were awarded to seniors who were chosen on the basis of leadership, community involvement and academic accomplishments throughout their years at Allegheny. This year’s Cornerstone winners include: Hannah Blinn, Tessie Bracken, Eric Brill, Levi Lundell, Emily Lunz, Mary Lyon, Yemi Olaiya, Jocelyne Serafin, Angelina Winbush, Jonathan Yee and Matthew Zaborowski.

Also honored at the ceremony were the recipients of the inaugural 2017 Allegheny Student Prize for Civility in Public Life, seniors Sydney Fernandez and Yemi Olaiya.

Fernandez is a political science major and a Black Studies minor from West Hartford, Connecticut. She is a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, co-director of student affairs on Allegheny Student Government, a member of the Council on Diversity and Equity, and co-founder of the Student Alliance for Prison Reform. Fernandez has played an active role in the Sustained Dialogues movement, which focuses on transforming relationships and dialogues through conversations that engage differences as strengths and helping people move from dialogue to action.

Olaiya is a political science and Spanish major with a minor in Chinese from Pittsburgh.  In 2016, she took advantage of the Gateway and worked closely with the International Education Office to spend a semester abroad in Argentina.  In addition to being a Goodman Fellow and ambassador for the Andrew Goodman Foundation, Olaiya is a member of Allegheny Student Government and the Council on Diversity and Equity, and she has served as a resident advisor since 2014.

Photo Credit: Ed Mailliard
Photo Caption: President James H. Mullen, Jr. joins winners of the College’s 2017 Leadership and Cornerstone awards outside the Tippie Alumni Center.