Allegheny Students and Organizations Honored for Outstanding Leadership

Allegheny College has honored dozens of students and student-operated organizations for their leadership on the campus and in the Meadville community during the 2018–19 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 at a ceremony on April 17 by Allegheny President James H. Mullen, Jr. and members of the College’s administration.

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

Manuel Soares ’22 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. Soares, a Bonner Service Leader, worked at the Meadville Council on the Arts. He has also engaged the college’s administration and student government leaders in conversations about inclusivity and justice.

Isis Offutt ’19 received the Innovation Award, which is presented to a student who has demonstrated innovative and creative leadership in a single event or an ongoing basis. Offutt held significant leadership roles in Allegheny Student Government and the Association for the Advancement of Black Culture in the past year. She is also the co-president of Black Girl Magic, welcoming high-school-age women from the United Faith Church community to events held on the Allegheny campus.

The Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students received the Outstanding Organization Award, given to a group that has made positive contributions to the campus community. The association made significant contributions to campus life, assisting minority students who are interested in pursuing careers in the medical field.

Katelyn Perroz ’20 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. Perroz is a member of the JaDE dance team and the Lambda Sigma Honor Society, is an Allegheny Ambassador, and is president of the Delta Delta Delta sorority.

Baneen Al-Akashi ’19 and Joshua Yee ’19 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. Al-Akashi was part of the Bonner program for four years and helped organize an interfaith service program. Yee was involved in the Sojourners Christian Fellowship and the Dudes Bible Study group, was an intern in the Office of Spiritual and Religious Life, and is a member of the Computer Building Club.

Rosa Orduno ’19 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. Orduno serves in the Union Latinx as public relations chair and is a Davies Leader, working to rebuild and revamp a tutoring program for the mother-baby program and boys’ group at Bethesda Children’s Home.

Jabriya Hester ’21, Shemariel Gray ’21, Karol Vargas ’19, Taylor Marzouca ’21, Vevielee Estes ’21, Ben Ptak ’20, Elijah Morsha Taylor ’20 and Kathrine O’Kelley ’20 each 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. These students were honored for devoting themselves to building community among first-year students.

Adele Gilman ’20 and Tyanna Harris ’19 each received the Ethical Leader Award, which is presented to a student who demonstrates honesty and integrity in their decision making, and is awarded to value-based student leaders who are consistent in all aspects of their lives. Gilman coordinated all of the community service activities for the women’s soccer team, is involved in Hillel and interfaith programming on campus, and is an Allegheny Volunteer Service Leader. Harris founded the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students and is co-director of student affairs for Allegheny Student Government. Harris also is a peer mentor.

George Opara ’19 was 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. Opara co-founded the Men of Color Advancement Association and has been co-president of the African Students Association and financial advisor for the Association of Caribbean Students

Alexandra Zelazny ’19 received the Alyson Lawendowski Outstanding Community Service Award, presented to an individual who has been instrumental in advancing Allegheny’s commitment to service. Zelazny was active in the Animal Welfare Association, the Society for Collegiate Leadership and Achievement, and the Student Experimental Theater Group. She also is a Davies Service Leader with the United Way of Western Crawford County, a role she held for four years.

Erblin Shehu ’19 received the Dean’s Award on behalf of the Dean of Students. The award is given to students who best exemplify the values of the Leadership Program through significant contributions to the college community. Shehu completed two internships with the Meadville Medical Center, coordinated the Fit Kids afterschool program, and engaged in many other projects. He has been a Bonner Scholar and he pursued community service and study in Moldova in the summer of 2017.

Mark Myers ’19 and Maria Salazar Requena ’20 each received the Scholar/Leader Award, presented to students who have exemplified a balance of personal academic excellence and meaningful leadership involvement in the community. Myers was involved in Allegheny Student Government and Gator Activity Programming Board and was the co-founder of Why Not Us and the Society for Collegiate Leadership and Achievement. He also worked with the Bonner Program at St. James Haven and the ARC of Crawford County. Requena was a member of Union Latinx, the Society for Collegiate Leadership and Achievement, the Neuroscience Club and the Orchesis dance group. She serves as a Navigator, mentoring first-year students, and works as an office assistant in the Learning Commons.

Cornerstone Awards also went 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: Maddie Archer, Megan Arnold, Camila Gomez, Tyanna Harris, Alex Hasapis, Matthew Hutchinson, Marisol Loza, Emily Scanlon and Lisa Yoder.

Also, Phi Beta Sigma was recognized as the Outstanding Fraternity Chapter of the Year and Delta Delta Delta was honored as Outstanding Sorority Chapter of the Year. Lizzie Schumacher ’20 received Sorority Woman of the Year honors and John Fazio ’19 received the Fraternity Man of the Year award.

Photo Information: President James H. Mullen, Jr. joins winners of the College’s 2019 Leadership and Cornerstone awards in the Tippie Alumni Center.