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Students Recognized at 2014 Leadership Awards Ceremony

Press Release: 2014 Leadership Awards Ceremony

On April 13th students, faculty, and administrators from both the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University gathered to honor and recognize the leadership accomplishments of students from both campuses. Students, clubs, and club advisors were nominated in five award categories by a community member who felt their nominee's leadership skills and experience ought to be recognized. The five award categories for leadership recognition were the Emerging Leader Award, Distinguished Leader Award, Advisor of the Year Award, Club of the Year Award, and the Vice President's Excellence in Leadership Award. Each student nominee had to submit a statement outlining their personal leadership style and ethic, as well as providing examples in which they have demonstrated their leadership initiative and ability.

The Emerging Leader Award recognizes first-year and sophomore students who have shown tremendous leadership potential. The 2014 Emerging Leader Award Winners were Jill Valerius and Joseph Buysse, both of whom were recognized by the leadership committee as having exceptional leadership potential. Students were also awarded the Distinguished Leader Award for their commitment to leadership. The Distinguished Leader Award was divided into two categories, one category recognizing students from St. Ben's and the other category recognizing students from St, John's. Much like the Emerging Leader Award, the Distinguished Leader Award nominees were nominated by a faculty member and then had to submit a personal statement. The leadership committee recognized Cindy Gonzalez, Andrea Driscoll, and Alul Yesak as the 2014 St. Ben's Distinguished Leader Award recipients. The committee also recognized Tsuehue Xiong, Thomas Brossart, and Drake Lawrence as the 2014 St. John's recipients of the Distinguished Leader Award recipients. In each category the award recipients had demonstrated strong leadership skills that extended throughout the campus community and because of that were recognized.

Additionally two awards were given that recognized the achievements of clubs and club advisors. The Advisor of the Year Award was awarded to Lindsay Anderson of the Up Till Dawn Club, for her efforts in motivating, inspiring, and helping the Up Till Dawn club meet its goals. The Club of the Year Award was awarded to PRiSM on the basis of the sustained presence and participation the club maintains on both campuses. Each award was determined by the Joint Club Board after individual advisors and clubs were nominated.

The final award presented at the 2014 Leadership Award Ceremony was the prestigious Excellence in Leadership Award. This year's recipients, like those of the Distinguished Leader Award, were nominated by campus community members for their commitment to leadership. The recipients for this Award, however, were chosen by the Vice Presidents of Student Development of CSB and SJU. Father Doug Mullin, Vice President of Student Development at St. John's, selected Andrew Hovel as the 2014 St. John's recipient of the Vice President's Excellence in Leadership Award. Mary Geller, Vice President of Student Development at St. Ben's, recognized Samantha Exsted as the St. Ben's recipient of this prestigious award. In both cases the students were recognized for their tremendous leadership ethic, service to the campus community, and their leadership initiative.

The ceremony was unique and exciting, involving student performances ranging from a hip - hop inspired dance routine, to slam poetry, and even a musical performance. The ceremony both recognized and showcased the talented and inspired leaders at CSB and SJU. Congratulations to all the nominees, performers, and award recipients!