Honoring Outstanding Student Leadership
Above: Kojo Twum-Barima, Samantha Martinez and Timothy Prince show off their awards.
The Student Leadership Awards ceremony, hosted by the University of Bridgeport’s Division of Student Affairs in late April, recognized individuals, clubs and organizations for the impact they make on campus culture and student life. Though apart physically, UB students, faculty and staff came together in a virtual celebration.
With over 70 clubs and organizations active on campus, hundreds of events, programs and celebrations came to a halt when the pandemic began in early March. While daily operations have gone online, the importance of strong leadership has only increased among our UB student leaders.
Timothy Prince, a sophomore Psychology and Human Services double major, received the Outstanding Involvement by a Sophomore Award. He felt that the “Student Leadership Awards virtual event was able to bring good news” amidst the seemingly consistent flow of bad news. Through his various roles in clubs like United We Step, the Student Programming Board, and Gender Sexuality Awareness, he has learned “to step out of his comfort zone, take on new challenges, and learn important skills through practice.”
Brittany Yapp, a senior Mass Communications major with a double concentration in Advertising and Journalism, and recipient of the Outstanding Involvement by a Senior Award, noted how much it meant to continue with the ceremony. “Even though it was not the usual interaction, still having the Leadership Awards was a great idea. Not only did it show the love and sense of community we share at UB, but it was also a way to stay connected and give us a sense of normalcy and appreciation during this time of uncertainty. It was a reason for us to keep smiling despite tough times.” She credits her involvement as a Resident Assistant, Vice President of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., a member of the SGA and the Female Quotient to her ability to see outside herself, hold herself accountable and feel confident when approaching new roles.
Junior Zutima Tuladhar, an Honors Psychology major, was the recipient of the Dean’s Award that goes to an outstanding junior student whose involvement in academics and co-curricular activities sets them apart. Watching the virtual ceremony, for her, provided joy in uncertain times, noting that this year’s event had “its own beautiful charm.” She says that her involvement and leadership roles on campus have helped her evolve from a shy and soft-spoken person into someone who is determined and goal oriented. “These roles have allowed me to completely accept my strengths and weaknesses, and most importantly taught me to be responsible and courageous for the future.”
The staff in the Center for Student Involvement, part of the Division of Student Affairs, recognized the importance of creating a sense of connection, despite the distance the community is experiencing.
“We wanted the students to know that we are still here for them, and are so proud of their accomplishments,” Kelli Meyer, director of student involvement, highlighted. “A lot of time, energy and heart go into making our campus life the vibrant community that it is, and that does not go unnoticed.”
The Purple Knight community, even sitting in different places, continues to celebrate and support one another.
Student Employee of the Year: Kadeem Luna*
Graduate Assistant of the Year: Susana Herrera
Club Advisor of the Year: Marisa Carrasco
Club of the Year: Biology Club
Campus Program of the Year: Check Please! By UB Dramatic Society
Greek Member of the Year: Kayla Tucker*
Greek Organization of the Year: Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Excellence in Community Service: Loren Forrest
Purple Knight Partnership: Ruben Mejia
Scholar Citizen Award: Christofer Washington Berruz Chungata
Shining Knight Spirit Award: Richard Greo*
Outstanding Involvement (First Year): Kelly Elwood
Outstanding Involvement (Sophomore): Samantha Martinez, Timothy Prince
Outstanding Involvement (Junior): Kojo Twum-Barima, Myranda Burkit
Outstanding Involvement (Senior): Tiara Averhart*, Cristal Pinto*, Alexia Vickers*, Shania Frazier*, Jewayen Thompson*, Brianna Alexis*, Brittany Yapp*, Bakary Camara*
Outstanding Involvement (Grad Student): Caitlin Kimberly, Reuel Camacho
Dean's Award: Zutima Tuladhar
President's Award: Esther Bristol*
* Class of 2020