Outstanding students recognized at annual award ceremony

The Division of Student Affairs held its annual Outstanding Student Life Awards April 4 at the Graham Center Ballrooms. Students were recognized for their academic and co-curricular achievements throughout the 2012-13 academic year. Larry Lunsford interim vice president for Student Affairs and university ombudsman served as the Master of Ceremonies, giving the official welcome to students, parents, faculty and staff.

Recipients of the 2013 Outstanding Student Life Awards.

Recipients of the 2013 Outstanding Student Life Awards.

“This award ceremony is the highlight of the year for the Division of Student Affairs,” said Lunsford. “We recognize students that have demonstrated extraordinary leadership on campus, demonstrated a strong sense of caring for others through extensive community service, and have shown a commitment to the enhancement of and appreciation of diversity at FIU.”

A full listing of award recipients can be found below.

The Presidential Award: Hugo Hernandez

Hernandez’s long list of campus involvement includes serving as a Panther Camp facilitator; Orientation and Parent Programs peer advisor; Dance Marathon morale captain; Camp Boggy Creek volunteer; Make-A-Wish Foundation volunteer and wish granter; FIU Wish Makers committee member; and a member of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity.

The Vice President’s Special Recognition: Pablo Haspel and Laura Fariñas

Haspel served this past year as president of Student Government Council at BBC, and was considered to be one of the strongest and most active presidents for the campus. Fariñas, served as president of the Student Government Council at MMC for the past year, and worked to bring students free buses during finals week, free flu vaccines for students, and she helped the university purchase the amazing bronze panther sculpture located in front of the basketball arena.

The Kaplan Award for Academic Achievement: Katrina Nethery and Richard Asimov

Nethery is a social work major with a 3.79 GPA and a member of Delta Epsilon Iota Honor society, among an impressive list of campus activities. Asimov is a finance major with a 3.6 GPA and is the current comptroller for BBC Student Government, as well as a peer career coach for Career Services.

Outstanding Service by an Individual:Tam Pham

Pham served as as an alternative Breaks (aB) site leader; volunteered for Relay for Life, the English as a Second Language Program, and the Justice Works Community Organization; and has been extensively involved in the South Beach Wine and Food Festival.

Outstanding Service by an Organization:Alpha Xi Delta

This sorority volunteered an estimated 3,500 hours of service to the community.

Leadership in Campus Spirit by an Individual: Fabiana Ferrer

Ferrer is graduate assistant in Enrollment and Recruitment Services who demonstrated the characteristics of an ideal FIU ambassador to others through her positive energy and excitement during tours, conferences, and at recruitment fairs.

Leadership in Campus Spirit by an Organization: 2012 Peer Advisors

The 2012 Peer Advisors served approximately 8,000 students and 3,000 parents and guests on both campuses.

The Diversity Award: Let’s Talk Mandarin

Let’s Talk Mandarin is a volunteer organization open to all students, faculty, and staff interested in learning to speak Mandarin and learning about the Chinese culture.

The Shining StarAward: B.R.E.W. FIU

B.R.E.W. FIU is the Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management’s student club that brews a variety of craft beers and poured at public and charitable events.

The Freshman Leadership Award:Jazmin Felix and Lourdes Talavera

Felix was involved in the Academy of Leaders, alternative Breaks, and the Student Government Council at BBC , where she is already the speaker of the senate. She was also involved in the Black Student Union, the MLK Taskforce, and has been involved in a number of service projects in the community.

Talavera’s activities include Phi Mu Sorority, Dance Marathon, Relay for Life, and the Health Occupation Students of America organization.

The Sophomore Leadership Award: Phalancia Louisy and Jane Rodriguez

Louisy participated, with great energy and enthusiasm, in the Academy of Leaders, alternative Breaks.

Rodriguez served as treasurer for the Student Programming Council and as vice president of chapter development at Alpha Omicron Pi.

The Junior Leadership Award: Giselle Cancio, Michael Aquino, and Janet Lopez

Cancio served as the Homecoming Council’s assistant director of operations; Dance Marathon morale captain; Alpha Xi Delta’s philanthropy chair; and was a member of both Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society, and Order of Omega Honor Society. She was recently chosen as the overall director of the 2013 Homecoming Council.

Aquino’s activities include Student Organizations Council president; former Peer Advisor; 2012 Homecoming Duke; Academy of Leaders mentor, Student Programming Council member, and member of the Omicron Delta Kappa FIU Circle, all while maintaining a 3.4 GPA.

Lopez, a member of the FIU Honors College, was involved in various activities and programs, including Panther Camp, alternative Breaks, Women Who Lead Conference, and Phi Mu.

The Senior Leadership Award: Taylor Giunto, Freddy Juarez, Katherine Dorta, and Dalny Ruel

Giunto’s accomplishments include Student Organizations Council treasurer; Alternative Breaks co-director; Orientation Peer Advisor; Peer Mentor; Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society; Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society; and an Honors College member that maintains a 3.8 GPA.

Juarez served as Interfraternity Council president; SGA comptroller; Homecoming Council Overall Director; Office of Campus Life Chief of Staff; and Beta Theta Pi Fraternity executive vice president. His honors include Omicron Delta Kappa, Order of Omega, and National Association of Student Personnel Administrators undergraduate fellow.

Dorta’s activities include Dance Marathon morale captain; Panther Camp executive director and facilitator; director of publications and contestants for the Mr. and Miss FIU Scholarship Pageant; Order of the Torch; Order of Omega; Alpha Omicron Pi Fraternity; Student Alumni Association; Academy of Leaders; Peer Mentor; and Homecoming Council.

Ruel’s list of service includes president of the National Student Exchange Club; alternative Breaks site leader; Orientation Peer Advisor; Dance Marathon morale captain; president of the Women’s Studies Student Association; and member of Omicron Delta Kappa – all while maintaining a 3.15 GPA.

The Graduate Leadership Award: Pablo Haspel and Jennifer Guerra

Guerra is the current president of the Student Affairs Graduate Student Association and served as a graduate assistant in the Center for Leadership and Service and in the Women’s Center, where she chaired the seventh annual sisterhood retreat planning committee.  She also advised Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society, served in the Annual Student Leadership Summit planning committee, and oversaw the ENGAGE leadership workshop series.

Haspel is a second year master’s student in public administration with a perfect 4.0 GPA. As previously mentioned, he serves the Biscayne Bay Campus as SGA president and has held numerous other SGA positions as an undergraduate at BBC. He was a previous Kaplan Award winner a member of Golden Key Society, and Dean’s List member, as we well as the recipient of the BBC Campus Life Office High Achiever Award.


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