The Center for Student Involvement Leadership Awards honors student organizations and their leaders who have had a profound impact on campus and in the community. All award recipients were honored at the 2016 UC Davis Outstanding Student Awards in May.
For full descriptions and photos of the award recipients, please check out the awards program.
In honor of Ted Adams, former director of the UC Davis Student Programs and Activities Center, who wished to recognize student leaders, The Adams Award honors individual leadership and accomplishment within registered student organizations. The Adams Award is presented annually by the Center for Student Involvement to a leader of a registered student organization who has effectively directed or influenced the student organization, campus and/or wider community.
Anna Johnson, President of the Chemistry Club, is the 2016 recipient of the Adams Award. Upon election by her peers in June 2015, Anna immediately exemplified her ability to assess, unite and inspire the membership she was charged to lead. As a kind, hard-working and resilient student, Anna seeks excellence in her students and in her co-curricular activities. Under her guidance, the Chemistry Club is administratively high-functioning with bi-weekly meetings and effective communication, and has transformed into an organization that is attractive to students looking for outreach and mentoring experience. One of her many nominators states, “Since her involvement in June 2015, we have put on 8 events that have reached over 1100 people and have involved over 25 different chemistry club volunteers, and we have another 12 events scheduled between now and summer.” She is described as one of the department's best students, gets along well with others, communicates her thoughts clearly, uses good judgment, and performs tasks with an attention to detail.
The Advancing Academic and Career Goals Award recognizes a registered student organization that successfully promotes academic achievement and provides opportunities for a diverse range of students to explore new areas of interest and develop academic and/or professional qualifications for future success.
The Society of Women Engineers supports and promotes the academic success and professional development of its members through study sessions, scholarships, workshops, panels, and professional events such as conferences and career fairs. A notable annual event hosted by the student organization is “Night with Industry,” a career fair followed by a professional dinner. Mock interviews and conferences, featuring presentation tracks ranging from technical development to career exploration to inclusion and cultural awareness, also support members in achieving their academic and career goals. The student organization strives to be inclusive of all identities and interests, and has partnered with other engineering organizations on campus to expand the image of the engineering profession as a positive force in improving the quality of life.
Successful student leaders balance multiple academic, work, leadership, service and other personal commitments. The Balanced Leaders Award recognizes a registered student organization that best develops members' skills to support time management, academic commitments, and social engagement. Balanced leaders aspire to achieve academic goals while also maintaining co-curricular involvement and personal wellness.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) at UC Davis is committed to promoting awareness and acceptance for mental health issues within our local community. Through bi-weekly meetings, weekly outreach events, and special events such as Mental Health First Aid training, Mental Health Fair and the Mental Health Communication Workshop, NAMI cultivates a supportive environment to increase the visibility and accessibility of support services, reduce stigma, and promote mental health and personal well-being among all members of the campus community. The impact of NAMI’s events and programs transcend its general membership, resulting in a campus community that strives to foster healthy, balanced lives.
The Excellence in Student Collaboration Award recognizes a registered student organization that demonstrates a collaborative and inclusive approach to their projects and a commitment to utilizing diverse frameworks in developing their contributions to education.
Bhagat Puran Singh Health Initiative (BPSHI) strives to eliminate health and social disparities within underserved and underprivileged populations by providing access to health education for the betterment of the mind, body, and spirit. They have collaborated with many organizations in order to address a variety of issues while utilizing a multi-faceted approach. BPSHI led the creation of UC Davis’ first ever Alliance for Justice Week, an event that aimed to educate the campus community on past and ongoing social injustices and was the result of collaboration with Arab Student Union, Armenian Student Association, M.E.Ch.A, and Black Student Union. BPSHI has also teamed up with many health-related organizations, such as MEDLIFE and the Minority Association of Premedical Students’ (MAPS), in order to promote healthy living within our community and on our campus. The student organization also collaborates with community organizations, including a notable partnership with the Asian American Donor Program (AADP) to register students to be bone marrow donors.
The Native American Studies Graduate Student Association is dedicated to educating about and advocating for the Native American/Indigenous communities of the American hemisphere. Through scholarship and community work, the student organization brings together Indigenous community members, scholars, and activists from throughout the Americas. A notable example of their global engagement efforts is the student organization’s annual Native American Studies Graduate Student symposium, the only Native American/Indigenous Studies graduate student symposium in the nation, which features work regarding Indigenous communities from Hawai'i, Chile, Peru, Mexico, and many other places to educate the general public about, as well as promote, tribal sovereignty and autonomy.
At the onset of the academic year, Muslim Student Association officers acknowledged a challenging climate of surging Islamophobia, Xenophobia, and racism, and pledged to provide a space in which community members can understand, respect, and love each other. The student organization chose to dedicate its events and initiatives to giving back to the less fortunate, hosting two major events – their annual Eid Banquet and a 5K Run for Charity – which resulted in $24,000 raised for the Syrian refugee crisis. At the 5K run, they intentionally collaborated with community organizations, and despite a rainy day, over 200 runners participated. Through their large-scale events and with their weekly array of spiritual, social, and academic gatherings, MSA rallied its members to promote a more inclusive and respectful UC Davis.
The Organizational Improvement Award recognizes the registered student organization that has taken significant steps in order to improve its overall effectiveness from one year to the next. Areas of improvement may include: member academic success, membership recruitment and retention, budget management, program planning, and leadership while fulfilling the mission and goals of their organization.
The Solar Car Team at UC Davis is the inaugural recipient of the Organizational Improvement Award. The Solar Car at UC Davis team is a non-profit, student-run organization that designs, builds, tests, and races road-legal solar vehicles with hands-on opportunities for students to apply their knowledge, create complex systems, and experience real-world engineering. First created in the summer of 2014, the student organization faced many challenges with decision making, member recruitment retention, communication, budgeting and leadership. Through feedback from members and a little trial and error, the student organization identified effective technology to streamline communication, revamped its leadership structure to support better financial management, and became involved in more campus wide activities to increase their visibility. Now, they have over 50 members, and while they admit they “still have much to learn,” they are eager to outreach to other organizations and departments for help and will continue looking forward with a positive attitude.