Student Leadership Awards

The Division of Student Life annually recognizes undergraduate and graduate students for outstanding leadership through a variety of awards that are presented at the annual Student Leadership Awards Ceremony. The awards ceremony is open to students, faculty, staff, alumni, family, friends, and affiliates.

2020 awardee headshots

2021 Award Process Details

The 2021 awards process will be entirely virtual. In order to be eligible for an award, you must be nominated (self-nominations are also encouraged). Nominations come in the form of a written statement that addresses why a person should be considered for an award (or multiple). These nomination statements range from one paragraph to multiple pages. To learn more about how to write a strong nomination statement, visit our FAQ page to review what we look for. 


Tuesday, February 9 at 8:00 AM PT | Nominations Open

Tuesday, March 9 at 11:59 PM PT | Nominations Close

Late-April | Recipients Notified 

Mid-May | Campus Announcement

How to Nominate

Nominations opened on Tuesday, February 9 at 8:00am PT and will remain open until Tuesday, March 9 at 11:59pm PT. If you have questions about the nomination process, or about the awards in general, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions

All nominations must be submitted electronically through our online form. The online nomination form will automatically notify the nominee upon submission to let them know they have been nominated. As the nominator, you have the choice of letting them know your name, what you wrote, both, or neither. Either way, nominees will know they have been nominated as well as which awards they were nominated for! 

Who Can Nominate

Anyone can submit a nomination, regardless of your affiliation with USF (Staff, Faculty, Student, Friend/Family, etc.)!

Types of awards

The Division of Student Life has 8 awards that we recognize students with annually. Those include:

  • Emerging Leadership Award (First-time, first-year students)
  • Excellence in Leadership & Service Award (Sophomores/Juniors)
  • Senior Leadership Award (Graduating Seniors)
  • Priscilla A. Scotlan Award (Graduating Seniors)
  • Father John P. Schlegel, S.J. Award (Graduating Seniors)
  • Archbishop Oscar Romero Award (Graduating Seniors/Graduate Students)
  • Graduate Student Leadership Award (Graduating Graduate Students)
  • Hilary Williams Ford Award (Graduating Graduate Students)

We also include awards determined by some of our campus partners, including: 

To see the full list of awards, descriptions, and eligibility requirements use the link below. full list of awards, descriptions, and eligibility requirements

2020 Award Nominees & Recipients

Full list of our 2020 nominees

Photo of Jazmine Tabili

Jazmine Tabili
Major: Politics
Minors:  Legal Studies and Public Service & Community Engagement
"You can't actually plan your future. You know, there's no guarantees in this world. As long as the people I love are a part of my life, I will be just fine."
-Jerry Gergich

Photo of Joanna Villegas Ocampo

Joanna Villegas Ocampo
Master of Arts in Higher Education and Student Affairs 
"There is no thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.
-Audre Lorde

Photo of Darla Mariduena

Darla Mariduena
Major: Environmental Studies
Minor: Legal Studies
"Nature has taught me about fluid adaptability. About not only weathering storms, but using howling winds to spread seeds wide, torrential rains to nurture roots so they can grow deeper and stronger. Nature has taught me that a storm can be used to clear out branches that are dying, to let go of that which was keeping us from growing in new directions."
-Walidah Imarisha

Photo of Corey Michael Kowalczyke

Corey Michael Kowalczyke
Major: International Studies, Concentration in Peace and Conflict Studies
Minor: Latin American Studies 
We go to the margins so that the folks at the margins make us different.”
-Father Greg Boyle S.J. 

Photo of Madeline Campbell

Madeline Campbell
Major: Politics
Minors: Public Service and Community Engagement, Criminal Justice Studies
"Success isn't about how much money you make; it's about the difference you make in people's lives."
-Michelle Obama


Photo of Catherine Murphy

Catherine Murphy
Major: International Studies
Minors: Latin American Studies, Peace and Justice Studies
"The time to be courageous is now!"

Photo of Jazmine Tabili

Jazmine Tabili
Major: Politics
Minors: Legal Studies and Public Service & Community Engagement
"You can't actually plan your future. You know, there's no guarantees in this world. As long as the people I love are a part of my life, I will be just fine."
-Jerry Gergich

Photo of Collette E. Golden

Collette E. Golden
Major: Fine Arts
Minor: Design
"If I am worth anything later, I am worth something now. For wheat is wheat, even if people think it is a grass in the beginning."
-Vincent Van Gogh

Photo of Kiran Kaur Saroya

Kiran Kaur Saroya
Major: Marketing
Minor: Design
"Stay humble, stay original, and stay real."
-Madhavi Konda

Photo of Mackenzie Miller

Mackenzie Miller
Major: Design
Minors: Fine Arts, Jewish Studies and Social Justice
"Luck is the residue of design"
-Branch Rickey

Photo of Nico Oshiro

Nicolas Oshiro
Major: Data Science
"If you have everything under control, you’re not moving fast enough."
-Mario Andretti

Photo of Madeline Starkenburg

Madeline Starkenburg
Major: Psychology
Minors: Jewish Studies and Social Justice
“It is not incumbent upon you to complete the task, but neither are you at liberty to desist from it.”
-Pirkei Avot

Photo of Tiana Valerio

Tiana Valerio
Majors: Organizational Behavior & Leadership and Finance
"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."
-Isaac Newton

Photo of Ria Angelica Laxa

Ria Angelica Laxa
Major: Biology
Minor: Child and Youth Studies
“Everyone longs to be loved. And the greatest thing we can do is to let people know that they are loved and capable of loving.”
-Fred Rogers

Photo of Shelly Anne Aquino

Shelly Anne Aquino
Major: Nursing
"The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away."
-Pablo Picasso

Photo of MJ Abrams

MJ Abrams
Major: Media Studies
"The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do."
-Kobe Bryant

Photo of Sonja Angst

Sonja Angst
Major: Design
Minor: Entrepreneurship and Innovation
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
-Oscar Wilde

Photo of Hector Bustos

Hector Bustos
Major: Politics
Minor: Public Service & Community Engagement
"My choice isn't what I breathe in, it's what I exhale... And right now, in this moment, I feel a need for all of us to breathe fire."
-Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Photo of Tanya Sanjay

Tanya Sanjay
Major: Marketing
"Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other."
-John F. Kennedy

Photo of Jared Ross

Jared T. Ross
Major: Entrepreneurship & Innovation
"I shouldn't be alive, unless it was for a reason."
-Tony Stark

Photo of Logan J. Ulrich

Logan J. Ulrich
Major: Psychology
"Life has no meaning a priori…It is up to you to give it a meaning, and value is nothing but the meaning that you choose."
-Jean-Paul Sartre 

Photo of Norman Feng

Norman Feng
Major: Nursing
Minors: Health Studies, Gerontology
"I've always told myself that if I was going to be given a voice, I might as well say something worth listening to."
-Alessia Cara

Photo of Metyia Phillips

Metyia Phillips
Major: Politics
Minors: African American Studies & Spanish Studies
"And though she be but little she is fierce"
-William Shakespeare

Photo of Leo Tafoya

Leo Tafoya
Major: Economics
Minor: Design
"I believe in the balance between dreaming and building."
-Neri Oxman

Photo of Marisol Malia Castro

Marisol Malia Castro
Major: Environmental Science
Minor: Business Analytics
“If you're not making someone else's life better, then you're wasting your time. Your life will become better by making other lives better.”
-Will Smith

Photo of Katie Taves

Katie Taves
Major: Communications 
“Promise yourself To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. To take health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet. To make all your friends feel that there is something in them. To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. To think only the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best. To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile. To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others..."
-Christian D. Larson

Photo of Emily Garcia

Emily Garcia
Major: Sociology
Minor: Public Service and Community Engagement

Photo of Juno Lee Chambers

Juno Lee Chambers
Master of Arts in Higher Education and Student Affairs 
“The purpose of higher education ideally should offer people space to think about and develop an understanding about our role in the world. Education should be serving that purpose — and in some deep-tangled, hidden way it is — honoring the moments of pure education that we have experienced in our work. Developing, holding, and creating those moments in our work is honoring our ancestors.”
-Dr. Ria DasGupta

Photo of Ángel-Max Guerrero

Ángel-Max Guerrero
Organization & Leadership/Masters
"I have always known that at last I would take this road, but yesterday I did not know it would be today."
-Ariwara no Narihira

Photo of Jessica Esperanza Alva

Jessica Esperanza Alva
M.A. in Higher Education and Student Affairs
"I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept."
-Angela Davis

Photo of Yinghung N. Chiang

Yinghung N. Chiang
Learning and Instruction, Education Doctoral Program
"Change can be scary, but it can also be liberating. Resisting change, we hold on. Accepting change, we let go."

Photo of Mayra Hernandez

Mayra Hernandez
Master's in Clinical and School Counseling
"Pies. ¿Para qué los quiero si tengo alas para volar?"

Photo of Ann Le

Ann Le
Masters of Arts in Higher Education and Student Affairs
"Social justice is love applied to systems, policies, and cultures."
-Bernice King

Photo of Lorena Honorato Moreira

Lorena Honorato Moreira
Master of Arts in Professional Communication
"A master artist is a beginner who kept beginning."