Student Activities Center presents awards


Photo: Karuna Ang/Iowa State Daily

Lana Seiler, administrative specialist at the International Students & Scholars department, congratulates Ahmad Al-Saygh, president of International Student Council for winning the Outstanding Commitment to Diversity award, Tuesday, Apr. 12, at Sun Room in the Memorial Union.

Briana Haguewood

VEISHEA 2011 and the Student Activities Center had a recognition ceremony Tuesday to honor Iowa State’s outstanding leaders, faculty and organizations.

The awards were given to acknowledge the achievements of individuals nominated because of their positive impact on the ISU community.

“We have so many students and organizations that are doing great things all the time. We wanted to find a way to highlight some who have gone above and beyond,” said George Micalone,
 director of Student Activities and assistant director of the Memorial Union, about the awards.

Micalone arranged the initial collaboration of the Student Activities Center and VEISHEA for the awards ceremony for the first time last year.

“We have somewhere around 800 student organizations. We wanted to recognize those that really impact the Iowa State community,” said Amanda Martin, graduate in educational leadership and policy studies and graduate assistant for the Student Activities Center.

Martin said the Student Activities Center is hoping to continue expanding the recognition event. This is the second year the awards ceremony has been in place to reward outstanding individuals and organizations at Iowa State during VEISHEA.

Two student leaders were recognized for their hard work and the impact of their actions: Andrew Pringnitz, senior in agricultural business, and Brian Capesius, senior in mechanical engineering.

Jennifer Nissen, graduate in educational leadership and policy studies and coordinator of leadership and service for the Student Activities Center, and Laurie Fiegel, program manager for the University Honors Program, were also recognized for their accomplishments.

“There are a lot of people on campus who do really great things without the intention of being recognized. For that reason alone is why we started this event last year: to give those individuals the recognition they deserve,” said Dean Choi, VEISHEA special events chairman and sophomore in economics.

Katherine Ament, graduate in materials science and engineering, was recognized with the Outstanding Student Leader of the Year Award.

“Iowa State provides students with the opportunities to explore their interests and enables them to become great leaders,” Ament said.

She was recognized in part for her work as Materials Research Society president for the past year and a half, during which time she and other members essentially built the club from the ground up.

“We’re providing research and educational opportunities for students, by students,” Ament said about the organization.

“It was pleasantly surprising to win this award,” said Anna Prisacari, graduate in chemistry, who accepted the Outstanding Event of the Year Award for the NWC: The Race Show event that took place in October.

“The attendance for the show was more than expected, a full house, and people walked out of the event with either a smile or tears on their face. It was a great event,” Prisacari said.

Mary-Beth Golemo, adviser for the GreenHouse Group and program coordinator for the Department of Residence, received the Outstanding Student Organization Adviser Award.

Her nominator, Casey Fangmann, junior in industrial engineering, said, “I don’t know if I have ever seen anyone as motivated to help students reach their goals in a group as I have seen in her.”

Also recognized was the International Student Council, who won the Outstanding Commitment to Diversity Award. The International Student Council has held, in efforts to help diversify the ISU campus, events such as International Week in the fall and the International Food Fair during VEISHEA in the spring. They have also created disaster relief fundraisers for Haiti, Pakistan and Japan.

Iowa State University Associated General Contractors received the award for Outstanding Commitment to Service. During the 2009-2010 school year AGC members served more than 4,000 hours of volunteer service.

“Community service is a cornerstone for the AGC student chapter,” said Larry Cormicle, nominator and adviser for the organization and senior lecturer in civil, construction and environmental engineering.

Anyone can nominate an outstanding individual or group for these awards for next year.

“Students next year should look at this event as a good opportunity to be recognized for all that they do on campus. We’re always looking for more applicants,” said Hayley Osenbaugh, VEISHEA special events chairwoman and senior in HRI.

Thomas Hill, vice president of Student Affairs, said during his presentation of the awards to student leaders, “We will watch proudly as they make their marks on the world.”

Recipients’ names for the Student Activities Center awards will be added to plaques located in the West Lobby of the Memorial Union, outside of the Sun Room.