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First Year Student Leader of the Year

Emerson Foley
This year’s winner is a leader on and off campus. He arrived on campus last summer for a pre-orientation program, and has been engaged with Wake and Winston Salem from the start. He serves as a Deacs Like Me mentor, diligently meeting bi-weekly with a local 7th grade student, serving as a role-model while teaching key study tools and techniques, and is one of only 2 first year students active in the Engineering Student Advisory board. A nominator states “[He] brings enthusiasm and kindness to everything he does. He is always ready to help someone else. [He] lives our Pro Humanitate motto in big and small ways every day.”

Sophomore Student Leader of the Year

Gabe Martineau
This year’s winner has helped to orchestrate the largest 1-year membership increase on record at Wake Forest. He has worked tirelessly with the Esports executive team to elevate the experience of members of his organization, taking them to off-campus competitions, securing sponsors, and engineering huge events for Wake & the broader gaming community. A nominator states: “[he] has put in many hours of dedication and hard work to transform this club into something more. He is constantly meeting with faculty and staff…to create connections.”

Junior Student Leader of the Year

Aman Khemlani
This year’s winner received a staggering 8 nominations for this award, a testament to the impact that he has had on his peers and the Wake community. As a member and officer of many campus organizations, this student has helped to make lasting change on our campus. A nominator states: “While all of [his] extracurricular activities are important and impressive, it’s his work with the Hindu Students Association that…makes him worthy of this award. [His] free time this year has been dedicated to advocating for the equity of Hindu students on campus…[bringing attention to the need for] a [Hindu] chaplain, and a safe space for Hindu students to practice their religion.”

Senior Student Leader of the Year

Emily Kemp
This year’s winner has been a stalwart for positive change on campus and in the community. A Campus Garden intern, Connect & Cultivate leader, and an inaugural Garden Ambassador, she has served Wake Forest and Winston-Salem, with her work in local school and community gardens. She is passionate about giving a voice to marginalized communities starting conversations around environmental justice issues. A nominator states: “On her own time, [she] has participated in multiple climate rallies across the state and is an advocate for equality in all senses of the word. She also has one of the most pure hearts out there and is just a wonderful, caring human being.”

Outstanding Leader of the Year

Meredith Power
This recipient has spent four years on our campus working hard to improve herself, her peers, our university, and the planet. She has worked most notably with the Office of Sustainability as an intern, and a mentor to others. She was a driving force behind the creation of Earth Talks, a TEDx style event about sustainability. She has also given her time and her passion to student organizations, by creating and facilitating workshops on earth conscious events and sustainable promotional products – a project she was working on even while abroad! This year, she has dedicated her last semesters at Wake to creating professional resources for students that may come after her with plans to enter Environmental, Social, and Governance work all while applying for jobs herself. A nominator states: “Selfishly, it’s never easy to watch a star student graduate and leave Wake Forest. Those feelings are magnified a thousand times when it comes to [this student]. Her maturity, leadership, mentorship, and vision are second to none and the impact she has had on her peers–not just this year, but over the course of her Wake Forest career, is incredibly laudable…She has left her mark across campus, even if many people don’t know her name. She absolutely deserves to be recognized for how much she has given to Wake and her fellow students.”

Outstanding Emerging Leader of the Year

Jeannine Lynch
This year’s winner is involved with the Wake Forest sorority community, Student Government, the University Tour Guides, and the student staff in Benson. She has exhibited excellent leadership and collaboration in the planning of Academic Resources Awareness Week, and has gracefully led her Sorority over the past year, prioritizing transparency and partnership to ensure mutual success and accountability. A nominator states: “She is smart, creative, productive, and able to quickly get to the bottom of a situation and build upwards…[she] is a bright shining star in our Wake Forest family.”

Living Our Values Award

Haley Nowak
This year’s winner is involved all across campus: She is a CLASS Ambassador, a Change Agent, A student advisor, and a member of the Panhellenic executive board. She takes her role as a leader seriously, she is a champion of inclusion, and wants her peers to learn more about the diverse perspectives on Wake’s campus. A nominator states: “[She] gives back to our campus in so many different and unique ways. She is very unassuming and humble about her many gifts and talents and quietly goes about doing her work…We are lucky [she] picked Wake Forest, she makes us better! [She] is “thriving in the forest” and eager to make sure others thrive too!”

Bridge Builder Award

Janeel Black
This year’s winner is a true bridge builder on our campus, constantly seeking to bring different groups together, creating a more inclusive community, especially for students of color. Through a variety of events and partnerships, she has demonstrated a commitment to fostering positive change by promoting cultural understanding and appreciation, social justice, and civic engagement. A nominator states “If you’ve worked closely with [her] you know she consistently works to build connections across campus. Her signature, “Howdy!” is unmistakable and well-known…. While at Wake, she has used this personability to create meaningful communities for students of color to find connection and belonging through her work with the Black Student Alliance, Delta Sigma Theta Inc., and the Intercultural Center.”

Cornerstone Award

Sarah Haugh
This year’s winner started college, like most of her class, during the height of the pandemic. This was a difficult experience for many, but with resilience, creativity, and tenacity she found her way on campus, and quickly became committed to making sure her fellow first year friends did too. This student has been quietly serving the Wake Forest community for years, as a Student Advisor, CLASS Ambassador, and ZSR Ambassador, in Student Government, in her sorority, and on Panhellenic exec. A nominator wrote: “[She] is often the brightest person in the room, but she never makes anyone feel that way. She is a humble presence, but also willing to speak her mind and committed to speaking up for others.”

Ripple in The Pond Award

Dylan Coffin
This year’s winner places a priority on helping others– from helping someone study for a test, to making sure a friend’s birthday gets celebrated, to cheering on a friend at their event. He is the supportive friend who never judges and always meets people where they are. Despite not originally planning to join a fraternity, he was drawn to the philanthropy aspect and became a founding member of Pi Kappa Phi, whose philanthropy, The Ability Experience, supports & empowers people with disabilities. He spends his time tutoring in the Chem Center, and working in the lab at Wake Downtown. When asked about his work, he said “One of the greatest lessons from the lab is learning how to react to failure.” And “I am working for a better future.” This student is a stand-out candidate for this award, and we look forward to seeing the ripples of his kindness and dedication grow.

Women’s Student Leadership Award

Nina Banks
This year’s winner is a student assistant in the Women’s Center, where she led the efforts of the Wellbeing for Women of Color initiative, partnering with a dozen student organizations to create safe spaces to center and celebrate the experiences of women of color. A nominator states: “[She] fills the space with so much warmth and light. She is always the first to offer a hand and has never met a stranger. Inclusion is always at the forefront of her work and she is never afraid to speak up when things are not right.”

Diversity Trailblazer

Rovina Mannah
This year’s recipient is a member of the Student Union board of directors, and has spent the year hosting and collaborating on events with groups across campus including The LGBTQ+ center, the Women’s center, OLAS, BSA, SASA, ASIA, and AFRICASA. These events cultivated community across students and provided opportunities for students to feel connected, cared for, and respected, and safe to share their culture and backgrounds with their fellow students. A nominator states: “Rovina has taken several standard events and created signature experiences for our students. From her meaningful collaborations and thoughtful considerations have come expanded experiences of belonging for a multitude of students at Wake Forest.”

LGBTQ+ Leadership Award

Nick Beckom
This award recognizes a group of students who have demonstrated ongoing commitment and leadership to supporting women and promoting gender equity on campus. This organization builds a supportive community for women where they regularly connect with one another and share the experience of being women entering into fields historically dominated by men. They have grown from 175 to 400 women in just one year, and have collaborated with the Women’s Center, The Office of Wellbeing, Academic Advising, OPCD, and more. This organization does outreach to women and girls at Wake and in Winston to foster a love of science, math, and technology. The members celebrate one another’s integrity, intellect, and emotional strength.

Wellbeing Student Award

Conor Metzger
This year’s winner has served as the Collegiate Recovery Community student coordinator for the last two years, helping raise awareness of the CRC and recovery as a concept within the campus community. The Sober Tailgate initiative has seen a 500% increase in attendance under his leadership, and he has used his voice to write articles for the Old Gold & Black, focusing on issues related to student wellbeing. A nominator states “Our campus has benefitted immeasurably from [his] quiet leadership.”

Advisor of the Year

Noah Mass
This year’s recipient came to Wake and immediately became the advisor for more than 30 of our student organizations. He has worked closely with each and every one of them, to develop a rapport and relationship, and has regularly gone above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that they are happy, successful, and safe. He has advocated for his clubs’ interests in meetings across campus, and ensured that the members gain important leadership skills and life lessons as they go.

Campus Partner of the Year

Naijla Faizi
This year’s winner has gone above and beyond their specified duties in support of our students and student organizations. She has helped students get into the room with upper level administrators, where they have been able to advocate and have their voices heard. Her dedication to equity for religious groups on campus has been relentless and has given students a sense of belonging and mattering they may not have had without her support. A nominator states: “She has taken on the work of two [people] and all her hard work, dedication and…determination to help students…is something that should be recognized…”

Student Organization of the Year

Deacs Like Me
This year’s recipient is a peer mentoring organization, focused on serving our local community. They are relatively new, and have seen immeasurable success in the time they have been operating. Their mission is to pair Wake Forest students that have learning disabilities with local middle school students with similar diagnoses. The mentors help these students to understand that they can be successful regardless of the obstacles in their path. It is also a great experience for the mentors, who are able to give back to the community, reflect on their past challenges and successes, and create and share learning tools that help both the mentor and the mentee. These students have taken their passion and used it to make great changes in the lives of the next generation. We look forward to seeing how they continue to grow!

New Student Organization of the Year

This year’s award goes to an organization that was conditionally chartered this fall, and received their formal charter just this month! Their chartering advisors report having a positive experience with this group every step of the way, stating that they always had passion and energy for their mission through a long (and sometimes grueling) chartering process. In the short time they have been active on campus, they have worked to continually engage their members & the community through regular meetings and initiatives around event waste reduction and diversion, sustainability education and awareness, and outreach. We look forward to seeing this organization continue to grow and make Wake Forest – and the world – a better place.

Women’s Leadership Organization Award

Athenas Lifting Club
This year’s winner is an organization that seeks to create a warm and welcoming environment for women to use typically male dominated fitness spaces. They create space for women who want to learn more about fitness in a judgment free environment. Instilling confidence in women is the main goal of this club, they strive to do so with physical strength training, as well as open conversations about mental health, nutrition, and mindfulness.

Diversity Education Award

South Asian Students Association
This award acknowledges two or more recognized student organizations for their effort to collaboratively organize and implement a campus program, project or event. This year’s winners executed a collaborative event that incorporated an unprecedented number of student organizations. Together, these groups created an engaging and hands-on experience that brought together students from all across campus, and educated members of the Wake Forest community on various Asian cultures, while celebrating an important Asian holiday.

Event of the Year

This year’s winner is an event created by a group of students who envisioned a festival that highlighted student passion and talent. They imagined a space where student contributions could be showcased and admired. This event was no small undertaking and provided opportunities for various students to learn and enhance a host of skill sets including event planning, communication, negotiating and collaborating with peers, campus partners, and external vendors, budget management, and more. These students have created something brand new, with the potential to become a favorite tradition for the Wake community. To have accomplished all that they did in just a few months is worthy of this recognition.

Outstanding Collaboration

Founders Fest: Student Union, MeloDeacs, & Innuendo
This year’s winners brought together a celebration of Wake Forest where students, faculty, and staff could enjoy live music, food & drinks, WFU themed activities, and each other’s company while paying homage to the institution that brought them all together. A nominator states: “By involving multiple groups in the planning process and working collaboratively…[this event] helped to bring people together and create a shared sense of ownership and investment in the event. [The hosts of this event worked together] to plan an event that was fun, inclusive, and reflective of the community spirit at Wake Forest University.”

Chinundet-Crowe Leadership Scholarship Recipient

Sophie Eldridge
The Chinuntdet–Crowe scholarship is given each year to a student who demonstrates outstanding commitment to leadership and involvement.

This year’s winner stood out for their commitment to servant leadership and developing the leadership capacity of their peers. They have given a substantial amount of their time to the cause of sustainability across multiple local and Wake Forest programs. In addition to their change-based leadership this winner has founded a student organization, served as a resident assistant and as a leader of Alpha Phi Omega.

Contribution to Campus Life

This award recognizes Senior students who have significantly contributed to the improvement of the quality of student life during their time at Wake Forest. Each of them have made specific contributions to student life through involvement in campus activities, academic initiatives, student governance, community service, leadership, and their pursuits to support and empower their peers.

This year’s recipients are: Pilar Agudelo, Gabby Bognet, Seanne Casey, Natalia Drobnjak, Banks Hand, Lizzie Harlan, Jackson Haskell, Kgosi Hughes, Jess Jordan, Katherine Knightley, Savannah Littlejohn, Claire Mahoney, Lauren McEachin, Kiya Norman, Abigail Pittman, Roxie Ray, Jess Schmidt, Drew Skilton, and Braden Strackman.