Josiah Perkins, a sophomore majoring in criminology and criminal justice

Josiah Perkins, a sophomore majoring in criminology and criminal justice, received the Student Leader of the Year Award at the annual leadership awards banquet April 28. More than 200 students, faculty, staff and family members attended the event to cheer on 22 award winners. (Photo by Daniel Shular)

Standing out in a crowd of overachievers is a difficult task. But that’s what all the cheering was about Monday night when the Office of Student Life at the University of Missouri–St. Louis held its leadership awards ceremony.

Superlatives dominated the introductions of individuals and groups of students, faculty and staff receiving awards and recognition for their extraordinary contributions to UMSL and the St. Louis community. A total of 22 awards and formal recognition of three groups made up the lively program. Approximately 200 people attended the banquet in the Millennium Student Center, which was decked out with velvet ropes, a red carpet and a UMSL backdrop for selfies.

The Student Leader of the Year Award field was a big one with seven nominees including seniors with proven track records. But Josiah Perkins, a sophomore majoring in criminology and criminal justice, received the top honor for his “tireless service to UMSL and the wider St. Louis community.” Perkins, who volunteers at Karen House, a homeless shelter for women and children in north St. Louis, wants to work with juveniles for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department when he graduates.

Organization of the Year Award went to the Pierre Laclede Honors College Student Association for their innovative programs, which included the Haunted Honors College, Paintapallooza and Casino Night. Accepting the award for the association were Katie Kratzer, president; Marlee Thomas, vice president; Dominic Margherio, Student Government Association representative; and Nick Domescik, freshman representative.

Kristin Wyninegar, a sophomore communication major, received the Newman Civic Fellows Award, a national recognition from Campus Compact, which honors inspiring college student leaders who demonstrate an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country.

Wyninegar heads up UMSL’s Students of Service program, the engine behind the annual Holiday Fest and the MLK Holiday Day of Service, two very large events involving hundreds of volunteers giving back to thousands of UMSL’s neighbors in need. Throughout the school year you can also find the relatively small group pulling weeds and raking leaves of UMSL’s elderly neighbors, working with Big Brothers Big Sisters and other organizations.

There are more than 80 recognized student organizations at UMSL all in need of faculty or staff guidance. Two faculty members tied for the honor this year for their “exemplary level of dedication and commitment” to the organizations they advise. Daniel Gerth, assistant dean of the Pierre Laclede Honors College, received the Advisor of the Year Award for his work with the college’s student association. Linda Wells-Glover, associate teaching professor of social work received Advisor of the Year for her work with the Student Social Work Association.

Other awards and winners are:

• SGA Student Choice Award, Monica Venhuizen, graphic designer, Student Life

• Best Community Building Program Award, Relay for Life, Colleges Against Cancer

• Best Cultural Awareness Program Award, “I Believe,” University Program Board

• Best Overall Program Award, Haunted Honors College

• Best Sustained Program Award, “Experience St. Louis,” University Program Board

• Most Innovative Program, “Male Pageant Mr. Pink,” Zeta Tau Alpha

• Outstanding Service to the Community Award, Belkisa Dautovic, junior, nursing

• Student Advocate Award, Ralph Jenkins II, senior, business administration

• Rising Leader of the Year Award, Katryn Dierksen, sophomore, English

• Greek Student Leader of the Year Award, Michael Weaver, Sigma Pi, senior, biology

• Student Life Awards, Brandy Albritton, director of catering and the MSC Building Operations staff

• Student Resident of the Year, Kourtney Foster, sophomore, psychology

• Residential Life Staff Member of the Year Award, Christian Cohill , junior, studio art

• Outstanding Contribution to Leadership Programming Award, Kevin Carpenter, senior, sociology

• Triton Athletic Leadership Award, Alan Frank, baseball, senior, criminology and criminal justice

• Triton Athletic Leadership Award, Haley Brightwell, women’s volleyball, senior, business administration

• Triton Athletic Leadership Award, Katie Rutledge, softball, junior, education

Members of three groups were recognized for their accomplishments this year:

• Emerging Leaders, Leadership and Training, Office of Student Life

• Students Selected by Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities

• Student Activity Budget Committee

The UMSL Experience

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Maureen Zegel

Maureen Zegel

Eye on UMSL: Sweet ride

Triton Leaders Allison Lendman, Ashley Schauwecker and Cole McWilliams take a seat in the newly wrapped, UMSL-branded red golf cart outside the Millennium Student Center.