NSLS chapter celebrates student inductees, honors faculty and staff

NSLS induction spring 2016

Fatima Amtashar (center), vice president of UMSL’s National Society of Leadership and Success chapter, listens to remarks alongside Jenna Bartak, coordinator of leadership and training for the Office of Student Life, during NSLS’s spring 2016 induction ceremony in the Millennium Student Center. (Photos by Afton Joiner)

Compassion. Dedication. Success.

These and other ideals kept coming up one recent evening in the University of Missouri–St. Louis’ Millennium Student Center. As UMSL’s chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success inducted 22 new members on April 25, the students also took time to congratulate several peers, faculty and staff.

A keynote address by Ashlee Roberts, assistant director of the Office of Student Life, set the tone for the event. Roberts shared lessons from her own life during the talk, offering humility, mentorship and serving others as three keys to meaningful success.

Ashlee Roberts speaking at NSLS April 2016

UMSL staff member Ashlee Roberts was asked to give the keynote address at the April 25 event.

Members of the NSLS chapter’s executive board then called three UMSL faculty members to the stage to award each of them a 2016 Excellence in Teaching Award.

The first recipient was Christine M. Recktenwald, an assistant teaching professor in the College of Nursing described as remarkably caring and eager to guide students toward success.

“She demonstrates dedication to developing students beyond their academic qualifications,” a student nominator said, “and has a positive impact on the lives of any nursing student she comes in contact with.”

Instructor Andrew Tucker, an expert in content literacy, reading and special education at UMSL, was the second recipient. Tucker was commended for “always being willing to answer questions that students have and developing relationships with his students which shows exceptional love for teaching with purpose.”

The final recipient of the 2016 Excellence in Teaching Award was Patti Wright, associate professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology. Described at the NSLS event as a passionate, knowledgeable and charismatic professor, one student wrote that Wright goes out of her way on behalf of students and encourages them to think critically and challenge themselves academically.

NSLS faculty and staff awardees

Among those UMSL faculty and staff members recognized with student-initiated awards were (from left) Christine Recktenwald, Marc Spingola, Mike Diliberto, Evie Hemphill and Patti Wright.

The NSLS chapter also presented the Excellence in Service to Students Award to three non-faculty members on campus, thanking them for leadership, mentorship and a commitment to bettering the lives of students. The recipients were Mike Diliberto, Evie Hemphill and Kevin Ly.

Just before inducting and celebrating 22 current UMSL students as new society members, the group honored Associate Teaching Professor Marc Spingola with an Honorary Membership Award. Regularly given to one faculty member, staff member or administrator who embodies the mission of NSLS and demonstrates leadership qualities in a personal and professional capacity, the award recognized Spingola as “the type of person that is always willing to help and do whatever he can to make students’ time worthwhile here at UMSL.”

Nationally Engaged Leader Awards were also presented to four accomplished UMSL students and current NSLS chapter members Valentina Emiliani, JeYeon Ariel Hur, Dipa Patel and Thao Pham.

Students are selected and invited to join NSLS based on credit hours and academic standing. Before being inducted, they complete a step-by-step program through the UMSL chapter, building leadership skills, engaging in self-reflection and exploration, and gaining tools that will help them reach their goals.

The UMSL Experience


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