On Tuesday, April 28, we celebrated with the campus community virtually. We came “together” to recognize student leaders, organizations, and programs from across campus. Even with the shift to distance learning, we had more than 110 nominations! Each of the nominees deserve a round of applause – we have so many wonderful people contributing to MSUM. During the online ceremony, the winners of each category were announced. We’re here to congratulate each winner. Keep reading if you missed the awards show last night and to watch the recording, click here.

Individual Student Engagement Awards: This category of awards is to recognize individual student engagement. This may include, but not limited to, student organization involvement, student employment, academic achievements, internships, research, professional development, athletics, art, music, theatre, activism, community service, community involvement, and other engagement activities. There may be multiple winners for each award.

Outstanding New Leader Award – Jessa Mueller

“In the last few months, this individual’s confidence has grown exponentially. Being that this person is an actress and singer, they have been able to show confidence while playing a role. Now, they have grown into a strong individual who is able to show their true personality in everything they do. Before this person came to MSUM, they were known for rarely taking risks, now they are willing to step outside their comfort zone and challenge themselves academically and socially.”

Community Engagement Award – Simon Atadoga

“This individual has contributed to the campus and community through their act of service. They organized a clothing drive for the YWCA shelter. While interning with the YWCA shelter, they noticed the good work the shelter was doing for homeless women and children, and then decided to organize a clothing drive as their way of supporting the organization. Despite the odds that stood against them, like not getting people to help, they were determined to complete the clothing drive. The clothing drive lasted for a month and over 1000 items were donated.”

Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Award – Dylin Van Elsberg

“They ensure that gender inclusive language is used when introducing performers and artists and when addressing students in attendance at events. They have advocated with MSUM administration to have the option of preferred pronouns on university nametags and seek to book performers that reflect and represent the diversity of MSUM and the surrounding community.”

Grit Award Student Nomination – Nico Arias

 “They have worked hard at everything they have put their mind to this year. They came to campus and instantly made their goals known: to make MSUM a more inclusive and sustainable campus. Their ambition and go-getter attitude resulted in them not only becoming an organization chair, but re-instating the sustainability committee.”

Grit Award Faculty/Staff Nomination – Rebecca Rage

“In the past year, they have far exceeded our offices already high expectations of what they could do, showing a resourcefulness and poise I’ve rarely seen in a young person. As a Lead Ambassador, this individual has helped organized campus visit programs while managing our dozens of Dragon Ambassadors schedule for those events. Faced with a complicated planning process and events that can, at times, veer into slight chaos, they adapt quickly & effectively, maintaining their composure to keep the events running smooth.”

Humility Award Student Nomination – Araceli SpottedThunder

“This individual is the co-president of the American Indian Student Association and she always makes everyone feel welcome at the meetings, even if you do not identify as Native American. They are always willing to share their culture and experiences with others in order to create a more inclusive campus. They are a team player because they always gathers input from their members before making decisions”

Humility Award Faculty/Staff Nomination – Abbey Linstad

“This individual has been such a positive presence in our office this year as an Office Assistant and Dragon Ambassador. They have shown such humility by being so inclusive of all team members and showing a desire to connect with everyone. A great example of this is when we had a group of students from a high school attend campus, and we needed a student to simply walk them down to Kise. They instead decided to take her lunch hour to sit and talk with them, since they were from a nearby school, and had a sense of what those students valued & wanted to ask about.”

Heart Award Student Nomination – Zac Spohn

“This individual is fiercely loyal to MSUM. Recently, I had the opportunity to serve alongside them as a student representative while the university was interviewing new Dean Candidates for the College of Business and Innovation. This individual questions were thought provoking and incisive. It was clear that he wanted what was best for the university and his fellow students.”

Heart Award Faculty/Staff Nomination – Alex Gallagher

“This individual is truly deserving of the Heart Award. The definition talks about the award winner being passionate about their purpose, loyal to MSUM and that they go the extra mile for their fellow students. I have known this individual throughout their MSUM journey. This individual is a Dragon Ambassador and I have rarely seen someone who loves giving tours, working at commencement and special events as much as them. They display their Dragon Pride serving on both DragonFrost and Homecoming courts, wearing Dragon apparel and representing MSUM in their hometown of Bismarck.”

Leadership Legacy Award – Presley Gonnerman

“This individual possesses an impressive skill set and a personality grounded in positively, drive and creativity and I am lucky to have the opportunity to work side-by-side with them. In these times of uncertainty and instability, they have stepped up and has been continuously assisting our office in any way she can. From developing a comprehensive communications strategy, actively participating in all-staff meetings, and finding new and creative ways to continue to engage our student population, I can speak with confidence that our office would not be in the place we are now without them.”

Programming and Events Awards: This category of awards is to recognize student-led programs and events. There may be multiple winners for this award.

Outstanding Campus Program/Event Award – If the Dress Fits

“This was the second year MSUM brought this event to campus and it was even more successful this year than the year before. At this event over 100 prom dresses were given away. Not only did it bring high school students to our campus, but college students and community members were invited to volunteer at the event. PRSSA worked closely with alumni and co-founder Ashleigh Arntson to gather the volunteers and to promote the event so that high school students could have the prom dresses of their dreams without the price tag of their nightmares.”

Student Organization Involvement Awards: This category of awards is to recognize involvement within a recognized student organization at MSUM. There will be one winner for each award.

Organization Member of the Year – Savannah Hohenstein

“I haven’t met anybody that has been as committed to an organization as they have to our organization. Even though they are graduating this spring we know we’re not going to completely lose them because no matter where they are, our organization will always be a part of their heart and we are so thankful for that.”

Community Engagement Organization of the Year – Marine Ecology Club

“One of the main components of our organization is our community outreach and tours. These consist of a 45 minute to an hour long tour of the lab (done by the student members of the club) where you get to see everything within the lab, get an explanation of every animal, a teaching on how a fish tank system runs, and feedings for our animals to see them in action. Last academic year we had 576 people come through the lab for various different reasons; this year we had a total of 907 people attend (a 1.57% increase in attendance) before the shut-down of the campus; which caused us to cancel many tours we had scheduled in March/April.”

Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Organization of the Year – Campus Feminist Organization

“Using principles of intersectional feminism, they worked closely with other organizations to put on a series of student-led panels in Fall 2019: one each on Mental Health, Queer Identities on Campus, and Blood Quantum (in Native communities). They worked to ensure representation on panels was as diverse as possible. Panels were well-attended and they creatively incorporated the use of an app to allow panel attendees to ask anonymous questions.”

Up-and-coming Organization of the Year – Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA)

 “Our organization is now definitely more than a requirement for seniors. It’s a student organization that works to bring potential students, alumni, and current students together to learn from each other and develop professionally. Because of all of this hard work and the growth our organization has seen in the past year, I believe we’d be perfect for this award.”

Organization Officer of the Year – Muhammed Hassan Condeh

“They always make conscious effort to engage the members of the organization. This individual initiated some uplifting programs which were aimed at uplifting members and the organization. This individual doesn’t just lead, they serve.”

Organization Advisor of the Year – Annie Wood

“Anytime a problem arises, they are usually quickest with a solution, whether it be work to be done, the answer to a question that even they don’t know, or just taking the time out of their busy schedule to advise us, even on non-meeting days for our organization”

Club Sport of the Year – Club Volleyball

 “With this year’s continuing growth, the club has further excelled in its positive reputation by its experienced, welcoming, and competitive teams. Membership from last year has more than doubled thanks to the unmatched dedication and passion brought by an extraordinary new group of freshmen.”

Organization of the Year – Collegiate DECA

“At the state competition, all 33 students qualified for the International Conference. This organization took home 14 first-place awards, 6 second-place awards, and 8 third-place awards. This was a record accomplishment for our organization. Our students also learned valuable leadership, networking and business skills throughout the academic year.”

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees for Student Leadership Awards, the students who complete their Dragon Leadership Program, and everything in between. Make sure you congratulate all the nominees and winners you know!