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Student organizations, faculty honored at University Student Leadership Awards


BLACKSBURG, Va., May 10, 2012 – Several Virginia Tech students, faculty, and staff were honored at the annual University Student Leadership Awards celebration hosted by Student Centers and Activities on April 25.

The 12 awards handed out by the department recognize individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the Virginia Tech campus and community. This includes clubs, organizations, programs, individuals, and service projects, all covering a wide range of student-led initiatives.

The following awards were conferred at the ceremony:

  • Outstanding Graduate Student Leader: Alireza Salmanzadeh-Dozdabi of Tehran, Iran, a doctoral candidate in engineering science and mathematics;
  • Outstanding Achievement by an Individual: Bethany Darnley of Pittsburgh, Pa., a senior majoring in human development in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences;
  • Outstanding Undergraduate Student Leader: Amanda McGrath of Springfield, Vt., a senior majoring in history in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences;
  • Outstanding Service to Campus: Justin Graves of Fredericksburg, Va., a senior majoring in sociology in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences;
  • A. Alan Baird Award: Sue Buyrn of Chesapeake, Va., a senior double majoring in psychology in the College of Science and philosophy in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences;
  • Program of the Year: the 2011 Career Fair, sponsored by Business Horizons, a student organization advised by the Pamplin College of Business;
  • Registered Student Organization of the Year: Beta Alpha Psi, an honorary organization for financial information students and professionals within the Pamplin College of Business;
  • University-Chartered Student Organization/University Student Leadership Organization: Residence Hall Federation, part of Housing and Residence Life;
  • Community Outreach: Black Student Alliance, advised by Kristen Houston in Multicultural Programs and Services, for its mentoring/tutoring program at Christiansburg Middle School;
  • Hokie Spirit: Vietnamese Student Association;
  • Hokie Community: William Demere, an instructor of accounting and information systems in the Pamplin College of Business; and
  • Advisor of the Year: Assistant Director of Multicultural Programs and Services Kristen Houston, advisor for the Black Student Alliance, Black Organizations Council, and the Jewish Student Union.

Student Centers and Activities creates welcoming environments that foster excellence in learning, service, and community through involvement. Its programs, services, and events complement the university mission and the Division of Student AffairsAspirations for Student Learning by fostering appreciation for diversity, encouraging life-long learning, enhancing personal growth, promoting leadership development, and developing productive citizens.

The Division of Student Affairs at Virginia Tech encompasses departments dedicated to providing a rich co-curricular experience and essential student services. Virtually every aspect of a student's life outside the classroom is represented through the division's departments.

Written by Jennifer Gibson.