More than 100 students, faculty and staff of Penn State Lehigh Valley (PSU-LV) celebrated the end of the spring 2019 semester with the Finally Finished Fest on April 25 at the Lehigh Valley campus. The fest featured a large inflatable slide, a photo booth and a performance by Back Track, an a capella group from New York City.
The fest served as a celebration of the end of academic year and as the venue for the presentation of the Student Life Awards and Athletic Awards.
Students, faculty and staff were invited to nominate winners in each Student Life Award category.
This year’s Student Life Award winners included:
Adviser of the Year: Tara Koller
Student Organization advisers are all volunteers dedicated to helping students accomplishing their goals. Some advisers go above and beyond the call of duty and this award recognizes their efforts. “Our adviser of the year has been a catalyst in helping the Community Heroes club grow in numbers and opportunities on and off campus over the past three years. Her own service experiences during her college years made such an impression in her own life that she wanted to ensure our students could learn from similar chances to help others. Our winner is highly dedicated, organized, resourceful and always positive,” said Pam Fleck, assistant director of Student Affairs.
Program of the Year: Walk a mile in her shoes
Student Organization Program of the Year recognizes an event or program planned by a student organization. Campus organizations provide positive experience for their peers. “As our male students “Walk a mile in her shoes,” campus supporters cheer them on. As the event ends, we gather as a community to listen and learn about those caught up in gender and sexualized violence. We learn how we can help and why our awareness and support matters. This event brings an important subject in our society to the forefront of our attention every year and reminds us that one person can make a difference,” Fleck said.
Organization of the Year: Arts and Arts Administration Club; Global Student Organization
This year, the decision was made to present Organization of the Year award to two groups who have shown dedication and creativity related to the mission of their club on campus. The first club was initiated last year from the interest and commitment from a group of Arts and Arts Administration students who wanted to make a difference on campus and grow and learn outside of the classroom.
The second organization recognized as Club of the Year is the Global Student Organization. More than 30 students attended weekly meetings to share their cultural backgrounds and interests to plan ways to better educate the campus community while having a fun experience.
Emerging Leader Award: Olivia Howe
The Emerging Leader of the Year award recognized a student who has taken on leadership responsibilities and given back to the Penn State Lehigh Valley community. This individual must have exemplary grades and demonstrate a passion for Penn State. “The student selected to receive the award this year is hard working, dedicated, fun loving and kind. She balances a heavy school workload with her out of class involvement and helping out at her former high school. She is a member of the Communication Society and Lion Ambassadors. As an officer in the Esports Club this year, Olivia helped the club run a successful fundraiser that brought in hundreds of dollars. She possesses many qualities of an Emerging Leader and we look forward to seeing what she will do on campus next year,” Fleck said.
Spirit of Service: Jenny Tran
The Spirit of Service of the Year award recognizes a student who has demonstrated engagement in on and off campus service activities above and beyond the typical student; this person shows their dedication on a regular basis to helping others and fulfilling a mission of service through their volunteer involvement. “The recipient of this year’s Spirit of Service award is someone who always has service on her mind. Each time Jenny is on campus she is visiting us offering suggestions for volunteering, new ideas for the club and ways to engage more students,” Fleck said.
Dedicated Student: Justin Valentin