For the past decade, Harvey Mudd College has recognized outstanding examples of leadership during its annual Leadership Awards event, coordinated by the Division of Student Affairs. For the 2022 presentations, community members gathered via Zoom webinar for the ceremony to celebrate students, faculty and staff for their contributions on campus and beyond.
A selection committee of students, staff and faculty reviewed nominations from the campus community and made selections for Outstanding Mudder, Outstanding Emerging Leader, Outstanding Student Organization, Dean Sundberg Prize, Dorman Student Altruism Prize and Outstanding Faculty and Staff members. President Maria Klawe described the Leadership Awards as a time to “celebrate and support one another, demonstrating our commitment to embracing the many forms of leadership at Harvey Mudd College.”
Outstanding Mudder Award
Recognizes students who contribute to the community and demonstrate creativity, leadership, teamwork, ethics, inclusion, community engagement, wellness and communication in curricular and co-curricular endeavors.
Hugo So ’22
A nominator wrote that So “is well rounded, attentive to detail, compassionate, and is never afraid to step up to help others learn. Hugo routinely takes charge of improving everything he’s involved with. He took it upon himself to research and implement massive improvements to the machine shop’s website in order to make it into a useful resource for his fellow students. He inspires others with his drive toward excellence and is a talented and skilled leader. Hugo goes above and beyond for his fellow students and holds himself to an extremely high standard of work, inspiring everyone around him.”
Ruby Foxall ’23
Foxall, described as “resourceful and multi-faceted” by a nominator, is involved in ASHMC, Women in Physics club, E79 practicum design and Wednesday Nighters, and helps fellow students navigate research and career options. Foxall will be the Student Senate chair next year. “They go above and beyond for their peers and will continue to encourage others to do the same.”
Outstanding Emerging Leader
Recognizes a first-year student or sophomore who exhibits great potential as a campus and/or community leader.
James Nicholson ’24
Nicholson is involved in many important student organizations on campus, including MARC, MuddSub and Spectrum Yearbook and participates in the Pomona College Jazz Ensemble, where he plays bass and has performed at Wednesday Nighters. A nominator remarked, “He shows leadership in all those organizations by being dependable and helping others. He also does fun things for his fellow classmates such as recently making ASHMC pocket constitutions. James is committed not only to his personal integrity but also to the Mudd community overall.”
Outstanding Student Organization
Given to a recognized student organization that makes a positive impact on campus or in the wider community and demonstrates integrity, leadership and teamwork.
HMC Living Learning Community
The Living Learning Community (LLC) is the primary social justice organization on campus, dedicated to giving Mudd students a diversity of learning opportunities around many social justice topics, from understanding more about the political environment and voting rights, to learning how to address climate change, to hearing from professors of marginalized backgrounds who have navigated academia. LLC programs encourage students to think beyond STEM to understand the impact of their work on society and to become well-rounded individuals who care about the world.
Dean Sundberg Prize
Established by Dana Seaton ’06, and with support from Warren Katzenstein ’04 and Nate Yoder ’06, the Dean Chris Sundberg Prize ($500) recognizes a rising junior who demonstrates exceptional leadership and a positive impact on the College community.
Camilo Morales ’24
Morales is the co-president of Society of Professional Latinos in STEM, has served as an Summer Institute mentor, will be a Chicano Latino Student Affairs sponsor, grutors for CS5 and volunteers with Uncommon Good. He mentors classmates, helping them adjust to life at Mudd and gain a sense of belonging. A nominator wrote, “As an SI mentor, he had dinner every single week with his mentees in order to provide them with a sense of community and an older student that they could count on as a friend. Camilo goes above and beyond … He encourages and inspires so many and has shown the value of helping others in your community.”
Dorman Student Altruism Prize
Established by the Dorman Family Foundation, the $250 award recognizes a graduating senior student who is selected by their peers as the one who has done the most for their fellow students.
Mason Acevedo ’22
A nominator described Acevedo as “kind, considerate, a good listener, honest, hardworking and always a friend. He often shows extraordinary leadership in his role as a proctor, putting in particular effort to make sure freshmen feel welcome. He is extremely approachable and is always a positive presence at Atwood and across campus, helping the dorm culture feel fun and inclusive. He does the most for the students around him by not only being accessible, but also doing so in such a nice way. From inviting people to have meals with him to checking in on those not feeling well, or even just waving as he passes around campus, his intentionality helps create a sense of belonging and comfort. He has been a huge source of support for frosh and all students at Atwood and across campus.”
Outstanding Faculty Member
Awarded to a faculty member who has gone above and beyond their job role to serve as a mentor for students and/or student organizations and embody Mudd values, such as collaboration and care for the campus community.
Katherine Van Heuvelen, associate professor of chemistry; associate dean of faculty
A nominator wrote, “Van Heuvelen is a leader in promoting social justice work and has shown a consistent commitment to Mudd and principles of equity. She served as the associate dean for faculty development and diversity and is one of the leaders of HMC’s JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) committee. She constantly shows her care for the campus community by pushing forward DEI initiatives and working to make Mudd an inclusive place for everyone. Additionally, she demonstrates a commitment to meeting students where they are at, respecting their goals for themselves, and unconditionally supporting student research. Students benefit from her great care, support and dedication.
Outstanding Staff Member
Recognizes a staff member for their positive contributions to the campus, their leadership and willingness to make a difference in the lives of students. The committee named three recipients this year.
Raissa Diamante, director of enrollment strategies and operations, Office of Admission
Diamante has worked in the admission office for 15 years. A nominator wrote, “In her role she has encouraged the removal of barriers in the admission process to ensure that equity and inclusion are at the center. She has also served as a mentor for students, she has co-led decompression sessions and has spoken both at PRISM events as well as in social justice courses.”
Robert Kingston, director of IT infrastructure and systems, Computing and Information Services
Kingston is noted as being “a courteous, reliable and absolutely crucial member of CIS for years. He is genuine, diligent and determined, and the results of his perseverance and work have benefited the College significantly. With his facilitation, there has been incredible progress in goals to increase efficiency, security, knowledge and expertise for many essential CIS services affecting Harvey Mudd’s community.”
Guillermina “Gigi” Limon, building attendant, Department of Facilities and Maintenance
Limon, who has been at HMC for five years, “always goes above and beyond her duties, with a cheery disposition and willingness to help. As students have returned to campus, some of our buildings have had emergencies. She has assisted on many of those occasions offering her years of experience and knowledge of our campus to help resolve the situation quickly.”
Leadership Program and Community Service
During the Leadership Awards, students were also recognized for participation in the College’s student leadership program and for their involvement in community service.
IMPACT Leadership Program
Through experiential learning, the IMPACT Leadership Program seeks to develop skills in participants that build inclusive communities, develop their leadership potential and contribute to their holistic development. These students earned leadership certificates by participating in a cohort-based program focused on developing leadership skills aligned with values, strengths and ethics, with an emphasis on individual, group and societal values. Certificates went to Melissa Bruno, Ian Menz, Sahil Rane and Saya Kim-Suzuki.
Shirlynn Spacapan Memorial Scholarship
Established by family and friends in memory of HMC humanities professor Shirlynn Spacapan, the scholarship recognizes students for their community service.
During the pandemic, Emily Antin volunteered for Odyssey of the Mind, an international program that engages student teams to solve long-term problems over the course of a school year, utilizing creativity, problem-solving and technical skills. Antin, who judged the New York State competition virtually, is a former participant, and she credits the program with helping her develop the skills and passion for STEM fields that inspired her to go to Harvey Mudd. She has trained a service dog, fostered dogs and has attended a weekly recreational art class.
Kathleen Durkin has worked in and volunteered for Mudd Residential Life. For the past two years, she has been a mentor for Sontag and helps facilitate Orientation, plans the First-Year Experience Programs and organizes dorm events. She spent summer 2021 living on campus, working as a resident assistant and tour guide and doing research in the Department of Biology with Professor Catherine McFadden with whom she barcode-sequenced specimens of soft coral to improve species delimitation.