Celebrating Impact: 2016 Leadership Awards

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Harvey Mudd honored its outstanding community members April 28 at the fourth annual Leadership Awards ceremony, which celebrates students, faculty and staff for their contributions on campus and beyond.

“By calling out these exemplary examples of leadership, we are taking a moment to recognize that our community values leadership efforts, both big and small,” said Jon Jacobsen, vice president for student affairs and dean of students.

Outstanding Mudder Awards

Outstanding Mudder Awards recognize students who contribute to the community and embody what it means to be a “whole person” at Harvey Mudd. These students demonstrate creativity, leadership, teamwork, ethics, inclusion, community engagement, wellness and communication in both curricular and co-curricular endeavors.

Nithya Menon ’16 (engineering) works tirelessly to make Harvey Mudd a better place, say fellow students, balancing countless activities. A proctor in North Dorm, Menon has also served as an Office of Admission tour guide and interviewer, grader and Orientation director. A member of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) women’s tennis, she was selected to the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s All-Academic Team.

Alex Rich ’16 (engineering) is known in the Harvey Mudd community for his tireless work as a mentor-tutor for Homework Hotline. Recognized for his conscientious team-building and leadership skills, Rich has been an Orientation director and proctor/president of Case Dorm, as well as a DSA Muchacho and shop proctor. He has been an admission tour guide, Grutor (grader/tutor), Muddraker co-editor and a member of Harvey Mudd’s DUCK! improv troupe. He also finds time to compete in shot put, hammer throw and discus for the CMS men’s track and field team.

Senior physics major Lin Yang is heavily involved on campus through her work in the Writing Center and the Academic Excellence Program and as senior class co-president. Academically well rounded, she’s been a Grutor in physics, computer science and chemistry, has a humanities concentration in literature, and has been a member of two high-scoring Harvey Mudd teams in the Mathematical Contest in Modeling. Yang has also worked in the Office of Admission as a senior intern and tour guide, and she is an education researcher for MyCS (Middle-years Computer Science), the College’s online CS curriculum.

Outstanding Emerging Leader

The Outstanding Emerging Leader Award recognizes a first-year or sophomore student who exhibits leadership potential through participation in community-building efforts either on- or off-campus.

Morgan Frisby ’19 (undeclared) is active in FEM Union (Feminist Empowerment at Mudd), which provides space and programming involving all genders and helps meet the diverse needs of women. She also works with Homework Hotline and Adventure Club.

Shailee Samar ’18 (engineering) is president of the Associated Students of Harvey Mudd College and is a student representative on the Sustainability Committee, which works to implement sustainability initiatives at the College. She also helped create lunch and dinner symposiums to encourage faculty-student interaction.

Outstanding Student Organization

This award is given to a recognized student organization that makes a positive impact in the campus or wider community and demonstrates integrity, leadership and teamwork. This year’s recipient, Black Lives and Allies at Mudd (BLAM), helps provide a sense of community for African American students and creates a medium through which to interact with the black community at The Claremont Colleges. The club provides an opportunity for students to grow as leaders and encourages Mudders to consider the impact of their work on society.

Outstanding Faculty Member

This award recognizes a faculty member who serves as a mentor for students, student organizations and other faculty, who embodies Harvey Mudd values such as care and collaboration, and who provides quality student support by promoting inclusion, fostering intellectual growth and encouraging community engagement. In addition to her award-winning teaching, mathematics Professor Rachel Levy serves as the College’s associate dean for faculty development. She advises student groups, such as Society of Women Engineers, Homework Hotline and Sacred SISTAHs, and has served on the College’s Teaching and Learning Committee. As her nominator wrote, “[She] consistently goes above and beyond in her mentorship role both to students and faculty.”

Outstanding Staff Member

Associate Director of Admission and Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment Jamilla Jamison has worked diligently to improve diversity efforts relating to the College’s recruiting. She helps organize the Future Achievers in Science and Technology (FAST) program, coordinates the President’s Scholars Program application process and is a steadfast voice for underrepresented students on the Admission Committee. In addition, Jamison is a co-creator of the College’s WISTEM program (Women’s Introduction to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), which offers high school women an opportunity to visit campus and gain a better understanding of the STEM fields.

Spacapan Memorial Scholarship

Established by family and friends in memory of Harvey Mudd Professor of Psychology Shirlynn Spacapan, this scholarship recognizes sophomores, juniors or seniors who are highly involved in community service. Recipient Caitlin Lienkaemper ’17 (mathematics) worked on Claremont Homeless Advocacy Program (CHAP) community cafés since their inception in September 2014. She has been a representative in CHAP’s monthly food working group meetings and worked as an overnight volunteer. Senior Joana Perdomo (mathematics) also has an impressive history of volunteer work, including for the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Pomona Valley Community Hospital, Habitat for Humanity, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and Pomona Unified School District. She also served as a co-president of Harvey Mudd’s Society of Professional Latinos in STEMs.

Dean Sundberg Prize

Established by Dana Seaton ’06, and with support from Warren Kazenstein ’04 and Nate Yoder ’06, the Dean Chris Sundberg Prize recognizes a rising junior who demonstrates exceptional leadership and a positive impact on the College community. Abby Tisdale ’18 (computer science) is recognized for compassionate student leadership through the DSA Muchachos and other campus groups.

Community Engagement Internships and Prizes

Strauss Internship

Robin Bendiak ’17 (physics) and Donely Gunn ’18 (engineering) were each awarded the Donald and Dorothy Strauss Internship for Social Understanding. Designed for Harvey Mudd students interested in working with a local community service agency, the 10-week internship includes up to $4,000 in support to work with local groups.

Huppe Memorial Internship

Emma Klein ’17 (chemistry), Manu Kondapi ’18 (engineering) and Fernando Salud ’17 (engineering) each received the Ben Huppe ’14 Memorial Internship for a Sustainable World. Established by Maggie Lewis and Bob Huppe in memory of their son, Ben, and his passion for science and social justice, the internship provides a stipend of up to $4,000 for work in renewable energy, green technologies or environmental sustainability, or for work that addresses the problems of underserved populations.

New Millennium Experiential Learning Fund

Established by Aaron Archer ’98 and Gregory Rae ’00, the New Millennium Experiential Learning Fund seeks to engender in students a significant commitment to a lifetime of service activities with national or international nonprofit organizations. This year’s recipient is Emily Beese ’17 (engineering).

The Nathaniel Davis Prize

Shailee Samar received the Nathaniel Davis Prize for Public Policy and International Relations. Established by Howard C. Deshong III ’89 and Jeannette Deshong in honor of the late Harvey Mudd Professor Emeritus of Political Science, the prize enables Harvey Mudd students to pursue work in public policy and/or international relations through a summer experiential learning experience.

Scholarships and Fellowships

Also recognized at this year’s ceremony were Goldwater Scholarship winners Christopher Hoyt ’18 (mathematics), Jonas Kaufman ’17 (physics) and Dina Sinclair ’17 (mathematics); Thomas J. Watson Fellow Natasha Allen ’16 (physics); and Napier Fellows Nithya Menon and Shanel Wu ’16 (physics).