Celebrating HMC Community Leaders

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Harvey Mudd College recognizes outstanding examples of leadership during its annual Leadership Awards event, coordinated by the Division of Student Affairs. For the 2024 presentations, community members gathered for lunch and 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. To open the event, President Harriet Nembhard said, “Thank you for joining us to celebrate and support one another, demonstrating our commitment to embracing the many forms of leadership at Harvey Mudd College.”

Outstanding Mudder Award

students standing with Dean Chris and Dean Cindy
Dean Chris Sundberg, Nile Phillips ’24, Moyo Oyedeji-Olaniyan ’25, Shreya Balaji ’25 and Dean Cindy Martinez

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. Three Mudders were given this award this year.

Shreya Balaji ’25

A nominator wrote, “Shreya is what comes to mind when I think of an outstanding Mudder. She volunteers her time, creativity and excellent communication to support the College community and further the mission of the College … A residential life mentor and active participant in clubs, Shreya has demonstrated leadership by helping welcome new Mudders to campus at Orientation and beyond and in taking on leadership roles among her peers. She works hard but also makes time for others, and herself, epitomizing work-life balance. Shreya is always willing to help the administration, staff and her fellow students, and does so with a philanthropic spirit and positive attitude. She has demonstrated that she is a powerful advocate who can inspire a crowd to support the greater good.”

Moyo Oyedeji-Olaniyan ’25

Nominator comments included, “Moyo is guided by her commitment to equity, understanding and support for underrepresented community members, and has worked to create a campus environment where students feel valued and supported academically, emotionally and financially. Serving as co-president of Black Lives at Mudd (BLAM), Moyo spearheaded the relaunch of the BLAM Mentorship Program, designed to ease the transition of Black first years into the College community, providing invaluable support to incoming students. Moyo has also helped introduce new annual traditions that have not only brought the HMC Black student community closer together but have also provided opportunities for networking, personal development, increased student engagement and a sense of belonging. Also, in collaboration with a group of fellow students in the Class of 2025, Moyo has helped reinstate the National Society of Black Engineers Chapter, further expanding opportunities for Black students in STEM fields.

Beyond her role with BLAM, Moyo founded and led Black Campus Ministries, a cross-campus student organization dedicated to nurturing the faith of Black and brown students. Through fundraisers, roundtable discussions, off-campus trips and nights filled with music and worship, she is working to create a space for spiritual growth and interfaith dialogue.”

Nile Phillips ’24

Phillips’ nominators commented, “Nile is a leader in all aspects of his involvement in Mudd’s community and embodies leadership both academically and socially. Academically, he is involved in research, grutoring and works at The Office of Career Services, where he has helped many with resume reviews and technical interview practice. Socially, he runs a club basketball team for the 5Cs, is heavily involved in social events around campus, and is a residential life mentor, impacting many students, even outside of his own mentee group. Nile is a leader within his Clinic team and recently was on a student panel to enlighten the younger generation of prospective CS majors about the benefits and responsibilities required to excel as a member on a Clinic team. People consistently go to him for advice and guidance. Nile can juggle so many academic and social responsibilities while giving all his effort and thought into it, which really has helped push the Mudd community forward.”

Outstanding Emerging Leader Award

Lucas Lemos and Dean Evetth
Lucas Limos ’26 and Dean Evetth Gonzalez

Recognizes a first-year student or sophomore who exhibits great potential as a campus and/or community leader.

Lucas Lemos ’26

“Lucas is someone who stands for justice, integrity and compassion,” a nominator wrote. “He has been a leader in organizing a healthy and vibrant community around him, continually investing in others. He often reaches out and invites people for meals and is described by peers as a caring, good friend and role model. Lucas has excellent leadership qualities, being someone who leads by example and inspires those around him. A great example is his founding of Cradling Love, a new, nonpolitical, non-religiously affiliated 5C service club with the mission of serving pregnant and parenting Claremont students emotionally and materially, especially by destigmatizing teen pregnancy. The club reflects Lucas’ personal values of justice, equity and compassion through service. Throughout this academic year Lucas has invested deeply into organizing logistics for Cradling Love, initiating outreach to local campus and community groups. He also coordinated, led and facilitated the group’s initial campus events, taking on the majority of the work and inspiring his peers to also dedicate efforts towards the cause. Lucas demonstrates massive potential as a community leader and impactful member of the Mudd and The Claremont Colleges communities.”

Outstanding Student Organization

SWE member and Dean Evetth
SWE representative and Dean Evetth Gonzalez

Given to a recognized student organization that makes a positive impact on campus or in the wider community and demonstrates integrity, leadership and teamwork.

Society of Women Engineers (SWE)

Nominator comments included, “Though SWE has always had a strong presence, this year has shown a new excitement and determination to go above and beyond, making SWE a club that supports students in the ways they need it most. SWE’s teamwork and commitment to providing support for the Mudd community is unparalleled, and this has much to do with hard work and enthusiastic collaboration of the team of officers. By hosting events with companies throughout the year, SWE allowed Mudd students to get a preview of the impact of their work on society.”

Dean Sundberg Prize

Ethan Sandoval and Dean Sundberg
Ethan Sandoval ’26 and Dean Chris Sundberg

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.

Ethan Sandoval ’26

Students describe Sandoval as an insightful leader with a calm demeanor and confident decision-making skills. “He has consistently shown values of leadership and responsibility and is extremely helpful in offering support to all students,” a nominator wrote. “Ethan has a sense of humility about him, always treating everyone equally whether he knows them well or not. He has been known to support other students through interpersonal conflicts, time management issues, academic challenges and even crisis situations requiring advanced support. Throughout, Ethan remains calm and indicates to others that they are capable of making the right decisions. He always looks for the best in others and has a positive impact on everyone he interacts with. He is a great example of someone living out the values of the honor code and continuously giving back to the community.”

Dorman Student Altruism Prize

Georgia Klein ’24, Dean Chris Sundberg and Dean Cindy Martinez

Established by the Dorman Family foundation, this award recognizes one graduating senior who is selected by their peers as the “one who has done the most for their fellow students.” The awardee is selected based on nominations by student peers. The recipient of the Dorman Student Altruism Prize will receive a monetary award.

Georgia Klein ’24

An excerpt from Georgia’s nominations states, “Georgia embodies the definition of altruism. She habitually champions her peers and readily encourages fellow students to apply for prestigious jobs and fellowships, unreservedly aiding them in prepping application materials and giving them insight into the interview process. Her commitment to the shared success of her peers does not stop there. Georgia is involved in many parts of Mudd life from admissions, The Hixon Center, ASHMC, CS, Clinic and clubs, such as Mudders Making a Difference. She creates a sense of community at her dorm and isn’t afraid to use her voice in senate meetings. Georgia also embodies the characteristics of a scientist who cares about the impact of their work. She chose a Clinic project with the Union of Concerned Scientists so that she could do work that she believes makes a difference and is pursuing a career in vehicular emissions policy.”

Outstanding Faculty Member

Lucas Bang and Tom Donnelly
CS professor Lucas Bang and Dean of the Faculty Tom Donnelly

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.

Lucas Bang, Assistant Professor of Computer Science

A nominator wrote, “Professor Bang has a distinct kindness with no limits to his passion for his students and work and is known as an incredible professor, mentor and friend. Prof. Bang helps keep class engaging, collaborative and applicable. In his research lab, he creates a cohesive environment by bringing people together, making sure everyone feels appreciated and that they are contributing meaningfully to the work. As a research advisor, he brings in a vast breadth of knowledge and is amazing at breaking down the complex process of research and writing papers into weekly goals and tasks, helping students reach important milestones. As the CS department grad school coordinator, he has shown an incredible amount of support toward students applying to grad school and walks them through all steps of the process.”

Outstanding Staff Member

Nabel Villafaña and Tom DOnnelly
Associate Registrar Nabel Villafaña and Dean of the Faculty Tom Donnelly

Recognizes a staff member for their positive contributions to the campus, their leadership and willingness to make a difference in the lives of students.

Nabel Villafaña, Associate Registrar

Nominators noted Villafaña’s tireless work ethic, kind demeanor, guiding sense of fairness and justice and her desire to be helpful in service of the College’s mission. “She is always willing to assist others in complex or simple tasks and does so in a kind way that feels helpful and informative,” a nominator wrote. “Nabel is often regarded as one of the most consistently reliable staff members on campus. She has a great depth of knowledge about how things work at HMC.”