Ten graduating seniors at Ithaca College have been chosen to receive the 2010-11 Campus Life Award by the Campus Life Awards Committee.
The Campus Life Award recognizes graduating seniors who have made an outstanding commitment and contribution to the campus community by demonstrating leadership abilities across many areas of campus life.
The ten recipients for the 2011 awards are Kaitlin Clark, Dena Cohen, Shamika Edwards, Susannah Faulkner, Kevin Fish, Ruthie Goff, Joyti Jiandani, Heather Mueller, Kelsey Walzer and Andrew Whitson.
Brian McAree, vice president of student affairs and campus life, said when choosing award recipients the committee looks at applicants’ broad base of leadership involvement on campus as well as other activities outside of the classroom.
“We’re really focusing on people’s out-of-classroom contributions on campus and within the local community,” he said.
McAree said students value the award, which has been honoring seniors for more than 20 years and is a recognition of the culmination of four years of contributions.
“It’s overwhelming to see just how much these students have done with their college careers,” he said. “I know that they and their families really recognize the prestigious nature of this award.”
Senior Kevin Fish, Student Government Association president, said he was honored to be selected because he knew there was a lot of competition for the award.
“I was completely ecstatic when I found out I was one of the recipients, because I know a lot of my friends applied for the award as well, and we’re all actively involved on campus,” he said.
Senior Susannah Faulkner, SGA vice president of campus affairs, said her involvement within the campus community stemmed from wanting to help students with food allergies.
“As a student who struggled with Celiac disease, which prevented me from eating gluten, I wanted to start a gluten free program in the dining halls at the college,” she said.
Within 2 months of being elected to the SGA, Faulkner said she was able to get a gluten free pantry running in the dining hall.
“It was empowering,” she said. “If someone told me that I would be able to help people with food allergies at my college in such a short amount of time, I would’ve said they were crazy.”
Faulkner said she was thrilled when she found out she was nominated for the award, but never thought she deserved any type of recognition for her contributions.
“I don’t believe we need validation to make our actions worthwhile,” she said. “With that said, it’s obviously an incredible honor to be given this award.”
The college will hold an awards dinner for the recipients and their families the day before graduation May 21, where they will be personally honored and asked to give a brief speech about their experiences at the college.
Fish said the best thing about the award is that the college is taking some time to recognize those who have put much effort into making campus life enjoyable for their fellow students.
“It’s obviously very nice to be recognized by the school when you dedicate a lot of your time to bettering campus life, and for them to say ‘Hey, we’ve actually noticed what you’ve been doing,’” he said.