SAC honors students for leadership, service

Purple, gold and silver balloons decorated the Marvin Center ballroom Thursday night to honor the contributions of individual GW students and groups at the 14th Annual Excellence in Student Life Awards.

More than 300 students dined on a buffet while listening to the Charles Woods Jazz Ensemble.

The names and photographs of nominees were projected on to a large screen at the front of the ballroom.

“We wanted to recognize not just the winners, but the nominees and include lots more people in the process,” said Amy Feldman, co-coordinator for Leadership Development and Special Events with Student Activities Center.

Mike Gargano, assistant vice president for Student and Academic Support Services, couldn’t attend the event. But Gargano, with his photograph superimposed on to exotic locales, congratulated the honorees on the screen in the multimedia presentation, which drew laughs from the audience.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Baer Award for Individual Excellence. The six winners included law student Jahna Hartwig, and seniors Meena Lakdawala, Lou Miller, Carrie Potter, Sabina Siddiqui and Adam Siple.

“(Getting the Baer) shows that athletics are not the only reason athletes are at GW,” said Lakdawala, who is captain of the gymnastics team.

Registered student organizations were recognized in seven categories. Greek-letter organizations were awarded for programming, community service and philanthropy. Senior Neil Smith, former Interfraternity Council president, was named Greek Man of the Year. Senior Lisa Gutman, former Sigma Kappa president, was named Greek Woman of the Year.

“I had no idea,” Gutman said. “All the nominees deserved to win.”

Senior Heidi Wicker, who served as the Marvin Center Governing Board’s finance and communications chair, was honored by the MCGB as its most valuable member.

“It’s nice to be recognized for your effort,” Wicker said.

The Program Board honored junior Adam Din as its most valuable member, and its film series as program of the year. Junior Jessica Rosgaard nabbed member of the year for the Residence Hall Association, while Martha’s Marathon was named program of the year.

The Student Association recognized the GW Votes initiative, which registered nearly 800 students to vote in District elections, and senior Bryan Stoller, SA vice president for financial affairs, for his contributions.

“I tried to speak (to groups) on a one-on-one basis,” said Stoller, who spends 25 to 30 hours a week fulfilling his SA duties. “They were much more appreciative of that than if I gave them a fat book of policies.”

Senior Salvador Cecilio was named most valuable member for the Cherry Tree Yearbook.

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