Story by Lindsay Hillstrom, News Editor
Photos courtesy of Aquinas College
On April 13, student leaders across campus were recognized for their contributions to the Aquinas community at the “Students in Action” awards ceremony. Awards distributed at the ceremony include the four “Pillar Awards,” which are selected by the Student Senate, and departmental awards from the Center for Diversity, Inclusion and Equity (CDI&E), the Center for Opportunities, Resources and Excellence (CORE), the AQ Advantage Center, the Student Activities and Orientation office (SAO), Student Support Services and athletics.
The Students in Action awards recognize students who show exceptional performance in a given area.
“They showcase our best students and recognize their hard work,” said Student Senate Chairperson Rebecca Beltran.
Bridget Baehl received the Pillar of Community Award for her involvement on campus and the Nelson Award for being an exemplary resident assistant at St. Joseph the Worker Hall. She also serves as President of the Aquinas College Programming Board (AQPB) and Student Event Coordinator with SAO.
“I am extremely honored to have these awards given to me, especially as it is my senior year,” Baehl said.
Esmeralda Ruiz received the Registered Student Organization of the Year Award, which recognizes the best clubs on campus, as President of the Latinx Student Association (LXSA). LXSA hosts a variety of events, such as Dia de los Muertos and Latin Fest.
“To me, the RSO of the Year award is a symbol of all our hard work we’ve done this year to bring to campus a fun and inclusive community where we get to share our traditions and what it means to be a Latinx student,” Ruiz said. “LXSA has been a home for me for the last four years, and I can only hope it will provide the same welcoming space for current and future Latinx students.”
Other award recipients include:
Brianna Haarer – Pillar of Service
Marie Krueger – Pillar of Prayer
Jessica Woodside – Pillar of Study
Ashley Rodriguez – CDI&E Outstanding Student Award
Macayla Jones – Advantage Center Award
Carley Cruse and Jay Harrison Graef – Student Support Services High Impact Award
Yadira De Leon-Lopez and Roschard Watkins – CORE High Impact Award
Victoria Faber – Sr. Helen Louise Brogger Memorial Award (Athletics)
Justin Lary – Joseph G. Baker Memorial Award (Athletics)
Vanessa Heylmun – Outstanding Sustainability Champion Award
Andrew Huegli – Emerging Leader Award
Gabriel Hay – Senator of the Year Award
Karoline Coley – E-Board Member of the Year Award