Student Body President of the Year Nominees

The inaugural class of nominees for Student Body President of the Year Award are below in alphabetical order. Subcribers to NCLC's weekly newsletter will receive a personal link to the online ballot on April 13th. 

Andrea Shaver

Rochester Institute of Technology

Major: Graphic Design

Hometown: Frisco, TX

 

What is your philosophy on leadership?

Empower others. Be a strong example of kindness. Pay close attention to individual needs and strengths of each team member, especially younger members, and build a relationship with them. By building a strong and diverse team, I know the organization will continue its excellence long after my graduation.

What specific project or initiative will leave a lasting legacy on your campus?

PawPrints, our petition system, allows SG to engage with over 70% of the student body each year. With more feedback and increased awareness, structural changes needed to be made. We restructured our committees, increased non-SG student involvement, and our reputation with the administration and the Board of Trustees continues to grow.


 

Andrew M. Becht 

University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee

Major:  Criminology

Hometown: Sarasota, Florida

 

What is your philosophy on leadership?

Park Rangers of the National Parks Service tell guests to leave the National Parks better than they found them. I apply this same philosophy to any organization I am fortunate enough to serve in. As leaders and Student Body Presidents, we are stewards of our organizations. As a leader, I understand there will be leaders after me, and I should do my best to ensure their success.   

What specific project or initiative will leave a lasting legacy on your campus?

As USFSM is part of the larger USF System, USFSM falls under the USF Board of Trustees. Under the Board of Trustees USFSM and USFSP have their own Campus Boards which oversee the running of each campus. Issues can be sent down to the Campus Board from the Board of Trustees or sent up from the Campus Board to the Trustee level. The State of Florida saw fit to include student representation at the Trustee level and the state level on the Board of Governess. However, the Campus Board did not allow for student representation. As Student Body President, I worked to get student representation on the USFSM Campus Board and is assisting efforts of USFSP’s Student Body President to do the same.


 

Dylan John

Georgia Southern University

Major: Applied Engineering

Hometown: Sri Lanka

 

What is your philosophy on leadership?

People are the pulse of my Leadership philosophy. I believe in communal leadership that promotes dialogue and generates new and fresh ideas. I pursue this by empowering those around me to do more through their individual and unique passions to serve. This has been a success in my leadership role.

What specific project or initiative will leave a lasting legacy on your campus?

SGA Vision 20/20, a statewide framework for ranking student concerns and equipping Student Governments in the State of Georgia, is my legacy. SGA Vision 20/20 is a sustainable model to communicate hot button issues to administrators and policy makers while enabling Student Governments to develop strategies for advocacy.


  

Elizabeth Erickson

College of Saint Benedict

Major: Accounting

Hometown: Oakdale, MN

 

What is your philosophy on leadership?

Exceptional leadership is not dependent on the skills of the leader, but their ability and passion to empower those they lead. As a leader, I strive to lift the voices of others and be their ally in accomplishing their goals. To be empowered and to empower others, that is leadership.

What specific project or initiative will leave a lasting legacy on your campus?

The Student Leadership Summit was an all-day conference that connected leaders across our campuses to foster leadership skills and address topics of current interest through a keynote speaker, team-building activities, and breakout sessions. An invitation was extended to 1-2 leaders from every club, team, organization, and group on campus.


 

Erika Feinman

The George Washington University

Major: Political Science and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Hometown: Albany, New York

 

What is your philosophy on leadership?

My philosophy on leadership is the same as my philosophy on life; Be a good citizen. I learned that phrase from my dad, he used to say it all the time when I was growing up. It means just focus on being a good person and doing the right thing and everything else will fall into place.

What specific project or initiative will leave a lasting legacy on your campus?

Internships are an important part of any student's resume, but they are also a central aspect of the GW student experience. Creating a scholarship fund that pays for internship-related travel is definitely something that will leave a lasting legacy on GW's campus. So far, we've already funded over 130 students and the program is only growing.


 

Gerard Basalla

The Ohio State University

Major: Political Science and Strategic Communication

Hometown: Parma, Ohio

 

What is your philosophy on leadership?

Leadership should be selfless and forward thinking. Being a servant leader means being the first one in the room and the last one to leave. At the core of leadership must be the idea that any group of people can change the world through teamwork and perseverance.

What specific project or initiative will leave a lasting legacy on your campus?

USG passed two resolutions through Ohio State’s University Senate. The first increased textbook affordability by saving students approximately $2.5 million in 2018. The second recommended the inclusion of a mental health statement on course syllabi. This was the first time students passed a resolution through University Senate since 1972.


 

Katherine Swanson

University of Maryland College Park

Major: Government and Politics

Hometown: Fort Worth, TX

 

What is your philosophy on leadership?

Leadership requires listening more than you speak. It means putting down your personal ideas and picking up those of the people who elected you. Leading means holding onto your values while committing to having an open mind and heart, and being receptive to the needs of those you serve + lead.

What specific project or initiative will leave a lasting legacy on your campus?

I advocated for improved sexual assault prevention, financial support for student leaders, and free menstrual hygiene products. I hope that UMD SGA’s Student Leadership Grant and the funds we raised for it will increase with each year and have a lasting impact on our campus. With more fundraising each year, we can continue to give low-income students opportunities to gain leadership skills, have internships, and make impactful change on campus.


 

Lawrence Malloy

Fort Valley State University

Major: Media Studies

Hometown: Warner Robins, Georgia

 

What is your philosophy on leadership?

Leadership exhibits one’s characteristics of being charismatic, servant, and punctual; therefore, they must know how to lead by example without having to be told when and how. Leadership is also the ability to help others see their vision and execution for their potential in the change they want to see.

What specific project or initiative will leave a lasting legacy on your campus?

The creation of an SGA Committee for Diversity and Inclusion, being that all students should have a heart for those who are different at FVSU; which is an HBCU with a predominantly black student body. This committee catered to the needs of the FVSU LGBTQ and minority student population.


 

Max England

Dalton State University

Major:  Finance & Applied Economics, Marketing, and Management.

Hometown: Chatsworth, Georgia

 

What is your philosophy on leadership?

A leader models the way by following through with what they preach, and finds exciting, mutual aspirations that create a more promising future. A leader challenges the process by refusing to do things ‘the way they have always been done’. And above all else, a leader engages all incidents with empathy and respect.

What specific project or initiative will leave a lasting legacy on your campus?

With the help of my team, we have been able to make a positive change externally on the state level. We have worked tirelessly on creating an organization that will effectively lobby our congressmen and congresswomen on issues that directly affect college campuses. This organization will aid in having public and private college students’ voices be heard on a level that affects all Georgia students.


 

Michael Cairo

Florida Atlantic University

Major: Finance

Hometown: Delray Beach, FL

 

What is your philosophy on leadership?

I ran my campaign and my administration by three simple words: "Results, Not Promises." My philosophy on leadership is to deliver on your commitment to the student body you swore to represent faithfully- not to appease people with empty promises that make a conversation easier for yourself or your University.

What specific project or initiative will leave a lasting legacy on your campus?

I partnered up with the Graduate College, students and strategic University executives to find creative funding sources (Foundation, Division of Research, Auxiliary) to provide health insurance for Graduate Assistants, Research Assistants and PhD candidates as well as increased stipends so that they can earn enough money to financially support themselves.


 

Mitchell Phelps

University of Cincinnati

Major: Marketing, International Business, Entrepreneurship

Hometown: Mansfield, Ohio

 

What is your philosophy on leadership?

The word Altruism sums up my philosophy of leadership. Having unselfish devotion for the welfare of others and leading with the group’s interests over my own personal advantage is what I believe leads to fostering collaborative and inclusive environments that produce the most quality work.

What specific project or initiative will leave a lasting legacy on your campus?

UC Mental Health Ambassadors (MHA) – The MHA program was created this year to provide better access to mental health resources by selecting 30 student liaisons for the campus Counseling and Psychological services office. These liaisons were representatives for the office and assisted students by providing informative presentations, events programs, and support for students with mental health needs.


 

Nagela Nukuna

Georgia Tech

 

Major: Industrial Engineering

Hometown: Hockessin, DE

 

What is your philosophy on leadership?

Leadership is a mindset; a system of principles that allows us to simultaneously grow individually and affect positive change in the world we live in. Leadership is empowering others, sharing the credit, being constituent-focused, and acknowledging others' work. It is about selflessness and putting the success of our community first.

What specific project or initiative will leave a lasting legacy on your campus?

Particularly in STEM-focused institutions, faculty-student relations tend to negatively contribute to student mental health, adding to to already increasing stressors. The CIOS (Course- Instruction Opinion Survey) plays a crucial role in this, as students fill out this survey to assess the effectiveness of professors every semester.

This year, we were able to:

1) obtain approval from faculty, staff, and administrators to release the numerical survey data to GT students, and

2) obtain conditional approval to release the free-form text comments to Dean & School Chairs (after a task-force reviews the method of how biased comments will be used in high-level decisions, like faculty tenure).


 

Rachel Zuckerman

University of Iowa

Major: Political Science and Journalism and Mass Communication

Hometown: Livonia, Michigan

 

What is your philosophy on leadership?

A leader is someone who demonstrates what is possible. They encourage their team to go the extra mile to accomplish what has never been done before. They do this by leading by example—they translate vision into reality by working the hardest, tackling the most challenging issues, and fully committing to everything they do.

What specific project or initiative will leave a lasting legacy on your campus?

We led an unprecedented effort to give the UI’s four Cultural and Resource Centers the attention and resources that they deserve. We organized four “community discussions” between our university president, student government leaders, and the communities that use each Center to discuss the Centers and overall university climate toward diversity. These conversations, in conjunction with persistent advocacy, led to $200,000 in investments into the Centers, and there are serious ongoing talks about future multi-million dollar investments.  


 

 

Rebecca Hutman

Wesleyan University

Major: Social Studies

Hometown: Santa Monica, CA

 

What is your philosophy on leadership?

A good student leader’s job is to ensure that students on your campus have their voices heard. That means identifying the systemic barriers that keep marginalized students from thriving, and engaging community members to craft, advocate for, and implement policy to diminish those barriers.

What specific project or initiative will leave a lasting legacy on your campus?

Building on decades of organizing by marginalized students, the administration pledged to launch a “resource center.” I worked to bridge the needs of students with the goals of the administration to propose a model for a center that enhances student support and is also institutionally sustainable. Our proposed center will open in Fall 2017 and will grow in scale and impact over time.


 

Sara Hubaishi

Brenau University 

Major: Liberal Arts

Hometown: Toronto, Ontario

 

What is your philosophy on leadership?

My philosophy is to lead with purpose. Everything in life is much more difficult when there is no purpose or standing for what you are doing. Sometimes it’s hard to find a purpose, but once you narrow in on what you want to do and why, everything falls into place.

What specific project or initiative will leave a lasting legacy on your campus?

I started a project to ensure gender equality with the visitation policy. Prior to the policy change, only females could spend the night, but now anyone can spend the night with proper paperwork and requests. It helps create an environment of equality within the campus.


 

 

Tammy Lu

Georgia Gwinnett College

Major: Chemistry

Hometown: Lawrenceville, Georgia

 

What is your philosophy on leadership?

Leadership is a privilege. It comes with trust and a responsibility to empower and encourage others to work towards a vision. A leader aspires and inspires to accomplish the goals for the student body, to advocate through effective collaboration, and to inspire the development of new leaders to serve.

What specific project or initiative will leave a lasting legacy on your campus?

During my first term, I was able to work an ongoing project to establish our school’s first Quiet Reflection Space. It is a designated location to provide students the ability to pray, reflect, and meditate. This space provides an opportunity for students to have open dialogue and an open mind.


 

 

Teagan Sebba

Seton Hall University

Major: Political Science

Hometown: Fort Collins, Colorado

 

What is your philosophy on leadership?

My philosophy centers around the idea of compassionate leadership.  I've always found that if you lead with your heart and practice genuine empathy, the outcome is always positive.  I try to make my passions known because it radiates through what you do and unto others.   

What specific project or initiative will leave a lasting legacy on your campus?

I hope that my civic engagement efforts will leave a lasting impact on Seton Hall's campus.  The excitement that was generated surrounding voting and the registration of nearly 2,000 students is something that I worked hard for so that students on my campus would always have their voice heard.


 

William Morrow

UC Berkeley

Major: Political Science

Hometown: Minneapolis, MN

 

What is your philosophy on leadership?

My philosophy is that a leader must exhibit humility above all else. Change through student democratic institutions is slow and rocky. In order for these spaces to function, a leader must learn and unlearn constantly in their decision-making process. Ironically, through humility, a leader can exude confidence in decisions.

What specific project or initiative will leave a lasting legacy on your campus?

A legacy is the gender inclusive locker room project I spearheaded for our campus rec sports facility. This $1.3M project will create a safe changing room for students of all gender identities to feel welcome in this space. This addresses a specific student need and makes a statement of values.