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Students affairs office recognizes outstanding students, programs, others with annual awards

April 15th, 2009

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Multiple award recipient Erica Downs, center, stands with Provost Shirley Willihnganz and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs Dale Billingsley.

The University of Louisville Office of Student Affairs recognized with a special event Monday, April 13, individual students, student organization and campus groups for achievement on campus and in the community.

“It’s important that we celebrate the accomplishments of our students,” said Dean of Students Michael Mardis. “This generation of students seeks out opportunities to serve. It’s wonderful to see so many deserving, qualified and outstanding students contribute to the university and community by sharing their talents and skills.”

Student affairs also recognized two administrators for their contributions to the quality of student life at UofL.

Students, faculty and staff make nominations for the annual University of Louisville Student Awards. A committee selects recipients based on the extent to which nominees have contributed to the university and community through leadership, service and involvement. The awards are in their 10th year.

Editor’s Note: The following information comes from student affairs.


Individual Awards

Cardinal Award of Excellence – Scholar/Volunteer Award – Elizabeth Self
Recognizes an outstanding student volunteer who has volunteered his or her services to the greater Louisville community and beyond.
Senior liberal studies major Elizabeth Self has shown a continued commitment to volunteerism throughout her years at UofL. She has worked on political campaigns, participated in the Hispanic Health Fair and volunteered for the Festival of Trees and Lights, Jewish Hospital and University Hospital. Self co-founded the UofL chapter of “Operation Smile,” a group that goes to third world countries to perform cleft lip/palate surgeries.
Self also received an Outstanding Student Award at the ceremony for her academic achievement, overall leadership and service within the UofL community. She is a member of Honors Student Council, Phi Delta Epsilon Premedical fraternity and Health Advocate Volunteers.

The Cardinal Award of Excellence – Scholar/Leader Award – Erica Downs
Recognizes an outstanding student leader who has shown qualities of leadership which have benefited the UofL community.
Senior accounting major Erica Downs has served on the College of Business Student Council, the Student Government Association and has had leadership roles in her sorority, including serving as president this year. She has served on the University General Education Requirements Committee and the University Program Review Committee and been active in many organizations. Her community service activities include Alzheimer’s Memory Walk, Adopt-A-Platoon project , Bowl for Kid’s Sake and Operation Christmas Child.
Downs, who has a minor in international business, also received an Outstanding Student Award for her academic achievement, overall leadership and service within the UofL community, and the Spirit of Community-Individual Award for having demonstrated an effort to create a better sense of community at the university through marketing, programming, outreach and community service.


Outstanding Student Awards recognize freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students for academic achievement and overall leadership and service within the UofL community. Recipients are:

Leslie Conner, a freshman majoring in economics and political science. Conner is actively involved in the Student Government Association and is the Task Force Freshman to the Student Body President. She also serves SGA as a voting member for the Freshman Student Council and the Arts and Sciences Student Council. She is a member of Kappa Delta sorority, and serves KD as the external public relations chair and the coordinator for National Women’s Friendship Day.

Kurtis Frizzell, a freshman majoring in political science and philosophy. Frizzell is a member of the honors program and serves SGA as a voting member for the Arts and Sciences Council, a member of the Freshman Council and the Arts and Sciences Academic Grievance and Discipline Board. He is a McConnell, Harlan and Kentucky Colonel’s Scholar. Frizzell serves as president-elect of Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honors Fraternity.

Sierra Ashby, a sophomore majoring in economics. She served as a REACH ambassador and a First Year Guide. She is actively involved in the Sigma Kappa sorority, serving as the junior Panhellenic representative. As Sigma Kappa’s Foundation chair, Ashby organized the sorority’s annual philanthropy event “Kick in the Grass,” a soccer tournament that raises money for Alzheimer’s research. She served the Panhellenic community as the vice president of services and planned many events, including a canned goods drive and competition called CANstruction.

Samuel Jones, a junior majoring in political science. Jones serves on the executive council for the Society of Porter Scholars and as a member of the student orientation staff. He is also a member of the honors program. For his work recruiting new students to UofL, the Office of Admissions named him 2008’s Top Recruiter of the Year.

Kelty Richardson, a junior majoring in psychology. Richardson is the secretary of Psi Chi, the psychology honor society. He serves the UofL psychology community as the assistant department webmaster and is actively involved in the health psychology research lab. He also helps with the website for the UofL Sustainability Project.

Nicole Wells-Anik, a junior majoring in marketing. As a member of Delta Zeta sorority, Wells-Anik served on the executive council and as pledge class president. She was the 2008 UofL Panhellenic president, and the public relations and awards officer in 2009. She attended the Southeastern Panhellenic Conference in Atlanta, Ga., and was selected as one of 20 hosts to oversee programming for more than 2,000 Panhellenic women across the Southeast region. Wells-Anik serves as a member of the Student Activities Board, is the 2009 SAB Homecoming chair and served on the Homecoming committee in both 2006 and 2007. She also is active in the Louisville community, having volunteered at the Louisville Deaf and Oral School and the Ronald McDonald House.

Paul Latham, a senior majoring in marketing and management. Latham has served the UofL community through Student Affairs, the Student Activities Board and University of Louisville Dance Marathon. As 2008 Homecoming chair, Latham worked to get all parts of the university involved with Homecoming events and activities. He started such new traditions as Homecoming collectible pins and bed races. Latham also included members of the Homecoming committee in making decisions on Homecoming themes and events. People describe Latham as having a wonderful artistic ability, and he used his artistic eye to create eye-catching advertisements for SAB and other recognized student organizations. He is a co-partner of his own event-planning business.

Dani Smith, a senior majoring in political science. Smith is a member of Chi Omega sorority and served her chapter as the new member educator. She is the president of Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society and is a recruiter for UofL’s admissions office. Smith participated in the 2007 International Service Learning Trip to Belize. She also was involved with student orientation, Arts and Sciences Student Council and served as SGA services vice president. She survived a strenuous selection process for the Teach for America program and will be teaching middle school language arts in a low-performing school St. Louis for two years starting in the fall.

Andrea Pompei, a graduate student in urban planning and public administration. For the past two years, Pompei has served as president of the Planning Student Organization and as a mentor to new students entering the urban planning program. She has worked with outreach efforts at Shawnee High School and has represented UofL by giving presentations at national conferences.

Amber Carrier, a graduate student in biology working to complete her Ph.D., recently completed a fellowship for the National Academies in Washington, D.C. Amber has served on many university committees, including the tuition and fees committee and is completing her term as president of the Graduate Student Council.

The Spirit of Service – Individual award – Michelle Harpring
Recognizes an individual student who has demonstrated an exceptional commitment and service to the Louisville community.
Harpring exemplifies commitment through her community involvement. From serving on her student council to being philanthropy chair for her sorority, Harpring has been dedicated to giving back to UofL. She has participated in such activities as tutoring at Brooklawn, participating in the Adopt-A-Highway program, the Polar Bear Plunge and CANStruction project.


Group and Organization Awards

The Spirit of Community – Project award – University of Louisville Dance Marathon
Recognizes a project that has demonstrated an effort to create a better sense of community at the university through marketing, programming, outreach and community service.
University of Louisville Dance Marathon brings a wide variety of students, faculty, athletes, hospital representatives and community members together to benefit the patients and families at Kosair Children’s Hospital. This past year was the largest year for the event, and participants raised $35,000. The dance marathon fosters a community environment that lasts much longer than the 18 hours of event participation. There is a connection every time a participant sees another participant on campus.

The Spirit of Diversity – Group Award – CommonGround and Baptist Campus Ministries
This award recognizes a student organization or student group whose programs or activities represent the ideals of diversity. “Swapping Stories,” sponsored by CommonGround and Baptist Campus Ministries, was designed to engage two traditionally segregated communities in dialogue with each other. Although primarily an exercise in engaged listening and understanding, the event also incorporated elements of leadership, conflict management and diversity. The event was a way to break down barriers, share personal testimonials of coming out to family and friends and for others about the transformation of their lives through their relationship with Christ.

The Spirit of Service – Group Award – Delta Zeta Sorority
Recognizes a student organization or student group that has demonstrated an exceptional commitment and service to the Louisville community.
Delta Zeta has completed thousands of hours of service participating in various walks, runs and blood drives. The sorority has been involved on campus in the UofL Dance Marathon, Relay for Life and Body Awareness/Body Appreciation Week. The group has completed the most service hours for its sorority regionally — 5,378 hours in the fall semester alone — and received recognition from Panhellenic this year.

The Outstanding New Program/Initiative – Art Show sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences Student Council
Recognizes a new student organization or group program or event that contributes to making the UofL campus community more vibrant.
The College of Arts and Sciences Student Council solicited artwork from students regardless of major, and received more than 100 entries. The council showcased them throughout Belknap Campus. The event, which more than 600 people attended, highlighted diversity, engaged the student body and showcased the talents of many students.

The Outstanding Entertainment/Social Program – Earth Day, Student Activities Board
Recognizes an outstanding program/activity/event coordinated by a student organization or group that contributes to making the campus community more vibrant.
Last April, SAB organized an information fair in which 40 different campus and community organizations participated to communicate the effects of global warming and how each person, including UofL students, can be a part of the solution. Students had an opportunity to talk with many different local organizations and get answers to environmental questions. The event illustrated strong support from UofL and showcased its partnership with the City of Louisville to educate the local community on the importance of protecting our environment.

The Collaboration Award – Awareness Week: Eat, Drink, and Be Merry, sponsored by Student Activities Board, the Campus Health Office, and Delta Zeta Sorority
Recognizes an outstanding project, activity, or program jointly coordinated by student organizations or groups that has enhanced the university community.
This year’s recipients, Student Activities Board, the Campus Health Office and Delta Zeta Sorority, were host to a week of events that helped educate UofL students about the effects of alcohol, depression and poor health. From coordinating advertising, to manning booths, to planning the week’s events, these groups truly showed the benefits of collaboration.

Outstanding New Organization – College of Arts and Sciences Freshman Council
Recognizes a student organization or group that has been in existence fewer than three years and has demonstrated leadership potential and/or had a positive impact on the university or community.
Wanting to enlist the best students possible for the student council, the Arts and Sciences Council created a special freshman council to create initial interest among freshman and to train members. In the first year, this organization appointed 35 non-voting members and six voting members. This new council was host to two events that encouraged students to get involved in student government and introduced them to all the possibilities for involvement.

Student Organization of the Year – Black Biomedical Graduate Student Organization
Recognizes a student organization or group for overall efforts to contribute to the university community.
Being the first graduate student organization on the Health Sciences Campus, the Black Biomedical Graduate Student Organization set out to promote and enhance the graduate experience and provide professional, educational and social support for any interested members of the HSC community. It continues to provide mentoring between new and older students and is a dedicated link between the students and HSC faculty. The group’s efforts have proven successful, as it recently saw the graduation of its first African American students in the physiology department.


Faculty / Staff Awards

The Adviser of the Year – William Pierce, adviser, Graduate Student Council
Recognizes the adviser of an officially registered student organization who has demonstrated outstanding contributions of time and expertise.
Bill Pierce, pharmacology professor and vice provost for graduate affairs, cares deeply about graduate education and the well-being of students. He ensures that graduate students are taken care of academically, financially and socially. Pierce holds monthly meetings with the council leadership and works as an advocate for graduate student needs.

Harold Adams Award – Dale Billingsley
Dale Billingsley, English professor and vice provost for undergraduate affairs, was nominated by many students, alumni and staff who commended him for his unwavering support for both students and the university. The award is a tribute to Adams, a former assistant vice president for student life who was known for his nurturing nature toward students and concern for every phase of students’ educational experience. Nominations stated that Billingsley has maintained strong, close relationships with students while shouldering additional responsibilities as an administrator. Billingsley’s vision for first-year students has seen program and service reforms and improvements campuswide.

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