Over 80 students, employees, and family members gathered on the afternoon of Thursday, April 27, 2023, to attend the inaugural Campus Life and Leadership Awards ceremony. The event recognized the outstanding contributions of students, clubs, and employees to the campus community. Student leaders, clubs, and campus events all have positive impacts on retention and graduation, and CSM was excited to celebrate the accomplishments of a busy year.

Arriving guests socialized with their peers and mentors, enjoyed refreshments, and memorialized the event by stepping into a 360-degree video photo booth. Next, CSM’s Vice President of Student Services, Joshua Moon-Johnson, welcomed attendees and introduced the Bulldog cheer squad to perform an uplifting cheer performance. President Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza then gave opening remarks and introduced the keynote speaker, Instructional Designer, Jennifer Howze-Owens.

Howze-Owens shared her experience as a former student body president, highlighted three essential takeaways for the attendees, and closed by advising, “Keep people with diverse thoughts around you and, more importantly, those who will challenge you to think deeper and more about a topic.”

The awards ceremony recognized outstanding contributions of individuals or groups who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and support for their student club, contributed significantly to promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion on campus, made positive impacts on their mentees’ personal and academic growth, and exhibited exceptional leadership and service to the campus community.

Student Life and Leadership staff Aaron Schaefer and Fauzi Hamadeh, introduced the awards portion of the program. Nominees were announced before the following awardees were called to the stage to receive their awards and take a photo with President Taylor-Mendoza:

  • Katipunan and Phi Theta Kappa, Outstanding Student Club Programming
  • Jennifer Howze-Owens (Phi Theta Kappa Club) Student Club Advisor of the Year
  • Multicultural and Dream Center and SparkPoint, Equity and Justice Impact Award
  • International Student Program Coordinator Silvana Grima and Personal Counselor Gil Perez, Impact Award for Mentorship

A break in the ceremony brought three Turkish Earthquake Relief Club members and their musical instruments to the stage to perform the Kurdish song “Gala Min.” The piece closed with a call to the campus to support the club and its mission to help the victims of the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

The longstanding Allan R. Brown Outstanding Student Services and Leadership Award was the final award. Allan R. Brown was a veteran, a political liberal, and a trusted administrator at the College of San Mateo during the student unrest of the 1960s. He was also a beloved professor of political science who continuously taught even as he rose through the ranks of CSM’s administration. Brown was an alumnus of CSM and held a Stanford Ph.D. He was also a passionate defender of young people’s free speech and waded into the most challenging campus issues with complete aplomb. His legacy is honored through CSM’s top student service award.

Staff presented nineteen nominees before announcing the six winners: Alex Stonehewer Bird, Carissa Chang, Czar Ryan Palomar, Elizabeth Ardeano Orozco, Lesieli Petelo, and Michelle Aung.

The ceremony concluded as awardees shared hugs and positive words before gathering for a final group photo. CSM congratulates all the winners that engage, enrich, and inspire the campus community!