Photos by Kristina Kaufmann
Kayli Hertel- 1851 Staff
On Thursday April 25, the annual Awards Banquet was held in de Witt Hall, where more than 90 students, faculty, and staff gathered to be recognized for their leadership and commitment to the college. These leaders represent various organizations and departments at an evening full of pride and accomplishment.
Jenny Granger, the Director of Student Activities and Orientation, explained while there are many challenges when planning the Awards Banquet, it is an event recognizing the year’s accomplishments. “As a community we have many things to celebrate and at this event we can as students, staff, and faculty,” said Granger.
A highly celebrated honor is The Lamp Yearbook Dedication. Tom Koerber, Director of Construction Projects, was honored with this dedication for his hard work across campus. Koerber has been involved in a variety of residential and construction projects, including the construction of the Campus Center and the Athletic Center. He has also been closely involved in safety projects alongside campus police.
The Student Government Association de Witt Spirit Award, an award given to a leader who exhibits a tremendous amount of Laser spirit in the work that he or she does, was given to Deborah Gelch. Gelch is currently the Chief Information Officer and has shown her leadership by working with many different areas of the college.
One award that is anticipated by all is the Student Organization of the Year award. This award has been given to many different organizations, including the Rugby Club last year. This year’s award was given to the Lasell College Radio, a club that has made their presence known through the numerous events they have sponsored.
Justin Miller, the Station Manger of LCR, noted that this was a remarkable experience. However, the road to success was not a smooth one. LCR faced many challenges this year, including having to rebuild the studio due to a pipe burst in January. “We held together as a strong organization and put on fun, yet successful events that benefitted students, faculty, and the Lasell community in so many positive ways,” said Miller.
Shortly after the Student Organization of the Year award was given to LCR, Miller received a second honor; the Student Leader of the Year award for his dedication to LCR. Brian Wardyga, the advisor of LCR, praised Miller’s work ethic at LCR, noting that Miller and the LCR team have accomplished so much just this year. “This guy has worked harder than any other student I’ve seen in my nine years with Lasell and he truly earned this credential,” said Wardyga.
In addition to the Student Leader of the Year award, the Lasell Bowl is given to stu- dents who have shown growth and outstand- ing leadership qualities. The Lasell Bowl recipients of this year included Jasmine Villanueva, Kevin Moloney, Will Dempsey, Molly Brennan, Patrick Slight, and Barbara Wrenn.
Villanueva, the president of the Fashion Service and Society club, has been a leader not only in the club but also in the Center for Community-Based Learning. She explains that the Awards Banquet is about honoring the leaders in the community. “Leadership is about work and being able to say yes when your schedule, body and mental stability are saying no. Leadership is about perfecting you and the lessons you want to keep for the rest of your life,” said Villanueva.
Senior Carrie Kenniston was the recipient of the Lasell Chair. Kenniston has been a part of many organizations on campus, including her title as Senior Class President. Diane Austin, the Vice President of Student Affairs, presented the award and praised Kenniston’s many
accomplishments and dedication to Lasell. “I am very excited to have furniture for my first apartment,” said Kenniston. “But honestly, I couldn’t be happier to be recognized for my hard work the past four years at Lasell.” President Michael Alexander noted that the
Awards Banquet is always a treat because it showcases the leaders within the community as well as the enthusiasm from those who attended. “There were a few surprises but also a few predictions. As always the Awards Banquet is a highlight,” he said.