2020 Award Nominees and Winners
We are pleased to announce the 2020 Dean of the College Student Leadership Award nominees and winners of the individual awards.
Vice President for Student Affairs Awards
Awarded annually to a sophomore woman of color who throughout her first year demonstrated leadership, scholarship, and activism in the College community. The purpose of the award is to encourage academic excellence and affirm the important role of diversity on campus.
Nominees: Maya Gee ’22, Niyafa Boucher ’22, Victoria Netter ’22
Winner: Niyafa Boucher ’22
Barbara J. Buchanan ’62 Memorial Prize
Established in 1962 in memory of Barbara Buchanan ’62. Awarded to a graduating senior woman who represents Barbara’s academic excellence and her ideal of service.
Nominees: Miki Nakano ’20, Avery Lopez ’20, Sandhya Sewnauth ’20, Coralie Tyler ’20, Varsha Vijayakumar ’20, Nadani Dixon ’20
Winner: Varsha Vijayakumar ’20
Carri A. Smith ’98 Award for Outstanding Commons Member
Given annually to a student who most exemplifies the ideals of the Commons, a passion for Middlebury College, and a commitment to student life.
Nominees: Sandhya Sewnauth ’20, Mikayla (Miko) Haefele ’20, Sean Rhee ’21, Audrey Williams, Audrey Ciao
Winners: Mikayla (Miko) Haefele and Audrey Williams ’20
Charles P. Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life—Religious Life Innovation Award
Given to a student or student group that shows unusual originality in the development of religious and spiritual life activities on campus, or that provides a unique expression of serious engagement with religious and moral issues.
Nominees: Dan Morris ’20, Evan Mercer ’20
Winners: Dan Morris ’20, Evan Mercer ’20
Charles P. Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life—Spiritual Life Leadership Award
Given to a student who advances spiritual life on campus or supports the spiritual journey of peers through prayer, study, or other activities.
Nominees: Maddie Tango ’21, Jenny Moss ’20, Xuan He ’19, Molly Conover ’21, Ben Dohan ’20, Fatmata Bah ’20, Mikayla Haefele ’20, Evan Killion ’21
Winners: Maddie Tango ’21, Jenny Moss ’20, Xuan He ’19, Molly Conover ’21, Ben Dohan ’20, Fatmata Bah ’20, Mikayla Haefele ’20, Evan Killion ’21
Charles P. Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life—Interfaith Cooperation Award
Given to a student, students, or student groups that actively promote and facilitate interfaith understanding, communication, or programming.
Nominees: Evan Killion ’21 and Gather: Progressive Christians and Friends; Soyibou Sylla ’20 and Bayu Ahmad ’21
Winner: Soyibou Sylla ’20 and Bayu Ahmad ’21
First-Year Achievement Prize
Awarded annually to a well-rounded first-year student who demonstrates academic excellence and relates well to others. (Students who entered as first-years in February 2019 are eligible for this award as well.)
Nominees: Miguel Sanchez ’23, Jarlenys Mendez ’23, Jordyn Johnson ’23, Zoya Kobets ’23, Rain Ji ’23, Arthur Romero da Veiga Martins ’23, Patrick Wachira ’23, Julia Fairbank ’23, Daleelah Saleh ’23, Tenzin Gyalmo ’23, Ivonne Juarez Serna ’23, Akari Tsurumaki ’23, Brett Pearl ’23, Eric Burchill ’23, Isaac Mineo ’23
Winner: Arthur Romero da Veiga Martins ’23
Peter Kohn Service Award
Presented annually to a student-athlete who best exemplifies the spirit of community and service demonstrated by Peter Kohn.
Nominees: Brian Ketchabaw ’20, Kenan Ulku-Steiner ’22, Nathaniel Klein ’21
Winners: Brian Ketchabaw ’20
Newman Civic Fellows Award
Dr. Frank Newman, a founder of Campus Compact, was a passionate advocate for the civic engagement of higher education and the role of colleges and universities in graduating students who are prepared to be active and effective problem solvers.
Winner: Alondra Carmona ’21
Alexander Twilight 1823 Diversity and Community Leadership Award
Given to the student who best exemplifies Twilight’s leadership and determination to effect change within the Middlebury community by transcending boundaries of race, class, and gender through active collaboration.
Nominees: Maya Gee ’22, Charice Lawrence ’23, Joey Lyons ’21
Winner: Maya Gee ’22
Franklin G. Williams 1913 and Sara H. Williams 1912 Memorial Award
Awarded to a sophomore student on the basis of deep human qualities of natural kindness, perceptivity of the needs and feelings of others, and an abiding sense of personal responsibility
Nominees: Hannah Ennis ’22, Connor Wertz ’22, Michelle Liu ’22, Chloe Zinn ’22, Leili Manafi ’22, Ryan Leigh Gutheil ’22
Winner: Connor Wertz ’22
Joint Dean of the College and Student Government Association Awards
Outstanding Campus Leader
This award recognizes a junior or senior who has shown outstanding leadership during their Middlebury experience. Through innovation, motivation, initiative, and perseverance, this individual will have demonstrated a commitment to creating positive change in our campus community.
Nominees: Benjy Renton ’21, Isaac Feldman ’19, Quinn Boyle ’21, Bochu Ding ’21, Samantha Kann ’20, Simone Edgar Holmes ’20, Abby Knight ’20, Kenshin Cho ’20, Tre Stephens ’21, Varsha Vijayakumar ’20, Leif Taranta ’20, Sean Rhee ’21, Mikayla Haefele ’20, Annie Blalock ’20
Winner: Benjy Renton ’21
Extraordinary Emerging Leader
This award recognizes a first-year or sophomore student who has demonstrated outstanding leadership or involvement at Middlebury College. This individual will have an established dedication to organizing events/activities and will have actively worked to improve Middlebury College and/or the greater community.
Nominees: Assadou Nzigamasabo ’22, Masud Tyree Lewis ’22, Chad Kim ’23, Elizabeth (Ellie) Kroger ’22, Hira Zeeshan ’22, Connor Wertz ’22, Patrick Wachira ’23, Michelle Liu ’22, Julia Fairbank ’23 and Chloe Zinn ’22, Will Hoppin ’22, Edyth Moldow ’23, Queenie Li ’22, Amanda Rose Coccia ’22
Winner: Michelle Liu ’22
Student Government Association Awards
Baumgarten ’98 and Udzenija ’99 Student Government Association Memorial Award
Presented annually to a student in the sophomore class who personifies excellent academic achievement and a unique passion for learning, significant involvement in the Middlebury College community, and a genuine commitment to and compassion for others.
Nominees: Yardena Gerwin ’23, Hira Zeeshan ’22, Chloe Zinn ’22, Masud Lewis ’22, Christian Kummer ’22, Christine Nabung ’22
Winner: Masud Lewis ’22
An exceptional program, presentation, production or cultural event that is created and executed by a student, group of students or student organization. The program must be original in theme, timely and appropriate, and have a significant positive impact on Middlebury College and/or the greater community.
Nominees: Taite Shomo ’20-Jane/GSFS 203; Nocturne; PALANA House; the ISO International Weekend; Learning on Your Feet: Literacy, Transferable Skills and Community Building; ISO Rebranding
Winner: Taite Shomo ’20-Jane/GSFS 203
Outstanding Leader of a Student Organization
Presented to the student whose leadership and service has greatly benefitted the mission of a student organization. This individual will have demonstrated a commitment to the goals of their organization. Most importantly, this student will have worked to motivate the actions and ideas of the organization to better the Middlebury College community.
Nominees: Kenshin Cho ’20; Yukun (Kelly) Zhou ’22; PALANA House: Julio Tlachi ’21, Diana Diaz ’21, Jayla Johnson ’21, Marlene Rios ’21, Tre Stephens ’21, and Bryan Martinez-Brito ’21; Katherine (Kacey) Hertan ’20, Sabine Poux ’20, Zeke Hodkin, Arthur Romero da Veiga Martins, Marianna Odoy (Mari), Masud Tyree Lewis, Ariana Rios and Izzi Eidelheit, Kristine Su, UR-STEM + STEAM Girls
Winner: Kenshin Cho
Outstanding New Organization Award
Given to a newly formed organization in recognition of outstanding contributions to the Middlebury College community. This organization will have addressed a present need or community issue. Creativity, innovation and sustainable programming exemplify this organization. The following new student orgs are currently eligible:
Impact Midd, Rubiks Cube and Twisty Puzzles, Midd Munchies, Middlebury College Club Roundnet, MiddVote, Queer and Trans People of Color(QTPOC), Creating Art Together, Rethinking Economics at Middlebury
Outstanding Overall Achievement Award
Given to an organization in recognition of outstanding sustained contributions to the Middlebury College and/or the greater community. Creativity, innovation, and sustainability in programming exemplify this organization. Current members of an organization may nominate their own group if it meets the above criteria.
Nominees: International Students’ Organization, WildMidd, Community Friends, Middlebury Consulting Group, MCG
Winner: International Students’ Organization