Student Leader of the Month

Recognition for excellence in leadership through campus and community involvement.

We invite any Kent State community member (faculty, staff and students) to nominate a student who they believe exemplifies leadership through personal development, organizational leadership and/or community engagement. The student must be in good academic standing. All nominations should be submitted by the second Friday of each month.  Nominations will be reviewed and selected by members of the Center for Student Involvement staff.

Student Leader of the Month recipients will receive:

  • Student Leader of the Month Certificate
  • Lunch with the Dean of Students
  • Choice of a t-shirt, mug, or hat from the University Bookstore
  • Recognition on the Student Leader of the Month website
  • Recognition in an email to the Center for Student Involvement listserv 
  • Recognition in the monthly Leadership Newsletter
  • Mention in a twitter post via @KentStateLeads

If you have any questions, please contact Tessa Wagner by email or by phone 330-672-2457.

Submit a Nomination for Student Leader of the Month

SEPTEMBER - Student Leader of the Month




President of Golden Key International Honour Society.

Her nominator, Rachelle Yarbrough, said this about Gillian: “Last year the previous leadership, students and advisor, all stepped down at the same time. The organization was left without much direction or documentation to stand on. Gillian stepped up and took the role of President to not only maintain the organization chapter, but to help it thrive. The national Headquarters for Golden Key has chapter standards for leadership operations, academic recognition, service activities and chapter awareness. There are three levels of Bronze, silver and gold. This year, for 2017-2018, KSU Golden Key received the Gold level ranking, which it has not done in the years since I have been involved as a student and currently as the advisor. I attribute this to Gillian's dedication and the leadership she has shown within the organization and the community we serve. She is a great value to our organization and truly deserves to be recognized for it.”  

OCTOBER - Student Leader of the Month

President of Delta Sigma Pi and the director of Business for Kent Interhall Council.

John was nominated by two different people for this award. His first nominator, Evan Medfisch, said this about John: “John has served as a responsible and effective leader in both of his important leadership roles on campus. His work represents and benefits hundreds if not thousands of students on campus and specifically those in the College of Business. More recently, John worked hard to ensure that the Deltasig (the cafe on the second floor of BSA) could remain open for the coming years. He also participated and led extensive move-in weekend activities for KIC and spent this past weekend leading campus events for homecoming. John is extremely deserving of this nomination.”

John’s second nominator, Reilly Berk, said this about him: “John has been an amazing leader on and off campus. He has made important monumental changes to better our Fraternity and group as a whole. He makes a an effort to talk to everyone in the fraternity multiple times throughout the semester. John has represented Delta Sigma Pi in meetings with the Deans and at different conferences around the United States. John brought our DSP cafe back after months of people telling us it was never going to happen. John fights for what he believes in and never ever gives up. He is supportive and caring and cares so much about Kent State and the organizations he is involved with at the school. In KIC, John has put on huge events such as Sex Week, Sibs and Kids Weekend, Parents Weekend, etc. If anyone ever needs anything John is always there.”  

NOVEMBER - Student Leader of the Month

Early Childhood Education

Kali currently serves as an Executive Board member and Intern of Community Service and Volunteer Recruitment for United Christian Ministries (UCM), the ecumenical Christian and intentionally interfaith campus ministry at KSU. Kali’s heart for service is contagious! Kali has enthusiastically coordinated several service projects for KSU students this semester and actively recruits students to join her in participating in volunteer opportunities throughout the university and the community. Kali is the queen of the volunteer sign-up sheet! Her motto could be “I’m going. Who’s going with me?” So far this semester, Kali has participated in the Kent CROP Walk for Hunger, KSU Make a Difference Day tree planting, made 100 Halloween treat bags for local community centers, helped serve the community meal at the Kent United Church of Christ, and recruited over 30 students to help set up a local rummage sale benefiting Kent Social Services. In October, Kali organized a blanket making event at UCM and lead 34 students in making blankets for Linus Project, an organization that delivers blankets to children in hospitals. This is the fourth time Kali has organized this event for UCM, and KSU students have made over 50 blankets. Kali is already looking for a larger venue for the spring semester since the event has outgrown the current space! Although Kali will graduate in December, she is diligently planning service opportunities and recruiting volunteers for the spring semester.

Last spring, she participated in the Community Engaged Learning’s Spring Break trip to New Orleans. Kali shares stories and pictures with other students to encourage them to participate in upcoming Alternative Break Trips.  She has also shared her New Orleans experience with community members and the Kent Rotary club in order to help raise funds for an Alternative Break Scholarship Fund which will benefit future students. In the last few months, Kali has also volunteered at the Out of Darkness Walk, the Akron Canton Foodbank, Hattie Larlham, the Walk to End Alzheimers, NAMI walk, and as a tutor at the King Kennedy Center.

Throughout her time at KSU, Kali has been an active leader in Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, volunteering at least 30 hours a semester and serving in many leadership positions including Service VP two Semesters, Pledge Educator two semesters, Membership VP for a full academic year, and Relay for Life Chair. Kali is currently completing her student teaching requirement, and even though she is very busy, she continues to amaze me with her efforts to volunteer. Her enthusiastic and welcoming leadership gives other students the encouragement they need to join Kali in service to others, on campus, in the community and beyond!


JANUARY - Student Leader of the Month

Keondra Wright

Keondra’s nominator, Thomas Niepsuj, said this about her: Keondra has made such an amazing impact in so many people’s lives here at Kent. I first met her when she was one of the PLTC trainers and I quickly learned how passionate she is as a student leader and then later got to work with her as a Flashguide that summer. She is so selfless and works so hard in everything she does, which comes so easy to her because she has such a true passion to serve and lead, which makes sense as to why she wants to go into higher education and continue on helping students. She has guided the future of student leadership, has inspired others, and is truly an all-star of student leadership on this campus.

FEBRUARY - Student Leader of the Month

Nicki Grimes
Interpersonal Communications

Nicki brings maturity and humbleness that others can see and learn from. Her leadership has helped shape United Christian Ministries to be a more welcoming and giving environment. She is quick to help take on new roles and encourage others to join her in the great work she is doing.

MARCH- Student Leader of the Month

Tia Myers-Rocker

Tia’s first nominator, AJ Leu, said this about her: "Tia is by far one of our most dedicated and professional student ambassadors for our college. She is reliable and fulfills her commitments at an exemplary level. She is always the first to volunteer for new leadership roles and consistently brings new ideas and energy to our team projects. Even at her young age, her leadership characteristics exceed those of some more experienced professionals. She is beyond deserving of this award. I am happy to talk more in-depth about her skills and my recommendation."

Her second nominator, Ken Ditlevson, said this about her: “Tia always volunteers to help with special initiatives and efforts of the center. She is also someone who 'gives it their all' in supporting guests to the Center, and of any student in need.”