Student Leader of the Month

Recognition for excellence in leadership through campus and community involvement.

We invite you to nominate a student who you believe exemplifies leadership through personal development, organizational leadership and/or community engagement. To receive this recognition, the student must be in good academic standing.

Nominations will be reviewed and selected by members of the Kent State University Leadership Center staff.

Student Leader of the Month recipients will receive:

  • Student Leader of the Month Certificate
  • Lunch with the Dean of Students, Dr. Talea Drummer-Ferrell
  • $15 gift card to the KSU Bookstore
  • Recognition on the Student Leader of the Month website
  • Recognition in the monthly Leadership Newsletter
  • Mention in a twitter post via @KentStateLeads

If you have any questions, please contact lead@kent.edu.

Submit a Nomination for Student Leader of the Month

SEPTEMBER - Student Leader of the Month

MAI-LING FRANCIS

Junior

English major

Flashguide, PLTC Trainer, Student Success Leader, Student Success Leader Intern

Her nominator said this about Mai: “Mai is a very outgoing leader on and off campus, she uses her platforms to speak out about injustices both in Kent and around the world. She also is a commuter student with a job but still has a large presence on campus helping introduce new students as well as helping returning students as well. Mai is nonjudgmental so anyone feels comfortable going to her for help, and she truly cares about everyone at this university and shows it through all she does. She has also grown so much through her leadership experiences and I can see how much she loves Kent State, and everyone connected to it.

OCTOBER - Student Leader of the Month

NIARA JOHNSON
Junior
Fashion Merchandise

Niara’s nominators, LeAnn Starlin Nilsson and Tammy Honesty, had this to say about her:
 

"Niara has really helped leverage community building and intrapersonal skills. Her self-awareness has changed so much over the last three years. She used to be quiet and listen, often not sharing. Developmentally, she has moved through that and is now leading meetings and contacting members to involve them in the organization. Her latest project is to lead a note writing campaign within the organization to send notes of encouragement to members. She is working hard to build community even though she resides in New Mexico. She is exhibiting a Flashes Take Care of Flashes practice, and it is showing in how she is finding ways to unite and care for others throughout this fall semester."

NOVEMBER - Student Leader of the Month

KAILEIGH SLOAN
Senior
Human Resources Management 

Her nominator, Dylan Mace, had this to say about her:

"Kaileigh Sloan is highly deserving of being recognized as a Student Leader of the month. Regarding the community and interpersonal aspects of the KSU leadership model, I would point toward Kaileigh's leadership during the Panhellenic recruitment process. Kaileigh successfully lead a recruitment team through the process all while navigating how to keep over 1000 women safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. She put in hard work every day to ensure that everyone would be safe during the entire process. She took it upon herself to be responsible for the women of the Panhellenic community.

For the interpersonal aspect of the KSU leadership model, I would point toward Kaileigh's leadership in DEI. She has inspired her council to fight against systemic racism found at Kent State and in the United States. She has directed social media campaigns and attended the protests and marches that have taken place on campus. Most importantly, she has been working closely with Mike Daniels to create a DEI action plan for the Panhellenic community going forward.

Kaileigh is making substantial strides in all areas of her community. It is my highest recommendation that Kaileigh be recognized as a Student Leader of the Month."

 

DECEMBER - Student Leader of the Month

DIAMOND LAUDERDALE
Senior
Human Development and Family Studies Major

Diamond’s nominator, Nicole Kotlan, had this to say about her:

"I believe Diamond Lauderdale deserves recognition as Student Leader of the Month as it related to the KSU Leadership model based on her interpersonal, intrapersonal and community leadership. Let me explain with a recent example. Diamond serves as the Undergraduate Student Government Senator for University College. In this role, she is actively involved with University College’s Student Ambassador program and works closely with Dean Eboni Pringle. Most recently, Dean Pringle reached out to Diamond about an outreach effort to currently Exploratory pre-majors as a check-in. Diamond proposed to Dean Pringle the use of technology other than email to seek response that wouldn’t create a burden for the students, but with a call of action- a text message with response of one of four emojis. Based on the emoji returned, the Dean then determine if additional outreach to the student would be needed. This idea was innovative as it was a new approach to our standard outreach. Diamond through her own learning and reasoning approach the situation with an open mind, evaluated what had been done prior and reflected on the needs of our students based on the reality of remote instruction and interactions. Diamond through her personal actions worked independently to propose the idea and share the four emojis that would be selected (and available on both a droid and iPhone). Diamond approached the work from a positive framework and was committed to understanding prior student behavior in response (which was sent through email) and finding a way to connect students with college leadership regardless of their technology.

Diamond also plays a significant role in the Student Ambassador program. She is a role model to others in bringing ideas, concerns and suggestions to make positive change. She actively solicits feedback from her peers (as well as college leadership) related to her role. Due to a course conflict, Diamond has had to rely on her peers to assist with her updates and soliciting feedback from two meetings. This challenge did not delay Diamond with her work as the Senator. She has openly received feedback and worked with Dean Pringle on efforts around Green Dot for example. She has been actively working with the Directors in various University College offices to host a take-over of their social media this coming spring semester as she recognizes her social responsibility in sharing her positive experiences through her leadership involvement. She has solicited feedback as her own listening tour from the Directors (e.g. Academic Diversity Outreach, Student Support Services, Student Success Programs, Exploratory Advising Center, Career Exploration and Development, Community Engaged Learning in University College) through her scheduled meetings to generate ideas for how she can aid in creating awareness for the programs within her sphere of influence.

I am looking forward to learning from Diamond when we return in the spring her ideas and planned next steps as she has an innate ability to take from her experiences in navigating resources and leadership opportunities. As you can tell, I think very highly of this young woman and recommend Diamond without reservations for the Student Leader of the Month award."

 

JANUARY - Student Leader of the Month

Isabella "Zaz" Alvarino - January 2021 Student Leader of the Month

ISABELLA "ZAZ" ALVARINO
Freshman
Fashion Design

Zaz's nominator, Tiera Moore, said this about her:

"Isabella Is deserving of the Student Leader of the Month award because her work with the Undergraduate Student Government embodies The Kent State University Leadership Model. Despite being only a freshman Isabella has a strong understanding for the Kent Community. She is never afraid to ask questions in order to better understand the climate of our campus. And, when Isabella hears about the issues that other students face, she is always eager to help solve the issue at hand. It does not matter if that issue directly impacts her or not. For example, Isabella was so thrilled to advocate for our international students when they were having concerns about food security on campus. She also participated in the protests that were held at the beginning of the fall semester, showing a strong understanding of social justice.

Overall, she has a strong sense of compassion for everyone in our community despite only being here for one semester. In terms of the interpersonal aspect of the Kent State University Leadership Model, Isabella adds a wonderful perspective to every group. She always listens to what others have to say and works to understand them. She is able to connect to other Freshman students as well as with those who are older than herself. Also, she is not afraid to interact with faculty/staff and always carries herself in a respectful manner. She truly understands what it means to be inclusive. Finally, in terms of the intrapersonal aspect Isabella presents herself with a self-confidence that is rare, and impressive for a Freshman student. She is never afraid of a challenge and is always looking for another task to complete. Her actions always show good character as well as good decision making abilities. It is not often that I am so personally inspired by a student who is younger than me. But Isabella has reminded me what it looks to lead with your heart. She not only shows the potential to be a magnificent leader on our campus, Isabella already is one."

FEBRUARY - Student Leader of the Month

David Green poses with his orange dirtbike.

DAVID GREEN
Senior
Construction Management 

David's nominator, Matthew Clark, had this to say about him:

"The first word that comes to mind with David's leadership style is passion. While serving as VP of recruitment, Davids love for his fraternity was what brought new members in and now as president he is leading the fraternity forward. His interpersonal leadership skills are something I greatly admire and he makes sure everyone feels safe and at home in our community. As president, leading the executive board, he makes sure all members, new and old have a say in the decisions being made and encourages younger brothers to run for leadership positions and get as involved as possible. In regards to the community aspect, Covid-19 has not been easy for anyone and greek life is no different, throughout the fall he helped guide our chapter through a tough time of transition, and now his hard work is paying dividends as we see our chapter begin to thrive again. Regarding the intrapersonal element of the leadership model, David is not the leader who sits there and tells others what to do, he leads by example and works alongside brothers to accomplish common goals. He is one of the hardest working people I know and nobody is more deserving than him for student leader of the month."

 

MARCH- Student Leader of the Month

Lauren Odell-Scott
Senior
Early Childhood Education

Amy has been an important bridge from United Christian Ministries, an LGBTQ+ Center Christian Ally student organization, to support and serve the LGBTQIA+ community. Amy has worked to provide ways for spiritual students, especially from Christian traditions, to be authentically affirmed as who God created them to be ---unique, wonderful and beloved. As a Safe Space Ally and Trans Solidarity Ally, it is very important to me, their Nominator, not to share someone’s journey without permission. So, I reached out and asked Amy to state for themselves. Here is their statement: "In 2016 I joined a group on campus because I still wanted to have a form of spiritually, but the group ended up crushing my spirit. In 2017, I joined United Christian Ministries, which literally saved my life. I was lost and a door had opened to the only open and affirming Christian group on campus….. I also became the LGBTQIA+ intern for United Christian Ministries and being the bridge between the LGBTQIA+ community and our small group.” In the past two years, Amy has led the UCM LGBTQIA+ ministry, offering purple glitter Ashes to Go for Ash Wednesday at the KSU LGBTQ+ Center in 2020 (pre-pandemic), leading LGBTQIA+ Kahoots for Allies and Trans Awareness, Zoom programs with Rev. Kimberly Nagy on her journey of faith as an LGBTQIA+ minister, and Ms. Bobbi Ullinger on her experience as a Christian transwoman and member of the UCM Board of Directors. Amy’s gentle and sensitive approach has opened opportunities to educate new allies for the community as well as offering new students in the community opportunities for a spiritual support system through UCM. Recently, they have initiated a UCM Spiritual Safe Space group to support students on their journeys of faith. I have tremendous respect and affection for Amy, who throughout their experiences, has demonstrated only grace of spirit, patience and integrity of character. It is with pride that I commend AMY MESSMORE for your consideration as a candidate for the Student of the Month Award. Please contact me if I may be of further support for their application.

APRIL- Student Leader of the Month

Emma Smith
Junior
General Psychology

Emma is a strong leader and a model employee. She has been integral to our successful reopening this year as she has created and implemented training for her peers. Emma has been a leader in building community and positively impacting student staff morale/sense of belonging. She is constantly finding topics to lead during meetings, finding solutions to issues/challenges, finding ways to help those around her. Above all she leads by example. She has a strong work ethic, positive attitude, and drive that makes her a strong role model for other students. Emma voices her opinion, stands up for what she believes in, spreads joy, and generally contributes to a positive work environment and experience. She has grown so much in her time here, and I know she will accomplish whatever she sets her mind to. I am proud to have her as a part of our team!