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

MICHELE CRISS

Senior

Education

President Delta Gamma Sorority, Flashguide, Student Success Leader, Provost Leadership Academy Trainer, mem

Her nominator, Thomas Niepsuj, said this about Michele: “Michele is an awesome individual and if you ask anyone in Fraternity or Sorority Life or Student Success Programs it is apparent. Though her influence reaches far past those two sectors of her life. She is an all-star that puts so much of herself into anything she does. She is the ideal Kent State student and with just one interaction with her it is apparent why I give her that title.”

OCTOBER - Student Leader of the Month

AARON KESSLER 
Graduate Student
Public Health

Aaron’s nominator, Katie Matisse said this about him:

“Aaron has worked to keep both Pride and TransFusion engaging and relevant to the general membership and campus community. Aaron has helped many students connect with and learn course material through his role as an SI leader. He has created many programs and initiatives (and works to bring in a public health perspective to a lot of what he does) through the LGBTQ+ Center to start meaningful conversations within the community. For the Great Place Initiative, Aaron is working on writing a grant that will hopefully help us secure a full-time position to help address basic needs across campus. Overall, Aaron engages and commits to each leadership position he takes on. He's passionate about creating a kinder, healthier, and more inclusive world and uses these positions as ways to do it.”

NOVEMBER - Student Leader of the Month

CAROLINE LUKEHART
Senior
Nursing major, Spanish minor

Her nominator, Christine Nelson, said this about her: “I believe Caroline is deserving of this award because she encompasses all three of the sections of this model. With community, she’s constantly building community within her student organization involvements, local community in Aurora and for the nation through International Justice Mission (a student organization that focuses on bringing awareness to sex/human trafficking and how to help end it). She has donated her time in her community by making care bags for those who need them. She is constantly checking in on the health and well being of her classmates and the members of student organizations she is a part of.

Inter-personally, I have witnessed Caroline firsthand lead the FAB team through trainings, mediation, meetings, problem-solving and more. She has made a conscious effort to bring in diversity and inclusion trainings to FAB, as well as make connections with FAB and COSO (the commuter student organization in CSI that’s office is next to FAB). She is always asking questions to help make sure our cultural events are appropriate, thoughtful, and respectful to the culture being represented. Intra-personally, Caroline shows dedication to her major, minor and dreams. She engages in discussions with people in CSI about her professional goals, she contacts the right people to get information about graduate programs or otherwise, and therefore inspires other students in the office to do the same. She takes constructive criticism very well, and is always wanting to do the best of her ability for all of her involvements.

Overall, I believe Caroline is an outstanding student leader at Kent State in many unique areas, and has made a positive impact on her local community and the Kent community.”

 

JANUARY - Student Leader of the Month

David Green
Sophomore
Construction Management 

David’s nominator, Thomas Niepsuj, said this about him: I have seen David grow so much in the past year and a half. When I first met David he was very quiet and timid. Though since joining our fraternity, I have seen him grow into an amazing leader. Even though he wasn’t the most outgoing member, he made himself vulnerable and ran for Vice President of Recruitment. This position is very demanding and is usually given to the social butterfly of the chapter that can talk to anyone, so he was very nervous when giving his speech. However, his speech was probably the best I have ever heard in someone running for a leadership position. We needed a strong leader in this position, and David looked into himself, saw where he struggled and decided to challenge himself with one of the most important roles of our chapter. And oh boy did this kid deliver! He managed to recruit our largest and, if I may say, the best class of men in our chapter's history. David wasn’t always the most social, but I think he was self-aware of this and knew that he wanted to challenge himself and grow. This is so important in a leader, to see where you struggle, and to put yourself in a vulnerable spot to actually challenge yourself. I have seen so many student leaders on campus, that are already social or already good at a position run for something and get it and it is the same thing every time. But seldom do we see students whom may not have been a shoe-in, win an election, be very successful, and grow so much in the process.

This is what real leadership looks like. He brought in so many people in to our chapter and created an amazing group dynamic and our community is so strong because of it. He was even re-elected for another year in this position, and our entire chapter unanimously voted him in before he even had the chance to give his election speech. He is an all-star and even though he does not have 50 leadership positions representing hundreds of students, the impact he is creating in his community is amazing and the growth out of him is something I think all students can take something from. He is a really deserving student and a true testament that any student, no matter how involved, can be a student leader, challenge themselves, and grow into an amazing leader on campus.

FEBRUARY - Student Leader of the Month

Reilly Berk
Senior
Business Administration (Management Information Systems concentration, International Business and Marketing minor)

Reilly's nominator had this to say about her, "Reilly Berk exemplifies terrific leadership in her day-to-day work as President of Delta Sigma Pi and as an engaged student of Kent State University. Several times this academic year, Reilly has gone out of her way to aid brothers of the fraternity who are in need through emotional support and fundraising dollars to lessen the burden of financial hardships. Reilly also continues to serve as an example of an ideal well-rounded business student by representing the Kent State College of Business at case competitions, cultivating meaningful relationships with several professors and always willing to lend a hand to help the college."

MARCH- Student Leader of the Month

Spencer McCrea
Senior
Communication Studies (Interpersonal Communication concentration)

Spencer's nominator, said this about him "Spencer has served as a member of University College’s Student Advisory Council (UCSAC) for the past three years.  This past year, Spencer has transitioned to the role of Senator for University College for Undergraduate Student Government (USG).  As you know, USG is an elite group of undergraduate students governing the student body at the university.  In this role, he leads discussions and seeks feedback from the voice of his peers at the UCSAC meetings.  He contributes and provides feedback to help the college and USG to respond better to changing needs of his student constituency.  He is self-aware and reiterates how his personal actions to lead the student body represented by University College is important. He has advocated for resources (financial) for Student’s First initiatives and has successfully secured funding on multiple requests in collaboration with University College staff.  It should be noted, Spencer is the first USG Senator to achieve this success in the years I have been in this role for our college. He has been inclusive of others opinions and mindful of the impact of his action and support will aid the larger community.  

Most recently and the impetus for this nomination, Spencer is a change maker making history for the Exploratory student community.  Spencer most recently lead the charge and gained buy-in (and approval) to proceed with the implementation of a graduation cord for May’s commencement from the Dean of University College for Exploratory pre-majors (now in declared majors).  Spencer spent time researching the options available for the cord color, the symbolism for the color selected and articulating the ‘why’ it was important to the Dean.  His ability to be creative and work towards fruition is exemplary and an extraordinary example of his leadership.  He sought feedback and suggestions from UCSAC. To be honest, program changing as this idea will impact future Exploratory pre-majors (graduating) for years to come."

APRIL- Student Leader of the Month

Abby Clay
Senior
Digital Sciences

Abigail's nominator says, "Abigail 'Abby' Clay has been active in student involvements throughout her time at Kent State. She has been a member and officer of Kappa Phi, a Christian women's service student organization, and currently serves as president. Abby has been extensively involved in student life at KSU, including Marching Golden Flashes, KSU Color Guard, Tau Beta Sigma and KSU Women's Chorus. Additionally, Abby works a typical student job as a food delivery driver.

 

"As president of Kappa Phi, Abby has shown excellent leadership in the organization, which has been continuously active on the Kent State campus since May 1948 as a non-sectarian religious student organization. Kappa Phi is also a national organization focused on  sisterhood, service and study. This year, the KSU Chapter membership tripled! The chapter received an award for Overall Chapter Excellence at the virtual regional conference earlier in April. With a focus on community service, Abby has propelled the organization to new dimensions of humanitarian service, including organizing a bake sale to benefit Puerto Rico disaster relief, fleece blankets for veterans and children, decorations for a nursing home and emergency grants for student members in financial stress during the COVID-19 crisis.

 

"Abby Clay demonstrates the highest ideals of a Kent State student, with personal integrity, outgoing friendship to all, a high level of work ethic, engaged community service, KSU involvements, leadership and academic excellence. Abby Clay will leave a mark of honor and growth in Kappa Phi history and that of Kent State upon her graduation in May 2020."