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

Submit a Nomination for Student Leader of the Month

SEPTEMBER - Student Leader of the Month


Communication Studies

Her nominator, Ariana, had this to say about her:

"Sophia Kiriakou is in involved within multiple organizations within Kent State, which includes working as an Exploratory Mentor through the Kent State Advising Center. Through the Exploratory Program she helps first year students connect with campus resources and learn about career readiness and exploration. Sophia is also Vice President of the Commuter and Off-Campus Student, which is a position that she values as a commuter herself. Through this Vice President title, she connects with students at Kent State University, hosts and plans social events with various staff, assists with official social media platforms, and hosts weekly office hours. Finally, Sophia is involved within the executive board of Kent Communication Society. She majors in Communication Studies with two minors in Psychology, and Disability Studies and Community Inclusion. Through this organization, Sophia has host meetings in both an in person and remote setting, as well as formed connections through the CCI department.”

OCTOBER - Student Leader of the Month

Theatre Design 

Their nominator, Katie Mattise, had this to say:

"I first met Graham when they arrived on campus a few years ago. Even back then, they were strong in their beliefs and looking for ways to move Kent State and the people that make up its community toward social justice. Since that time, that drive has grown and they’ve found ways to take up that cause more formally. Graham just started working in the LGBTQ+ Center on campus this semester. Last year and this year, Graham has served as the president of Threads. Last year was an especially tough year and it didn’t spare student group involvement. Graham took that year to occasionally meet with me (the advisor) to strategize and plan for this year.

Since being back on campus, Graham has worked hard to build up Threads and get back what was lost throughout the pandemic (recognition, membership, events & planning). They’re still in the process of doing so, but the time and effort they put in should definitely be recognized. They were instrumental in planning a Queer Fam night during K/T. They tabled at the resource fair for K/T and at Blast Off. They did all this while being the only e-board member, moving back to the Kent area, getting ready for their classes, taking on a new position at the LGBTQ+ Center, and dealing with all the challenges of the pandemic still raging on. Their commitment to creating community, especially for those with multiple marginalized identities, is inspiring. Graham’s dream for Threads is to provide a space for those that don’t always have them at KSU (queer people, trans folks, students of color, people with disabilities, etc) and to educate around and advocate for them. Graham has grown tremendously since I first met them. They’ve stepped up into leadership roles in ways I don’t know if they would’ve been comfortable when they first got here. It’s been really amazing to be along for the ride.”

NOVEMBER - Student Leader of the Month

Aerospace Engineering

Her nominator, Yewande Moore, had this to say about her:

"When I think of a student who embodies this model in totality, I think of Julia. Julia is probably the most hard-working student I have come across in my tenure here at Kent State. She is heavily involved all over campus and still maintains very strong grades in her academics. She is committed to cultivating a great student experience for our on-campus students through her work as Executive Director of KIC. Through this journey she is responsible for an organization that is committed to programming, student engagement, advocacy, and service for almost 6,000 students. Additionally, KIC does a number of sustainability and social justice initiatives through our Eco Reps and Social Justice Advocates.

Julia has done a phenomenal job in preparing her executive board for a year of success to properly execute and accomplish their goals. I am proud that in such a short time, Julia has learned this new position and has made it her own and has already positively impacted so many people and has also inspired so much change on campus. She is beyond deserving of this recognition and honor."


DECEMBER- Student Leader of the Month

Fashion Major

His nominator, Thomas Neipsuj, had this to say about him:

"Matthew, or Matt, is one of the strongest student leaders I know. Since I have graduated, he is one of the few student leaders that I still stay connected with and actively see his impact. Most recently I saw him excel as Sig Ep's philanthropy chair, where he raised over 1K for suicide prevention with an exciting "Egg an Ep" event that was help for 12 hours and got lots of community support and expanded past the traditional Greeks only philanthropy format. Matt is also heavily involved with SSP and has grown a lot as a leader. He uses these experiences to aid in USG and IFC. IFC is of particular importance, because Matt sits as the diversity chair for the board. He is fully aware that he is a straight white male and that it is almost ironic that he sits in this position, but he is a true statement of a privileged identity fighting for minorities and those less represented. He works on connecting the community, bringing awareness to equity and inclusion of diverse identities, and is even working with IFC on diversity workshops. Something we do not see a lot of in the IFC community. He has just grown a lot as a leader and it is cool to see this growth out of a young man that still has so much time left at the university. He is self-aware, driven, and hopes to one day use his career to help with the sustainability and abuse of labor within the fashion industry, which I think is admirable. He is also very comfortable with learning, growing, and sharing what he learns to others, which I saw a lot with him as a peer leader trainer with SSP. Matt is just overall great kid that just deserves so much recognition and a true shout out for the hard work he puts out into the University, the community, and one day the whole world."