Award Recipients

The Westhampton College Senior Awards celebrate many different parts of student life, work, and achievements, representing our student community in its fullness. View our full list of award descriptions.

The Senior Awards embody the true spirit of Westhampton: a celebration of community, gender equity, and inclusion; the importance of activism, advocacy, allyship, and care for each other; the joys and mutual benefits of leadership, mentorship, and friendship; and our dedication to helping each other become the best versions of ourselves. Nominations come from peers, faculty, staff, and other community members. Thank you to everyone who nominated so many of our amazing students – they are outstanding scholars, leaders, citizens, mentors, and human beings.

Each recipient listed here has accepted the award in advance, provided us with the name of their mentor, and reviewed and contributed to the paragraph dedicated to them; recipients can also make changes at any time.

Leslie Sessoms Booker Award

Abra Granger

Mentor: Carol Parish

We celebrate Abra with the Booker Award for the many, many ways she has given “loyal, enthusiastic, and unselfish service to the campus community.” Over four years Abra has served as a member of the Department of Athletics Diversity and Inclusion Council, as a member and vice-president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, as part of the Department of Athletics Voting Initiative Committee, on the University of Richmond Athletic Board of Trustees Committee, and on the President’s Student Cabinet, and a volunteer at CrossOver Healthcare Ministry in Richmond as a Spanish-language interpreter, all while competing as a Division I Field Hockey student-athlete. This past year Abra has been an important member of a member of the Healthy Web Champions Steering Committee, and a COVID Ambassador, volunteering to work with Athletics in an effort to keep student-athletes apprised of COVID safety and health updates. The words of one nominator beautifully sum up Abra’s contributions during her time at Richmond: “Abra has enthusiastically worked to make our community a better place for everyone, going above and beyond the call of duty.”

The Betty Ann Dillon Award

Jessie Bonilla Solórzano

Mentor: Mia Reinoso Genoni

Jessie’s many contributions to our campus are the embodiment of what the Dillon celebrates – a dedication to helping make the University better, to keeping true to our core values while pushing us forward, to embodying the ways that “innovation and tradition are entwined” so that future generations can benefit. As a nominator notes, “Jessie has worked, most often without public recognition, for changes that embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Business School, including affiliated organizations, combining a steely inner strength with a joyous and positive attitude.” She is likewise honored for demonstrating the same dedication and attitude through her contributions as an RA, a Bonner Scholar, as first a member and then president of Ritmo Latino, and as part of SOLS, including building stronger connections with SOLS, Westhampton, LALIS, and OMA, by bolstering and expanding Café con leche, rising to the occasion even during the challenges of the pandemic. Jessie supports positive change for our campus – now, after her graduation, and in the years to come – as we work toward greater inclusivity, especially taking tangible steps to make sure our BIPOC students both are welcome and feel welcome.

Maggie Castelli

Mentor: Michelle Kahn

In her four years here, Maggie has lived the values of the Dillon Award, working in so many ways “to promote the core values of the college in the contemporary world, staying true to our mission to help students become the best versions of themselves as they lead informed, purposeful lives.” Maggie is known for her unwavering dedication to speaking up and doing what she sees is right, even when at a cost, working towards gender equity in a true Westhampton spirit, while helping us see what such equity means today. As a nominator writes, “Among other roles, she has served as Secretary of WCGA (Westhampton College Government Association), an Editorial Board member of the WGSS Student Journal, the History Department Liaison, and a member of the Humanities Connect Program. Through her dedication to WGSS and will, she has emerged as one of our campus’ most active advocates of gender equity on campus, approaching every issue with a keen attention to intersectionality, diversity, and inclusion.”

Maggie would like to note her solidarity with the mission, values, and demands of the UR Black Student Coalition and Protect Our Web movement. She calls upon UR to listen to the voices, experiences, and demands of Black students and to validate their experiences and meet their needs on our campus.

Clara M. Keith Award for Outstanding Student Government Service

Grace Kiernan

Mentor: Jennifer Erkulwater

We recognize Grace with the Keith Award due to her years of service on WCGA, culminating with her spectacular work as Chair of Academic Affairs this year. Grace diligently listened to and served our student body, in the fall successfully championing the need for wellbeing days in the spring semester, and in the spring repeatedly encouraging the Faculty Senate to listen to student feedback and allow students to take one course CR/CR-D/NC – following back up when the first vote was unsuccessful, asking them to provide a statement as to their original rationale, and continuing to advocate – work that contributed to the second, successful, vote: the vote that was held after the Black Student Coalition Protect Our Web statement asked for the Faculty Senate to reconsider and offer this option to students. Rarely has a recipient so vividly met the criteria of “creative, imaginative or outstanding work in developing or enhancing a college project or activity through the Westhampton College Student Government” as Grace has this year. Grace stands in allyship with the BSC and their powerful activism, and is hopeful that the campus will change for the better.

The LeSane-Malone Award

Kayla Corbin

Mentor: Armond Towns

Kayla has truly lived into the values of the LeSane-Malone Award. Whether it is in her role in helping advocate for and create Africana Studies, or her recent actions as part of the Black Student Coalition – including co-writing “Protect Our Web: A Statement on Black Student Welfare” and helping lead the teach-ins – she has persevered and persisted, and consistently “challenged those around her – to grow in understanding and action, to learn, to think more expansively, to make changes for the better, to care,” most often at great personal effort and sacrifice. As one nominator puts it: “Kayla continues to push herself and others towards achieving their own versions of success and deeper understandings of the world around them. She continues to exhibit the skills of a natural born leader as she has pushed for the implementation of an Africana Studies department at UR, shared insightful thoughts with peers, and has effectively advocated for the historically voiceless on campus. Kayla Corbin will do nothing but bring the utmost honor to this award and those it itself is meant to honor.”

Becca Curro

Mentor: Jenna Slowey

Becca has earned the LeSane-Malone Award as she has “faced significant challenges, yet ultimately persevered, and found her path,” and has continually looked for ways to help our community. As one nominator writes: “the strength, perseverance, and courage that Becca has shown during her time at Richmond has been felt throughout the entire campus.” In the fall of her sophomore year Becca suffered the loss of a very dear friend at UR. The next year she also experienced a painful injury that ended her athletic career as a division I lacrosse student-athlete. Faced with these challenges, she chose to dedicate herself to mental health awareness initiatives, both across campus, including specifically for student-athletes, and nationally. Becca has organized two walks on campus to draw attention to and help remove the stigma often associated with mental health issues, as well as served as a Morgan’s Message Ambassador and a Student Ambassador for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, helping raise funds, lead mental health awareness initiatives, and host monthly conversations. She has also continued to serve as the lacrosse team manager, providing support to her teammates in mind, body, and spirit, bringing, in the words of a nominator, “grace and strength” to all she does.

Dr. Juliette Landphair Award for Dedication to the Awareness, Education, and Prevention of Sexual Misconduct

Kexin Li (Westhampton College Recipient)

Mentors: Monti Datta and Kathleen Skerrett

Kexin has earned the Landphair Award many times over. As past co-leader of the PSMAs, a member and past president of will, and in work both on and off-campus, nationally and internationally, she demonstrates the many ways she “cares deeply about the issue of sexual misconduct and works tirelessly to advocate for those who have been affected, excelling in the development of sexual misconduct awareness through programs and movements.” As one nominator puts it: “Kexin engages in the messy and difficult work of feminist praxis, working with others to address inequities on campus and beyond. As president of the will student organization as a junior she led their response to the anti-trans stickers that appeared in public spaces around campus, as well as to the racist and xenophobic acts of spring 2020. She also has directed The Vagina Monologues on campus, produced and staged the Think Again monologues that address sexual violence, organized summer camps for low-income girls in southwest China focused on sex education and mentorship, and directed China’s first publicly performed play on child sexual abuse in response to a series of sexual violence scandals in 2018.”

Kexin Li stands in solidarity with the UR Black Student Coalition and the Protect Our Web Movement.

Colin Sparkevicius (Richmond College Recipient)

Mentor: Lauren Foligno

Colin has been awarded the Landphair Award for his contributions to sexual assault and prevention on campus, in particular as a PSMA. One nominator describes him as “incredibly compassionate and kind” and someone who is committed to “making campus a kinder and safer space.” Shortly after joining the PSMAs, he became a crucial member of the group, someone who “dedicated his time at UR to making our campus a better place in so many ways, with serving as a PSMA being one of them.” A nominator shared that: “Colin’s empathetic demeanor has made it easy for students to turn to him for natural leadership or a witty quip. Colin always comes in looking to learn, grow, and spark new ideas. We are so lucky to have him and he is going to be missed next year!”

The Jane Stockman Award

Natalie Hawley

Mentor: Lisa Miles

In solidarity with the movement to disaffiliate from the University until the demands of the Black Student Coalition are met, I have decided to withhold my blurb and instead express my support for the Black Student Coalition and the demands of the Protect Our Web movement. I cannot stand behind the University while it continues to be lacking in its support for Black students. The University of Richmond has the potential to become a safe and inclusive environment for all students, but this goal cannot be achieved until the demands stated in the Protect Our Web petition have been met.

The Westhampton College Dean's Award

Raven Baugh

Mentor: Lisa Miles and Kevin Pelletier

We honor Raven with the Westhampton College Dean’s Award because, as one nominator notes: “Raven is one of the most thoughtful, intelligent, and kind people I have encountered at UR. She is rarely the loudest in the room, but has consistently made essential contributions to tough, important conversations in classrooms, organizations, or casually.” Whether as a Writing Consultant, Cultural Advisor, member of SEEDS, Race & Racism Project Research Fellow, or member of the Black Student Coalition, she is a powerful leader and community builder. As another nominator says: “She is co-coordinator of SpiderNights, to which she devotes countless hours of steady and quality work. She is deeply committed to social justice and equity and inclusion, and makes that a priority in the way she chooses events and treats everyone around her.” Through the BSC’s Protect Our Web Movement, Raven continues her work advocating for more inclusive, diverse, and equitable spaces absent from UR. She stands firmly with the organization’s demands for better black student equity (and, by extension, all student equity) on campus.

Casey Murano

Mentor: Bryn Bagby Taylor

Casey truly works “tirelessly to celebrate diversity, promote inclusion, and create a thriving and just community for all... always keeping inclusion in mind.” As one nominator writes: “She has been very involved with UR's Chaplaincy programming as a result of her deep faith, which informs every decision she makes. Raised in the Catholic tradition, she has wrestled with how to create positive social change within historic institutions. She has also been a leader in multifaith programming, thus engaging in work to make intentional, progressive connections between traditions.... As an art major, her senior showcase Solidarity: Two Practices of Displacement uses themes of pilgrimage and the process of painting to engage with the social, political, environmental, and spiritual implications of place in order to build more just communities, including on our campus, now and for future generations." Whether through her work in the Kairos community, Catholic Campus Ministry, the Multifaith Student Council, as a Richmond Artist Scholar, or with the SEEDS Project, Casey is, in the words of another nominator, “an incredible leader: creative, compassionate, organized, and inclusive.” In support of the Black Student Coalition, Casey has disaffiliated from the SEEDS Project, but has made the intentional decision to continue her involvement in the Chaplaincy, where she is seeking to use art and faith to be an ally in the Protect Our Web movement.

Mysia Perry

Mentor: Bertram Ashe

Mysia embodies the Westhampton College Dean’s Award in all she does, and is recognized by students, faculty, and staff alike for her ability to “look for opportunities to make all students feel welcome, identify and overcome challenges with a positive outlook, and seek to make the campus a better place with their presence, their voices, and their actions.” She has done so as an RA or HR, a member of will, part of One Book, One Richmond Advisory Committee, working on the Race & Racism Project, serving on the LEDA Policy Corps, serving on WCGA (Chair of Senate her senior year), a mentor for PAM, representative on Burial Ground Memorialization Committee, member of the Bias Resource Team, part of the Collegian Burial Ground Research Team, Kitamba Fellow, and Diversity Ambassador, as well as in her actions as part of the Protect Our Web movement. As one nominator states: “She is a warm and kind person [and her] work as a leader in the University of Richmond Community is often unseen but greatly heard.”

The Westhampton College Diamond Award

Elizabeth Hussin

Mentor: Rick Mayes

The words of one nominator fully encapsulate why Liz has earned the Diamond Award, given to a student who consistently shows a “profound understanding of and commitment to the history, the values and the spirit” of Westhampton, and “leadership within the College community.” The nominator writes: “Liz cares deeply about women's rights and access to healthcare, leading the charge Generation Action (Planned Parenthood) took to provide tampons to students in public restrooms. She also volunteers as a health bandit, working STI clinics and refilling condom baskets in the dorms across campus. She gives trainings on preventing sexual assault, chairs the WCGA committee for student concerns, and acts as an advocate far and wide across campus. She has always been a student with others in mind, and truly is a diamond.”

The will Changemaker Award

Josh Higdon

Mentor: David Giancaspro

The Changemaker honors students who have “taken meaningful action to make the campus and/or the larger community a more equitable, inclusive place and whose actions and thoughts center an intersectional analysis.” Josh does so in myriad ways, always embodying Angela Y. Davis’s statement: “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.”: in their work as a member of SASAV, as an RA, in designing gender inclusive grammar exercises for the Intensive Spanish Program for LALIS, in facilitating the LGBTQIA+ Community discussion for the Equity Summit, and as a member of the first Student Presidential Cabinet to advocate for institutional change to support historically marginalized groups at UR until their recent disaffiliation in support of Protect Our Web. As one nominator describes them: “Josh is an unwaveringly loyal, dedicated leader and student. They are often the only person to reach out to those who seem to need it, and they show compassion and leadership not only in class, but in their job as an RA and every single other thing they do. I cannot think of any other Westhampton College student that better represents the diversity and compassion that the University of Richmond needs (and advocates for) than Josh.”

Becca Levitt

Mentor: Josh Jeffreys

Faculty, staff, and students alike celebrate Becca “as an individual committed to the lifelong pursuit of social justice” that the Changemaker honors. As two nominators write: “As the president of UR Hillel and a member of the executive board of Spiderboard, Becca has worked tirelessly throughout her time at Richmond to promote inclusion and fight for space and community for minority and unvalued voices... She has been an active voice in many ongoing conversations about how Spiderboard can design programs to be inclusive of all students and how Spiderboard can use its time and resources to promote other student group’s programs. Becca has used her leadership positions to give voice to students who feel unheard and create inclusive programming.” As another notes: Becca has been a crucial part of the Jewish community and ...was crucial to the inclusion of antisemitism training in the Equity Summit -dedicating countless hours to the creation of a thoughtful and nuanced training as part of the Summit. She also helped to promote all of these efforts, and has fought tirelessly for Jewish students across campus while also showing up as an ally for other communities (Black students, students of color, and other religious minorities stand out in particular).” Becca is leaving our campus a better place than she found it.

The Westhampton College Distinguished Leadership Award

Ashley Appolon

Mentor: Lisa Miles

Described as “a tremendous leader” and “a quiet and very hard worker who is humble and never seeks the spotlight,” Ashley has contributed greatly to our campus, as a Cultural Advisor and co-coordinator of SpiderNights, as a choreographer and outreach chair of Ritmo Latino, as an Environmental Justice Intern, working in Common Ground, and in myriad little ways each day. As one nominator notes, “As a co-coordinator of SpiderNights she has given countless hours, well above and beyond what is expected, to run really well-thought-out events, and guide and mentor the CAs she is supervising along the way. She is a perfect example of being willing to connect across differences," as seen both in her friendships and in her contributions to our campus.

As a first-gen student and proud daughter of Haitian immigrants, I am grateful to the University of Richmond for the opportunities and experiences it gave me to learn and grow as a student. As a Black student, however, I cannot ignore the ways in which this university has neglected the voices and concerns of my community. No institution is perfect, but what defines a respectable institution is its capability to take responsibility for its wrongdoings with humility, and to make conscious initiatives that adequately address the issue with corrective action. It is with gratitude that I accept this award, and proudly affirm my solidarity with the UR Black Student Coalition.

Amanda Brosnan

Mentor: Rob Andrejewski

We recognize Amanda for the incredible depth and breadth of her commitment to sustainability and environmental studies, both on and off campus: as a sustainability intern at UR for three years, as a Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Intern for Campbell Soup, as a Youth and the Environment Program Coordinator at the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission, as a part of SEEDS, and participating in a sustainability program while abroad in Freiburg, Germany. One nominator says it all: “at UR she has worked on projects ranging from capturing compostable waste for athletics events to managing the Ecochallenge, Sustainability’s biggest outreach event of the year. She is reliable, creative, and brings out the best in others. She has always shown an interest in helping others, held a commitment to do more than she was asked, and demonstrated a guileless determination to create a better world.” Amanda is a strong supporter of the Black Student Coalition and the Protect Our Web movement, and she hopes that meaningful activism will continue on campus.

Rowan Cai

Mentor: Eric Yellin

As a leader, Rowan is known across campus as “reliable and constant," as someone who shares her knowledge, insight, and kindness freely. Nowhere is this more visible than in her work with New Spider Orientation, where she made a point to connect with as many new students, OAs, and other Orientation Leaders as possible and then worked tirelessly to maintain those relationships well past the end of orientation. During her three years with New Spider Orientation, Rowan consistently worked to ensure the first days of a new student’s experience on campus were as filled with warmth and welcome as possible. As one nominator wrote, “she has always enthusiastically found ways to give back to her school, even in small ways, such as serving as the History Department Liaison or as a senator on WCGA her junior year. Rowan has been engaged in our community, representing UR and Westhampton well as a loyal and unselfish leader, mentor, and friend.” In recognition of her dedication to improving student experience, Rowan stands in solidarity with the Black Student Coalition and fully supports and encourages the demands outlined in the Protect Our Web statement.

Allison Choe

Mentor: Kerry Albright Fankhauser

Ally radiates kindness, acceptance, and welcome. For three years she was one of the first people to welcome new students to UR through her work as an Orientation Advisor, and no one did so better than Ally. Her commitment to every new student was, and is, astounding. As one nominator noted, “If a student was struggling in another OA group I knew I could connect them to Ally and she would ensure they had a wonderful experience for the remainder of orientation.” Ally is able to meet people where they are, challenge them appropriately, and cultivate relationships that last well beyond the five-day orientation experience. One new student wrote, “My OA, Ally Choe, changed my Richmond experience from one where I was thinking of transferring to one where I knew I belonged and could find friends.” Ally is a true gem, a leader who does not ask for recognition but is so deserving of it.

Olivia Diaz

Mentor: Linda Hobgood

Olivia has devoted herself with great dedication and depth to her work as a part of SEEDS, as a Speech Consultant, as an RA and HR, and through her journalism, be it as a News and Talent Strategy Intern at CBS News or Reporting Fellow at the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, or through various roles on The Collegian, culminating in serving as Editor-in-Chief in her senior year. One nominator speaks particularly eloquently of Olivia, noting that under her leadership, the many difficult and painful issues have the past year have been handled “with great rigor, transparency, ethics, and empathy, serving as a crucial bridge between the students, faculty, staff, and administration, and engaging students with pressing issues both within and outside the ‘UR bubble.’ Although Olivia could not have anticipated the grave challenges that the 2020-2021 school year would impose, she tackled them head-on and with respect for the diverse opinions on our campus, all the more important in an era in which criticism of ‘fake news’ has eroded the trust between journalists and the public.” Olivia’s passion, and compassion, shine through everything she does, as does her deep commitment to caring for our community.

Tanéha Fincher

Mentor: Jessica Washington

Throughout her four years at the University, Tanéha has consistently been a steady and fearless leader in both formal and informal roles, and an incredible member of our community. One nominator describes her perfectly: “She is determined, has a strong sense of morals/moral compass, possesses great self-advocacy skills, and genuinely cares about others. She has been a mentor since her first year and has taken on several leadership positions in her sorority (Delta Sigma Theta) and the Black Student Alliance. Tanéha deeply cares about the experiences of students of color on campus and has worked to leave her mark on the university. She is thoughtful, consistent, hard-working, and an overall amazing young person.” A Bonner Scholar, she is dedicated to working to make health care equitable and accessible, culminating in her senior capstone project that brings awareness to the Black maternal health crisis, as well as celebrates the powerful role of doulas in our society. A member of the Black Student Coalition, Tanéha supports the push for better welfare of Black students on our campus.

Sabrina Gloria Garcia

Mentor: Julietta Singh

Sabrina stands with the Black Student Coalition and is disaffiliated from University Organizations in order to support the needs of black students and demand more racial justice initiatives from the UR community. Sabrina is deeply committed to, as one nominator writes, “issues of racial and gender justice both on and off campus,” and is known for her “inclusive, mindful approach to this work.” Whether as a PSMA, member and then vice-president of will, or Writing Consultant, she shows devotion, dedication and drive. Another nominator notes that she saw the opportunity to work on the Race & Racism Project as: “a catalyst to educate herself and others in her community about racial justice,” being a much-needed force for good on this campus. She is dedicated to pushing institutions to tell their full and complex histories as well as working with spaces that curate those histories, like museums and archives, to do the same.

Sal Girma

Mentor: Blake Stack

In her four years on campus, Sal has been, in the words of one nominator, “a fierce and caring leader, bolstered by her faith and known for her strength of character.” As multi-year president of the Black Student Alliance (BSA), she helped drive hard discussions about equity in social events, advocated for the multicultural space, spearheaded events co-hosted by multiple student organizations, and worked every day to make our campus better. At the same time she has served as Programs Coordinator for The Institute for East African Councils, member and financial secretary of Alpha Kappa Alpha, and a volunteer for Youth Life and for the San Fernando Centre for Displaced Persons Trinidad and Tobago. As another nominator notes, as a CCE student worker, she also has demonstrated “consistent dedication to K-12 support,” and an unwavering commitment to social justice. As a member of the Black Student Coalition, she stands in solidarity with all movements to aid Black student welfare.

Shamim Ibrahim

Mentor: Jim Monks

Shamim is receiving a Distinguished Leadership Award in recognition for her work with International Orientation and Muslim Student Life. As one nominator describes her: “Shamim is driven by her passion for creating inclusive communities, while specifically focusing on international students and underrepresented religious groups.” Throughout her four years at UR, she has been actively involved with Muslim Life, helping her fellow Muslim peers connect with one another and working to raise awareness of Islam. This past fall, Shamim helped lead new international students during Orientation, and throughout this year she has been a strong advocate for finding ways for new international students to connect safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to her persistence and hard work, new international students felt welcome and comfortable during their first year on campus.

Nina Joss

Mentor: Scott Johnson

Where Nina goes, enthusiasm and joy follow. One nominator aptly describes Nina as someone who “encapsulates the spirit of inclusivity, scholarship, and curiosity.” Nina has been described as someone who has an “eclectic social circle and an overwhelmingly busy class schedule” but who still finds time to give back to others. During her time at UR, Nina has been involved in The SEEDS Project, The Collegian, Choeur du Roi A Cappella, Sophomore Scholars in Residence and New Spider Orientation, always giving selflessly and across various disciplines and interests. Nina believes in the importance of listening, open-mindedness, reflection, and loving conversation and tries to live by these values in order to foster communities of love and inclusion on campus. In the words of one nominator: “she is the kind of person who makes me proud to be a Spider. I know she is grateful to have spent her 4 years at this University, but, even more so, the University should be grateful that Nina chose UR as her home.”

Mekenzie Montgomery

Mentor: Haley Harwell

Mekenzie is being recognized for her dedication to working on issues of sexual misconduct and violence, most notably through the One Love initiative within Athletics. For the past two years, the women’s lacrosse team has been involved with the One Love Foundation, an organization created in memory of Yardley Love, a former UVA lacrosse player, who was a victim of relationship violence. The foundation was created in an effort to teach people the healthy & unhealthy signs of relationship to try to prevent what happened to Yardley from happening to another life. Mekenzie was instrumental is spearheading conversations on this critical topic in collaboration with Dr. Rachel Turk, even through the challenges of the pandemic. As one nominator notes: “in spite of the obstacles of COVID, this past year, Mekenzie coordinated the ONE LOVE event with our entire athletic department creating a challenge over winter break to further the awareness of the foundation and this critical cause. She has been instrumental in creating education and awareness in this critical area.”

Diep Nguyen

Mentor: Kathy Hoke

We honor Diep for her steady devotion to promoting gender equity in STEM, in particular math, and to her quiet service to others. Whether helping with an exhibition at the Henrico County STEAM fair (science, technology, engineering, the arts and math), speaking to incoming first-year students, staffing a Math Fair at an underserved school, or helping with the VCU “Girls in Math Day,” she is the first to volunteer her time and share her passion. Likewise, she is dedicated to practical applications of math to help others, such as working on a project that uses mathematics to help diagnose concussions in combat-exposed veterans. As a nominator puts it: “I suspect that Diep does not think of herself as a leader. I disagree. Her talent and passion for mathematics, self-discipline and initiative that guarantee success, and her selfless desire to give back to her community distinguish her as a true leader.”

Alexandra Parson

Mentor: Della Dumbaugh

It is a pleasure to celebrate Alexandra’s leadership on campus and in the greater Richmond community. As one nominator notes: “Alex has worked tremendously hard to touch all areas of not just the campus community, but also the community in which she was raised. Hailing from Chesterfield, Virginia, Alex has volunteered with organizations right here in Richmond, VA, such as Chippenham Hospital, Game on Game Girls, and the League of United Latin American Citizens. She is also a community health intern for YES Behavioral Health, Inc., participating in outreach efforts that are dedicated to improving healthcare standards.” Among her many leadership roles at UR, Alex serves as point guard for the Women’s Basketball team, a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, a UR representative to the Atlantic 10 Student-Athlete Leadership Conference, and a selected participant for the NCAA Inclusion Forum. Another nominator describes Alexandra perfectly: “a strong leader with an equally strong sense of self, Alex models what it is to live into one’s values, promoting care for others, self-care, and what community truly means.” In accepting this award, Alex would like to honor the Black Student Coalition for their leadership and acknowledge Black students, alumni, and faculty for their leadership, advocacy, and inspiring efforts to make UR a better place. Alex notes: “During this pivotal time at our university and our community, it is my hope that the University of Richmond will make the necessary changes to make UR an inclusive place for all students.” #BlackLivesMatter

Elisabeth Sciolla

Mentor: Kristjen Lundberg

During her time at UR, Elisabeth has been a committed leader across our campus: a Science Leadership Scholar in Jepson, a Teaching Fellow in Psychology, the Philanthropy Chair of Delta Delta Delta, and a tireless volunteer for the prevention of sexual misconduct. One nominator describes her as a “steady, critical voice and an encouraging, collaborative presence with her peers.” Most notably, Elisabeth has consistently worked to prevent, educate, and support her peers as a student representative on the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Coordinating Committee, Co-President of Spiders for Spiders, and a PSMA. Many of these commitments have been over the course of three years which represent the depth of her advocacy and her unwavering commitment to ending sexual misconduct and violence on campus and working to make UR better.

Elisabeth stands in solidarity with ProtectOurWeb and the Black Student Coalition.

Kacy Workman

Mentor: Camilla Nonterah

Kacy stands with the Black Student Coalition and has disaffiliated from the University until demands for more racial justice initiatives from the UR community are met. In all she does, Kacy recognizes, as one nominator puts it, that “social justice work is a lifetime commitment,” showing dedication to helping our community in myriad ways. Kacy has served as a PSMA, a Writing Tutor, a member and then president of will, founding member of the Modlin Arts Student Ambassadors, a Youth Life mentor, a tutor at Huguenot High School, curator of UR Hair Stories, and as a researcher in the UR Health Psychology Research Lab. In this latter role, as one nominator notes, she has shown her passion each day, especially in conducting “research focused on diversity and inclusion for BIPOC as well as women;” as president of will, she worked to support racial justice initiatives on campus, including helping to create a staking campaign across campus this fall to urge support for Africana Studies. Kacy also has combined her psychology major and WGSS minor to further explore issues of racial equity, like colorism in the workplace, learning that she in turns puts into practice in her leadership.