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Office of Leadership, Service and Career

2021 UC Merced Leadership Awards - Friday, April 30th!

Dear UC Merced Community,

The 2021 UC Merced Student Leadership Awards was an exciting event during which we honored of celebrating student leadership at UC Merced!  

The UC Merced Student Leadership Awards is an annual event that celebrates the student leadership that happens across campus. Students, faculty, and staff can nominate a UC Merced student (both graduate and undergraduate students) for the various awards described below. We dedicate the night of the leadership awards (Friday, April 30th, 5:30pm) to not only celebrate our student award recipients but also the many examples of leadership that we see across campus. This event is hosted by The Souza Leadership Center and The Office of Student Involvement. We aim to celebrate leadership in all its forms! We invite you to join us for this year's event!

Watch the 2021 Leadership Awards Ceremony! 



List of 2021 Student Leadership Awards recognized on April 30th!

  • Contribution to Student Affairs Awards
  • Most Outstanding Graduate Student Award  
  • University Friends Circle Awards
  • Virtual Bobcat Hero Award 
  • Rising Phoenix Award 
  • Bobcat Sense of Belonging Impact Award 
  • Building Community Award (Virtually or in Person) 
  • Bobcats Leadership in Action Award 
  • Distinguished Leadership Award
  • Legacy Award
  • Steve and Mia Kang Student Leadership for Social Change Prize
  • Carol Tomlinson-Keasey Award


Meet Our Host, UC Merced First-Year Student Brandon Lopez!

"Growing up in the heart of California in Modesto, CA, I can definitely say I’m “valley proud” and so glad I can call UC Merced home. My name is Brandon Lopez (he/him/él) and I’m a first-year, first-generation, Chicano majoring in Mechanical Engineering. Currently, I am involved in the Yosemite Leadership Program and the Leadership & Service LLC with the intentions of becoming a better leader, learning more about myself, and making life-long connections."

"I am honored to host the 2021 Leadership Awards because leadership means a lot to me. I have seen the power great leadership has and the lasting impact it can have. Personally, I have been able to find my inner voice through my leadership experiences and I know the more I practice it, the greater the impact it can have. Everyone is a leader in their own way and I cannot express the excitement I have to celebrate my Bobcat family for all their accomplishments." 

 

 



LEARN MORE ABOUT THE LEADERSHIP AWARDS!

The Distinguished Leadership Award

The Distinguished Leadership Award recognizes an undergraduate student who demonstrated exceptional leadership skills in the past academic year. This individual has made a significant impact within the UC Merced community through their exemplary leadership. More than one recipient may be awarded. 

Criteria to Consider:  

  • The individual engaged in specific actions & practices that demonstrated exceptional leadership skills this past academic year.  

  • The individual made a clear positive impact on UC Merced and/or the UC Merced community through their actions.  

  • The individual led others to engage in teamwork to engage others in our community.  

 


Office of Student Involvement Awards

Virtual Bobcat Hero Award 

The Virtual Bobcat Hero Award recognizes a student who has been developing innovative projects to provide support to others or their organization during this virtual environment. Some examples could include helping their organization take advantage of professional development opportunities, being creative and trying new things while navigating this new normal, organizing donation drives to help a certain cause related to this pandemic, etc.  

 

The Rising Phoenix Award

The Phoenix Award recognizes a student who has engaged in meaningful experiences to advance their own personal development, professional development and/or transformative learning through engaging and actively participating in workshops, conferences, retreats, etc.   

 

Bobcat Sense of Belonging Impact Award

The Involved Bobcat recognizes a student who has been heavily involved, with either a formal or informal leadership role, in at least (1) student organization, fraternity or sorority, or ASUCM and has made a lasting impact for their community by providing an active and engaging membership development program that promotes holistic member engagement and encourages a lifelong commitment. 

 

Building Community Award  

(Student Organization Award)

The Building Community Award recognizes a student organization who has worked to create a sense of belonging within their organization, campus community, etc. during this virtual environment. Despite all the challenges they have faced, they have continued to build community and thrive. 

A sense of belonging can be defined as, “In terms of college, sense of belonging refers to students' perceived social support on campus, a feeling or sensation of connectedness, and the experience of mattering or feeling cared about, accepted, respected, valued by, and important to the campus community or others on campus such as faculty staff and peers”, (Strayhorn, 2019). 

 

Bobcats Leadership in Action Award (Student Organization Award)

(Student Organization Award)

This award recognizes a student organization that has placed a strong emphasis on and commitment to leadership development within their organization and encouraging campus involvement including, but not limited to actively participating in UC Merced department events, being involved in multiple student organizations, undergraduate research, etc. 

 

 


Additional Campus Leadership Awards

University Friends Circle Awards

The University Friends Circle is an organization of local community leaders engaged in the UC Merced community who support UC Merced students through initiatives and fundraising. They believe that students can be amazing leaders and collaborators in the community. Each year University Friends Circle Scholarship Committee awards individual students and UC Merced student organizations with scholarships to continue the great work they are doing in the community. This year, Patti Kishi, Co-Chair of the committee, will present the UFC Awards at the April 30th Awards Ceremony! 

 

The Carol Tomlinson-Keasey Award

The Carol Tomlinson-Keasey Award recognizes a student graduating during the 2021 year (undergraduate or graduate) whose influence, ideals and activities throughout their college career have left a lasting, positive impression on the institution and raises the standard of excellence for future generations. 

Criteria to Consider: 

  • This individual has engaged in activities throughout their entire college career, that has had what will be a lasting positive impact on the UC Merced community.  

  • This student has been involved in multiple ways in the UC Merced community 

  • This student must be graduating during the 2020-2021 academic year.  

 

The Most Outstanding Graduate Student Award

The Most Outstanding Graduate Student Award recognizes a graduate student who demonstrated exceptional leadership skills in the past academic year.  This individual has engaged in specific actions & practices that demonstrated exceptional leadership skills this past academic year.  This individual made a clear positive impact on UC Merced and/or the UC Merced community through their actions. This individual has also led others to engage in teamwork to engage others in our community.   

Criteria to Consider: 

  • This student has been proactively involved in the UC Merced community.  

  • This student has demonstrated leadership that has made an impact among their fellow graduate students.

  • This student must be enrolled as a graduate student during the 2020-2021 academic year 

 

The Steve and Mia Kang Leadership for Social Change Prize

This award honors Steve and Mia Kang’s commitment to UC Merced students and inspire current students to strive to become change agents in society and continue to lead by example. The prize will be awarded annually to an outstanding student who has distinguished themselves by their demonstrated leadership in social change either on the campus or in the community.  

Criteria to Consider: 

  • This individual has engaged in leadership throughout their time at UC Merced. 

  • This student has been involved in multiple ways in the UC Merced community.  

  • This student has been involved in specific work that has made a social impact at UC Merced and beyond.  

  • This student can be described as a change agent (please explain why).