Pitzer College Announces Student Leadership and Student Voice Award Winners

Claremont, Calif. (April 21, 2017)—Pitzer College recognized students and student-led groups that embody the College’s core values at its second annual Student Leadership Awards on Wednesday, April 19. For each of Pitzer’s five core values—Social Responsibility, Intercultural Understanding, Interdisciplinary Learning, Student Engagement and Environmental Sustainability—one individual and one student-led organization were honored for their leadership and initiative. The Pitzer College Student Senate also presented their inaugural Student Voice Awards to students, faculty and staff who embody or encourage student leadership.

At the awards reception, Pitzer College President Melvin L. Oliver said that true leadership is never solely about an individual “it’s about how an individual relates to the community.”

“A great leader is collaborative, bringing the community together,” he said. “A great leader gives voice to others, making sure the voiceless are heard. And a great leader is a linker, bringing people together.”

Pitzer’s 2017 Student Leadership Award winners are:

For Environmental Sustainability

  • Gabe Elliott ’18, who has been instrumental in the success of the College’s composting program, which, so far this year, has transformed 13,000 pounds of the College’s food waste into compost
  • Robert Redford Conservancy Fellows, who promote and design Conservancy programs and demonstrate daily Pitzer’s commitment to sustainability, leading outreach efforts such as environmental justice tours and solar power installation events

For Intercultural Understanding

  • Nat Bentley ’18, who demonstrates his dedication and willingness to learn from, and about, other cultures in multiple ways, including taking a language class every year to be able to communicate with non-English speakers
  • Encuentros for advancing intercultural understanding and bilingualism by holding weekly Friday luncheons with students, faculty and day laborers at the McConnell Dining Hall, and for supporting undocumented students and families

For Interdisciplinary Learning

  • Kimberly Ha ’18, who founded the First-Gen Club and has worked to ensure that the issues facing first-generation college students on campus are recognized and addressed
  • Pitzer College Student Senate, for bringing students’ varied fields of study and interests into an administrative setting to make a real difference on campus

For Social Responsibility

  • Josue Pasillas ’17, who is Student Senate president, for working tirelessly with all sectors of the campus community to strive for the common good, including bringing together affinity groups across campus and the 5Cs and spearheading efforts to make Claremont a sanctuary city
  • Pitzer Activities (PAct), for arranging a wide array of activities and events, giving students the chance to explore cultural opportunities that are compatible with Pitzer’s educational objectives

For Student Engagement

  • Nick Flores ’17, a New Resources student who mentors others in the New Resources program, making every effort to ensure his fellow students feel welcome and at home on campus
  • Student Senate Diversity Committee Representatives for proactively reaching out to community members to learn how best to support students, creating an ongoing list of issues to address and working tirelessly toward solutions

The Pitzer College Senate Student Voice Award winners are:

The 2017 Legacy Award
Presented to a graduating student who has served on the Student Senate and whose influence, ideals and activities have left a lasting and positive impression on Pitzer College.

Chance Kawar ’17, who has served on the Student Senate for seven semesters, most recently as the senior class president, and is co-chair of Pitzer Activities (PAct) and a founding member of the Middle Eastern Student Association

The 2017 Campus Impact Award
Presented to a graduating student who has exhibited outstanding leadership and vision to make a difference in the lives of the students of Pitzer College.
Nick Flores ’17, a New Resources student who is a member of PAct and the Student Senate Judicial Council, and has mentored others while volunteering on myriad projects, including renovating the New Resources Lounge

Sachi Watase ’17, who helped establish and lead Pitzer Advocates for Survivors of Sexual Assault and Mixed Identity Exchange and also works for the Center for Asian Pacific American Students and coaches the 5C Roller Derby team, which she co-founded

The 2017 Student Organization of the Year
Presented to a student organization that has demonstrated excellence in the areas of community and civic engagement, collaboration, diversity and inclusion, and leadership development at Pitzer College.
First-Gen Club for creating an open, inclusive and safe space on Pitzer’s campus for students who identify as the first in their family to attend college

The 2017 Staff Member of the of the Year

Presented to a staff member or office of Pitzer College that has worked closely with the Student Senate, displayed genuine support and regard for the student voice, and has had an extraordinary impact on student life.
Pitzer College Office of Communications for promoting Pitzer as an exceptional institution of higher learning and supporting Student Senate and other student organizations

The 2017 Faculty Member of the Year
Presented to a faculty member of Pitzer College who has worked closely with the Student Senate, displayed genuine support and regard for the student voice, and has had an extraordinary impact on student life.
Professor of Anthropology Claudia Strauss, who serves as the faculty representative to the Student Senate, committing herself to weekly Sunday night meetings and sharing her perspective and insights as a cultural anthropologist who focuses on conflicting beliefs about domestic policy issues.

About Pitzer College

Pitzer College is a nationally top-ranked undergraduate liberal arts and sciences institution. A member of The Claremont Colleges, Pitzer offers a distinctive approach to a liberal arts education by linking intellectual inquiry with interdisciplinary studies, cultural immersion, social responsibility, and community involvement. For more information, please visit www.pitzer.edu.

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