Barry McNamara  |   Published April 28, 2020

Campus Leaders Honored for Serving Campus, Community

Students, faculty and staff who make a difference recognized at virtual Highlander Awards recognizes. Kasha Appleton ’20 named Student Leader of the Year.

  • Director of Multicultural Student Services Regina Johnson and Assistant Director of Leadership and Service Jake McLean welcome online viewers to the April 24 Highlander Awards.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – The Monmouth College family recently came together virtually to applaud students, faculty and staff who have made a difference on campus and in the community this school year.

A virtual Highlander Awards ceremony was held April 24 on the College’s main Facebook page to celebrate and congratulate Monmouth students, faculty and staff who went the extra mile to serve others. The annual event was sponsored by the College’s Wackerle Center for Career, Leadership & Fellowships and the Office of Intercultural Life

Kasha Appleton ?20 was named Student Leader of the Year. Kasha Appleton ’20 was named Student Leader of the Year.Kasha Appleton ’20 of Chicago earned the Student Leader of the Year Award, presented to a student who has contributed significantly to the leadership of their organization and whose campus participation has been outstanding.

She “has made it her mission to improve the student experience at Monmouth College,” said Monmouth President Clarence R. Wyatt of Appleton. “Her nominator wrote that ‘she is kind, compassionate, caring and genuinely wants to help others.’”

Appleton’s leadership was on display through her work with the Association for Student Activity Programming (ASAP) and the Wackerle Center.

Magdalynne Bruckner ’20 of Aurora, Ill., received the White and Crimson Leadership Award, which recognizes students who have taken extra strides to go beyond the call of duty to have an impact on the campus. Bruckner served two one-year terms as president of the Associated Students of Monmouth College, the College’s student governing body.

She “has certainly made a long-lasting impression on all of us, and especially our campus community,” said Associate Vice President of Student Life Karen Ogorzalek of Bruckner. “Her influence on campus over these last few years has been outstanding.”

Gabriela Madu ’23 of Montego Bay, Jamaica, received the Emerging Leader Award, which recognizes a student who has demonstrated significant potential for success through involvement in their community and has exemplified personal growth and exploration of the unfamiliar.

Abierre Minor ’21 of Chicago received the Intercultural Life Outstanding Student of the Year Award. Minor was praised for encouraging and helping others to “learn exemplary leadership and communication skills, not just by example, but through actively utilizing the skills of others for the betterment of all.”

Other students honored were:

Anna Brown ’20 – Peer Mentor of the Year Award;
Luna Noofoory ’20 of Damascus, Syria – Student Employee of the Year;
Chandler Claudé ’20 of Chicago and Terrence Best ’21 of Belleville, N.J. – Excellence in Student Leadership;
• and Chazzity Short ’20 of Chicago – Good Neighbor Award, presented to a student who develops relationships with their neighbors and strives to embody a commitment to giving back to society.

Assistant Director of Campus Events Ryan Doyle earned the Advisor Excellence Award for his role with ASAP; political science professor Andre Audette was named Outstanding Career Mentor; and Director of Multicultural Student Services Regina Johnson received the Monmouth Difference Maker Award.

“Working with Regina Johnson has been my most valued experience at Monmouth College,” said Minor. “She has always made me feel valued, heard and taken care of. … Students come to her when they want to be talked off the ledge, when they want guidance, when they want to be checked in with. She follows up with us and sends us messages to make sure that we’re doing OK.”

The College’s Rotoract organization received the Service Excellence Award, in part for its instrumental role in the College’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service; the Association for Student Activity Programming earned the Organization Excellence Award; International Club received the Intercultural Life Student Organization Award; and a presentation on mental wellness by Dr. Frank Clark ’02 received the Kaleidoscope Award for an “out of the box” creative program that improved the Monmouth community. The program was sponsored by the Office of Intercultural Life and the College’s Counseling Services.

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