News & Announcements

47th Annual Student Affairs Awards

Division recognizes student champions for 2019-20​​​​​​​

Cleveland State University’s Division of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs has announced their annual student champion and leadership awards. These honors highlight the tremendous efforts undertaken by our student community to promote a safe and prosperous campus for all. The winners are:


Award Name: CARE Student Champion

Award Description: The CARE Student Champion Award is given to a student who provides support to CSU students, is an incredible advocate, goes above and beyond to connect students to resources, and demonstrates a self-less commitment to providing CARE.

Award Recipient: Noah Marsh is a graduate student in Social Work, graduating May 2020. He was selected for recognition because even when his program adapted his required hours, he wanted to stay working with CARE. He no longer ‘needed’ his hours to graduate but did not want to leave his students without support, wanted to continue collaborating with other members of CARE, and volunteered to keep meeting with students without getting course credit. He’s an incredibly selfless other-centered person who pushes himself to do whatever he reasonably can for students assigned to his caseload. He has worked with CARE since Fall 2019 and has been flexible with a great deal of transition including switching supervisors, moving to remote CARE, and finishing his MSW. He is from Fairview Park, Ohio and has a Bachelor of Social Work, also from CSU.

Health and Wellness Services

Award Name: Peer Education Leadership Award

Award Description: The Peer Education Leadership Award is given to a student or students who not only personify the characteristics, integrity and passion of a Peer Educator but commits to leading their team members on a journey of positive, productive campus culture change that focuses on health and safety issues.

Award Recipients:

Anil Lalwani, Doctoral Candidate, Adult, Continuing and Higher Education, 2020

Joanne Wazni, Biology, Pre Med, Spring 2020

Amjad Alqahtani, Health Sciences, Spring 2020

Lift Up Vikes! Resource Center & Food Pantry

Award Name: The Lift Up the Mission Award

Award Recipient: Samantha Sternad, who just finished her senior year, has worked at Lift Up Vikes! Resource Center & Food Pantry her entire four years as an undergraduate. She started at Lift Up Vikes! when it was just a few years old and has been a VERY valuable member of the team as the Center grew and changed. She knows operations forward and backward and has stepped-up to help time and again when we needed her to go above and beyond her normal duties. Sam's commitment to the mission of providing food and other basic resources to students in a convenient and dignified manner is a testament to her character. She's amazing!

LGBTQ+ Student Services

Award Name: LGBTQ+ Service Award

Award Description: The LGBTQ+ Service Award is given to a student who is a role model within the community, is dedicated to supporting CSU students, promotes inclusiveness, and demonstrates a commitment to advocacy and the work of fostering community.

Award Recipient: Sam Motes is an employee in the LGBTQ+ Student Services office and is a trusted friend and “go-to” support for her peers, both on and off the clock. Sam provides support to students by being an empathetic non-judgmental listener, and by creating and maintaining safe spaces on campus. Sam serves on a ‘campus climate’ committee alongside other student leaders and Student Affairs staff and leads the Queer Student Alliance (QSA) student organization, serving as president since January 2019. Sam will be graduating in December 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies.

Residence Life

Award Name: Resident Assistant (RA) Of the Year

Award Recipient: Taylor McCarthy was nominated by his peers for putting residents first, having creative and helpful ideas, and for spreading kindness to everyone around them. She is “outstandingly polite” to everyone and she works hard to create new ideas for her residents. She consistently checks in with other student employees to see if they need anything, and she is always willing to lend a helping hand. The Department of Residence Life is proud to present Taylor McCarthy as our RA of The Year.

Award Name: Community Desk Assistant (CDA) of the Year

Award Recipient: Sean Riehl has worked for CSU Residence Life for many years. His hard work and dedication to his role were recognized by both his peers and professional staff. This individual was nominated by their peers. Sean worked to advocate on behalf of his coworkers' concerns regarding some processes in his role and offered ideas and solutions on how to improve the desk. Despite having some staffing turn over, this individual remained a helpful support to his peers and professional staff. He is willing to help pick up shifts, train new CDAs, and offer wisdom to those who may need it. We are appreciative of all his hard work and passion for the role, and the Department of Residence Life is pleased to honor Sean Riehl as our CDA of the Year.

TRIO/ Student Support Services

Award Name: TRIO Exemplary Student Award

Award Description: The TRIO Exemplary Student Award is given in recognition of outstanding academic achievement and exemplary service and commitment to the TRIO Student Support Services Program. The Exemplary Student Award is to be given to an individual who exhibits scholarship in academic endeavors (above 3.0 GPA), leadership in campus activities and organizations, a history of community service, and service to the University.

Award Recipient: Claire Gaglione is an impressive young woman.  A senior majoring in Psychology with career aspirations of becoming a Forensic Psychologist, Claire has exhibited a wonderful personality and “go get it” attitude which is truly impressive.  Having excelled in the classroom with a 3.79 GPA and involved in so many clubs and organizations on campus, it’s been a pleasure in watching her max out her experience on-campus at Cleveland State and abroad.  I mentioned in a recommendation letter I recently wrote for Claire that it’s her belief in wanting to help others which really shines through.  In fact, her desire to become a social activist and help to revise and reshape prison reform is a platform which will guide her humanitarian efforts moving forward in graduate school and into her career pathway for the foreseeable future.  Her likeability, spontaneity, leadership and willingness to assist students and staff in and outside of TRIO is so welcoming.  Several times Claire has been asked to present or help another student last minute and she has taken up the charge EVERY SINGLE TIME.  You cannot ask much more from a student who already has so much on her plate to begin with.  She can make you think critically and laugh all at the same time, which is refreshing in a mentor/mentee relationship.

Award Name: TRIO Scholastic Achievement Award

Award Description: TRIO Scholastic Achievement Award is given to a Junior TRIO/Student Support Services Student with the highest cumulative GPA in his or her class and is recognized for his or her outstanding academic achievement and commitment to excellence.

Award Recipients:

Austin Lawrence is a Philosophy major with a minor in English at Cleveland State University. He expects to graduate in May '21. In Spring of 2019 his paper that dissected the form of Robert Lowell's poetry was selected for the Plain Dealer Excellence in Writing Award. He spent the summer of 2019 working with local non-profit Literary Cleveland aiding the organization in preparing and hosting the Cleveland Inkubator; a full day of free activities at the Cleveland Public Library for the local writing community. As a result of his efforts, he was able to secure a permanent position at Literary Cleveland as a Communications Associate. Currently, he is working on publishing an academic philosophy paper that focuses on the experience of the self and the problem of continued identity. After graduation, Austin's intent is to attend graduate school for Philosophy, ultimately pursuing a PhD.

Sandra Haswani has been a dedicated TRIO student since she started Cleveland State University. Over the years, she has even been a TRIO tutor, helping her fellow TRIO students understand various courses, while balancing her own course load and studying for the MCAT. She has carried out a REEL project involving the roles of H3V in Trypanosoma brucei under the guidance of Dr. O’Connor on detecting the presence of Acenaphthene and Benzo[a]pyrene in sparklers, as well as carried out research in summer 2018 in the BGES department under the guidance of Dr. Hee-sook Kim and Dr. Bibo Li. In addition, she presented her summer research poster at the CSU research day in Fall 2018. She presented her summer and REEL research poster in the research day of the College of Science and Health Professions in Spring 2019. She has attended the McNair National Conference for Undergraduate Research at University of Maryland in March 2018 and 2019. A few scholarships that she has been awarded include the Zonta Club of Cleveland Scholarship for Outstanding Achievement and Accomplishments and the MC Samuel Miller-CSU endowed scholarship for the year 2018/2019. Her current accomplishments include starting a new organization called The Golden-Z club at CSU and she has recently received the “McNair Scholar of the year award for year 2020”. After she graduates this Spring 2020 semester, her future plans include traveling to see family and she will be starting medical school at NEOMED in July 2020.

Isaac Aidja, a Biology major with 3.98 GPA, is an exceptional student and has been on the Dean’s list and the president’s list for 5 consecutive semesters. His passion for Biology and Chemistry is evident in his teaching and he is a highly sought-after tutor amongst our TRIO students. With an aspiration to become a family physician, he dedicates his drive and motivation to excel in college to his family, particularly, his oldest sister, who is in the medical profession.

Award Name: TRIO Spirit Award

Award Description: The TRIO/SSS Spirit Award is to be given to an individual who is in good academic standing and exhibits participation in TRIO/Student Support Services, involvement in all aspects of the TRIO program, including taking full advantage of the TRIO program, and tutoring and peer mentoring.

Award Recipients: Hannah Tackett is bound for greatness, and I realized that after just one advisor/advisee meeting. She walked in with a big smile, a well laid out four-year plan, and a list of questions; and to be honest she was more prepared for the meeting than I ever could have been. She was and continues to one of the most organized and goal-oriented people I had ever met. Not only is she utilizing her organizational skills and work ethic to excel in the classroom, but she also helping other students build upon their skillsets through her role as a TRIO success coach. Hannah has been an amazing asset to our TRIO team, often going above and beyond her responsibilities to help make sure that we are providing outstanding service and memorable experiences to the students that we serve.

Veteran & Military Resource Center 

Award Name: Student Veteran of the Year Award

Award Description: The Student Veteran of the Year is a current CSU student who is currently or has served in the United States Armed Forces and is now continuing their education at Cleveland State.  This student will have demonstrated the value of having veterans on our campus by consistently contributing to the classroom and greater campus community while holding a high academic standard. 

Award Recipient: Michael Steven Zitkewicz who is a US Army veteran and is still serving in the National Guard. Michael is a student in the Mandel Honors College at CSU pursuing a major in Health Science- Physician Assistant track (or Pre-Med). His current Cum GPA is 3.8, and he anticipates Spring 2021 graduation. Michael demonstrates the value that our Viking Vets bring to Cleveland State University campus.

KeyBank Scholars Program

Award Name: KeyBank Scholars Engaged Leader Award

Award Description: In recognition of the student’s outstanding commitment to education and engagement in the KeyBank Scholars Program, as well as demonstrated leadership while completing their degree at Cleveland State University.

Award Recipients: I am extremely proud to nominate Jasline Rosario for her exceptional character and leadership for the KeyBank Scholars Engaged Leader Award.  Beyond her participation in the KeyBank program, Jasline is the Founder and President of an on-campus group called “Her Temple”.  I participated in this group and was completely blown away by her maturity, ability to cultivate community, and desire to empower women. Furthermore, she recently has been elected as President for Cleveland State’s Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students (MAPS).

Abdullahi Mohamed is being nominated for the KeyBank Scholars Engaged Leader Award, as he has been engaged since he transferred to Cleveland State University. I was impressed with the student’s enthusiasm when he approached me on his first semester to ask for all the ways he could contribute to the program and help other transfer students transition to the University successfully, such as becoming a Peer Mentor in the future. Abdullahi has demonstrated his dedication by being an active member in the program, while working and holding his academic performance at a high standard.

Graduation Success Coaching

Award Name: Graduation Coaches Award of Excellence

Award Description: The Graduation Coaches Award of Excellence recognizes and celebrates outstanding students going above and beyond for their academic achievement and who have demonstrated exceptional character throughout their college journey.

Award Recipients: Ashley Callaway is deserving of this award because of her tenacious spirit to encourage fellow students to never lose sight of their goals. Ashley’s remarkable commitment to her studies and/or campus engagement is notable beyond measures. Ashley has always maintained a positive attitude and high performance level throughout her time here at CSU and as a result has inspired many students to pursue their goals in the same phenomenal way.

Malik Carpenter is deserving of this award for his true dedication to not only excel within his academics but to also encourage and assist his fellow students in the same achievements. Malik’s work ethic is noteworthy and unprecedented in addition to his enthusiasm to always share a smile to any and every one. Through the face of adversity, Malik has exemplified resiliency and cultivated notable character each step of the way.

Wolstein Center Event Services

Award Name: Event Services Students of the Year

Award Description: This award recognizes a student for achieving success and going above and beyond in the Event Services Division of the Wolstein Center. Students that have been recognized either by their supervisor, guests or doing exceptional work are all eligible for this award.

Award Recipients: Sierra Rivera started with us just after the semester started in the fall. She showed so much promise and dedication to learning and doing a great job that she was quickly noticed by the supervisor staff> In addition she received guest comment cards at almost every event she worked. Shortly after the end of the fall semester she was promoted to a student gate supervisor position. She was doing an excellent job and growing into a terrific supervisor. We look forward to her return to the Wolstein Center when we are able to continue our events and continuing to work with her and her student supervisor position.

Sarah Capri is going into her last semester at CSU and has received this recognition before but is deserving again. Sarah has been with us at the Wolstein Center since she was a freshman. Over the years Sarah has done such a great job that her jobs and responsibilities have expanded and grown. She was among the first students to get the opportunity to become an event service student supervisor. She has done such a good job in the program that we will continue to rotate students through giving them the opportunity to get real life supervisor experience and improving their resumes. Beyond that Sarah also assumed responsibilities in the office and assisting the Event Service Manager. Recently she has also been given the chance to do some work in the marketing division and as always performing terrifically.