Celebrating outstanding service and leadership

Celebrating outstanding service and leadership

By Mike Piacentino

Celebrating outstanding service and leadership

By Mike Piacentino
Students, faculty, and staff were recognized for their impactful contributions to the University and local community with the annual Celebration of Involvement Awards

On Tuesday, nominees and recipients of the annual Celebration of Involvement Awards were announced in a day-long congratulatory social media campaign hosted by the Division of Student Affairs and the Butler Center for Service and Leadership.

The awards and scholarships are meant to recognize outstanding contributions in the areas of service and leadership from students, faculty, and staff across campus.

“This time-honored tradition allows us to both recognize and show our appreciation to the many individuals who contribute to the fabric of our great University,” said Patricia A. Whitely, senior vice president for student affairs. “I am especially impressed at the many ways that award nominees and recipients persevered and developed creative solutions to continue serving our community throughout the pandemic.”

Like so many traditional celebrations and gatherings, the annual in-person banquet was replaced with a digital day of acknowledgment and recognition that unfolded on the Butler Center’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. However, the shift to an online celebration provided a new form of public recognition for nominees and winners.

“It goes without saying that the pandemic has forced us to re-think how we celebrate and recognize the many wonderful accomplishments of our University community,” said Andrew Wiemer, director of the Butler Center for Service and Leadership. “But our day-long social media campaigns of the past two years have actually brought more visibility to the nominees and award recipients because the social media posts could be shared and commented on throughout the day.”

Many of the awards presented provide recipients with scholarships, which have been generously endowed by donors.

“Especially during this time, we are deeply appreciative of the continued support from the many families who care so deeply about student involvement as we do,” Whitely added. “We look forward to welcoming them back to campus for next year’s event.”

Awards and scholarships presented are listed below. Full descriptions of each award are available on the Butler Center’s website.

Edward T. Foote II Award for Excellence in Student Leadership

  • Dynesha Peterson

Vice President’s Award for Service 

  • Alessandra Maggioni
  • Godard Solomon II
  • Sierra Jensen

Magaly Santos Llaca Endowed Memorial Scholarship

  • Alejandra Curbelo-Paz

Ann S. Waldman Endowed Scholarship

  • Cassandra Michel

Sherwood Weiser Memorial Fund for Student Community Service

  • Ajirioghene Uzere
  • Greeshma Venigalla
  • Jordan Farrell
  • Nhadya Lawes

Vivian Berger Giller Impact Award

  • Tiyah Snell

Robert Bates Cole Award for Volunteer Leadership

  • Sydney Stropes

UM Civic Scholar 

  • Albany Muria
  • Danae Lally
  • Diane Stephen
  • Rebecca Swan
  • Reece Haire
  • Torrey Mahall

Newman Civic Fellows Award

  • Ian Malesiewski

Iron Arrow Honor Society Sophomore Leadership Award

  • Fabrizio Darby

Graduate Award for Excellence in Student Leadership

  • Melanie Plastini, Ph.D. candidate at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Excellence in Civic Engagement Award

  • Xavier Cortada, professor of practice at the University of Miami Department of Art and Art History