Leadership Awards Recognize Contributions to Campus Life

May 4, 2012

Five students, a student organization and an advisor were lauded for their contributions to UT Dallas campus life at the recent annual Student Leadership Awards program.

The Student Leader of the Year award was presented to Amit Maheska, an information technology graduate student in the Naveen Jindal School of Management

Amit Maheska. Student of the Year 2012

Amit Maheska

Maheska is a member of Phi Kappa Phi national honor society, is on the Dean’s Council in the Jindal School of Management and is president of one of the University’s largest student groups, the Indian Student Association. Between classes and a fulltime internship, he has found time to work to improve the lives of the University’s nearly 3,000 international students.

“Amit has spent much of his time as president of the Indian Student Association providing assistance and encouragement for the entire Indian community at UT Dallas, from helping students land in America, to improving their experience while living here and ultimately to securing training in the United States,” one of his seven nominations read. “He is the most responsible and responsive advocate for international students that I have known.”

The 200 guests attending the awards ceremony, held at the Student Union, included UT Dallas President David E. Daniel and Richardson City Council member and UT Dallas grad student Amir Omar.

Daniel said it was important to celebrate student leaders and others who contribute to the University.

“Without them, our University couldn’t exist,” he said.

Annie Benjamin, assistant director of Student Leadership Programs at the University, said the awards recognize leaders and organizations that have made significant contributions.

“UT Dallas possesses an outstanding crop of talented and socially responsible student leaders, student organizations and advisors,” Benjamin said. “The focus of the awards is to recognize these amazing leaders of tomorrow, for their dedication and loyalty to making UT Dallas’ student life vibrant. It is truly an honor to showcase individuals who have contributed valuable time and effort to improving student life this academic year.”

The Dean of Students and the Student Leadership Programs office hosted the ceremony. A committee of Student Affairs staff members who reviewed written nominations to choose the honorees. Other winners included:

  • Patty Atchley Service to Student Life Award — Runchun Chen, graduate student, Jindal School of Management. The Service to Student Life award salutes students who go beyond the call of duty to improve the quality of student life.
  • Community Service Award — Alexandra Torres, senior, School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. The Community Service award recognizes the dedication a student has shown in giving back to the community.
  • Employee of Excellence Award — Kaitlen Clare, junior, School of Interdisciplinary Studies. The honor recognizes student employees who demonstrate leadership and professionalism.
  • Rising Star Award — Lina Asfoor, sophomore, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. This award recognizes freshmen and sophomores who have demonstrated outstanding leadership abilities.
  • Golden Comet Award — Gamma Sigma Sigma, national service sorority. This award recognizes student organizations that make a positive impact on the campus and surrounding community.
  • Advisor of the Year Award — Tiffanie Douglas, assistant director, Office of Student AccessAbilty. Douglas is an advisor to the UT Dallas chapter of Golden Key International Honor Society, as well as to the Delta Alpha Pi International Honor Society.

      Runchun Chen

Runchun Chen

Alexandra Torres

Alexandra Torres

Kaitlen Clare

Kaitlen Clare

Lina Asfoor

Lina Asfoor

Tiffanie Douglas

Tiffanie Douglas


Media Contact: Jenni Huffenberger, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2244, jennib@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu
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July 29, 2014