Widener Celebrates the Impact of Campus Leaders during Challenging Year

Hilary Bentman, Assistant Director of Communications
Zoom call with 6 people visible at top and graphic slide of a red carpet
Phi Delta Theta was one of several organizations recognized at the virtual 2020 Student Leadership Awards.

Each year, student leaders, faculty members, and staff make a tremendous impact on campus life, organizing vibrant programming and opportunities for students to forge meaningful connections.

But this year, their work went above and beyond as Widener pivoted to virtual learning in the spring semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Practically overnight, programming was revamped to keep people connected and engaged even if they were apart. Through it all, these leaders found innovative and creative ways to make it work.

The Office of Student Engagement recognized these efforts – from the work of individual students, faculty and staff, to the collective work of clubs and organizations – at a virtual Student Leadership Awards ceremony. 

“Our recipients this year represent only a small fraction of the engaged community that has emerged through our temporary stay-at-home circumstances,” said Austin Duckett, assistant dean of students. “We’ve seen a renewed sense of belonging and stronger tie into what it means to be a part of the Pride.”

This year’s honorees include:

Student Leader(s) of the Year Award: Elisa McCann and Priscilla Adenugba

Organization of the Year Award: Pride Activities Council

Andrew A. Bushko Advisor of the Year Award*: Phillip Gatling, Jr., director of Fraternity & Sorority Life

Clarence R. Moll Professor of the Year Award*: Dr. Krishna Bhat, associate professor of biochemistry/chemistry

Student Engagement Fellowship Award: Rhonda Bates, assistant director of Student Success & Retention

Emerging Student Leader Award: Noah Smeriglio

The Unsung Hero Award: Ryan Matsumoto

Fraternal Values Award: Phi Delta Theta Fraternity

Emerging Sorority Woman Award: Charity Williams, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Emerging Fraternity Man Award: Aidan Looby, Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity

Expanding Perspectives Award: Drag Show (Pride Activities Council and Sexuality and Gender Alliance)

Best Small Club Award: Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

Most Improved Organization: Commuter Student Association

Ryan T. Wiley “Pride” Award*: Michaela Kolenkeiwcz

Outstanding Fraternity Man Award: Robert Erianne, Phi Delta Theta Fraternity

Outstanding Sorority Woman Award: Hannah Kolmetzky, Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority

John Zackowski Chapter Leadership Award: Amanda Streimer, Sigma Sigma Sigma

The Donald M. Huntsinger Award**: Kayla DiMino

The Howard A. Wiley Memorial Award**: Isaiah Washington

Excellence in Advising Award: Phillip Gatling, Jr., director of Fraternity & Sorority Life

Student Program of the Year Award: Haunted Hallways, Fraternity & Sorority Life

Academic award winners from the graduate and undergraduate levels will be highlighted in a digital program that will be shared on the commencement hub on May 16. 

*Student Government Association Campus Impact Award 
**University Award


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