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Leadership Awards Night Honors UT's Best

Published: April 09, 2008

Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio called on University of Tampa students to make a difference in the world when she addressed them at the 2008 Leadership Awards Night on April 8. Her keynote speech echoed a recurring theme of the presidential election.

“Sometimes we wonder if we can really bring about change in this world,” she said. “The story of our country is all about change.”

Iorio recounted the story of Fannie Lou Hamer, a prominent figurehead of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, whose lifetime of activism and resolve in the face of adversity made her a symbol of the era. She noted that Hamer was among many Civil Rights activists who were able to effect great change using what little gifts and opportunities were afforded to them. Iorio called on the student leaders in attendance to follow the same model.

“Go out and do something with those qualities,” she said. “You have before you the opportunity to do so much good in the world. Believe in yourself and your ability to make life better for others. With all the talents and gifts you have been blessed with, you can effect positive change in the world.”

The ceremony, which took place in the Vaughn Center’s Crescent Club, honored students, campus organizations and UT staff members who have made a distinguishing contribution to the UT community in the past year.

With more than 20 different awards issued to numerous students as well as faculty and staff, the ceremony highlighted the best among UT’s leaders and their commitment to volunteer service to the community.

Among the most prominent of the awards were the Spartan Awards, which were given to 10 UT seniors who have exemplified school spirit, set a high standard of academic achievement and have been student leaders of distinction.

Spartan Awards were given to:
Caroline Avery, Nicole Craig, Chris Janus, Alison Krause, Erika Hamel, Alison Mathe, Nicole Murphy, Katie Seamands, Nadya Tilluckdharry and Hillary Wild.

A collection of awards recognizing students who have been active in volunteer service projects throughout the year. These included the Marty Denoff Volunteer Service Award, given to students Rebecca Palmer and Raina Armbruster; the Student Volunteer of the Year Award, given to Byron Lee; and the Award for 100-plus hours of community service, given to Michael Runyon, Katrina Vidal, Tiffany Swanson, Rebecca Palmer and Raina Armbruster.

Other awards included:

  • Dr. J. Richard Piper Faculty/Staff Advisor of the Year Award – Dr. Jim Lee
  • Award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Life – Dr. Martha Serpas
  • Outstanding New Organization of the Year – Tampa Ad Council
  • Most Improved Organization – Delta Sigma Pi
  • Sorority of the Year – Alpha Chi Omega
  • Outstanding Small Organization of the Year – H.O.L.A. (Hispanic Organization for Latin Americans)
  • Outstanding Large Organization of the Year – PEACE Volunteer Center
  • Student Employee of the Year – Erin Gallagher
  • Outstanding First-Year Involvement – Bobby Winsler III
  • Greek Woman of the Year – Lindsay Brewer
  • Student Leader of the Year – Amber Rehman
  • Who’s Who Among Students – Christopher Brown, Alison Krause, Alison Mathe, and Tena West