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Every month, the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement honors a student leader who has made positive contributions to The University of Tampa. The Bob Ruday Student Leader of the Month exemplifies leadership traits, goes above and beyond to contribute to the UT community. The recipients serve as a role model to other students and display a high sense of personal responsibility and morals. Students, faculty, staff and off-campus contacts are encouraged to nominate a student for this award. Self-nominations are also accepted.

If you have a student in mind that fits this description, please nominate them. Forms must be submitted by the last Friday of each month. One recipient will be chosen each month and will receive an award certificate, $150, and UT swag.

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2021-2022 Recipients

Madigan Smith - November

  • Student Coordinator for Marketing, Office of Student Leadership and Engagement
  • Data Analytics Club, Member
  • PEACE Volunteer
  • American Marketing Association, Member
  • Vice President of Marketing and Public Relationships, Alpha Chi Omega
  • ELITE Leadership Program, 2018 Participant
  • In this past month alone, there are numerous examples of how Madigan has contributed to this community. Madigan volunteered her day on a Friday at the beginning of the month. She helped facilitate and participate in two weeks of sorority recruitment for Fall 2021. This includes volunteering her time to set up, break down and do tabling on her own time. Not to mention, Madigan has consistently worked throughout the entirety of the month while also keeping up with her school work.
  • Even with everything she also manages to be a leader by being a friend to multiple women, including me (nominator), during this past month. At the end of the day, a real leader is someone you can always count on and will be there for you, which is Madigan.
  • Madigan is an extremely good role model for students all throughout UT's campus. She is highly involved, keeps her GPA high and always kind and outgoing to others. When students see her on school, they will catch her either working, studying or promoting her sorority in a positive way. A role model is someone you know will always be practicing being her best self and Madigan is this person. 
  • Madigan is definitely an excellent example of a leader on our campus and an award will not change this but will offer her the knowledge to know her good morale does not go unseen.

Emily Payne – October

  • President Leadership Fellows, Student Coordinator
  • Center for Public Speaking, Advanced Speech Tutor
  • Student Engagement Assistant,Office of Student Leadership and Engagement, Summer 2020
  • Phi Kappa Phi, Member
  • Phi Alpha Delta, Member
  • Autism Awareness Shop: Thrift Store and Vocational Training, Volunteer
  • Emily is heavily involved on campus and consistently contributes to OSLE as well as the campus community. Currently, she is helping an attorney start her own practice in Dade City and she is very dedicated to her pre-law studies and to create a more socially just world.
  • Emily is simply outstanding! Since she is now spending much of her time on this new law practice, she has transitioned some of her roles on campus to other students. During this transition, I have really seen Emily shine as a dependable leader. Emily has demonstrated how much she cares this month. In order to ensure a smooth transition, she has dedicated her time to passing on the torch and training our new student coordinators. She has also remained an active member in the speech center, empowering other students to take on her role, and continuing to provide excellent services.
  • Emily is dependable and action-oriented. She is also mature beyond her years. Not only have I observed her taking initiative to make the President's Leadership Fellows program stronger, I know she has done the same to all the areas at UT. Emily is trustworthy, insightful, and caring. Her attention to detail, dedication, and leadership is inspirational!

Valeria Perez – September

  • Student Coordinator for Sustained Dialogue, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Student Government Chair of Diversity
  • Office Assistant for Residence Life
  • Valeria has been an upstanding leader joining Sustained Dialogue as a transfer student last year. She immediately got involved with the executive board and helped the organization become more organized. She became a phenomenal Moderator.
  • She helped develop SSD and also has connected with Student government and other unity groups to create a collaborative environment surrounding Diversity and Inclusion programming. She has also reached out to Success Scholars for collaborative programs as well.
  • She was the leading force behind the majority of our programs this semester. She really helped organize her peers last school year when she joined. She enjoys building relationships.
  • Valeria has helped the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement do a number of programs with groups like Campus Crowns, BSU, Student Government, Sigma Lambda Gamma, etc. She continues to try to carve out a space for unseen students on campus.
  • She functions as a values-based leader. Everything she does she gives it her all because she wants the organization to succeed. She does not compromise on her personal beliefs. While she has learned to communicate through sustained dialogue with people who have differing beliefs, she doesn't compromise herself and the quality work she tries to bring to every endeavor that is put out.
  • Valeria is honest in an unwavering fashion. She hopes that everyone is engaging with her in an honest way. She is genuinely disappointed when others are not. She is dependable. If she gives you her word she will get things done. She shows up for herself and others.