The annual Paul Magnuson Student Leadership and Service Awards were presented to recipients on Sunday, May 4 as part of the College’s 2014 Night of Distinction. Established in 1991, and annually supported by the Hon. Paul Magnuson ’59, chief judge of the U.S. Federal District Court in St. Paul and former trustee of the College (1986-1993), the awards recognize the significant contributions that individual students and student groups make to campus life.
Each year, outstanding students, organizations, and events are nominated by fellow students, faculty, administrators, and staff for recognition. A selection committee assembled by the Dean of Students reviews nominations and determines honorees in three categories: individual student leaders, campus organizations, and student-initiated events.
Student Leaders, 2013-14
Torey D. Asao ’14 – A biology major from Chaska, Minn., Torey was a captain for the football team and was selected to the 2013 Capital One Academic All-America second team. Along with his success on the field, Torey has been president of the Inter Greek Senate and an active member of Tau Psi Omega fraternity, Student-Athlete Volunteer Educators (SAVE), Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC), and Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). He has volunteered with Special Olympics and Study Buddies and served as one of two student representatives on the Presidential Search Committee this year.
Comfort G. Dolo ’14 – A communication studies and honors theatre double major from Fridley, Minn., Comfort has held significant campus leadership positions including co-chair of the Diversity Leadership Council, ensemble group coordinator of I Am We Are Social Justice Theatre Troupe, and the Culture and Diversity chair for the Campus Activities Board. She has also contributed time and talent to the Big Partner Little Partner program and Habitat for Humanity.
Rebecca J. Eastwood ’14 – A political science major from Decorah, Iowa, Becca has provided leadership for numerous social justice efforts on campus including serving as co-chair of the Diversity Leadership Council and co-chair of the Building Bridges Conference. She coordinates the workshop group of the I Am We Are Social Justice Theatre Troupe and was one of two student representatives on the Presidential Search Committee this year. Becca was recently awarded the Diversity Honors Award for Outstanding Service by the Office of Diversity Development and Multicultural Programs.
Anna S. McDevitt ’14 – A A political science major from Lakeville, Minn., McDevitt has impacted the Gustavus and St. Peter communities through leadership roles in the Servant Leadership Program, PowerShift, Gustavus Divestment Initiative, and the Gustavus Greens. McDevitt led a trip this spring to Washington, D.C., with a group of Gustavus students to show opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline. She is a member of the track and field team and was awarded the 2014 President’s Award for Student Leadership from Minnesota Campus Compact.
Brooke A. Meyer ’14 – A psychological science and biology double major from Watkins, Minn., Brooke currently serves as a co-president for the campus Habitat for Humanity Chapter. For the last four years, Brooke has organized and overseen the Alternative Break program providing leadership to more than 100 volunteers a year. This academic year, Brooke has taken her skills and leadership to new heights, serving the CSL staff and campus community with support for comprehensive impact assessments related to community-based learning.
Student Organizations, 2013-14
The Fourth Crown – With a tagline like “Your favorite college’s least unsatirical news source,” this social media publication, started by three Gusties this fall, has become a significant contribution to campus culture and student life. Its Facebook account has over 1,200 likes and its Twitter handle has 650 followers. Students have enjoyed and discussed stories with titles as varied as “Chaplain Siri Admits To Being Apple Developed Artificial Intelligence,” and “Confused Board of Trustees Irrevocably Repeals Indoor Smoking Ban.”
Student Events, 2013-14
Sophomore Showcase – The Sophomore Class Officers sponsored the Sophomore Showcase to a packed crowd in the CourtyardCafé in March. For more than an hour and a half, Gusties listened intently while talented members ofthe class of 2016 sang, played and recited to demonstrate the considerable talent of the sophomore class.Students continue to ask when the class officers are going to schedule the next one.
GACTALKS – The Campus Activities Board adapted the nationally renowned TED Talks model for Gustavus, withthe goal of providing Gusties with “Ideas that Inspire Action.” Twelve Gustavus students, faculty, andadministrators shared their life experiences, research, and developments that have impacted their lives. Theevent was live-streamed and over 80 people watched online with over 170 tickets sold to attend. Those inattendance were engaged and enlightened.
Women in Leadership Conference –The fourth annual conference, themed “Leadership for the Greater Good: How Talented Women Thrive,”was held at the American Swedish Institute in April. Two student coordinators worked tirelessly for the past year to increase attendance for the event from 120 people in 2013 to 230 this year, engage significantly more alunnae, students, parents and friends of the College in the planning phase, and invite the most impressive array of conference speakers and break-out session leaders in the history of the event.
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