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'Red Carpet' Event Honors Exceptional Leadership

May 1, 2018

At the 14th annual UC Merced Leadership Awards, undergraduate and graduate students, faculty advisors and student organizations were celebrated Hollywood style — complete with cameras, lights and a “red carpet” entrance — for their service to the campus community and beyond.

“Those receiving awards and those nominated have pulled out all the stops in their leadership endeavors,” Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Charles Nies said at the event sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs on April 28. “They have contributed to our campus community through efforts that are red carpet and black tie worthy.

“We hope to elevate the understanding of leadership that moves beyond position, that moves beyond status quo, and that is inclusive of the role that race, culture and identity play, partnered with the skills, talents and generosity of leadership exemplified by all of you in this room.”

The final honor of the afternoon, the Carol Tomlinson-Keasey Award, was presented to Mechanical Engineering doctoral student Soheil Fatehiboroujeni who graduates in May. The award recognizes the “most outstanding graduating student” chosen from the nominees of the Legacy Award.

“Soheil has been honored with several awards recognizing his research scholarship, pedagogical skills and service to the Central Valley community,” Nies said. “He has set an excellent precedent and motivating example for other students with his academic excellence, genuine aspirations, compassionate behavior and service attitude.”

The 2018 Leadership Awards recipients are:

  • Outstanding Advisor Award: Frederick Wolf
  • Inspirational Bobcat Award: Katarina Baltazar
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Award: Anley Tefera
  • Outstanding New Student Organization: Solar Energy Association
  • Cobi Jones Sport Club Male Athlete of the Year Award: Angel Snavely
  • Sport Clubs Female Athlete of the Year Award: Amalia Seibel
  • Organization President of the Year: Kinsey Brock
  • Social Justice Leadership Award: Nataly Melendez, Violet Barton, Mauricio Trejo
  • Fraternity and Sorority Council Chapter of the Year: Kappa Sigma
  • Professional Fraternity Council Chapter of the Year: Phi Alpha Delta
  • Outstanding New Member of the Year: Kaitlyn Aldaz
  • Outstanding Member of the Year: Eric Lebish
  • Unniversity Friends Circle Community Service Organization: RadioBio
  • Student Engagement Champion Award: Rolf Johansson and Jason Sexton
  • Margo F. Souza San Joaquin Valley Mentor of the Year Award: Derek Sollberger
  • Distinguished Leader Award: Kamyar Nekoui, Alison Luna, Nia Jones and Brenda Yu
  • Program of the Year: “Vagina Monologues” by VOICES
  • Student Organization of the Year: Hermanos Unidos
  • Contribution to Student Affairs Award: Kiabeth Landa, Anthony Miller, Selasie De-Souza, Alejandro Llamas and Faustina Barnard
  • Legacy Award: Sabah Ul-Hasan
  • Carol Tomlinson-Keasey Award: Soheil Fatehiboroujeni

Award winners also received recognition certificates from U.S. Congressman Jim Costa, U.S. Sens. Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein, State Sen. Anthony Cannella and State Assemblyman Adam Gray.

Brenda Ortiz

Senior Public Information Representative

Office: (209) 228-4203

Mobile: (209) 628-8263

bortiz@ucmerced.edu