Student Life has established leadership opportunities for those students who excel in academic and co-curricular achievements. Faculty and students participate in the nominating process for these opportunities.

  • Leadership Awards Banquet 2014


    The Student Leadership Awards was held on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 in E Lounge.  This program is designed to highlight the achievements, of Student Life recognized Clubs and Organizations, as well as the staff, faculty, and administrators who support them.  The event, hosted by Dr. Rupert Evans, drew an audience of over 125 people who walked the red carpet into the lavishly decorated plated dinner in E Lounge.  Remarks from GSU President, Dr. Elaine Maimon, and Provost, Dr Deborah Bordelon celebrated the students’ many accomplishments, and reminded them of the impact that their clubs make on the university.  Nearly 100 nominations were received in the 11 categories offered.

     We are happy to announce the winners below:

    The Rising Star Award, presented to a student in their first year of service to a club, organization, or program. This student has demonstrated a level of service and leadership that enhances the student experience at GSU. The recipient of The Rising Star Award was Manar Jabar. She is the program assistant for the Student Enrichment Program, as well as a member of the International Culture Organization. 

    The Outstanding Support Staff Award was given to a full-time or part-time, administrative support staff member for the 2013-2014 academic year at GSU. Displayed outstanding service to a student organization.  This award was won by Latonia Richmond, Advisor to the Criminal Justice Student Society. 

    The Program of the Year Award recognizes the activity, event, or program that best exposed students to various opportunities to learn more about themselves and others, promote a sense of campus community, and leadership. This year the It Can Wait Campaign was the winner.  Sponsored by the Student Healthcare Management Association the program was led by students Archana Liggins and Yvette McWhoter, in conjunction with AT&T.  Over 300 students took the pledge to stop texting while driving. This wonderful event brought key public officials: State senators, representative, local mayors, chiefs of police and fire, together along with GSU President, Provost, and students to learn about the dangers of texting while driving. A table top simulator and other devices helped to demonstrate the dangers

    The Male Athlete of the Year is a skillful athlete and dedicated player of a recognized club sport at GSU. This year Penn Lin, from the Table Tennis team was the recipient.

    The Female Athlete of the Year is a skillful athlete and dedicated player of a recognized club sport at GSU.  This award went to Sarah Wicklin, GSU Volleyball player.

    The Club Sport of the Year is  a recognized club sport, that has shown outstanding effort in competition, team management, sportsmanship, and in academics. The GSU Volleyball Club took home this award.


    The Outstanding Student Club/Organization Advisor is an outstanding administrative staff or faculty member currently serving as an advisor or co-advisor for the 2013-2014 academic year. The recipient has displayed outstanding service and dedication to the club or organization and student development at GSU.  Stephen Hyzny, Advisor of the Computer Science Club was given this award.


    The New Student Organization of the Year is The Masters of Public Administration Club (MPAC).  Their mission is to prepare students to serve as public managers in both the public and private sectors. This objective is accomplished by providing students with an opportunity to meet high profile public servants through our lecture series, networking with MPA graduates and local elected and appointed officials, fundraising and research opportunities. MPAC also offers extra-curricular social activities to keep students connected to GSU. Susan Gaffney, Advisor

    Arriahn Tucker won the Outstanding Graduate Student award.   She was selected for her displayed leadership qualities and dedication to co-curricular activities throughout their academic career. Arriahn has gone “above and beyond the call of duty” in improving campus life at GSU, and being a role model for her fellow students.

    Ricca Louissaint was award the Outstanding Undergraduate Student award. Ricca is a demonstrated leader, and focused individual.  She is involved with Student Senate, The Psychology Club, and undergraduate research.  Ricca was also selected as GSU’s Lincoln Laureate 2014. 

    The International Culture Organization was awarded Outstanding Student Organization of the Year.  ICO is a student organization that welcomes international and domestic students at GSU to interact and connect with students from a variety of backgrounds, learn more about cultures around the world, provide with opportunities to promote global awareness and get involved within GSU community. The club was founded in 2012, and has already hosted a number of cultural events on and off campus. Katherine Haan, Advisor

    The Student Leadership Awards is an annual program of the Student Life office.  The event is held annually each Spring semester.  Winners are selected, by committee, and based on nominations submitted. For more information on this and other student centered programs visit your Student Life office located in A-2100.

  • Commencement Speaker


    GSU selects a commencement speaker based upon academic prowess and faculty recommendation of students' educational journeys. The commencement speaker is required to present to the commencement committee once nominated and be prepared to deliver a commencement address.

  • Lincoln Laureate


     Lincoln Laureate BannerEach fall, an outstanding senior from each of the degree-granting institutions of higher learning in Illinois is awarded the Student Lincoln Academy Medallion and thereby becomes a Student Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Student Laureates are honored for their overall excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities.

    The Lincoln Laureate honor individuals whose contributions to the betterment of mankind have been accomplished in or on behalf of the State of Illinois, or, whose achievements have brought honor to the state because of their identity with it, whether by birth or residence, or by their dedication to those principles of democracy and humanity as exemplified by the great Illinoisan whose name it bears. It is to honor senior students at each of the four-year, degree-granting institutions in Illinois for overall excellence, in both curricular and extra-curricular programs.

    Applications for the Lincoln Laureate nomination can be retrieved at and are due Friday, October 3, 2014. Please note, a complete application must include a letter of recommendation from a faculty member. For additional information contact


  • 2013 Lincoln Laureate Award Recipient


    Ricca Louissaint

    Ricca Louissaint has been selected as the 2013 Governors State University Student Lincoln Laureate award recipient.

    Drs. Terri Christiansen, Randi Schneider and Aurelio Valente nominated Ricca and showcased her outstanding academic credentials and her spirit of civic engagement. Ricca demonstrates an impressive resume of academic accomplishments as well as work in humanities and volunteerism. We at GSU are proud to be represented by such an impressive individual who is passionate about empowering people through community involvement.

    It is with great pride that Riccca will represent GSU at the Thirty-Ninth Annual Student Lincoln Laureate Award Ceremony in Springfield, Illinois. Governor Pat Quinn, President of the Academy, has been invited to present the awards.