The Rochester Center for Community Leadership (RCCL), an organization under the Office of the Dean of Students, is an on-campus student organization that aims to promote leadership among the Rochester community by publicizing leadership opportunities, educating about good leadership skills and supporting students who hold positions of power.

Each spring, RCCL recognizes various student leaders and organizations on campus for their positive contribution to the UR community.

Freshman Stephaun Ward recently accepted the Andrew Fried Prize, an award given to a first-year student who has proven himself to represent “outstanding qualities of character, superior moral judgment and interest in serving his fellow students.”

Ward’s involvement on campus includes his position as the Community Outreach Chair of the Black Students’ Union, Social and Communication Chair for the Minority Men’s Leadership Association  and CETL math tutor.

He has also recently assisted in planning the Black Women’s Appreciation Dinner.

Ward is a Mechanical Engineering major with future aspirations to specialize in raw materials. He’d like to eventually open  a non-profit organization that will focus on homeless outreach prevention by seeking biodegradable materials that may be recycled and used to build homes for homeless people.

“My ability to take on these leadership roles on campus and seek out help when I need it is what I believe deemed me to be a worthy candidate for the Andrew Fried Prize Award,” comments Ward. “I have the ability to do great things, and that inspires me.”

Another freshman, Adil Ali, recently received the Award for Freshman Leadership, which “recognizes an exceptional man or woman of the freshmen class who has motivated his or her fellow classmates to become actively involved in the campus community.”

Ali’s involvement on campus includes his participation in class council and GlobeMed. In the latter organization, he serves as the Co-Director of Community Building.

Ali also participates in Global Water Brigades, an international organization that seeks to provide accessible and clean water to countries which otherwise would have no means of obtaining it. He went to Honduras over winter break to work on a clean water extraction and implementation program.

Ali comments that time and energy restraints are major limiting factors for him, but that teamwork and a driven mindset are vital to making any kind of significant impact.

Upon reflection on his acceptance of the award, Ali comments, “I am so honored to get it. I felt very proud and accomplished. I dedicate it to my parents, because they taught me to continue to just accomplish as much as I can and go as far as I can to make an impact on behalf of a larger group.”

The Rob Rouzer Award for Excellence in Student Government Leadership was given to seniors Duncan Graham and Antoinette Esce because of their “immense integrity and perseverance in striving to improve student life and welfare.”

Graham’s recognition stems from his work as the Deputy Chief Justice, alongside Chief Justice and Senior Hanna Schwartzbaum, this past year for the All-Campus Judicial Council, as well as his role as a Justice on ACJC to serve on conduct hearings and academic honesty hearings.

Graham and Schwartzbaum, among many other things, worked closely to evaluate and advise a new group called the Student Advocates.

This organization, under the Center for Student Conflict Management, was and initiated by Take Five scholars Deanna Thompson, Jacob Bohannon and sophomore Scott Trufan and. It that works to provide student facilitators for students facing charges of misconduct.

Beyond ACJC, Graham’s involvement includes participation in Steering and Senate meetings through voting and verbal contributions, service to the Academic Honesty Committee and the Bylaws Committee and as a teaching assistant in the Economics Department.

Graham specifically mentions of his  and Schwartzbaum’s work to integrate the Council more fully into Student’s Association (SA) Government.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with this year’s leadership” Graham comments. “I’ve worked especially closely with Antoinette and Hanna, and I can’t speak highly enough of the work they both do. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone as sharp, industrious and organized as Antoinette, and Hanna’s leadership this year on the council has been phenomenal. She is truly a people-first person and always has a grounded, empathetic and insightful perspective to offer.

“Both are incredible leaders and wonderful people. I would add a further note of appreciation for Eudora Erickson and Lindsay Wrobel, who worked tirelessly this year to make Senate more organized, more efficient and more inclusive,” Graham added.

Co-recipient of The Rob Rouzer Award for Excellence in Student Government Leadership, Antoinette Esce,  has been honored for her involvement on campus as SA Government President, as well as through Class Council,  GlobeMed, Meridian Society, Alpha Kappa Psi and for her service as a TA.

“I was honored to receive this award and so thankful that the committee decided to recognize Duncan for his service as well,” Esce says.

“It has been a privilege serving in SA government these past three years, and this was a wonderful way to celebrate the end of my time here.”

Rachel Honard received the Award for Athletic Leadership for her outstanding leadership both on the field and around campus.

As a sophomore, Honard was a member of the Women’s Soccer Team, the vice president of Foundation for Delta Gamma sorority, a volunteer in Honduras for the Global Water Bridages, a Teaching Assistant for Biology 111, and a volunteer at the Wilmot Cancer Center through Friends of Strong.

As a junior, Honard became the president of Delta Gamma as well as a full time caregiver, and the following year, became one of the senior captains of the women’s soccer team.

She says that she places such high value on the award because it “recognizes that an athlete can thrive in more places than just on the field.”

“Most importantly,” Honard says, the award highlights “the continued support for the growth and personal development of athlete’s outside of their designated sports, which is pivotal for the long term success of the women in men who represent this school on the field.”

There were many other awards given, including the Delno Sisson Prize, awarded to freshman Magnifique Nsengimana and the Eli & Mildred Sokol Prize, awarded to sophomore Elizana-Marie Joseph.

All of the students and groups, not only those who received such awards, but also those who were nominated, deserve our thanks for helping to make our school a better place through their drive to further academic and social excellence.

Kaplan is a member of the class of 2018.

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