Mississippi State honors student, staff and organizational success at second annual Student Choice Awards

Contact: Landon Gibson

Students are pictured holding awards on stage
Student Choice Award recipients are pictured, left to right, include Angella Osinde, a senior art major from Starkville; Aubrey Diefenthal, a sophomore human development and family science major from Franklin, Tennessee; Sean Nolen, a senior kinesiology major from Mount Pleasant, South Carolina accepting for Ben Shannon (not pictured); Morgan Gray, a senior history major from Starkville; Santee Ezell, assistant director in the health promotion and wellness department; and Sophie Calderon, senior communication major of Meridian. (Photo by Katie Corban)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State is celebrating the second annual Student Choice Awards recipients announced during a recent campus ceremony. The awards recognize the university’s students and student organizations committed to demonstrating excellence on and off campus.

The event, emceed by junior international business major Kaia Starks of Olive Branch and senior communication major Metri Lyons of Bay Saint Louis, showcased student organizations’ milestones over the year and featured performances from the Terpsichore Dance Company, National Pan-Hellenic Council, TreBullDawgs a cappella group, Fashion Board and junior accounting major Wesley Thomas of Michigan City as rapper Millenial.

Vice President for Student Affairs Regina Hyatt praised MSU students and student groups for acknowledging the past year’s adverse circumstances while remaining resilient in facing difficulties.

“Our student organizations really stepped up to the challenges this year as they pivoted to virtual events, held their meetings and continued to function,” said Hyatt. “Then, they managed to do things in-person where they could make it work. Those opportunities are so critical because we know students need opportunities to engage. Our organizations always fill that gap, but they especially filled it this year when we didn’t get to have as many large, traditional events.”

Sophie Calderon, a senior communication major from Meridian, received the award for Outstanding Photographer of the Year and credited campus organizations for helping her stay focused.

“Student organizations have given me opportunities to make connections personally and professionally,” she said. “Receiving this award makes all the late-night brainstorming worthwhile and inspires me to continue my craft.”

In addition to Calderon, the winners in each category are:

—New Maroon Camp, Sponsored Student Organization of the Year.

—Pre-Dental Society, Registered Student Organization of the Year.

—Hands & Feet at MSU, New Student Organization of the Year.

—Oak Hall, Outstanding Residence Hall of the Year.

—Drive-In Movie: “The Joker” (Student Association), Outstanding Event of the Year.

—Virtual Pure Barre Class (Chi Omega, Delta Gamma), Excellence in Collaboration.

—Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Lambda Eta Chapter, National Pan-Hellenic Council Greek Organization of the Year.

—Delta Gamma, Delta Lambda Chapter, National Panhellenic Conference Greek Organization of the Year.

—Sigma Chi, Gamma Upsilon Chapter, Interfraternity Council Greek Organization of the Year.

—Delta Xi Phi, Gamma Chapter, Multicultural Greek Council Greek Organization of the Year.

—Interview Workshop, Delta Gamma, Membership Development Program of the Year.

—Freshman Forum Undecided Conference (Student Association), Professional Development Program of the Year.

—Dance Marathon, Social Awareness Program of the Year.

—Colvard Student Union staff, Heart of Maroon and White Award.

—Morgan Gray (I.D.E.A.L. Woman), President of the Year, senior history major from Starkville.

—Aubrey Diefenthal, No Title Needed Award, sophomore human development and family science major from Franklin, Tennessee.

—Arec Wesley, Rising Leader Award, freshman building construction science major from Saraland, Alabama.

—Ben Shannon, Outstanding Videographer of the Year, junior communication major from Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

—Angella Osinde, Excellence in Graphic Design, senior art/graphic design major from Starkville.

—Santee Ezell, Advisor of the Year, assistant director in the health promotion and wellness department.

—Riley Vergara-Cruz, Bulldog Legacy Award, an intermittent worker in the Colvard Student Union’s Center for Student Activities.

For more information on MSU Student Activities, visit www.union.msstate.edu/student-activities.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021 - 11:01 am