Campus Life honors Columbia College leaders

Banquet celebrates the people who made the academic year shine.

Each year, Columbia College's Campus Life department acknowledges the many campus leaders who shaped the academic year at its annual banquet: Community consultants, resident assistants, head residents, peer educators, club presidents and vice presidents and club advisors.

Campus Life also presented awards for faculty member, club or organization and advisor of the year; and the Rogers Gate Award, the highest honor awarded.
Here are the award winners:
  • Faculty member of the year: Dr. Sean Siebert, assistant professor of business administration, who recently partnered his business students with the Cuba (Mo.) Development Group to give the students real-world consulting experience
  • Club or organization of the year: International Club, Trang Nguyen, president, and Britta Wright, director of International Programs and the club's advisor. The club sponsored or supported numerous campus-wide events and "went out of their way to make sure that the campus community was aware of international student issues and that new international students could easily connect with other students," said Faye Burchard, dean for Campus Life and the banquet's MC.
  • Advisor of the year: Nollie Moore, instructor of music and director of the Jane Froman Singers, for his work with the theater group Elysium Players
  • Rogers Gate Award: Anton Lukyanov, a business administration in Siebert's class graduating in December; and Kyle Storm, criminal justice, who graduated in May. Rogers Gate is named after the college's third president, Joseph Kirtley Rogers, and the gate sits prominently at the front of campus, symbolizing both entry into and exit from Columbia College into society.
Lukyanov and Storm were lauded for their high GPAs, campus and community involvement. Here are some comments from their nominations:

Anton has the ability to know when to lead and when to take a back seat. He is conscientious, reflective and brings new ideas to consistently improve the world around him.

Kyle is a role model, natural leader, problem solver and true team player. I can think of no one more deserving to be honored as a Rogers Gate Award recipient.

The banquet also recognized all graduating Campus Life leaders, and were welcomed into the Columbia College Alumni Association by Susan Davis, senior director of Alumni Relations.

Other guests included Dr. Gerald Brouder, president of Columbia College; Dr. Terry Smith, executive vice president and academic dean; Michael Kateman, executive director of Development, Alumni and Public Relations; and Martha Eberhard, Class of 2000 and president-elect of the Columbia College Alumni Association.
Disposable cameras sat on each table. Students and guests were encouraged to take pictures. You can see samples on Campus Life's facebook page; look for the photos on "Campus Life Banquet 2010 Part I" and Part 2. Music was provided by the Tom Andes Trio.

Burchard encouraged students to remember the excitement of their first days on campus. "Try to forget the heat! " she said. "Focus on the energy and excitement "of packing up and moving into a new life.

Burchard also asked the college's community consultants, who run orientation programs and the Fall Formal; RAs and head residents; peer educators, who counsel students on managing stress and avoiding substance abuse; members of the Student Activities Commission, who bring comedians, musicians and speakers to campus; board members of the Student Government Association (SGA); and all club or organizations presidents, vice presidents and advisors stand to be honored.

The academic year that was, she said, was bittersweet:
  • The losses of Ryann Schmidt, area coordinator for Banks and Hughes halls, who passed on suddenly in late October; Jim Metscher, evening faculty member, in September and a friend, mentor and teacher to many in the room; and in March, Kimberly Smith, a 20-year-old set to graduate this May with a degree in criminal justice.
  • SGA’s 5K run/walk at Stephens lake, to support Special Olympics
  • The inaugural Mr. Cougar Pageant in February, sponsored by Being a choice conscious healthy union of students (Bacchus), with math education major Austin Miller claiming the title of Mr. Cougar 2010
  • The blood drive in honor of Ryann Schmidt
  • The end of the 23-year partnership with Field Elementary School with its reading and mentoring opportunities -- and great basketball games!
  • The cheeky SGA-designed T-shirt that reads, "Columbia College Football… Undefeated Since 1851" (the college has never had a football team)
"As the year draws to a close," Burchard concluded, "I want you to remember the special relationships that have formed between friends, roommates, classmates and club members. I want you to remember the special times that you have had at Columbia College -- the service that you and others have rendered; and the engagement within our community that exists and makes this place so special."