Student, Faculty, Staff Leaders Awarded at USC Aiken

Staff Report From Aiken CEO

Friday, May 17th, 2019

During its annual Leadership Banquet, the University of South Carolina Aiken Office of Student Life and Services recognized leaders from across campus who were nominated by their peers, professors and supervisors.

"It is my honor and privilege to recognize our students for their scholarship and leadership on campus," said Dr. Sandra Jordan, chancellor.

"The faculty, staff, administration, and I are committed to not only providing an exceptional educational experience but also to guide and mentor students as they evolve into leaders of character who find - and follow - their moral compass, meet their academic, professional and personal responsibilities, and who are engaged citizens committed to truly making a difference in the community."

She added that every nominee for each award embodies those characteristics, rises to meet any challenge, and makes a positive impact while doing it.

Among the awards presented were the 2019 Hallman Values Award and the Robert E. Alexander Leadership Hall of Fame recognition.

In 2001, Dr. Thomas L. Hallman was named the third chancellor of USC Aiken. The award named in his honor highlights the core values of the university - character, citizenship, curiosity and collegiality. Nominees must exhibit these values through their actions, on and off campus.

"Being a truly successful student leader at USC Aiken means incorporating these values into everyday life, which our nominees have done successfully for four years - and I would suspect most of their lives - and I certainly expect they will continue to exhibit them long after graduation," Jordan said.

The nominees for the Hallman Values Award were:

    Miranda Bishop
    Paige Davis
    Travis Hardee
    Mercedes Holmes
    Kimberly Jergenson
    Amethyst Marroquin
    Cat Pullan
    Allison Swiecki
    Jacob Yarbrough

Yarbrough was the student selected for the honor.

"He embodies each of our university values at all times, in all settings, and with all people," Jordan said.

The communication major and former student government president is credited for building bridges across campus.

His nomination package described him as a "mature, respected student leader who has made significant contributions to campus and has served as a role model for peers." Another endorsement said his "conflict resolution skills are impressive." Yarbrough is also lauded for contributing to a quality learning environment and encouraging the curiosity of students.

Jordan also presented the Robert E. Alexander Hall of Fame Award.

Alexander was named the second chancellor of USC Aiken in 1983. He led the university through a period of tremendous growth, which expanded the campus physically, educationally and socially. This growth undoubtedly posed special challenges as well, which required steady leadership.

The selection for this Hall of Fame honor is based not only on the student's GPA but also on the student's level of community service and organizational involvement on campus and throughout the Aiken community.

Nominees for the Dr. Robert E. Alexander Hall of Fame were:

    Brandon Eberl
    Travis Hardee
    Kimberly Jergenson
    Eric Roberts
    Allison Swiecki
    Jacob Yarbrough

Jordan explained that the selection committee - made up of a panel of faculty, staff and students - determined that USC Aiken should have four Hall of Fame Inductees this year.

They were:

    Brandon Eberl
    Travis Hardee
    Kimberly Jergenson
    Allison Swiecki

Brandon Eberl, an industrial process engineering major, was praised for his passion and "transformative" leadership.

He served as the student government president this year and helped cultivate a Pacer spirit on campus "by investing contagious energy into enhancing pride in our university among members of the student body, particularly during numerous athletic events," Jordan said.

During his time on campus, Eberl took action on critical issues and concerns, rallying students and faculty to think critically on how to improve the institution.

Travis Hardee, the next recipient of this prestigious award, is considered a "complete leader who uses passion and skills to ensure success, always goes above and beyond the call of duty, and curries the respect of peers," according to the nomination letter.

The sociology major is described as a bold Pacer who "brings a steady hand to leadership challenges" and "champions the rights and gives voice to those who are in the minority."

Kimberly Jergenson is a communication major who was also chosen to be inducted into the Robert E. Alexander Leadership Hall of Fame.

Her endorsement letter claims she is "always willing to help and is not afraid to speak up, even when faced with intense opposition or peer pressure." She is a driven leader who has made things better on campus, "thanks in part to the special touch invested in each project."

This Pacer "embodies servant leadership and selflessness," according to the nomination letter.

Allison Swiecki, another recipient of this award, has been a student leader all over the campus, not only among peers and friends but in the classroom.

She implemented a successful mentorship program, which helps ensure the academic success of others.

The biology major is credited for being "a leader among peers, one who worked hard to improve the organization," wrote the person who nominated her for the honor. The endorsement went on to say that she an excellent team member whose integrity is unquestioned, maintains a global view and "thinks outside the box."

Others students awarded during the annual USC Aiken Leadership Banquet included:

Pacer Fanatic: Tyler Rembowski

Pubber of the Year: McKenzie Bray

Right Arm Award: Silva "Bre" Walker

SGA Hall of Fame:

    Kurt Jacob Yarbrough
    Brandon Eberl
    Regis "RJ" Strauss

Senator of the Year: Amethyst Marroquin

Senior Chancellor Ambassadors:

    Alex Richardson
    Allison Swiecki
    Daniela Negrete
    Kimberly Jergenson
    Mikaela Ransom
    Travis Hardee
    Yasser Alzahrani

Pacesetters of the Year:

    Eric Roberts
    Travis Hardee
    Q'Ladrin Qourters

Leadership Certificate:

    Adara Mancine
    Alex Richardson
    Angelika Davis
    Brooke Inman
    Christa Turner
    Eleanor Powell
    Eric Roberts
    Jordan Steinmeyer
    Josh Imholte
    Lauren Grimm
    Lindsey Calhoun
    Madison Copley
    Morgan Lambert
    Rebekah Shaw
    Travis Hardee
    Yasser Alzahrani

Pacer Times Editor-in-Chief: Cecilia Maddox

Broken Ink Editor-in-Chief: Haley Dixon

Resident Mentor of the Year: Stefany Harden

Courageous Bystander: Grace Lint

Warrick Student-Athlete: Kaitlyn Armstrong

Intramural Awards

    Men's MVP: Terrell Blocker
    Women's MVP: Mikayla Davis
    Golden Whistle: Tres Thomas
    Campus Cup Men's Team: Colin Kaepernick
    Campus Cup Women's Team: Phi Mu
    Golden Barbell: Evan Morris and Michaela Scotten
    Recreation and Wellness Employee of the Year: Thomas Miller

Inclusionary Leadership: Austin Bowers

Student Organization Diversity Initiative Award: Unity

Diversity and Inclusion Advocate: Dr. Lillian Reeves

Global Leadership: Victoria Giannaccini

Heart of Gold: Alaine Sullivan

Service Awards

    Organization: Curls
    Student: Alaine Sullivan

Greek Awards

    Golden Owl: Kaylee Heath
    Greek New Member: Suzanne Ciuffo
    Greek Member: Catherine Pullan
    Outstanding Greek Leader: Carleigh Fulmer
    Greek Organization: Zeta Tau Alpha

Two Thumbs Up Award: Dr. Hayes Bunch

Student Employee of the Year: Tequila Hightower

Pacer Program of the Year: Healthy for Life Series

Organization of the Year: Resident Student Association

Most Improved Organization: Phi Mu

Advisor of the Year: Elizabeth Webb

Dr. Deb Kladivko Outstanding Commitment to Student Development: Dan Robb

New Student Leadership: Ashley DeFore

Unsung Hero: Mikaela Ransom

People's Choice: Catherine Pullan

Hallman Values: Jacob Yarbrough

Robert E. Alexander Leadership Hall of Fame:

    Allison Swiecki
    Brandon Eberl
    Kimberly Jergenson
    Travis Hardee

"We truly are a blessed university to have this caliber of community leaders on campus," Jordan said.

"Our communities, our country, and our world better look out because they will certainly represent USC Aiken well when they continue making contributions long after graduation."