SGA awards celebrate excellence on campus

Raquel Hamner, Photography Editor

The Student Government Association hosted its annual Honors and Awards Ceremony on April 27 to recognize the achievements of students, staff and faculty over the academic year.

SGA President Johnathan O’Dea presented a newly created award to Christine Storck, who will retire June 30 as director of student engagement, for her 34 years of service to the college.

SGA accepted nominations on The Nest—the student club management website—from Feb. 12 to March 23. A committee of SGA officers reviewed the submissions and chose winners for 11 categories.

“This ceremony is one of my favorite events at AACC,” said Storck. “It is a true celebration of the people who make AACC amazing.”

Award recipients received an invitation to the ceremony by mail, but the notice didn’t say what awards they had won.

Jump Start student Sarah Noble won one of eight Outstanding Club Member awards for her time as the social media manager of Campus Current.

“It feels great, honestly,” Noble said. “I don’t get a lot of school recognition, and winning an award is really cool. It makes me feel like all my hard work really means something.”

Seven other Outstanding Club Member awards went to students who “went the extra mile” in making their clubs more enjoyable and functional, Storck said.

Third-year visual design student and SGA Senator Jesseca Greene, who won one of 22 Leadership Excellence awards for serving as an SGA senator, said getting an award made her “feel really good.”

“I do as much as I possibly can for SGA,” Greene said. “It makes me feel like they notice me.”

Architecture professor Carol Pearce, who won the Teaching Excellence award for part-time faculty, said winning an award was “very exciting.”

“I did get a little clue from some people who mentioned they had nominated me,” Pearce said. “It feels great knowing that your students like you enough to want to nominate you for an award.”

The SGA also presented seven Distinguished Service and 22 Outstanding Achievement awards to students, faculty and staff who made “exceptional contributions” in changing the college community, said Storck.

Winners of the Student Achievement award practiced good attendance, worked hard, showed extra effort, contributed to class discussions and displayed good will and “eagerness to create an environment for learning.”

Four other faculty received unique awards: English professor Susan Cohen received the Teaching Excellence award for full-time faculty; reading professor Forrest Caskey received the Rookie Professor award; legal studies professor Kelly Koermer received the Online Professor award; and Sharon O’Malley, faculty adviser for Campus Current, won Adviser of the Year.