Near the end of every spring semester, Boise State’s student body gathers together in the Student Union Building to commemorate their peers. There are eight award categories that are used to highlight different achievements and impacts that students and faculty have made on Boise State’s community. Among the 107 nominees at the event, only 14 individuals went home with awards.
The event opened with a speech from Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admission, Erin Lien, which then segued into the first award of the night: the Commitment to Community award. Having demonstrated positive change in others, Jillian Kelley was the first award winner of the night.
The following award was the David S. Taylor Service to Students award, which is geared towards faculty and staff who have shown their ability to impact the lives of the student body. Among the nine faculty and staff nominees, Michal Temkin Martinez received the honor.
“The David S. Taylor award is really meaningful, because it’s one of the only awards on campus that is really about service to students, so it makes it really meaningful to me,” Temkin Martinez said. “There are other awards for service to the university, but this one is about students, so that makes it a really powerful award to receive as somebody who cares for the students and who’s really admired others who have gotten this award in the past.”
Appropriately following the David S. Taylor award was the Outstanding Student Employee of the Year award. This award is for student employees who don’t treat their employment as just a job, but also a way to improve themselves and the university as a whole. The award winner, Chris Dagher, was not present to receive his award.
The next award, the Emerging Leader award, is given to students who are viewed as leaders that continue to climb the ladder of success in the community. Jesús Rivera Orozco happily received his award that night from Luke Jones, director for housing and residence life.
Coming after the Emerging Leader award was the Inclusive Excellence award, which has an interesting twist to it compared to the previous awards. This award typically has two winners instead of one like its previous counterparts. This year’s two award winners were Esperansa Gomez and Kameelah Diaz.
The following award was geared towards advisors who have dedicated themselves to improving and changing the lives of student organizations. However, like the Outstanding Student Employee award winner, the winner of the Student Organization Advisor of the Year award, Kathy Hurley, was not present at the ceremony.
The second-to-last award shifted from being awarded solely to students and faculty, to Boise State student programs that have created a significant impact on those within Boise State’s campus community. After a large amount of bee-related puns, Dean of Students Chris Wuthrich presented the award to Boise State’s Rooftop Bee Farm.
The closing award not only had the largest amount of nominees, but award winners as well. The Spirit of Boise State award is given to those who show the true spirit of Boise State. Out of the 28 nominees, there were only six award winners. The students who received awards were Archie Keeton III, Lindsay Kemp, Mark Horton, Mitzi Ceballos, Nardos Ashenafi and Samantha Headley.
“I would hope that as time goes on and that we have a new president here at Boise State, we can all learn to be a little more inclusive, welcome diversity and treat each other with the respect that you would want for yourself,” Keeton III said.
Further, Keeton III said that perhaps a better way to describe himself was that he was tired.
“You know I was really surprised that I won an award. I was really more here for the people I had nominated and to show support for them. I knew I was nominated, but I didn’t think that I would win an award,” Horton said. “I think (the award) represents the difference between the cliche of being nice and genuinely interested in helping people. It’s not always easy to be nice and pleasant when helping people, but it’s always great and feels great to be a platform for others.”
Prior to receiving his award, Dr. Leslie Webb had made it a point that Horton had been nominated by thirteen people.
“I know some of the award winners, so to be given an award with them was a real honor,” Horton said. “I was actually nominated several years ago by one of the fellow award winners tonight, so that’s extra special to me. The recognition of both the Writing Center and Boise State means a lot to me.”