2021 Student Awards
Otis College of Art and Design recognizes outstanding student leaders, student groups, and student organizations every year through the Student Leadership Awards. These awards aim to honor student contributions which have enhanced our Otis College Campus Community.
The following students were nominated for Student Leadership Awards by their peers, faculty, supervisors, or by student affairs professionals that they work with. The Student Leadership Committee has reviewed all nominations and determined the winners. Congratulations to all our amazing student leaders!
Outstanding Contribution to the College Award
Outstanding Contribution to the College Award recognizes a graduating Otis College student who has provided outstanding contributions on campus and/or beyond the campus community. Some examples include students who have organized or led initiatives, served or volunteered on campus in ways that made a positive impact, or other service activities beyond the campus community.
"Gena is a superhero. She is a mother, veteran, club president, activist, motivational speaker, as well as a dedicated student. She is the president of Black Student Union and has facilitated events such as cooking demonstrations, guest speakers, and the BIPOC Affinity Social. She has taken BSU to new heights. She is selfless in giving her time and passion to Otis College, sharing her story with other students and holding the college responsible in an effort to provide the best for her peers. As a member of the Otis Veterans Association, she connects with other veterans, giving advice and offering support when needed. She is the true embodiment of a servant leader."
Spirited Owl Award
The Spirited Owl Award recognizes a graduating Otis College student who is recognized by their peers and faculty for their positive spirit, kindness, passion, and enthusiasm. This award is given to a student who has been actively engaged in representing Otis College through their determination, creativity, innovation, and drive.
"This year’s recipient is ELI SANCHEZ. Eli Sanchez has been involved in Student Leadership since his start at Otis College and has served on the Campus Activities Board for 3 years. Eli is our ever-enthusiastic MC. He brings his positive and friendly energy to every event or initiative he has planned. CAB has always depended on Eli for his skills, thoughtfulness, and support. Eli, we appreciate all that you have done for our community, and we will miss you so much! You have left a legacy here that will always thrive."
Student Leader of the Year
Student Leader of the Year is someone who wholly reflects the mission of the Otis College Student Leadership Program: "Otis College of Art and Design student leaders are devoted to enriching students’ experiences on campus by providing them with a network of support and guidance, developing interactive programming, and fostering a friendly and diverse community that is built on respect". This person has worked hard to support and engage the Otis College student body, has thrived for excellence, and has served their community with enthusiasm, dedication, flexibility, and inclusiveness.
Aalaa is a member of the DEI Council and serves as an important voice for students. Aalaa is central to the efforts to the college's DEI efforts, so critically important as we pursue becoming an anti-racist institution.
Additionally, Aalaa has served as a Peer Mentor for several years, and one of her fellow peer nominators says, “ she was my peer mentor when I was a foundation student and inspired me to become a student leader. She shows patience and kindness to other students and leaders and is always there to support others.”
Aalaa has truly made her mark here during her 4 years at Otis College as another nominator states, “she has been a steadfast leader who cares deeply for Otis College and their peers. Aalaa's positive spirit, kindness, passion, and enthusiasm is evident in everything she does at the College”.
Student Leader of the Year
One of Tucker’s nominators states, “Tucker has demonstrated outstanding leadership through the development of O-Committed student club. I have been impressed with their initiative, dedication to Otis College and their peers, and their ability to work with senior administration on initiatives that enhance and support student success.” Additionally, several of Tucker’s peers went on to say, “He is also constantly offering support and advice to other students and reaching out and making the effort to get them the things they need to succeed academically and socially here at Otis. Tucker is a kind, gentle person with a huge heart. He's always willing to listen and offer insight wherever he can and is incredibly humble. That said, he is a strong character who doesn't stay silent on the issues that matter, working with the O Commitment Club to really make Otis a better place.”
Outstanding Club/Organization of the Year: The Otis College Black Student Union
The Otis College Club/Organization of the Year Award recognizes the student organization that has demonstrated innovation, collaboration, creativity, inclusiveness, initiative, and teamwork. The club/organization that is honored for this award is made up of leaders who are passionate about bringing the community together and creating meaningful opportunities for Otis College students to learn and build connections. This organization is considered a role model for other organizations on campus.
The Black Student Union receives special recognition for their excellent work in supporting its members and contributing to our campus community. This student-led organization provided opportunities for professional development and interactive and meaningful programming. They also planned events with engaging and inspiring guest speakers that amplified and uplifted black voices. This club’s contributions to Otis College and Student Life has made a lasting impact, and their legacy will surely thrive and grow here at Otis College. Congratulations to the The Otis College Black Student Union for their success, support, and innovation during this academic year.