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Student Leadership Banquet awards GRCC students

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(Photo Courtesy of Luis Fernandez)

By Mary Baker

Twenty five people were honored at Grand Rapids Community College first post-COVID Annual Student Leadership Banquet. 

The banquet was held March 17 at the Raider Grille. The Student Life office, Student Alliance and Campus Activities Board, collaborated to turn the Raider Grille into a venue that represented this year’s theme: Above and Beyond.

Eden Gil the vice president of the Campus Activities Board was the host of the banquet. Following her welcome speech, Tina Hoxie, GRCC’s Dean of Students, gave an inspirational speech. 

She told the audience about how she got her job as the Dean of Students. She had missed her interview which she had mistakenly written down for Dec. 16, 1993. Her actual interview was scheduled for Dec. 15. She said she had come home from the dry cleaners “at the right time.” She had missed a call from GRCC saying she had missed her interview. She called back and was told Richard Calkins could give her an interview in 30 minutes. She rushed first to the dry cleaners then down to GRCC and made her interview. It was a stressful situation but she got the job. 

“Sometimes things can have a rough start,” Hoxie said. 

She ended her speech by thanking all the leaders and organizations for being at GRCC “at the right time.”

During the pandemic Student Life staffers kept the food pantry open to the students who needed food and Hoxie praised them for their dedication .

“A college is a college but a college is not a college without a community,” Hoxie said.

After Hoxie’s keynote address, she toasted the student leaders and organizations in attendance for going above and beyond. 

Following the toast the award winners were called up to receive their awards. 

Among the highlights were the following awards:

Brian Kloet Campus Involvement Award -Aya Ghlaim

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award – Shantasia King

Cedric and Sandy Ward Leadership Award – Joseph Frizzell

Cedric and Sandy Ward Leadership Award – Sherry Sokolowski

Richard W. Calkins Presidential Leadership Award – Poojitha Poduguru

After receiving her award, Shantasia King gave a short speech beginning with this quote from Marianne Williamson: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?…” 

To see the full list of award winners, see below:

List of awards at Student Leadership Awards