Student Leadership Awards

Each spring the University of Northern Iowa recognizes outstanding student leadership through a series of awards presented to students and student organizations. 

Nominations are now closed. 

Winners of awards will be announced at our Student Leadership Awards event held on Tuesday, April 16th at 7pm in the Maucker Union Ballrooms.

2024 Award Recipients 

Panther Pantry Awards

Sam's Club


St. Steven the Witness Catholic Student Center

UNI C.A.R.E. Award

Awards are intended for UNI students, faculty, staff, organizations or programs that have demonstrated outstanding commitment to create a positive impact through sustainability at UNI or in the local community.

Kelly Biscoglia

Military & Veteran Affiliated Scholarships

Boots to Books is a program designed to help veterans transition to civilian life and the college environment. Although many military and veteran students are eligible for G.I. benefits, more than half of them are still in need of financial assistance. In an effort to support the educational endeavors of our military and veteran students, the Boots to Books scholarship was created by Military and Veterans Student Services.

Darrel O’Doss Boots to Books Scholarship: 
Carrick Johnson and Austin Wood

Iowa American Legion Scholarship: 
Keevan Jones and Marvin Carr

Robert J. Hibbs VFW Post 3896 Spouse or Dependent Scholarship: 
Rachel Stephany

American Legion Becker Chapman Post 138 Spouse or Dependent Scholarship: 
Samantha Dick

Beverly Funk Barnes Student Excellence Award 

This award recognizes students who continually create new value through dedication, passion, and creativity for the benefit of the University of Northern Iowa (UNI). Based on the principle of "Fred the mailman" from Denver, Colorado, this award focuses on rewarding UNI students whom embody "The Fred Factor." Fred is the rare type of person who is extraordinary who puts others before himself and looks for ways to improve the lives of others.

Madelyn Stepanek

Mental Health Ally Award

The UNI Counseling Center, with the support of the Northern Iowa Student Government recognize individuals, programs, organizations or departments that have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to mental health advocacy.

Kayla Kellogg

Promising Young Alumni Award

The Promising Young Alumni Award recognizes one or more seniors who demonstrate qualities desired of engaged alumni. A Promising Young Alumnus demonstrates their potential as a future alumni leader for the UNI community through their commitment to service, leadership, and pride while enrolled.

Kaylee Oskvig 

Savannah Soltero

Award for Excellence in International Engagement

This can be awarded to UNI Students, Faculty, Staff, or Cedar Valley Community members. The nominees should be committed to promoting global understanding, research, and advocating for international exchange locally and globally. They should be an active participant with international students/scholars/dependents in the UNI community. All criteria and nomination form found here. 

Qingshan (Sam) Liang

Darci Jarnagin

UNI Fraternity/Sorority Chapter of the Year

The Office of Student Involvement is committed to recognizing the great achievements of our fraternal organizations on campus. In order for a chapter to win, the chapter must be in good standing with the university, and not have any conduct issues in the 23/24 academic year. The Office of Student Involvement will evaluate all submissions and determine the Chapter of the Year based off criteria surrounding recruitment, community service, academics, and impact on the student body. 

Alpha Delta Pi

Most Promising New Leader in a Student Organization Award

This award is designed to recognize a member in a student organization that has demonstrated emerging leadership in the organization, a commitment to developing their leadership ability, and has exceeded the expectations of the membership of the organization.

Ashlyn Utech

Mahedi Islam

Morgan Mescher

Tarik Miljkovic

Outstanding President in a Student Organization Award

This award recognizes a student organization president who has played a major role in the development and execution of their student organization.

Madison Duong

Sam Adams

Tienna Trettin

Student Organization Advisor of the Year Award

This award is designed to recognize a student organization advisor who has excelled and exemplified outstanding service, dedication, and leadership to the organization they advise.

Jordan Rockwell

Sarah Craw

Timothy Lindquist

Servant Leadership Award

The Servant Leadership Award recognizes those who have worked for the common good while putting the needs of others first.

Jenna Becker                                Cameron Opkis 
Allison Flanscha                           Issabela Sullivan

Lizbeth Garcia Tellez                    Kimberly Walljasper

Will Krueger                                  Sam Zimmerman

Alondra Morteo Valenzuela

LUX Award

The Lux Service Award is the most prestigious award given to graduating senior students each academic year to acknowledge the culmination of their overall involvement. Recipients consistently go above and beyond, leaving a lasting legacy upon graduation.

Emily Clouser

Noah Hackbart

Diamond Roundtree

Northern Iowa Student Government Above and Beyond Awards

These awards are given by students to recognize faculty and staff for their commitment to student development and success. Two awards will be given out, one focusing on student learning and the other on student success.

Student Learning Award: Katie O'Brien

Student Success Award: Staci Mueller

Dr. Sue Follon Scholarship for Leadership 

This scholarship recognizes students for their leadership contributions during their tenure at UNI and potential to model leadership.

Geneva Bell

Drake Martin Gold Star Award

The Drake Martin Gold Star Award is the highest individual student honor in the residence system at the University of Northern Iowa. It is named in memory of Drake Martin. Drake worked at the University of Northern Iowa for 31 years. Drake brought creativity, compassion and enthusiasm to projects and initiatives that had a positive impact on students. His greatest influence over time was through individual interactions that challenged, affirmed and encouraged others. In all he did, Drake exemplified the qualities of those who are recognized with the Gold Star Award.

Kehde Campbell                     Hannah Krejci

Amalie Gassman                    Emily Waldon

Kylee Klimes

Dr. Charlotte West Scholar-Athlete Award

The Missouri Valley Conference will present the Dr. Charlotte West Award annually, to one female and one male student-athlete who have completed intercollegiate eligibility in their primary sport, to recognize outstanding achievement in academics, athletics, service and leadership. Nominees from UNI will be recognized at the Student Leadership Awards.

Griffin Parker

Samantha Heyer

Emerging Philanthropist 

The Emerging Philanthropist Award recognizes a student who is dedicated to giving their time, talent, and treasure to the university, their community or cause(s) of their choice and shows promise as a future philanthropic leader.

Nathanial Madden

Tinashe Chigudu

Rising Global Star Leader Award

The Rising Global Star Leader Award is for students in any stage of their education and has made significant contributions to their department, unit, institution, organization, community, and the field of international education. The Rising Star will have demonstrated a commitment to internationalization and ingenuity of thought that has the potential to have a substantial and lasting influence on global education. 

Dinithi Ferdinando

Yanting Wang

Mahedi Islam

Diversity Matters Award: 

Diversity describes the rich differences that people bring to the University of Northern Iowa community.  It can refer broadly to culture, identity and ideology, or more specifically to age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, ability, gender identity, socioeconomic status, political affiliation, marital status, national origin, or veteran status.  Diversity is a dynamic concept, shaped by history, and change as our understanding of the world and its people evolves. The Diversity Matters Award is presented in recognition of dedication and service to the University of Northern Iowa in advancement of its diversity-related goals.

Students of Gender Sexuality Services


Greek 360 Award

This award is intended to recognize a member of the UNI Fraternity & Sorority Life community who also is an outstanding member of other student organizations on campus.

Laura Harms

Most Promising New Student Organization Award

New organizations are ones that have been started in the past year (August 2023). 

Language Exchange Club

Outdoor Education and Leadership Alliance

Outstanding Officer in a Student Organization Award

This award recognizes a student organization officer who provides exemplary service, commitment, and strong leadership to their student organization and UNI.

Jenna Heinen

Student Organization Program of Distinction Award

This award is designed to recognize significant achievements by student organizations in the planning and implementation of programs, either a one-time event or a series of events marketed as a single program.

Halloween House

LGBTQ+ Ball: Glam and Gore

School of Music Welcome Event 2023

Student Organization of the Year Award

This award is designed to recognize a student organization that has exemplified excellence among its peers by contributing to the UNI community and fulfilling the mission of the organization.

Connecting Students to Alumni

International Student Promoters


Outsanding Student Leader Award

The Outstanding Student Leader Award is designed to recognize students who have demonstrated dedication and leadership through their involvement in one or more campus activities.

Caroline Christensen             Griffin Parker 

Hattie Dukes                            Kate Rogers 

Wyatt Heideman                      Taylor Short

Samantha Heyer                      Tienna Trettin

Jaylie Hicklin

Past Award Recipients