Wildcat Impact Awards to Recognize Student Excellence

This fall, Student Affairs is proud to present Wildcat Impact Awards to six students who have embodied the values of social justice, integrity, innovation, stewardship, and collaboration. These accomplished students will receive invitations to the end-of-year Wildcat Excellence Awards ceremony-- and soon, you’ll be seeing their faces on a banner in the Norris University Center! Here are this quarter’s honorees:

Integrity – SAW Counselors

Northwestern recruits Summer Academic Workshop (SAW) Counselors for many criteria, including passion for Northwestern, interest in supporting fellow students, and ability to represent the University in an authentic way.  The 2017 SAW Counselors exceeded all expectations in these areas, and demonstrated unprecedented integrity in their roles. These counselors were willing to be vulnerable with SAW participants and connect with individuals through their shared identities and experiences. They organized gatherings, trips, and other programming to connect with participants, both during and after the conclusion of the three-week pre-orientation program. Their professionalism when holding students accountable has been a standout example of integrity and leadership.

Innovation – Thomas Molash & Kiki Sundance Meiners-Rios

Kiki and Thomas worked with Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and Student Affairs to create a new digital resource for stress reduction and mindfulness. Their efforts culminated in the Breathe program, including audiovisual media that students can access anywhere and anytime for stress management. Kiki used her strengths in graphic animation to storyboard the series and create an animated character without prescribed gender or race to make the videos fully inclusive. She also recorded the voices for the scripts and made edits for the animated videos. Thomas worked closely with CAPS to integrate music and record voices for the audio files into stress management practices. Both Thomas’s and Kiki’s creativity and innovation on Breathe made a significant contribution to helping Northwestern students reduce stress and improve their lives.

Stewardship – Karalyn Berman

Karalyn has demonstrated excellent stewardship as the Panhellenic President. She ensured chapter presidents received the resources they need to support their communities through difficult times. She worked to establish the Sexual Assault Task Force and connected other Student Affairs departments as resources. This Task Force has become an impactful space for reflection, vulnerability, expression, and support. She has been certain to educate herself about the university systems and make meaningful connections with administrators and the leaders of other student organizations, such as Sexual Health and Peer Educators (SHAPE) and Associated Student Government (ASG), who have similar goals for their groups. She is also active in assisting smaller student groups with finding what they need to grow their organizations.

Collaboration – Yakira Mirabito

As a member of the Society for Women Engineers, facilitator for Women in Leadership, and co-president of Quest, Yakira has collaborated with a wide range of students, staff, faculty, and other stakeholders across the Northwestern community. As a Women in Leadership facilitator, she is actively involved in mentoring, encouraging, and empowering younger members, and is always willing to be a resource for others. In her role as co-president of Quest, she has worked with Northwestern Dining, Student Enrichment Services, and Associated Student Government (ASG) to plan and execute programming. Her work with Quest in particular is connected to creating a more equitable and inclusive university, and Yakira is always looking for strategies to improve the campus experience particularly for low-income and first-generation students.