Ten University of Nebraska-Lincoln students — eight undergraduates and two graduate students — were awarded Student Luminary Awards to recognize their exceptional leadership and commitment to improving the campus and community.
The awards were announced during a reception at Howard L. Hawks Hall April 1. Those selected create a positive campus environment, advocate for change, demonstrate a significant and active commitment to inclusion and model academic excellence inside and outside the classroom.
Each student was nominated by a faculty or staff member on campus and received $1,000.
Learn more about this year’s Student Luminaries below.
Batistella, a junior psychology major from Melbourne, Australia, was honored as a Student Luminary for her commitment to welcoming and supporting international students through the New Student Enrollment Welcome Team as well as her community engagement and leadership as a peer mentor through the Athlete2Athlete program.
“Jamieson is an exceptional individual who dedicates herself body and soul to her endeavors,” Natalie Baskin, nominator, said. “She gives nothing but her best to everything she does.”
Daum, a junior English major from Emerson, Neb., was honored as a Student Luminary for her positive influence on campus and campus involvement as a resident assistant, orientation leader and First Husker peer mentor, and her commitment to improving the campus through participation in the Executive Vice Chancellor’s Student Advisory Board. She had the unique opportunity of leading a group of students who worked to support students as they tested positive for COVID-19 this past spring.
“I can think of nobody who has single-handedly impacted as many lives directly as Taylor has,” Jordan Foreman-Black, nominator, said. “She exemplifies a commitment to helping others and ensuring they feel connected and engaged with the community.”
Dzukogi, a doctoral student in English from Lincoln was honored as a Student Luminary for his personal commitments to creating a positive campus environment and actions toward making every person feel valued. While pursuing his own education and raising three young children, he mentors international students, serves as a compassionate undergraduate instructor, coaches high school poets and works with incarcerated community members.
“He has managed, in all of [his] struggles, to establish himself as a brilliant scholar, a hugely successful poet, a community-engaged teacher, a skillful, compassionate instructor to our undergraduates, and a mentor to local youth, other international students and incarcerated individuals,” Stacey Waite, nominator, said.
Fort, a senior actuarial science major from Boca Raton, Florida, was honored as a Student Luminary for her inclusive leadership among fellow Huskers as a peer coach in the Business Career Center and her contributions toward innovation as a member of the College of Business Student Advisory Board.
“Erin was instrumental in embedding DEI conversations into our training this past spring, creating an open dialogue for peers to reflect on what steps they have taken to foster diversity and inclusion at UNL and how they can prioritize DEI during coaching sessions with the students we serve,” Paula Caldwell, nominator, said.
Jahnke, a senior biological sciences and Spanish major from West Point, Neb., was honored as a Student Luminary for her collaborative and civic minded spirit as well as her academic excellence and ability to make others feel valued. She has demonstrated her commitment as a Senior Resident Assistant and through leadership roles in the Nebraska Human Resources Institute, Honors Program and Alpha Omicron Pi sorority.
“She meets people where they are and with a genuine enthusiasm to get to know them,” Ann Koopman, nominator, said. “It is this kind of servant leadership that she brings to all her involvements and to her aspirations of a career in medicine.”
Koval, a senior actuarial science major from Palatine, Illinois, was honored as a Student Luminary for cocurricular leadership, academic breadth and commitment to furthering opportunities and belongingness for first generation students. Her leadership accolades include serving as a First Husker peer mentor, multiple roles for Gamma Iota Sigma (international business fraternity) and as the current treasurer for First Generation Student Organization.
“Natalia’s positive attitude is infectious, always helping people feel welcome and included,” Amy Goodburn, nominator, said. “She is always looking for opportunities to leverage university opportunities so that first gen students can experience new opportunities.”
Lloyd, a senior economics and international business major from Pflugerville, Texas, was honored as a Student Luminary for his efforts to building a more inclusive and welcoming environment on campus, particularly for LGBTQA+ and international students. His nominator credits him with forming the Pride in Business student organization, revitalizing the Business International Student Association and helping to name the college’s Diversity and Inclusion Gathering Space (DIGS).
“He has continuously showed up to make it a better place for everyone,” Kimberly Smith, nominator, said. “Once he identifies a need, he seeks to first understand and then make a difference.”
Moreno, a junior child, youth and family studies and sociology major from Lincoln, was honored as a Student Luminary for her commitment to inclusion and ability to positively contribute the campus community through peer leadership roles in TRIO, the William H. Thompson program, and the Explore Center. Additionally, she serves as a Catechist teacher for a local church.
“She quickly stood out to me as a leader who helps provide a positive campus environment,” Selma De Anda, nominator, said. “As a WHT mentor she served as a great leader and through her mentorship and event planning made Huskers in the program feel cared for and valued.”
Clarice Ann Santos
Santos, a senior economics and sociology major from Omaha, was honored as a Student Luminary for her commitment to serving others, community involvement and dedication to advocating for positive change. She is an active member of the Combs Honor Scholars and the Sociology Undergraduate Advisory Board and has led several service-learning projects.
“Her dedication, resilience, and high standards have allowed her to thrive with positivity and a genuine smile,” Moises Padilla, nominator, said. “Through all involvement, Clarice exhibits trust, respect for others’ views and responsibility.”
Tomlinson-Dick, a law student from Omaha, was honored as a Student Luminary for her devotion to advocacy and initiating positive change. She served as the president of Nebraska OUTLaw and helped organized programming for fellow law students in her role through the Nebraska Chapter of the American Constitution Society. All the while, she has given back to the community through the Tenant Assistance Project.
“Rachel’s dedication to pro bono and public interest work was recognized nationally,” Richard Moberly, nominator, said. “[She] and her clinic partner Jayden argued a case before the Nebraska Supreme Court – a rare opportunity for law students and practicing attorneys.”