From a campaign heralding the importance of mental health to an organization helping a community in Madagascar, student-led work at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln was honored March 29 through Student Impact awards.
Organized by Student Involvement, the annual awards recognize outstanding student organizations, programs, officers, members and advisers. Eleven awards were presented — six to individuals/leaders, and five to entire student organizations.
“Not only do we have fantastic student organizations on campus, but we also have dedicated advisers and individuals that make these organizations possible,” said Reshell Ray, associate director of Student Involvement’s East Campus programs. “The Student Impact awards were created to provide necessary recognition, making certain that the work of our Recognized Student Organizations does not go unnoticed.”
Nebraska’s Public Relations Student Society of America, which collected a pair of awards, was honored for organizing the top RSO program of the year.
Working with the university’s Counseling and Psychological Services program, the public relations group led a “Redirect the Conversation” campaign to reduce the stigma related to talking about mental illness. Featured messages — introduced through individual conversations, social media and a website — stressed that mental health is as important as physical health.
Key points of the campaign included students sharing their mental health stories, information on the five signs of emotional pain and information about support services available on campus and in the Lincoln community.
“Redirect the Conversation” reached nearly 23,000 people in a 30-day period. In light of the campaign’s success, CAPS leaders have continued to use messages developed by the student group.
Anna Fobair, president of the public relations RSO, received the Student Leadership award from Student Involvement for her work with the group and the campaign.
The student chapter of Engineers Without Borders, which works with the remote community of Kianjavato, Madagascar, received the Diversity and Inclusion award during the ceremony. The award is reserved for a student group that has displayed inclusive excellence and offers a commitment to awareness of diversity and inclusion of all students on campus.
The group’s work in Madagascar is organized through the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership, an offshoot of Henry Doorly Zoo’s conservation work in the African nation. Engineers Without Borders projects in Madagascar have focused on solar energy solutions, and improved water quality and quantity.
The complete list of 2018 Student Impact awards presented March 29 is below. Learn more about RSOs and Student Involvement.
2018 Student Impact Awards
Outstanding New Student Organization — Minority Pre-Health Association
Outstanding Student Organization Member — Phát Nguyen, Define American
Outstanding Student Organization Officer — Nathan Jensen, Aerospace Club
Philanthropy and Service Award — Engineering Ambassadors Network
Student Leadership Award — Anna Fobair, Public Relations Student Society of America
Diversity and Inclusion Award — Engineers Without Borders
Outstanding New Adviser — Jacob Schlange, Honors Ambassadors
Outstanding Adviser — Jordan Gonzales, Student Alumni Association
Outstanding President — Laura Springer, Student Alumni Association
Organization Program of the Year — Redirect the Conversation, Public Relations Student Society of America
Outstanding Student Organization — Honors Ambassadors