May 04, 2011

RSOs, members, advisers earn recognition

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Several organizations and individuals earned special recognition recently during Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s annual RSO and Leadership Celebration.

Student Involvement and Leadership Development hosted the event to celebrate and honor Registered Student Organization (RSO) officers, advisers and student leaders for their efforts and accomplishments during the past year. About 150 students and RSO advisers were on hand for the event.

Nicole Wachter, a junior from Carterville majoring in biological sciences, won accolades as the outstanding RSO officer. The award recognizes an RSO officer for outstanding dedication and contributions to the organization and Watchter’s award was for her work with Unite for Sight.

Jessica Stout, a senior physiology major from Springfield, won the honorable mention RSO officer honor for her work with Up ‘til Dawn.

The title of Steve Harris Outstanding Treasurer went to Jarett Crump, a senior plant and soil science major from Savoy. The award denotes outstanding fiscal management work by an RSO treasurer and Crump represents the SIU Horticulture Association.

Jennifer Eichelberger, a doctoral student in zoology from Carbondale, won honorable mention Steve Harris Outstanding Treasurer honors for her work with the Zoology Graduate Student Association.

Lucas Pulley, a senior math major from Gibson City, is the inaugural winner of the Dr. Katie Sermersheim “Spirit Award.” The award will go each year to a graduating senior who exemplifies the qualities and characteristics of Sermersheim, associate dean of students.

Around campus, people often affectionately refer to Sermersheim as “Dr. Katie,” and the award honors Sermersheim for her care and concern for students and their success. In creating the award, organizers characterize Sermersheim as supportive, diplomatic, dedicated, fair, vibrant, team-oriented, a problem solver and a student advocate who creates a friendly and spirited atmosphere and appreciates the efforts of those she works with on behalf of the students and the University.

The 2011 Outstanding RSO Adviser Award, recognizing outstanding contributions by a faculty or staff RSO adviser, went this year to Paul Restivo, director of the Center for Environmental Health and Safety and adviser for Circle K. Tying for honorable mention were Lizette Chevalier, acting associate dean of the College of Engineering/professor of civil and environmental engineering and adviser for Engineers Without Borders, and Julie Weinert, instructor of geography and environmental resources and adviser for the Geography Club.

The Southern Illinois Saluki Pow Wow, with the Native American Student Organization as host, won the title for Outstanding Program/Event this year. Honorable mention went to the “Can I Live” Rally and Lecture with Speaking and Teaching RSO as host.

The Most Improved RSO award went to the Tech Dawgs while Alpha Kappa Psi claimed honorable mention. The Geography Club took honors as the Outstanding RSO, an award recognizing outstanding contributions and commitment to SIUC and the surrounding community. Circle K and Engineers Without Borders both earned honorable mention.

The Spirit of Diversity Award recognizes the RSO best exemplifying a commitment to and support of diversity with its programming and activities during the past year and top honors this year go to Speaking and Teaching. Black Togetherness Organization, Omega Delta Phi Fraternity Inc. and Oops! Entertainment all earned honorable mention.

The Outstanding Philanthropic Initiative Award honors the RSO that initiates, implements or participates in an outstanding philanthropic event or initiative benefitting the University, a non-profit organization or the surrounding community. The inaugural 2011 Outstanding Philanthropic Initiative Award winner has two winners. They include Unite for Sight, getting the nod for both its inception and its activities during the group’s first year, and the Japanese Student Association’s Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund.

Winning honorable mention are the Special Olympic Polar Plunge with the American Marketing Association as host and Up ‘til Dawn’s Up ‘til Dawn Event benefitting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.