2021 “Givers” Awards

Each year, our staff from Student Affairs and Campus Safety enjoy presenting awards to graduating seniors who have contributed in special ways to the campus over their college careers. Please join us in recognizing the following individuals.

ASPEC Outstanding Senior Award

Joelle Clayborne

Joelle led the Club during these unsettled times and sponsored educational events that brought students of all backgrounds together to learn about one other.

Campus Safety Service Award

Maddie Vargo

Maddie Vargo has spent her four years here at Eckerd completely dedicated to the well-being of the community. Through her work on the Eckerd College Emergency Response Team, she has selflessly chosen to dedicate her time and energy to the service of others. In her role as the EC-ERT training coordinator, Maddie has devoted countless hours to the improvement of the quality of care EC-ERT provides to the campus. From building outreach programs to volunteering for any available shift, she never stops looking for new ways to serve the community.

Club Leadership Award

Madeline Morgen

This year’s award recipient is known for the endless excitement and energy she has given to campus programs during her time at Eckerd. She has served Palmetto Productions for four years and through her persistence, rose to the position of Director of our activities board. In this role, she has led her team to hold the biggest and best attended in person events throughout the year. In fact, Palmetto Productions has been responsible for most all of the events on campus.

She has been part of the Eckerd Peace Corps Prep Program, Vice President of Engage EC, President of Financial Affairs of French Club, a member of the Eckerd College Model United Nations club and a founding member of our Remote Student Leader Task Force on Covid. In my years working with her, we have come to know her as the first to offer her time to any person or group that needs assistance. Not only has she been an outstanding Director of Palmetto Productions, she never hesitated in using her position to assist other clubs and organizations reach their goals. She is graduating with a major in International Relations & Global Affairs and minors in Political Science, French, and Environmental Studies. and we are certain she will do great things to make this world a better place after graduation. We have great respect for her commitment to student life and her drive to keep our community safe.… for this reason, we are honored to present this year’s Club Leadership Award to Madeline Morgan

Environmental Service Award

Angelina Kossoff

Angelina Kossoff has demonstrated outstanding commitment to on campus environmental awareness since her freshman year. She got involved early and often by asking professors how she can help and what she could do to be of service. She was brought into the NOAA grant as a lead student intern during her sophomore year.

Angelina has continued this work with the grant on reducing plastic consumption and increasing consumption awareness throughout the rest of her career at Eckerd. Angelina became the Office of Sustainability Intern her senior year and successfully led the Eco-Reps program, fostering students’ passionate interest in improving our surrounding environment. Angelina has accomplished all of this while excelling in the classroom and playing tennis, all four years.

Please help me in congratulating Angelina Kossoff on accepting a graduate position at the University of Michigan this fall. Her impacts on our campus community are only just the beginning of a life filled with hope, positivity, and environmental awareness. We look forward to seeing your future success and the major impacts in this world towards positive environmental change that you will implement beyond the confines of Eckerd College. Thank you for all you have done. Continue to make us proud!

Excellence in Gender Justice Award

Shelby Scott, Sydney Luks, Kristi Stari

Kristi, Shelby, and Sydney (pictured top to bottom) organized to amplify student voices and bring forward concerns on campus. They did so thoughtfully and strategically, engaging with leadership, administration, and students.

Through their activism and the ongoing conversations that came from it, these three students were instrumental in the creation of a Student Title IX Advisory Council, in which they continued to act as leaders and organizers. Kristi, Shelby, and Sydney took on the hard work of maintaining momentum beyond initial activism, learning more about the Title IX process, acting as a liaison between students and the administration, developing goals and projects as an Advisory Council, and collaborating with various offices on campus to create resources for the Eckerd community.

In particular, Shelby and Kristi developed a communication strategy for the Council and regularly developed and shared important content that is leading to a more informed and engaged community overall. Sydney focused on the need for healing-centered spaces and conversations amongst students, working with the Advocacy Office to develop the Healing-Centered Discussion Group for students.

Together these students brought important conversations, change, and resources to our community that will be able to last well beyond their graduation.

John H. Sykes Award

Bree Walton

We are pleased to award you The John H. Sykes Award, given to a graduating senior who has contributed greatly to religious life on campus and is recognized as a person of faith in the Eckerd College community. You have earned this award through your many years of service through the Center for Spiritual Life and your leadership on campus in Spiritual Life, other campus departments, and student clubs.

Over the years, you have provided leadership to Catholic Campus Ministry and Sunday evening mass. You also promoted pluralism on campus and developed into an effective interfaith leader. You helped create a deeper understanding among the different religious traditions on campus and encouraged cooperation among all students. During your time at Eckerd you developed a personal balance between the inward journey and outward journey of faith.

You have become an activist working for justice locally and globally while also nurturing your own spiritual life journey. One example of this balance of action and contemplation is your participation in the annual Peace Pilgrimage. We wish you every blessing as you graduate from Eckerd and begin your graduate work.

Leadership in Campus Activities Award

Kaylea Homiak

The Leadership in Campus Activities Award honors a student for providing excellence in leadership in Campus Activities programing. The recipient of this award has demonstrated a commitment to collaborating with Campus Activities staff and student organizations in providing quality co-curricular activities to students. This year’s recipient has been involved with Eckerd since her sophomore year. This recipient strolled into her leadership status with so much enthusiasm and energy that we knew she would be the perfect fit to help other students find their niche. She has been a lead Activator, Event Staff, and an outstanding leader throughout her undergraduate career. Her ability to connect with students will be a skill set that will benefit her in her next chapters in life. Without her passion, zeal, and love for this office, we wouldn’t be as successful as we are with supporting our Eckerd students. We are honored to present this year’s recipient for the Leadership in Campus Activities to Kaylea Homiak.

Leadership in Club Sports Award

Zach Austin

Zach has shown excellent dedication to club sports throughout his time at Eckerd College. He began his club sports journey early on by joining the Eckerd Men’s Rugby team his first year. In his first year on the team he helped in getting the team to the South Cup in Atlanta. At the end of just his first season on the team he was then elected Vice-President of the club. As Vice-President Zach pushed the club forward in many aspects, specifically tournament play. He assisted in getting the South Cup moved to Eckerd’s campus and getting the team into the Tropical 7s tournament. After his year as Vice-President, Zach showed the knowledge and skills to be elected as President of the club, he held this position his junior and senior year. Zach was able to keep the club running safely and give the team a great year despite the void left in the schedule by not being able to have matches.

Leadership in Diversity and Inclusion Award

Bree Walton

Bree is an excellent role model and advocate for deep, reflective education about issues relating to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging here at Eckerd. Whether he’s supporting the creation of an event, or helping to co-facilitate a training for staff, faculty, and students, Bree is honest, real, and relatable within our community. Bree pushes boundaries and challenges stereotypes through his research on campus and through his commitment to organizations like the Center for Spiritual Life and Campus Ministries, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and Afro-American Society.

Joelle Clayborne

Joelle has been an active member of the Eckerd community since her first year on campus. She has been a leader within the Afro-American Society and has always been an advocate for connecting our local, South St. Pete community with our population at Eckerd, and vice versa. Joelle is deeply committed to issues of race, specifically, and works to engage her peers in necessary and difficult conversations in order to drive change.

Leadership in Residence Life Award

Tala Osborne

Residence Life thrives on student involvement. Tala has wholeheartedly devoted herself to the program and has made a lasting impact.

Double majoring in Human Development and Spanish; Tala fully embodies the role of a leader, and has spent much of her time here at Eckerd supporting her fellow classmates. Tala has gone above and beyond to make everyone feel welcomed and appreciated within her Residential Community and the greater Eckerd Community as a whole. Tala has worked as a Student Ambassador engaging future students and their families in the Eckerd Campus through her countless tours and involvement in Explore Eckerd. Tala’s passion for Residence Life and Eckerd College is undeniable and we have been lucky to work with her for two years!

Harrison Barnett

This Excellence in Residence Life award recognizes someone who has epitomized connecting Eckerd students from a range of peer groups. As a leader on campus he has been an RA for three years, a double major in Marine Science and Spanish, was previously a LSDP Facilitator, a leader within Fire By Night, and a member of the Club Soccer team!

Harrison Barnett is one of the most caring, passionate student leaders on our campus and is always willing to help. We have no doubt in my mind that he will go on to truly change the world. Harrison embodies the Residence Life mission by fostering a community of student accountability, empathy, and camaraderie, not only with his residents but also with his fellow RAs. Thank you for making my experience as an RC so easy and enjoyable! We are seriously going to miss your weekly weird props to Jared and smiling face in the office!!

Leadership in Student Government Award

Natasha Cooper

Natasha was elected as the Iota Senator during her sophomore year and was elected to represent the student body as the ECOS Vice-President for Academic Affairs both her junior and senior years. As a Student Senator, Natasha was involved with planning student events, was part of the Academic Affairs Committee, and facilitated student housing requests for Iota residents.

During her time as Vice-President for Academic Affairs, Natasha led the Academic Affairs Committee, the allocation process with great competence, vision, and unwavering commitment to fairness. Natasha led with financial transparency, with an aim to make information on ECOS spending more readily available to the Eckerd Community.

Since arriving at Eckerd College, Natasha has demonstrated a dedication to leadership and serving the Eckerd College community by participating as a member of the Strive for Five Committee, being a part of the Sophomore Success Team, and representing Eckerd as an Ambassador. In addition, Natasha has spent time as a Preschool volunteer working closely with at-risk children ages 2-5 in the local St. Petersburg Community.

Leadership in Student Programs and Events Award

Thomas Boudreau

The Leadership in Campus Activities Award honors a student for providing excellence in leadership in Campus Activities programing. The recipient of this award has demonstrated a commitment to collaborating with Campus Activities staff and student organizations in providing quality co-curricular activities to students. This year’s recipient has been involved with Eckerd since his first year. This recipient joined the Office of Campus Activities as an Activator, Event Staff, Palmetto Productions board member, and more. He dabbled in multiple positions in Campus Activities from event staff to a remote student leader. His self-confidence has helped him carry out his responsibilities as a leader to bridge the gap between our office and students. Without his dedication, loyalty, and love for this office, we wouldn’t be as successful as we are with connecting with students. We are honored to present this year’s recipient for the Leadership in Campus Activities to Thomas Boudreau.

Social Justice Award

William Shedden

As Director of Service-Learning at Eckerd College it is an honor for me to present the Social Justice Award to William Shedden. Will’s deep enthusiasm for civic engagement and respect for a diversity of thought have been a welcome benefit to the Office of Service-Learning and the Eckerd College community as whole. Will served as an Innovator in the Office of Service Learning, assisting with developing service events for the Eckerd community. However, Will took his passion for community action beyond the Office of Service-Learning and into the community, participating in the St. Petersburg Mayoral campaign, as well as working as a Legislative Intern and Field Manager for Environment Florida. Most importantly, Will has been heavily involved with the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), which kicked off a massive voter registration campaign, registering over 600 students resulting in a 350% increase in voter turnout from 2014, the most Eckerd students voting than ever recorded. The Office of Service-Learning thanks Will for his willingness and passion to get people involved in the democratic process.

Tampa Bay Community Development Award

Joelle Clayborne

As Director of Service-Learning at Eckerd College it is an honor for me to present the Tampa Bay Community Development Award to Joelle Clayborne. Through her work helping local businesses and organizations in the St. Petersburg community, and her magnificent leadership of the Eckerd College Afro-American Society, Joelle has become one of the shining stars of the Office of Service-Learning. Joelle has worked as the Economic Development Intern for The Greenhouse, a local organization that assists St. Petersburg’s small business community. Through her work with The Greenhouse, Joelle assisted in the development and creation of 30 small business training course curricula and worked with over 800 Tampa Bay businesses. As President of the Afro-American Society, Joelle has increased membership by 360%, and created a host of talks, discussions, dances, and events to bring awareness of racial injustice to the Eckerd College community. She has also worked tirelessly to create a sacred space for persons of color at Eckerd College. The Office of Service-Learning thanks Joelle for enhancing the St. Petersburg community as a whole and creating open and affirming spaces at Eckerd College.