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Charlotte Students Receive Prestigious Honors At Awards Ceremony


UNC Charlotte presented awards to several students during the annual Honors and Awards Ceremony that took place April 29. Recipients of these prestigious honors demonstrate an attitude of unselfish interest in the welfare of their fellow students and the University as a whole.

This year’s Honors and Awards Ceremony came with a few new updates:

  • The Chancellor’s Citations for Leadership and Service were renamed the University Commendation for Leadership and Service.
  • The Noble Niner Award has been retired.
  • These honors and awards were also open to graduate students for the first time, with the exception of the Derrick Griffith Servant Leader and the Bonnie E. Cone Leadership awards.
  • There are now two Chancellor’s Awards, one each for an undergraduate and graduate student, in recognition of their outstanding leadership, academic excellence and commitment to the campus community.

The number of overall recipients expanded to 20 students at this year’s awards ceremony.

University Commendation for Leadership and Service

The University Commendations for Leadership and Service are presented to an elite group of graduating seniors in recognition of their outstanding leadership and commitment to the campus community. Their contributions help enrich the college experience for fellow students and help develop good citizens and stewards for the future.

This year’s recipients are:

Taylor Davis, a psychology major who has been actively involved with medical student organizations on campus, serving as the director of outreach for Black Women in Medicine, a Period Poverty campaign leader for the American Medical Association Chapter at Charlotte and has served two years as the president of the Pre-Physician Assistant Association.

Rachel Liang, who is earning her master of business administration and currently works as a graduate assistant in the University Center for Academic Excellence. She is actively engaged in the International Student and Scholar Office, notably serving on the International Student Advisory Committee and participating in the International Friendship and Cultural Exchange Program.

Raven Huiel, a double-major in public health and health systems management who has been deeply involved in Leadership & Community Engagement. She has been a STAR peer mentor for Leadership Fellows, is a graduate of the Executive Leadership Program, the Student Coordinator for LEAD Team and is a student director on SERVE Team

Anisha Griffin, a psychology major and graduate of the Leadership Journey Learning Community where she also served as a peer mentor her sophomore year. Anisha has had deep involvement with the Black Student Union, serving as recording secretary, community service officer and currently the president. She was also active in Housing and Residence Life, where she has been a resident advisor for two years.

Ryan Shah, who will be receiving his bachelor’s degree after completing a triple major: Business Analytics, Operations and Supply Chain Management, and Management Information Systems. A Leadership Fellows graduate, Ryan has led all over campus, getting involved with Beta Alpha Psi, the Student Government Association, the Student Activities Fees Commission and Alpha Kappa Psi. 

Gray Lawson, a sociology major who is the advocacy and outreach intern at the Jamil Niner Student Pantry after volunteering as a pantry ambassador the year before. Gray is president of two organizations, Sex Week UNC Charlotte and Peer Leaders Educating and Advocating for Sexual Education (PLEASE). They are also a member of Planned Parenthood Generation Action, Reproductive Justice Collective and have been a Health and Wellbeing ambassador in the Center for Wellness Promotion.

Camille Clark, a chemistry major who is a 2021 graduate of Leadership Fellows, where she went on to serve as a STAR peer mentor and then the STARS Coordinator upon completing the program. Camille has worked for two years as a resident advisor for Housing and Residence Life, and is a member of the Student Alumni Society, the Pre-Law Society and has been both a graduate and on-site coordinator for the LeaderShape Institute. 

Adams Familusi, who is completing his master in civil engineering this May and will be continuing on at Charlotte to earn a civil engineering doctorate. Adams is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, volunteers with Freedom House in Charlotte and is the vice president of the Graduate and Professional Student Government where he was a key member of the Graduate Research Symposium planning team.

Lance Bumgardner, an economics major and brother of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity. Lance was a STAR peer mentor and graduate for the Leadership Fellows program, and has also served as a site-leader for the Alternative Service Break program in Leadership & Community Engagement. Lance was an orientation counselor and has worked for Transition and Success Initiatives as the Transition & Belonging student coordinator since December 2022.

Hector Bautista-Don, a marketing analytics major who has had broad engagement across campus. Hector is a 2022 graduate of the Leadership Fellows program and has held leadership positions in Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity and the Latinx Student Union. Hector is also the current president of La Unidad Latino, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc. 

Sunnya Hadavi, a double major in international studies and data science, has been involved with the Niner Times, serving as an assistant copy editor before becoming editor-in-chief for two consecutive years. She is the founder and president of the Security & Intelligence Student Organization, a student research assistant in the School of Data Science and a member of the Presidential Advisory Board in the Student Government Association.

Kenan Moore, a marketing major, is a brother of Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity, Inc., where he has held the roles of president and vice president. Kenan is the founder and president of the Black Organization Alliance Board on campus and has been both a SAFE mentor and a mentor in the Belk College of Business. Kenan was also this year’s Golden Niner and will represent the University as a bell ringer at the spring commencement ceremony.

AJ Siegel, a double major in writing, rhetoric & digital studies (WORDS) and in psychology, have been published 14 times as a writer during their time at Charlotte. AJ was the first student to declare WORDS as their major at Charlotte. They are also the co-founder of the Axe & Quill Writing Society, and have been an assistant copy editor, interim Arts & Culture editor, and a two-year copy editor for the Niner Times.

Alberta Asare Yeboah, who is earning a master of science in criminal justice. Alberta is a member of the Tuition and Fees Advisory Board, a Graduate Life ambassador and a Finance Committee member for the Graduate and Professional Student Government. Alberta has been a graduate assistant for the Center for Graduate Life and Learning and the Criminal Justice department.

Nya Coward, a public health major who transferred to Charlotte. Nya is a founder and serves as the president of the Public Health Association. She also serves as coordinator for the SERVE Team, leading a team of 20 students to facilitate service events, and has completed 160 hours of service.

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