Beacon Student Leaders Recognized at Annual Ceremony

May 2—The 27th Annual Beacon Leadership Awards recognized the works of a multitude of students for their exemplary actions for the University of Massachusetts Boston over the past two semesters. In this historic year, they had 138 nominations total for the ten awards, and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Gail DiSabatino, declared the event a “tradition.”

Taking place on Thursday, the award ceremony happened from 5 to 7 p.m., with the reception occurring in the last hour. After people checked in, they received keychains and papers with the agenda of the event. Associate Dean of Students, Shelby Harris, introduced DiSabatino for the welcome and opening remarks. “Many of you have served, like myself, in positional leadership roles; which you don’t have to have a position to be a leader. Regardless of where you lead from, you want to always start with ‘why.’ Think about, ‘Why am I choosing to lead?’ I chose to lead in higher education because I believe that higher education transforms students, families, and communities. And these groups of people and individuals go on to positively impact the world.” She went into how that mentality keeps her grounded. Further on she mentioned different students and student organizations who made differences on campus. Finally, the ceremony was on its way.

The set-up had Harris introduce those presenting the awards who then called the recipients up to the side to get their trophies and a picture with DiSabatino. Not all awardees were individuals; some were groups while other awards had co-recipients. The co-recipients were a few separate people being rewarded with the same award. Presenters came from many different parts of student life. While the ‘Beacon Unsung Hero Award’ was presented by Police Chief Donald Bayner, the current president of the Undergraduate Student Government, Katie Mitrano, and Student Trustee, Sara Tariq, gave out the ‘Beacon Undergraduate Student Leadership Award.’ Cheering followed each award while drum rolls began for some of them. The recurring theme in all of the winners was stepping up to serve and the drive to help others. Involvement in multiple groups in and outside UMass Boston and selflessness was also key in receiving a beacon leadership award.

Harris gave final thoughts and an ending “thank you” to the crowd. “And to close the 27th Annual Beacon Leadership Ceremony, I want to take one more moment to congratulate both our nominees and our award winners. I would also like to thank all of you who took time to write such thoughtful nominations and to the selection board committee who generously gave up their time.”

Award recipients were:

Beacon Emerging Leader Award: Jack Davis, Daniel Patrick Gibbons

Beacon Graduate Student Leadership Award: Xiaochuan Tong

Beacon Group Service Award: UMB-UR-BEST

Beacon Individual Service Award: Kinsey Lonergan, Sonia Chien

Beacon Program of the Year (undergrad): Beacon Voyages for Service

Beacon Undergraduate Student Government Award: Laura Goggin

Beacon Undergraduate Student Leadership Award: Madison LaCure, Elizavette Cordero, and Mohammed Uddin

Beacon Undergraduate Student Organization Award: Jumpstart

Beacon Unsung Hero Award: Daniel (Danny) O'Hara

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