The Excellence in Collegiate Education and Leadership (ExCEL) Awards ceremony took place on Wednesday, March 28, 2018, honoring more than 30 students, staff, faculty and community members for their commitment to creating a campus environment that promotes diversity and excellence.

The annual awards ceremony, organized by Multicultural Student Programs and Services, took place in Sottile Theatre.

This year’s honorees are:


Outstanding Students of the year

School of the Arts – Omar Valencia, Ninerveh Leon Williams

School of Business – Leanna Conti

School of Education, Health, and Human Performance – Bria Dantzler

School of Humanities and Social Sciences – Helen “Alexandra” Helfgott

School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs – Brooke Kerae Bazemore

School of Sciences and Mathematics – Stephen Frederico

Honors College – Katie Joiner

Graduate School – Ellie Smith


Outstanding Faculty of the Year

School of the Arts – Heather McDonald

School of Business – Mark Pyles

School of EHHP – Leslie Hart

School of HSS – Mathew Cressler

School of LCWA – Emily Beck

School of Sciences and Mathematics – John Chadwick

Honors College – Beth Meyer-Bernstein

The Graduate School – Susan Lovelace


Outstanding Student Awards (specialized)

Female Student Athlete of the Year – Shiclasia “Clay” Brown

Male Student Athlete of the Year – Joe Chealey

Septima P. Clark Award – Victoria O. Bailey, Brandi L. Bell

Eugene C. Hunt: Graduating Senior – Julie Chea

Eugene C. Hunt: Rising Senior – Sophia Emetu

Lucille S. Whipper Award – Courtney Hicks

Outstanding Bonner Leader – Ariel Zambrano

SCAMP Student of the Year – Sondrica Goines


Outstanding Staff Awards

Outstanding Staff Member of the Year – Carla Stewart

The Unsung Champion – Wanda Whitley

Excellence in Customer Service – Claire Long


Other Award Categories

Safe Zone Advocacy Award – Dakota Flynn

Demetria N. Clemons Distinguished Mentor Award – Lancie Affonso

Good Neighbor Award – Circulo Hispanoamericano de Charleston

Eddie Ganaway Distinguished Alumni Award – Linda Dingle Gadson ’72, Carrie Nesbit Gibbs ’72

Administrator of the Year Award – Patricia Williams Lessane

President McConnell’s CofC Impact Award – Deni Mitchell


The Presidential Legacy Awards

The President Leo I. Higdon Outstanding Leadership Award – Samantha Krantz

The President Alex Sanders Outstanding Public Service Award – Bernard Powers

The President Theodore Stern Visionary Award – Zachary T. Stephens

The President Harry Lightsey Humanitarian Award – Judith Allen