Deadline nears for student standouts

By Linda Luk

Each year, NIU students who have shown outstanding participation and leadership skills are recognized for their hard work. The prize: annual leadership


Designed to recognize student leaders, the awards also acknowledge student organizations and faculty advisers who have contributed to the quality of campus life. Specific awards are given to freshman, sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students.

“For most of the awards, students receive certificates and plaques,” said Margie Cook, program coordinator for University Programming and Activities. “There are also institutional tuition waivers, which waive the tuition for the year or semester.”

The value of awards varies every year.

“There are probably about 100 or so awards given,” Cook said. “There are only 16 institutional waivers available.”

Awards are based on many criteria.

“We look at the students’ academic standing, along with their involvement in student organizations, community service and the references, which are the two letters of recommendation,” Cook said.

Freshman and sophomore applicants are judged on involvement and membership. Junior and seniors also should demonstrate leadership skills.

Nicholas Kantas, a senior corporate communication major who’s received leadership awards the past two years, plans to apply again.

“I applied the first time because it seemed like a good opportunity to actually express all of the time I volunteer at NIU,” Kantas said.

Kantas received his first award his sophomore year when he was a Student Association senator, vice president of Campus Activities Board and Residence Hall Council representative for his floor. Now, as a senior, he is CAB president.

“Receiving this award made me want to work harder for NIU and the community,” Kantas said. “It helps me set standards for future involvement.”

Freshman marketing major Latoya Tucker, Grant North’s representative on the Multi-Cultural Student Caucus, as well as a member of Believing in Culture and the RHC, is applying for recognition for the first time this year.

“I am applying because I am a leader,” she said. “I deserve it.”

Students can apply by filling out forms at the Programming & Activities Office, Campus Life Building, Room 150. The deadline is 2 p.m. Friday. Winners will be notified in March, with awards presented at the annual ceremony April 20.