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USM Office of Leadership and Student Involvement Holds annual SOAR Awards Ceremony

Mon, 05/06/2024 - 04:13pm | By: David Tisdale

Soar Awards

The Office of Leadership and Student Involvement (OLSI) at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) celebrated the accomplishments of the 198 registered student organizations and student leaders at their annual Student Organization Achievement and Recognition (SOAR) Awards ceremony April 24 in the Thad Cochran Center Ballrooms on the Hattiesburg campus.

Nominations were solicited from the campus community in March and an independent committee served as nomination reviewers; 162 total nominations were submitted.

The award winners include:

*Best New Student Organization- Reading HERstory 

*Emerging Leader Award- Sophia Schmidt, American Chemical Society

*Community Builder Award- Shiza Shahid, Pakistani Student Organization and Muslim Student Association

*Organization Member of the Year- Joy Khangamwa, Southern Christian Student Center

*Organization Officer of the Year- Kinlea Robinson, Beta Alpha Psi

*Organization President of the Year- Donna Swanson, American Marketing Association

*Organization Advisor of the Year- Dr. Leah McSorley, Pakistani Student Organization 

*Innovation Award- Eagles After Similar Yearnings 

*Student Organization of the Year- National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association

Dr. Emily Holmes, director of the OLSI, expressed gratitude to the many partners working with the office throughout the year on all student events. She said this year’s student organization accomplishments are truly noteworthy, as they have worked to create “a robust student engagement experience that has captivated the campus community.”

Further, she noted that a record 22 new student organizations were chartered at the university this year, helping grow student engagement through student organization involvement to create a second-to-none student life experience at Southern Miss.

“We are continually impressed each year with the capacity that many of our organizations employed to craft experiences on campus that impact student engagement and learning,” Dr. Holmes continued. “This year was no exception. We are so proud of their contributions to the Southern Miss experience.”

Learn more about the SOAR awards and the Office of Leadership and Student Involvement.