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Student Organization Awards and Recognition

The Office of Student Leadership and Involvement makes it a priority to recognize the great work of Penn State's student organizations. There are several ways in which we hope to highlight successful programs, new initiatives, national awards, individual student leader contributions, and much more. Be sure to take a look at all the ways we could help put your organization in the spotlight. Organizations can self-nominate or people outside the organization can submit nominations as well.

Student Organization and Involvement Awards

Student Affairs recognizes the outstanding work accomplished by recognized student organizations at Penn State at the closing of each spring semester. Both student organizations and their leaders are celebrated through these awards. Descriptions of the awards can be found below. 

Last year’s recipients can be found below. Each organization and individual nominated had great accomplishments and it is an honor to be nominated. Please join us in congratulating them all.

New Initiative

The New Initiative award recognizes an organization that implemented new initiatives and programs in the past year. This award will be given to recognize a new program or initiative created and implemented by a recognized student organization that contributed to the overall student experience.

2023 Recipient: Penn State Network Television

2022 Recipient: Pan-African Professional Alliance

2021 Recipient: Management and Organizational Leadership Association

Membership Engagement

The Membership Engagement award recognizes an organization that has prioritized the retention and active involvement of their membership. This organization has worked to foster a sense of community within their membership, from new to returning members. They value all member and encourage involvement in the organization no matter the time spent in the organization.

2023 Recipient: Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship Society

2022 Recipient: Student Nutrition Association

2021 Recipient: Club Tennis

Professional/Student Development

The Professional/Student Development award recognizes an organization that serve the needs of its members through speakers, workshops, retreats, conferences, and other acts to continually educate its members. This organization values the development of all its members and actively works to create an environment that promotes learning and growth.  

2023 Recipient: Public Policy Association at Penn State

2022 Recipient: First Gen Advocates

2021 Recipient: Society of Women Engineers

Community Impact

The Community Impact award recognizes an organization that positively impacts the campus and the greater Penn State community.  This organization strives to be a community builder through service, education, inspiration, and connection.  The recipient of this award has made outstanding and meaningful connections inside and outside of the PSU community. Through programs and initiatives, this student organization has had the opportunity to have a real and meaningful impact on both the campus and local community.  

2023 Recipient: Hillel

2022 Recipient: Lightbulb Junior Enterprise

2021 Recipient: Smeal Student Mentors

Collaborative Efforts and Initiative

The Collaborative Efforts and Initiative award recognizes a co-sponsored program or initiative that demonstrates synergy and success as a result of working together.  This award celebrates student organizations that have made collaboration a top priority.  The recipients have demonstrated they can break down barriers between diverse student populations and foster greater communication between different organizations on campus.  This may have occurred through programs, conversations, or publicity for a cause.  These organizations have enhanced the Penn State experience and made a larger contribution to the community with their collaboration.  

2023 Recipient: Iranian Student Society

2022 Recipient: Lightbulb Junior Enterprise

2021 Recipient: Black Graduate Student Association

Diversity and Inclusion Enhancement

The Diversity and Inclusion Enhancement award recognizes an organization that has had a significant impact in advancing diversity and inclusion through their membership and activities at Penn State and the community. Their programming embodies the Penn State’s Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and demonstrates a commitment to enhancing the Penn State community.

2023 Recipient: Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority

2022 Recipient: Queer and Trans People of Color

2021 Recipient: National Student Speech Language Hearing Association 

OrgCentral Maximizer

The OrgCentral Maximizer award recognizes an organization that has taken full advantage of the OrgCentral platform. This organization will have taken advantage of features such as forms, elections, news, and updated their organization’s public-facing page with photos and descriptions. This is a staff-nominated award.  

2022 Recipient: Unity Christian Campus Ministry

2021 Recipients:

  • German Club
  • Student Nittany Lion Club
Outstanding Event Planners

The Outstanding Event Planners award recognizes an organization that has excelled in the event planning process, from simple to complex events. This organization has taken advantage of university resources in making their event(s) planning process a success and has had interactions with multiple offices throughout the process. This is a staff-nominated award. 

2023 Recipient: Full Ammo Improv Troupe

2022 Recipient: Iranian Student Association

2021 Recipients:

  • Block and Bridle
  • Dairy Science Club
Outstanding Financial Management

The Outstanding Financial Management award recognizes an organization that has shown responsible financial procedures and fund usage. This is a staff-nominated award. 

2023 Recipient: Club Track and Field

2022 Recipient:The Penn State Thespian Society

2021 Recipients:

  • HackPSU
  • Mock Trial
Outstanding Organization Advisors

The Outstanding Organization Advisors award recognizes PSU faculty/staff advisors of a Recognized Student Organization in good standing who has had a positive influence on an organization by providing support, approachability, and encouragement of effective communication within the organization. 

2023 Recipient: Dr. Esther Obonyo, Pan-African Professional Alliance

2022 Recipient: Jennifer Fleming, Student Nutrition Association

2021 Recipients:

  • Mr. Alan Schaffranek,  The Agricultural Student Council
  • Dr. Karen Marosi,  College of Earth and Mineral Science Student Council
  • Peter Miraldi, TEDxPSU
Outstanding Organization Member

The Outstanding Organization Member Award recognizes a non-officer member of a recognized student organization who has gone above and beyond. This member works hard to make their community a warm, friendly, exciting, and educational experience for students. This award will be given to recognize a student organization member (not an officer) of a Recognized Student Organization who often places their heart and soul into everything. This member may be classified as often taking a “behind the scenes” approach but always goes above and beyond the standard to help their student organization, who displays outstanding leadership, dedication and involvement with their organization. 

2023 Recipient: Association of Water Students at Penn State

2022 Recipient:  University Park Undergraduate Association

2021 Recipient:  National Society of Black Engineers

Outstanding Organization Officer

The Outstanding Organization Officer Award recognizes an executive board officer that has made on impact on their organizations. The officer has helped define the missions of their groups, build plans to achieve their goals, provide encouragement and motivation to members while also managing expectations and providing important oversight, and maintains integrity even in difficult situations. The award celebrates the student organization officers who often dedicate much of their time and effort to ensure that their organization is successful and tirelessly give themselves to the projects and events associated with their organization. This award recognizes a student organization officer who displays outstanding organizational leadership, dedication and involvement to the overall success of their organization.

 2023 Recipient:Unity Christian Campus Ministry

 2022 Recipients: 

  • Days For Girls at Penn State
  • Indian Culture and Language Club

2021 Recipients: 

  •  Bangladesh  Student Association
  •  Harmony
Outstanding Student Organization

The Outstanding Student Organization Award recognizes an organization that has made a significant effort to further its purpose through its contribution to Penn State and the State College community. This award recognizes the student organization that has demonstrated consistent flexibility, initiative, creativity, and perseverance through their activities and programs. Furthermore, the organization embodies a commitment to leadership development, collaboration among groups, and programmatic efforts to enhance the quality of campus life at Penn State. The Outstanding Student Organization is considered a role model for other organizations on our campus.  

2023 Recipient: German Club

2022 Recipient: The National Society of Black Engineers

2021 Recipient: National Student Speech Language Hearing Association

Outstanding Sustainability Efforts

The Outstanding Sustainability Efforts Award recognizes an organization that infuses sustainability into its daily practices. This organization has taken the time to educate their members on sustainable efforts within their organization and beyond. They have collaborated with other organizations, community partners, or departments to learn, grow, and share in the spirit of sustainability. 

2023 Recipient: Enactus

Up-and-Coming Organizations

The Up-and-Coming Organization Award recognizes a newly formed organization in good standing that has recently (within this academic year) gained recognition or re-instatement and has positively contributed to the PSU community. This organization exemplifies significant efforts in building collaborative relationships with current organizations and meets a need at PSU not met by another organization. 

2023 Recipient: Association of Water Students at Penn State

Outstanding Service

The Outstanding Service Award recognizes an organization that best demonstrates dedicated leadership and service to the university or community and whose membership has made service an integral part of their college experience. This might be demonstrated through activities and partnerships with other campus groups or community organizations and/or high levels of personal engagement on the part of the membership. The organization that receives this award will have sponsored a community service program that contributed to the broader mission of Penn State and encouraged students to engage in service beyond one experience. 

2023 Recipient: Pan-African Professional Alliance

Outstanding Marketing

The Outstanding Marketing Award recognizes an organization that demonstrates significant presence and attention to traditional and present-day social media outlets. This organization understands that the promotion of their group and their group’s work is an important part of the event-planning process. The recipient of this award exhibits creativity, inclusivity, and a wide reach to attract students to events or to promote awareness of a cause. This student organization has gone above and beyond to demonstrate the importance of publicity. 

2023 Recipient: African Students Association

Outstanding Philanthropy Event

The Outstanding Philanthropy Event Award recognizes an organization that has held a successful philanthropy event that benefited either a local or national philanthropy. This organization will have taken care in planning and executing the event and provided information regarding philanthropy during the event. 

2023 Recipient: Arnold Air Society

Innovative Program

The Innovative Program Award recognizes a student organization that took an inventive and original approach to creating or updating an existing program. The program met the need of the Penn State Community and its students through creative planning and marketing. 

2023 Recipient: Society of Women Engineers

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Student Organization Awards & Recognition
Penn State Student Affairs
Student Leadership and Involvement

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