Student leaders honored with awards
It’s amazing what can happen in a year.
During her first three years at University of Michigan-Dearborn, Jessica Reed traveled to campus a few days a week for class, then drove home. She often shied away from extracurricular activities.
But Reed walked into a Political Science Association (PSA) meeting last year, a decision that vastly changed her approach to student life.
Fast forward to April 11 when Reed took the stage and accepted UM-Dearborn’s Distinguished Student Leader award.
“It definitely made me feel like I was doing something right,” said Reed, who will graduate this month with a bachelor’s degree in political science. “It’s really special because it caps off so much effort.”
Reed and other UM-Dearborn students were honored this month at the annual Student Leadership Awards.
Reed had plenty to celebrate this year, as PSA took home the award for Outstanding Recognized Student Organization. Reed, who is president of PSA, also helped organize the “Destination Detroit” speaker series, which won Outstanding Student Organization Program.
Jonathan Larson, UM-Dearborn’s student organizations supervisor, took great pride in this year’s event because students he often works with were honored for their leadership efforts.
“It’s a big deal,” he said.
Larson previously worked on residential campuses, so when he first arrived at UM-Dearborn, he was surprised by the amount of student programming.
“When I came here, I never would have realized we were a commuter campus, based on all the activities going on,” he said. “It’s just not a commuter feel. There’s always something happening. Students take great pride in what they do here.”
Kris Bjornbak plays a major role in promoting UM-Dearborn’s student life. That’s because he’s involved in many of the organizations that organize campus events. Bjornbak, who is a member of seven student organizations, also was honored this month with a Distinguished Student Leader award.
Bjornbak is president of UM-Dearborn’s Association of Student Anthropologists, and also spends about 15 hours a week with international students, familiarizing them with southeast Michigan.
“The award is great, but knowing that I’ve made a difference in someone’s life means more than any award,” he said.