SGA awards create new honor, recognize many

Brigitte Carreiro

“We’ve seen firsthand the power of leadership on campus. We saw a united front between student leaders and leaders in the faculty. We saw the tremendous impact that this type of leadership has on the community,” said outgoing Student Government Association President Colin Loiselle at the annual SGA Leadership Awards Tuesday night.

The Suffolk community gathered to recognize outstanding students and faculty who have made important contributions to the university as a whole this year.

Among the most noted commemoration presented at this year’s awards was that of Dean Nancy Stoll, who attended the event as her final SGA Awards before her retirement. As tribute, Stoll received the Lifetime Achievement Honor, but as a way to salute her impressive work with the student body, and SGA in particular, Loiselle announced that the award will now be known as the Dr. Nancy C. Stoll Award for Commitment to Student Life.

“Dean Stoll helped me grow, not just as a leader, but as a professional,” said Loiselle.

Among others noted, junior Tiffany Martinez received the Unsung Student Hero award, senior Megan Post received the Outstanding College of Arts and Sciences Student of the Year Award, and junior Kathleen Andrade received Outstanding Junior of the Year, as well as helped accept the award for Most Improved Student Organization of the Year for her contribution to dance troupe Pasion Latina.

“I was not expecting it, and it’s just an honor to be nominated. It’s the whole team; it isn’t just me,” Andrade said. “I’m definitely grateful to have all these people around.”

Post, a public relations student attending her first SGA Awards, had similar reactions to her win.

“I’m so honored that people would nominate me and vote for me. It’s a great way to close out my Suffolk career,” she said.

Facilitating the event were sophomores Jonathan McTague and Nick DeSouza, SGA senators who hosted the evening complete with thicker-than-usual Boston accents and enough sense of humor to go around.

“It’s good to see everyone tonight. President McKenna, it’s good to see that you’re still here,” DeSouza said, eliciting plenty of good-humored laughter.

McKenna, who took the podium herself, applauded the Suffolk community in its entirety for its resilience in what has been called an unstable academic year.

“The students here are living life every day, engaged in life every day, engaged in creating change, engaged in advocacy,” she said. “I have been so impressed by the students at Suffolk. It’s been an amazing experience for me.”

John Silveria, assistant dean of students and SGA advisor, commended the current SGA executive board for their work this year, giving special recognition to Loiselle.

“It’s one of those moments where you actually get to see how [a student will] handle things representing the student body,” said Silveria. “You’ve had a president this year who’s always willing to defend what the students believed in, and you’ve had a student this year who stood up for you.”

In accordance with previous years, Loiselle initiated the Passing of the Gavel ceremony with SGA President-Elect Sean Walsh, who will fill Loiselle’s shoes for the 2016-2017 academic year.

“I consider myself very lucky to be able to come back next year and continue working for students who have been underrepresented so we can keep fighting to make sure student interest remains the number one priority when major decisions are made,” Walsh said. “I can’t say enough about Colin and how much he’s done for me. Suffolk is extremely lucky to have had him as president of the Student Government Association. I don’t think there’s anybody better.”

SGA Secretary Brianna Silva, who was charged as the main organizer of the event, said she was proud of the result of many weeks of hard work.

“This award show is for all student organizations, leaders and administration, and I hope that all those recognized tonight left the event knowing that this is all for them,” she said.