By Stella Katsipoutis-Varkanis

Twenty-three standout students, employees, and student organizations were honored with Aaron O. Hoff Awards during an online ceremony today. The annual awards, presented by the Division of Campus Life, honor the legacy of Aaron O. Hoff 1836—the College’s first African American student—and recognize awardees for their inspiration, contributions, dedication, and leadership in the Lafayette community.

Each spring for the last 30 years, the Division of Campus Life calls on the Lafayette community to nominate the individuals and groups who embody Hoff’s strength of character and his endeavors to build community. Award recipients are then selected by a nine-person committee of students and administrators. Awards are presented in several categories—individual, organization, educator, and program.

Individual Student Awards

  • Maddy McLaughlin ’20 received the 1974 Award, which recognizes the student who most exemplifies the groundbreaking spirit of the first class of women to graduate from Lafayette College by working toward equality for women on campus.
  • Katie Gonick

    Katie Gonick

    Katie Gonick ’20 received the Robert I. Weiner Interfaith Award, which recognizes the student who contributed most significantly to interfaith work by promoting constructive dialogue between religious and intercultural groups on campus.

  • Olivia Resnick

    Olivia Resnick

    Olivia Resnick ’20 received the Residential Spirit Award, which recognizes a student who has gone above and beyond to contribute to their living environment, making the hall a fun and welcoming place to live.

  • Victoria Puglia

    Victoria Puglia

    Victoria Puglia ’21 received the Frances Ocansey-Ahene Spirit of Multiculturalism Award, which recognizes an upper-level student whose commitment to academic excellence and inclusive leadership within the community transcends all barriers and exemplifies the ethos of multiculturalism at Lafayette College.

  • Fatimata Damba Chan

    Fatimata Damba Chan

    Fatimata Damba Cham ’23 received the World Citizen Award, which recognizes the student who has demonstrated commitment to international or global issues through academic work or co-curricular leadership at Lafayette College.

  • Kyra Helfrich ’20 received the Mattachine Award, which recognizes the student who most exemplifies the courage of the Mattachine Society, the nation’s first LGBTQ rights organization, in working tirelessly to advance LGBTQ rights at Lafayette College.
  • Maria Ahmed

    Maria Ahmed

    Maria Ahmed ’20 received the Service Above Self Award, which recognizes a student who best exemplifies the qualities of caring and concern for others through participation in service activities. This active citizen is committed to discovering the root cause of social issues and supports solution-based initiatives with significant amounts of personal time.

  • Kyle Low ’20 and Jacob Hoffner ’20 received the Unsung Hero Award, which honors a student who works without regard for personal reward, who has demonstrated concern for and dedication to the betterment of their peers within the Lafayette community.
  • Danielle Kraidin ’21 and Rabia Demirelli ’21 received the Emerging Leader Award, which recognizes students who demonstrate considerable leadership potential and have made an impressive transition from exploring to taking the lead towards meaningful change.
  • Rachael Broder ’20 received the Marquis Award (individual), which recognizes exemplary leadership by a student. The recipient has influenced the behaviors, actions, or opinions of others toward a common goal or purpose. The recipient models collaboration, handles controversy with civility, and places value on a common purpose.

Organization Awards

  • Alpha Phi Omega received the Commitment to Service Award, which recognizes a student organization that has displayed significant effort for the improvement of the Lafayette campus through service and/or philanthropy.
  • Forensics Society and Refugee Action Group received the Student Organization of the Year Award (serving its membership), which recognizes a student organization that demonstrated excellence throughout the year as indicated by its programming, membership, and/or organization management.
  • Women’s Club Ice Hockey received the Marquis Award (organization), which recognizes exemplary leadership by a student organization or group of students. The recipient has influenced the behaviors, actions or opinions of others toward a common goal or purpose. The recipient models collaboration, handles controversy with civility, and places value on a common purpose.

Educator Awards (faculty, administration, and staff)

  • Associate Professor of Anthropology Neha Vora received the Superior Teaching Award (humanities and social sciences), which recognizes a professor who has served as an exemplary scholar by teaching above and beyond the required level and having a significant positive impact on the careers of students inside and outside the classroom.
  • Assistant Professor of Psychology Lauren Myers received the Superior Teaching Award (sciences and engineering), which recognizes a professor who has served as an exemplary scholar by teaching above and beyond the required level and having a significant positive impact on the careers of students inside and outside the classroom.
  • Hafsa Kanjwal

    Hafsa Kanjwal

    Assistant Professor of History Hafsa Kanjwal received the John T. McCartney Excellence in Diversity Education Award, which recognizes a faculty member who demonstrates intellectual passion, mentorship of students, and a strong commitment to diversity. The recipient inspires high academic achievement in her or his students and promotes cultural awareness for the campus community.

  • Interim Assistant Director of Student Engagement and Civic Leadership Melissa Ash of the Landis Center for Community Engagement received the Administrator of the Year Award, which recognizes an administrator who has demonstrated dedication, availability, and energy in their involvement with students.
  • Head Women’s Ice Hockey Coach Liam Lansang of the Division of Campus Life received the Staff Member of the Year Award, which recognizes a staff member who has served the Lafayette community, has gone above and beyond his or her responsibilities, has been courteous and engaging with students, and has improved the quality of campus life.

Program Awards

  • Native American Heritage Week, presented by Alternative School Break, received the Big 8 Program of the Year Award, which recognizes a student organization or group of students who planned and implemented a program or initiative that most impacted the campus community in its emphasis on cross-cultural dialogue, intellectual exploration of a sociocultural issue, and/or social integration across identities.
  • The National Museum of African American History and Culture Trip, presented by Association of Black Collegians, received the Program of the Year Award, which recognizes a student organization or group of students who planned and implemented a program that positively impacted the campus culture.
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