ALANI Celebrates Student Success

Category:  News
Wednesday, February 24th, 2016 at 10:01 PM
ALANI Celebrates Student Success by Cheyenne Majeed
International student’s were rewarded for hard work at the ALANI Awards Ceremony.

It’s the moment you hear your name being called. As you’re arising from your seat, the loud claps boost your smile as you walk up on stage to receive your certificate. Family members and friends are proudly embarrassing you for your academic achievement. Your photo is being taken. And hugs are being thrown everywhere. It’s a celebration of excellence — the ALANI Award Ceremony.

The ALANI Awards were held in the Frank G. Pogue Student Center’s multipurpose room on Thursday, Feb. 18.

Each semester ALANI (African-American, Latino, Asian, Native American and International) students at Edinboro are acknowledged for their academic excellence.

“Here, I feel more recognized and more appreciated versus when I’m back home”, said junior Marcel Hill who received a gold award.

All award recipients are presented with awards based on their grade point average (GPA) from the previous semester in which they were being awarded for. Anyone whose GPA was 2.7 to 2.99 collected a bronze award; a GPA of 3.0 to 3.49 received a silver award; a GPA of 3.5 to 3.99 received a gold award; a GPA of 4.0 received a gold star award.

As the ceremony opened up, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority member, Antoinette Jackson, greeted the recipients, family and friends with a few words. X-clusive Step Team member, Tahja Wright, also gave a warm welcome to the crowd and provided university recognition.

The guest speaker of the night was Ronald Wilson, director of social equity and title IX coordinator at Edinboro. Keeping it brief and to the point, Wilson reiterated on what an “accomplishment this was for students of diversity.” He shared a poem and ended with congratulating the recipients for their hard work before vice president for student affairs, Dr. Kahan Sablo, presented each student with their award.

Over 20 students were awarded on this night.

“Even though there is a lack of diverse things on this campus, we want to make them [diverse students] know that there is somebody on campus supporting you,” graduate assistant for student affairs, Jamilia Gates said.

Despite some of the students who couldn’t make it to the event to receive their award, Gates stated they will still be given it no matter what. She explained a few forgot to RSVP, but because of the honor they are being shown, that factor was not going to stop a student from being able to attend or accept their honorary award.

When you receive an honorary award in college, students explained it’s a different gesture versus when you receive one in high school. Sophomore Derrick Washington and silver award winner said, “I feel like it’s better because college is on a higher level.” Not only is college at a higher level, but indeed a faster pace, which requires students to stay on top of their game.

It’s incredible to hear when students feel accomplished and when their hard work is recognized, not only in front of professors and other faculty members, but their peers as well. When you lead by example, others will notice and want to follow in your footsteps.

“Stuff like this shows black excellence,” Marcel said. Indeed, black excellence — and Latino, Asian, Native American and International excellence.

Cheyenne Majeed is a Staff Writer for The Spectator.

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