Congratulations to our Pillars of Leadership Award Winners!

The three columns of Baird Point and nearby evergreen trees are silhouetted by a bright yellow half-set sun and night blue sky.

Published May 10, 2024

Congratulations to our 2024 Pillars of Leadership Award Recipients! We had over 160 nominations for these awards - a huge congratulations to all who were nominated!

The Pillars of Leadership Award Winners

Formerly known as the LEAD Awards, The Pillars of Leadership Awards are designed to recognize individuals and organizations who have demonstrated a commitment to leadership, service, mentorship, and the UB and Buffalo communities.

There are 23 awards that students, faculty, and staff can nominate leaders for, with multiple winners for some of those awards. Check out each category to see those awards and who our winners were!

Community & Civic Engagement

  • Dorothy M Haas Community Engagement Award - Luke Hess & Elnaz Amini
  • Outstanding Community Impact Award (Undergraduate) - Sam Daponte
  • Outstanding Community Impact Award (Graduate) - Gina Mersereau
  • Exceptional Community Partnership Award - Crisis Services Advocate Program
  • Visions of Social Justice Award (Undergraduate) - Annayah Noorani, Sarah Bukhari & Julian Livingston
  • Visions of Social Justice Award (Graduate)- Mala Mccormick-Cisse


  • Esports Most Valuable Player (MVP) - Shengming Cheng
  • Outstanding Service to the Esports Community - Fern Hernandez

Fraternity & Sorority Life

  • Outstanding Service to the UB Greek Community - Grayson Cary, Phi Sigma Sigma
  • Outstanding Service to the UB Greek Community - Zaria Gibson-Stevenson, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
  • Outstanding Service to the UB Greek Community - Cole Fredericks, Lambda Chi Alpha

Leadership & Development

  • Exemplary Mentorship Award (Graduate Student) – Matthew Agurto
  • Exemplary Mentorship Award (Emerging Faculty/Staff) – Dr. Nitasha Sehgal & Thomas Vane
  • Exemplary Mentorship Award (Mid-Level Faculty/Staff) – Dr. Alina Vereshchaka
  • Exemplary Mentorship Award (Senior Faculty/Staff) - Dr. Kristen MooreLori Chiarilli
  • Emerging Student Leader Awards - Chirag Ohri
  • Exemplary Student Leader Awards - Daysia Augustin
  • Innovative Student Leadership Awards – Jason Jiang & Emily Genovesi
  • Service Above Self Award (Student) – Nicole Gerdes
  • Service Above Self Award (Faculty/Staff) - Dr. Elizabeth Bartelt
  • UB Pride & Service Award (Undergraduate) – Selin Arnavut
  • UB Pride & Service Award (Graduate) – Trinithas Boyi

Student Governance & Organizations

  • Organization of the Year - Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Chapter
  • Innovative Program or Event of the Year - ENT-SIG
  • Student Organization Officer of the Year - Hanna Liu
  • Outstanding Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Initiative Award - Graduate Planning Student Association
  • New Student Organization of the Year - NMDP Chapter of University at Buffalo
  • Student Organization Collaboration of the Year - Asian American Student Union - AASU Night Market
  • Student Organization Award for Excellence in Academics and Service - INFORMS (Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences
  • Student Organization Advisor of the Year - Hannah Giarrizzo

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