Academic Excellence, Service, and Perseverance Honored with Presidential Awards

For some students, the college experience reaches far beyond average classroom engagement and instead is a golden opportunity for them to give it their all in ways that help to secure a better future, not only for themselves, but for the university, the community, and society.

In its third year, the President’s Student Leadership and Service Awards celebration at California State University, Dominguez Hills honored just such exemplary students, as well as student organizations and faculty advisors in front of nearly 200 university faculty, staff, students and family members in the Loker Student Union on May 2.

“When I say ‘extraordinary’ and ‘outstanding’ to describe these students here this evening, it’s not hyperbole. It’s what they are as evidenced by their perseverance, what they do in the classroom, the lab, in our community, and in the many organizations they are involved in,” said University Interim President Willie J. Hagan. “Our students dedicate themselves to service, leadership, and academics.”

2013 Presidential Outstanding Student Award
Given to students who have two or more of the following characteristics: a grade point average of 3.5 or higher in their coursework at CSU Dominguez Hills; a commitment to community service and/or civic engagement; leadership at the university; and supporting and advancing the university’s mission of diversity.

Senior communications major Chardae Jenkins

Senior communications major Chardae Jenkins

Senior Africana studies major David C. Turner, III

Senior Africana studies major David C. Turner, III

Master's entry-level professional nursing (MEPN) graduate student Jessica Mahinda

Master’s entry-level professional nursing (MEPN) graduate student Jessica Mahinda


 Read more about the three Presidential Outstanding Students

“Chardae Jenkins: 2013 Presidential Outstanding Student”

“David C. Turner, III: 2013 Presidential Outstanding Student”

“Jessica Mahinda: 2013 Presidential Outstanding Student”

2013 Presidential Award for Personal Perseverance

Given to honor a graduating senior who has overcome academic, social and/or personal adversity and yet persevered toward earning a degree.

Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Sonja Daniels, Africana studies and history political development major Jaqueline Hill, and University Interim President Willie J. Hagan

Associate vice president for student affairs Sonja Daniels, Africana studies and history political development major Jaqueline Hill, and University Interim President Willie J. Hagan.


Jaqueline Denise Hill, a senior double majoring in Africana Studies and History Political Development, endured the loss of one parent prior to attending CSU Dominguez, and a devastating illness to the other while a student at the university. Despite personal strife, she has excelled academically, maintaining a GPA of 3.7 while being active in student life and revitalizing the CSU Dominguez Hills chapter of National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

“I am very humbled to be honored. I didn’t expect to win,” Hill said. “I want to dedicate the honor to my good friend Brandon Myers who was murdered this past weekend. He would have been so proud of me because he was one of the many friends who encouraged me and my success in school.”



2013 Outstanding Academic Achievement by a Student Organization

Given to a student organization that has demonstrated exemplary service while maintaining a 3.0 or higher cumulative grade point average.

As if proving there’s strength in numbers, the CSU Dominguez Hills chapter members of Psi Chi Honor Society collectively earned a G.P.A. of 3.84.

Their nomination letter read, “Our organization began the 2012-2013 academic year with one goal in mind: to solidify the momentum established in the previous year. … Our Cabinet took the position that to be successful in the current year, we knew that our actions as a chapter, must reflect the fundamental purpose of our student organization, which is to encourage, stimulate and maintain excellence in scholarship.”

2013 Presidential Award for Outstanding Program by a Student Organization
Given to a student organization that has planned an outstanding community service program off campus or an on-campus event that contributed to the quality of student life or educated students about important social issues.

Pan African Union—For the production and hosting of its annual fashion show, which at seven years is one of the longest-running student-coordinated events on campus. This year the proceeds from its nearly 1,000 attendees were donated to Home Grown Radio, Read Lead, and Lincoln Elementary School.

Labor Studies Club—For the planning and implementation of the 2012 Labor, Social and Environmental Justice Fair held on campus, which attracts more than 50 local unions and community groups annually, and serves to introduce new students to CSU Dominguez Hills and its Labor Studies program—the only such bachelor’s degree program at a state-supported university in Southern California.

2013 Presidential Award for Outstanding Student Organization
Given to a student organization that has demonstrated extraordinary leadership through a wide array of programs.

Anthropology Club—Its members have participated in and sponsored several activities from Toro HYPE, Day at Dominguez, Native American Heritage Day, the third annual CSU Dominguez Hills Pow Wow and a lecture on chocolate, which included a tasting of several different varieties of the end product of the beloved beans. They also produce an online scholarly anthropology journal.

American Marketing Association (AMA) —This is the second year AMA was honored with this award. More than 70 strong, members of the AMA in 2012-13 cooked and served a Thanksgiving Day dinner for about 100 CSU Dominguez Hills students in need, organized a recycling campaign “Get Off Your Can 2,” contributed to AIDS Walk, Breast Cancer Research, and the American Heart Association, as well as mentoring foster children in Los Angeles and helping to rebuild homes in Long Beach.

“I like [being a member of AMA] because we learn different things from how to socialize and to network with different kinds of people, like business people or even just with friends, in a professional way that’s going to better prepare us for the business environment.” said Anna Bucio, a junior marketing management major. “Our academic advisor Juan Holguin (assistant professor of marketing), he’s the most amazing, because he keeps all of us tight together. He’s there every single meeting, every Tuesday night.”

2013 Presidential Award for Advisor of the Year
Given to a club/organization advisor who has demonstrated outstanding support.

Laura Talamante, assistant professor of history, for her guidance to students in the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society

Vivian Price, associate professor of interdisciplinary studies/PACE and coordinator of labor studies, for her guidance to students and the Labor Studies Club.

PSLS Awards group

For the completion of leadership workshops and a five-hour experiential component that earned them a Passport to Leadership Certificate (through the Office of Student Life), students recognized were Mathew Calima (junior, business administration: accounting), Laneatra DeHughesm (senior, health science: community health), Delphine Emoka (undergraduate special session: biology), Belen Garcia (senior, business administration: accounting), Detrick Hudson (senior, chemistry: general chemistry), Candi Nguyen (senior, business administration: accounting), Victor Reyes (senior, public administration: administrative management), Dayana Rodriguez (sophomore, criminal justice administration), Sam Shabot (senior, business administration: finance), and Fabiola Suarez (senior, sociology).

The President’s Student Leadership and Service Awards celebration was made possible through a partnership of the Division of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, Office of the President, Office of Student Life, Campus Dining Services, University Printing Services, Loker Student Union, Inc., Department of Music, and Marco Dowell, event host and chair of the awards committee; director of events and donor stewardship Toby Bushee, manager of programs, marketing and assessments for the Loker Student Union Carole Desgroppes, coordinator of international student advising and programming Kerry Gonzalez, director of the Loker Student Union Cecilia Ortiz, and director of university housing services Eric Rollerson.

For more information about the President’s Student Leadership and Service Awards, visit

Photos for this story are courtesy of Brown and Gayden Productions.

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