Banquet honors successful Thunderducks

It was a night under the stars for campus clubs as Richland hosted its annual Student Success Awards. The evening event was held at Richland’s Garland campus.  Distinguished personalities behind the campus clubs were recognized as students, advisers and top faculty came dressed with individual swagger for an evening of socializing and celebrating.

 Six awards were presented after the dinner Wednesday night. First up was Phi Theta Kappa, which was awarded the Organization Community Service Award. Next was the Student Government Association (SGA) which received the award for Student Organization Program of the Year.  SGA hosted a forum on travel rights with the American Civil Liberties Union in response to President Donald Trump’s executive order regarding immigration from seven Middle Eastern and African countries.

“I hope we can have more educational events like this next year,” said SGA secretary Edward Sesay. “We had dozens of students stay afterwards to ask questions of the experts we invited.” 

The award for Most Improved Student Organization of the Year was the African Student Association.  The club was dead for two years until Tamara Mambo, a student from Cameroon, worked with some friends to bring it back. 

“We used to go to the club fairs and, not that we felt out of place, we just didn’t have that African vibe. The food, the music makes us feel at home,” said Mambo.

Outstanding Student Organization of the Year went to the Asian Student Association who went from two to 30 dedicated members in the past school year. Outstanding Student Organization Leader of the Year Award was presented to Evelyn Gascon with the Campus Activities Board. She serves as the surrogate president and was surprised to win considering the competition from other leaders.

“Back in the fall semester of 2015, I didn’t really like Richland College because I wasn’t involved. So I took it upon myself to do something about it and this organization resonated with me the most,” said Gascon.

The Advisor of the Year Award went to Rolanda Randle with the Black Student Association who consistently hosted campus events, especially during the month of February which is black history month. 

Richland’s president, Dr. Kay Eggleston, gave the closing remarks in which she expressed her upmost admiration for the students’ achievements. To students who would be graduating, she said, “Remember, the goal is always completion.”