Vice President for Student Affairs Special Recognition Award

This award is  given to a graduating senior who has made an especially significant and original contribution to Student Affairs during the academic year
  • Image of Amarit Kaur Ubhi

    Amarit Kaur Ubhi

    "Amarit's work as ASWU president has been exemplary and inspirational. She is dedicated to students' wellbeing and pursues a social justice and equity lens in all aspects of this work. Amarit works hard to build links with faculty members in order to support students. She is a professional and mature person who treats people with great respect."

Senior Certificate

Senior Certificates honor members of the senior class who have contributed “Service to the Associated Students.” Recipients are selected based on their time and effort spent in the name of Willamette University, the diversity of their activities, and their impact on other students. These recipients are honored for their service to the Division of Student Affairs and ASWU programs.

  • Image of Emmett Blaney

    Emmett Blaney


    Varsity Lacrosse team Captain, leadership in both the Trans Advocacy Committee and the GRAC (Gender Resource and Advocacy Center), and leadership in the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).

    Emmett’s nominators said:

    Emmett supported efforts to help launch the pronoun and gender identity options in Workday and Sage/Wise. Emmett helped create a "Trans 101" workshop to educate staff and faculty around this new feature and why it was important and needed to better support our trans students.”

    “Emmett approached these issues with great integrity, while showing up in public as a teammate and a leader.”

  • Image of Jordan DeGelia

    Jordan DeGelia


    Coordinator of the Bearcat Pantry (on-campus food pantry), Blitz Mascot Coordinator, Russian Club President, Disability Advocacy Club Treasurer.

    Jordan’s nominators said:

    “Jordan is one of the most dedicated students that I have ever met. His efforts to enhance the Willamette student experience have been an inspiration to me and many others.”

    “Jordan has made many positive changes to the programs that he has led. He has examined policies and practices through multiple lenses to increase accessibility to students.”

  • Image of Bethel Eyasu

    Bethel Eyasu


    Black Student Union President, Intervarsity Treasurer, Willamette Events Board Publicity Chair, Resident Advisor, and member of the coordinator team for the PNW Students of Color Conference.

    Bethel’s nominators said:

    “Bethel has gone above and beyond with her dedication to improving the student experience at Willamette”.

    “During Bethel’s time as BSU President, she planned vibrant meetings, organized events, and built community. Her work was vital in supporting students and creating a space for Black students on campus.”

  • Image of Tessa Harvey

    Tessa Harvey


    German Club President and Vice President, Mortar Board President, Community Service-Learning Coordinator, and ASWU Senator.

    Tessa’s nominators said:

    “Tessa has been committed to the WU community since she first set foot on campus and has spent the majority of her college experience challenging herself to learn more about how she can better her community.”

    “Her leadership has inspired me and many other students to take on leadership roles as well, making Tessa a great example of what it means to live Willamette's motto by being an example to others”

  • Image of Diana Marquez Guerrero

    Diana Marquez Guerrero


    Willamette Events Board President and event planner, Take a Break trip leader, WU Causa President and Native & Indigenous Student Union Vice President.

    Diana’s nominators said:

    “Diana has planned and implemented many culturally-focused events, speakers, movies, and activities four our campus. She has helped to initiate and facilitate collaboration between Multicultural clubs and other groups on campus.

    “She has planned unique campus events that have met student and community needs; her hard work and compassion for others has made campus a better place.”

  • Image of Ricky Oropeza

    Ricky Oropeza


    Phi Delta Theta Fraternity President (with other progressively responsible leadership roles), Video Game Club President, Opening Days Leader, and Mid-Year Orientation Leader.

    Ricky’s nominators said:

    “Ricky distinguishes himself from most of his peers with his involvement and commitment to so many different parts of campus life.”

     “I admire his work and believe he has proven to be an amazing role model to all of our students.”

  • Image of Tania Vianey Palafox Cachu

    Tania Vianey Palafox Cachu


    General Manager and Kitchen Manager for the Bistro, and QTPOC (Queer Trans People of Color) Co-President.

    Tania’s nominators said:

    “Tania has worked tirelessly and with a passion to support some of the most underrepresented students on campus.”

    “As Bistro GM, Tania took the initiative to work with facilities to make the Bistro’s doors and layout more physically accessible to visitors.”

  • Image of Andrea Rivas Iraheta

    Andrea Rivas Iraheta


    Kitchen Manager for the Bistro, Take A Break trip leader, Ohana Jump Start leader, Alianza Publicist, and Office of Multicultural Affairs leadership.

    Andrea’s nominators said:

    “Andrea has been steadfast in her commitments...She has done all of this by always holding herself and others accountable, leading from behind, and being someone who paid as much attention to the process as she does to the product.”

    “Andrea mentors others with grace by facilitating their growth with kindness and deep commitment.”

  • Image of Simone Stewart

    Simone Stewart


    Business Manager for the Collegian, ASWU Senator and Class Whip, Black Student Union Treasurer, and serving as Willamette’s Mascot: Blitz The Bearcat.

    Simone’s nominators said:

    Simone's dedication, focus, and hours of hard work in her co-curricular roles at Willamette reflect her nature as a diligent and involved community member who aims to uplift Willamette University and positively affect her peers.”

    “Simone’s work for the Collegian has been invaluable; she has gone above and beyond to improve and streamline financial processes and procedures, creating a sustainable way to supplement (and increase) student wages and scholarships.”

  • Image of Amarit Kaur Ubhi

    Amarit Kaur Ubhi


    ASWU President and Senator, Production Manager and Layout Editor for the Collegian, and serving as Willamette’s Mascot: Blitz The Bearcat.

    Amarit’s nominators said:

    “Amarit has shown outstanding and consistent leadership in all of her roles. I have been impressed with Amarit’s hard work for the student body and the organizations that she represents.”

    “Amarit’s work has been exemplary and inspirational. Her work to support students has been framed with a social justice and equity lens. She treats all people with great respect.”

  • Image of Claire Verstrate

    Claire Verstrate


    Founding President of Delta Chi Beta service organization, Students for Sustainability Lead Coordinator, Community Engagement Scholar and Coordinator for Community Service-Learning, and Vice President for Japan Studies Student Leaders (JSSL).

    Claire’s nominators said:

    “Claire has worked hard in many areas of campus to ensure the success of many programs and practices.”

    “Claire’s outstanding leadership has greatly improved student life on campus. Through implementing sustainability and service projects on campus, giving other students the capacity to grow in their own leadership roles, and working with others to ensure longevity and growth of programs – Claire’s work is much appreciated.”

Senior Key

Senior Keys are presented to members of the senior class who are the most outstanding and who go above and beyond and stand out for their meritorious service to the Associated Students of Willamette University. These students are leaders of multiple clubs and are broadly recognized by the student body for their work. Recipients are selected based on their time and effort spent in the name of Willamette University, the diversity of their activities, and their impact on other College of Arts and Sciences students.

These recipients are honored for their service to the Division of Student Affairs and ASWU programs.

  • Image of Tatiana Amrein

    Tatiana Amrein


    ASWU Vice President, Senator, and Class Whip, Pi Beta Phi Sorority Director of Leadership, Layout Editor for the Collegian, and Tiger Club Lead Team and volunteer for Community Service-Learning.

    Tatiana’s nominators said:

    “Tatiana may not hold the most public and outward-facing positions on campus, but she does a lot of work for this campus behind the scenes. She loves and is committed to Willamette and our student body.”

    “She has gone above and beyond in making ASWU senate work more effectively with each other and for the student body.”

  • Image of Katherine Elizabeth Bick

    Katherine Elizabeth Bick


    RHA (Residence Hall Association) Representative, Tiger Club Co-Coordinator for Community Service-Learning, Opening Days Lead Team Member and Leader, Panhellenic Council President and VP Public Relations, Admission Ambassador and Overnight Host Coordinator, and leadership in Pi Beta Phi Sorority.

    Katie's nominators said:

    “Katie has been extensively involved in campus life throughout her entire time as a student. An indispensable resource for any group she has worked with, Katie consistently goes above and beyond, skyrocketing into well-deserved leadership roles and shouldering additional responsibilities with grace, enthusiasm, and fundamental excellence.“

    “Her campus work has been  outstanding, affecting not only her sisters in Pi Beta Phi but the wider campus community."

  • Image of Hannah Deighton

    Hannah Deighton


    Varsity Women’s Soccer: two years as Captain and four years of membership, Intramural program Coordinator and Supervisor, Alpha Chi Omega Sorority Treasurer, Panhellenic Council Vice President of Administration, and Programmer for the Athletics Department Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Sexual Assault Action Month.

    Hannah’s nominators said:

    “Through her various leadership positions, she has served as a positive role model to other students. She is organized, mature, and completes high-quality work. Hannah has handled difficult, emotionally-charged situations with fairness and a calm demeanor.”

    “Hannah has dedicated a lot of time and effort, with excellent results, to many areas of campus.”

  • Image of Izzabella Green

    Izzabella Green


    Co-Founder of the Bearcat Pantry (campus food pantry), Co-Founder of the Boys and Girls Club program for Community Service-Learning, Service Program Coordinator and Community Engagement Scholar for Community Service-Learning, CAFES (Formerly Green Fund) Treasurer, Outdoor Program Leader, SLS (Service, Leadership, Sustainability) Jumpstart Program Leader, and Honors and Awards Committee member.

    Bella’s nominators said:

    “Bella is an outstanding individual who cares deeply about the Willamette community. She has carefully chosen co-curricular projects and commitments that, through her excellent leadership, have made a profound impact on student life.”

    She makes a conscious and consistent effort to make others feel welcomed. At the core is an overflowing kindness that affects everyone around her. “

  • Image of Ryan Fredrick Ichinaga

    Ryan Fredrick Ichinaga


    Supervisor for the Student Center for Equity and Empowerment (EnE), Ohana Jump Start Program Leader, Asian Coalition for Equality Treasurer, WU Causa leadership, and Model UN Club leadership.

    Ryan’s nominators said:

    “Ryan has been highly engaged on campus ever since he arrived. He has provided mentorship to new students to ‘help others in the way he was helped’.”

    He cares deeply for everyone on campus but particularly those from underrepresented groups. He puts this passion into action through his actions: especially with providing support and community to others.”

  • Image of Jarin Kobashigawa

    Jarin Kobashigawa


    Logistics Coordinator for Lu’au, Hawaii’i Club Treasurer, International Peer Coach (IPC) for Tokyo International University of America (TIUA), Sports Section Editor and Sports Staff Writer for the Collegian, and various club leadership.

    Jarin’s nominators said:

    “Jarin’s leadership has been steady and strong throughout all of his involvement. He is always one of the first students to volunteer to support a program or event.”

    “Through his work for the Lu’au, Jarin initiated the first ever live stream of the event. He also coordinated and supported students, staff, faculty, and outside vendors resulting in one of the largest-ever attended Lu’au events at Willamette.”

  • Image of Manuel Marcos Gutierrez

    Manuel Marcos Gutierrez


    Take A Break Director and Trip Leader for Community Service-Learning, Community Service Project Coordinator, Ohana Jumpstart Leader, SOAR Center and First Generation Book Drive Coordinator, WU Causa and Office of Multicultural Affairs leadership and Commencement Interpreter.

    Manuel’s nominators said:

    “Manuel  has worked tirelessly to create opportunities and resources for those around him while investing in the growth of his peers.”

    “He is dedicated to service and the well-being of others, which is exemplified in his co-curricular involvement.”

    “Manuel possesses communication and leadership skills combined with a sense of compassion that is unmatched by others.  He has been successful in all that he has taken on to make the programs better.”

  • Image of Brandon Miller

    Brandon Miller


    Co-Director of QTPoC (Queer/Trans People of Color), Office of Multicultural Affairs Peer Advocate, Student Chair for the Pacific NW Students of Color Conference, Student Advocacy Coordinator for the Gender Resource and Advocacy Center (GRAC)

    Brandon’s nominators said:

    Brandon has been able to accomplish such high achievements, while leading multiple clubs, organizations, and planning successful event. This  is remarkable and laudable. Brandon deeply inspires me and others every day with their hard work, generosity, and commitment to imagining and making a better world.”

    Brandon brings art, joy, warmth, and an ethic of care to all their commitments, interactions and projects. His work empowers people, builds relationships, and transforms institutions.”

  • Image of Cynthia Ramirez

    Cynthia Ramirez


    Willamette Events Board President and event planner, Alianza Co-President, International Peer Coach and Summer Programming Coordinator for Tokyo International University of America, Coordinator for the PNW Students of Color Conference, Outdoor Program Leader, Steppin’ Out Jumpstart Program leader, Opening Days leader, and WAVE Spring Break Service Program Coordinator.

    Cynthia’s nominators said:

    “She has cultivated an inclusive group culture, allowing and encouraging everyone to grow within their own roles and fostering positive team dynamics.”

    “Through her positions and actions, Cynthia’s intentional co-curricular involvement has helped to improve programs and process, group dynamics, organizational functionality and the general student experience at Willamette.”

  • Image of Jaelin Sonoda

    Jaelin Sonoda


    Opening Days Coordinator and Leader, Willamette Events Board event planning, Language in Motion Facilitator for Community Service-Learning, Paradigm Choreography Founding Executive Member and Choreographer, Lu’au Coordinator, and WAVE Summer Program Leader.

    Jaelin’s nominators said:

    “Jaelin’s involvement has been remarkable. A common theme in her work involves bringing students together and supporting intercultural friendships and understanding.”

    “Jaelin is a born leader who is willing to roll up her sleeves to get results. She is a great support for other students; willing to do whatever needs to get done while providing support and direction to others. She always leads by example and is well respected by her peers.”

Willamette University

Honors and Awards in Bearcat Excellence

Putnam University Center, Second Floor
900 State Street
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