COVID-19 quarantining stole the proud victory strolls to the podium, but Beacon College student affairs officials determined not to allow the pandemic to steal the moment from deserving students.
Rather than cancel the 2019-2020 Beacon College Leadership Awards, the college shifted into the-show-must-go-on mode and took to cyberspace to salute this year’s crop of leaders and staffers.
Broadcast using Zoom videoconferencing, the April 16 ceremony recognized inductees of the college’s academic honor society Psi Tau Omega, student ambassadors, orientation leaders, peer tutors, student employees, faculty advisers and other categories.
“I decided to still do the Leadership Awards and to do it through Zoom,” said Dr. Kerry Greenstein, dean of student affairs at Beacon College. “I just felt like this was a great way to get everyone together and to celebrate the accomplishments from the year. Some of the recipients were seniors and so we really wanted to give them the chance to have their moment.”
- Haven Eckstein won the Dean’s Excellence Award.
- Isabela Chavez and Sydney Culver won the Student Ambassador Award.
- Sydney Culver, Alexandra Hancock, Lucas Frank-Holzner, Christopher Hornburg, Kyle Joyce, Nicholas Nelson, Katherine Ramsey, and Hannah Watson received Leadership Achievement Awards.
For Culver, the Leadership Award was validation of her strides in maturation and posture since coming to campus.
“I am developing communication skills to help in my career, for example, looking at other people’s perspectives,” said Culver, 20, of Redondo Beach, Calif., a rising junior majoring in anthrozoology.
“The award shows that I am good at working with people. I have learned so much doing the work I do on campus. Winning a Leadership Achievement Award helped me feel even better about the work I do on campus and the Beacon College community. It was nice to be recognized and appreciated for what I do for students before they come to Beacon, as they become new students, and the help I give them as they go through their years at Beacon.”
What the Zoom virtual awards ceremony lacked in intimacy and electricity the technology more than made up in its ability to bring together students, faculty, parents, and alumni from around the world in a moment of communal celebration, Greenstein said.
In all, 188 students, parents, and faculty tuned in.
“Even more than the categories and winners, for me, the night symbolized what Beacon is all about,” he said. “It was so reassuring to see how much everyone was cheering for each other and congratulating each other. I’m also extremely encouraged by the potential that is so evident in our students and their ability to serve as leaders. We have some amazing students and when put in the right situations, they really can do anything.”