Division of Student Affairs recognizes outstanding student leaders

Author: Kate Morgan

The University of Notre Dame’s Division of Student Affairs recognized seven students at the 36th annual Student Leadership Awards Banquet on April 6. These annual awards honor current students who have made exceptional contributions to the Notre Dame community.

The Rev. A. Leonard Collins, C.S.C., Award, honoring a graduating senior who has made substantial personal efforts to advance the interests of students at Notre Dame, was given to Allan Njomo of Arlington, Texas.

A business analytics major, Njomo served as student body president this year, and previously was the president of Stanford Hall where he advocated for marginalized individuals in residential communities. He was an active participant in the Building Bridges Mentoring Program within Multicultural Student Programs and Services (MSPS), where he actively advocated on behalf of first-generation, low-income students, and served as a Notre Dame Young Life facilitator, guiding high school students in personal growth and daily skills. Most recently, Njomo served as a strong advocate for the observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a University holiday.

The Blessed Basil Moreau, C.S.C., Leadership Award was awarded to Mary Mueller from Lake Elmo, Minnesota. This award is given to a graduating senior who embodies Father Moreau’s vision of educating heart and mind as well as someone who has demonstrated significant effort in advancing the Catholic character of the University.

Mueller, a theology major with minors in studio arts, philosophy and Catholic social tradition, has been extensively involved in advancing the Catholic charism at Notre Dame, particularly through leadership roles in Campus Ministry and the Center for Social Concerns. She served as a Small Group Bible Studies leader, a Compass Small Groups co-leader and the director of spirituality for Notre Dame Right to Life. She was also a member of Students Consulting for Nonprofit Organizations, and assisted with the Short Course Process for students entering the Catholic Church.

The Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C., Award annually honors a graduating senior whose leadership has significantly advanced the climate of welcome and inclusion within or beyond the University community. This year’s recipient is Max Siegel from Fishers, Indiana.

A psychology and global affairs major, Siegel served as president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council, president of the Zeta Alpha chapter of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and a representative for athletics on the Student Government Executive Cabinet. In 2020, Siegel presented to the Undergraduate Experience and Student Life Committee of the Board of Trustees where he addressed the student experience related to the coronavirus pandemic and discussed microaggression training through MSPS. He also spoke at the 2020 Juneteenth Rally and Walk for Unity.

The John W. Gardner Student Leadership Award, given to a graduating senior who exemplifies the ideals of the University through outstanding community service beyond the University community, was awarded to Greg Miller from Chandler, Arizona.

An applied and computational mathematics and statistics and honors economics major and constitutional studies and Hesburgh Program in Public Service minor, Miller has made significant contributions to the South Bend community in his time at Notre Dame. Engaging in local activism and housing advocacy efforts, Miller co-founded the South Bend Tenant Association, served as the president of the Roosevelt Institute and was appointed by the city of South Bend to serve on the Housing Affordability and the Landlord and Tenant Education task forces. In addition, he served as co-president of BridgeND and was named a 2021 Truman Scholar for his work in public service.

Thomas Deslongchamps from Milwaukee was awarded the Ray Siegfried Award for Leadership Excellence, given to a graduating senior who exemplifies the qualities for which former Notre Dame Trustee Ray Siegfried was known, including leadership, generosity, devotion to the Catholic faith and affinity for athletics.

A liberal studies major and business-economics and Italian minor, Deslongchamps was a goalkeeper on the men’s soccer team and was accepted to the Sorin Fellows Program in the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture. He also served as a co-leader in the University’s Communion and Liberation club, visiting local nursing homes, hosting weekly discussions about religious texts and fostering community and friendship.

Madeline Ward from St. Johns, Florida, was awarded the Mike Russo Spirit Award, honoring an outstanding undergraduate student who exemplifies the qualities for which Russo was known, including service, personal character and striving to bring the best out of themselves and others.

A political science and applied and computational mathematics and statistics major, Ward served as a resident assistant in Howard Hall and a Welcome Weekend ambassador. She also served as a co-chair of the ND Votes task force and as a core team member for the Summer Service Learning Program within the Center for Social Concerns. She volunteered as a teaching assistant at La Casa de Amistad in South Bend, and, as part of the Student Policy Network, Ward served as a lead on the Indiana Driving Privilege Card Project, advocating for legislation to provide driving privilege cards to undocumented Indiana residents.

The Denny Moore Award for Excellence in Journalism was awarded to Genevieve Redsten from Madison, Wisconsin. This award is given to a graduating senior who exemplifies the qualities of Moore, a former Notre Dame associate vice president, who was known for his integrity, character, commitment to Notre Dame and writing ability.

An English major, Redsten served as editor-in-chief of Scholastic magazine, directing in-depth coverage on a variety of topics, including the University’s 50th anniversary of the admission of undergraduate women, the character of the Notre Dame Law School and the University’s relationship to its neighbors in the South Bend community. A dedicated journalist, she earned internships at Indianapolis Monthly, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the Tampa Bay Times. Following graduation, Redsten will intern with The Dallas Morning News.

Originally published by Kate Morgan at news.nd.edu on April 29, 2022.