New School News

Generation Give Back Celebrating Student Leadership at The New School

At a celebratory brunch this past week, Student Services’ Office of Student Development and Activities, hosted its annual Student Leadership Awards Ceremony, acknowledging student leaders who have gone above and beyond.

And the winners are:

  • Outstanding Student Organization or Group: ReNew School
  • Community Service and Civic Engagement: William Street Students & Staff: Haiti Relief Efforts: Help for Haiti
  • Outstanding New Student Organization of the Year: Active Minds
  • Senior Vice President for Student Services Alma Mater Award: Victoria Gomez (The New School for General Studies)) Sonica Singh (Parsons) Nika Stelman (Parsons) Jane Lien (Parsons)
  • Outstanding Advisor to a Student Organization: Susan Heske
  • Outstanding Student Leader of the Year: Rachel Dawn Fudim-Davis (Milano)
  • Outstanding International Leadership: Marisa Sefer (The New School for Social Research)
  • Bridge Building Award: Maya Sariahmed (Parsons)
  • Outstanding Student Program of the Year: (Individual, Student org. and Resident Advisor /hall staff) Stuyvesant Park Staff
  • Emerging Leader: Hannah Olpp (Parsons), Eloise Lennen-Rodriguez (Parsons), Maria Damiba-Bossman (Eugene Lang College)
  • RA of the Year: Sonica Singh (Parsons)
  • Programmer of the Year: Kristina Koelle (Parsons)
  • Outstanding RA Program of the Year: Haiti Relief Efforts: Help for Haiti, (William Street Students & Staff)

Marisa Sefer, originally from Turkey, is graduating with an MA in Psychology from The New School for Social Research, and won the Outstanding International Leadership award.

I felt honored, flattered, and privileged to receive the award,, said Marisa. Being involved with student leadership, especially international leadership, has been my priority because international students like me usually come here without family and friends. I think that it’s important to provide these students with support, encouragement, and guidance as they undertake one of the most important journeys of their lives. Playing even a minor role in someone else’s life makes it all worth it.,

Student leadership roles include involvement in recognized student organizations, residence hall councils, civic engagement projects, and special events focusing on a variety of topical and social justice issues. Several of the events organized by students this year were dedicated to raising funds to support Haitian relief efforts.

Nika Stelman, a Parsons BBA student in Design and Management from Canada, one of the recipients of the Senior Vice President for Student Services Alma Mater Award given to graduating students, said When I first arrived in New York City, I was far from home and in a new, big place. So I was just looking for community. I started to get involved and realized how many opportunities The New School had to offer. I never expected to become a ‘leader’ on campus. It just happened.,

If you would like to become involved in on-campus leadership initiatives, please contact the Office of Student Development and Activities at

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