Studevent, Hadlock, Winiarski, Chang, Carrier named 2013 Oswald Award winners

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Five Penn State students in their respective areas of leadership have been honored with the 2013 John W. Oswald Award. Gizelle Studevent is the recipient in the field of athletics; John Hadlock, creative/performing arts; Kristin Winiarski, journalism; Rachel Chang, representing scholarship; and Bridgette Carrier, social services.

The John W. Oswald Award, established in 1983, annually recognizes graduating seniors who have provided outstanding leadership in at least one of several areas of activity at the University. The award consists of a medallion honoring John W. Oswald, president of the University from 1970 to 1983.

Athletics

Gizelle Studevent is a crime, law and justice major from Chula Vista, Calif., and a member of the Lady Lions basketball team. Recalling the bullying about her Mexican heritage that had caused her to change high schools, she organized an anti-bullying program at Penn State called Penn State Athletes Take Action. Student-athletes from various sports go through weeks of training on anti-bullying messaging and then spread out into local middle schools, teaching students to be tolerant and respectful of other students who may be different than them.

“This anti-bullying program has been a phenomenal success in just its first year and will continue to live on after Gizelle graduates from Penn State,” one nominator said. “Gizelle is a leader in every sense of the word.”

Creative/Performing Arts

John Hadlock of Erie, Pa., is completing his bachelor’s degree in English literature/creative writing at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. As vice president and then president of The Roundtable Society, he helped revive the almost-defunct club for English majors. Under his direction, the organization produced the literary journal Three Bad Names, brought back social events like The Evening of Dubious Taste and hosted student-run workshops. He also has served as editor-in-chief of the student-run literary magazine Refractions and taken a leadership role on the international literary journal Lake Effect.

“Since John’s involvement,” a nominator said, “The Roundtable Society has become a vital organization, contributing to a “sense of identity for the English and creative-writing majors.”

Journalism

Kristin Winiarski of Lower Burrell, Pa., graduated in December with bachelor’s degree in public relations and economics from the College of Communications, serving as student marshal for the college during commencement. She served as sponsorship coordinator for the Schreyer Day of Service, team leader liaison for the FreshStart Day of Service and president of Peer Mentor for the College of Communications. She founded Paws of Friendship, which raises funds for and donates stuffed animals to children in orphanages and foster care. She also served as copy editor and advisory board member for the Penn State yearbook.

“Kristie is at her best when she’s busy — and when she’s knee-deep in a service project or two,” a nominator said. “She’s made Penn State a stronger community during her four-and-a-half years here.”

Scholarship

Rachel Chang of Haverford, Pa., is a senior in the Schreyer Honors College at University Park, majoring in biology, with a 4.0 grade point average. She has served as a Leadership Jumpstart teaching assistant and as a Schreyer lead scholars assistant. As co-chair of the college’s day of service, she coordinated service sites and activities for more than 100 students. Her freshman year, she and four other first-year students organized a music festival attended by more than 350 people, persevering even when a snowstorm delayed the event and then a power failure interrupted it. In 2012 the Schreyer Honors College presented her with its Scholar Involvement Award.

“I believe Rachel is destined to great achievements,” one nominator said. “She has extraordinary time management skills, a solid foundation of self-reflection and continuous self-imposed challenges selected to improve herself and to give back to her community in meaningful ways.”

Social Services

Bridgette Carrier of Pennington, N.J., is a kinesiology major in the Schreyer Honors College at University Park. As executive director of Penn State Homecoming in 2012, she supervised one of the largest student-run homecoming celebrations in the country, with a budget of more than $100,000 and 16 committees with 200 student members. She also served as president of PRIDE, the Penn State Sportsmanship Team, assisting in the creation of Code Blue, an athletic awards program designed to increase student attendance at non-revenue sporting events.

“She sought these roles out because she felt it was her duty to serve her community,” a nominator said. “Bridgette understands that to be a leader is more than just delegating tasks to others; she sees leadership as a chance to contribute to the world around her.”

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Last Updated July 11, 2014