2020 Camellia Awards

2020 Camellia Student Leadership Awards

Welcome to the 2020 Camellia Student Leadership Awards webpage. Congratulations to all of this year’s Camellia Award nominees and recipients!

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Individual Nominees

Phoebe Amory ’20

Mar Barrera ’20

Camille Brunetti ’20

Alison Carey ’20

Daniela Limbania Castro Perez ’21

Abigail Chen ’22

Maria Chiang Rebatta ’22

Katie Christoph ’21

Allie Collins-Anderson ’20

Katharine Conklin ’22

Margaux Delaney ’20

Abeer Dhanani ’20

Krista Dong ’20

Jackie Ehrlich ’20

Clara Ferrari ’21

Crystalina Guo ’20

Isha Gupta ’21

Lisha Jing ’22

Kimberly Joseph ’21

Nayab Khan ’20

Josie Kuchta ’23

Izzy Labbe ’20

Diana Lam ’20

Joanna Linn ’20

Ninotska Love ’20, DS

Ava Mackay-Smith ’20

Leila Mahdavi ’21

Eve Montie ’20

Jacqueline Ngo ’23

Emily Pearson ’20

Chandler Pettigrew ’20

Felicity Pollard ’21

Natalia Reynoso ’20

Lana Shanab ’22

Alexandra Stanford ’20

Jaime Tracewell ’23

Kennedy Ulfig ’20

Ashley Wang ’20

Carrie Wang ’23

Jessica Wu ’21

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Group Nominees

2019 Orientation Coordinators

Faumencement Coordinators

Student Access Advocates

Blue Crew Seniors

Co-Founders of NRICH Invest

Student creators of COVID-19 Donation Initiative

Recreational Basketball team

Wellesley Engineering Society

Wellesley Posse 1

Transgender Day of Visibility Coordinators

Creators of Slater International Student Organization Newsletter

Wellesley Arab Women Association

Class of 2020

Ministrare Council

Academic Success Coaches

Senior Class Council

Award Recipients

It is our pleasure to announce the recipients of our 2020 Camellia Student Leadership Awards. Each recipient of an individual award will receive a custom-designed camellia pin made especially for Wellesley College and the Camellia Student Leadership Awards. Student groups receiving awards will have their group name engraved on the Camellia Awards perpetual plaque which is displayed in the campus center and will also receive a $100 prize to further the work of their group. Please see the Camellia Awards main page for full description of each award.

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Individual Recipients

  • Emerging Leadership Award: Josie Kuchta ’23

    Josie has demonstrated a strong commitment to the Wellesley community through her role as Assistant Musical Director for the Wellesley Widows. One nominator spoke of Josie showing bravery and humility when working with more experienced upperclass students in the organization. Throughout the semester, members of the Widows came to trust her and count on her for direction in the organization.

  • Community Cultivation Leadership Award: Camille Brunetti ’20

    You can often find Camille in Shafer Hall where she serves as House President. Whether it is supporting her RA’s or residents, she has spent countless hours turning Shafer into a home. Whether as a House President, RA, or First Year Mentor, Camille, has made Wellesley feel like home for many of her peers. The number of nominations that she received speaks to her impact in the Wellesley community.

    One nominator shared. “She is patient, mature, and nurturing. And just as importantly, she is silly, fun, and vulnerable. She finds out how to make you giggle. She knows when to let loose and when to draw us back in to the discussion. She exemplifies temperance. All of these skills build trust.” Another noted, “The community that she cultivated within Shafer is one of compassion, trust, understanding, and support. She created a Hoco space at Shafer that was fun, informative, reassuring and genuinely something I grew to look forward to every week.” Through her work in Residence Life, Camille, created a place on campus where students feel loved, engaged, and at home.

  • Resilience in Leadership Award: Krista Dong ’20

    The recipient of this year’s Resilient Leadership Award has been a hard-working member of the Wellesley College Varsity Soccer Team since her first year, and she encountered a huge challenge during her senior year. Unfortunately, days into preseason as elected Captain of the team, she tore her ACL and had to abandon her plans to play in her final season. Instead of letting this get her down, she rose to the occasion, and as her nominator wrote, “She maintained a positive, resilient attitude and encouraged her teammates through a difficult season as a captain on the sidelines.” As her nominators explained, not only did she lead effectively, but, “She made sure to check on each teammate’s mental and physical health. The mental toughness that she showed on the field and through the recovery process are matched by her academic leadership and vigor.” This student has demonstrated her ability to bounce back from misfortune and was able to not only overcome her own challenges, she was able to model her positive response to adversity for her teammates.


    She has also shown her leadership capabilities off the field, as she housed multiple prospective students in her dorm room and was very successful in recruiting students over the years. In addition, she works at the Fitness Center in the Keohane Sports Center, and it’s involved in Student Instruction and the Athlete Mentorship Program, and is described as someone who, “Represents all the good that comes with Wellesley: physical and mental strength, academic and professional determination, honesty and transparency with others, and compassion for all those around [her].” In recognition of leading her soccer team from the sidelines while overcoming the challenges of recovering from ACL surgery, it is with great pleasure that we present the Resilient Leadership Award to Krista Dong

  • Balanced Leadership Award: Natalia Reynoso ’20

    This year’s recipient has also demonstrated that she can balance her many leadership responsibilities with her other obligations. Over this past year she has served as President of Wellesley College Active Minds, and in this role, she has worked really hard to raise awareness on campus about mental health issues and helped decrease stigma associated with mental illness. She has served as a Peer Health Educator where she helped students connect to campus mental health resources. She serves as the Vice President of Mezcla where she advocates for the academic, social and political interests of Wellesley’s Latinx students. Her nominator writes, “Even though she is a very busy student, she continues to prioritize her personal well-being while helping others in and out of the classroom.”

    Whether she is doing research in the lab, training new lab members, helping students as a Peer Health Educator, being President of Wellesley College Active Minds or Vice-President of Mezcla, she is able to manage her time effectively and does not over-commit herself.

    In addition to the many activities she is involved in, this student has received many awards recognizing her great academic achievements. It’s impressive that she is able to take the time to prioritize her mental and physical health and manages to also take good care of herself and others around her.
    In recognition of her ability to balance many leadership responsibilities on campus with excellent academic performance and a strong commitment to her health and well-being, it is with great pleasure that we present the Balance Leadership Award to Natalia Reynoso.

  • Team Leadership Award: Izzy Labbe ’20

    Izzy Labbe is a current coach coordinator for PLTC and has been an academic success coach for the past three years. This summer she played a critical role in ASC training. Izzy took the initiative to ensure coaches knew the schedule and checked in regularly with them during the training process. It was important to Izzy that all the coaches felt trained and able to support Wellesley students in their academic endeavors. Izzy assisted in the placement of all coaches for the fall, and developed a schedule for them to use so they could be successful in their roles. She utilized her skillset to create a communications plan for coaches to connect with their communities regularly. She made herself available to coaches throughout the fall, offering guidance if needed.

    During the fall study break event, Izzy offered ideas and resources that coaches could use throughout the program to engage with students. After the announcement from the college regarding remote learning for the remainder of the spring semester, Izzy rallied the coaches to create a plan to utilize zoom for virtual office hours. She took time to ensure all coaches understood how to use the platform so they could be available for meetings with students.

    Izzy is committed to the work she is doing in PLTC. She is reliable and seen as a mentor by her peers. Izzy took on additional responsibilities by working to accommodate students whose residential hall did not have coach. While balancing many commitments, Izzy was still able to represent the academic coaches at key campus programs like orientation, wellness fair, and advising central. She truly has demonstrated her commitment to student success by being consistent and available to students. Her ability to connect and mentor others has assisted in the promotion of the academic success coach role on campus. A nominator wrote “though she will graduate in May, Izzy’s contributions will linger for many years.”

  • Sed Ministrare Student Leadership Award: Diana Lam ’20

    Diana Lam has been involved in enhancing the student experience at Wellesley College since her first year on campus. Diana has been involved in College Government as Senator, Executive Senator, SOAC Committee, and College Government President. Diana also served an Alternative Breaks Coordinator and Alternative Breaks Fellow on the Ministrare Council. Diana has displayed tremendous effort in promoting engagement to her peers.

    As college government president, Diana ran on the platform of community engagement and bridging the gap between students and administration to create transparency and understanding. It was through collaboration she believed Wellesley would continue to grow and provide meaningful experiences that would cultivate future leaders.

    A nominator describes Diana as a leader who is thoughtful, open-minded, and someone who shows great empathy for others. Her focus this year as president of college government has been to provide students a voice and challenge students to care for one another. She did this through her engagement with senators, open office hours, and volunteering to serve on various campus committees. A nominator wrote “I have been impressed by Diana’s commitment to transparency and collaboration in her work with College Government. Diana has acted with integrity and demonstrated true leadership during this year, specifically through a challenging spring semester. Diana should be considered for this award because of her commitment to building a community and the tangible efforts made to engage the student body.”

  • Community Partnership Leadership Award: Alexandra Stanford ’20

    Alexandra has demonstrated a deep commitment to community organizations throughout the United States who rely upon college volunteers to successfully fulfill their missions. She has developed a sustained relationship with one of those community organizations, in particular, and developed meaningful engagement opportunities for dozens of her peers, as well. Alexandra’s reciprocal work and efforts have provided financial and emotional support to the organization and has sustained their work and deepened their relationship with the College.


    One nominator shared, “she has gone above and beyond in her commitment to involving the student body in civic engagement, community learning, and building compassion and solidarity.” Alexandra has led two Alternative Break trips to Woodland Harvest Mountain Farm in West Jefferson North Carolina and currently serves as the Alternative Break Fellow on the Ministrare Council. Another nominator noted, “I have seen her lead her peers twice on the farm and on campus as the Ministrare Alternative Breaks Fellow. Through her own work in developing Wellesley’s sustainable relationship with Woodland Harvest, and in teaching her peers to do the same with their own community partners, she truly models and lives what it means to be in partnership with a community.”

 

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Group Recipients

  • Inclusive Leadership Award: Members of Posse 1

    Danielle Aldrett ’21; Shania Baldwin ’21; Paula DeAnda ‘21; Dayna De La Cruz ’21; Nallely Esparza ‘21; Izabelle Fernandez ’21; Kimberly Hernandez ’21; Emely Larios ’21; May Liew ‘21; and Abigail Parakoyi ‘21

    As the pioneering members of the Wellesley College Posse program, these ten juniors have together created, nurtured and grown a community that welcomes diverse perspectives, fosters growth and dialogue, and provides pathways towards inclusion and excellence for all students. Through their weekly seminars and especially in the annual PossePlus Retreat, they wrestled with and modeled the definition of true inclusion, acknowledging that true inclusion requires real community - the cultivation trust and vulnerability to create a space for dialogue and growth. As one of their nominators wrote, in describing their leadership of the PPR, “They knew it was not enough to simply invite people from different backgrounds. They recognized that it was
    necessary to make everyone feel welcome to the event by being welcoming hosts who encourage everyone, including one another, to contribute and participate with an open mind and the possibility of being changed by the experience. As leaders during this yearly retreat, they exemplify one of Posse’s main tenants of challenging ideas, not the people who bring them to the conversation.” Another nominator wrote of Posse 1 members’ engagement in departmental and disciplinary conversations - both on- and off-campus - in efforts to further inclusive excellence in the STEM fields and professions.

    Not only is Posse 1’s contribution to inclusion notable in their presence on and engagement of our campus, but also in their support for and belief in one another. One nominator wrote, “Upon hearing one of their own openly doubt their ability to persist, other members would naturally take the lead to support their peers… They tutored one another, were each other’s strongest support, and insisted that their greatest strength was having everyone in their diverse cohort not just survive, but thrive.” Posse 1 has made a meaningful difference at Wellesley in demonstrating what the work of true inclusion looks like in practice. Wellesley is better for their leadership.

  • Creative Leadership Award: Fauxmencement Coordinators

    Mar Barrera ’20, Mariantonieta Chavez ’20, Crystalina Guo ’20, and Ninotska Love ’20

    The four organizers of this spring’s Fauxmencement, worked together in moving and meaningful ways to enable their peers to celebrate the close of their senior year and participate in many of the traditions so sacred to generations of Wellesley alumnae. Few entire Wellesley cohorts have experienced the degree of disruption, ambiguity and loss faced by this year’s senior class. Knowing the deep importance of community in such instances and especially what such loss would mean to their 2020 peers, these four seniors sprang into action and organized events that both marked the significance of the moment and embraced the traditions of the past. They produced a program for the event, organized a processional of students and distributed red carnations in a ceremony in place of diplomas.  Thanks to these four students, the result was a profoundly personal and memorable events that allowed our seniors to gather and celebrate their remarkable achievements and place in Wellesley’s history.

  • Collaborative Excellence Leadership Award: 2019 Orientation Coordinators

    Kayli Hattley ’22, Catherine Larson ’22; Iris (Mohan) Li ’22, Isabel Ortiz ’22, Leanne Shen ’22, and Marie Tan ’21

    The 2019 Student Orientation Coordinators, thrived together in their efforts on campus this year. As a group, Catherine, Iris, Kayli, Isabel, Marie and Leanne spent a full year preparing for the arrival of the class of 2023. Through close partnership with campus leaders they investigated the needs of the community and worked to find creative and engaging solutions to complicated issues. The nominator recognized the strong connection and trust they had for each other inspiring “incoming students to be authentic, compassionate, and collaborative members of the Wellesley community.”