University of Maryland Global Campus is pleased to announce the winners of the first annual UMGC Student Organization Awards. Presented in five categories, the UMGC Student Organization Awards were developed to recognize and showcase the hard work of student groups and their members.

Student Organization of the Year

National Society of Collegiate Scholars, UMGC Chapter

Student Organization Award Winners

Left to Right: Ashley Gadapee, vice president of community service; Daniela Espinosa, national chapter coordinator; Adam Arruda, president; LaShown Nicole Sterling, secretary

Prior to 2019, the UMGC Chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars had very little activity due to personnel changes and a lack of student leadership. The 2019-20 officers were determined to turn the chapter around. Over the summer, a few of the officers attended the nationally sponsored leadership conference, and then the leadership board built a detailed calendar of events for the 2019-2020 school year.

While the national office of NSCS provides many chapter resources, the officers often had to think creatively, as the information is primarily geared toward on-campus events at residential colleges. The chapter took the resources and modified them to be virtual, allowing UMGC members to participate regardless of location. Events and activities include a New Member Induction Ceremony for over 100 new members of the chapter, monthly online meetings, and professional development events. The chapter encouraged membership participation by offering raffles and contests for activities like providing membership feedback and encouraging members to participate in community service initiatives. Overall, the members put together a framework that next year's officers can continue to build on.

Best in Show Activities and Events Award

Annual Social Science Essay Contest, Pi Gamma Mu, Maryland Theta Chapter

Pi Gamma MuFor the past 13 years, the Maryland Theta Chapter of Pi Gamma Mu has sponsored an annual social science essay contest that features the work of UMGC undergraduate students. In the spring, members share the contest description and submission guidelines to faculty and to relevant student organizations, who then post the information in their classes and groups. A panel of faculty judges review the submissions and select three entries for recognition. The top three winners receive prizes, and the essays are submitted to the UMGC Digital Repository in the University Archives.

Student Organization Leader Award

Adam Arruda, 2019-20 President, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, UMGC Chapter

Adam ArrudaAdam Arruda played a large role in re-energizing a chapter that had little activity in the past few years. A very motivated and proactive leader, Arruda provided direction and goals for the chapter. Arruda maintained positive relations with the national office, the faculty advisor, the other officers, and the chapter members. He encouraged membership engagement and participation by conducting information sessions, holding monthly meetings, communicating frequently to the membership, and by developing avenues for feedback. In addition, Arruda organized and led two professional development webinars during the year. As he moves onto his next endeavors, Arruda has been working with the incoming chapter president to ensure a smooth transition and to encourage a continuation of leadership excellence.

Student Organization Member Award

Nichole Cubbage, Behavioral and Social Science Student Association

Nichole CubbageNichole Cubbage recently joined the Behavioral and Social Science Student Association. Since she has joined, she has shown her dedication via peer respect, timely involvement in organizational activities, and contributing valuable input.



Student Organization Advisor Award

Shelley Hintz, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, UMGC Chapter

Shelley HintzBy collaborating, supporting and providing encouragement to the student officers, Shelley Hintz has been a vital component to the overall accomplishments of the UMGC Chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

"Ms. Hintz has literally been by our side every step of the way and has been extremely helpful in coordinating our overall success," shares Adam Arruda, outgoing President.

Hintz helped the chapter's tabling activities by mailing officers materials, collaborated with chapter officers for the induction ceremony, and sent out honor society invitations to eligible students. This led to the addition of over 100 new members during the 2019-2020 school year. Hintz has also supported the student officers in their budgetary decisions and helped guide the chapter toward creating a scholarship for its members.

The nomination period is during the first half of the spring semester. Anyone in the UMGC community can submit a nomination. Nominations are reviewed by a committee within Student Affairs and are announced in May or June.