The President's Undergraduate Humanitarian of the Year Award

The President's Undergraduate Humanitarian of the Year Award is a prestigious award that recognizes students who exhibit tremendous commitment to service. Each school or college selects one student to be the Humanitarian of the Year. Students are then recognized at an awards luncheon hosted by FSU President Thrasher. The student who best exemplifies commitment to service is named the President's Undergraduate Humanitarian of the Year.

2019 Humanitarian of the Year honorees pose with their plaques and Florida State University President John Thrasher on the stairs of the Dunlap Student Success Center.

2019 Humanitarian of the Year Honorees 

Emily Botta, College of Education
Emily is a senior majoring in English Education. She has served with the Leon High School English Language Learner Program, which helps African refugee students refine their reading, writing, and conversation skills. Emily also facilitated a collaboration between Alpha Phi Omega and FSU Food Recovery Network to collect food from the Figg Athletic Dining Hall and redistribute it to communities experiencing food insecurity in Tallahassee. She also regularly volunteers with the Ronald McDonald House preparing meals for families whose children are in the hospital.

Chloe Craig, College of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Chloe is a senior double majoring in Criminology and Statistics. She has regularly volunteered with Big Bend Hospice, helping to provide companionship and support to patients and their families while they are in hospice care. Chloe has also volunteered with a first grade class at Hartsfield Elementary School, leading small-group activities to provide extra aid to students who may have learning disabilities. On campus, Chloe serves as the vice president of RENEW (Recognizing Everyone’s Need for Emotional Wellness), working to promote emotional wellness among the student body.

Cara Steinberg, College of Human Sciences
Cara is a junior majoring in Family and Child Sciences. She serves as the public relations vice president for Best Buddies, promoting campaigns such as the “Friendship Walk” and “End the R Word” while also building personal relationships with students with disabilities. In addition, Cara was the Dance Marathon morale captain, supporting other dancers while personally raising over $1,000 for Children’s Miracle Network. She also works as a research assistant at the FSU College of Special Education assessing students at the Florida Autism Center.

Angela Byrne, College of Nursing
Angela is a junior majoring in Nursing. She recently participated in a MEDLIFE service-learning trip to Riobamba, Ecuador, assisting local healthcare professionals in providing care and education to communities with low healthcare access. Angela regularly returns to her hometown, Crystal River, to participate in programs packaging meals for hungry communities, providing activities for individuals with disabilities, and Christmas shopping with underprivileged children. She also reads to and tutors children at HOPE Community, a homeless shelter serving children and families.

Emma Harmon, College of Music
Emma is a senior majoring in Music Education. She has volunteered with COCA (Council on Culture and Arts), creating cross-discipline lesson plans surrounding outdoor public art in Tallahassee and mentoring middle school students in art education. Emma has served as a classroom assistant in numerous Leon County Schools assisting in music classrooms. She is also a state board member of the National Association for Music Education and actively advocates for arts education for all Florida students through meetings with legislators and a campaign video shared nationwide.

Essence Duncan, College of Arts and Sciences
Essence is a junior double majoring in Psychology and Criminology. She volunteers as a crisis counselor and shift supervisor at 2-1-1 Big Bend, a major crisis counseling hotline, providing counseling to callers facing various issues and supervising counselors in training in their work. Essence also participates in Sisters2Service, an organization that mentors young women at the Walker Ford Community Center. In addition, she serves as a peer navigator through FSU New Student and Family Programs, mentoring first year students through their transition from high school to college.

Jennifer Magi, College of Engineering
Jennifer is a sophomore majoring in Environmental Engineering. She founded the FSU chapter of Gift of Life Bone Marrow Registry, an national organization that encourages people to register as bone marrow donors to support the fight against leukemia, lymphoma, and other cancers. Jennifer is also a recruitment captain for Dance Marathon to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network and helped start the InspiratioNOLE leaders group for unaffiliated dancers to join. She also serves with Sustainable Campus as a residence hall representative and general volunteer.

Savannah Calleson, College of Medicine
Savannah is a junior majoring in Community Patient Care. She spent the summer of 2018 serving with Maison de la Gare, a center in Senegal for impoverished and victimized children, where she helped nurses provide first aid to children and did community outreach teaching hygiene and English. In addition, Savannah recently participated in a service trip with MEDLIFE providing dental care, general check-ups, and free prescription medications to rural communities. She also offers companionship to and organizes tutoring for children at HOPE House, a safe shelter for families and children.

Sarah Grice, College of Business
Sarah is a senior majoring in Marketing. Over the summer of 2018, she served as a filmmaker with New Mission Systems International, filming nonprofit workers in Uganda, Rwanda, and Malawi to give a platform to people who are doing amazing work in Africa and benefit their missions. In the past Sarah was a mentor to a young girl named Kaylin for two years through Big Brothers Big Sisters. She currently mentors a young boy named Keyshaun through the HOPE program, meeting weekly to help with homework, play, fellowship, and enjoy a meal together.

Rachel Castelli, College of Applied Studies
Rachel is a senior majoring in Recreation, Tourism, & Events. She has worked for four years as a volunteer youth volleyball coach at the local YMCA. Last year, Rachel served as a buddy for the Tim Tebow Night to Shine event, accompanying a young man with special needs to a prom geared toward making all participants feel special. Through her sorority, Rachel has participated in multiple fundraisers for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, leading to an interest in and subsequent internship with the organization. Her internship has helped her realize the impact of fundraising and other activities to the families of seriously ill children.

Monica McShaffrey, College of Communication and Information Sciences
Monica is a senior majoring in Public Relations. She worked as an intern with The Moore Agency, contributing to their education campaign and the ratification of Amendment 10, ensuring Floridians’ right to vote for several local offices in elections. In addition, Monica served as the marathon events captain for Dance Marathon, assisting with event planning and personally fundraising over $1,500. She has also been vice president of new member education and a Panhellenic delegate for the Alpha Sigma Chapter of Delta Zeta Sorority, advocating for women’s empowerment within that role.

Melissa Carcamo, College of Social Sciences and Public Policy
Melissa is a junior majoring in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences. Over summer 2017, she served with the Himalayan Media Welfare society presenting in classrooms at low-to-no income schools in rural India about serious issues the students might face and how to avoid them. The next summer, Melissa taught gender-based violence prevention courses to adolescent males in rural Kenya through the Fountain Youth Initiative. She also serves as Community Relations Chair for FSU’s Hispanic/Latino Student Union, connecting Hispanic/Latino students to social and professional development opportunities.

Madelene Wishart, College of Fine Arts
Madelene is a senior majoring in Studio Art. She spent a summer at Parijat Academy in India as an art teaching intern, creating art curriculum and a mural project for seventh grade students to create long-term public art. She also participated in a weeklong service trip to Woodland Harvest Mountain Farm, assisting an organization practicing completely sustainable living. In addition, Madelene is a Bear Management Unit intern at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, where she creates data-based maps for field biologists and conducts outreach events to educate the public about bear management.

Kathryn Casello, College of Social Work
Kathryn is a senior double majoring in Social Work and Political Science. She spent a semester facilitating educational empowerment and leadership sessions with middle school girls at Oasis Center for Women and Girls. Kathryn co-founded You Are Not Alone, a youth suicide prevention program that provides training sessions in prevention techniques and lobbies to raise awareness for mental health. In addition, she is a field organizer and FSU chapter president for The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus and both organized and led the February 2018 Florida March for Gun Control.

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