Last night, the red carpet was rolled, the paparazzi flashed away and the Sam Houston marching band was in attendance for the 14th annual Sammys award ceremony.
The Sammys were held in the LSC Ballroom at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 16. It was hosted by SHSU and the Department of Student Activities. The event was emceed by sophomore Daniel Pawlowski and Ashley McDonough, program coordinator for the office of Multicultural and International Student Services.
“We use it as a tool to honor the students, faculty and staff that have worked so hard to serve Sam Houston,” Angie Burns, assistant director for the Student Activities department, said. “It’s an exciting night for them to dress up and come out and be rewarded for their work.”
The biggest awards of the night went to students David Bracken and Ademide Adedokun and faculty/staff Jacqueline Jensen, assistant department chair for Undergraduate Mathematics. Bracken and Adedokun were both two-time winners for the evening.
“It was really fun- and I never saw it coming. I dint even know I was up for awards. I’m really, really surprised, and really grateful too,” Bracken said. “I’m pretty humble in the en. I don’t think I do that much, you know working with orange keys has been really great and a great privilege and it’s been great to give back to the university.”
“There’s no award I could have won on my own. I have lots of help- my parents, my sister, my professors, my advisor. I’m just really grateful for all the help I’ve had along the way,” Adedokun said.
Other awards were Katelyn Stafford for Outstanding First-Year Student Leader, Gabriele Montoya for Outstanding Sophomore-Year Student Leader, Maggie Ayres for Outstanding Junior Student Leader, Adrian Hensley for the McDermett Memorial Award, Jason McKnight for the Creager Memorial Award, Maegan Nappier for the Outstanding Non-Traditional Student Award, and Caroline Castillo-Crimm for the Outstanding Advisor of a Student Organization.
Last year, five awards through the individual colleges making up Sam Houston were added to the 18 individual awards and the Sammy awards.
Winners from the five individual college awards were David Bracken for the College of Arts and Sciences, Magdalena Manzano for the College of Business Administration, Eric Vento for the College of Criminal Justice, Sarah Kinsworthy for the College of Education, and Ademide Adedokun for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
The Political Science Junior Fellows took home the Outstanding Academic/Honorary Organization, the Non-Traditional Student Organization won the Outstanding Community Service Award, Delta Xi Nu Multicultural Society won the Outstanding Cultural Award, Sigma Phi Lambda won the Outstanding Religious Organization Award, Alpha Chi Omega won the Outstanding Social Sorority award, Phi Delta Theta won the Outstanding Social Fraternity Award, B.A.S.E. won the Outstanding Special Interest Organization Award, and Zeta Tau Alpha won the Outstanding Overall Organization Award.
The program featured a tap dance from 42nd street by the Theater department, the “Peasant Pas de Deux” by the Dance departments, “Pirates of Penzance” by the SHSU Opera Workshop, and the music departments’ rhythm jazz choir “Artistry in Rhythm”.
“Since it is the student awards ceremony for the universityit’s a way to spotlight all the different aspects of student life on campus and we have amazing student performers” Brandon Cooper, program coordinator for the Student Activities, said
In addition to the student awards, an Honorary Sammy Award was given to State Representative Lois Kolkhorst.
“We’re doing an honorary award this year- we’ve never done that before so we’re excited,” Brandon said. “When there’s an individual that’s just has done so much for the university and that’s been so astounding. Lois has done such a great job”
Kolkhorst has been a proponent for Sam Houston through her work in the House Select Committee on Higher Education, among others, and was a front-runner in fighting to keep Sam Houston’s name.
“She fights for us, and she loves Sam. She’s always been there for us, and we want to extend our thank you,” Cooper said.
“I’m so honored and I really feel undeserving because everything I’ve been able to accomplish for Sam Houston State is because of the great students here and the great faculty and the administration,” Kolkhorst said. “It’s just amazing and so inspiring, the quality of students that we have here in this university. It’s easy to work hard for Sam Houston State.”
The Sammys have grown into a full-scale evening event to honor the hard work of students, faculty, and administration at Sam Houston.
“It has grown — it’s really developed into a very collegiate ceremony,” Cooper said. “It really is Sam Houston’s official student ceremonyit’s really developed the premier university that really recognizes and thanks the students we have.”