USC Aiken Recognizes Campus Leaders

April 18, 2017

The University of South Carolina Aiken held its annual Leadership Awards Banquet April 12.

Sponsored by the Office of Student Life annually, the Student Activities Leadership Awards recognize outstanding leaders among the student body, faculty, and staff.

“The faculty, staff, administration and I are committed to not only providing you an exceptional educational experience – but also to guide and mentor you as you evolve into leaders of character who find – and follow – their moral compass; meet their academic, professional and personal responsibilities; and who are engaged citizens committed to truly making a difference in the community” said Dr. Sandra Jordan, chancellor.

“Every one of the nominees tonight embody those characteristics and rise to meet any challenge – but not only to meet it – to tackle it – and to make a positive impact while doing it.”

Of note were the 2017 Hallman Values Award and the Robert E. Alexander Leadership Hall of Fame induction.

In 2001, Dr. Thomas L. Hallman was named the third chancellor of USC Aiken. 

The award named in his honor highlights the values our students’ exhibit through their actions, on and off campus. 

“The University of South Carolina Aiken believes strongly in the importance of our agreed upon values:  character, citizenship, curiosity and collegiality,” Jordan said.  “These values are central to the vision and mission of the institution.

“Being a truly successful student leader at USC Aiken means incorporating these values into everyday life, which our nominees have done successfully for four years – and I would suspect most of their lives – and I certainly expect they will continue to exhibit them long after graduation.”

The recipient of the 2017 Hallman Values Award is Meredith Hawcroft from Nashville, Tenn.

“I can personally attest to the fact that this year’s Hallman Values Award winner embodies each of our University values, at all times, in all settings, and with all people,” Jordan said.

“[Meredith] has taken full advantage of all USC Aiken has to offer, fosters a sense of collaboration -- even among those who may disagree with this student’s decisions or approaches – and seeks to find common ground when working with and listening to different perspectives.”

Another recognition of note is the induction into the Robert E. Alexander Hall of Fame.  Alexander was named the second chancellor of USC Aiken in 1983.  He led the university through a period of tremendous growth, which expanded the campus physically, educationally and socially. 

The selection for this Hall of Fame honor is based not only on the student’s GPA, but also on the student’s level of community service organizational involvement on campus, which must include at least two leadership positions and throughout the Aiken community, as well as the student’s overall contribution to USC Aiken, and demonstrated leadership, as described by a member of the campus community. 

This year, a panel of faculty, staff and students chose two Hall of Fame inductees. 

Hawcroft was one of those chosen.

“Despite the pressure-cooker pace in the classroom and in various organizations around campus, [Meredith] maintained a steady, non-pulsed demeanor and adroitly juggled competing priorities – all the while earning the respect of peers and maintaining a positive attitude,” Jordan said. 

TJ Brantley was also selected.  He has been a leader on a number of committees and in several organizations, including Student Government, as a leadership programs student coordinator and in the Greek Community on campus. 

“[TJ] has a proven ability to work at all levels of the university, with professors and administrators and among peers,” Jordan said. 

“He is a visionary who respectfully and methodically challenges the status quo and improves the lives of fellow students in the process.” 

Other award recipients were:

People’s Choice Award

Meredith Hawcroft

Unsung Hero

Madalyn Thomas

New Student Leadership Award

Mason Spires

Outstanding Commitment to Student Development

Elizabeth Webb

Advisor of the Year

Dr. Vicki Collins

Organization of the Year

Resident Student Association

Most Improved Organization

Neuroscience Club

Pacer Program of the Year

“Where is the Love” – Healthy 4 Life Peer Educators

Student Employee of the Year

Sylvia Faulkner – University Police

“Two Thumbs Up” Award

Mila Padgett

Greek Organization of the Year

Alpha Omicron Pi

Greek Outstanding Chapter President

Josh Capers – Tau Kappa Epsilon

Outstanding Greek Members of the Year

Natai Thomas – Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Rhett Barnard – Tau Kappa Epsilon

Outstanding Greek New Member

Jessica Moxley – Phi Mu

Golden Owl

Linda Aubrey Higgins

S.E.R.V.I.C.E. Award

Alpha Omicron Pi

Heart of Gold

Tim Behling

Global Leadership Student Award

Augustin Gilart de Keranflec’h

Student Organization Diversity Initiative Award

Silent Crusaders

Inclusionary Leadership Award

Joshua Pontoon

Rec & Wellness Employee of the Year

Marzania Smith

Male Golden Barbell Award

Justin Blackmon

Female Golden Barbell Award

Kirsten Haase

Men’s Pacer Cup

Delta Sigma Phi

Women’s Pacer Cup

Dream Killers

Golden Whistle Award

Morgan Smith

Men’s MVP

Drew Derrick

Women’s MVP

Tori Williams

Warrick Student Athlete Leadership Award

Jasmine Coach

Leadership USCA Certificate Recipients

Alex Oliver

Emmanuella Otabor

Ifeoluwa Ekundayo

Meredith Hawcroft 

Monica Martin

Tiffany Todd

TJ Brantley

Pacesetter Award

Aubry Melvin

Jasmine Edwards

Chancellor’s Ambassadors

Alex Richardson

Allison Swiecki

Amber Laughinghouse

Davis Craig

Erin Bunts

Jasmine Edwards

London Vickers

Meredith Hawcroft

Michaela Howard

Nathan Shanko

Spencer LaMunion

Thomas Miller

Tyler McIntosh

SGA Senator of the Year

William Wright

PUB Right Hand Award

Daneshka Padro-Perez

PUBber of the Year

Madison Copley

Golden PUBber Award

Alex Ward

Carlee Creech

Pacer Fanatic of the Year

TJ Brantley 

“We truly are a blessed university to have this caliber of community leaders on campus, in our communities, and around our country,” Jordan said.  “They will certainly represent USC Aiken well when they continue making contributions long after graduation.”



USC Aiken, a comprehensive university in the University of South Carolina system, offers undergraduate and master’s degrees to more than 3,500 students in 50 programs of study. USC Aiken is ranked the #1 public regional college in the South by U.S. News & World Report’s guide "America’s Best Colleges." The 2017 distinction marks USC Aiken’s 19th consecutive ranking among the top three in this category and its 12th time in first place.